Dean\'s Update - 8/18/2020
08/18/2020, 08:30:01 AM
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Aug. 18, 2020


As summer break ends, please join me this week in doing something we haven’t done in a long time — celebrate. Let’s celebrate our resiliency since COVID-19 sent us home in March. Let’s celebrate starting a new academic year with the benefit of lessons learned. Let’s celebrate the dedication of colleagues, old and new, to our students and each other.

Our annual back-to-school events will look different this year, but I’m looking forward to reconnecting with a renewed focus on our mission to end inequities in education and health.

At our Welcome Back gathering tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 19, I’ll share our “big rocks” for the year. We’ll also recognize our new hires since last August, honor retiring Professor Lee Mountain, and celebrate our faculty and staff award recipients.

At First Lecture on Friday, Aug. 21, we can draw inspiration from chef Christine Ha, singer Kam Franklin and comedian Bill Santiago.

Onward with optimism,


Blake AllanBlake Allan (PHLS)

Research interests: I study what it means to have a “bad” job and how poor-quality work affects people’s well-being. I’m also interested in the systems that determine who is underemployed and has unstable or low-wage work.

Background: I grew up in a small town near Ottawa in Canada but lived in Vancouver after I graduated from Western University. At the time, I wanted to become a therapist, so I left Vancouver to get my Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Florida.

After a long day… I like to unwind with some good TV and sushi. When I have more free time, I like hiking, reading, homesteading, watching football, baking and exploring new things.

Miguel Burgess MonroyMiguel Burgess Monroy (CUIN)

Research interests: I research minority teacher recruitment and retention in the context of the U.S. minority teacher shortage. I especially focus on school culture factors that influence retention.

Background: I was born in Mexico City but moved to Texas when I was in primary school. I am a single dad and have two college-age sons. I worked for a local school district as a teacher and principal for 18 years before finding time to finish my Ph.D. Devoting a life to serve others has always been important to me.

After a long day… I work out every day, play tennis and baseball, and run with my Labrador Retriever. I come from a musical family, so I play guitar and sing as well.

Mikel ColeMikel Cole (CUIN)

Research interests: I study emergent bilingual students in K – 12 settings and am particularly interested in the development of teaching methods and practices that utilize linguistic and cultural strengths in the classroom. My recent work is focused on finding ways to provide language and literacy services inside immigrant detention facilities.

Background: I was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I was a classroom teacher for 10 years. I also lived in Taiwan for a year, where I taught English as a Foreign Language, and taught at UHD.

After a long day… I enjoy cooking, and often unwind in the kitchen while listening and singing to some of my favorite music. On the weekends, I love to hike and camp or really just spend time in a place with no pavement.

Julie DunsmoreJulie Dunsmore (PHLS)

Research interests: I’m interested in how children learn about emotions and develop emotional skills through relationships with important people in their lives, such as parents, friends, grandparents and teachers. My research shows that beliefs about emotions, reactions to emotions and conversations about emotions in these relationships influence children’s adaptive outcomes.

Background: I was born in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and grew up in various places across the Appalachian region of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. My grandmother and mother were teachers, so a career in education was always something I considered.

After a long day… I enjoy biking, cooking and quilting. I also enjoy mystery and sci-fi books and shows and just hanging out with my three cats.

Melissa GallagherMelissa Gallagher (CUIN)

Research interests: My work is centered around supporting mathematics teachers to foster growth in all their students, especially students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Background: My father was a foreign service officer, so I grew up abroad in Liberia and El Salvador. After college, I was an elementary teacher and K – 6 math coach in Virginia. I have taught abroad in Kenya, Ethiopia and Bangladesh and spend a week each summer with teachers in rural Guatemala.

After a long day… I love to go for long walks with my husband in the evenings. We enjoy playing board games, watching TV and hanging out with our dog, Precious.

Allison MasterAllison Master (PHLS)

Research interests: I study motivation and identity in students from preschool through college, using experimental and survey methods. I’m interested in improving equity in education through psychological interventions. My most recent research projects are aimed at counteracting stereotypes to get girls more interested in computer science.

Background: I grew up in the mountains in Asheville, N.C. My mother was a preschool teacher, and I loved volunteering in her classroom.

After a long day… I love to read books, especially fantasy and sci-fi novels, and play board games with my husband and two kids, ages 7 and 5.

Travis WeilandTravis Weiland (CUIN)

Research interests: My research is focused on issues of equity and social justice in mathematics and statistics education.

Background: I grew up in upstate New York before moving to Asheville, N.C., to start my career in education. I taught high school mathematics in Asheville for five years before deciding to go back to school to get my Ph.D.

After a long day… I love to get outside to walk and hike at the end of a long day, as well as cooking.

Read the full Q&A


2020 Faculty Awards

Teaching Excellence Award
Erica Jordan (PHLS), Ruth López (ELPS) and Shawn Kent (ELPS)

Faculty Research Excellence Award 
Milena Keller-Margulis (PHLS), Rosenda Murillo (PHLS), Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS) and Margit Wiesner (PHLS)

Collaborative Research Excellence Award 
Ruth López (ELPS) and Margit Wiesner (PHLS)

Staff Awards

Staff Distinguished Service Award
Rebecca Perez (CUIN)

Staff Excellence Award
Bridgette Jones (OGS)

Service Awards

Five Years
Jessica Aguilar (UHCS), David Brashear (CITE), Toya Conston (PHLS), Virmarie Correa-Fernández (PHLS), Carrie Cutler (CUIN), Kelli Drenner (PHLS), Jennifer Hay (Recruiting), Amy Jones (OOR), Bridgette Jones (OGS), Erica Jordan (PHLS), Shawn Kent (ELPS), Patricia Siller (CUIN), Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS), Kayce Solari Williams (PHLS), Bonnie Stewart (UHCS), Darian Wimberly (UHCS)

10 Years
Lyle McKinney (ELPS) and Sissy Wong (CUIN)

15 Years
David Laurence (CITE), Velvette Laurence (CITE) and Margit Wiesner (PHLS)

20 Years
Lena Mitchell (OOR) and Robert Wimpelberg (CUIN)



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