Randy Bomer is the Dean of the College of Education at The University of North Texas. Prior to arriving at UNT, he was chair of two departments and was the Charles H. Spence Centennial Professor of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, where he taught for 16 years. Before that, he was also on the faculty of Indiana University and Queens College of the City University of New York and, for five years, was the co-director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University in New York City.
He is a former president of the National Council of Teachers of English and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Literacy Research Association. He has been a recipient of the Edward Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association and was named an Outstanding Elementary Educator by the National Council of Teachers of English, along with various awards from universities where he has taught.
Dr. Bomer’s research is about the strengths, resources and knowledge that students bring with them to school, literacy curricula that build upon those strengths, and policies and perspectives that do or do not support teachers’ recognition of students’ existing understandings and capabilities.
He holds a Ph.D. in English Education from Columbia University and is the author of four books and many articles in academic and professional journals. Formerly a middle and high school teacher, he has consulted with urban school districts across the U.S. As dean of the UNT College of Education, Dr. Bomer supports approximately 200 faculty and staff members and 5,000 students in one of the largest colleges of education in Texas.
Selcuk Acar, Ph.D., is an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of North Texas. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (with an emphasis in Gifted and Creative Education) from the University of Georgia. His primary area of research interest includes divergent thinking, assessment of creativity, and the education of the gifted and talented. Prior to UNT, Dr. Acar has worked at two different centers specialized in the field of creative education: Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development of University of Georgia, and the International Center for Studies in Creativity of SUNY Buffalo State. In addition to numerous book chapter and encyclopedia entries, Dr. Acar published over 50 peer-reviewed articles primarily on creativity. He has served as a PI in a 3-year grant by the Institute of Education Sciences to develop a new measure of original thinking called MOTES. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor at Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts and Journal of Creativity. He is also on the editorial board of Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal of Creative Behavior, Journal of Advanced Academics, and Creativity Research Journal. Dr. Acar is a recipient of APA Division 10’s 2022 Berlyne Award in recognition of outstanding research by an early career scholar and UNT College of Education’s 2021 Faculty Research Excellence Award.
Dr. Stephanie Aguilar-Smith is an Assistant Professor of Counseling and Higher Education at the University of North Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Administration and certificate in Chicano and Latino Studies from Michigan State University. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration, a B.A. in Journalism (Public Relations), and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Georgia.
Across her research, she broadly pursues the question: How might educational policies and practices be more equitable across the stratified and hierarchical system of U.S. higher education? A few of her specific research interests include Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Latinxs in higher education, and grant seeking and implementation in the collegiate context.
Before joining UNT, she worked at several research universities in a variety of areas including enrollment management, academic counseling, program development and evaluation, and writing center administration.
Dr. Allen’s research aims to address institutional and systemic inequalities within STEM education by supporting the design and implementation of STEM learning reforms. She examines the ways that equity and instructional improvement efforts take on meaning and become consequential for youth and teachers in local practice. Some of her current work examines how efforts to improve STEM education intersect with students’ learning and identity work within and out of school. Her work also explores the relationships among local policy, educators’ organizational contexts, and their efforts to implement reform-based and equity-oriented pedagogies. Allen's research has been published in journals such as Journal of Learning Sciences, Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and AERJ.
Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, Allen was a STEM Researcher at SRI International. Allen received her doctorate in learning sciences and human development at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before pursuing her doctorate, she taught high school English and reading, writing, and developmental education community college courses in the Seattle area. She has a master in teacher degree from Seattle University and a BA in English Literature from Western Washington University.
Dr. Anderson’s research program aims to promote positive youth development and social change in schools and mentoring programs. She studies the role of nonparental adult relationships in youth’s lives as an important interpersonal context during adolescence and emerging adulthood. Her current work focuses on cultural humility and social justice supports for adults who work with youth in mentoring programs. She is also interested in advancing understanding of how adult mentors benefit and are changed by the experience of mentoring youth. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Adolescent Research, and Development Psychology, among others.
Prior to joining UNT, Dr. Anderson earned her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from DePaul University and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Illinois Chicago. She earned an M.S. in Education from the Johns Hopkins University and B.A. in Psychology with concentrations in Child Development, and Gender & Women’s Studies from Oklahoma State University. She is currently a research board member of the National Mentoring Resource Center, a program of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Chris Bailey PhD, CSCS*D, RSCC came to UNT in 2018 after spending 4 years at LaGrange College in GA where he served as an Assistant Professor, Strength and Conditioning Graduate Program Coordinator, and Sport Performance Lab Coordinator. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
He completed his PhD in Sport Physiology and Performance at East Tennessee State University in 2014, where he served as the baseball strength and conditioning coach and sport scientist. Prior to his time at ETSU he worked as a minor league strength and conditioning coach in the San Diego Padres baseball organization for two years. He has also worked in private sports performance training with clients ranging from college prep athletes to professional football players.
He is an active member in the NSCA, currently serving as the NSCA Texas State Director and is also on the NSCA Membership Committee. He previously served as State Director for Georgia and Tennessee when living in those states.
His research focuses on athlete monitoring, quantitative analysis in sports, applied strength and conditioning, and bilateral strength asymmetry. He has published and has presented on the previously mentioned topics at the national and international level. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Athlete Monitoring, Biomechanics, Quantitative Analysis, Quantitative Procedures in Exercise and Sport Sciences, and Strength and Conditioning.
Dr. Veronica Baldwin (still publishing under Jones) earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Texas A&M University in 2014. Before starting her career in higher education, she taught in various Texas K-12 school districts for more than 10 years as an English as a Second Language teacher.
In 2014, Baldwin served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin and was a research team member for the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color. She currently is faculty affiliate for Project M.A.L.E.S. — Mentoring to Achieve Latino Success — a research collaborative group dedicated to research on male students of color. In 2020, Dr. Baldwin received the award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Researcher for UNT’s College of Education
In the UNT higher education program, Jones teaches courses for masters and doctoral students, including risk management, proseminar and research seminar. Through her research, Dr. Baldwin explores topics such as male students of color, student engagement and activism, and rhetoric around equity and diversity issues. Her main research methodology is qualitative, and she utilizes frameworks such as critical discourse analysis and critical race theory to explore structures, policies and practices that influence underrepresented and marginalized student communities.
Elba Barahona, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. She joined the faculty at the University of North Texas in the Fall of 2016. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in bilingual and English as a second language.
Barahona earned her B.A. in Economics from the Central University of Ecuador, an M.A. in Teaching and an M.B.A. from Louisiana Tech University. Her prior experience includes work as a bilingual teacher at the Dallas Independent School District.
Barahona’s research interest includes bilingual education, curriculum and assessment for English learners, and instructional strategies in classrooms and schools that serve culturally linguistically diverse students. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, with specialization in Bilingual/ESL Education, from Texas A&M University at College Station.
Brenda Barrio is an Associate Professor of Special Education — Critical Perspectives at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on the areas of disproportionality of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education, culturally responsive teaching, bilingual special education, and pre-/in-service teacher preparation. Dr. Barrio has more than 17 years of teaching experience including, graduate and undergraduate special education courses and K-5th bilingual and inclusive education in Texas. She is also the co-founder of the UNT ELEVAR and WSU ROAR post-secondary education programs for young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and is the current President-Elect of the Council for Learning Disabilities.
Payton Birlew received her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Family Science from the University of North Texas in 2017. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Family and Community from the University of North Texas in 2015. Birlew is a Certified Family Life Educator and a certified facilitator of the Prepare/Enrich curriculum.
Birlew is the co-founder of Have & Hold Family Life Education where she provides secular, research-based premarital and relationship education to couples across the state of Texas. She is dedicated to modernizing relationship education by making it accessible and inclusive.
Her research interests include the experiences of nonreligious families (especially related to marriage and parenting), fostering inclusivity and accessibility in Family Life Education, and marriage and relationship education. Birlew has never met a HDFS course she didn’t love to teach and loves working with students as they discover all that HDFS has to offer.
Miriam C. Boesch, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Special Education. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Special Education with an emphasis in Severe Disabilities and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) from Purdue University. Her dissertation was awarded the College of Education Outstanding Dissertation Award. Her research focuses on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Specifically, she engages in AAC research to assess teacher preparation needs, compare strategies suitable for individuals with autism and complex communication needs, and reduce challenging behaviors. Dr. Boesch teaches courses pertaining to autism, intervention strategies, and behavior management. She is also the co-author of the book: Implementing Effective Augmentative and Alternative Communication Practices for Students with Complex Communication Needs: A Handbook for School-Based Practitioners. Dr. Boesch also publishes in peer-reviewed journals, presents at national and international conferences, and currently serves on the editorial board for the journals Communication Disorders Quarterly and TEACHING Exceptional Children. She is the recipient of the 2014 College of Education Junior Faculty Research Award and the 2017 College of Education Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from UNT.
