Dean\'s Update - 11/10/2020
11/10/2020, 01:10:01 PM
View web version

Nov. 10, 2020


As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to make clear how thankful I am for your dedication since our world turned upside down in March. You have modeled flexibility, compassion and resilience for our students, and I know it has not been easy.

Now, we must recharge and stay committed. We have important work to do in the College and in the country to heal racial tensions and end inequities in education and health. This requires self-reflection, intentionality and collective action. Together, I’m confident we can lead change following the guidance of our Ending Inequities Committee. The full report will be shared in December.

Regarding spring semester, President Khator’s email this week mentioned two scenarios related to the level of in-person classes and remote working based on the status of COVID-19. Staff, please talk to your supervisors shortly before winter break about your working situation.

Onward with opportunity,


Shaping Parent Education
Professor Julie Dunsmore (PHLS) has received a grant for nearly $897,400 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study how parents’ use of emotion coaching affects a child’s behavior. “This grant is going to inform the field of human development and family studies and help us shape programs to better educate parents,” Dunsmore said.
Kelli Drenner ‘Fight for Equity’
Assistant Professor Vincent D. Carales (ELPS) recently published an article in Educational Policy looking at the pivotal 1987 lawsuit that improved higher education opportunities for Mexican Americans in South Texas and the border regions. “I was trying to show how if you come together and fight for equity you could have an impact on access to higher education, funding and equal opportunity,” he said.
Well-Prepared Teachers
Despite launching their teaching careers during the pandemic, recent alumni such as Kaitlin Adam (CUIN) said they started with a strong foundation. “UH’s program makes you so prepared for when you start teaching,” Adam said. “Since I’ve been at my school, everyone asks, ‘Are you sure you’re a first-year teacher?’ I don’t feel like it’s my first year because I had that full year of student teaching.”


  • Finding Balance — Tuesday, Nov. 17. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. A free virtual panel discussion with tips for managing your mental and physical health. Hosted by the College of Education in partnership with the UH Alumni Association. RSVP by Nov. 15.
  • Research and Innovation Forum — Friday, Nov. 20. 2 – 3 p.m. Zoom link sent upon registration. Hosted by UH Division of Research. Agenda includes “Get Involved in HEALTH Equity Science” with Associate Dean Ezemenari Obasi.
  • Thanksgiving holiday — Thursday, Nov. 26 – Friday, Nov. 27
  • Winter Break — Thursday, Dec. 24 – Friday, Jan. 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday — Monday, Jan. 18



  • Reminder: The deadline to complete the mandatory employee trainings (via AccessUH/TAP Employee Online Training) is Friday, Nov. 20.


  • The communications team encourages you to share story ideas about faculty, staff, students, alumni, research, community engagement, equity work and other initiatives. Email Ericka Mellon at View past stories and news briefs.


  • The Office of Graduate Studies has begun the fall 2021 admissions season. As applications are closing, we want to make sure all faculty involved in admissions processing have access to CollegeNet. If a faculty member needs access, please contact our office for assistance.
  • We would like to remind faculty to submit the Capstone grades and thesis/dissertation grades for students who are graduating this fall 2020 term.


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


  • Jie Zhang, Yu Liu (PHLS). “Morphological awareness and reading comprehension in English as first and second language learners: Differential mediation mechanisms by English language proficiency,” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Book Chapters

  • Miguel Burgess Monroy. “Locating Helen within Schwab’s Curriculum Commonplaces: Collaborative Curriculum Making in Yaeger’s Knowledge Community,” Truth and Knowledge in Curriculum Making.


  • Vera Hutchison has been elected to a three-year term as a steering committee member for the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics and she will serve as the committee’s communication subcommittee chair.


  • Bulent Dogan will discuss transitioning his ITECH-STEM project (a technology summer camp for students) to an online environment via Microsoft Teams on Friday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. Faculty should log onto Teams and use code 20F3Q2C to join.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • April Peters-Hawkins will discuss making education research more equitable in a free webinar Thursday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. CST. The event is part of the series “Unapologetic Educational Research: Addressing Anti-blackness, Racism and White Supremacy,” hosted by The Ohio State University. Registration information.
  • Jacqueline Hawkins joined other professionals in hosting a Carnegie Project on Education Doctorate Workshop, “Improving writing or writing to improve? Dismantling the hegemonic practices of ‘teaching writing.’ How your institution can: Re-imagine the target experiences of a writing support class for doctoral students."

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences


  • Isabel Martinez Leal, Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Lorraine Reitzel. “Adapting and Evaluating Implementation of a Tobacco-Free Workplace Program in Behavioral Health Centers,” American Journal of Health Behavior. [Editor’s Note: Corrected to include Martinez Leal as first author]
  • Zenaida Aguirre-Mun͂oz. “Conceptualizing STEM teacher professional knowledge for teaching ELs: Initial impact of PD targeting subject matter and disciplinary literacy on content knowledge and practice.” Bilingual Research Journal.
  • Blake Allan. “Precarious work in the 21st century: A psychological perspective.” Journal of Vocational Behavior. “Cross-cultural validation of the Subjective Underemployment Scales among Turkish employees,” Journal of Career Assessment.
  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Hanjoe Kim. “Hispanic/Latinos’ cigarette and e-cigarette use: behavioral and self-rated health.” American Journal of Health Behavior.
  • Allison Master. “Math is for me: A field intervention to strengthen math self-concepts in Spanish-speaking 3rd grade children.” Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Zenaida Aguirre-Mun͂oz. “Case-based reflection in professional development: Bilingual/ESL teachers reflect on science subject matter knowledge and pedagogy.” Journal of Science Teacher Education.
  • Sarah Mire, Hanjoe Kim, Zenaida Aguirre-Mun͂oz. “Exploring sociodemographic predictors of parents’ perceptions about their children’s autism and their families’ adjustment.” Research in Developmental Disabilities.


