- Dr. William Akey
- Clinical Professor in Higher and Adult Education; Coordinator for the HIAD program
and Chair's Faculty Fellow, LEAD
- Previous Position: Vice Provost for Enrollment Services, UofM
- Fun Fact: Bill likes to go boating, kayaking, and hiking.
- Teaching Focus: Leadership theory, higher education administration, student services
in higher education and college environments
- Research Interests: College student financial literacy and dual enrollment
- Dr. Thouraya Al-Nasser
- Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, Applied Behavior Analysis, ICL; Director of
UMBRELLA (Autism clinic on campus)
- Previous Position: Dr. Al-Nasser received her PhD in Psychology with emphasis on Behavior
Analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno where she served as the Director for
the on-campus clinic for adults diagnosed with Autism or/and Intellectual disability.
- Fun Fact: She is a great cook and bakes the most delicious pita bread yet cannot bake
a cake if not from a box
- Teaching Focus/Research Interests: Staff and Parent training and investigating implicit
and explicit bias attitudes utilizing Mixed-Trial Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
(MT-IRAP) and (IRAP).
- Dr. Ashley Batastini
- Assistant Professor, Counseling Psychology, CEPR
- Previous position: Assistant Professor in Counseling Psychology at the University of
- Fun Fact: Ashley has 20 tattoos (and counting).
- Teaching Focus: Dr. Batastini enjoys teaching courses on psychological assessment
to include testing of cognitive abilities and personality functioning.
- Research Interests: Dr. Batastini's research focuses on developing and exploring innovative
intervention strategies for criminal justice-involved populations that aim to improve
mental health, behavioral, and systemic factors associated with continued antisocial
- Dr. Frances Ellmo
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Counseling, CEPR
- Previous position: Graduate Research Assistant and Doctoral Student at the University
- Fun fact: Frances is a big animal lover. She's fostered and helped find homes for
dozens of stray dogs!
- Teaching Focus: Dr. Ellmo enjoys teaching clinical counseling courses as well as supervising
practicum and internship students through their fieldwork experience courses.
- Research Interests: Dr. Ellmo's research revolves around the intersection of trauma,
addiction and the criminal justice system. She focuses on intervention outcomes for
justice-involved individuals, as well as counseling student beliefs, knowledge and
skills when working with justice-involved clients.
- Dr. Anna Falkner
- Assistant Professor of Elementary Social Studies, ICL
- Previous position: Assistant Instructor for Elementary Social Studies Methods
- Fun Fact: Anna loves reading fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction.
- Teaching Focus: Culturally sustaining pedagogy, student inquiry, collaboration & student
- Research Interests: Dr. Falkner's research examines how young children learn about
critical social issues such as race/racism and intersects with critical civics education.
She uses critical, multi-vocal video-cued ethnography to explore how children understand
their civic roles.
- Dr. Eli Jones
- Assistant Professor, CEPR
- Previous position: Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, Leadership & Counseling,
Columbus State University
- Fun Fact: Eli has five kids, all boys, and together they've amassed an extensive Lego
- Teaching focus: Research methods, quantitative data analysis and statistics, assessment
- Research Interests: Dr. Jones's research centers on performance assessments and evaluation
in education, rater-mediated assessments, psychometric properties of educational measurements,
polytomous item response theory models, and Rasch measurement.
- Dr. Sandra Nichols
- Professor and Chair, ICL
- Dr. S. Mia Obiwo
- Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, ICL
- Previous Position: Previously served as a PhD Candidate, Graduate Research Assistant,
and Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
- Fun Fact: Mia is a self-proclaimed thrift and bargain connoisseur.
- Teaching Focus: Dr. Obiwo's teaching focuses on socio-cultural child development,
PK-3 education, early literacy & culturally responsive pedagogy.
- Research Interests: Dr. Obiwo's research centers around teacher preparation and support
for urban schools, urban teacher dispositions, school-university partnerships, humanistic
education and racial educational equity.
- Dr. Nichelle C. Robinson
- Director of Teacher Education and Clinical Practice
- Previous Position: Associate Professor and SOE Diversity Officer, University of Mississippi.
- Fun Fact: Nichelle's retirement job is yoga instructor.
- Dr. Wesam Salem
- Clinical Instructor, ICL
- Previous position: Adjunct Instructor at the University of Memphis
- Fun Fact: Students in the first Physics class she taught were only three years younger
- Teaching Focus: Preparing students to teach elementary and middle school math conceptually
through high leverage practices and equity and social-justice oriented activities.
- Research Interests: Dr. Salem's research focuses on examining students' mathematics
identity development through sociopolitical context, teaching mathematics with equity
and social justice orientation and postcolonial and posthuman qualitative research.
- Dr. Crystal White
- Clinical Instructor of Human Development, CEPR
- Previous Position: Adjunct Professor, Clinical Site Supervisor, and Doctoral Candidate
at the UofM. Also previously served as a middle and high school ELA teacher.
- Fun Fact: Crystal enjoys writing poetry, creating Hip Hop songs, playing chess, and
traveling. She once lived in Munich, Germany as an ambassador.
- Teaching Focus: Human Development, the Psychology of Sex, Hip-Hop Based Education
and Urban Education.
- Research Interests: Arts-Based Research, Critical Race Feminism, Critical Social Media
Literacy, Ethnic Identity Studies, Hip-Hop Feminism and Qualitative Research Studies.