2015 News

New Faculty

College of Education Welcomes 15 New Faculty Members

The USF College of Education welcomes 15 new faculty for the 2015-2016 academic year. Meet some of our new faculty and learn more about their research that will help to empower the next generation of educators.

portrait - Dr. Leia K. Cain

Leia K. Cain, Ph.D. expected December 2015, University of South Carolina, Instructor – Education Measurement and Research, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies

Leia studies ethical issues in classroom assessment practices. She is interested in gauging multiple perspectives from pre-service and in-service teachers concerning ethics in assessment. A second area of Leia's research is around LGBTQ student populations in k-12 and higher education contexts. She is currently completing a mixed methods study which examines the effect of outness on campus climate experiences for LGBTQ university students in the South.

"Students often come in to my Classroom Assessment course feeling like they know everything there is to know about assessment; 'It's all just multiple choice tests, right?' Through the semester, they end up learning that assessment is something that is constantly happening within the classroom, as well as within themselves. I see Classroom Assessment as a social justice issue - how else can we make sure that we know where our students stand? Which students need more help? Which students aren't being served? Fostering a love for assessment can carry my pre-service teachers far in their career trajectory... and it all starts in teaching that assessment does not have to be painful!"

portrait - Dr. J. Michael Denton

J. Michael Denton, Ph.D., Miami University - Ohio, Instructor – Higher Education and Student Affairs, Department of Leadership, Counseling Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Michael researches college students living with HIV/AIDS. His first research project looked specifically at how gay college men construct their identities and navigate post-secondary institutions given tremendous social stigma and discourses linking HIV/AIDS to gay men. He conducted this study using narrative and arts-based methods through the lens of queer and affect theory. In addition to interest in HIV/AIDS and art-based inquiry, Michael has a broader interest in how collegians living with chronic illness understand themselves and intersections of race, gender, ability, and sexual identity. Michael was previously a student affairs educator for fifteen years in the southeastern United States.

"I hope my teaching and my research challenges conventional methods of understand college students and pushes against heteronormative and ableist campus culture and research. Through my work I seek to drive people to question the discourse of our institutions and to develop empathy for experiences unfamiliar to them. More eloquently, in the words of Audre Lorde, "For those of us who write, it is necessary to scrutinize not only the truth of what we speak, but the truth of that language by which we speak it. For others, it is to share and spread also those words that are meaningful to us. But primarily for us all, it is necessary to teach by living and speaking those truths which we believe and know beyond understanding."

portrait - Dr. Joyce Haines

Joyce Haines, Ph.D., University of South Florida, Instructor – Education Leadership, Department of Leadership, Counseling Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Joyce is the Coordinator for the Master's program in Educational Leadership at the University of South Florida. In addition to teaching graduate courses and supervising the Administrative Practicum students, Dr. Haines is involved with a number of initiatives with Hillsborough County Public Schools, Pinellas County Public Schools, the Anchin Center, and the Hillsborough Education Foundation. Joyce has extensive experience in education as a teacher, principal and district administrator. She served for ten years as the principal at a school with a diverse population close to Tampa's urban core. During her tenure there, the school received National Blue Ribbon recognition for academic achievement. As the General Director of Elementary Education, Dr. Haines' responsibilities included planning, implementing and continually improving the curriculum and instruction at all of Hillsborough County's elementary schools.

portrait - Dr. James Hatten

James Hatten, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Instructor – Instructional Technology, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies

James is an instructional technology scholar with specialties in PK-12 technology integration, online teaching and learning, and instructional web design. In his research, he has explored online asynchronous text-based focus group discussions, the efficacy of online qualitative data collection, and designer-client interaction. Additionally, his work explores practices in PK-12 professional development and online professional development communities. For five years, Dr. Hatten worked as a research fellow and instructional designer at a national educational research center focused on English language learners with disabilities. He also taught high school English and Journalism teacher for 11 years in Minnesota public schools.

portrait - Dr. Angela Hooser

Angela Hooser, Ph.D., University of Florida, Instructor – Elementary Education, Department of Teaching and Learning

Angela is interested in more deeply understanding the ways that preservice and practicing educators learn within from their school contexts through teacher-driven mechanisms such as action research and lesson study. In addition, she is interested in the ways the learning of these educators is intentionally supported through mentoring and supervision practices, particularly within school-university partnership contexts. Her dissertation research explores the ways that K-12 educators experience navigating a 'third space' in which they use both theory and practice to improve the learning of students and adults in their local contexts.

"From lesson study to action research and practitioner scholarship, the core of my teaching and research is focused on educator learning across their professional career. My work explores ways to intentionally link efforts from the university to the needs of K-12 schools and the local community."

portrait - Dr. Lauren Isaac

Lauren Isaac, Ph.D., Miami University - Ohio, Instructor – Social Foundations, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies

Lauren teaches Diversity for Educators courses at USF and studies bilingual education in K-12 contexts. Lauren has a background in teaching Spanish and ESOL at the elementary, high school, and adult school levels. She has a Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Cultural Studies. In terms of her research, she investigates the role of language ideologies within multilingual educational settings, specifically within Dual Language (Two-Way Immersion) bilingual schools. She is primarily concerned with students' linguistic performances of identity in schools.

