Dean\'s Update – 5/9/2023
05/09/2023, 04:20:01 PM
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Margaret Hale at the Faculty and Staff Bowling Social

May 9, 2023


All — One of the great privileges of working at a university is living in the complexity of cycles. The end of the academic year calls up so many emotions for me: excitement for our graduates; longing for the change in rhythm summer brings; and anticipation about the new beginnings of the fall. As we work to conclude the demands of the spring, let’s take good care to celebrate all that we’ve individually and collectively accomplished this year and look forward to the opportunities ahead.

Our success as a College would be impossible without service. To that end, I’d like to thank Margaret Hale for her distinguished leadership as chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. As she steps back into her faculty role full time May 31, Jie Zhang has agreed to serve as interim chair and Sam Brower will serve as interim associate chair through the summer and start of the next academic year. I’m also deeply grateful to Kristen Hassett for continuing to serve as interim chair of the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies while April Peters-Hawkins will remain as associate chair.

I close by sharing an excerpt from a poem, “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, as we ground ourselves for the next season.

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living,
I want to know what you ache for
And if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

As always, appreciate each of you and the ways you show up every day to work and to life.


Banner caption: Outgoing CUIN Chair Margaret Hale celebrates with faculty member Justin Burris at the Faculty & Staff Spring Social; see more event photos on the MyCOE Intranet (below “College Quick Links”).


  • Spring 2023 Commencement — Saturday, May 13. 7 p.m. Fertitta Center. Thank you, volunteers!
  • Let’s Talk Grant Applications — Thursday, May 18 (final session of the semester). Noon to 1 p.m. Meet with Associate Dean Ezemenari Obasi. Click here to join via Zoom.
  • Memorial Day (UH closed) — Monday, May 29
  • Take Your Child to Work Day — June 16. Registration opens Friday, May 19.
  • Emancipation Day (UH closed) — Monday, June 19
  • Independence Day (UH closed) — Tuesday, July 4
  • COE Faculty & Staff Breakfast — Friday, Aug. 18. Invitation to follow.
    • Please note that, to cut costs, First Lecture will not take place. Stay tuned for details about our exciting fall semester kickoff activities, including distribution of our annual COE T-shirt!

A group of people at a bowling alley


Associate Dean for Faculty and Staff Equity, Belonging, and Success

  • COE Staff Awards – The nomination deadline has been extended to Friday, May 19.  
  • COE Staff Council – Please join our virtual kickoff meeting Wednesday, May 17 from 3 to 4 p.m. to discuss confirmation of Staff Council representatives, bylaws, meeting regularity and next steps.

Associate Dean for Student Equity, Belonging, and Success

  • Staff Updates
    • We are seeking candidates for our Director of Assessment & Accreditation Services position. As a College, we are committed to recruiting a talented pool of prospective employees and would appreciate your help. Please share this job announcement with folks in your network. Thanks in advance!  
  • Faculty Reminders
    • Spring 2023 grades are due Monday, May 15 at 11:59 p.m., and faculty grade access will be suspended on Tuesday, May 16.
    • With the closing of the term, please make sure you are following UH policy when you grant a grade of Incomplete. It states: “The temporary grade of I (incomplete) is a conditional and temporary grade assigned when students for non-academic reasons beyond their control have not completed a relatively small part of all requirements for a course.” Find the College’s Incomplete Grade Agreement form on the MyCOE Intranet.


  • Welcome to Andrew Snyder, a proud UH alum who has joined the team as the new department business administrator for Educational Leadership & Policy Studies!



  • We hope you take some time to review our new MyCOE Intranet on Sharepoint. Please email with any suggestions, corrections or questions; for technical issues, reach out to Velvette Laurence in CITE.
  • Social media registration: If you have not already, email Kathy Patnaude by May 12 if you have any department, program, lab, center or related social media accounts (this does NOT apply to personal accounts).

Photo of Chicago. Text says

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 received a Cougar Initiative To Engage (CITE) grant from the Provost’s Office for the 2023 BioTechnology Academy in collaboration with UH’s Department of Biology and Biochemistry.


