SOE News

Peabody Pulse


MondayGraduate Student Orientation, 3 p.m., Unks Lecture Hall (Room 104)
TuesdayFirst Day of Classes!
WednesdayDean’s Ice Cream Social, 12:30 p.m., lawn adjacent to Peabody Hall
FridayWelcome Reception, 2 p.m., Old Well Room, Carolina Inn
Back to School Picnic, 4 p.m., Hill Courtyard, Carolina Inn
Graduate Student Orientation today

The School’s Graduate Student Orientation will be held today, at 3 p.m., starting in the main lobby. New graduate students will have the opportunity to hear from School administrators to learn about services offered by the School.

Dean’s Ice Cream Social being held Wednesday

Everyone is invited to come for ice cream as the School hosts a Dean’s Ice Cream Social on Wednesday outside Peabody Hall, starting at 12:30 pm. Free ice cream will be served in the lawn next to Peabody.

Welcome Reception, Back to School Picnic on Friday

Faculty are invited to a Welcome Reception to formally introduce new faculty members and newly appointed endowed professors on Friday, followed by a Back to School Picnic for faculty and staff. The reception will be held in the Carolina Inn’s Old Well Room, beginning at 2 p.m. The picnic will be held at the Inn, in the Hill Courtyard, starting at 4 p.m. Faculty and staff planning to attend must RSVP to Laurie Norman today, laurie_norman@uncedu.

School launches searches for up to eight tenure-line faculty members

The School of Education has launched searches for as many as eight new tenure-line faculty members. The school is working to expand its strengths in areas that promise to help redefine education for the 21st century. Researchers with outstanding and sustained records of scholarship are encouraged to apply in these seven areas:

  • Curriculum Studies
  • Educational Leadership (up to two positions)
  • Human Development, Early Childhood Language and Literacy
  • Learning Sciences
  • Mathematics Education
  • Science Education
  • Special Education

Details here.

Information sessions available for SOE academic programs

Students interested in the School of Education’s academic programs can find out more in a series of information sessions being held this fall. Online and in-person sessions are scheduled for undergraduate and master’s degree programs. The full roster of information sessions may be found here.

Jeff Greene named co-editor of Educational Psychologist

Jeff Greene, associate professor of educational psychology and learning sciences, has been named to become a co-editor of the journal Educational Psychologist. Greene will begin duties as co-editor in January 2020. Greene, who conducts research on student cognition, self-regulated learning, and other educational psychology topics, publishes in many top journals in the field, including Educational Psychologist and the Journal of Educational Psychology. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, and the Spencer Foundation. Read more here.

Thad Domina in team that wins $10 million grant

Thurston “Thad” Domina, associate professor of educational policy and sociology, is part of a research team awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to study how different approaches to school choice can help disadvantaged students. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences awarded the five-year, $10 million grant to Tulane University to establish the first national research center – the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH) – to study how voucher programs, charter schools and other perspectives on school choice can better serve disadvantaged students. Domina said he is looking forward to working with his colleagues to shed light on a growing and largely unexplored area of the contemporary school landscape — online charter schools.

Nianbo Dong co-PI on $500,000 grant

Nianbo Dong, a new faculty member who is an associate professor of quantitative methods, is part of a team that has won a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Dong will be the UNC-Chapel Hill campus principal investigator in a subaward of a study entitled “Multisite Designs for Teacher Development Processes in Mathematics.”

Marisa Marraccini wins grants to support suicide prevention research

Faculty member Marisa Marraccini has been awarded two grants, including one from the National Institutes of Health, to support her research on the impacts of school environments on adolescents recovering from suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Marraccini won an NIH Loan Repayment Program grant that awards to promising young researchers up to $70,000 over two years to reduce their educational debt. In exchange, awardees commit to a research project relevant to NIH goals in promoting health and wellbeing. Marraccini’s grant was from the National Institute of Mental Health. She also has won a $100,000 grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to support her work. Read more here.