Katherine Bomer is Professor of Practice in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. Honored as the National Council of Teachers of English “Outstanding Elementary Educator” in 2017, she is the author of multiple books and articles about the teaching of writing and literacy for social justice. Her book, Hidden Gems: Naming and Teaching from the Brilliance in Every Student's Writing and accompanying DVD, “Starting with what Students Do Best” offer a transformative new approach to assessing and responding to student writing, even the most spare or difficult to understand. For a Better World: Reading and Writing for Social Action, co-authored with Randy Bomer, was built on research in her classrooms in New York City and Indiana of how young people take on projects to question equity in texts and use writing to advocate for fairness in their world.
Katherine taught graduate courses at Teachers College, Columbia University and at the University of Texas at Austin. Katherine began her career at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project with Lucy Calkins. For 10 years, she taught primary and intermediate grades, and her classrooms were featured in Annenberg video productions, and as demonstrations sites for many university programs. She consults nationally and internationally, presenting workshops in school districts as well as demonstrating and coaching inside K-12 classrooms about approaches to teaching reading and writing. As a frequent and popular keynote speaker, she combines a teacher's practical advice, a writer's love of language, and a powerful plea for social justice.
Dana Booker holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Human Development and Family Science from the University of North Texas. Specifically, Dana has researched child advocacy practices, multi-system collaborations around prevention and intervention, and parent-centered education through her work at Prevent Child Abuse Texas. Her research interests also include working with military families and military systems to identify effective academic prevention strategies for youth. Dr. Booker has received evaluation training from the American Evaluation Association and worked as the program evaluator for the Texas chapter of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). It was this opportunity that increased her passion for prevention and intervention work. Originally from Albuquerque, Dana received her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Educational Psychology from the University of New Mexico. Dana is married to her best friend and is a proud mom of three amazing boys.
Dr. Rossana Boyd holds a B. A. in Educational Administration from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, a M.Ed. in Educational Supervision from Southeastern Louisiana University, and a Ph D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Louisiana State University. Her experience as an educator spans more than 30 years. In Honduras, she worked as an elementary school teacher and as principal of a bilingual school. She also worked as coordinator of a master’s degree in curriculum for the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán and as a consultant for the Provost’s Office of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras.
In the United States she worked in Louisiana as a high school Spanish teacher for Tangipahoa Parish Public Schools, as the Louisiana Department of Education’s Title VII Director for ESL/Bilingual Education. At Southeastern Louisiana University she worked as coordinator of FIE and FIPSE federal grants for the preparation of alternative certification teachers, as director of two Title III National Professional Development federal grants for the preparation of English as a Second Language teachers and to provide as professional development for mainstream teachers with emergent bilinguals in Lafayette, Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Tammany, and Jefferson school districts.
She worked for the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) of Austin, Texas, as a program specialist in the field office of SECAC in New Orleans. In that role she provided technical assistance and professional development for language and mainstream teachers with emergent bilinguals and migrant students in AL, AR, LA, GA, and MS public schools. She is a lifetime member of the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) and has served on the executive board during several terms adding up to 12 years. She is a long-time member of the Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), the Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE), and the Bilingual Education Association of the Metroplex (BEAM).
Currently, Dr. Boyd is in her 16th year at UNT as Principal Lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. She teaches courses for teacher preparation in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education, and she is the director of the Title III National Professional Development Project SUCCESS in Language and Literacy Instruction. She has awarded scholarships to numerous students with high financial need. Such aid has helped students complete their certifications and become gainfully employed in Texas classrooms and beyond.
Lydia Caldwell is an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Health Promotion. She joined the faculty at the University of North Texas in the Fall of 2020. She earned her B.S. in Biology and M.S.E in Exercise Science from the University of Dayton prior to completing her Ph.D. in Kinesiology at The Ohio State University. During her doctorate studies, Caldwell was funded by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, where she supported research with the 711th Human Performance Wing (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Dr. Caldwell’s primary research interests are centered around the physiology of exercise performance and recovery optimization. Her most current work has focused on the use of a novel recovery modality, flotation-restricted environmental stimulation therapy, to reduce biomarkers of stress and improve resiliency in military and athletic populations.
Since coming to UNT in 1997, Dr. Bill Camp has contributed actively to the graduate programs in Educational Administration. His research interests include educational law and finance, and he teaches courses on various aspects of educational leadership. He also supervises interns in the public schools and directs doctoral dissertations. His bachelor's and master's degrees are both from Texas Tech University, and his doctorate is from Virginia Tech University. Prior to his work at UNT, he served as professor, chair, and acting associate dean at California State University. He also taught previously at Oklahoma State University and Texas Tech. Other educational experience includes serving as assistant superintendent of schools, high school principal, and high school science teacher.
Dr. Mila Rosa Librea-Carden is originally from the Philippines and first came to the U.S. in 2013 as a fellow of Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching for International Teachers. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Science Education, from Kent State University. She also holds a master’s degree in biology from Ateneo De Manila University, Philippines. She taught high school biology at the Ateneo de Manila High School and served as director of graduate studies at the Far Eastern University in the Philippines. Before coming to UNT, she was a faculty associate and a science academic professional at Arizona State University. Her teaching and research agendas are interconnected, being grounded in strength-based teaching and focused on the learning and teaching of the nature of science. She is committed to pursuing scholarship that supports accessible and equitable science learning for diverse populations including students with special educational needs.
Angie Cartwright earned a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, Master of Arts in counseling, and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, all from Sam Houston State University. Upon graduation, she joined the counseling program faculty at Texas A&M University — Commerce as a tenure-track assistant professor, where she taught master’s and doctoral courses for three years. Dr. Cartwright’s research agenda addresses the success of children from absent-father homes, offender and addictions counseling issues, and mentorship in counselor education. She has published numerous peer-reviewed publications, international presentations/webinars, and a book chapter. Dr. Cartwright also brings several years of clinical experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor — Supervisor and a Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider in Texas. Dr. Cartwright’s clinical background includes work with incarcerated adults, civilly committed sexual offenders, and youth. She currently is the committee chair of the sex offender treatment and rehabilitation committee of the International Association of Addiction and Offender Counseling. In her free time, Dr. Cartwright enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Peggy Ceballos earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of North Texas in 2008. She earned a Master in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2002 and her Bachelor's from the University of New Orleans in 1999.
Cynthia K. Chandler, EdD, is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist in Texas and has been a professor in the counseling program, of the College of Education, at the University of North Texas since 1989. She has an international reputation for her work in animal-assisted interventions, which she began in 1999. For her work in the field of animal assisted therapy, Dr. Chandler received the 2016 Professional Development Award from the American Counseling Association, and received the 2009 Thelma Duffey Vision and Innovation Award from the Association for Creativity in Counseling. She is author of the award-winning book Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling, the 3rd edition was published in 2017. She is also editor of the book published in 2018, Animal-Assisted Interventions for Emotional and Mental Health: Conversations with Pioneers of the Field. Dr. Chandler founded the ground-breaking model, human-animal relational theory, which serves as a guide for the practice of animal-assisted counseling.
Dr. Chen engages in doing research and teaching in the area of quantitative methods. Her primary quantitative research interests include Growth Mixture Modeling (GMM), Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM), and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), and the application of these methods in longitudinal data analyses and mediation analysis. She is also interested in the application of these methods in educational and family-based data. Her interested substantive areas include children’s psychosocial functioning and self-regulation, school-based prevention, teacher-student relationship and peer relations, and the intersection of family and cultural contexts in shaping Asian American adolescent development.
Jason Chiang received his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science from Syracuse University, Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and Methodology from SUNY Albany, and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Toronto. As a first-generation Canadian and American, Dr. Chiang takes pride in his immigrant identity and actively participates in community activities. He is deeply in love with DFW area and everything Texas.
Informed by John Berry's ecological perspective and his work on acculturation strategies, Dr. Chiang's research involves investigating how familial, school, and cultural factors affect immigrant children’s capacity to cope with challenging educational and environmental situations and succeed.
Before moving to Texas, Dr. Chiang had previously taught at University of Akron as Assistant Professor of Instruction, and at Berkshire Community College as Assistant Professor of Psychology. He also worked briefly as a Head Start Administrator in California.
Andrew Colombo-Dougovito is an Assistant Professor of Sport Pedagogy and Motor Behavior in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation at University of North Texas. He serves as the Director of the UNT Physical Activity and Motor Skill program and Faculty Liaison to the Kristin Farmer Autism Center at UNT. Colombo-Dougovito's research focuses on understanding the motor abilities and development characteristics of individuals on the autism spectrum and how the development motor skills impact social and adaptive skill development, as well as physical activity participation across the lifespan. Through this research, he strives to develop intervention, assessment and teaching strategies to better improve the quality of physical activity participation of autistic individuals.
