COE News

COE Faculty and Student News

Dr. Anna Falkner and Dr. Gina Tillis Lead Memphis 13 Project

Over the last year, ICL faculty members Dr. Anna Falkner and Dr. Gina Tillis have been working diligently to get the story of The Memphis 13 into Memphis-Shelby County Schools social studies curriculum. Last spring, MSCS approved the development of The Memphis 13 curriculum unit for all 2nd and 5th grades. The Memphis 13 curriculum unit will be co-developed by UofM Instruction and Curriculum Leadership faculty, MSCS curriculum advisors, and MSCS elementary teachers, as well as members of The Memphis 13. UofM faculty and MSCS curriculum advisors have already identified and started working with six MSCS elementary teachers to co-develop the curriculum. They have coordinated a series of professional development workshops for all MSCS teachers during the 2022/2023 school year. 

Dr. Tillis and Dr. Falkner say of the project, "Studying The Memphis 13 and elementary school desegregation offers a powerful way for young children to see themselves represented in history as agents of social change, equity and inclusion. The curriculum will allow teachers to discuss The Civil Rights Movement through a local lens, using contextualized experiences to help students better understand their schools as historically experienced by members of their community. The community-based approach draws from local funds of knowledge and fosters a deeper connection with history, humanities and social studies. Furthermore, it supports our students’ critical thinking in ways that challenge them to identify inconsistencies between their lived and learned experiences so they can make informed decisions regarding issues of social justice."

Dr. Patrick Murphy and CEPR Doctoral Students Present at SACES Conference

CEPR doctoral students at conferenceIn November, Dr. Patrick Murphy and CEPR doctoral students Joy Hutchinson, Tristan Mckenzie, Zakeya Good, Keith Hembree, Courtney Loveless and Mary Neal traveled to Maryland to present at the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) 2022 Conference. Their presentations focused on creating safe spaces for African American male students (Hembree and Good), professional identity (Mckenzie), lived experiences of EMTs in counseling (Hutchison), burnout among trauma counselors (Loveless and Neal) and teaching multicultural counseling (Murphy). Dr. Murphy says of the conference, "It was great to have so many doctoral students represent the University of Memphis at this conference, share their current research and discuss current trends in counselor education."

SACES cultivates an inclusive community of counselor educators and supervisors who develop leaders and counselors committed to professional advocacy and dedicated to client equity and well-being. Learn more at saces.org >.

Dr. Rockinson-Szapkiw receives Fulbright Specialist award

Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw, professor in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, on receiving the Fulbright Specialist Award. She is finalizing a project at Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO that aims to exchange knowledge and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the U.S. and overseas through a variety of educational and training activities. Rockinson-Szapkiw worked in Timor Leste, partnering with the U.S. embassy and the National Commission for UNESCO, a semi-government institution under the Ministry of Higher Education Science and Culture (MHESC), to carry out a needs assessment and training initiative at the TL Universities. These are inclusive of five Timorese higher education institutions (National University of Timor Lorosa'e (UNTL); Oriental University (UNITAL); Universidade da Paz (UNPAZ); Superior Institute of Kristal (ISC): and Dili Institute of Technology (DIT), Public Senior High School (ESGP. 4 de Setembro Dili); Catholic High School (ESC. São Pedro); and vocational school Becora). In addition, she did a two-day training for all lecturers who were part of this system on the systematic design of STEM Learning.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Read the full Fulbright press release here >.

Dr. Patrick Murphy and CEPR Doctoral Students Present at SACES Conference

In November, Dr. Patrick Murphy and CEPR doctoral students Joy Hutchinson, Tristan Mckenzie, Zakeya Good, Keith Hembree, Courtney Loveless, and Mary Neal traveled to Maryland to present at the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) 2022 Conference. Their presentations focused on creating safe spaces for African American male students (Hembree and Good), professional identity (Mckenzie), lived experiences of EMTs in counseling (Hutchison), burnout among trauma counselors (Loveless and Neal) and teaching multicultural counseling (Murphy).

SACES cultivates an inclusive community of counselor educators and supervisors who develop leaders and counselors committed to professional advocacy and dedicated to client equity and well-being.