"I chose to teach Diversity courses because I believe that some of the most important aspects of schooling exist outside of the formal curriculum and classroom practices. Diversity courses allow students to examine and question the underlying assumptions of schools so that they can see schools within a larger sociocultural and political framework. It is crucial for future teachers to see how their own identities intersect with the lives of their future students. Through these courses, students begin to see the work of teaching as deeply cultural, and this process can be quite transformative."

portrait - Dr. Lindsey O'Brennan

Lindsey O'Brennan, Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara, Post Doc (Research), Department of Educational and Psychological Studies

Lindsey focuses on the development and evaluation of school-based intervention and prevention programs that increase school connectedness and the overall climate of the school. The main focus of her fellowship is to serve as a project director for Dr. Shannon Suldo's and Dr. Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick's IES grant focused on coping techniques for high school students in Advanced Placement classes. Her goal is to integrate her prior work on large school-based interventions (e.g., PBIS, Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant) and develop trainings for teachers and staff that enhance their connectedness to their school community and motivation to implement evidence-based programs.

"The end goal of my research is to identify how schools can effectively implement evidence-based practices that help reduce problem behavior, increase students' engagement, and enhance the overall climate of the school. Ideally, schools should be environment where students, teachers, administrators, parents, and staff feel supported and capable of learning."

portrait - Dr. Janise Parker

Janise Parker, Ph.D., University of Florida, Post Doc (Instructional) – School Psychology, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies

Janise focuses on dropout prevention, the unique application of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in secondary schools, and the complex and varied needs of diverse adolescent learners. Through the integration of self-determination theory, student engagement research, and tiered models of academic and behavioral support, her current research interests include investigating effective school and home practices that promote student engagement and cultivate intrinsic motivation among at-risk secondary students. Her future research goals entail examining cultural specific variables that influence culturally diverse students' academic engagement and motivation to succeed in school.

"Through my work, I hope to provide secondary educators with evidenced-based resources that they can utilize to keep their students motivated and engaged. Adolescence represents a critical developmental period, in which youth develop their identities and learn to function as independent beings. It is also a time when youth are most likely to withdraw from school and perhaps question its relevance. Considering that education provides individuals with essential knowledge and skills that one needs to experience a high quality of life, it is my goal to help educators cultivate struggling students' immediate and long-term success by keeping them on the path towards graduation when they might otherwise want to drop out."

portrait - Dr. Michael Sherry

Michael Sherry, Ph.D., Michigan State University, Assistant Professor – English Education, Department of Teaching and Learning

Michael's research addresses how teacher response during whole-class discussions and to student writing can enable and constrain participation, especially from students who are often marginalized by traditional classroom discourse practices. His research has appeared in Research in the Teaching of English, American Educational Research Journal, English Education, and Teachers College Record. His current work includes the Student Writing Archive Project, an online database of student writing with teacher feedback accompanied by instructional materials and interview commentary from elementary, middle, and high school teachers in diverse linguistic/geographic regions across the U.S.

"My research and teaching have long been closely connected. My enduring interests in classroom discourse and English teacher education using multimedia and digital technologies stem from my work as a middle- and high-school literature and drama teacher. Back then, I wondered how I might help students to draw on what others had already written or said, and to address each other (not just me) in our class discussions and in their written work. Citing others' words and attending to audience are complex practices valued in the discipline of English Language Arts and may be linked to the pedagogical aims of fostering democratic participation, effective communication, and critical inquiry."

portrait - Dr. Cindy Topdemir

Cindy Topdemir, Ph.D., University of South Florida, Instructor – Counselor Education, Department of Leadership, Counseling Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Cindy is the School Counseling Program Coordinator and an instructor in the Counselor Education Program at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Prior to completing her doctorate in 2010, she was a School Counselor for 14 years in Pasco County, Florida. In addition to teaching courses in the Counselor Education Program, Dr. Topdemir has coordinated the School Counseling and the Career Counseling masters programs and the School Counseling and the Career Counseling Certificate programs. One of the projects Dr. Topdemir has completed includes aligning the Florida K-12 Guidance Competencies and Florida Educator Accomplished Practices with the School Counseling Program's courses. She has served as either a Vice President or as a member of the Governing Board of the Florida School Counselor Association since 2012. State and national conference presentations and publishing are also priorities of hers. Some of the topics of these include school counselor accountability practices, the school counselor's role as a
consultant, and college and career readiness.

"Teaching Counselor Education students has been extremely fulfilling. I feel that I am contributing to systemic changes in the field when former students reach out to me years later and mention that they are still using the techniques I taught them. An underlying theme in all of the research I do is advocacy. Whether it be for student, the counselor, or the field, advocacy is very important to me."

portrait - default graphic for missing photo

Katie Tricarico, Ph.D., University of Florida, Instructor – Elementary Education, Department of Teaching and Learning

Katie earned her doctoral degree from the University of Florida in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education and a specialization in Social Foundations of Education. She also holds a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, also from the University of Florida and a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, earned at the University of South Florida. Her main areas of interest are teacher preparation and culturally responsive teaching. She currently serves as Coordinator for the MAT program, and teaches courses and supervises within this program.

portrait - Dr. Theresa Coogan

Theresa Coogan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Counselor Education, Department of Leadership, Counseling Adult, Career, and Higher Education



portrait - Dr. Nathan Frisk

Nathan Frisk, Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Assistant Professor – Cybersecurity, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies



portrait - Margaret Krause

Margaret Krause, Instructor – Elementary Education, Department of Teaching and Learning




portrait - Dr. Tonisha Lane

Tonisha Lane, Ph.D., Michigan State University, Assistant Professor – Higher Education and Student Affairs, Department of Leadership, Counseling Adult, Career, and Higher Education