Dean\'s Update - 5/11/2021
05/11/2021, 04:15:01 PM
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May 11, 2021


As I consistently say every December and May, graduation is my favorite event as dean. While commencement next Tuesday will be different, with masks and without handshakes, the sense of pride among our students and their families remains the same. I hope that each of you feels pride as well, for contributing to a College culture that helped our students persist through an onslaught of challenges.

You have made UH feel like home. As one of our graduating teaching majors recently said, she’s ready to return. “I’ll be back for my master’s,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #ForeveraCoog.

We must continue to build and maintain these strong relationships and keep our alumni engaged. UH has launched a new social and professional networking platform, CoogsConnect, to help. Learn more in the Staff Spotlight below and stay tuned for additional information this week.

I encourage you to read President Khator’s May 10 memo about the upcoming academic year and the FAQ about transitioning. Our College leadership team is reviewing the information, and discussions with supervisors will take place in the coming weeks.

Onward and connected,

Banner: The graduation cap designed by teaching major Samantha Andrade won first place in our contest.



  • FEC Racial Justice, Equity and Well-being Lecture — “Cultivating Well-being: Shifting from Surviving to Thriving in Academia,” with Heather Shotton, a department chair at The University of Oklahoma and a strong advocate for Native education. Wednesday, May 12. Noon – 1:30 p.m. Via Zoom.
  • March of Dimes March for Babies Virtual Walk — Saturday, May 15. Any time. Donate here to support the COE team.
  • Spring Graduation Ceremony — Tuesday, May 18. 10 a.m. TDECU Stadium.
  • Memorial Day Holiday — Monday, May 31


  • With the departure of advisor Geneva Marquina, Greta Ralston will serve HDFS majors and Ana Morales will serve minors in HDFS, Asian American studies and special populations in the interim.


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


  • Sheng Kuan Chung. “Pre-Service Art Teachers’ Perspectives on Building Virtual Art Exhibitions,” International Journal of Arts Education. “Issues-Based STEAM Education,” International Journal of Education & the Arts.


  • Alumna Karen Dickinson discusses in this COE story how her graduate classes with Susie Gronseth helped her adapt her training of surgical residents during the pandemic. The two partnered on a related article in the Journal of Surgical Education.
  • Sheng Kuan Chung had a painting selected into a competitive juried exhibit organized by Lawndale Art Center, running June 19 through August 14 at John M. O’Quinn Gallery.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Emma Perez has joined Assistant Professor Elsa Gonzalez’s research team as the project manager and post-doctoral research fellow focused on Latinas in STEM. Perez earned a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience from UH and co-founded the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science chapter here.


  • Detra Johnson. “Predictions of Teacher Turnover and Transfer Intentions: A Multiple Mediation Model of Teacher Engagement,” Journal of Education Human Resources.
  • Ruth M. López. “Creando Comunidad: Experiences of Latina Faculty and Staff Mentors at a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences

Internal Grant Awards

  • Sarah Mire, co-PI. Exploring Visual Fixation Patterns in Young Children as a Potential Biomarker for Autism. Division of Research/Provost Faculty Research Invigoration Programs: High Priority Area Research Seed Grants (Accessible Healthcare), 2021-22. $69,982.


  • Sarah Mire. “Relationships between parental perceptions and elevated parenting stress among families of children with autism spectrum disorder and comorbid problem behaviors,” Family Relations.
  • Lorraine Reitzel, Ann Chen, Nathan Smith, Ezemenari Obasi. “Combining Global Positioning System (GPS) with Saliva Collection among Sexual Minority Adults: A Feasibility Study,” Plos One.
  • Lorraine Reitzel, Ann Chen, Ezemenari Obasi. “Anxiety Sensitivity and Fast-Food Ordering Habits Among Black Adults,” Health Behavior Research.


  • Jungeun “Jay” Lee was elected president-elect of the Korean Counseling Association – International Chapter.
  • Allison Master was featured on the Inside IES Research blog about her research on gender stereotypes in STEM. She also gave an invited presentation on counteracting stereotypes in STEM as part of the Child Development Lecture Series at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Saira Rab’s undergraduate research assistant was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).

Community Engagement

  • Norma Olvera organized and co-moderated a UH Women of Color talk on “Work-Life Integration in the Transition: Juggling Responsibilities and Setting Boundaries.”
  • Lorraine Reitzel, in collaboration with two undergraduate students, and Taking Texas Tobacco Free released “Tobacco Free Workplace Policies & Outcomes: Recommendations for Behavioral Health Treatment Centers’ Tobacco-Free Workplace Policies and Their Implementation.”
  • Nathan Smith served as a panelist for the second-annual UH Clinical Psychology Diversity Day on research and practice with LGBTQ+ populations.


  • Check out the latest media clips, featuring Justin Burris (CUIN), Blake Allen (PHLS) and April Peters-Hawkins (ELPS).



  • Evaluation of moderators impacting change in tobacco knowledge and tobacco treatment delivery in substance use treatment centers. The New York Academy of Medicine. $4,000. Lorraine Reitzel (PHLS), PI.


  • Innovative Technology Challenges for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, ITECH-STEM. Department of Defense. $527,491. Bulent Dogan (CUIN), PI; Susie Gronseth (CUIN), Sara McNeil (CUIN), Jie Zhang (CUIN), Heather Domjan (CUIN), co-PIs.
  • The Organizational and Historical Approaches of School Districts: Developing Equity-Centered Principal Pipelines. Wallace Foundation. $243,689 (incl. 15% IDC). April Peters-Hawkins (ELPS), PI.
  • Developing Cross-Atlantic Inclusive Education Research Partnerships to Address Racial Equity. Spencer Foundation. $49,909.50. Susie Gronseth (CUIN), PI.
  • Mitigating the Effects of Systemic Racism During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. Centers for Disease Control/Houston Health Department (primary). $1,050,071 (incl. 55% IDC). Ezemenari Obasi (PHLS), Lorraine Reitzel (PHLS), multi-PIs.
  • TEAMPD: Translanguaged Evidenced-based Asset-based Multimodal Professional Development. U.S. Department of Education. $800,000 (incl. 8% IDC). Jie Zhang (CUIN), PI; Mikel Cole (CUIN), Miao Li (CUIN), Miguel Burgess Monroy (CUIN), co-PIs.


Geralyn Stevens

After working in the airline industry and traveling the world, Geralyn Stevens felt called to return to her alma mater. The Galveston native, who has a marketing degree from Bauer College of Business, serves as the College’s development coordinator. “I make sure to present UH and the College in such a light that people feel at home — feeling what I’ve always felt,” she said.

What is an average day for you like?
There’s not a day that’s the same. I could be processing a gift from a donor, speaking to a student about the scholarship process or planning events to engage our alumni. It all comes back to promoting the College of Education and making sure people have an idea of what’s going on internally and externally.

Along with reorganizing the Alumni Board, what other projects are you working on?
Another big project I’m working on is the launch of CoogsConnect. It’s really going to be a game changer. Members can connect with other alumni, mentor students or be mentored, and find out about events. Also, it’s a great source for finding out about job openings and for posting job opportunities.

What are your biggest passions?
I’ve traveled to over 50 countries. I’ve ziplined, parasailed, hiked volcanoes, swam through caves. Some of my favorite vacations include the Galápagos Islands, the Amazon and a trip to Costa Rica where I stayed in a treehouse for a week in the rain forest. I love animals and being a part of nature.

Read the full Q&A.


  • A CUIN alum and ELPS doctoral student recently took to Twitter to give kudos to Carrie Cutler (CUIN) and Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS).

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