Faculty News

A roundup of SOE faculty accomplishments

Jill Fitzgerald being inducted into Reading Hall of Fame
Jill Fitzgerald, professor of literacy, will be honored at the International Reading Association annual conference in May by being inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. The Reading Hall of Fame, established in 1973, includes nationally and internationally prominent researchers recognized as having made extraordinary contributions to theory and research in the study of literacy. Fitzgerald, who has been a leading researcher in the field of literacy for more than 25 years and is retiring from the School, has served the SOE as senior associate dean and chief academic officer, director of graduate studies for the School, and as interim dean. Also, Fitzgerald has joined the Journal of Educational Psychology editorial team as associate editor.

Melissa Miller has won a Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction and Mentoring. The announcement of Miller’s award was made during halftime at the UNC-Florida State men's basketball game on Feb. 6.

Xue Lan Rong has been named by the American Educational Research Association as an Outstanding Reviewer for 2010 for her work with the American Educational Research Journal.

Gregory Cizek has been elected to serve as vice president and president-elect of the National Council on Measurement in Education. Also, Cizek is one of 13 people who have agreed to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The committee serves as an advisory panel to the Consortium in meeting the challenge of creating a valid, reliable, and fair assessment system for all students based upon the Common Core State Standards.

Fen English has published a second edition of his textbook “The SAGE Handbook of Educational Leadership: Advances in Theory, Research, and Practice.” In the textbook, published by Sage Publications. English and 30 contributing authors address issues in the field, including culturally relevant and distributed leadership; critical policy and practice issues predicting the new century’s conflict; the paradox of changes; and the promises, paradoxes, and pitfalls of standards for educational leaders.

A new book by Kathleen Brown and three of her doctoral students has been published.  “Leading Schools of Excellence and Equity: Closing Achievement Gaps Via Academic Optimism” looks at “Honor Schools of Excellence” to find how they are, or are not, promoting and supporting both academic excellence and systemic equity for all students. Co-authors are Jennifer L. Benkovitz, Anthony J. Muttillo and Thad Urban. The book was published by Information Age Publishing.

A new book by Leigh Hall, “Empowering Struggling Readers: Practices for the Middle Grades,” has been published. The book provides classroom-tested methods for engaging struggling middle grade readers, even those who appear to have given up. The book was published by Guilford Press.

Lynne Vernon-Feagans has received a $1.3 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences. The three-year grant is for a project entitled “The Role of Behavioral and Instructional Match in the Prediction of Early Classroom Engagement and Academic Achievement.” Vernon-Feagans is the principal investigator, with co-PI Patricia Garrett-Peters, an investigator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

Dana Griffin, Juan Carrillo, and George Noblit have been awarded a contract to evaluate Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System’s Blue Ribbon Mentoring Advocate Program. The $70,000 contract will provide a community service, give graduate students and faculty research opportunities, and will lead to a number of publications.

A book co-edited by Madeleine Grumet – “World Yearbook of Education 2011: Curriculum in Today’s World: Configuring Knowledge, Identities, Work and Politics” – has been published. The book includes contributions from around the world that analyze and reflect on the ways that events of the last decade have influenced curricula. The book was published by Routledge.

Dana Griffin has won a $7,500 junior faculty development award from UNC’s Committee on Faculty Research and Study Leaves.

Fen English gave a Distinguished Lecture on Feb. 1 to the Texas Association of School Administrators Annual Mid-Winter Conference in Austin, Texas. His talk was entitled “Leadership as Lunacy: Deconstructing the Major Metaphors for Educational Leadership.”

Gregory Cizek and Sharyn Rosenberg, a Ph.D. graduate of the Educational Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation program, have co-authored a chapter that appears in “Handbook of Ethics in Quantitative Methodology.” The chapter is entitled “Psychometric Methods and High Stakes Assessment: Contexts and Methods for Promoting Ethics in Testing.” Rosenberg is a research scientist at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C.

Eileen Parsons and doctoral candidate Steve Wall have published a book chapter. The chapter, entitled “Unpacking the Critical in Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: An Illustration involving African Americans and Asian Americans,” appears in “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Clashes and Confrontations,” published by Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Kathleen Brown, former students publish article
Kathleen Brown, professor of educational leadership, and three of her former doctoral students have published an article in Teachers College Record. The article is entitled Leading Schools of Excellence and Equity: Documenting Effective Strategies in Closing Achievement Gaps. The study looks at how Honor Schools of Excellence are, or are not, promoting and supporting both academic excellence and equity for all students. Brown’s co-authors are Jen Benkovitz, A. J. Muttillo and Thad Urban, all graduates of the School’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership. More details about the article are available here. Also, Brown has published an article in “Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly: A Journal for the Scholar-Practitioner Leader.” The article is entitled “Preparing School Leaders to Serve as Agents for School Transformation.”

Lynne Vernon-Feagans NRC panel work published
A summary of deliberations by a National Research Council workshop in which Lynne Vernon-Feagans was a participant has been published. The monograph is entitled “Language Diversity, School Learning and Closing Achievement Gaps.” It was published by the National Academies Press in Washington, D.C.

Meece, Griffin participate in rural schools webinar
Professor Judith Meece and Assistant Professor Dana Griffin participated in a national webinar last week. The webinar featured research from Rural High School Aspirations Study of the NRCRES at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory hosted the webinar on "Postsecondary Access and Success of Rural Students" for more than 500 participants.

Barbara Wasik makes presentation at home visiting summit Washington
Barbara H Wasik, Ph.D. William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor, recently gave an invited presentation at the National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs in Washington, DC.  The summit was designed for state and national leaders, policy makers, and researchers in response to the new federal home visiting grant program. This program establishes the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and will provide $1.5 billion in mandatory spending over five years for quality home visiting programs in 50 states. One of the major goals of this program is to increase school readiness.

Cheryl Bolick and students make digital textbook presentations
Cheryl Bolick, associate professor of educational technology and social studies education, and several students, including undergraduate students, made presentations about digital textbooks at last week’s annual conference of the North Carolina Council for the Social Studies. Making the presentation “Creating Digital Flexbooks in the Social Studies Classroom” were Bolick, doctoral candidate Lee Adcock and undergraduate elementary education students Karen Lorbacher, Kallie Norton, Shea Youell, Lindsay Warren and Rory Santaloci. Bolick and Lee Adcock, a graduate student in the Culture, Curriculum, and Change program, were the SOE participants in a panel that presented: “Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.”

Kathleen Gallagher quoted in Time.com column
Kathleen Gallagher, clinical assistant professor and director of the child care program at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, was interviewed for a Time.com column examining what type of child care best prepares young children for school success. Gallagher says there’s little evidence that academic preparation during preschool years makes a difference for already privileged children. But, she said, there’s plenty of evidence that high-quality preschool experiences help poor, at-risk children.

Gregory Cizek quoted in USA Today
Gregory Cizek, professor of educational measurement and evaluation, was quoted by USA Today in a story that examined whether cheating might be behind a pattern of sharply rising scores on standardized tests in some states. The newspaper conducted an investigation into scores on standardized tests in six states and the District of Columbia and identified 1,610 examples of anomalies in which public school classes — a school's entire fifth grade, for example — boasted what analysts regard as statistically rare, perhaps suspect, gains on state tests. Cizek was interviewed for the story and extensively quoted.