Dean\'s Update – 10/12/2021
10/12/2021, 04:30:01 PM
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Oct. 12, 2021


The College’s panel on critical race theory late last month proved especially timely as recent news reports discuss debates over book bans and the teaching of history in Texas public schools. I encourage you to attend the Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline virtual panel and the Asian American Studies Center virtual guest lecture on stereotypes this month as we continue to hold space for these critically important conversations. Please see event details below.

Please also share job postings for six open faculty positions as we seek a strong diverse candidate pool:

  • Early Childhood Education (clinical and tenure/tenure-track; T/TT to be posted soon)
  • Health (clinical)
  • Health Disparities (tenure/tenure-track, part of UH’s Frontier Faculty initiative)
  • Human Development and Family Studies/School Psychology (tenure/tenure-track)
  • Special Populations (tenure/tenure-track)

On a lighter note, let’s go Coogs and ’Stros!

Onward in conversation,

Banner: A watercolor of Farish Hall by communications worker Alexandra Hernandez (’UH 21), who also made the charcoal drawings below of our 2021 First Lecture speakers.


  • COE Giveaway: T-shirts, posters and postcards! — Wednesday, Oct. 13. 10 a.m. to noon. Farish Hall, room 140. Limited quantities of T-shirts remain, but names will be collected for a reorder.
  • Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline — Virtual panel sponsored by the COE Committee to Advance Equity, Justice, and Belonging. Thursday, Oct. 21. 4 – 5 p.m. See full invite or RSVP directly.
  • Homecoming game — UH vs. ECU. Saturday, Oct. 23. 3 p.m. Get discounted tickets and support the COE Alumni Association!
  • Asian American Studies Center Virtual Guest Lecture — Visiting Professor Alvin Leung on stereotypes, challenges and the career development of Asian Americans. Oct. 27 or 28 at 11:30 a.m. RSVP.
  • President Khator’s Fall Address — Thursday, Oct. 28. 10 a.m. Moore’s Opera House and live streamed.
  • State Employee Charitable Campaign — Deadline to give is Sunday, Oct. 31. Online giving is now available for all transactions. Please look out for an email from Paula Canada with details.
  • Navigating Crises: Tips for Managing Uncertainty — Virtual event sponsored by COE. Tuesday, Nov. 16. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Save the date! Invitation to follow.



  • NEW rules regarding photos of students: To use photos of any students on social media, the website or in print, you MUST have them complete a FERPA form AND a photo release form. Both are on the COE intranet under Communications. Please email forms to Kathy Patnaude for record keeping. If you plan to regularly post class/student photos on social media, you may have students fill out both forms at the start of each semester to cover posts for that semester. (We’re hoping for a combined form/easier process, but these are the rules for now. Thank you!)


  • Please complete your mandatory HR trainings by Nov. 19. You can find them via AccessUH under T.A.P. Employee Training.


  • Please find key dates related to the spring 2022 class schedule development:
    • Week of Oct. 23 — The full schedule is slated to publish where it’s viewable to students.
    • Nov. 4 — Priority registration for students begins.


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


  • We welcome undergraduate advisor Katie Dempsey into the position of teacher education program manager/field experience coordinator and wish a bittersweet farewell to Paty Siller, who is staying on part time in the role through October.


  • Mikel Cole. “Jostling Isaac: dynamic configurations of bodies and objects during a language problem solving event,” Classroom Discourse. “Mapping bias: A rhizomatic critique of the National Literacy Panel Report,” Bilingual Research Journal.
  • Miao Li. “Profiles of poor decoders, poor comprehenders, and typically-developing readers in adolescents learning English as a second language,” Journal of Learning Disabilities.
  • Jeannette Alarcón, Jen Chauvot. “Using quantitative data to inform equity focused culturally responsive teacher education: Deeper understanding via critical autoethnography,” The Teacher Educator.


  • Conra Gist and Susie Gronseth were selected for the 2021-22 Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy.

Community Engagement

  • The Tweens Read book festival, organized by Margaret Hale, will take place virtually Oct. 18 – 23.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Join us in wishing a warm welcome to office assistant Norquezdan Florence!


  • Kmt Shockley. “The role of intellectual humility in dissertation completion,” Teachers College Record.


  • Several faculty have been named Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership faculty affiliates with the Hobby School: Bradley Davis, Tiffany J. Davis, Rhoda Freelon, Kristen Hassett, Cathy Horn, Detra Johnson, Ruth M. López, Lyle McKinney, Kristi Santi, Virginia Snodgrass Rangel and Yali Zou.
  • Bradley Davis and Kristen Hassett were selected for the 2021-22 Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy.