Dr. Schiro-Geist Honored by Arc Mid-South

Congratulations to Dr. Chrisann Schiro-Geist, professor in CEPR, on receiving a Community Engagement award from Arc Mid-South! Dr. Schiro-Geist was honored for her work with TigerLIFE > and the UofM Institute on Disability > at Arc Mid-South's Annual Awards and Benefit Gala in October. This year's gala focused on "Celebrating Achievements . . . . Changing Lives" and honored individuals and organizations that help impact the lives of Memphians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc Mid-South provides supports and services to nearly 3,000 people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities through our Family Support, Employment, Job Readiness, Basic Life Skills, Respite Services, Child Care Aware of America in partnership with the US Navy, Literacy and Education and Advocacy Programs. Learn more at the Arc's website >.

CREP partners with UTHSC team on "High School 2 Health Care" to encourage rural TN high school students to explore laboratory science careers

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded $1.3 million to a new initiative to educate rural Tennessee high school students about careers in medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology.

The UofM team working on this project is led by Dr. Carolyn Kaldon, at the Center for Research and Educational Policy (CREP). Dr. Jacen Moore, assistant professor in the department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences at University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is the principal investigator and program director.  The CREP and UTHSC teams are joined by a team led by Dr. Simpfronia Taylor, director of the Ripley extension center at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The project is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant.

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the stress of existing critical shortages of trained, qualified, allied health professionals, especially in rural communities and underserved populations. Careers in fields, such as medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology, are in very high demand, yet professional programs struggle to recruit students. This project aims to ease this recruitment challenge by familiarizing and engaging student interest early in high school, where these fields aren’t as popular or well-promoted as other health professions.

Called “High School 2 Health Care” (HS2HC), the project seeks to enhance opportunities in these fields for underserved student populations. It is comprised of a summer program and dual enrollment course that will educate high school students and their teachers about careers in medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology. Integrating Next Generation Science Standards, the classes will give students and teachers the opportunity to develop hands-on skills and experience what a career in these fields would involve.

Learn more about this project on UTHSC’s website >.

Dr. Eraina Schauss receives 2022 First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship

Dr. Eraina Schauss, associate professor in CEPR, has been awarded the UofM's 2022 First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship. This three-year appointment reflects Dr. Schauss's outstanding contributions to the University's educational, research, outreach and service missions. Dr. Schauss says, "I am delighted to have received the prestigious First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship! It is the greatest honor of my tenure at the University of Memphis."

Learn more about the First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship >. Learn more about Dr. Schauss and her impactful research in treating young people with trauma through the BRAIN Center >. Dr. Schauss and the BRAIN Center were recently featured on ABC 24 News, see that feature here >.

Dr. Rosie Phillips Davis Receives APA Award

Dr. Rosie Phillips Davis, professor of Counseling Psychology in CEPR, is an inspiring leader in education and the field of counseling psychology. She served as President of the American Psychological Association in 2019 where she focused on addressing the psychological needs of those in deep poverty. She also served for many years as the Vice President for Student Affairs at the UofM. Her commitment to social justice and equity, her kind and humble demeanor and her impactful leadership is praised by her peers and colleagues.

Dr. Davis has received the Raymond D. Fowler Award for Outstanding Contributions to the American Psychological Association (APA). This award shows that Dr. Davis demonstrates a clear dedication to APA's mission and honors her significant and enduring impact on the APA and the field of Counseling Psychology. The award will be presented on August 3rd during the meeting of the APA Council of Representatives at the 2022 APA Convention in Minneapolis. Read a spotlight on Dr. Davis, and the three Lifetime Achievement Awards she has recently been honored with, here >

Online Education Program Ranked by US News and World Report

We are so proud of our Online Education's program ranking by US News and World Report! The COE Online Education program is ranked #102 in Best Online Master's in Education Programs (up from #146 last year) and #28 in Best Online Master's in Education Programs for Veterans. Both rankings are #1 in the state of Tennessee. Congratulations to our dedicated faculty, staff and students who made this ranking possible. Learn more about the ranking here >.

Brea Hinds, Undergrad COE Student, Named Thrive TN Fellow

Congratulations to Brea Hinds on being named a Thrive TN Fellow. Brea is a Junior Teaching All Learners Major and a Teacher Scholar in the River City Partnership program. The Thrive TN Fellowship, a 12-month program that runs from January- December 2022, is sponsored by the Education Trust in Tennessee. Brea says of the fellowship, "Becoming a Thrive Fellow is a fantastic opportunity to grow my skills as an educator and social justice advocate for my future students. I am thankful to be a part of a network that aligns with the River City Partnership and my personal goals to become an educator who is action-oriented."

