Dean's Update - University of Houston
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Dean's Update

Feb. 11, 2020

Message from the Dean 

I’m looking forward to two events in the coming weeks that reinforce the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. I encourage you to attend if possible:

  • Red Rhapsody — Enjoy wine, light bites and an art auction at this second-annual fundraiser to support LGBTQ+ students. Tickets cost $25. If you’re unable to attend, you may still donate.
    • Monday, Feb. 24. 5 p.m. Rockwell Pavilion, M.D. Anderson Library. RSVP and buy tickets/donate here.
  • Implicit Bias: A Conversation and Training with Bryant T. Marks Sr., Ph.D.
    • Thursday, March 5. 6 – 8 p.m. UH Hilton. Shamrock Ballroom.
    • Friday, March 6. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis St.



  • The deadline to submit nominations for Star Awards has been extended to Friday, Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. We are seeking nominees for Distinguished Alumni, Rising Star (young alumni) and Friends of Education. Find the criteria and submit your nominations here. The process should take 15 to 20 minutes.


  • Spring Break Holiday — Friday, March 13.
  • March of Dimes March for Babies — Saturday, April 25. 9 a.m. UH Stadium Garage, 3874 Holman St. Register to walk or donate.
  • Spring Commencement — Thursday, May 7. 9 a.m. Fertitta Center.


Editor’s note: External grant awards typically are listed under Office of Research. For publications, additional authors are not included. Please email Ericka Mellon with any questions.

Curriculum & Instruction


  • Susie Gronseth, “Strategic Instructional Design of Interprofessional Education in the Health Professional Curricula.” Journal of Applied Instructional Design.


  • Eulises Avellaneda, “Alternative Textbook Incentive Program: Faculty Insights.” UH Emerging Trends in Educational Technology lecture.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Tiffany J. Davis was appointed research chair for the Southern Association for College Student Affairs.


  • Tiffany J. Davis, “To Be Black Women and Contingent Faculty: Four Scholarly Personal Narratives.” The Journal of Higher Education.
  • Vincent Carales, “Homegrown Scholars: A collaborative autoethnography on entering the professoriate, giving back, and coming home.” Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences

Internal Grants

  • Ann Chen, Ezemenari Obasi, Lorraine Reitzel, “The association of the food, tobacco, alcohol, and medical environment with healthy eating, substance use and chronic disease among U.S. adults.” UH Division of Research – Small Grants Program. $5,000.
  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández. “Perspectives on culturally-relevant Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-based smoking cessation intervention among Spanish-speaking Latinx smokers.” UH Women of Color Coalition Stimulus Research Grant. $5,000.
  • Rachael Whitaker, Hayley Stulmaker. “Increased access to a Clinical Mental Health degree through national curriculum alignment and establishment of online/hybrid digital learning formats that ensure a data driven program and curriculum.” UH Teaching Innovation Program Grant. $10,000.


  • Weihua Fan, Consuelo Arbona. “Psychosocial intervention utilization and substance abuse treatment outcomes in a multisite sample of individuals who use opioids.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. ​
  • Rosenda Murillo, Yu Liu, Ezemenari Obasi. “Neighborhood Walkability and Overweight/Obese Weight Status among Latino Adults.” American Journal of Health Promotion.​
  • Sarah Mire. “Criminality, interactions with law enforcement, and potential correlates of juvenile justice-involvement among youth with autism.” Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. ​
  • Lorraine Reitzel. “Advancing academic careers through professional mentorship: The Research Scholars Mentorship Program.” Health Behavior Research.
  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández. “The Relationship of Trait Mindfulness and Mindfulness Practices with Alcohol Use among Hispanics/Latinos.” Psychiatry Research. ​

Book Chapters

  • Rachael Whitaker. “A Child Experiences Cyberbullying Precipitating a Suicide Attempt” and “A Student Makes Terroristic Threats to School Personnel/Students.” Responding to critical cases in school counseling: Building on theory, standards, and experiences for optimal intervention.



  • Reminder that templates for flyers, PowerPoint presentations and letterhead can be accessed via the intranet under “Communications.” All flyers (even templates) must be sent to Jaime Questell for review, and she will send them to UH Branding for approval.


  • The deadline for employees to enter 2020 ePerformance goals is Monday, March 9. Managers must set goals and criteria by Thursday, April 9.


  • The COE Undergraduate Studies Committee will offer a working meeting from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 to support faculty and staff working to complete a COE undergraduate proposal regarding curriculum or policy changes. This meeting, in Farish 135, will provide a collaborative space to develop proposals and clarify submission requirements. Please contact Jeylan Yassin at for more information.


  • Please share the new virtual tour of UH and the College of Education with any prospective students from out of town who may find it helpful.
  • As a reminder, all graduate recruitment events that are open to the public are listed on our website. If you plan to attend an event, please let Jennifer Hay know.



  • The COE Research and Faculty Development Committees invite you to participate in a “Research Speed Dating” event to learn about your colleagues’ research projects and to explore potential collaborations. Friday, Feb. 14. Noon – 1:30 p.m. Farish Hall, Room 219. RSVP to

Editor’s note: Grant awards and submissions will be published next month.


  • Please congratulate the newly elected Staff Council co-chairs for 2020—22: Miranda Jasso, department business administrator, and Yonelly Gutierrez, program manager in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. Their dedication to Staff Council has been indispensable!


Oluwasade Orebiyi

Undergraduate studies academic advisor Oluwasade Orebiyi strives to be the advisor she never had: a comforting presence who gives direct and supportive guidance to students.

You’ve just hit your one-year anniversary with the College of Education. How has it been?

It’s been a great experience! I enjoy working with everyone and working with students from many different backgrounds. This is one of the greatest jobs I’ve had.

How did you get into advising?

During my time as an undergraduate in St. Louis, I took on a student advising role and had the opportunity to gain insight on student experiences. I enjoyed talking to students and wanted to continue doing that.

What approach do you take to advising?

I didn’t want to be the advisor who gives students a piece of paper, tells them their classes and sends them on their way. Advising is all about building connections with your students, knowing they can come to you to be a support system.

Read the full Q&A.

Dean’s Update typically publishes on the second Tuesday of each month.

Prior newsletters are archived on the College website.

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