Fall 2023 New Faculty and Staff

Talisa Tally Anderson photo

Talisa “Tally” Anderson

  • Current position: Administrative Associate II in the Department of Counsel Education Psych Research

  • Previous position: Administrative Assistant at an environmental waste plant

  • Fun fact: I am a former Miss Indiana Plus America
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Sanchari Banerjee

  • Current position: Assistant Professor of Teaching, EDPR

  • Previous role/position: Doctoral candidate at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  • Teaching/Research focus: Developmental psychology, early childhood, cultural diversity

  • Fun fact: Bought my first houseplant during the lockdown, and now the goal is to have a house full of plants
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Teresa Banks. ED.D

  • Current position: Director of Assessment, Accreditation and Accountability

  • Previous role/position: Assessment Coordinator/Assistant Professor

  • Teaching area of expertise: Math and Science Methods Research focus: using data for program improvement, math for P-12 teachers and students

  • Fun fact: I love sunflowers
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Dr. Madeline Brodt

  • Current position: Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology

  • Previous position: Assistant Professor of Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Oklahoma State University

  • Teaching/research Area: Intersection of culture and mental health, particularly disability

  • Fun fact: I have two corgis, Daisy and Violet. I’m always happy to share a pic!
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Dr. Claire Dempsey

  • Current position: Clinical Associate Professor of Counseling in the Department of Counseling Educational Psychology and Research

  • Previous position: Assistant Professor of Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Practicum/Internship Coordinator

  • Teaching/research Area: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and for research: Child Sexual Abuse Survivors; Collaboration between School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling; and Women with Fertility Roadblocks

  • Fun fact: Prior to COVID, our blind weenie dog would run in weenie dog races! Once, she won her heat and made it to the championship race!
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George Thomas Falls III, Ed.D.

  • Current position: Assistant Professor of Teaching

  • Previous position: Adjunct Professor 1998-present Special Education

  • Expertise Area: Special Education

  • Fun Fact: I was the son of one of the vice-presidents of Holiday Inn for one night (only), who now owns Paulette's.

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Huan Gao

  • Current position: Assistant Professor in Elementary Education

  • Previous role/position: Before pursuing my Ph.D., I served as a foreign language instructor in China's higher education institutions and also at Portland State University.

  • Teaching/Research focus: My areas of expertise and research interests include children's literature, elementary education and digital/information literacy.

  • Fun fact: For the longest time, I used to think that adjusting the brightness on phones could work wonders in improving the quality of pictures taken in dimly lit environments. I finally realized that this belief was not accurate!
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Courtney Garland

  • Current position: Project Coordinator - River City Partnership Teachers Program (College of Education)

  • Previous role/position: Academic Advisor/ Student Retention Specialist

  • Research focus: “Lack of diverse women in Strategic leadership roles at colleges and universities.”

  • Area of expertise: Communication, leadership, mentoring, time management/organizational skills

  • Fun fact: “I’ll be bringing in 2024 in Ghana.”
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Dr. Racquel Harris

  • Current position: Research Associate II

  • Previous role/position: Career Specialist

  • Teaching/research focus: Literacy in Elementary Education

  • Fun fact: I'm a Sneaker Head.


Yeonji Jung

Yeonji Jung

  • Current position: Assistant Professor of Instructional Design and Technology

  • Previous role/position: Academic Advisor/ Student Retention Specialist

  • Teaching/research focus: Facilitating actionable and seamless learning with educational data and analytics, based on learning sciences, learning design and educational data sciences

  • Fun fact: As a kid, I wanted to grow up and be a soccer player, and I still love watching soccer games.
Dr. Canidra McGuire Photo

Dr. Canidra L. McGuire

  • Current position: Leadership/Clinical Assistant Professor

  • Previous role/position: Chief Operating Officer for Charter School Regional Network and Regional Manager (West TN) for TDOE/Grow Your Own Center

  • Teaching/research focus: Principalship, Organizational Leadership and Measures of Principal Effectiveness for Teacher Retention

  • Fun fact: As a child, my family and I spent four summers in a row driving from Chicago, Illinois, to Phoenix, Arizona, for family vacation. For this reason, I can't beg my family to take a road trip longer than 8 hours.
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Ryan Mitchell

  • Current position: Undergraduate Academic Advisor

  • Previous role/position: Advisor/Adjunct Political Science Instructor

  • Job focus: Comparative Politics and International Relations

  • Fun fact: Ryan’s been playing guitar for 20 years.
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Matthew Panozzo

  • Current position: Assistant Professor of Literacy

  • Previous role/position: Middle School Teacher at Annunciation Orthodox School in Houston, Texas.

  • Teaching/research: Exploring identity, empathy and humanity through literacy; Arts-Based Education Research; LGBTQ Children’s and Young Adult Books

  • Fun fact: I’ve climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
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Dr. Crystal White

  • Current position: Clinical Assistant Professor of Urban Education

  • Previous role/position: Assistant Professor of Teaching in Human Development in CEPR

  • Teaching/research: My teaching load includes a focus on teaching all learners (ICL/ELED courses) and human development (EDPR courses). Primary research interests include Critical, Qualitative and Ethnic theoretical lenses focusing on intersectional identities, development and urban education.

  • Fun fact: I once lived in Munich, Germany, and while there backpacked through Central Europe, where I was able to learn about their apprenticeship approach to education. I also got to explore Dachau, the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, The Sound of Music House, the Swiss Alps and an original chocolatier factory!


Ryan Mitchell photo

Dr. Nikki L. Wright

  • Current position: Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership

  • Previous role/position: Postdoctoral Scholar of Educational Theory and Policy at The Pennsylvania State University

  • Teaching/research focus: I'm a first-generation college student who is passionate about making academia a more accessible space for students from all backgrounds. My research interests are centered on teachers' work and well-being, including but not limited to teacher leadership, agency, voice, policy engagement, recruitment, preparation and retention. I also seek to better understand the intersections between student voice and teacher voice work (especially through youth-adult partnerships and participatory action research), and the role of other school leaders in supporting this work.

  • Fun fact: My favorite simple pleasure is enjoying my morning coffee while completing the daily NYT Crossword, Wordle and Spelling Bee.