Dean\'s Update – 2/8/2022
02/08/2022, 06:10:01 PM
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Feb. 8, 2022


We can once again celebrate our performance on the U.S. News & World Report ranking of the best online M.Ed. programs. This year, we rank 14th best in the nation. This is a testament to our faculty, staff and students for leading the way with virtual learning well before the pandemic.

A review of the data shows a few spots where we can make minor adjustments, but to maintain our strong ranking, we must keep our graduation rate high and work on enhancing our national reputation. I encourage you to review the methodology and, anecdotally, it’s nice to read positive comments from students in the UH press release:

“It’s going to sound cliché, but the professors really care about the students.”

“Every class had something that I could input instantly into my classroom.”

Building our national reputation among deans, for both the online and the traditional U.S. News ranking systems, takes a consistent and collective effort that involves prominent research activity, leadership roles, editorships, fellowships, awards and media as well as networking and marketing.

I look forward to our collaboration on continuous improvement.

Onward in the sunshine,

Banner: Project Row Houses in Third Ward represents the vision of seven Black artists — James Bettison, Bert Long Jr., Jesse Lott, Rick Lowe, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples and George Smith — who used art to fuel social transformation.


  • Asian American Studies Center Virtual Guest Lecture — Visiting Professor Alvin Leung will discuss stereotypes, challenges and the career development of Asian Americans. Wednesday, March 9. 10 – 11:30 a.m. RSVP for event link.
  • COE Spring Commencement – Sunday, May 15. 2 p.m. Fertitta Center.



  • Need quick stats and kudos about the College? Check out our Fast Facts flyer. For more stats, see the “COE Static Fact Book” from Institutional Effectiveness via the intranet under “Data.”


  • Please welcome Robert Thomas, our newest teaching and learning advisor. Thomas comes to us from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he advised students and was a part-time lecturer. Thomas earned both his bachelor’s and master’s in communication from California State University, Northridge, where he was a student athlete.


Editor’s note: External grant awards are listed under Office of Research. For publications, additional authors are not included. Please email Ericka Mellon with any questions.

Curriculum & Instruction

Internal Grants

  • Bulent Dogan (team lead), Susie Gronseth, Sara McNeil and Jie Zhang received a Cougar Initiative To Engage (CITE) award from the Provost’s Office for $26,881 for the LEADERS project (Learn, Engage, and Develop Efficiently through Research and Service).


  • Vera Hutchison. “Supporting teachers’ capacity to explain and to implement the process of digital storytelling with elementary writers,” Critical Issues in Teacher Education. “When schools and public libraries come together: How a teacher’s role in a research practice partnership manifests during a mobile library experience,” Journal of Literacy Innovation.
  • Travis Weiland. “Supporting and retaining early career mathematics teachers using an online community of practice,” Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College. “Opportunities for K-12 students to learn statistics: Implications for MTE in Texas,” Journal of Mathematics Teacher Educators Texas. “A discussion of programmatic differences within mathematics content courses for prospective elementary teachers,” The Mathematics Educator.

Book Chapters

  • Vera Hutchison. “Developing students to become critical thinkers,” Cultivating a Scientific Mindset in the Age of Inference.
  • Travis Weiland. “The science of data, data science: Perversions and possibilities in the Anthropocene through a spatial justice lens,” Re-imagining science education in the Anthropocene.   


  • Alberto Rodriguez is the new PI of UH CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program), a U.S. Department of Education-funded initiative to support migrant students.
  • Kudos to Travis Weiland on his nearly $1.2 million NSF CAREER award (listed in OOR section below)!
  • Vera Hutchison served as conference chair for the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics’ annual meeting and will serve as events chair for the Association of Teacher Educators annual conference.


  • Susie Gronseth presented on “Community-Driven Educator Professional Development for Online and HyFlex College Instruction” for SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai.
  • Carrie Cutler presented at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics regional conference on culturally responsive measurement tasks for preK-2.
  • Carrie Cutler, Justin Burris and Shea Culpepper are presenting at the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators conference about their experience using Mursion AI technology in their classes.
  • Sheng Kuan Chung is speaking on critical visual culture at the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Kmt Shockley. “The making of scholar transformation theory,” Journal of Negro Education.


  • A book co-edited by Elsa Gonzalez, “An Asset-Based Approach to Advancing Latina Students in STEM: Increasing Resilience, Participation, and Success,” earned a book-of-the-year award, in the edited volume category, from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.
  • Cathy Horn was named an associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal AERA Open.
  • Ruth López was selected as a 2022 Latino board fellow, a training program to increase diversity in nonprofit governance, by the Latinos for Education organization.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences

Internal Grants

  • Saira Rab received a UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program award for the course Culture and Diversity in Human Development.


