College Roundup - University of Houston
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College Roundup A selection of faculty, staff, student and alumni happenings

2020: January - March
2019: January - March | April - June | July - September | October - December
2018: January - March | April - June | July - September | October - December
2017: January - March | April - June | July - September | October - December

June 2019

Ashley Taylor, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, had a manuscript accepted for publication in PLOS ONE, a high-quality peer-reviewed journal. Her research focused on physical activity and sleep problems in homeless adults. UHAND, a project between the University of Houston and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, is supporting the research.

The Elevate Collegiate Charter School – whose board includes Associate Professor of School Psychology Zenaida Aguirre-Munoz – will open in fall 2020 in Houston. Aguirre-Munoz became a founding board member of the school, part of the Building Excellent Schools Network, in 2018.

Charles Dupre, who earned an M.Ed. in administration and supervision in 2003, was named the 2019 Region 4 Superintendent of the Year. Dupre is currently superintendent of Fort Bend ISD and an adjunct professor in the College’s Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies.

Guillermo Ortega, a doctoral student in the higher education program, received the UH Center for Mexican American Studies graduate fellowship. The fellowship awards applicants who have strong research skills and interest in the area of Mexican American and/or Latino studies. Ortega will begin the fellowship in August.

Aurora González de Freire has received the 2019 Julius Glickman Educational Leadership award from Humanities Texas and the Members in Print award from Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for “Harvey Bear Gets Rescued,” her disaster-preparedness children’s book based on Hurricane Harvey. González de Freire earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 1997 and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction in 2003 from the College.

Thomas Cotter, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, has been named principal of Wesley Elementary School in Houston ISD. Cotter was previously assistant principal at North Forest High School in the same district and won HISD’s Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year Award in 2019.

May 2019

Heather Lowrie, who earned a B.S. in teaching in 1997, was awarded Teacher of the Year at Fort Bend ISD’s Neill Elementary, where she is a fourth-grade teacher. She went on to be a top five finalist for District Teacher of the Year.

Margarita Tovar, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, was promoted to principal at Dogan Elementary in Houston ISD. She previously served as assistant principal for the school.  

Tracey Bennett, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, was named principal of Horne Elementary in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. She previously served as assistant principal at Andre’ Elementary in the same district.

Ashley Taylor, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, was appointed student representative for the UH Institutional Review Board 1 in May. The board is responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects in research.

Marti Jones, who earned an M.Ed. in counseling in 2013 and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology in 2016, received the Carolyn Payton Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association’s Division 35, Section 1 (the Psychology of Black Women). Jones will assume a tenure-track faculty position at the University of North Texas in August.

Ashley Ramclam, Amy Barton, Kimberly Smoots and Dieu Truong, doctoral students in the school psychology program, and Associate Professor Milena Keller-Margulis received a $3,000 grant from the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students to support a new faculty-led internship immersion program in Mexico.

Dieu Truong and Ashley Ramclam, doctoral students in the school psychology program, have been appointed to the student advisory board for the Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. The board supports the foundation’s research team in creating culturally responsive outreach and connecting with local families affected by autism. Truong and Ramclam have recently given two presentations to diverse families in the Houston area in regards to autism research.

Anne Perry, an Ed.D. student in the curriculum and instruction – history/social education program, was awarded the Billie P. Spellman scholarship from the UH chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. She also received the Scholarship for Education Research from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.

Ananthi Sankaranarayanan, a doctoral student in the curriculum and instruction – math education program, will present her research at the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching in San Antonio in July. Her research focuses on word problems for young language learners.

Bobby Martinez, who earned an Ed.D. in professional leadership – K-12 in 2014, accepted a position as executive director of school leadership for Alvin ISD beginning in June. Martinez is currently principal of Manvel High School and is an adjunct professor in the College’s Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies.

Lynnette Gilbert, who received an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction – art education in 2017, has accepted a position as a tenure-track assistant professor of art education at Arkansas Tech University.

Heidi Powell, who earned an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the College in 2006, recently was hired as a tenure-track assistant professor and is director of the MA Art Education Online Program at the University of Florida. Powell was a director of program development and lecturer at the University of Texas in Austin for five years.

Kathy Brown, who received a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction - art education in 2018, has accepted a position as a tenure-track assistant professor of art education at the University of North Texas in Denton. Her dissertation explored social justice curricular work in art methods courses.

April 2019

Dieu Truong, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, was awarded a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services pre-doctoral fellowship by the American Psychological Association in April. The fellowship aims to increase the number of ethnic minority professionals in psychology and improve psychological and behavioral outcomes in minority communities.

Several current and former doctoral students attended and/or presented their research at the 2019 Region 5-Texas Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education Conference in Nacogdoches in April. The conference brought together scholars around the theme of “Social Activism: Making Multicultural Education Intentional for Everyone.”

Students in the Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction program:

  • Neha Anand (science)
  • Uchenna Emenaha (science)
  • Roseline Enemodia (early childhood)
  • Rosa Mack (literacy)
  • Ananthi Sankaranarayanan (math)
  • Sunny Stubbs (literacy)

Students in the Ed.D. in professional leadership program:

  • Marisela Martinez (social studies)
  • Sarah Straub (social studies ’16); conference coordinator
  • Ogechi Ukoha (social studies)

Esmeralda Valdez, a doctoral student in the higher education program, received the 2019 National Association of College Auxiliary Services Mereese Ladson Scholarship. The scholarship is intended to promote the advancement of diverse, career-minded higher education professionals through professional development. Valdez is executive director of university services at UH and received an M.Ed. in administration and supervision from the UH College of Education in 2013.

Elsa Gonzalez, an assistant professor in the higher education program, and Tiffany J. Davis, a clinical assistant professor and director of the M.Ed. in higher education program, each received the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award from the UH Women and Gender Resource Center. The award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions to teaching, research and service, including service to women and advancing gender equity on campus. They both will be recognized at the Faculty Scholar Awards event at UH in April.