Eric Dafoe, Ph.D., Certified School Counselor, NCC, is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas. His counseling experience includes serving as a family therapist at a Medicaid-funded community counseling clinic and as a school counselor at a K-8 school. His publications, presentations, and research agenda focus on expressive arts, school counseling, school-based mental health services, play therapy, and counselor supervision.
Sarah Deemer earned her BS and MS degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso and her PhD from Texas Woman’s University. Sarah then completed three years of postdoctoral training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC). Sarah joined the faculty at UNT in the Fall of 2020. Sarah’s research interests include understanding of the role of exercise and/or nutrition on weight loss and equally important, weight loss maintenance. Specifically, she is interested in the role of the adipocyte and the adipose tissue depot in regulation of insulin sensitivity and metabolic health. Sarah’s research will aim to address the following questions: What important physiological changes occur in the adipocyte as a result of obesity and how does this influence adipocyte remodeling and metabolism, the efficacy of exercise and nutrition interventions for reversing the adverse changes in an “obese” adipocyte, and the integrative mechanisms that mediate the adverse changes associated with obesity and how exercise and nutritional supplements or dietary changes may favorably influence adipocyte metabolism and promote weight loss. Sarah’s additional research interests include the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on insulin sensitivity and adipocytokine production, as well as other nutrition- or exercise-related interventions aimed at reducing the risk of development of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease, particularly in minority populations.
Dr. Duncan earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in the Urban Superintendency from the University of Southern California. He earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Bilingual Education (Spanish/English) from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Long Beach. Before joining the faculty at UNT, Dr. Duncan served as Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Texas A&M University, Central Texas where he taught many of the courses in the Educational Leadership program. He was the primary professor for the principal practicum/internship for the Master’s degree in Educational Leadership with principal certification and also served a term as program coordinator. Prior to his work at A&M Central Texas, he taught as an adjunct professor for Wayland Baptist University and Concordia University teaching in their educational administration programs and the curriculum and instruction programs when needed. Dr. Duncan served as a mentor for teachers in early childhood programs through a state funded grant entitled Texas School Ready Resource Grant through the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Prior to his work in higher education, Dr. Duncan served in K-12 administration as a middle school principal, elementary school principal and in central office administration as administrator of assessment and accountability and Coordinator of Curriculum Based Assessments. Prior to his work in administration Dr. Duncan served as a bilingual education teacher in grades 1-5.
Dr. Duncan is married to his wife of 39 years and has 2 sons and a daughter. He and his wife currently have their hands full keeping up with their young grandson. Hobbies include bowling and making music whenever the opportunity affords. We also enjoy going to movies as a family and grilling on holidays or other warm summer evenings.
Colleen McLean Eddy, Ed.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration for mathematics education and curriculum & instruction. Her degrees include Ed.D. from Baylor University, M.Ed. from Tarleton State University and B.S. from University of Texas at Austin. Her scholarship focuses on herself as a mathematics teacher educator, mathematics teacher educators, preservice teachers, and practicing teachers that incorporates the rehumanizing of mathematics (Gutiérrez, 2013,2018) and equitable pathways in STEM education. Lesson study is one of the professional development tools that has transcended her research and grants. Her research has been supported by grants totaling over $5 million, including the NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Grant for which she was the Principal Investigator.
Wesley Edwards is an assistant professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration at the University of North Texas. His research interests include teacher and school leader career trajectories, school organizational work environments, and the politics and policy of educational leadership. Dr. Edwards has published in journals such as Educational Policy, Teachers College Record, and Education Economics.
Edwards received a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in the Sociology of Education from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Planning from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., he was a middle school math and science teacher and teacher leader in New York and Texas.
Alex Fernandez MS, MPH, CSCS, CPH joined the University of North Texas as a lecturer in the fall of 2022. He earned his BS and MS in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas and his MPH from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He is board-certified in Public Health through the National Board of Public Health Examiners and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Alex has work experience in clinical exercise physiology and research, public health programming, personal training, and fitness center management. He strives to bridge the gap between the classroom and practical application to best prepare students for their next steps professionally and academically. He has a passion for health and an innate drive to serve others in any way he can. He hopes to add value and serve as a resource to students and the UNT community. His interests are health and fitness, lifting weights, and learning new things.
Brittany Frieson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration at the University of North Texas, where she will begin in the fall of 2019. She earned her doctorate degree in 2019 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Language & Literacy. Her research focuses on African American Language speakers in dual-language Spanish/english bilingual programs and how multilingual students utilize minoritized languages as a form of resistance towards dichotomous languaging rules in the classroom. As an educator, her mission is to cultivate critically conscious educators who rewrite the narrative on how minoritized languages can be a language of power in the language arts classroom, as well as unveil how institutions of schooling often operate to reinforce historical linguistic oppression among Students of Color. At UNT, she teaches literacy and elementary education courses in the undergraduate program. Prior to her arrival at UNT, she was a teacher in North Carolina at both the elementary and middle school levels.
After graduating from the University of North Texas, Dr. R. Jefferson George began his career in education as a media specialist for Vernon Community College. His main focus was to support instruction in a college classroom through a growing use of the available technology. As interest in video learning technologies increased, he moved to Austin and created his own video production company. His company created documentary and historical videos for classroom instruction. After moving to Houston, he began writing children’s books with Texas author Johara Harper and began his career in public education as an eighth-grade science teacher. He completed his master’s degree in Counseling at the University of Houston and worked as school counselor, a college counselor and a hospital therapist in Houston ISD, Houston Community College and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. Dr. George eventually returned to public education as a school administrator, serving as a principal, interim-principal, assistant principal and director of an alternative program. He then returned to the University of North Texas to complete his doctorate in Educational Leadership. During this time, he became a mentor in the Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Program through the Center for Learning Enhancement and Redesign and worked with university teachers and leaders to create a classroom with high levels of student engagement and instructional rigor. Dr. George has returned to his interest in learning technologies and creating an engaging classroom with high levels of instructional rigor. He is developing a series of online doctoral courses for the doctorate in Educational Leadership. Dr. George is continuing his research into the development of an engaging instructional platform in a virtual environment and understanding the online experience of the native digital learner. Dr. George is a member of the Texas Counseling Association, the Texas Association of School Administrators and Kappa Delta Pi.
Dr. Jeannette Ginther is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University in 2017, her masters in Literacy Education from the State University of New York at Cortland in 2002, and her bachelors in Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1999. Dr. Ginther happily began her career as a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher in New York. After a decade of classroom teaching in both New York and Texas, she served as a reading instructional specialist, student achievement specialist, professional learning coordinator, educational consultant, field supervisor for student teachers, and an adjunct instructor before joining the faculty at UNT in 2017. Dr. Ginther was the 2019 recipient of the UNT Student Government Association's 'Fessor Graham Award for Outstanding Service to Students, as well as the June 2019 UNT Teaching Excellence Spotlight Award. Dr. Ginther also enjoys her role as a Faculty Co-Advisor for Kappa Delta Pi, UNT's Education Honor Society.
Ricardo González-Carriedo’s research interests include bilingual teacher preparation, the internationalization of teacher education programs, literacy development among second language learners, and the representation of Latino students in the media. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of León in Spain and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. Prior to his service at UNT, he worked at the University of Paris, France, for two years and was a secondary teacher in North Carolina and Arizona for 11 years.
Literacy education is Dr. Hancock’s passion and purpose. She has proudly served as a classroom teacher, language acquisition specialist, instructional coach, professional development coordinator, member of a campus administrative team, as well as a university instructor and researcher. As a teacher educator, she engages students with literacy methods instruction that sparks delight with the written word, magnifies historically excluded voices, provides form for vicarious experience, as well as inspires advocacy and activism. When she’s not teaching, Dr. Hancock enjoys spending time with her family as well as competing in marathons and ultramarathons.
Robin’s background is a bit of winding road, but one he considers divinely guided by God. His early background was in youth ministry with undergraduate majors in Biblical studies and psychology from Evangel University (Springfield, MO). This evolved into a focus on counseling and masters degrees in general and clinical psychology, and eventually LPC licensure. Robin then earned a PhD in educational psychology at Texas A&M University, and this led to his current research and teaching focus on statistics, measurement, and research methodology. The LPC licensure was latter allowed to lapse due to a focus on methodology, but Robin still periodically works with counseling applications. More recently, Robin has completed a doctor of ministry (DMin) degree from Liberty University with a cognate in expository preaching and teaching. Robin is married to an incredible woman and has two awesome, young adult kids. In his spare time, Robin enjoys outdoor activities and being involved at Midway Church.
Donna Hickman is thrilled to be joining the UNT faculty as a Clinical Assistant Professor this fall. She was previously an Assistant Professor and coordinator of the school counseling program at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Donna is a Licensed Professional Counselor and certified school counselor in the state of Texas. She has 22 years of experience in Texas public schools as an elementary school teacher and counselor. She has also worked with children, adolescents, and adults in private practice. Donna is an active member of several professional counseling associations with presentations on topics such as research mentorship, sandtray therapy, and school counselor supervision. Her research interest areas include professional school counselor advocacy, graduate student mental health, and counselor self-care and wellness.