  • Blake Allan. “Classism, work volition, life satisfaction, and academic satisfaction in college students: A longitudinal study,” Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. “The myth of social mobility: Subjective social mobility and mental health,” The Counseling Psychologist. “Previous work and meaning in life post-retirement: A reminiscence perspective,” Aging and Mental Health. “Social class as a moderator of positive characteristics and subjective well-being: A test of resilience theory,” International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology.
  • Ann Chen, Isabel Martinez Leal, Lorraine Reitzel. “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer Care and Health-Related Quality of Life of Non-Hispanic Black/African American, Hispanic/Latina and Non-Hispanic White Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the U.S.: A Mixed-Methods Study Protocol,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
  • Jorge Gonzalez. “The Transition to Telepsychology during the COVID-19 Pandemic: College Student and Counselor Acceptability Perceptions and Attitudes,” Journal of College Student Psychotherapy.
  • Sarah Mire, Milena Keller-Margulis. “Evaluating the feasibility of remotely administered curriculum-based measurement for students with autism: A pilot study,” Psychology in the Schools – Special Issue on Assessment in Autism.
  • Sarah Mire. “Autism disparities for Black children: Acknowledging and addressing the problem through culturally responsive and socially just assessment practices” and “Cultural considerations for conducting autism assessment with Asian American and Pacific Islander students,” Psychology in the Schools – Special Issue on Assessment in Autism.
  • Lorraine Reitzel, Ann Chen, Isabel Martinez Leal, Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Ezemenari Obasi, Maggie Britton, Kelli Drenner. “Implementation and Outcomes of a Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Workplace Program in Opioid Treatment Centers in Texas,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Book Chapters

  • Sarah Mire. “School-based interventions and modifications for students with autism” and “School-based evaluations for autism” and “Psychopharmacological interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder: Integrating best practice guidelines and balancing risks and benefits,” Autism Spectrum Disorders: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Types of Treatment.


  • Toya Conston, Saira Rab, Erica Jordan and Leslie Frankel of HDFS were named finalists for the UH Provost’s Group Teaching Excellence Award.

Community Engagement

  • Allison Master presented on gender stereotypes and STEM at the Texas Women & Girls in STEM Summit and at a University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Gynecologic Oncology & Reproductive Medicine training.


  • Check out the latest media clips, featuring Margaret Hale (CUIN), Yali Zou (ELPS), Cathy Horn (ELPS), Jorge Gonzalez (PHLS), Duncan Klussmann (ELPS) and Allison Master (PHLS).



  • Designing Meaningful Learning Experiences for Statistical Literacy in Secondary Mathematics. NSF. $1,171,605 (incl. 55% IDC). Travis Weiland (CUIN), PI.


  • A longitudinal analysis of the effects of involvement in the school-to-prison cycle on students’ educational attainment. NSF. $301,176 (incl. 55% IDC). Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS), PI.
  • BOUNCE Into the STEM Zone. NSF. $3,000,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Norma Olvera (PHLS), PI; Consuelo Arbona (PHLS), Jeannette Alarcón (CUIN), Heather Domjan (CUIN), co-PIs.
  • She codes: Using university, middle schools, and industry partnership to increase the number of women entering computer science careers through engagement with digital storytelling. NSF. $299,953 (incl. 55% IDC). Allison Master (PHLS), co-PI.
  • Elevating Language and Literacy Instruction during the Professional Preparation of Science Educators (ELLIPPSE). NSF. $300,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Sissy Wong (CUIN), PI; Laveria Hutchison, Alberto Rodriguez and Jie Zhang, co-PIs (CUIN).
  • Racial disparities in genomic instability and immune evasion in obstructive disease and cancer of the lung. NIH. $748,105 (incl. 55% IDC). Lorraine Reitzel (PHLS), PI; Maggie Britton and Isabel Martinez Leal, co-investigators (PHLS).
  • Computer-based scoring of writing quality: Implications for fair and equitable assessments for elementary students with diverse backgrounds. Society for the Study of School Psychology. $10,000. Michael Matta (PHLS), PI.
  • Addressing tobacco-related and lung cancer inequities among Black adults: A mixed methods pilot project. NIH. $155,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Ezemenari Obasi (PHLS), PI; Maggie Britton, Lorraine Reitzel and Isabel Martinez Leal, co-investigators (PHLS).

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