Dean's Update - University of Houston
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Dean's Update

Oct. 9, 2018

Message from the Dean

I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to serve on a strategic plan committee this year and encourage others to get involved by signing up here. As a reminder, the new committees will focus on diversity and inclusion, partnerships and communications/community relations.

The committees are open to faculty and staff, and the themes cut across teaching, service and research. I understand people are stretched thin but expect this work to help us hone in on the College’s priorities.

If you’re free, please consider attending President Khator’s fall address tomorrow, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. at Moores Opera House.



  • COE Budget 101 – Friday, Oct. 26. 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. KIVA.
  • FEC Faculty Meeting – Friday, Oct. 26. 10:30 a.m. KIVA.
  • Homecoming Ice Cream Social & Lip Sync Battle – Tuesday, Nov. 6. Noon  - 1 p.m. KIVA.
  • Thanksgiving holiday – Thursday, Nov. 22 - Friday, Nov. 23
  • Fall graduation – Friday, Dec. 14, 3 p.m. NRG Arena.

Chats with the Dean

Faculty Stop and Share (Farish 214)

  • Wednesday, Oct. 24. 2 - 3 p.m.

Coffee and Conversation for Assistant Professors (Farish 218)

  • Monday, Nov. 5. 10  - 11 a.m.

Staff Stop and Share (Farish 214)

  • Wednesday, Nov. 28. 10  - 11 a.m.


The College’s Homecoming celebration this year will include a new friendly contest and service effort suggested by some of our student workers. Students will be asked to nominate an inspiring, empowering professor to win the COE Homecoming Throne. Votes will be in the form of food and toiletry donations to PEEPS Pantry. The winner will be announced at the “Treat Yo’ Self & Treat Others” event on Nov. 6. Please email Paula Canada if you’d like to participate in the lip sync battle that day.

Fall Graduation

Faculty: Please email Paula Canada by this Friday, Oct. 12. Include whether you will be renting regalia, attending the ceremony on Dec. 14 at NRG Arena and/or hooding a student.


Our grant support efforts include:

  • A new internal streamlined proposal-routing form;
  • Automated customer service surveys to measure the quality of support the office is providing; and
  • Hands-on grant writing support
    • Editorial (one week, by Mary Fisher-Warrick)
    • Responsiveness to RFA (one week, by Lori Armstrong)
    • Grantsmanship (two weeks, by Ezemenari Obasi)

Grant Awards

  • Aldine Independent School District, various contracts. 8/1/18 - 7/31/19. $539,684 MTDC (8% IDC = $43,175). H. Jerome Freiberg (PI). CUIN.

Grant Submissions

  • Allostatic load and drug use vulnerability in sexual minority adults. NIH. 5/1/19 - 4/30/24. $1,991,540 MTDC (53% IDC = $1,048,891). Nathan Smith (PI), Ezemenari Obasi. PHLS.
  • Closing the Gap: Addressing the Learning Needs of English Language Learners in Mainstream Classroom. William T. Grant Foundation. 9/1/18 - 8/31/20. $40,207 MTDC (15% IDC = $6,031). Miao Li (PI). CUIN.
  • EIR Countdown to Kindergarten. UH Foundation – Dept. of Education. 9/1/18 – 8/31/23. $2,484,138. Anne McClellan (PI), Jon Schwartz. Dean/PHLS.


  • DOR National Centers Planning Award to support planning grants to prepare for a center grant application


Curriculum & Instruction


  • Help us recruit for three tenure-track positions: associate/full bilingual ed, associate/full math ed, assistant/associate literacy ed.
  • Visit our Little Free Library on the second floor of Farish near the vending machine. See a book you’d like to read? Borrow it! Have a book you love and would like to share? Leave it!
  • Volunteer opportunity for faculty, staff and students: Tweens Read book festival, organized by Margaret Hale, this Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at South Houston High School. Sign up


  • Celeste Alba has been selected to serve on the Science of Teaching Reading Content Advisory Committee for the Texas Education Agency.
  • Jen Chauvot and Lyle McKinney (ELPS) were part of an interdisciplinary team to receive a grant from the National Science Foundation to study math disabilities among college students.
  • Jerry Freiberg was awarded 10 grants for work in two school districts, including Aldine ISD.
  • Mimi Lee and Sissy Wong have been selected as new UH Energy Fellows for 2018-19.
  • Neelofer Tajani had a proposal about pre-service teacher training and family engagement accepted for the 2019 Association of Teacher Education conference.
  • Laura Turchi and Ann Christensen from CLASS have edited their first column of many for the English Journal, a journal from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Join us at a symposium on early child development and policy that we’re co-sponsoring. Oct. 18. 9 a.m. Register


  • Elsa Gonzalez published a chapter, “Empowering Underrepresented First-Generation College Students through Peer Mentoring in a Hispanic Serving Institution,” in Mentoring at Minority Serving Institution. She also was selected to co-chair a Hispanic Research Issues Award Committee for the American Educational Research Association.
  • Jacquie Hawkins helped organize the Texas Challenge to Reach Higher Convening, which drew policymakers, educators and others to UH this month to discuss getting more students to pursue postsecondary education.

Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences


  • Join us for a student-led presentation, “Difficult Dialogue on Microaggressions: Creating a Safe Space for Diversity and Building Strength for Solidarity.” Oct. 25. 3:30 p.m. KIVA. RSVP


  • Sascha Hein had a paper, “Negative parenting modulates the association between mother’s DNA methylation profiles and adult offspring depression,” accepted in Developmental Psychobiology.
  • Lorraine Reitzel (co-investigator and PI of the subcontract) received a grant focused on obesity in African-American families from the American Cancer Society.
  • Bradley Smith (principal investigator), Jorge Gonzalez and Hanjoe Kim received a grant to evaluate a school mentoring program from the Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Bradley Smith also has a paper, “Yoga Kernels: A public health model for developing and disseminating evidence-based yoga practices,” in press in International Journal of Yoga Therapy.



  • Please complete the mandatory HR trainings sent via email by Nov. 16.


  • Don’t forget to share photos of your favorite Houston hotspots, or invite us to your classes to capture those lightbulb moments. Email with photos or ideas.
  • Reminder: If you plan to post photos of your students on social media, please have them sign a media release form (download from the Intranet under Office of Communications) each semester. Label forms with your name, the course and the date. Leave forms with Kathy Patnaude in Farish 438.

Faculty Executive Committee

  • The committee minutes for September should be uploaded into the COE Faculty Folder in SharePoint.
  • The next FEC-led faculty meeting takes place Oct. 26. As part of Provost Short’s diversity initiative, the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success will deliver presentations on the College’s student and faculty diversity.
  • If faculty have any questions or concerns to be addressed, please provide the information to your FEC departmental representative.

Staff Council

The new co-chairs are James Johnson and Emily Miller from the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Please reach out if you’re interested in participating.


  • New Grant to Fuel Research on Increasing Community College Graduation Rates (Mimi Lee, CUIN; Lyle McKinney, ELPS) Read
  • UH Alum and Adjunct Professor Wins National Educational Leadership Award (Glenda Horner, ELPS) Read
  • Two-Time UH College of Education Alum Leads Georgia Psychological Association (Dora Soublis, PHLS) Read
  • Student Spotlight: Ayo Shofoluwe Has Global Goals as a Philanthropist and Future Teacher (CUIN) Read
  • A book festival for tweens (Margaret Hale, CUIN) Read

Dean’s Update typically publishes on the second Tuesday of each month.


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