Faculty News

Faculty news roundup

A roundup of recent School of Education faculty activities …

The National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools, a project co-led Lora Cohen-Vogel, the Robena and Walter E. Hussman Jr. Professor of Policy and Education Reform, has launched its newest phase of work with high schools in the nation’s sixth largest school district, Broward County Public Schools. The center, a $13.6 million, five-year research and development study funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute on Education Sciences, is seeking to identify what makes some large, urban high schools, such as those in Broward County, particularly effective at reaching racial minorities, low-income students, and English Language Learners. Cohen-Vogel is associate director of the center and co-principal investigator. Also, Cohen-Vogel has been asked to stand for nomination to election to the board of directors of the Association for Education Finance and Policy. The election will take place in March.

Kathleen Brown, professor of educational leadership, is co-editor of a new book – “Juggling Flaming Chainsaws: Academics in Educational Leadership Try to Balance Work and Family.” The book is the first in a new series with Information Age Publishing on the challenges of managing academic work and other life. Brown contributed a chapter to the book, as did Eric Houck, associate professor of educational leadership and policy.

Harriet Able, associate professor of early childhood intervention and family support, completed the Faculty Engaged Scholars program, an initiative of the Carolina Center for Public Service that works to recognize and reward faculty involved in engaged scholarship, create and sustain a community of engaged scholars from diverse perspectives and promote engaged scholarship across disciplines at Carolina.

Jill Hamm, associate professor of educational psychology, has won a $529,000 four-year grant from the William T. Grant Foundation for a project to evaluate whether a professional development program can improve the effectiveness of teacher networks. The project – entitled Project NTACT - Networks of Teachers Affect Children in Transition – will evaluate an existing intervention program which provides teachers with evidence-based strategies to grow engaging and supportive learning environments. The study will measure whether team and other teacher networks at 28 middle schools across the Southeast facilitate or constrain changes in classroom practices.

A book by Leigh Hall, associate professor of literacy studies, was selected for the Literacy Research Association’s Edward B. Fry Book Award. The book, "Empowering Struggling Readers: Practices for the Middle Grades," includes classroom-tested methods for engaging struggling middle grade readers. Co-authors are Leslie D. Burns of the University of Kentucky and Elizabeth Carr Edwards of Georgia Southern University.

Dean Bill McDiarmid was one of two deans invited to the National Technology Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., in September. Attending were leaders of most of the major organizations and associations that focus on technology in education as well as key staff from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. McDiarmid is serving on a subcommittee that is producing recommendations for preparing teacher education leaders to help embed TPACK – Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge – in preparation programs. Also, McDiarmid is serving on a UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and College of Arts and Sciences subcommittee on 21st Century Undergraduate Education at Carolina.

Gregory Cizek, professor of educational measurement and evaluation, was quoted by Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews in a report about an investigation in testing irregularities in District of Columbia schools. The investigation found no reason to believe that anyone other than students changed answers on students’ test sheets, despite a large volume of erasures that changed incorrect answers to correct ones at dozens of D.C. schools.

Lora Cohen-Vogel, Robena and Walter E. Hussman, Jr. Distinguished Associate Professor of Policy and Education Reform, made a presentation at the International Learning Conference in London in August. The presentation, entitled “Understanding Data Use for School Improvement in the U.S.,” draws on data collected as part of her IES-funded projects with the National Center on Scaling up Effective Schools.  Also, Cohen-Vogel has been appointed to the editorial board of Educational Researcher, the journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Sherick Hughes (Ph.D. ’03), associate professor, was honored by the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education for his research, teaching and service.

Patrick Akos, professor and chair of the school counseling program, provided the keynote at the fall conference of the North Carolina Counseling Association in October. Akos’s address was titled “Applying Career Construction: Understanding Diverse Client Narratives in Career Development.” He also served as a panel discussant at the first annual School Counseling Summit at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education.

Kathleen Brown, professor of educational leadership, has been appointed to the steering committee for the Research Community of Practice of the National Training Laboratories Institute. The NTL Institute, based in Arlington, Va., provides training and learning to people and organizations around the world.

Julie Justice, assistant professor of literacy, appeared as a guest on WUNC-FM’s ‘The State of Things’ program on Oct. 4, taking part in a conversation about how the use of intensive writing across subjects can help students. The program examined issues raised by an article in the October edition of The Atlantic magazine entitled “The Writing Revolution” and the book “The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education they Deserve.” Also, Justice participated in Highlights magazine’s “State of the Kids” webcast in October, exploring results of the magazine’s annual survey that explores what children have to say about reading and issues in the news.

Eric Houck, associate professor of educational leadership and policy and Kenan Faculty Fellow, was invited to make a presentation at the Fifth Annual State of Education in Georgia Conference in September. Houck’s presentation was entitled “Education as a “Growth” Industry: Implications of Student Growth Measures for Teacher Compensation Policy.”