Dean\'s Update - 5/12/2020
05/12/2020, 05:40:01 PM
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May 12, 2020


It was a strange feeling as last Thursday passed and I didn’t have to put on my cap and gown. Commencement is usually my favorite day. Shaking graduates’ hands and hearing families’ applaud ⁠— you all know the emotion is tangible. Pride. Joy. Relief. Optimism.

Without the stage, some of our graduates took to Twitter. “I’m proud to be a first gen college student from 5th Ward graduating Suma Cum Laude,” one teaching major wrote. “Proud to be joining Blackshear ES. Proud to become a #ForeverCoog.”

As we head into summer, we must work to channel our strong sense of purpose. Our summer enrollment is at 1,964 students, up 2.6% from last year, yet state budget projections and fall enrollment remain uncertain. The College leadership team is engaged in early planning activities, exploring potential cost savings and revenue-generating measures. Please know that the process will involve continued communication and solicitation of feedback, and our mission to end inequities will serve as the guidepost.

Onward with appreciation,

Banner: Stay tuned for an email with the graduation video soon!


  • Staff Focus: Dealing with Change in the Workplace: Featuring UH President Renu Khator. Thursday, May 14. 1 – 2:30 p.m. Learn more and RSVP.
  • COE Staff Awards – The deadline to nominate has been extended to May 15.
  • Memorial Day Holiday – Monday, May 25
  • APA 2020 Conference – Aug. 6-9, virtual event


Making Connections with Friends from Farish

From wine tasting to guitar playing to knitting and more, faculty and staff have been enjoying virtual events organized by Staff Council (co-chairs Yonelly Gutierrez and Miranda Jasso) and the FEC (Jacqueline Hawkins, chair; Conra Gist, chair-elect). See May 8 email from Yonelly to join in this week’s events!

Early Adopters: MOOCs and Alternative Textbooks

The swift shift to online teaching everywhere has highlighted the College’s savvy. Recent stories look at the move to alternative textbooks (Sam Brower, Jane Cooper, Sesa Edgar, Kristen Hassett and Laura Turchi previously received awards through the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program; new CUIN recipients listed below); Mimi Lee reflects on her MOOCs research; and a digital storytelling MOOC created by Sara McNeil and Bernard Robin has surpassed a cumulative enrollment of 20,000.

Bringing Together Collective Expertise

Faculty across departments share suggestions for teaching, learning, leading and staying healthy in today’s world on the College’s new Remote Learning webpage.


Curriculum & Instruction

Honors & Awards

  • Carrie Cutler earned a UH Teaching Excellence Award for clinical faculty.
  • Justin Burris, Carrie Cutler and Shea Culpepper received awards through the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program for their math methods courses.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Tiffany J. Davis, “Reclaiming My Time Amid Organizational Change: A Dialectical Approach to Support the Thriving and Career Development for Faculty at the Margins,” Advances in Developing Human Resources
  • Virginia Snodgrass Rangel, “A Researcher–Practitioner Agenda for Studying and Supporting Youth Reentering School After Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System,” Educational Researcher
  • Elsa Gonzalez, “Persistence of HE Latinas in STEM at a R1 institution in Texas,” Journal of Hispanics in Higher Education; “What does it mean to be a Hispanic-serving institution? Listening to the Latino voices of students,” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education; “Latina college students’ experiences in STEM at Hispanic-serving institutions: Framed within Latino critical race theory,” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
  • Vincent Carales, “Disrupting the dominant discourse: Exploring the mentoring experiences of Latina/o community college students,” Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education
  • Vincent Carales and Ruth M. López, “Supporting College Students Through a Public Health Crisis: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Harvey,” American Council on Education blog post

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences


  • Lorraine Reitzel, “Greater social cohesion is associated with lower body mass index among African American adults,” Preventive Medicine Reports
  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Han Joe Kim, “Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II: measurement invariance and associations with distress tolerance among an ethnically diverse university sample,” Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science
  • Sarah Mire, “Where should we go from here? Anxiety treatment for youth with autism spectrum disorder,” Children’s Health Care

Book Chapter

  • Sarah Mire, “Criminality, interactions with law enforcement, and potential correlates of juvenile justice-involvement among youth with autism,” Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Honors & Awards

  • Jorge Gonzalez inducted into the Society for the Study of School Psychology, appointed senior editor for School Psychology Review
  • Margit Wiesner appointed associate editor for Emerging Adulthood
  • Milena Keller-Margulis appointed to principal panel member for the Institute of Education Sciences Special Education Research Scientific Review Panel
  • Zenaida Aguirre-Munoz elected Bilingual Research SIG chair-elect for the American Educational Research Association

What Makes Houston Feel Like Home?

Having a strong sense of place can provide comfort. To that end, the College has launched a new webpage for prospective students to reflect a feeling of community and to provide application guidance.



  • National Center for Research on Educator Diversity (NCRED). UH-IP-Royalty Income from Intellectual Property. $47,000. Conra Gist, PI (CUIN)
  • Texas Charter Authorizer Accountability Report. TEA. $75,000 (incl 8% IDC). Cathy Horn, PI (ELPS), Toni Templeton, co-PI (ELPS).


  • Texas Charter Authorizer Accountability Report. TEA. $75,000 (incl 8% IDC). Cathy Horn, PI (ELPS), Toni Templeton, co-PI (ELPS).
  • Understanding Digital Tool Use in the Shakespeare Classroom. Spencer Foundation. $49,250. Laura Turchi, PI (CUIN).
  • Does computer-based writing improve writing quality? The role of transcription modalities on college students’ writing skills. Spencer Foundation. $49,973. Michael Matta, PI (PHLS), Milena Keller-Margulis, co-PI (PHLS).
  • SBIR: College Access. Institute of Education Sciences. $48,326 (incl 55% IDC). Jorge Gonzalez, PI (PHLS).
  • Leveraging Asian Ethnic-racial socialization practices to Support Asian Children's Literacy and Language learning in the classroom: A mixed-method study. Spencer Foundation. $50,000. Jorge Gonzalez, PI (PHLS).
  • Growing Stems Consortium: Education Outreach Research. Department of Energy. $298,880 (incl 53% IDC). Zenaida Aguirre-Munoz, PI (PHLS).
  • RaceB4Race and Teacher Professional Learning: Research to Build Compassion and Capacity in High School Classrooms. American Educational Research Association. $34,900. Laura Turchi, PI (CUIN).
  • Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Program. UNT/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. $75,000. Leslie Frankel, PI (PHLS).
  • A peer-based approach to enhance physical activity in active women. MD Anderson/American Cancer Society. $92,024 (incl 20% IDC). Lorraine Reitzel, PI (PHLS).
  • Taking Texas Tobacco Free: Dissemination and Implementation in Agencies Serving Individuals who are Homeless or Vulnerably Housed. CPRIT. $299,253 (incl 5.2% IDC). Lorraine Reitzel, PI (PHLS), Ezemenari Obasi, co-inv (PHLS), Tzu-An Chen, co-inv (PHLS), Virmarie Correa- Fernández, co-inv (PHLS).
  • Sustainable Technology Achieving Resiliency Scholars (STARS). NSF Scholarships (S-STEM). $1,000,000 (incl 55% IDC). Weihua Fan, co-PI (PHLS).
  • Health Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention. NIH/NIMHD. $12,027,277 (incl 53% IDC). Ezemenari Obasi, PI (PHLS), Lorraine Reitzel, co-inv (PHLS), Ann Chen, co-inv (PHLS).

Because We Can’t Get Enough of Zoom, Some FEC Meeting Snapshots

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