SOE News

Peabody Pulse

Graduate Student Orientation and social today

The School of Education’s Graduate Student Orientation will be held today, at 3 p.m. in Peabody 104. New master’s, Ph.D. and Ed.D. students are urged to attend to learn more about the school. Following Orientation, the Graduate Student Association is hosting a social at the Back Bar, located near the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets. The Back Bar will offer half-price wings and half-price pizza from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. All SOE graduate students are invited.

Claire Baker wins Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant

Claire Baker, assistant professor, has won a $100,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The New Connections grant will support a project being pursued by Baker which involves a longitudinal study of fathers’ mental health and child wellbeing in a national sample of families. The primary aim of her project is to understand associations among fathers’ mental health, father involvement and child wellbeing from infancy to preschool. New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the Foundation’s programming. New Connections seeks early-to mid-career scholars who are historically underrepresented ethnic or racial minorities, first-generation college graduates, or individuals from low-income communities.

Faculty-staff Welcome Back party scheduled for Aug. 28

School of Education faculty, staff and families are invited to a Welcome Back party being held Friday, Aug. 28 at the Time Out Sports Bar and Restaurant. The event – starting at 1 p.m. and going until 4:30 p.m. – will feature food, music by George Noblit and the Blue Star Travelers and a cash bar. Time Out is part of the former Holiday Inn, located at 1301 N. Fordham Blvd. Please RSVP to Laurie Norman in 103 Peabody by Aug. 25, letting her know the number in your party. You may email Laurie at

Plans being made for Carol Malloy Research Symposium

Plans are coming together for the Carol Malloy Research Symposium, scheduled for Oct. 10. The daylong event will be held at the Rizzo Center at Meadowmont. The keynote speaker will be Robert Berry, Carol Malloy’s second doctoral student who is now an associate professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. The program for the event will also include paper and poster presentation sessions and panel discussions. A program will be distributed in September. Judith Meece is leading the planning for the event.

GSA hosting school supply drive for local students

The School of Education’s Graduate Student Association is hosting a school supply drive through Aug. 27, with collected items being donated to local schools. Collection bins will located in the graduate student lounge and the main student affairs office on the first floor, Suite 103.

Mark your calendars: Dates set for SOE Research Brown Bags

Dates have been set for this year’s SOE Research Brown Bags. Note that start times have been moved to 12:30 p.m. to accommodate changes in class schedules. All meetings will be held in Peabody 02. The dates:

  • Sept. 16, Gregory Cizek
  • Oct. 21, Leigh Hall
  • Nov. 18, Eric Houck
  • Jan. 27
  • Feb. 24
  • Mar. 30

Kathleen Brown joins Carnegie Higher Education Network

Kathleen Brown, professor of educational leadership, became an invited Member of Carnegie's Higher Education Network and has been actively participating in the Improvement Science webinars all summer. Brown will travel to UCLA in September to attend a workshop. The Center for Networked Improvement houses the core capacities that support all of Carnegie’s Networked Improvement Communities: analytics, developmental evaluation, design and development, program technologies, and improvement science. The role of the center is to support Carnegie’s partners by developing and promoting an infrastructure that allows us to cull and synthesize the best of what we know from scholarship and practice, rapidly develop and test prospective improvements, deploy what we learn about what works in schools and classrooms, and add to our knowledge to continuously improve the performance of educational system.

Fen English has new book published

A new book, co-edited by Fen English, the R. Wendell Eaves Sr. Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership, has been published. “Educational Leaders Without Borders: Rising to Global Challenges to Educate All” is published by Springer. The book contains chapters to cover topics such as the economics of globalization in higher education and the transnational context of schooling. Find more details about the book here.

Juan Carrillo taking part in UT leadership summit

Juan Carrillo, assistant professor, has been invited to the invitation-only 2015 University of Texas Student Leadership Summit. Carrillo will participate by working with colleagues on ongoing strategy building related to addressing the issues facing males of color in schools as well as be of service to the students that will attend the event. He’ll also serve as the introducer for the event’s keynote speaker.

