Archived COE Newsletter - Fall 2023

See the COE's Fall 2023 Newsletter


COE Newsletter 

Fall 2023

A message from our Marketing and Communications Manager:

Hello COE and Happy Holidays!

My name is Parker King, and I'm the new Marketing and Communications Manager for COE. I came on board in late October of this year, which may explain why this newsletter is reaching your inbox a little later than you're accustomed to. My hope is that with time I will be bringing you more COE updates that are both high-quality and consistent in the form of newsletters like this one and the multiple channels like our website, YouTube, and social media.

Let me give you a brief summary of my background. I come from the world of local journalism and public affairs. I've worked across the Southeast for television stations and government agencies in Mississippi, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Tennessee. My most recent role was as a reporter at Action News 5 in Memphis. Storytelling is a passion of mine, and I'm excited to put this passion and skillset toward telling the stories of the COE in a way that helps this college grow, in terms of enrollment and presence in our local, regional, and national community.

Over the last month or so, I've been learning about the COE - its departments, its faculty and staff, and its many accomplishments. It's been fascinating to learn what this college offers to our prospective and current students, the campus, and the Memphis area. I'm excited to bring you this newsletter and all of the content to come as we enter the New Year.

Parker King



Ryan Mitchell

First-Ever Leadership Academy Launches in COE

The University of Memphis’s College of Education launched its inaugural leadership academy. The academy is a first of its kind among all UofM colleges, according to COE Dean Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke.

Friday, October 27 was the first session of the academy, where its 19 members – who are faculty and staff from across COE – shared their background and their hope(s) of what may come from this new academy. 

"Going into the first session, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but knew it would be a great learning opportunity," said COE faculty member and CREP Director Todd Zoblotsky. "And with the Dean’s dynamic presence, and serving as a role model of effective leadership, it definitely did not disappoint. In addition to learning more about university operations and administration, by the end of the program, I hope to learn, and have already started to learn, what true organizational leadership looks like and requires."

"Sometimes you don't know what you don't know until you are exposed to it," said COE staff member Talisa Anderson. "I am excited about each meeting as it gives me the chance to grow as a woman, colleague, minister, and leader. I am truly grateful to be apart of the inaugural group."

The intent behind this new initiative is a “two-fold mission,” according to COE Dean Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke.

“The program provides participants with opportunities to learn more about university operations, administration, and leadership with a focus on succession planning and individual professional/career development,” said Dean Hill-Clarke.

The COE Leadership Academy meets monthly, with the last session and the conclusion of the inaugural group being May 17.

Dean Hill-Clarke

Dean Hill-Clarke Honored for 7 Years of Leadership

College of Education Dean Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke addressed a packed house on Tuesday, December 5, marking the end of her deanship.


COE Approved for CADREI Membership

For the first time in its history, University of Memphis’s College of Education (COE) is now a member of the Council of Academic Deans from Research Educations Institutions (CADREI).

TEP Pinning Ceremony

Dozens of Teacher Ed Students Accepted into TEP

Fifty UofM undergraduates within the College of Education (COE) took a key step in their academic journey Tuesday night, entering the college’s Teacher Education Program (TEP).


COE Alumni Association Announces Relaunch

The College of Education (COE) has announced a relaunch of its alumni chapter, in hopes of driving more engagement to Tiger alumni across the country, and the chapter is taking a more proactive approach in modernizing its communication methods to accomplish this.

BCBT 2023

COE Annual Become a Tiger, Become a Teacher Day

Nearly 200 high school juniors and seniors attended this year's BTBT Day.


COE Launches Grow Your Own Teacher Apprentice Program

The University of Memphis College of Education has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Education through Tennessee’s Grow Your Own (GYO) initiative—immediately expanding opportunity to train future teachers and strengthening the teacher pipeline in Tennessee.


Schiro-Geist receives award

Schiro-Geist Recognized with National Leadership Award

Dr. Chrisann Schiro-Geist, Director of the University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID) recently received the Inclusive Higher Education (IHE) Leadership Award at the annual State of the Art (SOTA) Conference.

First Year of ASPIRE Grant Paves Way to Increase Counselors in Memphis Schools

The first year of the newly launched ASPIRE grant is near completion, and the grant’s overseers have so far been pleased with what it’s been able to accomplish, most notably landing a partnership with Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS).

