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

March 2018

Kristi Santi, an associate professor of special populations in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was awarded a $5,000 faculty small grant by the UH Division of Research in March.  She will conduct a quantitative study of students in individual education programs regarding the transition from high school to a successful college or career path.

Gerardo Medina, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, was selected in March to participate in the 2018 Raise Your Hand Texas Leadership Program at the Harvard Institute in Cambridge, Mass. He was among 100 school leaders selected because of his potential to affect significant change at his campus, district and throughout his region. Medina serves as the principal of Almeda Elementary School in Houston.  

Molly Niemczyk, a first-year student in the master’s in higher education program, assisted Frank Fernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, at the American College Personnel Association conference in Houston in March. They presented findings from a research project about Latina/o college students and voter turnout. They found that Latinas and Latinos had higher odds of voting in the 2012 presidential election if they attended campuses that had more racially and ethnically diverse environments. 

Sylvia Leal, who received an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction in 2008, was appointed senior program officer for education and economic development at the T.L.L. Temple Foundation in March. The Lufkin-based foundation works alongside families and communities in East Texas to alleviate poverty and create access and opportunities for all.

Several faculty members were honored at the UH Inventor Patent Awards and Celebration of Researchers’ Luncheon in March.

  • 2017 Authors of Scholarly Book Publications:
    • Frank Fernandez from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • 2017 New Researcher Grant Award Recipients:
    • Jennifer Chauvot, Wallace Dominey, Jerome Freiberg, Laveria Hutchison and Laura Turchi from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    • Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Weihua Fan, Jorge Gonzalez, Sascha Hein, Sara Jones, Yu Liu, Rosenda Murillo, Ezemenari Obasi, Norma Olvera, Lorraine Reitzel, Jonathan Schwartz, Bradley Smith, Nathan Smith and Kayce Solari Williams from the Department of Psychological, Health and Learning Sciences
    • Anne McClellan and Virginia Snodgrass Rangel from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies;
    • Patricia Paquin from the UH Charter School
    • Paige Evans from teachHOUSTON
    • Shelly Townsend from the Parent Education Project

Ashley Burks, a master’s student in the counseling program, won honorable mention in March from the American Counseling Association for an essay she wrote titled “Stronger Together Against the Opioid Epidemic.” Burks is a graduate assistant for Rachael Whitaker, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychological, Health and Learning Sciences. 

Kristi Santi, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was named a board member of Learning Disabilities Worldwide in March. She will work with the association to plan and organize its annual conferences for the next two years. This year’s conference will take place in September in Crete, Greece.

Vincent Carales, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was selected in March as a participant for the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions’ ELEVATE program in Philadelphia in June. Carales joins a highly selective cohort of early career faculty, researchers and scholars who will participate in professional development workshops on grant writing, scholarship and more.

Koryn Dillard, a doctoral student in the higher education program, presented twice at the American College Personnel Association conference in March. The first presentation was "The Bathroom Right: The Impact of Bathroom Legislation on Students/Staff," which she presented with fellow higher education doctoral student Sly Mata. The second presentation was "Lasting Effects: Campus Safety for Students of Color."

Chaunte' White, a doctoral student in the higher education program, presented at the American College Personnel Association conference in March. She presented on "Expanding Social Justice Praxis: Empowering Educators to Empower Students" with fellow higher education doctoral student Koryn Dillard.

Gerald Von Bourdeau, a doctoral student in the higher education program, presented at the American College Personnel Association conference in March. He presented on "Inviting Atheist Students to the Pluralistic Table."

Esmeralda Valdez, a doctoral student in the higher education program, received the 2018 Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education Distinguished University Staff Award at the association conference in Dallas. 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.

Sheng Kuan Chung, an art professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, had his artwork selected to be shown at the annual Conroe Art League National Invitational Show, held March 7- 31. His work was chosen from over 335 submissions from 26 states.

February 2018

Elsa Gonzalez, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, attended and helped organize the Houston National Science Foundation’s Hispanic Serving Institutions STEM Conference in February. Professors and administrators from around the country convened at the University of Houston to discuss challenges and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Wallace Dominey, a research professor and executive director of the STEM Teaching Equity Project, received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for $150,000 as part of the “We Teach Computer Science Collaborative,” a network of 31 projects across Texas. The goal of the project is to increase the number and quality of teachers and programs in the area of computer science.

Roberta Nutt, a clinical professor and training director of the counseling psychology program in the Department of Psychological, Health and Learning Sciences, published a book chapter in the APA “Handbook of the Psychology of Women” in February. The chapter is titled “Feminist Critique of and Interaction with Diagnostic and Therapeutic Treatment Models.”

Rachael Whitaker, a clinical assistant professor and counseling program director in the Department of Psychological, Health and Learning Sciences, published a book chapter in “School Counselors as Practitioners: Building on Theory, Standards, and Experience for Optimal Performance” in February. The chapter is titled “Technology Application and Appropriate Use.” 

Frank Fernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, received a 2018 Education Theory award for a book he co-edited titled “The Century of Science: The Global Triumph of the Research University.” The award was presented by the Association of American Publishers in February.

Dieu Truong, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, is one of only three graduate students in the country selected by the Multicultural Affairs Committee to present during the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists in February. She will lead a portion of the “Diversity Dialogue Spotlight on School Psychology Change Agents” presentation. 

January 2018

Elsa Gonzalez, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was awarded a $4,100 grant by the UH Division of Research in January. She will conduct a pilot study titled Broadening Participation in STEM: A Qualitative Analysis of Retention Experiences and Retention Strategies of Latina STEM Majors in Higher Education.”

Tiffany J. Davis, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and director of the M.Ed. in higher education program, was accepted into the American Evaluation Association’s Minority Serving Institution Fellowship Program. The yearlong fellowship includes networking and professional development opportunities on topics related to evaluation, assessment and applied research.

Frank Fernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, received $6,000 from the UH New Faculty Research Program to study potential accreditation challenges at minority-serving institutions. His proposal was reviewed by the research and scholarship committee of the UH Faculty Senate.

Alum Karen Weber, who received an Ed.D. in curriculum & instruction learning, design and technology in 2016, and Keri Myrick, a higher education doctoral student, had a paper accepted for publication in the International Journal of ePortfolio. The double-blind, peer-reviewed journal is published biannually by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. They presented at the AAC&U 2018 Annual Meeting in January. Weber and Myrick work at The Honors College at UH.

Tiffany J. Davis, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and director of the M.Ed. in higher education program, was selected as a new member of the Diversity Scholars Network in January. The network is part of the National Center for Institutional Diversity. She was selected for her commitment and contribution to diversity research and scholarship.