Gregory Cizek, alumnus Darin Earnest have book chapter published

Gregory Cizek, professor of educational measurement and evaluation, and alumnus Darin Earnest (Ph.D. ’14) have had a book chapter published. The chapter – entitled “Standard Setting” – is included in the “Handbook of Test Development,” published by Routledge. Earnest completed his Ph.D. at the School of Education while on leave from the U.S. Air Force. He has since returned to active duty.

Eric Houck taking part in benefit-cost analysis institute

Eric Houck, associate professor of educational leadership and policy, has been accepted to a training institute with the Center for Benefit Cost Studies in Education being held this month at Teachers College at Columbia University. The center is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and is intended to design a new methods training program for researchers and evaluators to enable them to apply cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost analyses to educational policy issues.

Linda Mason begins term in council leadership position

Linda Mason, professor of special education, has begun her term as president-elect of the Division of Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children. In July 2016 she will become president of the division, which is one of 17 special interest groups of the Council for Exceptional Children, the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, including both students with disabilities and the gifted.

Harriet Able named Council for Exceptional Children division SIG co-chair

Harriet Able, associate professor of early childhood intervention, has been named co-chair of the Professional Development Special Interest Group of the Division for Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children.

Recent publications, presentations, activities

Sharon Derry gave the keynote at a national conference on Distance Teaching and Learning held at University of Wisconsin-Madison earlier this month. The title of her talk was “Applying Learning Science Research to Distance Education Practice.”

Linda Mason and doctoral students Abby Ampuja and Shuting Zheng gave a presentation in Vancouver in July at the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities. The title of their presentation was ”Informative Reading Comprehension and Writing Instruction: Effects for 7th and 8th Grade Students with Learning Disabilities.”

Eric Houck spent a day with experts and advisors at Apple in Cupertino reviewing Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ new teacher compensation model. Houck also taught courses in Vanderbilt University’s Ed.D. in education leadership and master’s in Independent School Leadership programs. He’s also joined the board of trustees of the Central Park School for Children in Durham. Houck also took part in an interview program on WUNC that examined the growth of charter schools in North Carolina. The program is available here.

In May, Sharon Palsha and ASSDE doctoral student Meredith Jones gave a three-hour pre-conference workshop at the 2015 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. The topic of the workshop was “Project Based Learning Benefits ALL Children.” The workshop was attended by early childhood directors and teachers from across the country.

In May, Sharon Palsha accompanied five of the rising seniors in the Child Development and Family Studies program to Zhuhai, China. Palsha gave two presentations, the first a workshop for over 200 Chinese educators of Guangdong Province entitled “Models of Early Childhood in the United States,” and a second presentation to over 200 families and educators entitled the “Benefits of Parents Reading to their Children.” The five students – Natasha Anderson, Ashley Beauchamp, Margaret Burrows, Aundrea Holmes and Laura Scarlett – spent four to five weeks exploring early childhood education in China and assisting with teaching English in early childhood classrooms. Collaborating teacher April Anderson, who graduated from the Early Childhood Master's program, also spent four weeks in Zhuhai. This summer study abroad program was in partnership with Yungwing International Preschool in Zhuhai.

Keith Sawyer gave five talks during a two-week tour of Europe this summer. He wrote about them on his blog, between June 14 and June 22:

Gregory Cizek in June gave two presentations at the National Conference on Student Assessment in San Diego. One was entitled “Next generation assessment systems for achievement and accountability: Where do we go from here?” The other was entitled “”Innovations in achievement level setting for Smarter Balanced assessments.”

Gregory Cizek in May gave an invited presentation to the National Council on Architectural Registration Boards in Washington, D.C. entitled “Fundamentals of setting performance standards.”

Gregory Cizek in March participated in an invited research colloquium at International Credentialing Associates in Philadelphia, with a presentation entitled “Emerging research and practice in standard setting.”

Harriet Able and Nancy Bagatell of the Department of Allied Health, are the recent recipients of a University Research Award focused on “Family and Adolescent Supports for Post-Secondary Transitions for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

Ryoo, K., & Linn, M.C. (2015). Designing and validating assessments of complex thinking in science. Theory into Practice. 54(3), 238-254.

Gerard, L.F., Ryoo, K., McElhaney, M., Liu, O.L., Rafferty, A., & Linn, M.C. (2015). Automated guidance for student inquiry. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037edu0000052.

