College Roundup - University of Houston
Skip to main content

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

September 2018

Teresa Garcia, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – special populations program, and Kristi Santi, an associate professor of special populations in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, presented an e-poster at the 26th annual World Congress on Learning Disabilities conference in September in Crete, Greece. Their presentation was about language and instruction best practices for bilingual children with autism.

Sascha Hein, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences, received a $25,000 grant in September from ChildFund International. He will study existing literature on the well-being of caregivers and how it relates to developmental outcomes in children, particularly those living in extreme poverty.

Shemeka S. Phipps, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – special populations program, presented at the 26th annual World Congress on Learning Disabilities Conference in September in Crete, Greece. Her presentation was about the impact of an inclusive residential community. Phipps, a residential life coordinator at UH, also won a monthly award from the National Residence Hall Honorary for her work.

Liza Naomi Abrams, a master’s student in the higher education program, was selected in September to serve as a 2018-19 graduate associate program member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She will serve as the primary contact person for students at UH and surrounding institutions on how to get involved with NASPA.

Sherrilyn Smith, a doctoral student in the professional leadership - special populations program, presented at the 26th Annual World Congress on Learning Disabilities in September in Crete, Greece. Her presentation was called “Teaching Parents To Identify the Function of Behavior and Communicate Needs.”

Rachael Whitaker, clinical assistant professor and director of the M.Ed. in counseling program, was honored with a professional grant award from the Association of Creativity in Counseling in September. She and a team of researchers will conduct a pilot study looking at gardening as a creative way to promote healthy lifestyles for students, families and schools.

Samuel Brower, director of the M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction program, and Sesa Edgar, associate dean of undergraduate studies, were selected to be part of the first cohort of the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program. They will receive funds to support the development of open-source materials.

Mudithani Hettiarachchi, a doctoral student in the higher education program, had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry. Hettiarachchi, who has an M.Ed. in higher education from the College, and her co-authors wrote about “assessing the assessors,” who typically conduct program reviews.

August 2018

Mauricio Molina, a doctoral student in the higher education program, and Elsa Gonzalez, an assistant professor in the higher education program, presented a paper at the annual Texas Higher Education Symposium in Houston in August. Molina and Gonzalez wrote about retention and successful strategies of Latina STEM majors at a Hispanic-serving higher education institution.

Zenaida Aguirre-Munoz, an associate professor in the school psychology program, became a founding board of trustee member of The Elevate Collegiate Charter School in 2018. The school, which is part of the Building Excellent Schools Network, will open in fall 2020 in Houston.

Nancy Linden, who received an Ed.D. in professional leadership in 2013, was selected to attend the 2018 Higher Education Resource Services Institute at Bryn Mawr College in July. The HERS Institute is a leadership development and research organization dedicated to creating and sustaining a diverse network of women leaders in higher education. Linden is an assessment management system coordinator and lecturer of humanities at Savannah State University.

Sara Johnson, who received an M.Ed. in administration and supervision in 2018, has been named an assistant principal at Bowie Middle School in Fort Bend ISD. Johnson’s interests include technology integration in the classroom.

Ewune Ewane, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, was awarded a research fellowship by the Susan G. Komen Foundation and MD Anderson Cancer Center to study health disparities in African American and Hispanic women.

Gulden Esat, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, was awarded a $1,000 research seed grant from the psychology of religion and spirituality division of the American Psychological Association. She will to use the funds to study student well-being and the impact of mindfulness and spirituality.

Krystal Christopher, Sahar Eshtehardi, and Ashley Taylor, doctoral students in the counseling psychology program, were awarded UHAND fellowships to study health disparities in the African American and Hispanic population. UHAND is a project between the University of Houston and the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the fellowships are funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Amy Barton, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, was selected to be the educational specialist coordinator on the National Association of School Psychologists' graduate student committee.

Krystal Christopher, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, has been appointed as the new mentorship committee co-chair of the ethnicity and race division of the American Psychological Association for 2018-20.

Sheng Kuan Chung, an art education professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, had three articles accepted for publication in the fall 2018 issue of the peer-reviewed International Journal of Arts Education. Chung wrote about the shift from conventional art pedagogy to teaching art for social justice, American drawing books in the 19th century, and the modern functionality and aesthetics of emojis.

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

Cathy Horn, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, recently became editor of the Journal of Research on Leadership Education, whose mission is to strengthen the tie between scholarship and practice in schools. April Peters-Hawkins, associate chair of ELPS, will serve as co-editor, and Bradley Carpenter, associate professor of educational leadership and program director, will serve as associate editor.

Mudithani Hettiarachchi, a student in the master’s in higher education program, received a Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administrators graduate student scholarship. She will use the funds to attend the 2018 TACUSPA Fall Annual Conference in October in Houston. Hettiarachchi, who works as a research assistant in the UH Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, expects to graduate in fall 2018 and then begin her doctoral studies in higher education leadership and policy studies in the College.

Cassandra Butcher, a student in the master’s in higher education program, received the Thomas Moorman Fellowship from the Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administrators. She will use the funds to attend the 2018 TACUSPA Fall Annual Conference in October in Houston.

July 2018

Porsha Dudley, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, was named the new principal of Arizona Fleming Elementary in Fort Bend ISD in July. She previously served as assistant principal at FBISD’s Lakeview Elementary. Dudley also received an M.Ed. in administration and supervision in 2010 from the College.

Darrell Hooker, a doctoral student in the higher education program, has been chosen to participate in the Faculty First-Look Program at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. This nationally competitive program focuses on preparing doctoral students for faculty positons. Hooker will attend sessions in fall 2018 and spring 2019 in New York.

Geovanny Ponce, who earned an M.Ed. in administration & supervision from the College in 2006, was promoted to east area superintendent of the Houston Independent School District in July. Ponce, an immigrant from Honduras, most recently served as principal of Jones Futures Academy and won secondary principal of the year awards from HISD and Region IV for the 2017-18 academic year.

Robert L. Long III, an adjunct professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was named principal of Wells Middle School in the Spring Independent School District in July. He also is a member of the Texas School Safety Center board and previously served as principal of Thompson Elementary in Spring ISD.

Margaret Hale, an associate chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and her editorial staff – curriculum and instruction Ph.D. graduates Roni Dean-Burren and Eve Zehavi and curriculum and instruction Ed.D. graduates Heather Pule, Glen Russell and Dawn Westfall – received a 2018 National Council of Teachers of English Affiliate Journal Award for their journal, “English in Texas.” Hale also has an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the College. The team will be honored at the NCTE Annual Convention in Houston in November.

Meagan Edwards, who received an M.Ed. in administration and supervision in 2017, was selected as the new principal of Grissom Elementary School in Houston in July. She began her career in education in 2002 in Houston as a third-grade teacher at Cornelius Elementary and recently served as assistant principal at Woodson PK-8.

Marina McCormick, a doctoral student in the professional leadership, special populations program, was named the 2018 Outstanding Program Supervisor by the Texas Association of Parents and Educators of the Deaf. The award was given at the 2018 Statewide Conference on the Education of the Deaf in Grapevine in July. McCormick is a coordinator at the Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf.