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. Leigh Harrell-Williams, CEPR, and Research Team's Video Featured in NSF Showcase

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Dr. Leigh Harrell-Williams, CEPR, and a team of researchers from the UofM Department of Mathematical Sciences (Math), University of Colorado Denver and Auburn are participating in the 2021 STEM for ALL Video Showcase sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF IUSE-funded collaborative project “Promoting Success in Undergraduate Mathematics through Graduate Teacher Training (PSUM-GTT)” aims to strengthen the instructional skills of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) in the Mathematical Sciences. The video highlights the impact of the peer mentoring program and an equity-focused joint critical issues seminar held in 2020, through Zoom, for GTAs and faculty at all three campuses. 

The NSF Stem For All showcase highlights nearly 300 federally funded projects via short videos related to improving STEM and computer science education in K-12, higher education and informal environments. Videos share strategies to address racial and gender inequities and to broaden participation in the midst of COVID.

UofM faculty working on the grant include Mathematical Sciences chair Dr. Irena Lasieka (Memphis PI), CEPR’s Dr. Leigh Harrell-Williams (Research Lead), Mathematical Sciences faculty members Dr. Fernanda Botelho, Dr. Scotty Houston and Dr. Ben McCarty, Mathematical Sciences graduate student Josias Gomez, and recent CEPR graduate Dr. Jessica Webb. The PSUM-GTT program was developed by Mathematical Sciences faculty at University of Colorado Denver (Dr. Michael Jacobson, PI). The current funding allows for replication of the program at UofM and Auburn University (Dr. Chris Rodger, PI).

Dr. Harrell-Williams is excited that the team can highlight their project in the Video Showcase. She states, “The goal of the program is to improve the academic outcomes of the undergraduates that these graduate teaching assistants teach, now and in the future. We know that undergraduates' experiences in mathematics courses, especially the freshman-level classes that these GTAs teach, impact undergraduates' choices to pursue or remain in STEM majors as well as their degree completion.” 

To learn more about this influential project and view and vote for the team’s video, visit the NSF Stem Video Showcase>. Voting is open May 11-18.

Campbell Gift Endows $2.2 Million Scholarship for College of Education Students at the University of Memphis

The University of Memphis received a $2.2 million gift from the estate of Roger E. and Mary E. Campbell to establish scholarships for students who demonstrate academic excellence in the College of Education.

“Estate gifts are truly transformative for the University of Memphis,” said President M. David Rudd. “We are thankful for the Campbells’ vision and commitment to higher education. By including a bequest for the UofM in their plans, they have secured the futures of our students for generations to come.”

The Campbells were both first-generation college graduates with a long-lasting connection to higher education. Mrs. Campbell received a Master of Arts in Education Administration and Supervision from Memphis State University in 1958. She taught early childhood education as a staff instructor at MSU before moving to California with her husband in 1960.

“My parents credited a good deal of their success and ability to change their financial situation to receiving good educations,” said the Campbells’ daughter, Dr. Lori Campbell.

“It is a particularly difficult time for students who are navigating the typical challenges of pursuing a degree while facing unique uncertainties about the future,” said Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the College of Education. “This scholarship will mean that students can focus on the important task of finishing their degree in the College of Education, something that benefits not only them and their families but our entire community.”

The University of Missouri and the University of Arkansas also received gifts from the Campbells’ estate. According to Dr. Campbell, the estate plans included the universities both of her parents attended.

To learn more about how to design your legacy at the University of Memphis, contact Venita Doggett, COE Director of Development.

CREP Partners with Engineering Research Visioning Alliance

The College of Education Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) is beginning a prestigious partnership with the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA). Established via a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation, the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA) was officially launched on April 7, 2021. The first engineering research visioning alliance of its kind, ERVA is a diverse, inclusive and engaged partnership that enables an array of voices to impact national research priorities. ERVA will help the U.S. remain an international leader by identifying and developing new, high-impact engineering research directions to help the engineering community solve major challenges and improve daily life. 

CREP’s team is led by P.I. Dr. Todd Zoblotsky with Dr. Carolyn Kaldon and Dan Strahl serving as Co-P.I. CREP’s portion of the award as a Subawardee to ERVA is $800K for the first five years with more years anticipated. Dr. Zoblotsky, P.I, states, “CREP is excited and honored to be part of this amazing alliance tasked with setting the direction for engineering research for the nation.  Along with Co-PIs Dr. Carolyn Kaldon and Dan Strahl, we look forward to showcasing ERVA’s progress and success. This partnership is not only a highlight in CREP’s research portfolio but will elevate the University’s profile through this important work.” 

To learn more about ERVA and get involved, visit www.ERVAcommunity.org> and follow @ERVACommunity on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Learn more about CREP and their work at memphis.edu/crep>

Dr. Edith Gnanadass and Dr. Sandra Nichols named Hooks Academic Research Fellows

Dr. Edith Gnanadass (Associate Professor in LEAD) and Dr. Sandra Nichols (Professor and Chair, ICL) have been named Hooks Academic Research Fellows in 2021 by UofM's Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change. Serving for two years, Fellows assist the Hooks Institute not only in fulfilling its mission of teaching, studying, and promoting civil rights and social change but also in becoming a premier center for scholars working on race and social justice scholarship. The Institute's goal is to build a network of scholars that will give anyone visiting their website a more accurate sense of our work and partnerships.Dr. Gnanadass and Dr. Nichols demonstrate their commitment to be Driven by Equity in research, teaching and service through this honor. Learn more about the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change and their upcoming virtual events at their website>. 

Jaclyn J. Gish-Lieberman, ICL Doctoral Student, Honored with P.E.O. Scholar Award

Gish-LiebermanJaclyn J. Gish-Lieberman, an Ed.D. student in Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) in ICL, is one of 100 doctoral students in the U.S. and Canada selected to receive a $20,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was sponsored by Chapter W of Memphis, Tennessee. Jaclyn is the daughter of Gail and Wayne Bable of East Palestine, Ohio and John and Evelyn Gishbaugher of Darlington, Pennsylvania. She was a U.S. Department of State English Language Fellow from 2010 to 2013 and has served as a U.S. Department of State English Specialist in several countries including Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Indonesia. She is a 2008 graduate of the University of Akron, where she was an honors scholar.

Dr. Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw, IDT Coordinator and Associate Professor in ICL, says of Gish-Lieberman's award, "I remain humbled by the amazing students, scholars, and, in this case, women we have the opportunity to work with and mentor."

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. Scholar Awards recipients are a select group of women chosen for their high level of academic achievement and their potential for having a positive impact on society. The P.E.O. Sisterhood, founded January 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting higher education for women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.

Congratulations, Jaclyn, on this distinguished honor!

Taylor Shive wins Second Place in Undergraduate Research Awards

Taylor ShiveCongratulations to Ms. Taylor Shive on winning 2nd Place at the Student Research Forum: Undergraduate Educational Research with her study "Evidence-Based Strategies for Special Education Literacy Instruction for a Student with Intellectual Disabilities". Taylor is a senior in the Teaching All Learners Program, part of the First Generation Student Outreach and an honors student at the Helen Hardin Honors College. Taylor completed her undergraduate research project with Dr. Ley Davis, Asst. Prof. of Special Education in ICL. Taylor will receive recognition for her work, an engraved plaque and a monetary award for her 2nd place finish in the undergraduate research category. She is the fourth undergrad to win a research award under Dr. Ley Davis in the last four years. Congratulations, Taylor!


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