Doctoral student Brooke Midkiff had a book review published in “Education Review.” The review was of “Girls and Women in STEM: A Never Ending Story,” by J. Koch, B. Polnick and B. Irby (eds), published by Information Age Publishing. The review is here.

Ph.D. students Nestor Alexis Ramirez and Tommy Ender gave a talk for the Carolina College Advising Corps entitled "Males of Color: Presenting Research on Dr. Juan Carrillo." We presented research from Carrillo as well as our own about critical perspectives on the education of male students of color. The presentation provided both theory on male students of color (in particular Latino students) and practical advice for college advisers working to increase college access in their schools and assist their students with the college enrollment process.

Where are they now?

Following are some updates on where some of our recent graduates have gotten jobs. For future editions of the Peabody Pulse, please send short notes about others to Michael_hobbs(AT)

Sharyn Rosenberg (M.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’09) has been named associate director for psychometrics at the National Assessment Governing Board, the group that oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

  • Kerry Chisnall (2010 Ed.D. grad) is the new principal of Jordan High School in Durham.
  • Meg Goodhand (MSA and 2014 Ed.D. grad) is the new assistant principal at E.K. Powe School in Durham.
  • Thomas Cooper (2014 Ed.D. grad) is the new assistant principal at Reedy Creek Middle School in Wake.
  • Christina Richardson (2015 M.S.A. grad) is the new assistant principal at Rashkis Elementary in Chapel Hill.
  • Monica Bintz (2015 M.S.A. grad) is the new assistant principal at Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill.
  • Craig Carlson (2015 M.S.A. grad) is the new assistant principal at Riverside High School in Durham.
  • Aaron Acome (2015 M.S.A. grad) is the new assistant principal at Cedar Ridge High School in Orange.
Master’s in School Counseling, 2015 graduates
  • Jennifer Harrell is working at Southern High School in Durham.
  • Ashley Bennetone is working at Excelsior Classical Academy in Durham.
  • Simone Diggs is working at Root Elementary STEM school in Raleigh.
  • Caitlin Tarrantiles is working at Millbrook High School in Raleigh.
  • Kendra Sorenson is working at A. L. Stanback Middle School in Hillsborough.
  • Sarah Davis is working at Desert Mirage Elementary (K-S) in Glendale, Ariz.
  • Lydia Kiefer is working at Cary Christian School in Cary.
  • Emily Martin is working at the Hawbridge School in Saxapahaw, N.C.
  • Amasa Monroe is working at the Forsyth Country Day School in Winston-Salem.
  • Allee Olive is Assistant Director of Admissions in the UNC Chapel Hill Office of Admissions.
  • Paul Harvey is working at GEMS World Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Judith Smith is working at Richey Elementary School in New Port Richey, Fla.
  • Amanda Brown is working at Hollywood Elementary School in Saluda, S.C.
  • Michaela Avila is working at the Inter American School in Quetzaltenago, Guatemala.
  • Breanna Herring is working at the Bonlee School in Bonlee, N.C.
  • Briana Woody is working at the Cleveland Elementary School in Johnston County, N.C.
  • Nicholas Perfetto is working at Green Hope High School in Cary.
  • Heather Min is working at Salem Elementary School in Apex, N.C.
  • Katie Rowell is working at Gardner Park Elementary in Gaston County, N.C.
  • Myra Garcia is working at Green Elementary School in Raleigh.

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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



Graduate Student Orientation
3:00 p.m.
Peabody 104

Tuesday, Aug 18

First Day of Classes!

Friday, Aug 28

SOE Faculty-Staff Picnic
1:00p.m. - 4:30p.m.
Time Out Sports Bar and Restaurant
1301 N. Fordham Blvd.

Saturday, Oct. 10

Carol Malloy Research Symposium
Rizzo Center

Wednesday, Oct. 21

SOE Research Brown Bag
Peabody 02

Wednesday, Nov. 18

SOE Research Brown Bag
Peabody 02

Wednesday, Jan. 27

SOE Research Brown Bag
Peabody 02

Wednesday, Feb. 24

SOE Research Brown Bag
Peabody 02

Wednesday, Mar. 30

SOE Research Brown Bag
Peabody 02