Community Engagement

  • The College’s Oct. 19 Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline panel includes Virginia Snodgrass Rangel as moderator and Tiffany J. Davis, Cathy Horn and April Peters-Hawkins as organizers.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences


  • Karen Talley, Julie Dunsmore. “Connecting with others: Dispositional and situational relatedness during the college transition,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
  • Leslie Frankel. “Maternal perceptions of infant behavior as a potential indicator of parents or infants in need of additional support and intervention,” Frontiers in Public Health. “The relationship between COVID-related parenting stress, nonresponsive feeding behaviors, and parent mental health,” Current Psychology.
  • Hanjoe Kim, Brad Smith. “Longitudinal factorial invariance of a brief measure of affect and calm-focus,” International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
  • Milena Keller-Margulis, Hanjoe Kim, Jorge Gonzalez. “Long-term validity and diagnostic accuracy of kindergarten acadience reading with English learners,” School Psychology Review.
  • Allison Master. “Gender stereotypes about interests start early and cause gender disparities in computer science and engineering,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Lorraine Reitzel, Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Ezemenari Obasi, Isabel Martinez Leal, Ann Chen.
    “An epidemic and a pandemic collide: Assessing the feasibility of tobacco treatment among vulnerable groups at COVID-19 protective lodging,” Families, Systems, & Health.


  • Jorge Gonzalez was recognized as a contemporary Latinx leader in the field of school psychology by the national Trainers of School Psychologists.
  • Toya Conston and Virmarie Correa-Fernández were selected for the 2021-22 Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy.

Community Engagement


  • Check out the latest media clips, featuring Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS) on Houston Matters.


Justin Burris

Justin Burris (CUIN), a 2021 UH Teaching Excellence Award recipient in the clinical category, works to teach aspiring teachers that anyone can be good at math.

How do you connect with your teacher candidates?
At the beginning of the semester, we do lots of relationship building activities. In the face-to-face class, I usually have students create a life map. I’ve adapted that, and it’s on Google Slides. Everyone tells me about themselves, a struggle they have, something positive that’s happening in their life. I share about myself as well.

What advice do you have for your teacher candidates?
It’s important for you not only to have a growth mindset about your own math abilities, but you should have a growth mindset about your current and future students and their math abilities. Our students bring knowledge, skills, culture, community and family into our classrooms, and we need to find ways to connect with every kid and every teacher candidate for our students to be risk-takers in the mathematics classroom.

Read the full Q&A.



  • Taking Texas Tobacco Free: Dissemination to and implementation within agencies serving Texans experiencing homelessness. CPRIT. $299,978 (incl. 5.26% IDC). Lorraine Reitzel (PHLS), PI; Ezemenari Obasi, Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Ann Chen, Isabel Martinez Leal, co-investigators (PHLS).


  • COWID Intervention: Coaching Writers and Instructors on a Data-driven Intervention. Institute of Education Sciences. $3,000,000 (incl. 26% IDC). Milena Keller-Margulis (PHLS), co-investigator.
  • Development of Empowering Horizons: A Tier II Culturally Responsive School. Institute of Education Sciences. $643,239 (incl. 55% IDC). Jorge Gonzalez (PHLS), PI; Conra Gist (CUIN), Bradley Smith (PHLS), co-PIs.
  • Project WORLD Efficacy Follow Up. Institute of Education Sciences. $406,026 (incl. 55% IDC). Jorge Gonzalez (PHLS), PI; Hanjoe Kim (PHLS), co-PI.
  • Transforming STEM Professionals into Culturally Responsive STEM Teachers. NSF. $1,199,921 (incl. 55% IDC). Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS), co-PI.
  • Development of Self-Regulation from Infancy to Early Childhood: The Role of Physiological and Behavioral Synchrony. NICHD. $129,828 (incl 55% IDC). Julie Dunsmore (PHLS), PI.
  • Training parents to use less nonresponsive feeding practices regardless of parent weight status. NICHD. $426,250 (incl. 55% IDC). Leslie Frankel (PHLS), PI; Hanjoe Kim (PHLS), co-investigator.
  • Contextualizing Science Inquiry in Urban Middle Schools. NSF. $1,573,762 (incl. 55% IDC). Jie Zhang (CUIN), PI; Sissy Wong, Alberto Rodriguez, co-PIs (CUIN).
  • Break Through Tech Affiliate Site. Cornell University. $6,367,336 (incl. 20% IDC). Allison Master (PHLS), co-investigator.
  • Community Teacher Equity Development. Houston Endowment. $400,000 (incl. 15% IDC). Conra Gist (CUIN), PI.


Isabel Martinez Leal

After immigrating to the United States from Brazil at 17, Isabel Martinez Leal recalls facing alienation and discrimination. She said the experience drives her today in her role as a senior researcher focused on health equity, supporting the Taking Texas Tobacco Free program and other projects. Martinez Leal earned a 2020-21 Staff Excellence Award from the College.

What are your responsibilities as a senior researcher?
I’m a qualitative research specialist. In qualitative research, you focus on the participant. For example, if we’re studying how COVID has affected a group in terms of getting care for breast cancer, then I interview people to see their experience in trying to access services and getting treatment.

How is your work rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect of this work is to contribute to people improving their health.

What are some of your hobbies?
Yoga, reading. I also do tango. One time, I did a performance at The Museum of Fine Arts, and another time, we did a performance in Jones Hall. Tango’s hard, but it’s certainly worth it.

Read the full Q&A.

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