Thrive TN Fellows will connect their experiences preparing for and entering college to current systems and practices, understand K-12 and higher education systems, their design, their intended and actual impact, and the levers and opportunities for reform, resulting in more culturally responsive and effective practices at the institutional, and district and school levels. Thrive TN Fellows will build community with peers across the state, engage on topics related to leadership development and develop research skills to complete a Youth Participatory Action Research Project (YPAR) by the completion of the program. We are so proud to be represented by Brea in this impactful program!

Dr. Genia Bettencourt, LEAD, Chosen for Prestigious Early Career Mentorship Academy

Dr. Genia Bettencourt, Assistant Professor in Higher and Adult Education in the Department of Leadership, was named to the 2022-23 NASPA Emerging Faculty Leader Academy Cohort. She will participate in professional development and educational sessions about being a leader as a faculty member in student affairs. Dr. Bettencourt is only one of seven participants invited to join this mentoring opportunity especially designed for early career to incorporate knowledge, advice and experiences from seasoned faculty/staff leaders and other experts on how faculty can provide leadership within the field. National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) is the professional home for the field of student affairs. Its mission states, “As the leading voice of student affairs, NASPA drives innovation and evidence-based, student-centered practice throughout higher education, nationally and globally” (naspa.org/about >). Dr. Bettencourt has also been selected to serve as the 2022-2024 Website and Faculty Council Social Media Coordinator on the NASPA Faculty Council.

Dr. Bettencourt says of this honor, “I’m excited to be a part of such an amazing cohort of peers as part of the NASPA Emerging Faculty Leaders Academy (EFLA) and benefit from the opportunity to be in community about faculty life. Higher education and student affairs as a field is facing so many key issues at this moment – adapting to online and hybrid environments, addressing issues of staff burnout and attrition, navigating a constantly changing pandemic, working to promote equity and social justice – that will define our work for decades to come. I look forward to having spaces to discuss these issues and to help me think about how I can best prepare my students as educators and leaders.” Learn more about the NASPA Emerging Faculty Leader Academy Cohort and Dr. Bettencourt’s peers here >.

Dr. Ashley Batastini receives Saleem Shah Early Career Award

Dr. Ashley Batastini, assistant professor in the Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research Department in the College of Education, recently received the prestigious Saleem Shah Early Career Achievement Award. This award is given jointly by the American Academy of Forensic (AAFP) and the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association [APA]). The award is named in honor of Dr. Shah, who was internationally known for his leadership in the field of law and mental health and his commitment to the fair and equitable treatment of justice-involved people with mental disorders.

Dr. Batastini was recognized for her contributions to the field of forensic psychology as an early career investigator at this year’s American Psychology-Law Society conference in Denver, Colorado. She has been a member of APA’s Division 41 for more than 10 years, and she is on the editorial board for the Division’s flagship journal (Law & Human Behavior). Dr. Batastini serves as co-chair of the Corrections Committee as well as the Telepsychology Taskforce, which is responsible for drafting recommendations for the use of technology in psycho-legal practice and research. 

COE Faculty and Students Present at AERA Conference

“The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a national research society, strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good” (AERA mission statement). AERA’s Annual Meeting is the world's largest gathering of education researchers. The 2022 Annual Meeting will be held on April 21-26 in San Diego and virtually. The theme is “Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century.” Many UofM faculty and students will be represented at this conference. UofM faculty and students across all three departments will present papers, chair roundtable discussion and panels, serve as invited speakers and participate in discussions. College of Education participants include:

  • Celia Rousseau Anderson
  • Keishana Barnes
  • Genia Bettencourt
  • Aaern Nichole Cassidy
  • Zoe Corwin
  • Sheron Davenport
  • Anna Falkner
  • Stephen Edward Fancsali
  • Charisse Gulosino
  • Alison Happel-Parkins
  • Leigh Harrell-Williams
  • D’Andrea Heggs
  • William C. Hunter
  • Lauren Nicole Irwin
  • Eli Jones
  • Joseph Kitchen
  • Elizabeth B. Meisinger
  • Christian Mueller
  • Steven Nelson
  • Susan Nordstrom
  • Justine Piontek
  • Steven Ritter
  • Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw
  • Patrick Shipp
  • Andrew Tawfik
  • Teresa Theiling
  • Gina Tillis
  • Deepak Venugopal
  • Luke Walden
  • Brian Wright
  • Yonghong Jade Xu
  • Xiaofei Zhang

Lauren, Hayes, CEPR Student, Wins Award for Paper Abstract

Lauren Hayes, doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program in CEPR, received the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) Award for a student/trainee/early career professional top-scoring paper abstract at the International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED) 2022. Her conference proposal is based on her dissertation research examining disordered eating in women who have been sex-trafficked. Lauren will be acknowledged at the conference in June.

