Dean\'s Update - 3/9/2021
03/09/2021, 02:20:01 PM
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March 9, 2021


As we approach a year of mostly remote operations due to the pandemic, I want to thank you for your seamless service to the College. While we continue to persist, I find inspiration in this excerpt from Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Miracle of Morning”:

While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn’t if we can weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.

For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

Our mission to end inequities in education and health gives us purpose amid the chaos. By serving others, we can improve our communities and feel benefits to our own mental health. This article from the American Psychological Association offers additional tips to help manage stress.

With the recent winter storm increasing the stress on our students too, I ask that you consider donating to the “College of Education Cougar Emergency Fund” if you can, as part of UH’s ongoing Faculty & Staff Campaign. You can search the fund name to give online.

I wish you and your families a relaxing Spring Break!

Onward with hope,

Banner: The “Color Field” exhibit is on display through May.


  • Job Talks — Two remaining candidates for the ESL/bilingual clinical faculty position will present virtually on Thursday, March 11 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Zoom links here.
  • Guest Lecture — “Toward Confronting Oppression and Committing to Justice” with Professor Francisco Rios. Hosted by the FEC. Thursday, March 11. Noon. Via Microsoft Teams.
  • Spring Break Day Off — Friday, March 19
  • COE Faculty Meeting — Friday, March 26. 11:45 a.m. Hosted by the FEC. Via Microsoft Teams.

Coffee and Conversation with the Dean

  • Assistant Professors: Tuesday, March 30. 10-11 a.m.
  • Associate Professors: Wednesday, March 31. 10-11 a.m.
  • Professors: Monday, April 5. 10-11 a.m.
  • Staff: Tuesday, April 6. 10-11 a.m.



  • The deadline to complete ePerformance documents has been extended to Monday, March 15.

Staff Awards

  • The deadline to submit nominations for the COE Staff Spirit Award, Staff Excellence Award and Staff Distinguished Service Award is Friday, April 30. See Tracy Markovich’s March 4 email for details.



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


  • Melissa Gallagher. “Embedding video-based peer coaching within online lesson study to enhance teacher’s noticing around mathematics teaching practices,” International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies.
  • Jahnette Wilson, Sesa Edgar. “Our story: The development of a framework for collaborative course design,” Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice.
  • Jahnette Wilson, Sam Brower, Sesa Edgar, Amber Thompson, Shea Culpepper. “Using Qualitative Inquiry and Self-Study to Make Sense of Data Use Practices in Colleges of Education,” International Journal of Adult Education and Technology.


  • The National Council on Teacher Quality recognized our teacher education program, led by Amber Thompson and Shea Culpepper, for program diversity, quality and admission selectivity.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Detra Johnson. “Co-constructing Counternarratives of African American Women Faculty Scholar-Practitioners: A Critical and Collaborative Autoethnography [Special Issue],” The SoJo Journal: Educational Foundations and Social Justice Education.
  • Vincent D. Carales, Ruth M. López. “Navigating College after a Disaster: Understanding the Impact and Institutional Support for Community College Students after Hurricane Harvey,” Community College Journal of Research and Practice.


  • Tiffany J. Davis participated in a virtual panel with #BlackGirlOnCampus about her article “To Be Black Women and Contingent Faculty: Four Scholarly Personal Narratives” in The Journal of Higher Education.

Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences


  • Rosenda Murillo. “Educational Attainment and Prevalence of Cardiovascular Health (Life’s Simple 7) in Asian Americans,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Marcel de Dios. “A commentary from the CPDD Underrepresented Populations Committee: New CPDD member survey to accelerate progress in equity, inclusion, and diversity,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
  • Virmarie Correa-Fernández, Hanjoe Kim. “Validity of the 15-Item Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire among an ethnically diverse sample of university students,” The Journal of American College Health.
  • Sarah Mire. “Understanding vaccine hesitancy among parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and parents of children with non-autism-developmental delays,” Journal of Child Neurology.
  • Lorraine Reitzel, Ann Chen, Ezemenari Obasi. “Anxiety Sensitivity and Fast-Food Ordering Habits Among Black Adults,” Health Behavior Research.
  • Norma Olvera, Consuelo Arbona, Margit Wiesner. “Medical weight problem diagnosis and minority women’s desire for thinness,” Journal of Family Medicine.

Community Engagement

  • Allison Master presented at the Texas Computer Science Teachers of America virtual conference. She also was interviewed on the Coder Kids podcast.
  • Norma Olvera participated in an invited stakeholders virtual meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on USDA funding priorities. She also was an invited speaker to the UH Latinas REACH program for graduate students and co-organized an annual retreat for UH Women of Color.


  • Check out the latest media clips, including April Peters-Hawkins (ELPS) in the New York Times and on KTRK!



  • DP20-2001 Behavioral Health Project. Texas Department of State Health Services. $250,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Lorraine Reitzel, PI (PHLS); Ann Chen, Isabel Martinez Leal, other (PHLS).


  • Cultural and Social Transformation in STEM Teaching and Learning. NSF. $299,914 (incl. 55% IDC). Consuelo Arbona, co-PI (PHLS).
  • Playgroups for toddler health promotion: A randomized control trial. Harris County. $2,342,657 (incl. 25% IDC). Norma Olvera, co-investigator (PHLS).
  • LoneStar LEND: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Improving the Health of Individuals with Autism. UT Health/Health Resources & Services Administration. $37,080 (incl. 8% IDC). Sarah Mire, PI (PHLS).
  • Implementation of multipurpose out-of-school time programming for youth. CDC. $25,443. Julie Dunsmore, PI (PHLS).
  • BCSER: Understanding Identity Formation, Values, and Persistence of Latina/o Engineering Students at a Hispanic Serving Institution. NSF. $350,000 (incl. 55% IDC). Weihua Fan, PI (PHLS).
  • Cross-Cultural Adaptation of Automated Approaches to Scoring Writing. Spencer Foundation. $49,825. Michael Matta, PI (PHLS), Milena Keller-Margulis, co-PI (PHLS).


  • Applications for the COE Faculty Teaching Excellence Award and the Faculty Leave Award are due Friday, April 9. See March 5 email from Virginia Snodgrass Rangel for details.


Cristian Melgar

Cristian Melgar joined the College as an office assistant in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in October 2019. Born in San Miguel, El Salvador, Melgar has made Houston home. He previously worked in retail banking and is currently working on his associate degree at Houston Community College with plans on transferring to UH to pursue a bachelor’s in business administration.

What is an average day for you like at work?
I assist any way possible. When I first started here, I maintained the office, ordered supplies for faculty and set up meetings for any events going on for the department. Due to the pandemic, we don’t have those events going on anymore, so I’ve taken on some new duties. I maintain the Zoom account for the department. I assist our program coordinator, Becky Perez, with student schedules.

What do you miss about working on campus?
I miss working in the office setting. Even though working from home is great, you miss interacting with people sometimes.

What is an interesting fact about yourself?
I’m a thrill seeker. Just a couple years ago, I went sky diving. A lot of people were like, “You’re crazy! What’re you jumping out of the plane for?” You gotta live your life as much as you can.

Read the full Q&A.

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