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

Aug. 13, 2019

Message from the Dean 

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer! I know many of you were busy teaching, presenting around the world and submitting grant proposals (see list below). Thank you for your continued commitment to the College.

I look forward to kicking off the semester Friday at our annual Faculty & Staff Breakfast and at First Lecture featuring author Nic Stone. I encourage you to attend both events. At the breakfast, I’ll share our big rocks for the coming year, and we’ll honor our service, teaching, research and staff award recipients.


  • T-shirt and gift pick-up – Wednesday, Aug. 14. 9-11 a.m. 1-3 p.m. Farish Room 140.
  • Faculty & Staff Breakfast – Friday, Aug. 16. 9 a.m. Rockwell Pavilion.
  • First Lecture – Friday, Aug. 16. 11 a.m. Cullen Performance Hall. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

Also, please join me in giving a warm welcome to our six new faculty members! Keep reading to learn more about them.



  • Labor Day Holiday – Monday, Sept. 2
  • Teacher Appreciation Football Game – Saturday, Oct. 12. Time TBD. Teachers can purchase discounted tickets to the game and will be recognized.
  • Homecoming 2019 Week – Nov. 11-16

Note: See the complete UH holiday schedule for 2019-20.



  • Please remember to ensure your doors are closed and locked when you exit Farish.
  • If you ever find your door unlocked in the morning, please notify FIX-IT (713-743-4948 or Inform them that your office/suite door was unlocked and you are concerned about safety and security.


Find additional information for each on the COE intranet:

  • Photo releases: Please have students sign photo releases at the start of each semester if you plan to post their photos on social media or elsewhere. Submit forms to Kathy Patnaude in Farish 438.
  • Branding approval: Friendly reminder to email all designed materials to Jaime Questell for our review and UH Branding approval.
  • Templates for flyers, PowerPoints and letterhead are available for your convenience. Flyers still must be submitted to Jaime for UH Branding approval.

New Faculty

Welcome to our new faculty! Read the full Q&As here.

Charlotte CarpCharlotte Lynn Carp, assistant clinical professor (ELPS)

Last job: assistant professor at Southeastern Louisiana University

Research interests: Basically, my research focuses on how to make language interventions more effective and efficient for persons with disabilities.

Background: I grew up in Katy, Texas, and most of my family still lives in Katy or Sealy. I went to TCU for college and grad school, and then have been teaching in Louisiana for about the last seven years. I have two cats and just recently had my first child (so now, counting my two cats, I have three children!).

If I weren’t a professor, I’d… be a vet. I love animals!

Watching on Netflix and/or reading… I just finished watching “Game of Thrones” so I’m looking for a new TV show to watch. As for reading, I’m currently reading a book called “Nudge” and a parenting book (because I feel super unprepared for an actual kid!).

Bradley DavisBradley Davis, associate professor (ELPS)

Last job: assistant professor, University of Texas at Arlington

Research interests: The career outcomes of school leaders – so, things like the likelihood of becoming a principal or superintendent and understanding how factors such as race, sex, place, school/district typology and preparation program characteristics influence these likelihoods. Leadership turnover and succession planning are also areas of interest. My expertise is in quantitative methods, particularly longitudinal data analysis.

Background: I was born in Houston and at the age of 5 moved to Kingwood, where I grew up and graduated high school. I’m the youngest of three brothers. My college education began at Kingwood College (now part of the Lone Star system), and I bounced around a lot as an undergraduate. While working on my master’s, I was a teacher for Alvin ISD.

If I weren’t a professor… I’d work at a craft brewery.

Watching on Netflix and/or reading... Watching: “When They See Us” on Netflix. Reading: “The New IPA: A Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor” by Scott Janish

Theresa Fedor Amador

Theresa Fedor, clinical assistant professor (PHLS)

Last job: assistant professor, Institute of Public Health, Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia

Research interests: My research experience focuses on sexual and reproductive health and how interpersonal relationship dynamics and culturally specific gender norms may affect sexual behavior, such as condom and contraceptive use, and, in turn, risk of undesired pregnancy among teens or HIV risk among women.



Rhoda Freelon

Rhoda Freelon, assistant professor (ELPS)

Last job: program officer, Spencer Foundation

Research interests: My teaching and research interests are linked to two broad intersecting areas — the role of parent and community engagement in equity-focused school reform and critical issues of educational inequality facing minoritized populations. I explore this through both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Background: I’m originally from Houston, and I am a proud graduate of schools in the Houston Independent School District. I’m the youngest of three children and a first-generation college student.

