SOE News

Peabody Pulse

The Peabody Pulse is a newsletter describing news of the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Gerry Unks inducted into Order of the Grail-Valkyries

Gerry Unks, professor of social foundations of education, has been inducted into the Order of the Grail-Valkyries, a UNC-Chapel Hill honorary society. Sixteen Carolina students and two faculty members were inducted into the society on Friday. The Order recognizes individuals of outstanding character who have made significant contributions to Carolina's intellectual climate.


Ph.D. candidate Jennifer Job inducted into honor society

Jennifer Job, a Ph.D. candidate in the Culture, Curriculum and Change program, has been inducted into the Frank Porter Graham Graduate and Professional Student Honor Society. The society recognizes outstanding service by graduate and professional students, students whose activities go beyond what is required of their program, while displaying high moral character.


Senior Elaine Townsend, alumna Cathy Rumley win University Diversity Awards

Elaine Townsend, a senior majoring in middle grades education, and Cathy Rumley (A.B.Ed. '76) have been named recipients of 2012 University Diversity Awards. Townsend was this year’s undergraduate recipient of the award. Rumley was the recipient in the community member category. The University Diversity Award recognizes significant contribution to the enhancement, support and/or furtherance of diversity on the campus and in the community. One award is given annually in each of eight categories.


Doctoral student Lorrie Schmid selected as predoctoral fellow

Lorrie Schmid, a doctoral student in the educational psychology, measurement and evaluation program, has been selected as a Predoctoral Fellow of the Carolina Consortium on Human Development at the Center for Developmental Science for the 2012-2013 academic year. The NIH Training Grant, Human Development: Interdisciplinary Research Training, will support Schmid as she completes her dissertation. Fellows are selected across multiple disciplinary fields (including psychology, sociology, education, human development and anthropology, among others) and across institution (including Duke, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, and University of North Carolina – Greensboro). The support will allow Schmid to work closely with her advisor, Jill Hamm, to not only complete her dissertation on stochastic actor modeling of adolescent peer networks and academic achievement, but also work on other ongoing research related to methodological issues surrounding peer networks as well as peer effects on behaviors.


Barbara Wasik makes presentation at National Conference on Family Literacy

Barbara H. Wasik, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, was a featured presenter on the opening day of the National Conference on Family Literacy in San Diego. Her presentation was titled “The Big Picture: An International Look at Family Literacy Needs, Services, and Research”. Information on the upcoming publication of Wasik’s second volume of the Handbook of Family Literacy was presented at the conference. Wasik’s research on family literacy started with services in North Carolina in the 1990s. Family literacy programs serve parents from low-income families with low literacy skills, many of whom are of immigrant status, and their children.


Eric Houck quoted in Education Week blog post

Eric Houck, associate professor of educational leadership and policy, was quoted for an Education Week blog post that examined changes in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Wake County school systems and how they may be reflected in this year’s gubernatorial campaign. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg has been more aggressive in implementing changes, such as increased use of standardized testing and performance-based pay for teachers than has Wake’s schools, Houck pointed out, which could illuminate school reform discussion in the coming campaign. The post is available here.


The Well: Ph.D. candidate Brandon Sams on ‘commonplace books’

LEARN NC’s “The Well” blog features a video interview with Brandon Sams, a Ph.D candidate in the Culture, Curriculum and Change program, discussing his dissertation research involving what he calls “commonplace books.” Sams describes how he takes a text and cuts out each page to paste it onto a larger sheet to allow large margins for note-taking. The space allows him to take notes with he reads the text, and an additional set of notes during interaction with students while teaching about the book. He said the practice has helped him better teach about reading. The post is available here.


The Well: Ph.D. candidate Billye Rhodes talks about learning from parents

LEARN NC’s “The Well” blog has a video profile of Billye Rhodes, a Ph.D. candidate in the Culture, Curriculum and Change program and her work with mothers of students in Chicago. Rhodes taught and tutored in Chicago public and charter schools for several years before coming to Carolina. In the interview, Rhodes describes her dissertation project, which is an ethnographic study of five mothers. She said among the things she has learned is that parents have much to share with teachers, and that it’s important for teachers to make the time to have discussions with parents of their children. The profile is available here.


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Got news?

Have you got news to share? A new paper published? Make a conference presentation? Win a grant? Do you know of an upcoming SOE event of interest to others? A shoutout, about yourself or someone you know? Send your news to Mike Hobbs at michael_hobbs AT



April 23
FPG Seminar Series: RACE Committee Presentation and Discussion
“The Lens of Race and Culture on our Work: Interpretation of Data and Dissemination of Findings”
Sheryl-Mar South, 2nd Floor Conference Rooms

April 25
Faculty meeting
1:30 p.m.
Peabody 206

April 30
FPG Seminar Series: Brian Boyd, Kara Hume and Sam Odom
“Comparison of Two Comprehensive Treatment Models for Preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorders”
Sheryl-Mar South, 2nd Floor Conference Rooms

May 7
FPG Seminar Series: Wendell Fortson
“Research and ethics: Multiple Perspectives”
Sheryl-Mar South, 2nd Floor Conference Rooms