  • Norma Olvera delivered an invited presentation, “Hispanic Health Issues,” for the Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off Lunch ’n Learn sponsored by Cardinal Health. She also participated in a fireside chat with Surgeon General Jerome Adams discussing the pandemic and the future state of public health sponsored by Harris County Public Health.

Community Engagement

  • Lorraine Reitzel, with the assistance of school psychology student Ashley Ramclam, created a preparedness guide for local response teams and city leadership regarding tobacco use during an emergency. Available on the Taking Texas Tobacco Free website.


  • Check out the latest media clips featuring Rhoda Freelon (ELPS), Duncan Klussmann (ELPS), Leslie Frankel (PHLS) and Julie Dunsmore (PHLS).


Bridgette Jones

Bridgette Jones, director of student affairs in the Office of Graduate Studies, won the 2020 College of Education Staff Excellence Award.

What concerns and questions do you typically hear from students, and how do you try to help?
One concern we hear a lot of, especially during this time of uncertainty, is students feeling overwhelmed in their programs. I find commonalities with the student to help ease their stress and let them know that I truly understand what they are experiencing. This allows them to feel heard and understood. Then, I provide them with options to determine where we can go next.

Have you picked up any hobbies during this pandemic?
I’ve been exercising. I’ve also been listening to audiobooks about racism and Black history in America. My husband and I opened a small food business called The Wing Boss. It’s carryout and delivery only and located near the University in Third Ward.

Read the full Q&A.



  • UH College Assistance Migrant Program (UH CAMP). U.S. Department of Education. $2,121,329 (incl. 8% IDC). Augustina Reyes, PI (ELPS); Elsa Gonzalez, co-PI (ELPS); Vincent D. Carales, co-PI (ELPS) [Editor’s Note: Corrected to include co-PIs]
  • Gender Stereotypes in STEM: Exploring developmental patterns for prevention. U.S. Department of Education. $654,510 (incl. 55% IDC). Allison Master, PI (PHLS).
  • US PREP Tier II Membership Silver Giving. Texas Tech University. $60,000 (incl. 10% IDC). Robert McPherson, PI (Dean’s Office). Amber Thompson, co-investigator (CUIN).


  • Development of Self-Regulation from Infancy to Early Childhood: The Role of Physiological and Behavioral Synchrony. NICHD. $149,150 (incl. 55% IDC). Julie Dunsmore, PI (PHLS).
  • Comprehending Text for Comprehending Science (CT4CS): A Technology-Mediated Intervention for Making Science More Accessible to Elementary-School Students with Autism. National Science Foundation. $3,000,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Sara Mire, co-investigator (PHLS); Shawn Kent, co-investigator (ELPS); Sissy Wong, co-investigator (CUIN).
  • Texas Charter Authorizer Accountability Report. Texas Education Agency. $300,000 (incl. 8% IDC). Cathy Horn, PI (ELPS).
  • Allostatic load and substance use in sexual minority adults. NIH/NIDA. $3,282,450 (incl. 55% IDC). Nathan Smith, PI (PHLS); Ezemenari Obasi, co-investigator (PHLS); Ann Chen, co-investigator (PHLS).
  • Telehealth for Smoking Cessation among Spanish and English speaking Latinx adults: A Brief ACT. NIH, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. $425,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Virmarie Correa-Fernández, PI (PHLS); Hanjoe Kim, co-investigator (PHLS).
  • Centering the Voices of Black Early Childhood Educators to Shape Research Practice Partnerships. Foundation for Child Development. $225,000 (incl. 15% IDC). Conra Gist, PI (CUIN).
  • For Us, By Us: A Case Study of Urban Charter Leaders. Spencer Foundation. $50,000. April Peters-Hawkins, PI (ELPS).
  • Conference Grant. Spencer Foundation. $49,920. Susie Gronseth, PI (CUIN).
  • Assessing the Home Literacy Environment: A cross-cultural mixed methods study. Spencer Foundation. $49,962. Miao Li, PI (CUIN); Mimi Lee, co-PI (CUIN); Jorge Gonzalez, other (PHLS).
  • The Financial Impact of Order N-66-20 on Black Teachers in California. Russell Sage Foundation. $29,489. Lanette Jimerson, PI (CUIN).
  • National Center for Research on Educator Diversity. Kellogg Foundation. $200,000 (incl. 15% IDC). Conra Gist, PI (CUIN).

Questions about the Dean’s Update? Email and


This is an official message sent by the University of Houston. To verify the validity of this message, email