Dean\'s Update – 2/14/2023
02/14/2023, 05:40:02 PM
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Reginald Dwayne Betts

Feb. 14, 2023


All — Happy February and Black History Month! I enter this season with a depth of gratitude for the College of Education community. We have and continue to experience the excitement and the strain of change toward continuous improvement — in searching for new colleagues, reviewing and improving processes, and enhancing needed structural supports for staff and faculty and students. Each of these efforts is people centered, and your investment in actively engaging, wondering, challenging, and learning from this work reinforces that. I continue to encourage all to reach out directly to me or Mimi Lee in her role as associate dean for faculty and staff equity, belonging, and success with questions and concerns. What hasn’t changed is the collective commitment to our mission and everyday effort to move closer to our ultimate goal — ending inequities in education and health.

Shonda Rhimes reminds us that “dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” I continue to appreciate your willingness to exercise agency, roll up your sleeves, and be about the daily pursuit of excellence that, knitted together, contributes to positive, multigenerational change.

Finally, let us all hold our colleagues and friends at Michigan State in our hearts following yesterday’s tragedy.


Banner caption: Happy Valentine’s Day from Sasha and Shasta!


  • Faculty Job Candidate ColloquiumsCheck the schedule for upcoming candidates for Teaching/Teacher Education and Special Populations.
  • Let’s Talk Grant Applications — Thursday, Feb. 16. Noon to 1 p.m. Hosted by COE Office of Research. Click here to join via Zoom.
  • Black History Month Event — Performance by author, lawyer and criminal justice reform advocate Reginald Dwayne Betts. Thursday, Feb. 16. 6:30 p.m. UH Law Center, Danny M Sheena Classroom 102A. Virtual option available. RSVP now! 
  • Virtual Session on Research Visibility and Impact — Thursday, Feb. 23. 11 a.m. to noon. Training by Andrea Malone of UH Libraries. Click here to join via Microsoft Teams.
  • Staff Focus 2023 with UH President Renu Khator — Monday, Feb. 27. 2 to 3 p.m. Hosted by UH Staff Council. RSVP to participate!
  • Giving Day and UH’s 96th Birthday — Tuesday, March 7. Learn how to volunteer
  • Spring Break (University is closed) — Friday, March 17. 
  • Spring 2023 Commencement — Saturday, May 13. 7 p.m. Fertitta Center. 

Black History Month Event



  • Student scholarships: We’d greatly appreciate if you could remind students that the COE scholarship application deadline is Feb. 28 at noon. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Applications are down 50%, and we could use your help.

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

  • Promotion and Tenure Review
    • For the clinical faculty candidates for promotion, the department level reviews have been completed and the files are being reviewed at the College level.  
    • For the tenure-track faculty candidates, the review is at the University level.  
  • Training Opportunities/Presentations
    • Thanks to everyone who participated in the UH Staff Council Leadership Presentation and the Campus Safety Training Opportunity with UHPD. Please reach out to Mimi Lee with any questions or suggestions for follow-up sessions.
  • UPCOMING: Faculty, get tips for increasing your research visibility and impact at the virtual session on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. via Teams.

Associate Dean for Student Equity, Belonging, and Success

  • Student Success Updates 
    • Kudos to the COE team for earning a No. 10 ranking on the U.S. News & World Report list of best online M.Ed. programs for 2023! The rankings cover the online programs in curriculum and instruction, higher education and special populations. Reach out to June Zhou for questions about the methodology.
    • The COE Static Fact Book 2022-23 is now available via the COE intranet (Data > Current COE Static Fact Book). Happy exploring!  
    • Do you have data questions? The Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness team now hosts weekly, virtual office hours on Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. to answer your questions. Join here via Microsoft Teams.
    • We continue to provide drop-in virtual advising opportunities for all majors and minors from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursdays. For education minors, we’ve added informational and group advising sessions. Find more information on our advising site.
  • Graduate Faculty Reminders 
    • If you missed (or want to re-watch) last week’s workshop on graduate administrative processes, view the recording here.


