Dean\'s Update - 10/13/2020
10/13/2020, 07:10:01 PM
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Oct. 13, 2020


During the grind of the semester, it’s easy to forget our accomplishments. We are well on our way to meeting President Khator’s ambitious “50 in 5” research goals. I know this is a tough season, which makes all the grant submissions, awards and publications even more impressive.

Especially in this tough season, we must keep focused on our mission and values. I met Monday with Sam Brower and Tiffany Davis, co-chairs of our Ending Inequities Committee, and expect a thoughtful report with short- and longer-term recommendations in the coming weeks. We will share the report and next steps after the College leadership team and the committee leadership team meet. I look forward to, as Tiffany said, creating “brave spaces” for continued dialogue toward racial justice.


Banner: UH public art, masked, on a rainy day in September


  • COE Faculty Meeting — Friday, Oct. 23. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Zoom. 
  • Dean’s Coffee and Conversation with Staff — Tuesday, Oct. 27. 10 – 11 a.m. Zoom.
  • Staff Council’s Workplace Conversation — Diversity 101: Exploring Your Own Cultural Identity. Tuesday, Oct. 27. Noon – 1 p.m. MS Teams. RSVP.
  • President Khator’s Annual Fall Address — Wednesday, Oct. 28. 10 a.m. Virtual info to follow.
  • State Employee Charitable Campaign — Deadline to give is Saturday, Oct. 31. New feature: Online giving now available via payroll deductions only. One-time gifts via check still accepted with paper forms. Please see the Oct. 12 email from Paula Canada for details.
  • Finding Balance — Tuesday, Nov. 17. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. A free virtual panel discussion hosted by the College of Education in partnership with the UH Alumni Association. RSVP by Nov. 15.
  • Thanksgiving holiday — Thursday, Nov. 26 – Friday, Nov. 27.
  • Winter Break — Thursday, Dec. 24 – Friday, Jan. 1.


ACES Institute

  • A Celebration of Reading 2020: Tune in to this special virtual event hosted by the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, featuring well-known authors and entertainers and spotlighting our Cougar Literacy Tutors in Third Ward. Saturday, Oct. 17. 7 – 8 p.m. KPRC-TV, Channel 2.  


  • Please complete mandatory employee trainings (via AccessUH, TAP Employee Online Training) by Friday, Nov. 20.


  • Social media: Follow the College of Education on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for the latest news and kudos, and expand our reach by sharing posts.


Editor’s note: External grant awards are listed under Office of Research. For publications, additional authors are not included. Please email Ericka Mellon with any questions.

Curriculum & Instruction


  • Sheng Kuan Chung, International Journal of Education & the Arts; The International Journal of Arts Education.
  • Susie Gronseth, “Application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles to Surgical Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Journal of Surgical Education.
  • Laveria Hutchison, Leah McAlister-Shields, “Culturally responsive teaching: Its application in higher education environments,” Education Sciences.

Book Chapters

  • Laveria Hutchison, Leah McAlister-Shields, Donna Stokes (NSM). “Teaching through culture: Employing culturally responsive pedagogy to transform postsecondary STEM instruction,” African Americans in Higher Education: A Critical Study of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Africana Culture.

Community Engagement

  • Carrie Cutler was featured on the Teaching Math Teaching podcast sponsored by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.
  • Bulent Dogan was selected to represent UH at Sugar Land on the Fort Bend County education/COVID-19 task force.
  • Margaret Hale will speak at a virtual summit, “The Future of Children,” Wednesday, Oct. 14. She also will co-host Tweens Read, featuring nationally acclaimed authors, Oct. 19 – 24.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Internal Grants

  • Virginia Snodgrass Rangel and a team from UH have received a grant from the Division of Research to fund a project aimed at addressing racism in the juvenile justice system through an online diversion program run by a local nonprofit, Houston reVision.


  • Vincent Carales, “The pursuit of equal educational opportunity: A historical analysis of the South Texas/Border Initiative,” Educational Policy. “Documenting the racial transfer gap: Empirical and practical implications for transfer partnerships,” New Directions for Community Colleges. “Disrupting the dominant discourse: Exploring the mentoring experiences of Latina/o community college students,” Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education.