Students win awards at Beijing conference

Wenyang Sun, doctoral student in Cultural Studies and Literacies, won First Prize at the 7th Tsinghua Institute of Education & the 2nd Tsinghua International Conference on Future Education Doctoral Student Forum in Beijing, China in May for the paper “Globalization, National Identity, and Multiculturalism/Multilingualism: Language Policy and Practice in Education in Asian Countries.” Shuguang Wang, doctoral student in Cultural Studies and Literacies and Teacher Education and Curriculum, won the Outstanding Presentation Award. Wang’s presentation was entitled “Who am I and Who Are We? A Womanism Perspective on the Education of Chinese Female Students.”

Trish Harris named ‘Leader in Diversity’

Trish Harris, the School of Education's director of recruitment, has been selected as one of the Triangle Business Journal's Leaders in Diversity award winners for 2018. Winners, who were selected for their demonstrated commitment to diversity in the workplace, will be honored at an awards luncheon in September.

In the media: Diana Lys urges use of performance assessments in licensure

North Carolina should prioritize teacher-assessment tools over content exams in licensing new teachers, said Diana Lys in a column published by EducationNC. Lys, assistant dean of educator preparation and accreditation, wrote in response to news earlier this month regarding high failure rates among new teachers in the mathematics portion of state licensing exams. In the column, Lys describes teacher-performance assessments, such as edTPA, that focus on teacher-candidates’ ability to effectively teach in classrooms. Carolina’s School of Education adopted edTPA in 2010 as a program completion requirement for its teacher candidates. All North Carolina teacher-preparation programs will soon be required to use the teacher-performance assessments.

Doctoral student profile: Abby Ampuja helping students through social-emotional learning

Abby Ampuja’s work helping students through lessons of social-emotional learning is the subject of a doctoral student profile on the School’s website. Ampuja, a doctoral student in Applied Developmental Sciences and Special Education, learned the importance of social-emotional learning during part of her 13 years of work as a classroom teacher. Ampuja, who is working as an adjunct faculty member in special education at Elon University while completing her dissertation at Carolina, works with students and their families. She hopes to open a clinic to continue the work.

Publications, presentations, grants awarded, etc.

Faculty members are noted in bold, graduate students/recent graduates with underline.


Bernacki, M. L., & Walkington, C. (2018). The role of situational interest in personalized learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(6), 864-881.

Utz, Jenifer. C. & Matthew L. Bernacki, "Voluntary Web-Based Self-Assessment Quiz Use Is Associated with Improved Exam Performance, Especially for Learners with Low Prior Knowledge." HAPS Educator, 22(2), (2018). 129-135.

Harrelson, B., & Brown, K. (2018). Wendy or Chad? Supporting Transgender Youth in Elementary Schools. In D. Griffiths & J. Ryan (Ed.), Case Studies for Inclusive Educators and Leaders (pp.103-110). Burlington, Ontario: Word & Deed Publishing.

Jade M. Jenkins, Greg J. Duncan, Anamarie Auger, Marianne Bitler, Thurston Domina, Margaret Burchinal. (2018). Boosting School Readiness: Should Preschool Teachers Target Skills or the Whole Child? Economics of Education Review. Online May 4, 2018.

Burchinal, M. R., Carr, R. C., Vernon-Feagans, L., Blair, C., Cox, M., & The Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2018). Depth, persistence, and timing of poverty and the development of school readiness skills in rural low-income regions: Results from the Family Life Project. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 4(45), 115–130.

Gibbs, B. C. (2018). Selling out and other sins of the justice-oriented educator. A commentary in Teachers College Record.

Gibbs, B. C. (2018). Las Traviesas: Critical feminist educators in their struggle for critical teaching. An article in Curriculum and Pedagogy Group’s 10th Collected Edition.

Gibbs, B. C. (2018). “Who is that man? He’s in all the pictures.”: Bayard Rustin and the Too Straight History of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. An article in The Social Studies Journal.

Halpin, P. F., Wolf, S., Yoshikawa, H., Rojas, N., Kabay, S., Pisani, L., & Dowd, A. J. (in press) Measuring Early Learning and Development across Cultures: Invariance of the IDELA across Five Countries. Developmental Psychology.