Previously, Lauren won a award from the AED supporting her research. She will graduate in August 2022 and begin a postdoctoral pediatric fellowship position at University of Louisville/Norton Children's Hospital with specialization in hematology/oncology/BMT. Congratulations, Lauren!

CEPR Alumn Starts Mentorship Program

Dr. Ashley Payne (PhD in Educational Psychology from CEPR, c/o 2018) has started a mentorship program for young Black women in Springfield, MO. Dr. Payne is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Missouri State University. In an interview with Ozarks First, "Dr. Payne says it’s important for teachers to know and understand how different issues manifest for black women so they can create curriculum that helps them through that. She uses this knowledge to also direct a mentoring program where black college women are paired with black high school girls talk about different issues." Read more about Dr. Payne's mentorship here >.

Dr. Dan Collier, LEAD, Publishes Article on In-Person Learning in Fall 2020

Dr. Dan Collier, Assistant Professor in Higher and Adult Education in the Department of Leadership, had an article published in Research in Higher Education in November. His article "We Want You Back: Uncovering the Effects on In-Person Instructional Operations in Fall 2020" has already been heavily accessed, has the most online attention for articles in the same timeframe in the journal and was covered in Inside Higher Education. His article uses data from the College Crisis Initiative to explore the relationships between in-person instruction at colleges/universities in Fall 2020 and state and county sociopolitical features, state and county COVID-19 rates, and state revenue losses. His co-authors include Dan Fitzpatrick, Madison Dell, Samuel S. Snideman, Christopher R. Marsicano, Robert Kelchen and Kevin E. Wells. Dr. Collier's article is available here >.

EDPR Masters' Program Ranked

The online Educational Psychology and Research (EDPR) Masters' program in CEPR has been ranked #9 in the Top 50 Online Psychology Master’s Degree Programs 2022 by Online Psychology Guide which showcases the top master’s in psychology programs online. Online Psychology Guide considers both general and specialty psychology programs including educational, forensic, child, industrial/organizational, counseling and clinical psychology as well as applied behavior analysis and human services. All schools reviewed are regionally accredited, and assigned point values based on undergraduate selectivity, graduate in-state tuition rates and faculty/student ratio. The Online Master of Science Program in Educational Psychology and Research in CEPR was ranked as #9 - a distinct honor. Learn more about the EDPR Masters' Program > or the Online Psychology Guide ranking >.

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Marquetta Nebo

 Dr. Marquetta Nebo (EdD in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, c/o 2014) embodies the College of Education’s tag line “Driven by Diversity” in her career, studies and personal life. Dr. Nebo serves as the Administrative Director in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she demonstrates her values as a servant leader committed to building community and promoting diversity. She is currently leading the search for the new School Director at St. Jude. Learn more about Dr. Marquetta and her work by reading the full spotlight >.

University of Memphis named a top school for online master’s in educational leadership

The online master’s degree program in Educational Leadership from the department of leadership has been named one of the best online master’s degree programs in educational leadership by Online MastersDegrees.org. Only six percent of postsecondary institutions earned a ranking position in 2022. You can see the full ranking here >

OnlineMastersDegrees.org researched and analyzed more than 7,700 accredited schools using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and from the schools themselves. The website’s data science team then applied a proprietary algorithm to rank all qualifying educational leadership programs. Primary data points include: number of online master’s programs in subject area, number of online students, online program tuition and fees, percentage of students offered institutional aid and amount of institutional aid awarded per student.

Dr. Eric Platt, Chair of the Department of the Leadership, said, “I am so proud of the faculty, staff and students who have worked to make this program excel. Our department has prioritized online access to the educational leadership program. Students across the State of Tennessee can engage in this quality program that is nationally ranked and centered on student success.”

CREP Team Evaluates Virginia Enrichment Program

The Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) at UofM has partnered with the Virginia Department of Education to evaluate afterschool and summer academic enrichment opportunities for children at high-poverty and low-performing schools in a program known as Virginia’s 21st Century Community Learning Center. The program was evaluated by CREP Research faculty and staff Cindy Muzzi, Dr. Brenda McSparrin Gallagher, Pete Shearon, S. Feibelman and Dr. Todd Zoblotsky. The statewide evaluation of Virginia’s 21st Century Community Learning Center programs found that overall the programs resulted in positive academic and behavioral gains for students. Read more about how CREP’s work is positively impacting students in Virginia here >.