  • As previously shared, Maria Martinez started as executive director of business operations in January, joining us from the College of Technology. We’re excited to have her on board!
  • The deadline to complete 2022 ePerformance documents is Tuesday, Feb. 28. Supervisors should be meeting with staff for reviews.
  • For the 2023 ePerformance, the deadline for employees to enter goals is Friday, Feb. 17. The deadline for supervisors to establish criteria is Friday, March 17. Supervisors and employees should discuss goals together.


  • Personal email addresses Please start reminding students often to check their official UH email account, as the University is moving away from allowing UH emails to be redirected to personal email addresses such as gmail.
  • Learning Management System – CITE recommends requesting the College of Education Canvas template rather than migrating content from Blackboard to avoid errors. Complete the Request Canvas Dev Shell Form to begin. Contact Velvette Laurence with questions.


  • Notecards: If you’d like to send a note of congrats or thanks to alumni, students, community partners or others, please email Jaime Questell to coordinate pick-up of newly designed cards.
  • Reminder about TikTok: Please review the Dec. 9 memo stating that UH-sponsored TikTok accounts must be deactivated and that employees and students may NOT use TikTok on any University device.


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 Awards

  • Miao Li (PI), Jie Zhang, Mikel Cole and Bulent Dogan received a small research grant for 2022-2023 from the Division of Research ($6,000).


  • Michael Ahlf, Sara McNeil. “An exploratory review of literature on moderation in asynchronous discussions,” Distance Education.
  • Jeannette Alarcón, Jen Chauvot. “Unpacking survey data within critical autoethnographic study as a quantitative exercise,” The Teacher Educator.
  • Sheng Kuan Chung. “A Claymation project for integrated art learning,” International Journal of Arts Education.
  • Melissa Gallagher. “Adaptive teaching in mathematics: A review of the literature,” Educational Review.
  • Conra Gist. “Shifting dominant narratives of teacher development: New directions for expanding access to the educator workforce through grow your own programs,” Educational Researcher.
  • Laveria Hutchison. “Using literacy strategies to support a preservice teacher candidate in becoming an effective teacher,” Journal of Education and Development.
  • Miao Li. “The summary writing performance of bilingual learners with reading difficulties,” Annals of Dyslexia.
  • Alberto J. Rodriguez. “Gazing Inward in Support of Critical Scientific Literacy,” Journal of Science Teacher Education.
  • Travis Weiland. “Transforming curriculum and building capacity in K-12 data science education,” Harvard Data Science Review.
  • Jie Zhang, Sissy Wong. “Improving Sixth-grade Adolescents’ Argumentative Writing Through Dialogic Inquiry of Socioscientific Issues,” Journal of Writing Research.

Book Chapters

  • Mikel Cole. “Beyond Grammar-Translation: Material mediation as a pivotal feature of effective translation pedagogy” in “New Perspectives on Material Mediation in Language Learner Pedagogy.”
  • Anne Katz. “An interdisciplinary STEM NIH grant” in “On leadership: An interdisciplinary approach.”
  • Sissy Wong, Jie Zhang. “Science teachers’ views on the integration of science and language for English learners in sixth-grade classrooms” in Alberto J. Rodriguez’s “Equity in STEM Education Research: Advocating for Equitable Attention.”


  • Jie Zhang was selected as a CATIE Scholar for the 2023 IES-funded Getting SMART: Comprehensive Program for Adaptive Interventions Training in Education (CATIE) focused on improving education or health outcomes among school-aged children! 


  • Mikel Cole has been invited to discuss his “Flying Kites” book and work at the border on “Critical Issues in Education: The Outsider Within Podcast.”
  • Sheng Kuan Chung has one painting selected for the “Blue” exhibition at Art Car Museum Houston and two paintings selected for the “Fire and Ice” exhibition at the Watercolor Art Society of Houston. 

Community Engagement

  • Anne Katz hosted a table at Pilgrim Academy’s Reading Night to distribute 90 COE student-created family literacy projects that included a diverse children's book, a personalized letter from each teacher candidate, detailed activity instructions and more.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Virginia Snodgrass Rangel, Elsa Gonzalez. “Understanding motivational beliefs of women in Postsecondary STEM-Vocational-Technical Education. Evidence from Chile,” Journal of Education and Work.