David W. Hill is Regents Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation at the University of North Texas. Dr. Hill earned his BA and BS at Southern Illinois University, MAPE at The University of Florida, and PhD at The University of Georgia. He has served as a faculty member at UNT since 1988.
Jaret Hodges earned a master's degree at the University of Houston, doctorate at Purdue University, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University. His research interests include underrepresented populations in gifted education, rural gifted education, and gifted education policy. He also has an interest in promoting open science practices and the use of computer programming in education research.
James Hoffman is a Professor of Language and Literacy at The University of North Texas and currently serves as the Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education. Dr. Hoffman is a former editor of The Reading Research Quarterly and The Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. He has served as President of the National Reading Conference and as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association. Dr. Hoffman was an affiliated scholar with both the National Reading Research Center and the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. He was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2002 and served as President of this organization from 2008-2010. Dr. Hoffman served as the chair for the International Reading Association’s Commission and the “Prepared to Make a Difference” research project. He has been active in international literacy projects in Central American, Africa and Asia. This past year he was awarded the Oscar Causey lifetime achievement award for research in literacy by the Literacy Research Association. The primary focus for his research has been on teaching and teacher preparation. Dr. Hoffman has published more than 150 articles, books and chapters on literacy related topics.
Johnetta Hudson, Ph.D., is a visiting professor of education administration within the Department of Teacher Education and Administration at the University of North Texas. Her scholarship focuses on race, class, and gender issues in education. Within this broad area Hudson has published on women's leadership in a male-dominated culture and leadership for educating a diverse student population. A secondary area of interest is leadership development utilizing technology. Her degrees are from Kentucky State University (BA), University of Nebraska (MA) and Indiana State University (EdS and PhD).
Darrell Hull received his PhD in Educational Psychology from Baylor University. He has been involved in STEM and STEM education for more than 20 years, as principal investigator for several NSF and U.S. Department of Education programs. During the last 10 years he has conducted research on positive youth development in the Caribbean, working in the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Belize were he has directed randomized trial studies and quasi-experimental trials focused on adolescents. Based on his work with Item Response Theory and Generalizability Theory, Dr. Hull teaches measurement in the Educational Research PhD program and is a frequent psychometric consultant to assessment organizations in the DFW area.
As Vice Provost for Faculty Success, Holly M. Hutchins is responsible for providing strategic leadership to ensure transparent and equitable faulty-related academic policies, effective communication processes, diverse and inclusive learning opportunities, and prestigious faculty awards and recognition processes and events. Vice Provost Hutchins supports UNT’s diverse faculty resource groups, oversees faculty mentoring and developmental grants and initiatives, and leadership fellow programs within academic affairs. She coordinates with other academic affairs units to address faculty human resource issues and provides counsel on developing healthy, just, and sustainable workplace climates. Vice Provost Hutchins’ academic background is in human resource development where her focus has been on training transfer and faculty talent development. She is a proud UNT alumna and completed her Ph.D. in 2004.
Before returning to UNT as Vice Provost, she was professor and department chair at the University of Houston. Spanning her 17 years at UH, Vice Provost Hutchins garnered $4M in funded grants, published over 40 peer-reviewed articles in national and international journals, and has been featured in global media outlets such as NPR, the BBC, Psychology Today, and The Guardian for her work on imposter phenomenon among higher education faculty. Vice Provost Hutchins supports UNT’s HSI and MSI mission by leading and supporting efforts to attract, retain, and advance a thriving and diverse faculty community.
Dr. Jerraco Leontae Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation. An overarching theme of his research is health disparities among young, underserved children. Johnson's primary research aims are to develop and improve childhood health behaviors (i.e., fundamental motor skill competence, physical activity promotion) in young children from under-represented backgrounds. These children are highly at-risk for poor health trajectories (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease) and motor developmental delays. He specializes in implementing mastery motivational climate movement and health interventions in Preschool and Head Start settings, primarily for low-income children of color. A major emphasis of his research is on addressing and combating ethnic/racial, gender, and socioeconomic related disparities for this population. Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) is an integral component of his research.During his graduate studies he was the recipient of several awards from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) including the Graduate Student Dissertation Research Grant, Outstanding Student Paper Award, and Graduate Student Award for International Conference Travel.
Leslie Jones is a Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and a Registered Play Therapist. Leslie teaches courses in play therapy, child appraisal, and clinical courses. Leslie has over 25 years of play therapy experience including teaching masters level courses, supervising counselors in training, and working with families and children in both community agency and school settings.
Teo (Danielle) Keifert (she/they) is a learning scientist, researcher, educator, and assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of North Texas. Teo studies how young children orient to inquiry, and the sensemaking resources they draw upon during inquiry. These include resources like engaging in imaginative embodiment by acting like a creature with feet on the back of your head to explore anatomy, engaging in thought experiments like imagining standing in boiling water or becoming a water particle to explore states of matter, and even drawing to make sense of engineering challenges. They also examine the sensemaking practices of young children's families and explore how children may be constrained/supported to engage in those practices across home and school. Teo broadens forms of supported sensemaking through design-based research and professional learning partnerships; Teo has studied how mixed-reality technologies support young children’s sensemaking in science through play and embodiment (Science through Technology Enhanced Play, National Science Foundation grant, PIs Enyedy, Danish), how to support elementary teachers to design for transformational learning for all learners, including multilingual learners (Representations for Teachers as Learners project, McDonnell Foundation grant), and studies how to design for pre-service teachers to make sense of their past learning through the lenses of expansive socio-cultural theories to (re)envision new possibilities for their future students. Through this work they seek to broaden participation in science practices not just by including more individuals from marginalized communities in science, but also by expanding what counts as science. Teo earned her PhD from the Learning Sciences program at Northwestern University after five years as a middle math and science teacher and is the proud human of a rescue pup named Gracie.
Dr. M. Jean Keller is a professor in the University of North Texas Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion and chair of the North Texas Regional P-16 Council. She recently served as the UNT interim vice president for community engagement and equity and diversity. She supported UNT Dallas as provost and vice chancellor as the institution transitioned to an independently accredited university in the UNT System. She served as dean of the College of Education at UNT for 15 years. Prior to her career at UNT, she was a department chair at the University of Georgia and a member of the faculty at Indiana University.
She has written or edited 11 books and 18 refereed chapters, and authored more than 100 articles. Dr. Keller has given more than 300 presentations in the United States and several countries. She was awarded more than $6 million of funding by external agencies for research and innovative projects. Dr. Keller is a fellow in the Academy of Leisure Sciences and the Academy of Park and Recreation Administration. She has received recognition for extensive work related to health disparities, persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the North Texas Region P-16 Council, a regional, data-driven collaborative focused on education access and success for all students leading to meaningful employment and quality of life.
Lauren Kelly received her doctorate in HDFS/Forensic Science from Texas Tech University. She also completed training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where she developed skills related to crime scene investigation, trauma-informed counseling, lie detection, victim advocacy and profiling. She also worked for a non-profit in New Mexico as a clinician assisting children who experienced the most severe forms of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect. Dr. Kelly teaches family law and public policy, courtship and marriage, families in crisis and families, communities, schools. Dr. Kelly's research focuses on child abuse and outcomes, romantic relationships, sexism, forensic interviewing, and breastfeeding awareness.
Nazia Khan is a senior lecturer in the department of Teacher Education and Administration. She earned her doctorate in science education and concentration in multicultural education from Hofstra University in New York in 2018. Her teaching experience includes Science education, STEM education, and best practices for underrepresented communities. She serves to coordinate optimal student experiences embedded in transformative education in social actions related to science and partnerships with community leaders.
Khan's research focus is on understanding how to engage and support students and teachers of all communities in science and STEM education with an emphasis on growth mindset. Much of her interests in education are rooted in her experience teaching in New York City for 10 years in a NYC public schools and the City University of New York. Having taught students of all ages in ESL, Black and Latinx communities, Khan promotes and understands the importance of representation in STEM fields, which is a motivating factor of her teaching, research and scholarship.
Dr. Kim joined the University of North Texas as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2017. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Yonsei University in 2008, Master of Science in Sport Management from the University of Florida in 2011, and Ph.D. in Kinesiology (Sport Management and Policy) at the University of Georgia in 2016. He previously held a position at the University of Georgia as a full-time lecturer. His research primarily focuses on sport philanthropy, especially marketing and management of sport-related charitable nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations from consumer behavior and organization theory perspectives.
Kyoung Jin Kim, Ph. D., is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. She received a Ph. D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining UNT, she was an assistant professor at Arkansas State University, Ball State University, and Wheelock College. In addition, she was a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University. Her teaching in higher education has a wide range of both undergraduate and graduate courses including child development, principles of early childhood education, foundations in communication and collaboration with families, professionals, and communities, teaching, and curriculum in diverse early childhood settings, practicum courses, action research, nurturing children’s social competence, environmental processes, and assessment, learning with/from children, advanced studies in early childhood education, and documenting young children’s learning and development.