  • Shawn Kent was selected to serve as vice president of the Texas chapter of the Council for Learning Disabilities for a one-year term before assuming the role of president.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences


  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Hanjoe Kim, “Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II: measurement invariance and associations with distress tolerance among an ethnically diverse university sample,” Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science.
  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Lorraine Reitzel, “Adapting and Evaluating Implementation of a Tobacco-Free Workplace Program in Behavioral Health Centers,” American Journal of Health Behavior.
  • Julie Dunsmore, “Emotion socialization by parents and friends: Links with adolescent emotional adjustment,” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
  • Allison Master, “Creative destruction in science,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.


  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández was selected for UH’s Assistant Professor Excellence Series (APeX), 2020-21.
  • The school psychology doctoral program, led by program director Milena Keller-Margulis, submitted its self-study to the American Psychological Association.
  • Norma Olvera was featured as one of “11 Latino Community Leaders Making a Difference Today” by the Greater Houston Greater Community Foundation.

Community Engagement

  • Julie Dunsmore completed a research project for the Montgomery County Dialogue on Race, a grassroots organization in Virginia focused on addressing racial issues identified by the African-American community.
  • Lorraine Reitzel and Taking Texas Tobacco Free recently partnered with Gulf Coast Centers, Texas Clinic Westview and Volunteers of America Riverside to implement a comprehensive tobacco-free workplace program within their centers. They also partnered with West Texas Centers and Border Regions Behavioral Health Centers to create, disseminate and implement a training curriculum that can be embedded into new employee, annual and in-service training events within behavioral health settings.


  • Check out the latest media clips featuring Sheng Kuan Chung (CUIN), April Peters-Hawkins (ELPS), Allison Master (PHLS) and Ezemenari Obasi (OOR).


Velvette Laurence

Instructional designer Velvette Laurence, who started at the College 16 years ago, has been a go-to resource during remote operations.

How has the quick transition to virtual instruction changed the way you do your job?

It was not about curriculum, per se. It was more about the technology. Luckily for many years I have been giving trainings on how to successfully transition from one environment to the other while keeping the course rigor high.

How do you think this situation will impact the future of higher education?

I think it’s going to become a new normal. I think we’re going to have more programs offered online that instructors were nervous to do before but now they’re not so nervous.

Are you open to speaking about the challenges you’ve faced during this time?

I’ve been very lucky! As far as personal challenges, it’s been very minimal. One that has been a challenge is prioritizing myself. When work is at home, it’s very easy to forget about yourself. I had to make time to have lunch and step away.

Read the full Q&A.



  • Handbook of Research on Teachers of Color and Indigenous Teachers. Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. $60,000. Conra Gist, PI (CUIN).
  • UH College Assistance Migrant Program (UH CAMP). U.S. Department of Education. $2,121,329 (Incl 8% IDC). Augustina Reyes, PI (ELPS).


  • Using Mixed Methods to Examine Bar Passage Rates in American Law Schools. AccessLex Institute. $299,994 (Incl 10% IDC). Yali Zou, co-PI (ELPS).
  • Helping Everyone Achieve a LifeTime of Health – Future Addiction Scientist Training. NIH/NIDA. $1,340,996 (Incl 8% IDC). Ezemenari Obasi, multi-PI (PHLS), Lorraine Reitzel, multi-PI (PHLS), Ann Chen, co-investigator (PHLS).
  • Collaborative Research: Improving Student Learning in Hydrology & Water Resources Engineering by Enabling the Development, Sharing & Interoperability of Active Learning Resources. NSF/University of Louisiana-Lafayette. $19,116 (Incl 55% IDC). Melissa Gallagher, PI (CUIN).
  • Sociocultural Determinants of Cervical Cancer Prevention among African American Women. NIH. $100,000 (Incl 55% IDC). Chakema Carmack, PI (PHLS).
  • Low Wage Work and Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19: A Longitudinal Study. American Psychological Foundation. $15,000. Blake Allan, PI (PHLS).
  • Taking Texas Tobacco Free among Substance Users within Community-based Healthcare Settings in Rural and Medically Underserved Areas Across Texas. CPRIT. $1,998,572 (Incl 5.26% IDC). Lorriane Reitzel, PI (PHLS), Ezemenari Obasi, co-investigator (PHLS), Virmarie Correa-Fernández, co-investigator (PHLS), Ann Chen, co-investigator (PHLS).
  • Iterative Development of an Interventional Tool to Scaffold Self-Regulation in Eating. NIH (NICHD). $155,000 (Incl 55% IDC). Leslie Frankel, PI (PHLS), Yu Liu, co-investigator (PHLS).

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