If I weren’t a professor, I’d… probably work more closely in direct service to families and communities. Either that or working at the National Zoo with pandas.

Watching on Netflix and/or reading… I recently finished Eve Ewing’s “Ghosts in the Schoolyard” and I’m currently reading “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. I’m about to start the final season of “Orange is the New Black.”

Lanette Jimerson

Lanette Jimerson, assistant professor (CUIN)

Last job: visiting assistant professor, Purdue University

Research interests: My research is situated at the intersection of literacy theory, writing studies, and writing instruction and assessment. In particular, I consider how writing competency impacts the academic and career outcomes of youth and adult learners from communities of color.

Background: I am California Bay Area native. Like many African American families, my paternal grandmother moved from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, during World War II. Though both of my parents attended community college, I was the first in my family to obtain a four-year degree.  

If I weren’t a professor, I’d… be a full-time journalist and middle grade novelist. 

Watching on Netflix and/or reading: I don’t regularly watch Netflix, and I last watched “When They See Us.” Currently, I am reading Kiese Laymon’s memoir “Heavy” and Colson Whitehead’s newest novel “The Nickel Boys.”

Saira RabSaira Rab, clinical assistant professor (PHLS)

Last job: adjunct faculty at Houston Community College for the Psychology Department

Research interests: I am interested in research with social media, online courses, and technology use in classroom settings. My area of expertise relies mostly upon mixed-method data analysis, social presence theory, online courses and non-traditional college students (immigrants, first-generation, etc.).

Background: I was born and raised in Queens, New York, and then grew up in Los Angeles, California. Both of my parents are immigrants, so they had no idea how college in the United States worked. Thanks to the McNair Scholars Program at CSU Dominguez Hills and to some amazing faculty mentors, I graduated as a first-generation, low-income minority student, and now I am the only one in my family with a Ph.D.

If I weren’t a professor, I’d… probably be working for the either the FBI or as a data analyst.

Watching on Netflix and/or reading… Currently watching “Kim’s Convenience” on Netflix – it reminds me of my South Asian immigrant parents – and reading mostly psychology textbooks and journal articles in preparation for my courses.


  • Our office welcomed 22 groups of new students to the College over the summer, and we continue to help new and current students with course enrollments. Please know that course selections are very limited and students are, in some cases, stressed.
  • Faculty who serve undergraduates are invited for lunch during our Education Connection event on August 15. Please RSVP to


  • Our office hosted a successful orientation on Saturday with more than 60 students.
  • Please note these upcoming graduate recruitment fairs, and feel free to share with prospective students and alumni.

Important UGS and OGS deadlines for fall:

  • Last day a student can add themselves to a class – August 26
  • Last day to drop without receiving a grade and last day UH staff can add a student to a course – September 4



  • Want more eyes on your grant proposal? We offer these pre-submission reviews:
    • Editorial (Mary Fisher-Warrick; one week)
    • Responsiveness to RFA (Lori Armstrong; one week)
    • Grantsmanship (Ezemenari Obasi; two weeks)


  • Lori Armstrong has completed her Master of Research Administration degree from the University of Central Florida. The College is privileged to have the only research officer on campus with this educational achievement.

Grant Awards:

  • Measuring Academic Skill Development for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Project ASD4ASD. Spencer Foundation. $50,000 TDC. Sarah Mire and Milena Keller-Margulis, co-PIs (PHLS).
  • Handbook of Research on Teachers of Color. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. $202,500 (+10% IDC). Conra Gist (CUIN).
  • Texas Leadership Initiative for Inquiry Science Teaching. Rice University/NSF. $116,933 (+53% IDC). Robert Wimpelberg (CUIN emeritus).
  • Social Motion Skills Program Evaluation. Social Motion, Inc. $24,179 (+31% IDC). Sarah Mire (PHLS).
  • Identifying Optimal Scoring Metrics and Prompt Type for Written Expression Curriculum-Based Measurement. Institute of Education Sciences. $1,387,726 (+53% IDC). Milena Keller-Margulis (PHLS).

