College Roundup - University of Houston
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College Roundup A selection of faculty, staff, student and alumni happenings

May 2023

School psychology doctoral students Kristen Herner Erps and Emily Jellinek-Russo published a book chapter in the “Handbook of Lifespan Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” The chapter examines how the gold-standard treatment for anxiety can be modified to increase appropriateness for autistic youth. Herner Erps earned an M.Ed. in counseling in 2021 and Jellinek-Russo earned an M.Ed. in counseling in 2022. Both are currently working at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Adriana Sanchez, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2013, has been named 2022-23 Bilingual Teacher of the Year at Moreno Elementary School in the Houston Independent School District. Sanchez teaches third grade reading at the school.

Melissa Gallagher, an assistant professor and director of the mathematics education program, has been elected to the board of directors of the US Math Recovery Council, a nonprofit that provides professional development to educators to support students’ needs in math. Her three-year term will begin in August.

Graduate student Lauren Chapman was named Houston Independent School District’s 2022-23 High School Beginning Teacher of the Year. Chapman, who’s pursuing an M.Ed. in counseling, teaches dance at North Forest High School in the district.

Yessica Castillo, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2018, has been named 2022-23 Elementary Bilingual Teacher of the Year by the Houston Independent School District. Castillo teaches third grade mathematics at Cornelius Elementary School. She was honored at a banquet in May.

Two faculty members have earned leadership positions with the American Educational Research Association. Virginia Snodgrass Rangel, an associate professor of educational leadership, will serve as vice president of the Research, Evaluation and Assessment in Schools Division; she will serve a three-year term. Detra Johnson, assistant professor of educational leadership, will serve as vice president-elect for the for the Administration, Organization and Leadership Division; her official term as vice president will start in April 2024.

Sergio Arjon, who earned an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction – STEM education in 2019, was selected for the Texas Education Agency’s 2023-24 Teacher Leadership Fellowship. The yearlong program gives fellows the opportunity to inform education initiatives at the state level and grow their leadership skills. Arjon teaches biology at Shadow Creek High School in the Alvin Independent School District.

Mikel Cole, an associate professor and director of the curriculum and instruction – bilingual/ESL education program, earned a UH Teaching Excellence Award for 2022-23. Cole received the award from Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Diane Z. Chase during a ceremony in May, adding to a strong tradition of College of Education teaching excellence honorees.

Ty Robinson, a counseling psychology doctoral student, was selected for the American Psychological Association’s 2023-24 Minority Fellowship Program. This prestigious fellowship is funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to support the training of minority practitioners in behavioral health services and prevention. Robinson’s research includes the LGBT community’s experiences of discrimination, racism, substance use, health inequities and mental health.

Cruz Casiano, a doctoral student in the Ed.D. in professional leadership – special populations program, was selected by the National Council for Workforce Education to participate in the 2022-23 New Workforce Professionals Academy. The yearlong professional development program provides leadership training and support to new community college education professionals. Casiano serves as director of career and applied technology programs and projects at Lone Star College.

April 2023

Leslie Frankel, an associate professor in the human development and family sciences program, received the 2023 Lane Powell Mentorship Award from the Texas Council on Family Relations. The honor recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution in family life education, practice and research through mentoring students and early career professionals.

Undergraduate students Lauren Lyles and Ritu Sampige presented their research at the 2023 Society for Research in Child Development’s biennial meeting in March. Lyles, who presented a poster titled “YouTube Kids: Understanding Gender and Emotion through Modern Media,” is pursuing a B.A. in human development and family sciences and a B.S in psychology. Sampige, who presented a poster titled “Mismatch Between Perceived and Objective Indices of Infant Vulnerability: NICU Status and Parental Mental Health,” is pursuing a B.S. in honors biomedical sciences. Sampige also received the undergraduate thesis award from the UH Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards for her honors thesis, “Exploring the Relationship Between Parent Mental Health and Parental Perceptions of Infant Vulnerability.” Both students are working with Professor Julie Dunsmore and Associate Professor Leslie Frankel in the human development and family sciences program.