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

December 2018

Associate Professor Nikki Coleman and Assistant Professor Chakema Carmack, of the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences, received an internal stimulus grant from the UH Women of Color Coalition in December. Their project explores social media usage as a correlate of sexual behavior on college campuses.

Several current and former students have published an article focused on stress, worry, somatization and anxiety in an ethnically diverse sample of college students in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. The co-authors are Niloofar Tavakoli, who received an M.Ed. in counseling; Amanda Broyles, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program; Erin K. Reid, a doctoral student in the school psychology program; and J. Robert Sandoval, a doctoral student in the measurement, quantitative methods and learning sciences program. Virmarie Correa-Fernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences, was senior author on the paper.

Sahar Eshtehardi, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, presented at the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute in Houston in December. Her research focused on depression and anxiety medication adherence among adults receiving homelessness services. Lorraine Reitzel, chair of the College of Education’s Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences department, was one of the authors on this paper. She also will present on health-related quality of life and diet in adults at the American Academy of Health Behaviors Annual Conference in Greenville, South Carolina, in March (Reitzel was also an author on this paper). Lastly, she will be presenting research around health-related quality of life and parent worries in adolescents with type1 diabetes at the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference in New Orleans in April.

Ashley Taylor, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, presented at the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute in Houston in December. Her presentation was called “Post-traumatic stress is linked with emergency room visits among adults receiving homelessness services.” Lorraine Reitzel, chair of the College of Education’s Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences department, was one of the authors on this paper. 

November 2018

Gulden Esat, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, presented at the post-convention workshop at the University Council for Educational Administration convention in Houston in November. She presented on mindful practices for improving school climate.  Bradley Carpenter, an associate professor in the the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Bradley Smith, a professor in the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences were also authors on this paper.

Kayce Solari Williams, a clinical assistant professor who directs the health program in the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences, has been awarded the New and Innovative Program Abroad Award from the Delta Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars. The award, presented in November, recognizes Solari Williams for launching a study abroad trip focused on public health in the Dominican Republic.

Ashley Ramclam, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, has been selected by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students to serve on the convention committee. She will be responsible for planning, reviewing proposals and assisting with the convention for the next two years. She also will be fully funded to attend the APA conventions during her terms of service.

Krystal Christopher, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, has been selected by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students to serve on the committee for the advancement of racial and ethnic diversity. This subcommittee promotes diversity and represents and advocates for ethnic minority graduate psychology students. Christopher also is a scholar in the UHAND program, which is a research and mentorship partnership between UH and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Seven faculty members from the College of Education have been awarded 2018 Women of Color Coalition Stimulus Research Awards from UH. The awards are funded through a National Science Foundation grant focused on supporting women and women of color in the fields of STEM and social and behavioral sciences. The awardees:

  • Jeannette Alarcon, associate professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
    “Understanding Peer to Peer Professional Development for Elementary School Teachers Using a Critical Friends Network” 
  • Nikki Coleman, associate professor, and Chakema Carmark, assistant professor, Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences
    “Social Networking and STIs: Exploring Sexual Attitudes and Risk Behavior”
  • April Peters-Hawkins, associate professor, and Tiffany J. Davis, clinical assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
    "SistUH Scholars: Mentoring for African American Women Doctoral Students in Education”
  • Elsa Gonzalez, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 
    "What does it mean to be a Hispanic-Serving Institution? Starting a meaningful conversation at the University of Houston that translates to action”
  • Ruth López, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 
    "A Longitudinal Study of a Latina College Mentoring Program”

Shawn Kent, an assistant professor of special populations in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, received an early career publication award from the Council for Exceptional Children for his meta-analysis of writing quality across developmental levels. The award will be presented at the CEC annual convention in Indianapolis in January.

Alex Jones, who received a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2006 and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction in 2007, has been selected to receive the Wilhelmina C. Robertson Excellence in Science or Mathematics teaching award from the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Jones will receive the award at the Excellence in Science or Mathematics Luncheon in November.