All of her teaching experiences inspired her research. Providing a high-quality program for young children is her central interest. She researched program quality in education, teacher evaluation, teacher efficacy in working with diverse families, and professional development to assess teacher quality. Curriculum-wise, she examined many effective programs on different instructional approaches on diverse subject matters such as math, science, art, and critical literacy. Lastly, as diversity is another streamline of her research, she examined racial diversity through role-playing as well as reflected on her own experience as an immigrant mother and teacher educator focusing on diversity and working with immigrant children and families. Her scholarly works have been published in journals such as the International Journal of Early Childhood, Journal of Research in Early Childhood, Journal of Research in Early Childhood, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Early Childhood Development and Care, and Early Childhood Education.
Daniel G. Krutka, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. A former high school social studies teacher in Oklahoma City, his research interests concerns intersections of technology, education, and democracy. Dr. Krutka has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He was awarded the 2016 Early Career Award by the Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning special interest group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the 2017 Outstanding Research Paper Award from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). He is past chair of the Social Studies Research SIG of AERA and a past board member for the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). He also hosts the Visions of Education podcast (VisionsOfEd.com) and founded the Civics of Technology project (CivicsOfTechnology.org). He earned his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.
Queshonda Kudaisi joined the University of North Texas in the Fall of 2022 as an assistant professor of mathematics education in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. Her degrees include a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida, an M.A.T from the University of South Florida and a B.S. from Southeastern University. Her research is composed of two strands of inquiry. The first strand focuses on social justice in mathematics education with particular attention is given to mathematics teacher educators', mathematics teachers', and mathematics teacher candidates’ development of the knowledge needed to teach mathematics for social justice. Her research interest in social justice mathematics stem from her experiences in title one schools as a mathematics teacher and an instructional mathematics coach. Dr. Kudaisi’s second strand of inquiry focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences that take place in informal learning environments such as after school and summer programs. Her research interest in informal STEM learning environments originated from her experience participating in after school STEM programs as a student and as an educational non-profit founder and director. Her research methods include the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Dr. Kudaisi’s 8 years’ experience within K-12 contexts include work in both private and public schools, work as a mathematics teacher, work as an instructional mathematics coach, and work as an education consultant. Dr. Kudaisi has presented at both state and national mathematics conferences and has served on the board of directors for several professional mathematics organizations.
Hyanghee Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut in 2018, following completion of her B.A. and M.A. in Child Development and Family Studies at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to joining UNT, she completed two postdoctoral trainings, working with Dr. Kimberly Henry at Colorado State University (2018-2021), and then working with Drs. Greg Fosco and Mark Feinberg at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University (2021-2022). Her research program focuses on the impact of family dynamics on individual and family development trajectories.
Jihyun Lee is an assistant professor in the Research, Measurement and Statistics program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in 2022 in the Quantitative Methods program in the Educational Psychology department at the University of Texas at Austin.
Her research has been anchored in the overarching question, "How can we conduct valid quantitative research to investigate psychological and behavioral phenomena?" To address this question, she studies quantitative methods and statistical modeling used for research within the behavioral and social sciences, including education and psychology. Her specialized work in quantitative methods includes meta-analysis, missing data analysis, and latent variable modeling.
In addition, she has actively collaborated with applied researchers in various research fields. Her work is intended to further enhance the quantitative research that investigates educational, psychological, clinical, and social issues.
Matthew Lemberger-Truelove is a Professor of Counseling and Higher Education at the University of North Texas. Dr. Lemberger-Truelove is the Editor of the Journal of Counseling and Development and the past Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Counseling. Also, he served as President of the Association for Humanistic Counseling and as the Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling. Dr. Lemberger-Truelove’s scholarship includes empirical and theoretical writing. His empirical work pertains to counseling practice with children and adolescents, especially in economically challenged K12 schools. His theoretical writings cover a number of areas such as the development of a unique school counseling theory, social justice philosophy, research design, and humanistic counseling. His empirical and theoretical work adhere to the basic supposition that counseling is optimal when counselors help cultivate various internal capacities of clients while simultaneously improving the social opportunities that affect their lives.
Dan Li is an assistant professor of counseling at the University of North Texas. She received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision (and a Minor in Applied Statistics) from the University of Iowa in 2018. She received her master’s in Professional School Counseling from Appalachian State University in 2014. Li is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed School Counselor (K-12) in North Carolina.
Li is an interdisciplinary scholar who adopts a variety of research methods to study counseling and supervision related phenomena, including quantitative (Markov chain analysis, sequential analysis, structural equation modeling, mediation analysis, moderation analysis, and hierarchical regression), qualitative (phenomenology, thematic analysis), and mixed methods (case study, content analysis). Li’s overarching research agenda centers on counselor training, and it covers three lines of inquiry: (a) relational dynamics of clinical supervision; (b) minoritized students and faculty in counseling; and (c) online/remote teaching and learning in counseling. These research endeavors led to more than 20 indexed, peer-reviewed publications, the 2022 Publication in Counselor Education and Supervision Award (which honors a significant publishing effort by an Association for Counselor Education and Supervision [ACES] member focusing on the education and supervision of counselors within the last 2 years), the 2020 ACES Research Grant Award, the 2018 ACES Research Grant Award, the 2021 UNT College of Education Junior Faculty Research Award, and the 2021 UNT Faculty Summer Grant.
As a student-centered educator, Li is dedicated to building a culturally sensitive, inclusive, interactional, and thought-provoking learning environment. At the doctoral level, she teaches Quantitative Research in Counseling; at the master’s level, she teaches School Counseling, Counseling Theories, and Career Counseling. Li also actively provides service to the counseling profession. She serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Counseling and Development (the flagship journal for the American Counseling Association), the ACES Teaching Practice Briefs, and the Journal of International Students.
Natalya A. Lindo, PhD, LPC is a Professor and Department Chair at the University of North Texas with 15 years of experience as a researcher and clinician with specialized training in working with children and families, diverse and at-risk populations. Dr. Lindo’s primary research areas are School-based Play Therapy, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, Teacher Child Relationship Building and Career Development across the lifespan. Consistent with this research agenda, Dr. Lindo regularly conducts action-research projects in the public schools related to Child Parent Relationship Therapy and Teacher Child Relationship Building. Most recently Dr. Lindo developed the Child and Adolescent Career Construction Interview aimed at improving self-concept, occupational identity and career adaptability. With a focus on capacity building, Dr. Lindo collaborates with administrators and school counselors to develop school-wide mental health initiatives targeting children who are at risk for school failure.
Christopher Long is an Assistant Professor of K-12 Science Education at the University of North Texas.
Dr. Long earned his Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M - Commerce, a Master of Arts in Teaching in Science Education from the University of Texas – Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Science Education from Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.
Dr. Long’s teaching experience includes 15 years of teaching middle-school science in the public schools and six years of teacher preparation at the collegiate level. Most of his teaching experience has been in diverse, Title I schools.
Dr. Long’s research is focused on studying learning environments and attitudes associated with learning and teaching of science, pre-service teachers’ conceptual understanding of science, and science teacher preparation. Dr. Long serves as an associate editor for the Electronic Journal of Research in Mathematics and Science Education as well as a reviewer for several other science education journals.
In his spare time, Dr. Long is an avid sports fan who can often be found cheering on the A&M-Commerce Lions and UNT Mean Green athletics. He also volunteers with a local non-profit that provides social learning opportunities for young adults with autism.
Ruth McKoy Lowery, Ph.D., is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs in the College of Education. She is also a professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. Dr. Lowery’s research focuses on children’s literature, immigrant and multicultural literature, and the adaptation of immigrant and minority students at-risk of school failure, West Indian immigrants’ adjustment in American, Canadian, and British schools; and preparing teachers to teach diverse student populations. The definitive outcome of her research is to prepare preservice and in-service teachers to create a culturally responsive learning space for all children they will ultimately teach through diverse literature integration in their curriculum. Children’s literature is an important mode of communication and when utilized, stories have the power to break down walls as readers make cross-cultural connections. Her motto “Just read” encapsulates her love of books and belief in sharing great literature with readers of all ages. Dr. Lowery has more than 100 publications including seven books. She is vice-president of the Children's Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English. Prior to coming to UNT, Dr. Lowery served as Interim Chair and Associate Chair for the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education and Human Ecology at the Ohio State University.
