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Driven by Equity

The College of Education at the University of Memphis is Driven by Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We strive for excellence and transform innovation into action as we lead, teach, research, and serve. We train equity-minded teachers, educational leaders, counselors, and researchers who will impact Memphis, the Mid-South, and the world. 

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COE News

Dr. Harrell-Williams wins Advising Award; Dr. Gnanadass receives Honorable Mention

Dr. Leigh Harrell-Williams, Associate Professor in CEPR and Co-coordinator of the Quantitative Methods Certificate received the Graduate Advisor award at the 2021 UofM Excellence in Academic Advising Awards Ceremony. Dr. Edith Gnanadass, Assistant Professor in LEAD, received an Honorable Mention. Dr. Harrell-Williams and Dr. Gnanadass were the only two faculty members who advise graduate students honored at the University-wide ceremony. Congratulations to Dr. Harrell-Williams and Dr. Gnanadass! We appreciate your hard work supporting our students!

Dr. Eric Platt's new book Persistence through Peril has been published

Dr. Eric Platt, associate professor and chair in the Department of Leadership, recently published "Persistence through Peril: Episodes of College Life and Academic Endurance in the Civil War South" which was co-edited with Holly A. Foster (University of Southern Mississippi). This edited collection features contributions by Dr. Platt and many other scholars and considers academic and organizational perseverance via chapter “episodes” that highlight the daily operations, struggles, and successes of select Southern institutions. Through detailed archival research, the essays illustrate how some Southern colleges and universities endured the deadliest internal conflict in US history.

To date, most texts regarding higher education in the Civil War South focus on the widespread closure of academies. In contrast, Persistence through Peril: Episodes of College Life and Academic Endurance in the Civil War South brings to life several case histories of Southern colleges and universities that persisted through the perilous war years. Contributors tell these stories via the lived experiences of students, community members, professors and administrators as they strove to keep their institutions going. Despite the large-scale cessation of many Southern academies due to student military enlistment, resource depletion and campus destruction, some institutions remained open for the majority or entirety of the war. These institutions—”The Citadel” South Carolina Military Academy, Mercer University, Mississippi College, the University of North Carolina, Spring Hill College, Trinity College of Duke University, Tuskegee Female College, the University of Virginia, the
Virginia Military Institute, Wesleyan Female College, and Wofford College—continued to operate despite low student numbers, encumbered resources and faculty ranks stripped bare by conscription or voluntary enlistment.

Learn more about Dr. Platt's book and order your copy from University Press of Mississippi here>.

CREP's partnership with Virginia DOE led by Cindy Muzzi

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has recently awarded the Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) a contract to evaluate its 21st Century Learning Communication Centers program. CREP has evaluated this program since 2005 through a series of yearly contracts that have brought more than $1.2 million in total to CREP and the College of Education since inception. This year’s contract budget is over $90K.

The partnership between CREP and the VDOE has been successful in no small part due to the efforts of Cindy Muzzi, CREP Research Associate II. As Co-Principal Investigator (PI) and project manager, she is not only responsible for ongoing communications with VDOE but manages all logistical aspects of the project. Cindy programs Virginia’s comprehensive surveys in the Qualtrics system, manages survey administration to participants, and designs and produces complex Qualtrics-generated reports. This involves intense and ongoing collaboration with VDOE partners. Other project personnel include Dan Strahl, P.I., Dr. Todd Zoblotsky, Co-PI, Dr. Brenda Gallagher, and Robert McKinney, Research Associate 1.

Cindy joined CREP as a Research Associate I in 2009 and was promoted to Research Associate II in 2020. She continues to apply her strong organizational skills to ensure the success of multiple projects. In addition to being CREP’s Qualtrics expert, she coordinates and assists other Center researchers. Working with the Associate Director, Cindy has managed multiple high-profile University of Memphis internal surveys. This highly sensitive work includes surveys for the Faculty Senate, Human Resources Department, the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Provost’s office, and the Office of University Legal Counsel. Cindy’s dedication and attention to detail are the prime reasons these University entities continue to reach out to CREP.

 

Growing Project Memphis: ICL Faculty Provide Early Intervention for Young Children and Families with Special Needs

Dr. Laura Casey, professor in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, and her commitment to serving young children (aged 0-2) with special needs and their families continues to be rewarded through state and federal grants with recent awards from the TN Department of Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) totaling $2.7 million dollars. These recent awards are the result of Casey’s ability to sustain, maintain, and grow a long-standing home and community grant with the state known as Project Memphis (PM). Under her leadership, this early intervention (EI) service-based grant has grown exponentially in terms of the number of families seen and the type of services provided.

Over the last few years, PM expanded beyond developmental therapy to also include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) assessment/therapy and psychological evaluation/diagnostic services through the TEIS’s vendor program. This expansion to other disciplines resulted in a team-based, interdisciplinary approach to EI. The team approach is the gold standard for EI with UofM leading the way in west TN.

The grant will allow Casey and her team to continue home and community-based services through 2024 as well as add center-based therapies. The center-based services, once housed and ready to launch, will offer a wide array of services from diagnostics to individualized and small group programs aimed at maximizing each child's development across several domains (adaptive-social-emotional- behavioral) using a team-based approach designed to promote inclusive preschool readiness. The new center-based grant will work in tandem with the home-community grant and will seek to employ licensed behavior analysts, registered behavior technicians, developmental therapists, social workers, and psychologists.

These new opportunities will serve as an opportunity for wraparound services for families at the Integrated Community Health Clinic (ICHC) that will be comprised of ABA faculty and faculty and students from the Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research department. The new grants received, along with the existing initiatives, will also provide more on campus practicum and internship placements for students in the COE and better connect with other free service grants on campus such as Regional Intervention Program (RIP: a parent training program for children 0-6 with behavior disorders), UMBRELLA (an autism focused grant shifting to a billing model) and TN Behavior Supports Project (a school based positive behavior intervention grant currently working with SCS).

For more information on these awards and/or these initiatives, contact Dr. Casey at lpcasey@memphis.edu.

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