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

December 2021

Marina McCormick, who earned an Ed.D. in professional leadership – special populations in 2019, won the 2022 Deborah D. Hatton Dissertation of the Year award from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual Impairment and Deafblindness. She analyzed Texas’ teacher professional development efforts in deafblindness and its effect on teachers’ self-efficacy. McCormick currently serves as coordinator of the Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf and as an adjunct professor in the College’s special populations program.

Kayce Solari Williams, a clinical associate professor in the health program, was re-elected for a third term as president of the American School Health Association. She begins her new term Jan. 1, 2022.

Daijiazi Tang, a doctoral student in the measurement, quantitative methods and learning sciences program, had her research published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences. Her study, co-authored with faculty, explored the self-efficacy and achievement emotions that influenced college students’ learning persistence in entry-level calculus classes.

Michele Lytle, a student in the M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction — STEM program, was named a Teacher of the Year by the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators. Lytle is a math teacher in the early college program at Thurgood Marshall High School in Fort Bend ISD.

Sandra Ramirez, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning – EC-6 generalist in 2020, has been named Rookie Teacher of the Year at Aldine ISD’s Orange Grove Elementary, where she teaches third grade reading, math, science and social studies. 

Tori Amason and Yolanda Barnes recently had a policy brief published by NASPA, one of the two leading professional associations for higher education administrators. The brief is titled  “Five Things Student Affairs Professionals Can Do to Embed Racial Justice Into Their Work.” Amason is a doctoral student in the higher education program and Barnes earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the College in 2021.

November 2021

Three-time UH graduate Shawn Bird has been named the new chief academic officer for Houston ISD. Bird earned an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction in 2005, an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction – secondary education in 2000 and a bachelor’s in English with a minor in Spanish in 1998. He served on the board of the College of Education Alumni Association in 2010-11 and most recently served as deputy superintendent of instruction and school communities at Portland Public Schools.

Kmt Shockey, a professor in the professional leadership – K-12 program, received a Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association. The award, which recognizes recent scholarship deemed to be outstanding in its field, was for “African-Centered Education: Theory and Practice,” the 2020 book he edited with Bardo Distinguished Professor Kofi Lomotey of Western Carolina University.

October 2021

Adrienne Aul, who earned an Ed.D. in professional leadership – mathematics education in 2020, has been named the new national math content coach for IDEA Public Schools. Aul will focus on the implementation of the IDEA mathematics curriculum across Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

Mandelé Aubrey-Davis, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, has been named the Texas Art Education Association Principal of the Year. Aubrey-Davis is the principal at Eisenhower Senior High School in Aldine ISD. She was honored for her significant contributions to art education on the state, local and national levels.

Dave Louis, an associate professor in the higher education program, has been named one of the 2021 Outstanding Alumni honorees for the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, where he received a Ph.D. in educational administration in 2004. Louis is a 2020 Fulbright Scholar and recipient of several other honors, including the President’s Excellence in Diversity & Equity award from Texas Tech University and the American Educational Research Association’s Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Scholarship.

September 2021

Georgina Rosenbrock, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, has been selected as a LoneStar Leadership Education in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities fellow through the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. This training program is designed to develop leaders in the field of autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Rosenbrock’s research includes partnering with and empowering parents raising children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Norma Olvera, a professor in the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences, was elected chair of the Nutrition Education Beyond Weight Division of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior. She will serve a one-year term, which began Aug. 28, 2021.

Elizabeth Guzmán, a doctoral student in the professional leadership — K-12 program, has been appointed the 504/dyslexia coordinator for Clear Creek ISD to support students with disabilities. She previously was an assistant principal in Pearland ISD.

Several faculty members were selected for the 2021-22 UH Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy, a professional development opportunity to develop leadership skills to promote student success: Conra Gist and Susie Gronseth from the Department of Curriculum & Instruction; Bradley Davis and Kristen Hassett from the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies; and Toya Conston and Virmarie Correa-Fernández from the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences.

Kristi Santi, an associate professor in the special population program, has received The President’s Volunteer Service award from AmeriCorps. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities across the nation. Santi received the award for her work leading conferences, research and teams whose focus is on bettering the educational outcomes of students with disabilities.

August 2021

Jessica Tovar-Hilbert, who earned an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction – reading and language arts in 2010 and an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction – reading and language arts in 2017, was recently promoted to program coordinator for professional learning at Klein ISD. Tovar-Hilbert previously taught second grade at Krahn Elementary School in the district.

Tiffany Galloway, a doctoral student in the higher education program, has joined the UH Women and Gender Resource Center as the gender equity program manager. Galloway is currently researching support systems for Black women and trans and nonbinary students within higher education.

Taewon Kim, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, received the 2021 Graduate Student Research Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society of Vocational Psychology. She earned the award based on her development of a measurement tool to reflect underemployed Korean workers’ experiences influenced by cultural contexts and insecure job markets. Her article about her research was published in the Journal of Career Assessment in 2020.

Neha Anand, a doctoral student in the curriculum and instruction — science education program, recently published an article in School Science and Mathematics about elementary students and their parents’ perceptions of informal STEM learning environments.

Keith Butcher, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, has been appointed to the UH Office of Faculty Engagement and Development’s Faculty Advisory Board. The board is an advocate for enhancing student success and serves a constituency concerned with teaching and learning, research, service, and maintaining a culture of faculty excellence. Sara McNeil, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, and April Peters-Hawkins, an associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, also serve on the advisory board.

July 2021

Katrina Cushenberry, who earned an Ed.D. in professional leadership — mathematics education in 2020, is the new mathematics director for secondary curriculum and development at Houston ISD. She previously worked as a secondary mathematics curriculum specialist in the district.

Mycah Ayala and Mariana Vázquez, doctoral students in the school psychology program, have been awarded blue ribbons for their research posters by the American Psychological Association’s Committee on School Psychology. Ayala’s poster (“Primary Care Providers’ Special Education Discussions with Families of Children with Autism”) and Vázquez’s poster (“Teachers’ Characteristics as Predictors of Parent Perceptions of Invitations for Involvement”) fell within the top third of ratings across relevancy to the field, contribution to the research literature, research design and overall quality of the submission.