Halpin, P. F. & Bergner, Y. (in press). Psychometric models of small group collaborations. Psychometrika. DOI: s11336-018-9631-z

Hashim, A. K., & Vongkulluksn, V. W. (2018). E-Reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers & Education, 125, 358-375.

Bountress, K., Bacanu, S.-A., Tomko, R., Korte, K., Hicks, T., Sheerin, C., Lind, M., Marraccini, M., Nugent, N., Amstadter, A. B. The effects of a BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. Neuropsychobiology. 76(2018):136-142. DOI: 10.1159/000489407

Edwards, Torrie and Marshall, Catherine. (2018). Undressing policy: A critical analysis of North Carolina (USA) public school dress codes. Gender and Education. DOI:

Ryoo, K., Bedell, K. & Swearingen, A. (2018). Promoting linguistically diverse students’ short-term and long-term understanding of chemical phenomena using visualizations. Journal of Science Education and Technology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10956-018-9739-z

Justin D. Garwood, Abby A. Ampuja. (2018) Inclusion of Students With Learning, Emotional, and Behavioral Disabilities Through Strength-Based Approaches. Intervention in School and Clinic.

Greene, J. A., Copeland, D. Z., Deekens, V. M., & Freed, R. (2018). Self-regulated learning processes and multiple source use in and out of school. In J. L. G. Braasch, I. Bråten, & M. T. McCrudden (Eds.). Handbook of Multiple Source Use (pp. 320-338). New York: Routledge.

Thomas W. Farmer, Jill V. Hamm, David L. Lee, Brittany I. Sterrett, Karen Rizzo, Abigail S. Hoffman. (2018) Directed Consultation and Supported Professionalism: Promoting Adaptive Evidence-Based Practices in Rural Schools. Rural Special Education Quarterly.

Kosh, A. E., Greene, J. A., Murphy, P. K., Burdick, H., Firetto, C. M., & Elmore, J. (2018). Automated scoring of students' small-group discussions to assess reading ability. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 37(2), 20-34.


Carr, R. C., Vernon-Feagans, L., & Bratsch-Hines, M. (2018, June). Preschool classroom quality moderates the association between family income and children’s literacy skills. Paper symposium at the National Research Conference on Early Childhood, Washington, DC.

Carr, R. C. (Chair) (2018, June). Nuances of Preschool Classroom Interactions and Links to Academic and Social Development. Paper symposium at the National Research Conference on Early Childhood, Washington, DC.

Brian Gibbs gave a talk entitled “Voice and Praxis as Key to the Development of Dangerous Citizenship” at the UCLA History-Geography Project’s 2018 Annual Meeting. Based on his own teaching experiences and multiple studies he has conducted, Gibbs argued the development of student voice through active critique, research, and reflection is necessary to develop students prepared to advocate for themselves and their communities.

Brian Gibbs gave a talk entitled “History All Around US: Roosevelt High School and the East Los Angeles Walkouts,” focused on how to critically teach in different school contexts using unexamined local history to the inaugural cohort of California State University Fullerton’s Combined Masers Credential Program in Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Teaching. Based on his 16 years as a classroom teacher, 19 years as a teacher educator, and longitudinal research he conducted for the last four years, Gibbs argued that context and local history impact how and what is taught. Local history must be engaged and brought into the classroom and critically examined.

Brian Gibbs gave a talk entitled “Recapturing Rigor for Critical and Culturally Sustaining Teaching” at the UCLA Declaration of Independence Project. Based on research involving 21 teachers, Gibbs argued that rigor and critical and cultural sustaining teaching are not antithetical but links in the chain of good teaching.

Dragnic-Cindric, D. Lobczowski, N. G., & Greene, J. A. Exploring Teacher Presence During Social Regulation of Learning in Science Classrooms. 13th Annual International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS). London, England. June 2018.