RIP logo

Regional Intervention Program (RIP) Looks Back of Decades of Work in Memphis

For more than half a century, the Regional Intervention Program, or RIP, has supported young children and their families in Tennessee and for nearly two decades of the campus of the University of Memphis.



Dr. Jeff Blancett

Christian Brothers High School

Jeff Blancett

Dr. James Ford

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

James Ford

Talia Palacio

Freedom Prep Academy

Talia Palacio


Talisa “Tally” Anderson 

Tally Anderson serves as an administrative associate II in the Department of Counsel Education Psych Research.

Talisa Anderson

Dr. Sanchari Banerjee 

Sanchari Banerjee serves as an assistant professor of Teaching, EDPR, in the Department of Counsel Education Psychology Research. Her teaching and research focus areas include developmental psychology, early childhood and cultural diversity. 

Sanchari Banerjee

Dr. Teresa Banks 

Teresa Banks serves as the director of assessment, accreditation and accountability in the Dean’s Office. Her teaching area of expertise is Math and Science Methods Research focus: using data for program improvement, math for P-12 teachers and students.  

Teresa Banks

Dr. Madeline Brodt 

Madeline Brodt serves as the assistant professor of Counseling Psychology in the Department of Counsel Education Psychology Research. Her teaching and research area of expertise is intersection of culture and mental health, particularly disability. 

Madeline Brodt

Dr. Claire Dempsey 

Claire Dempsey serves as a clinical associate professor of Counseling in the Department of Counsel Education Psychology Research. Her teaching and research area of expertise: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and for research: Child Sexual Abuse Survivors; Collaboration between School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling; and Women with Fertility Roadblocks. 

Claire Dempsey

Dr. George Thomas Falls III 

George Thomas Falls III serves as an assistant professor of Teaching in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership. His expertise area is Special Education. 

George Falls

Dr. Huan Gao 

Huan Gao serves as an assistant professor in Elementary Education in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership. Her areas of expertise and research interests include children’s literature, elementary education and digital/information literacy. 

Huan Gao

Courtney Garland 

Courtney Garland serves as project coordinator – River City Partnership Teachers Program in the Office of Teacher and Clinical Practice. Her research and teaching interests are a lack of diverse women in strategic leadership roles at colleges and universities. Her areas of expertise include communication, leadership, mentoring and time management/organizational skills. 

Courtney Garland

Dr. Racquel Harris 

Racquel Harris serves as Research Associate II in the Center for Research in Educational Policy. Her research focus is literacy in Elementary Education, and her areas of expertise are communication, leadership, mentoring and time management/organizational skills. 

Racquel Harris

Dr. Yeonji Jung 

Yeonji Jung serves as an assistant professor of Instructional Design and Technology in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership. Her teaching/research area is facilitating actionable and seamless learning with educational data and analytics, based on learning sciences, learning design and educational data sciences. 

Yeonji Jung

Dr. Canidra McGuire 

Canidra McGuire serves as a Leadership/Clinical Assistant professor in the Department of Leadership. Her teaching/research area is Principalship, Organizational Leadership and Measures of Principal Effectiveness for Teacher Retention. 

Canidra McGuire

Ryan Mitchell 

Ryan Mitchell serves as an undergraduate academic advisor. His job focus is Comparative Politics and International Relations.  

Ryan Mitchell

Dr. Matthew Panozzo 

Matthew Panozzo serves as an assistant professor of Literacy in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership. His teaching and research area includes exploring identity, empathy and humanity through literacy; arts-based education research; and LGBTQ children’s and young adult books. 

Matthew Panozzo

Dr. Crystal White 

Crystal White serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership. Her teaching area includes a focus on teaching all learners (ICL/ELED courses) and human development (EDPR courses). Her primary research interests include critical, qualitative and ethnic theoretical lenses focusing on intersectional identities, development and urban education. 

Crtystal White

Dr. Nikki L. Wright 

Nikki L. Wright serves as an assistant professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Leadership. She is a first-generation college student who is passionate about making academia a more accessible space for students from all backgrounds. Her 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. She also seeks 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. 

Nikki Wright


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