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COE News

COE Faculty and Student News

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 >.

Dr. Anna Falkner, ICL, Wins Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Dr. Anna Falkner, Assistant Professor of Elementary Education in ICL, on being award the 2019-2020 NCSS Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award from the National Council for Social Studies. Dr. Falkner’s dissertation is titled “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”: Learning About Race in the Early Grades. It focuses on how children in two early grades classrooms in Texas learned about race and racism in everyday ways. Using video-cued ethnographic methods, Dr. Falkner spent almost a year in the classroom with children observing, learning from and filming children, then used clips from their class experiences in focus groups to explore how they made sense of those experiences. Dr. Falkner says of her research “Young children are already learning about and working to disrupt race and racism in our society.  My goal is for my work to amplify what they’re doing and to help teachers better support children’s racial literacies in the classroom.”

Dr. Falkner’s award comes from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the largest professional association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. NCSS strengthens and advocates social studies by engaging and supporting K-12 and college educators of history, civics, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology and law-related education. As a recipient of the Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award, Dr. Falkner will receive a commemorative gift and the opportunity to present a session at the NCSS Annual Conference on her research.

Dr. Harrell-Williams wins Advising Award; Dr. Gnanadass receives Honorable Mention

Dr. Leigh Harrell-Williams, Associate Professor in CEPR and Co-coordinator of the Quantitative Methods Certificate received the Graduate Advisor award at the 2021 UofM Excellence in Academic Advising Awards Ceremony. Dr. Edith Gnanadass, Assistant Professor in LEAD, received an Honorable Mention. Dr. Harrell-Williams and Dr. Gnanadass were the only two faculty members who advise graduate students honored at the University-wide ceremony. Congratulations to Dr. Harrell-Williams and Dr. Gnanadass! We appreciate your hard work supporting our students!

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 >.