Christopher Burnett and Koryn Dillard, doctoral students in the higher education program, will participate in the Graduate Student Policy Seminar at the Association for the Study of Higher Education conference in Tampa in November. The seminar allows graduate students to share knowledge with researchers and policymakers about critical public policy issues related to higher education.

Miranda Wilson, a doctoral student in the higher education program, and Frank Fernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, will present findings on admissions and enrollment issues for women of color at the AccessLex Symposium in Arizona in November. The symposium highlights important conversations in legal education. 

Luis Landa, who received an Ed.D. in professional leadership – K-12 in 2018, and Donna Clark, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, had papers accepted for presentation at the University Council for Educational Administration conference in November in Houston. Landa wrote about parent engagement at primarily Latinx high school campuses, and Clark covered college and career readiness for all.

October 2018

Milena Keller-Margulis, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences, has been selected as a Shapiro Mid-Career Scholar by the Society for the Study of School Psychology. The program connects mid-career researchers with mentors to help with developing and refining grant proposals. Ed Shapiro, the namesake of the award, was Keller-Margulis’ advisor and trusted mentor in graduate school at Lehigh University.

Ashley Taylor, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, presented at the Health and Human Performance Research Symposium in October at the University of Houston. Her presentation was called “FUNPALs Playgroup: Obesity Prevention Playgroup Program for Families with Toddler Age Kids.”  

Las Comadres, a UH mentoring group that supports first-generation Latina students, was recognized as a Program to Watch by the nonprofit Excelencia in Education in October. Ruth Lopéz and Elsa Gonzalez, assistant professors in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, and Virmarie Correa-Fernandez and Rosenda Murillo, assistant professors in the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences, serve as mentors for the program. Maria Honey, assistant director of operations at the Bauer College of Business Real Estate Program and an M.Ed. in higher education graduate (’17), and Esmeralda Valdez, doctoral student in higher education, also serves as a mentors. Raven Jones, an Ed.D. in administration and supervision graduate (’13), is co-founder of Las Comadres. A summary of the Las Comadres program is included in Excelensia in Education’s 2018 “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education Compendium.”

Erica Rey, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, was awarded a diversity sponsorship from H-E-B for the Gender Infinity National conference in October at UH. The $3,000 sponsorship helped provide lunch for all registrants and speakers.

Molly Niemczyk, a master’s student in the higher education program, had research accepted for a poster presentation at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators conference in March 2019. Her study presents findings from ongoing research on college students’ voter turnout and how it is lower in states with restrictive state voting laws. 

Tayma Machkhas, an undergraduate student mentored by Lorraine Reitzel, chair of the College of Education’s Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences department, won an Audience Favorite award at the 2018 Undergraduate Research Day in October. She presented on physical activity and homeless individuals.

Michael Mendoza, who received an M.Ed. in higher education in 2017, presented a poster detailing the University of Houston’s commitment to sustainably sourced food and drastic waste reduction at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s national conference in October. Mendoza is a manager in the UH Office of Sustainability.

Ruth López, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, was selected as a 2019 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Faculty Fellow in October. López will attend the 14th Annual AAHHE National Conference in Costa Mesa, California in February.

Yolanda Calhoun, who received an Ed.D. in professional leadership – K-12 in 2016, had an article accepted for publication in Urban Review, a peer-reviewed journal that addresses issues in public education. The paper focuses on the challenges of students attending an early college high school.

Ryan Wheeler, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – special populations program, will serve as president-elect for the New Caney Independent School District Education Foundation. He has served as acting secretary for three years. Wheeler also was appointed to special education program specialist team leader in the Houston ISD Office of Special Education.

Tamera Holt, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, was selected to be a student liaison chair for the ethnicity and race division of the American Psychological Association for 2018-19.

Chaniqua Mazyck, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, was awarded the gender infinity scholarship by the University of Houston LGBTQ Resource Center to attend the Gender Infinity National Conference in October at UH. The scholarship was awarded to only 15 students.