Jia Lin presented at the 7th Tsinghua Institute of Education & the 2nd Tsinghua International Conference on Future Education Doctoral Student Forum in Beijing, China in May. Lin’s presentation was entitled “Strategies-based Chinese as a Foreign Language Reading Instruction: Empirical Research and Pedagogical Implications.”

Lyons, K., Lobczowski, N. G., Greene, J. A., & McLaughlin, J. E. (2018). "Exploring Differences Between Students’ Motivation Processes in Collaborative Learning." EARLI Sig 8 International Conference on Motivation and Emotion. Aarhus, Denmark. August 2018.

Lobczowski, N. G. "Bridging the Gaps and Moving Forward: Expanding the Field of Socioemotional Regulation." 2018 EARLI Sig 8 International Conference on Motivation and Emotion. Aarhus, Denmark. August 2018.

Brick, L.A., Marraccini, M.E., Micalizzi, L., Benca-Bachman, C.E., Knopik, V.S., Palmer, R.H.C. Genetic contributions to suicidal ideation and neurocognitive functioning. 48th Behavior Genetics Annual Meeting. June 20, 2018.

Micalizzi, L. Brick, L.A., Marraccini, M.E., Benca-Bachman, C.E., Knopik, V.S., Palmer, R.H.C. Differential patterns of genetic overlap between inattention and four neurocognitive factors. 48th Behavior Genetics Annual Meeting. June 20, 2018.

Brick, L.A., Marraccini, M.E., Armey, M.F., Nugent, N.R. Gender differences in time varying effects of adolescent affect and suicidal ideation following discharge from psychiatric hospitalization. 2018 M3 Conference. May 22, 2018.

Xue Rong gave a keynote address – “’New’ Research Methodology for a Transitional Era” – at the 2nd International Forum on Future World, Future Learning in China.

Xue Rong served as a discussant on a panel entitled “Researches with Quantitative and Qualitative Methods” at the 7th Tsinghua Institute of Education & the 2nd Tsinghua International Conference on Future Education Doctoral Student Forum in Beijing, China in May. She also conducted a workshop on mixed methods research.

Toutkoushian, E., Ryoo, K., Bedell, K., Linn, M.C., & Swearingen, A. (2018). Leveraging Log Data from Simulations to Understand Students’ Knowledge Integration Processes. Poster presented in the Knowledge Integration in the Digital Age: Trajectories, Opportunities and Future Directions Symposium at the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) meeting, London, UK.

Toutkoushian, E., & Ryoo, K. (2018). Developing a Method to Use Log Files to Understand NGSS-Aligned Science Learning. Poster presented at the International Educational Data Mining annual meeting, Buffalo, NY.


Brian Gibbs, Seth Kotch of the American Studies Department and Christie Norris Director of K-12 Outreach for the Public Humanities won a grant from Humanities for the Public Good Critical Issues Project Fund. This grant will fund historical research investigating the racial violence of lynchings in the North Carolina area, how lynching is or isn’t taught in North Carolina schools, will more fully develop A Red Record, a website inspired by the work of Ida B. Wells Barnett that will detail North Carolina lynchings and develop professional development for teachers seeking to better teach this difficult and necessary history.

Doctoral student Robert Carr and Lynne Vernon-Feagans (Professor Emeritus) have been awarded a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation to support activities related to Carr’s dissertation study. The purpose of this study is to examine impacts of the federal Head Start program on child outcomes in pre-K and Kindergarten.


Marisa Marraccini passed the national (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology) and state (Board-developed State Examination) exams for North Carolina psychology licensure.

Marisa Marraccini was invited to participate in the School Psychology Research Collaboration Conference, sponsored by APA Division 16, Society for the Study of School Psychology, as an Early Career Scholar. She received $800 in travel monies to support her attendance.

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


Wednesday, Sept. 5

MAT Online Information Session

Thursday, Sept. 6

School Counseling Online Information Session

Tuesday, Sept. 11

MSA Online Information Session

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Undergraduate Information Session

Thursday, Sept. 13

Graduate Information Session

Wednesday, Sept. 19

MEITE Online Information Session

Saturday, Sept. 29

School of Education Fall Open House