Dean\'s Update – 4/12/2022
04/12/2022, 07:05:01 PM
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April 12, 2022


We have more good news to celebrate! On top of our recent recognition for “50-in-5” research accomplishments, five of our faculty members have earned 2022 UH Teaching Excellence Awards. Congratulations!

Our new U.S. News & World Report ranking, released in late March, inched up to No. 89 among all graduate education programs (up from 91 last year). Among public institutions, we rank No. 3 in Texas and No. 69 overall. As you know, we’re looking to become a top 50 public university. Continued acceleration of our research activity is a key driver in the rankings (for comparison, our average annual funded research is $5.8 million, and the top 50 publics average $11.7 million).

While I understand the stress of the semester is mounting, I hope you’ll do your best to attend our two upcoming virtual events focused on equity and justice as well as our celebration of Provost Short. Please see RSVP information below.

Onward and on the rise,

Banner: Students enjoyed the beautiful weather last week by the fountains.


  • Keith Butcher (ELPS) won in the clinical category while Toya Conston, Erica Jordan, Leslie Frankel and Saira Rab (PHLS/HDFS) were recognized in the group teaching category.

Keith Butcher, Toya Conston, Erica Jordan, Leslie Frankel and Saira Rab


  • “Advancing Justice: CRT in Research & Practice” — Monday, April 18. 4 p.m. RSVP for livestream link. Organized by the COE Committee to Advance Equity, Justice, and Belonging.
  • March for Babies walk — Sunday, April 24. 8 a.m. On campus. Join the COE team in support of healthy moms and babies by walking, running and/or making a donation.
  • FEC Racial Justice, Equity and Well-being Lecture Series — Virtual guest lecture by Marcelle Haddix, associate provost for strategic initiatives and distinguished dean’s professor at Syracuse University. Thursday, April 28. Noon. Join via Zoom.
  • Celebrating the Career of Provost Short — Tuesday, May 10. Colloquium at 3:30 p.m. Reception at 4:45 p.m. Hilton on campus. RSVP requested. (Note: ELPS faculty should RSVP through the invite sent via email April 7.)
  • COE Spring Commencement — Sunday, May 15. 2 p.m. Fertitta Center.



Highlights of recent gifts:

  • $600,000 from the Houston Endowment for the UH Education Research Center (Cathy Horn, ELPS)
  • $150,000 from General Motors (Conra Gist, CUIN, $100,000 for the Community Teacher Equity Development program and the National Center for Research on Educator Diversity; $50,000 to teachHOUSTON)
  • $50,000 from Chevon for the Cougar Tutors program (Anne McClellan, ACES Institute)


  • Please congratulate Itzel Ramirez, hired on as a financial assistant!
  • If you have not sent in pictures of your UH-issued keys or stopped by the Business Services Office to show your keys, please do so as soon as possible. The deadline to complete the key audit for the College is April 29. Pictures of keys can be sent to
  • Alternative Work Arrangement requests for staff are under review, and we hope to have approval updates soon.


  • Please welcome our new health advisor and UH alum Emma Morales, who earned a bachelor’s in English creative writing.


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. Also, AERA 2022 conference presentations will be listed in an upcoming story.

Curriculum & Instruction


  • Susie Gronseth successfully chaired the recent Faculty Senate Conference, “Rising Together: Advancing Higher Education through Equity and Innovation.” 

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Congratulations to Keith Butcher on his UH Teaching Excellence Award!

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences

Internal Grants

  • Jungeun “Jay” Lee. UH Multicultural Success Initiative Faculty Research Grant, $6,000.


  • Lorraine Reitzel, Ann Chen, Ezemenari Obasi. “Perceived disease risk of smoking, barriers to quitting, and cessation intervention preferences by sex amongst homeless adult concurrent tobacco product users and conventional cigarette-only users,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
  • Kara Hurt-Avila. “Professional development needs of mental health professionals in a predominantly rural state,” Journal of Counseling Research and Practice.


  • Congratulations to HDFS faculty Toya Conston, Erica Jordan, Leslie Frankel and Saira Rab for their UH Teaching Excellence Award!


  • Jungeun “Jay” Lee presented on “Culturally Responsive School Counseling for Immigrant Students and Families” at the Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference.


  • Check out the latest media clips, most recently featuring Yali Zou (ELPS).



  • Please wish Marianne Burns farewell as she leaves for a new position. Her last day in the office is April 29. The research liaison officer position has been posted.
  • As a friendly reminder, please contact the COE Office of Research before submitting any proposal for a sponsored project and also upon notification of award. If the project involves a foundation or corporation, Jaha Williams in Advancement also will need to be notified.


  • IPA Agreement: NSF Program Director Assignment. NSF. $128,922. Elsa Gonzalez (ELPS), PI.


  • BCSER: Gulf Coast Region Institutes for Methods and Practices in STEM Education Research (Gulf Coast IMP). NSF. $959,772 (incl. 55% IDC). Cathy Horn (ELPS), PI; Toni Templeton (ELPS), co-PI.
  • BCSER-IID: Overcoming Career Indecision of Engineering Latina/o students: A Comparative Examination of Engineering Identity Formation, Achievement-related Behaviors, and Emotions. $266,210 (incl. 55% IDC). Weihua Fan (PHLS), PI.

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