Scott Martin received his doctorate of philosophy degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is a fellow of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a member of the United States Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology Registry, and an invited member of the Texas Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Partnership. His extensive knowledge in sport, physical fitness, and health psychology has provided him opportunities to interact with numerous coaches, athletes, musicians, military personnel, and business leaders about their performance. His research interests include examining attitudes toward and effectiveness of mental skills services, psychosocial factors associated with health-related fitness — cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition — and effective coaching behaviors and leadership styles. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 refereed professional articles, 10 non-refereed articles, five book chapters, and 200 presentations at state, national, and international conferences. Dr. Martin has received more than $2 million in funding from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (Science Education Partnership Award), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, The Cooper Institute, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and Girls in the Game.
As a literacy educator at UNT since 1997, Janelle Mathis focuses her teaching and research on children’s and adolescent literature, especially works that are multicultural and international. She teaches both undergraduate and courses in children’s and adolescent literature, qualitative research, and literacy topics including multimodality and sociocultural issues. Her research interests, often focused on response to literature and critical content analysis of words and images, are also found in the areas of the transactional theory of reader response, socio-cultural contexts for literacy teaching and learning, critical literacy, and literacy through the arts. She received her doctorate at the University of Arizona in the Department of Language, Reading, and Culture in 1994. She was a teaching assistant and adjunct at the University of Arizona, and she also taught at Northern Illinois University prior to coming to UNT. Published in national and international journals, she is most recently a co-editor and author of "Critical Content Analysis of children’s and Young Adult Literature: Reframing Perspective" (Routledge, 2016) and "Critical Content Analysis of Visual Images in Books for Young People: Reading Images" (Routledge, 2019). Currently serving as co-editor of "Bookbird, An International Journal of Children’s Literature," her professional life outside UNT revolves around and within LRA, NCTE, IBBY/USBBY, and ALA. Her personal life involves traveling, hiking, and learning about “the Blues.”
Brian McFarlin earned his BS and MS degrees at Texas Christian University and his PhD at Purdue University. After graduation, he completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Nutrition at Purdue University before becoming an Assistant Professor at The University of Houston. Dr. McFarlin joined the UNT faculty in the Fall of 2012. He is a Professor with tenure at the University of North Texas.
Dr. McFarlin’s research focuses on the use of natural products and exercise to reduce disease risk and improve muscle recovery following injury and strenuous training sessions. Since 2004, he has published more than 115 peer-reviewed articles and obtained more than $3.5 million in externally funded research grants. His research methodology expertise includes flow cytometry and multiplex analysis among other common biological techniques.
Dr. McFarlin is co-director of the University of North Texas’s Applied Physiology Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and an editor for the journal METHODS. Dr. McFarlin was recognized as the 2019 UNT Teacher-Scholar and regularly teaches courses in Healthy Lifestyles, Sport Nutrition, and Exercise Physiology. He is considered an expert in the design and implementation of high-quality online and blended courses.
Dr. Wendy Middlemiss is a Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Syracuse University in 1992. In her role at the University of North Texas, Dr. Middlemiss is principal investigator for the Home Instruction of Parents of Preschool Youngsters (Texas HIPPY), editor of Family Relations and graduate faculty with a concentration in Human Development and Family Sciences.
Dr. Karisma Morton is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education. Her research explores racial inequity in STEM education with a focus on mathematics education and has two strands of inquiry. In the first, she explores factors influencing racially minoritized students’ opportunities to learn rigorous mathematics through quantitative analyses of large-scale district and national datasets. In the second, she explores elementary preservice teachers’ ability to teach mathematics in equitable ways, particularly through the development of their critical racial consciousness. Findings from her research have been published in the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and Educational Researcher.
Rachel U. Mun is an Associate Professor at the University of North Texas in Educational Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Education, Learning Sciences and Human Development from the University of Washington. She was also a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Connecticut with the National Center for Research on Gifted Education conducting research on identifying and serving underrepresented gifted learners. Her research interests are two tiered and best described as an intersection between culture, gifted education, and socioemotional well-being. At the micro-level, she explores socioemotional development and decision-making for high-ability students (emphasis on immigrants) within family, peer and academic contexts with the goal to promote well-being. At the macro-level, she examines ways to improve equitable identification and services for K-12 high-ability learners from diverse populations. She has published in Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Journal of Advanced Academics, Roeper Review and Parenting for High Potential.
Mayra Olivares-Urueta, Ph.D. works to remove institutional barriers and ensure the success of all students, especially historically marginalized and excluded populations. She comes to UNT after serving as associate professor of professional practice in the graduate Higher Education Leadership Program at Texas Christian University. Prior to that, Mayra worked as vice president for student development services at Tarrant County College-Northeast Campus. Dr. OU’s research and writing focus on removing barriers to executive leadership for Latina mothers in higher education, making college a family affair, and increasing access and success of Latinx students in higher education. In 2018 she was named an American Association of Women in Community Colleges 40 under 40 and in 2020 she became a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Presidential Fellows program. She is immediate past-president of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, member of the NASPA Latinx Task Force within the Community Colleges Division and a member of the Board of Directors for Camp Fire Texas. Dr. OU enjoys spending time with her family, running, and reading.
Ryan Olson joined the University of North Texas as an Assistant Professor in fall 2016. He received his B.S. in Kinesiology and Health Promotion from the University of Wyoming prior to completing his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University. His research interests center on the fields of Sport and Exercise Psychology, with an emphasis on implementing psychophysiological techniques, including electrocardiography and electroencephalography, to identify neural biomarkers of disease. Specifically, Olson focuses on the effects of acute and chronic exercise for improving neurocognitive function and mental health and examining neurocognitive deficits and autonomic function in at-risk populations, especially in concussed and obese individuals.
Barbara L. Pazey is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of North Texas, where she joined the faculty in 2017. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration with a specialization in Special Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, her Master of Arts in Music and Piano from The Ohio State University, her special education certification through the University of South Carolina and Francis Marion University, and a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in piano from Muskingum University. She has experience as a K-12 music teacher and special education teacher, musician and music director for several professional organizations, high school inclusion coordinator, high school principal, and higher education administrator.
Pazey’s research centers on student voice as well as facilitating the empowerment of voice among individuals with multiple identities and generations, inclusive education, equity-oriented leadership, and educational policy and reform. She interrogates the effects of educational policies and laws on the school experiences of marginalized student populations and examines how educational policies and reforms inform and impact the development of equity-oriented leaders and leadership preparation programs.
She actively participates in several professional organizations, serving as the representative for the UNT Teacher Education and Administration Department in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Research Committee member for the Council for Administrators of Special Education, and a member of the Action Committee for the Leadership for Social Justice Special Interest Group (SIG) for the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Pamela Peak earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of North Texas. Dr. Peak has spent more than 30 years working in various capacities in area school districts, but all with students with special needs. Her research focuses on the development and use of educational assessments to reduce the disproportionality of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education and pre-/in-service teacher preparation. She has developed widely used assessment instruments including the Test of Early Written Language, Third Edition (TEWL-3) and Young Children’s Achievement Test, Second Edition (YCAT-2).
Dr. Michelle Salazar Pérez is the Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Education & Professor of Early Childhood Studies at the University of North Texas. She uses women of color feminisms to inform her community collaborations, research, and pedagogy. These perspectives not only critically orient her work, but they also foreground the urgency to re-envision the field to support culturally sustaining praxis and programs for minoritized young children.
Dr. Pérez’s past and current scholarship addresses early childhood policy reform, historical and contemporary constructions of childhood/s, teacher education, and critical qualitative methodologies. Her work has been published in Teachers College Record, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Equity & Excellence in Education, the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Qualitative Inquiry, and Review of Research in Education. She has co-edited several special issues and books, including The SAGE Handbook of Global Childhoods.
Dr. Pérez earned her Ph.D. from Arizona State University and her master's and undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M University in College Station. Prior to her appointment at the University of North Texas, she was a tenured Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at The University of Texas at Austin and New Mexico State University.
Kelly Perez earned her M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University and worked as a teacher in a K-12 setting in her early career. Her passion for health and fitness led her to obtain her personal training, health coaching, and group exercise instructor certifications. She has taught various formats of fitness such as Pilates, HIIT, step, and indoor cycling for over two decades and worked with a variety of clients. Kelly earned her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Arizona and worked in the Department of Health Sciences at Northern Arizona University for twelve years as a teacher and program coordinator. She developed course such as Healthy Lifestyles and Worksite Wellness and coordinated the FIT program which served over 6000 students annually.
Angela M. Randall earned her Ph.D. in Reading Education at Auburn University. Dr. Randall's research interests include teachers' and students' knowledge of current high-quality children's books and the influence of teachers' attitudes toward reading on their students' attitudes. She has a profound love for children's books and is enthusiastic about exposing her students to the wonderful children's books available. Her elementary teaching experience includes teaching in grades 1 through 3 in Virginia, Texas, and Belgium.
Dr. Rachel Ranschaert centers both her teaching and research around justice-oriented teacher education. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and began her career as a middle school teacher in Arizona and Texas. She then went on to the University of Georgia, where she earned her Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice and her certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research. At the University of Georgia, she worked as a teacher educator in the Middle Grades Program.