Grant Submissions (summer 2019)

  • Region 14 Comprehensive Centers Program. Westat/U.S. Department of Education. $926,528 DC (+8% IDC). Anne McClellan (Dean).
  • The Retention of Engineering Majors at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. American Educational Research. $34,951. Virginia Rangel (ELPS).
  • Improving Adherence to the Diabetes Prevention Programs with a Culturally Adapted Food RX Program. University of Texas Health Science Center/NIH. $77,845 DC (+53% IDC). Kelli Drenner (PHLS).
  • Culture of Health and Movement Promotion through Sports (CHAMPS) Project. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. $549,774 (+53% IDC). Norma Olvera (PHLS).
  • Project IMPACT: Culturally Tailored & Adherence-Enhancing Intervention for Latino Smokers.National Institutes of Health. $1,608,397 (+53% IDC). Marcel de Dios (PHLS).
  • CMCD Program – Portage High School Implementation Year 1. Portage Township Schools. $114,939 (+8% IDC). H. Jerome Freiberg (CUIN).
  • Iterative Development of an Interventional Tool to Scaffold Self-Regulation in Eating.National Institutes of Health. $100,000 (+53% IDC). Leslie Frankel (PHLS).
  • Leading Together: A Community College – Research University Partnership Eradicating Educational Disparities in Houston. Spencer Foundation. $362,594 (+15% IDC). Lyle McKinney (ELPS).
  • Families CAN: Purchased Health Services Unit. Texas Department of State Health and Human Services. $184,902 (+8% IDC). Shelley Townsend (PHLS).
  • Partnering to Build Elementary Science Teachers’ Capacity for Linguistically Responsive, Inquiry-Based Instruction in Urban Schools. Spencer Foundation. $347,766 (+15% IDC). Jie Zhang and Sissy Wong (CUIN).
  • Peer-Based Approaches to Enhance Social Support for Physical Activity in Dyads of Inactive Women. MD Anderson Cancer Center/NIH. $99,853 (+53% IDC). Lorraine Reitzel (PHLS).
  • Allostatic Load and Drug Use Vulnerability in Sexual Minority Adults. National Institutes of Health. $2,285,724 (+53% IDC). Nathan Smith (PHLS).
  • McComb High School – CMCD Implementation Year 1. McComb School District. $33,310 (+9.01% IDC). H. Jerome Freiberg (CUIN).
  • Higgins Middle School – CMCD Implementation Year 1. McComb School District. $27,135 (+9.01% IDC). H. Jerome Freiberg (CUIN).
  • Summit Elementary – CMCD Implementation Year 1. McComb School District. $11,088 (+9.01% IDC). H. Jerome Freiberg (CUIN).
  • Kennedy Early Childhood Center – CMCD Implementation Year 1. McComb School District. $8,797 (+9.01% IDC). H. Jerome Freiberg (CUIN).
  • Otken Elementary – CMCD Implementation Year 1.McComb School District. $27,369 (+9.01% IDC). H. Jerome Freiberg (CUIN).
  • Denman Jr. High – CMCD Implementation Year 1. McComb School District. $19,322 (+9.01% IDC). H. Jerome Freiberg (CUIN).
  • Leadership for Special Populations & Educational Disparity (LEAD: SP+ED). U.S. Department of Education. $1,217,725 (+8% IDC). Kristi Santi (ELPS).
  • The Interplay of Social Media Networking & Sexual Socialization in Adulthood using a Systems Dynamics Framework. National Science Foundation. $190,928 (+53% IDC). Chakema Carmack (PHLS).
  • CAREER: Broadening Participation in STEM: A Qualitative Analysis of Retention Experiences & Retention Strategies of Latina STEM Majors in Higher Education. $777,753 (+53% IDC). Elsa Gonzales (ELPS).
  • Development & Efficacy Study of an Intelligent Tutoring System for College-Level Statistics (STAT-ITS). Spencer Foundation. $434,780 (+15% IDC). Hanjoe Kim (PHLS).
  • School Re-Entry for Justice-Involved Youth. Spencer Foundation. $377,601 (+15% IDC). Virginia Rangel (ELPS).
  • A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Mindful Ambassador Program: a Student-Led, Public Health Approach to Improving College Student Retention. Spencer Foundation. $191,115 (+15% IDC). Bradley Smith (PHLS).

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

Prior newsletters are archived on the College website.

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