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

2020: January - March
2019: January - March | April - June | July - September | October - December
2018: January - March | April - June | July - September | October - December
2017: January - March | April - June | July - September | October - December

March 2020

Sahar Eshtehardi, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, won a research award for a poster she presented at the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference. Her research focuses on parents of youth with Type 1 diabetes. The conference was moved to a virtual platform and she also moderated several sessions.

Detra Johnson, an assistant professor in the educational leadership program, was elected to serve as secretary for the administration, organization and leadership division of the American Educational Research Association for a two-year term. The division promotes educational leadership research in PK-12 educational organizations and their communities.

Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz, an associate professor in the school psychology program, was elected to serve as chair-elect/program chair for the bilingual education research special interest group of the American Educational Research Association for a one-year term.

Virginia Snodgrass Rangel, an assistant professor in the educational leadership program, was appointed to serve as chair for the program committee of the American Educational Research Association’s division of research, evaluation and assessment in schools. Rangel will oversee the development of the division’s scholarly program for the annual conference and provide additional leadership for a one-year term.

Vincent Carales, an assistant professor in the higher education program, has been selected by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education as a 2020 faculty fellow. Fellows are selected in part based on their proven ability to contribute to the betterment of Latinos in higher education. Carales’ research focuses on affordability for community college students and opportunities for Latinx and low-income students in higher education.

February 2020

UH student Shreya Desai was recently accepted to the master’s degree program in community health and prevention research at Stanford University’s medical school. Desai is a fellow in the UHAND program, a partnership between the University of Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Rosenda Murillo, a mentee for UHAND and an assistant professor in the College’s health program, serves as Desai’s mentor. Lorraine Reitzel, a professor in the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences, co-directs UHAND.

Tori Amason, a student in the higher education Ph.D. program, has been accepted to the student editorial board of the American Journal of Education. The journal publishes empirical research to facilitate dialogue between educators and policy makers . 

Joanna Flores, who earned a B.S. in teaching in 2019, has been named Teacher of the Year at Houston ISD’s Blackshear Elementary, where she teaches second grade. Flores completed her student teaching at Blackshear Elementary in 2019.

Allison Matney, who earned an Ed.D. in professional leadership in 2012, has been named officer of research and accountability at Houston ISD. Matney previously served as executive director of research, assessment and accountability at Katy ISD.

Gerardo Chapa, who earned an M.Ed. in administration and supervision in 2017, has been named Houston ISD teacher of the month for February. Chapa currently teaches fifth grade mathematics and coordinates the after school program at Browning Elementary. He previously taught band, drumline and mariachi for five years at Helms Elementary, where he started the music program.   

Akilah Reynolds and LaWanda Hill received an annual small practice grant from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race. Their grant proposal is titled “(Re)Defining STRONG: Sisters Taking Risks on Growth.” Reynolds and Hill each earned a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the College in 2016.

January 2020

Christopher Burnett, a doctoral student in the higher education program and a research assistant in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, published his research on regional accreditation actions in historically black colleges and universities in the Journal of Innovative Higher Education.

Karla DeCuir, a doctoral student in the professional leadership – special populations program, has been selected by the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education as a 2020 Career and Leadership Development Institute Fellow. The fellowship involves a yearlong program to help with career advancement. DeCuir is the senior director of enrollment management and external affairs at the University of Houston – Victoria.   

Guillermo Ortega, a doctoral student in the higher education program, has earned the 2020 Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education Graduate Fellowship Award. He will receive funds to attend the upcoming TACHE conference, $2,000 to help with tuition and will present at the next annual conference. The award will be presented at the conference in February in Sugar Land.

Esmeralda Valdez and Hope Pacheco, doctoral students in the higher education program, and Marissa Moreno, who earned a Ph.D. in higher education in 2019, have been selected by the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education as 2020 Career and Leadership Development Institute Fellows. The fellowship involves a yearlong program to help prepare them for career advancement.