Books/Book Chapters

  • Kmt Shockley. “African Centered Education” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. 


  • Tiffany J. Davis presented on “Unpacking Contemporary Issues in Supervision in Higher Education and Student Affairs Workplaces” at the Hawaiian International Conference on Education. She also delivered a lecture on “Educational Equity in American Higher Education” as the kickoff to the “Pathways to Equity” series funded by the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership at UH.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences


  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández. “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Wellness Program for Latine Adults Who Smoke and Have Psychological Distress: Research Protocol of a Feasibility Study,” JMIR Research Protocols.
  • Jungeun “Jay” Lee. “Developing and Validating a Process Model of Counselor Burnout: A Serial Mediation Model,” The Professional Counselor.
  • Margit Wiesner. “Bidirectional associations of mental health with self-reported criminal offending over time for at-risk early adult men in the U.S.,” Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology.


  • Erica Jordan and Kayce Solari Williams earned the “Certificate in Effective College Instruction” from the Association of College and University Educators and the American Council on Education.


  • Allison Master presented on gender stereotypes and STEM for the Science Education Group at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.
  • Norma Olvera gave an invited talk, “From Instructor to full professor,” for Baylor College of Medicine U.S. Biomedical Scholars.

Community Engagement

  • Norma Olvera participated in the Get up Get Moving! Fitness Festival held in Mason Park in Eastwood as part of a vendor/community health family fair.


  • Check out the latest media clips, most recently featuring Jie Zhang (CUIN), Laura Lee (Student Success), April Peters-Hawkins (ELPS) and Duncan Klussmann (ELPS).




  • NSF Convergence Accelerator Track J: Artificial-Intelligence-Based Decision Support for Equitable Food and Nutrition Security in the Houston Area. NSF. $749,995 (incl 55% IDC). Norma Olvera (PHLS), Susie Gronseth (CUIN), co-PIs.
  • TEA Commissioner’s List for Pre-K Assessment. Texas Education Agency. $77,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Kristi Santi (ELPS), PI.
  • National Center for Research on Educator Diversity (NCRED). Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. $750,000 (incl. 15% IDC). Conra Gist (CUIN), PI.


  • Rigorous Engagement of Communities for Health Research in T1D (REACH-T1D). Baylor College of Medicine. $495,126 (incl. 55% IDC). Ezemenari Obasi (PHLS), PI; Rosenda Murillo (PHLS), co-investigator.
  • Iconography: Re-Imaging Reading Interventions for Students With Dyslexia. Spencer Foundation. $43,482. Kristi Santi (ELPS), PI.
  • Cross-Cultural Adaptation of Automated Approaches to Scoring Writing. Spencer Foundation. $49,997. Michael Matta (PHLS), PI.
  • Culture and Community: Counter Narratives of Black And Minority Ethnic (BAME) Students at a University In London, England. Spencer Foundation. $48,279. Dave Louis (ELPS), PI.
  • Expanding the Capacity of a Multicomponent Youth Program That Provides Culturally Responsive Social Emotional Learning Experiences In and Out of School to Improve Academic Success. Spencer Foundation. $317,329.60. Brad Smith (PHLS), PI; Hanjoe Kim (PHLS), co-investigator.
  • BOUNCE into the STEM Zone. NSF. $1,999,999 (incl. 55% IDC). Norma Olvera, (PHLS), PI; Consuelo Arbona (PHLS), Allison Master (PHLS), Jeannette Alarcón (CUIN), co-PIs.
  • Developing a culturally relevant approach to understanding the career development of Latino men in STEM. NSF. $1,819,835 (incl. 55% IDC). Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS), PI.
  • 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.
  • Telehealth smoking cessation treatment for Spanish and English speaking Latine adults with psychological distress. NIH. $1,965,643 (incl 55% IDC). Virmarie Correa-Fernández (PHLS), PI; Ann Chen (PHLS), co-investigator.
  • Disparities in Child and Adolescent Emotional and Behavioral Functioning: Long-Term Secular Trends Before and After the Covid-19 Pandemic. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. $97,032 (incl. 55% IDC). Jorge Gonzalez (PHLS), PI.

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