University of Houston Experts on Education


Experienced faculty experts from the University of Houston are available to provide context and clarity to local and national journalists seeking to advance their stories. For assistance coordinating a faculty interview, please contact the UH Media Relations team.

For assistance with securing an expert who can address issues related to education, please contact Sara Tubbs,, 713-743-4248.


K-12, Testing, College Readiness

Catherine Horn, founding director of the University of Houston Education Research Center, has research interests in K-12 high-stakes testing as well as college readiness, access and admissions, particularly related to traditionally under-represented students. Horn, an associate professor of higher education and acting chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, also studies teacher preparation and teacher quality. She serves as director of the Center for Research, Evaluation and Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE) and executive director of the Institute for Education Policy Research and Evaluation (IEPRE). Horn has served as a research consultant for the World Bank and won a Fulbright Fellowship to Chile. She previously worked as a research associate for the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University and taught at a Houston public high school.


College Affordability, Degree Completion

Lyle McKinney, an associate professor of higher education at the UH College of Education, studies college affordability and degree completion, with a focus on low-income students. His research focuses centers on community colleges, financial aid, student loans and debt, and higher education policy. McKinney has received research excellence awards at the local, state and national level. He serves on the editorial board of four higher education journals and is on the board of advisors for several national associations.


Urban Districts, Social Justice

Bradley Carpenter, associate professor at the University of Houston College of Education and program director of the master’s in education program, previously worked as a principal, assistant principal and public school teacher. His research focuses on preparing highly effective leaders for large urban school districts, paying particular attention to issues of social justice, equity, race and diversity. He also can discuss school improvement and reform efforts. He serves as an associate editor for the Journal of School Leadership and as an editorial board member for the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership.


Jonathan Schwartz, associate dean for graduate studies in the College of Education. His research focuses on teen bullying in schools with a specific interest in diversity-based bullying, — when people are bullied for differences based on race or sexual orientation or religion or skin color. Schwartz also studies bullying prevention in schools and trains teachers, counselors and school psychologists on how to address bullying.


Health Disparities, Cancer Risk Behavior

Lorraine R. Reitzel chairs the Department of Psychological, Health and Learning Sciences at the University of Houston College of Education. She has a range of expertise related to health and psychology, with a focus on cancer risk behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol, physical activity and diet as well as neighborhood factors (e.g. the prevalence of fast-food joints and tobacco retail shops). Reitzel, who serves as co-director of UH’s HEALTH Research Institute, also can discuss health disparities, anxiety, depression, stress, discrimination, homelessness, thyroid cancer and how to quit using tobacco. She leads the Taking Texas Tobacco Free (TTTF) project, which is funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, and is a licensed clinical psychologist who has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed empirical publications.


Teacher Preparation

Amber Thompson, clinical assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Education, oversees UH’s nationally recognized teacher-preparation program. She also serves as executive director of the Houston Area Teacher Center, a consortium of more than 30 regional school districts focused on common interests, including teacher supply and demand. Thompson, a former middle school science teacher, can weigh in on education issues such as teacher quality, evaluations and preparation; science instruction; and professional development.


Addictions, Stress, Health Disparities, Mental Health

Ezemenari Obasi, associate dean of research at the University of Houston College of Education, has expertise in health research topics such as addictions, stress, health disparities and mental health (particularly affecting minority populations). His innovative work combines biology, psychology and environmental factors. He recently received two grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to research stress and drug use in the African American community. He also is helping lead efforts to improve community health in underserved areas such as Houston’s Third Ward. Obasi is founder and director of UH’s HEALTH – Helping Everyone Achieve a LifeTime of Health – Research Institute and is director of the Hwemudua Addictions and Health Disparities Laboratory (HAHDL).



Margaret Hale, associate chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Houston College of Education, has expertise in adolescent and teen literacy based on two decades of teaching experience and instructional coaching. One of her current projects, serving as co-director of the Tweens Read Book Festival, helps bring her love of literacy to fifth- through eighth-graders in the greater Houston area. Hale serves as president of the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts and as an editor for English in Texas.