Her research focuses on the intersection of justice-oriented teacher education and sociopolitical discourses surrounding schools as they manifest in policy, news media, and curriculum. She has also done work related to both middle grades education, school-university partnerships, and qualitative methodologies. Her work has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and published in Educational Studies, School-University Partnerships, Middle School Journal, The Middle Grades Review, Journal of Media Literacy Education, and several books, most recently Progressive Neoliberalism in Education. Outside of teaching and research, she enjoys cooking, yoga, and reading fiction and poetry.
Texas is that state I call home. I’ve spent most of my life in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with brief stints in Nashville, TN & San Diego, CA. I was fortunate to gain my master’s degree in counseling at the very young age of 21 from Vanderbilt University. But it took many more years to actually figure out what counseling is really about. Although I originally specialized in adolescents in the school setting, I was introduced to play therapy as a doctoral student at the University of North Texas. My training and experience in play therapy has been the guiding force for my professional growth and focus. I believe that the Child-Centered approach to working with children is aligned with my humanistic beliefs that all people are working toward self-actualization. My research agenda focuses on the quantitative effectiveness of play therapy, with a specific interest in school settings. I am an active member of the Association for Play Therapy and focus my work on demonstrating efficacy and disseminating information on play therapy. As part of my role in the UNT Counseling Program, I am honored to direct the Center for Play Therapy on campus. On a personal note, I have been married for 18 years to my college sweetheart. We are busy raising two boys, Elijah & Noah, who take up any free time that we might spend developing hobbies. I actively volunteer in both of our elementary and middle schools.
Anne N. Rinn, Ph.D. is Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology and Professor of Educational Psychology and Gifted Education at the University of North Texas, where she also serves as Director of the Office for Giftedness, Talent Development, and Creativity. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Indiana University. Her research is related to the social and emotional experiences of gifted individuals and the psychosocial skills necessary for the development of academic talent. She has published around 100 journal articles and book chapters, as well as two textbooks: Social, Emotional, and Psychosocial Development of Gifted and Talented Individuals (Rinn, 2020) and From Giftedness to Gifted Education: Reflecting Theory in Practice (Plucker et al., 2017). She was co-editor of the Journal of Advanced Academics from 2017-2022.
Dr. Hyun Kyoung (Hyunny) Ro is Associate Professor of Counseling and Higher Education at the University of North Texas. She earned a Ph.D. In Higher Education from The Pennsylvania State University with a minor in Educational Psychology—Applied Measurement. Prior to that, she earned a master’s and baccalaureate degree at Korea University. Prior to UNT, Dr. Ro and worked as a faculty member in the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University and worked as a Research Designer and Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research expertise includes Gender and Racial Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education; Learning Experiences and Outcomes among Marginalized Students; and Critical Quantitative Research and Assessment. She received multiple external grants with a total amount of $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation (ADVANCE Adaptation Track grant for gender equity on campus) and AccessLex Institute/Association for Institutional Research (law school access and enrollment among women of color). She has been the leading author on articles that were published peer-reviewed journals, such as Journal of Engineering Education, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, Educational Policy, The Review of Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education.
Dr. Kevin Rogers recently retired as Superintendent of Lewisville ISD where he worked for 36 years – as classroom teacher, campus principal, assistant superintendent, Chief Operations Officer to Superintendent. His goal was to provide new opportunities for students and teachers. Examples include new Elementary and Middle School STEM academies, PreK Discovery Academies, a Collegiate Academy at The Colony High School, and the creation of new Student Assistance Counselors.
Dr. Rogers believes school districts benefit from utilizing voices across the district, internal and external, to develop the district’s vision. He developed numerous community, staff, and student advisory groups to seek input and feedback. Under his leadership, the district launched its Four Cornerstones - Student Learning, Student Experience, Community Engagement, and Resource Stewardship which underscored his commitment to real innovation and limitless opportunity for students. His passion has always been to serve – especially students.
He earned his Bachelor’s degree from North Texas State University (UNT), Master’s degree from TWU and doctorate from UNT. In 2010, UNT named Rogers the Outstanding Doctoral Student in Educational Administration. Additional awards include Texas Computer Education Association’s State Administrator of the Year, as well as National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), Town of Flower Mound’s Citizen of the Year (2016), and Lewisville Citizen of the Year (2021).
Dr. Rogers remains a strong voice for public education with local and regional superintendents. He participated in important networks such as Future Ready Superintendent Learning Network and North Texas Visioning Consortium while also belonging to state-wide organizations like Fast Growth Schools and Texas Association of School Administrators.
Megan Rojo is an incoming Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. Prior to her career in higher education, she taught in Texas public schools for nearly 10 years, as both a bilingual generalist and a mathematics intervention specialist. Rojo received her Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders from the University of Texas at Austin followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. Dr. Rojo’s research focuses on early interventions for students with or at risk of being diagnosed with a mathematics disability. Specifically, she is interested in developing and testing early algebra readiness and STEM interventions for elementary and middle school students. Dr. Rojo has expertise in research methodologies including randomized controlled trials, single-case research designs, and meta-analysis.
Dr. Brenda Rubio’s research and policy agenda focuses on the development of critically conscious educational leadership and community-district-university partnerships. Among her current research, she examines learning spaces that promote the curricular recognition of alternative epistemologies and the development of pedagogies that foster students’ culture, language, and funds of knowledge. Her research explores the impact of community-anchored, ethnic studies curriculum on the educators themselves, their classroom practices, and their leadership development.
Her experience in educational research and program evaluation is primarily focused on K-12 but extends into higher education. She has conducted research with schools and providers that serve diverse student populations, including schools located in rural border towns and Indigenous pueblos as well as urban, Title 1 schools that primarily serve immigrant and refugee student populations. An essential part of her work as a participatory action researcher focuses on establishing collaborative partnerships across institutions and disciplines to leverage the existing knowledge and expertise found within these communities. Dr. Rubio is a first-generation immigrant and college graduate who proudly continues to serve diverse communities.
Dr. Anondah Saide is a developmental psychologist with a mixed-methods research approach. Dr. Saide’s research program spans two distinct but related areas. The first pertains to the complex interplay between culture and cognitive development. For example, Dr. Saide seeks to understand how family background influences children’s reasoning about religious (e.g., God), scientific (e.g., germs), and existential (e.g., death) concepts. By extension, Dr. Saide examines how cognitive biases may enhance or constrain the learning of cultural concepts.
The second area of her research program examines how cultural concepts become components of worldview commitments (e.g., political, religious, moral) in adulthood and the socioemotional correlates (e.g., anxiety) of those commitments. Dr. Saide's scholarship is committed to promoting transparency, diverse perspectives, and public engagement in the scientific process. Dr. Saide’s scholarship can be found in journals such as Cognitive Science, the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, the Journal of Cognition and Culture, and Frontiers in Psychology.
Nicole Sankofa is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. She graduated from Spelman College with a double major in Psychology and Women's Studies and earned a PhD in Educational Psychology from The Ohio State University. She uses a transformativist paradigm and qualitative methodologies to examine the role of self-determination on adolescent/adult development, psychological well-being, and academic outcomes across school, work, and juvenile detention settings. Dr. Sankofa is the course steward for the sequence of qualitative doctoral courses in the Department of Educational Psychology.
Melissa Savage earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from Purdue University in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, Dr. Savage was an IES postdoctoral research associate at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and spent four years as a secondary Special Education teacher in Indiana. She holds degrees in both Special Education and Exercise Science.
Her research focuses on the use of technology to increase engagement and independence in healthy behaviors and community participation for adults and transition-age youth with developmental disabilities. Along with mentor Kara A. Hume, Dr. Savage received a grant from the Organization from Autism Research for her Step It Up project, focusing on increasing physical activity for adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. She has published in journals such as Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, and TEACHING Exceptional Children.
Stephanie Silveira joined the University of North Texas as an Assistant Professor in Spring 2021. She received her B.S. in Psychology at Northeastern University prior to completing her Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Obesity Studies at the University of Houston. Dr. Silveira subsequently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Exercise Neuroscience Research Lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research interests center on the fields of Sport and Exercise Psychology, with an emphasis on health behavior change among persons with chronic disabling conditions. Dr. Silveira’s research includes mixed-methods approaches in order to engage communities in her research creating tailored health promotion programs and examining outcomes such as psychosocial factors, body composition, fitness, diet, and physical activity.
Dr. Sprick is an integrative physiologist whose research program is broadly focused on understanding mechanisms of vascular dysfunction with disease and developing therapeutic strategies to improve vascular health. Specific research interests include cerebrovascular regulation in chronic kidney disease and the use of remote ischemic preconditioning to improve vascular health. Outside of work, he enjoys, cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with his family.
