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UH College of Education Welcomes New Faculty in Fall 2019

Posted Aug. 13, 2019 – The University of Houston College of Education welcomed six new faculty members in fall 2019.

The professors represent diverse backgrounds – several are first-generation college graduates – and they hail from jobs in Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana and Colombia. Their research interests include language development, school leadership, writing competency, sexual and reproductive health, and technology.

They said they were drawn to UH for its diversity, Tier One status and connection to the community.

“I’m thrilled to welcome these emerging scholars to our distinguished faculty,” said Bob McPherson, dean of the College of Education and Elizabeth D. Rockwell Chair. “Their commitment to helping communities in need aligns with the College’s mission, and they bring diverse backgrounds and experiences to enhance our teaching, research and service.”

Meet the new faculty:

Charlotte Carp
Charlotte Carp

Charlotte Carp

Assistant Clinical Professor
Special Populations
Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Education: B.S., psychology, Texas Christian University; M.S., experimental psychology (emphasis in applied behavior analysis), TCU; Ph.D., experimental psychology (emphasis in applied behavior analysis), TCU

Most recent job: assistant professor at Southeastern Louisiana University

What drew you to UH? Mostly the position and getting the chance to apply behavioral principles to help special education teachers and general teachers with classroom management. I’ve also grown up knowing about UH, and I’m very excited to be a part of the school!

What are your research interests/areas of expertise? My specific research area is in language development. Basically, my research focuses on how to make language interventions more effective and efficient for persons with disabilities. 

Can you share a little about your 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!). I have a brother who is military (he recently got out of the Air Force and is now in a National Guard unit in Houston), and who currently works for Southwest Airlines. His wife is a nurse, and I have two little nieces who I love so much!

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

Currently 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 Davis
Bradley Davis

Bradley Davis

Associate Professor
K-12 Professional Leadership
Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Education: B.A., political science, University of Texas at Tyler; M.S., educational management, UH-Clear Lake; Ph.D., educational administration, UT at Austin

Most recent job: assistant professor, UT at Arlington

What drew you to UH? It’s been a dream job since before I completed my Ph.D. I actually wrote a letter to Dr. (Augustina) Reyes telling her that I hoped to one day join the faculty. Almost 10 years later, it has happened! Also, I am a native Houstonian, and UH is an incredible institution that’s serious about community engagement and knowledge creation – two issues that are important to me. Further, I have great admiration for the faculty and staff of ELPS. I could go on forever.

What are your research interests/areas of expertise? 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.

Can you share a little about your 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.

Currently 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
Theresa Fedor

Theresa Fedor

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences

Education: B.S., applied discrete mathematics, Auburn University; M.S., sociology, Utah State University; M.A., demography, University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., demography and sociology, University of Pennsylvania

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

What drew you to UH? I am excited to join the UH team due to the University’s strong emphasis on innovation and service through community partnerships and extensive educational offerings.

What are your research interests/areas of expertise? My main teaching goals are to make class content interesting and accessible in a welcoming and supportive environment that challenges students to think critically about the subject matter and to question their preconceived ideas. Behind these goals are several underlying aims: to broaden student perspectives, encourage critical interpretation, improve writing and communication skills, and foster the use of accurate information and reputable data sources. At UH, I’ll teach Health Behavioral Theories, Research and Evaluation in Health, and Health of the Elementary School Child.

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. The larger goals of my research include identifying (1) means of improving existing practice and policy related to primary prevention and (2) paths to improvements in health and life trajectories among those in disadvantaged social positions, especially women and minorities.

Rhoda Freelon
Rhoda Freelon

Rhoda Freelon

Assistant Professor
Department Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Education: B.A., economics, Prairie View A&M University; M.A., economics, California State University, East Bay; Ph.D., education, UCLA

Most recent job: program officer, Spencer Foundation

What drew you to UH? The opportunity to work with scholars who are committed to building field-level knowledge to improve education policy and practice. I was also impressed with the community-level commitments that the University is making through local efforts such as the Third Ward Initiative.

What are your research interests/areas of expertise? 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.

Can you share a little about your 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.

Currently 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

Lanette Jimerson

Assistant Professor
Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Education: B.A., English, California State University, East Bay; M.A., education, University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., education, University of California, Berkeley. Also hold secondary teaching credentials for English and social science.

Most recent job: visiting assistant professor, Purdue University

What drew you to UH? Appreciate the diversity and the vision of the College. Attended a symposium for educators of color and saw firsthand the dedication of the College to support equity work.

What are your research interests/areas of expertise? 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.

Can you share a little about your 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.

Currently 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 Rab

Saira Rab

Clinical Assistant Professor
Human Development and Family Studies
Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences

Education: B.S., psychology, California State University, Dominguez Hills; Ph.D., educational psychology and individual differences, UH

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

What drew you to UH? I’ve been at UH since I was a doctoral student in 2012. Upon graduating with my Ph.D. in 2016, I stayed because I saw the need for teaching in academia. I thrived in the diverse environment, both socially and academically speaking, and was able to connect with faculty at both a professional and personal level. It felt more like a home. I knew that I wanted to stay at UH because I could teach students everything from research to theories, all while keeping it practical.

Most students here are juggling multiple roles in their lives on top of being college students. I have an enormous amount of respect for the student body and faculty/staff that work so hard to bring UH where it is today. In 2012, people told me that UH wasn’t a well-known school – now look at us! We’ve grown so much and developed our university into a Tier One institution, and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

What are your research interests/areas of expertise? 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.). I also have published three journal articles ranging from topics such as learning from 3D technology, disorders related to Facebook usage, and associations to juvenile offending, violent victimization and witnessing violence.

I want to add more research in the field of racism, cultural issues in transition from home country to the U.S. (undocumented or immigrant students), and social media use in online teaching. I also have an expertise in teaching introduction to statistics or research methods, human development, and culture and diversity courses.

Can you share a little about your 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. I’m always flying back and forth to visit my family and friends that live in Torrance, California, but have chosen Houston as my home with my husband and his family.

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

Currently 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.

–By Ericka Mellon

–Photos courtesy of faculty members