  • Sara McNeil led the successful pilot of a dissertation in the three-article format instead of the regular five chapters with Michael Ahlf, who graduated with his Ph.D. in May 2022. The third article has been accepted as a book chapter in the “Handbook of Research in Online Learning.” 


  • Mikel Cole earned a 2023 UH Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.


  • Alberto J. Rodriguez is organizing a Summer Institute, “Without Walls on Ecojustice and Sustainability,” in Costa Rica in July in collaboration with colleagues from Science Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice (SEEDS).

Community Engagement

  • As part of a Cougar Initiative To Engage (CITE) grant from the Provost’s Office, nearly 70 students from Anne Katz’s and Paty Siller’s classes presented diverse children’s books and research-based literacy activities to families at Houston ISD’s Pilgrim Academy.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Virginia Snodgrass Rangel. “Developing educational leadership in mathematics and science,” Journal of Research on Leadership Education.


  • Virginia Snodgrass Rangel became vice president of AERA’s Division H (Research, Evaluation, and Assessment in Schools); she will serve a three-year term. 
  • Detra Johnson became vice president-elect for AERA Division A (Administration, Organization, and Leadership); her official term starts April 2024.


  • Detra Johnson participated as a panel discussant at the Equity Ingenuity Conference in Houston. She also is scheduled to host a conference for the AERA Research on Women and Education Special Interest Group in October in Las Vegas.

Community Engagement

  • Virginia Snodgrass Rangel co-hosted, along with engineering faculty Jerrod Henderson and Dan Burleson, the Multi-Institutional Research Practice Partnership Kick-off for the Center for Underrepresented & Underserved Student Pathways in Engineering. 
  • Kmt Shockley conducted professional development focused on African Centered Education for students in Syracuse (New York) Public Schools and also for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences

Internal Grants

  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández received the PHLS Innovative Scholarship Boost Grant for “Reaching Spanish-preferred Latine adults who smoke: Translation and linguistic adaptation of a treatment manual and assessment measures.”


  • Ann Chen. “Assessing Saliency Models of Observers’ Visual Attention on Acquired Facial Differences,” Journal of Medical Imaging.
  • Leslie Frankel. “The Relationship Between Parent Anxiety Symptomatology and Feeding Behaviors: A Systematic Review,” Child Care & Youth Forum.
  • Norma Olvera. “Randomized control trial of a childhood obesity prevention family-based program ‘Abriendo Caminos’ and effects on BMI,” Frontiers in Psychology.


  • Jungeun Lee received the Adultspan Journal Managing Editor Fellowship Award.
  • Allison Master earned Honorable Mention for the AERA Division C (Learning and Instruction) 2023 Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies.
  • Norma Olvera earned the National Hispanic Medical Association’s 2023 Hispanic Health Leadership Award for work to promote health among the Hispanic community.

Community Engagement

  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández contributed to the American Lung Association’s Toolkit, “Addressing Tobacco Use in Hispanic or Latino Communities,” being launched via webcast May 17 (English) and May 18 (Spanish).
  • Norma Olvera and Jeannette Alarcón (CUIN) started an eight-week STEM pilot project supporting ethnically diverse sixth graders at Houston ISD’s Pilgrim Academy with a service learning component including undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Kayce Solari Williams’ class hosted the spring 2023 virtual public health fair, “Health Matters with College Students,” drawing more than 110 attendees with presentations on topics such as ADHD, cancer, human trafficking, and stress management.


  • Check out the latest media clips, most recently featuring Sam Brower (CUIN), Duncan Klussmann (ELPS) and Allison Master (PHLS).




  • No awards to report this month


  • Addressing test bias in automated writing assessment: Promoting fair decisions for historically minoritized students. American Psychological Foundation. $3,500. Michael Matta (PHLS), PI.
  • Advancing Equity in Adolescent Health through Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs and Services. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (pass-through Department of Health & Human Services Office of Population Affairs). $1,762,584 (incl. 55% IDC). Kayce Solari Williams (PHLS), PI; Jennifer Farmer (PHLS), co-PI.
  • Houston Galveston Area Workforce Council. $524,994 (incl. 12% IDC). Cathy Horn (ELPS), PI; Anne Katz (CUIN), Jahnette Wilson (CUIN), other.

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