Valerie Stevenson began her education at the University of Memphis, where she started to develop a passion for sports science, Kinesiology and sports medicine. She continued her Master’s education at the University of Arkansas and received a terminal clinical doctorate from the University of Idaho.
As a practicing athletic trainer for more than 10 years, she developed a clinical practice philosophy that involves collecting patient specific outcomes of each patient interaction and basing my clinical decision making on evidence and individual patient needs. As a result of her personal clinical philosophy, she utilized the same approach in teaching both athletic training and pre-occupational therapy students.
Scholarly dissemination of her patient care outcomes has been a priority in her career, as her evidenced-based action research peer-reviewed published manuscripts will show. Using that knowledge and proficiency in research and manuscript composition has also allowed for mentorship opportunities with athletic training doctoral candidates as well as serving as an expert committee member for masters level student research. Her experience using several advanced practice manual therapy techniques in her patient care and her strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) certification both contribute to her clinical expertise in therapeutic intervention, rehabilitation and differential diagnosis.
Linda Stromberg, Ph.D., is the Program Chair of the Educational Administration Program, and she serves as Lead Advisor for the Master's In Educational Administration and the Principal Certification Programs. She teaches Introduction to Educational Administration, Instructional Leadership, and Professional Development and Supervision. Her interests include developing and implementing online and hybrid/blended courses. She is a certified trainer for Instructional Leadership Development (ILD) and Professional Development and Appraisal System of Texas (PDAS) appraiser training. She works with area Regional Service Centers and School Districts to coordinate off-campus courses for the doctoral and master's program. She serves on the advisory council for the Region 11 Ne Principals' Academy. Her prior experience includes work as a teacher, reading specialist, and instructional facilitator in the Dallas Independent School District and as a curriculum coordinator, and principal in the Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District. Her bachelor's degree is from West Texas State University (now Texas A & M University at Canyon), and her master's and doctoral degrees are from the University of North Texas.
Karthigeyan Subramaniam, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Science Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration at the University of North Texas where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses focused on science teacher education. His scholarship focuses on preparation of elementary and secondary science teachers. Before coming to UNT in 2009, he was on the faculty of Penn State University-Harrisburg, where his position was in Elementary Teacher Education and Teaching and in the Curriculum Master’s Graduate Program. He has also been on the faculty of Adelphi University. His bachelor's degree is from the National University of Singapore, Republic of Singapore, his master's degree is from University of Florida, at Gainesville, and his doctoral degree is from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Barrett Taylor earned his PhD from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. He teaches a number of courses at UNT, including "General Administration of Higher Education" (EDHI 6710) and "Higher Education Finance" (EDHI 6760). His research emphasizes the ways in which colleges and universities interact with their environments.
Uyen Tran-Parsons is a Principal Lecturer for the Higher Education Program. She earned a B.S. in Health Studies from Texas Woman's University, M.Ed. in Higher Education from University of North Texas, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Texas Tech University. Tran-Parsons teaches a variety of courses for the Higher Education Program including "Student Demographics," "Cultural Pluralism," and "Foundations of Student Development Administration." Her research interests are related to faculty-led study abroad, service learning, and the college experience of minoritized populations. Prior to teaching, she worked as a student affairs professional for 12 years in the functional areas of Academic Advising, Student Activities, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Women Student Services, and Multicultural Affairs at a variety of public Texas institutions.
James Uanhoro is an assistant professor in the Research, Measurement and Statistics program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. He received his Ph.D. in 2021 in the Quantitative, Research, Evaluation and Measurement program in the Department of Educational Studies at Ohio State University.
Uanhoro's work focuses on the similarities between multilevel regression models and commonplace measurement models — structural equation models, classical test theory and item response models. Specifically, he attempts to leverage insights from both groups of models to better understand patterns in complex data analysis contexts. Underlying much of this work is Bayesian data analysis, which he also applies in research collaborations with social scientists. Finally, James has an interest in building easy-to-use statistical tools that allow researchers better understand patterns in their data, and better communicate insights from their studies.
Laura Valerius has taught at the University of Illinois and the University of North Texas in Recreation and Sport Management programs. Having worked in parks and recreation departments in Louisiana, Florida and North Carolina in the areas of program, special event, and sport management, Dr. Valerius blends academic and real-world experience in her teaching and research. Additionally, she owned and operated two special event franchise locations for more than a decade before returning to academia.
Amanda E. Vickery is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education/Race in Education at the University of North Texas. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary social studies methods. Her research focuses on how Black women teachers utilize experiential and community knowledge to reconceptualize the construct of citizenship. Additionally, she explores Black women as critical citizens within the U.S. civic narrative. Her scholarship has been published in Theory and Research in Social Education, Urban Education, Race, Ethnicity and Education, Curriculum Inquiry, Journal of Social Studies Research, Multicultural Perspectives, Gender and Education, The High School Journal, Social Studies Research and Practice, and The International Journal of Multicultural Education. Dr. Vickery is active in the social studies community serving on the Executive Board of the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) as the Social Justice Chair and board liaison to the Scholars of Color Faculty Forum of CUFA. She is also an Affiliate Faculty Board Member for the K-12 Black History Research Consortium for the Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education. Dr. Vickery is a former middle school social studies teacher.
Dr. Jakob Vingren received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas before pursuing a Ph.D. in Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut (currently ranked the #1 doctoral program in the country). During his undergraduate education he was a walk-on on the UNT football team as a tight end and took part in the Developing Scholars Mentor Program within the College of Education. Dr. Vingren’s research interests include resistance exercise and the effect of alcohol on hormones, muscle and athletic performance. One of the more out of the ordinary research projects he has worked on included resistance training of chronically intoxicated rats.
Dr. Robert H. Voelkel, Jr. is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. He earned his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a focus in social justice from the University of California, San Diego and California State University, San Marcos. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Education and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from San Diego State University. He is National Board Certified in English Language Arts (6th-10th grades). He is a scholar with over 20 years of experience as a practitioner, serving as an elementary and middle school teacher, middle school assistant principal, and middle school principal. His research interests include school reform, professional learning communities, teacher collective efficacy, school and district level leadership, and social justice. He is also interested in immersive simulations and their role in effective PLC teams and leadership development. Prior to his appointment at UNT, he was an assistant professor in northern Georgia. He also served in the United State Marine Corps for eight years.
Dr. Stephen Waddell, a former superintendent at Lewisville ISD, is a visiting professor in the Teacher Education and Administration Department.
Joseph Thomas Walker
Kinesiology Undergraduate Program Coordinator PhD 1986 - Texas Woman's University - Humanistic Foundations of Physical Education Specialization in Elementary Physical Education, Sociology of Sport, and Women in Sport Former Chair of the Sport Sociology Academy Former Southern District Representative to the Council on Physical Education for Children Former Editorial Board of Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators Authored or Co-Authored 26 peer-reviewed papers, plus various other publications. Presented more than 50 papers at professional meetings. Research interests: Gender issues in sport across the lifespan, with a focus on media representation women in sport; Youth pedagogy
Dr. Lok-Sze Wong studies system reform policies as attempts to address systemic inequities. Drawing on education, sociocultural, and organization theories and mixed methods, her research unpacks how systems (re)produce inequities and how to humanely reform schools and districts as complex social systems. She focuses on professional learning opportunities that support teachers and administrators as they shift their practices while redesigning the very organizations in which they work. Dr. Wong began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles. Wong has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Tao Zhang earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Kinesiology from Shanghai University of Sport, and his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Louisiana State University in 2009. He has been at the University of North Texas (UNT) since that time.
Dr. Zhang is a tenured Full Professor and serves as the Director of the Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Laboratory at UNT. As a Kinesiology scholar, Dr. Zhang has made more than 170 research presentations at international, national and state conferences, published about 100 refereed research articles and book chapters, authored about 110 peer-reviewed research abstracts and conference papers, and secured about 20 funded research grant projects from federal agencies and research foundations, including Project HSHL and Project MOVE. His research focuses on supportive physical activity environments, achievement motivation, motor skills, and physical activity and health promotion in underserved children and families from psychological, pedagogical, and behavioral perspectives. Dr. Zhang is currently the Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Fellow of SHAPE America Research Council.
Dr. Zhang earned the Mabel Lee Award from SHAPE America in 2013, won the Joy of Effort Award from SHAPE America in 2020, and earned the Curriculum and Instruction Honor Award from SHAPE America in 2022. Since 2010, he has already mentored both undergraduate and doctoral students who have received over 25 state, national, and international awards for their research. He earned the Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award from SHAPE America in 2017 and won the Toulouse Scholar Award in 2022 at UNT. Dr. Zhang serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Teaching, Research, and Media in Kinesiology, Associate Editor for Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, and Editorial Board Members for multiple journals such as International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal. He has also served on several committees of professional organizations (American College of Sports Medicine, SHAPE America, International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health, and American Educational Research Association). Recently, Dr. Zhang was inducted as a Fellow of American Kinesiology Association Leadership Institute.