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

January 2022

Reenee Palacios, who earned a B.S. in teaching in 2015, has been named Alief ISD’s Collins Elementary Teacher of the Year. Palacios teaches first grade bilingual.

Elizabeth Matehuala, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2008, has been named Houston ISD’s Pugh Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Houston Area Association for Bilingual Educators Teacher of the Year. Matehuala teaches fourth grade.

Alex Jones, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2006 and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction in 2007, has accepted a position of science specialist for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Jones previously taught STEM at Horn Elementary in Houston ISD.

December 2021

Marina McCormick, who earned an Ed.D. in professional leadership – special populations in 2019, won the 2022 Deborah D. Hatton Dissertation of the Year award from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual Impairment and Deafblindness. She analyzed Texas’ teacher professional development efforts in deafblindness and its effect on teachers’ self-efficacy. McCormick currently serves as coordinator of the Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf and as an adjunct professor in the College’s special populations program.

Kayce Solari Williams, a clinical associate professor in the health program, was re-elected for a third term as president of the American School Health Association. She begins her new term Jan. 1, 2022.

Daijiazi Tang, a doctoral student in the measurement, quantitative methods and learning sciences program, had her research published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences. Her study, co-authored with faculty, explored the self-efficacy and achievement emotions that influenced college students’ learning persistence in entry-level calculus classes.

Michele Lytle, a student in the M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction — STEM program, was named a Teacher of the Year by the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators. Lytle is a math teacher in the early college program at Thurgood Marshall High School in Fort Bend ISD.

Sandra Ramirez, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning – EC-6 generalist in 2020, has been named Rookie Teacher of the Year at Aldine ISD’s Orange Grove Elementary, where she teaches third grade reading, math, science and social studies. 

Tori Amason and Yolanda Barnes recently had a policy brief published by NASPA, one of the two leading professional associations for higher education administrators. The brief is titled  “Five Things Student Affairs Professionals Can Do to Embed Racial Justice Into Their Work.” Amason is a doctoral student in the higher education program and Barnes earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the College in 2021.

November 2021

Three-time UH graduate Shawn Bird has been named the new chief academic officer for Houston ISD. Bird earned an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction in 2005, an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction – secondary education in 2000 and a bachelor’s in English with a minor in Spanish in 1998. He served on the board of the College of Education Alumni Association in 2010-11 and most recently served as deputy superintendent of instruction and school communities at Portland Public Schools.

Kmt Shockey, a professor in the professional leadership – K-12 program, received a Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association. The award, which recognizes recent scholarship deemed to be outstanding in its field, was for “African-Centered Education: Theory and Practice,” the 2020 book he edited with Bardo Distinguished Professor Kofi Lomotey of Western Carolina University.

October 2021

Adrienne Aul, who earned an Ed.D. in professional leadership – mathematics education in 2020, has been named the new national math content coach for IDEA Public Schools. Aul will focus on the implementation of the IDEA mathematics curriculum across Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

Mandelé Aubrey-Davis, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – K-12 program, has been named the Texas Art Education Association Principal of the Year. Aubrey-Davis is the principal at Eisenhower Senior High School in Aldine ISD. She was honored for her significant contributions to art education on the state, local and national levels.

Dave Louis, an associate professor in the higher education program, has been named one of the 2021 Outstanding Alumni honorees for the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, where he received a Ph.D. in educational administration in 2004. Louis is a 2020 Fulbright Scholar and recipient of several other honors, including the President’s Excellence in Diversity & Equity award from Texas Tech University and the American Educational Research Association’s Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Scholarship.