2020 News Stories

Faculty and Staff Notes: Spring 2020

Read about the latest accomplishments and recognitions of faculty and staff in the College of Education.

Juliette Baron-Decae joined the College of Education as a Business and Fiscal Analyst in December. In this role, Juliette will provide post-award support to College of Education faculty across each of its departments. Previously, Juliette served at USF as a Unit Research Administrator in the Taneja College of Pharmacy and as a team member in the College of Education’s Helios STEM Middle School Residency Program.

William Black

William Black, PhD, was selected as President-elect of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) during the organization’s annual convention in November. UCEA is a consortium of 106 higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children. The organization promotes research on the essential problems of schooling and leadership practice and research aimed at improving the preparation and professional development of educational leaders and professors. Additionally, the UCEA plays a role in positively influencing local, state and educational policy for the benefit of schools and children.

Alisha Braun receiving the 2019 Global Achievement Award

Alisha Braun, PhD, was recognized in November at USF World's 2019 Global Achievement Awards program. The Global Achievement Awards recognize the remarkable work of faculty, staff, administrators and university organizations who raise USF's global reputation.

As an assistant professor of social foundations, Dr. Braun’s research explores educational policies and practices related to access to quality education for marginalized children, especially disadvantaged children in developing contexts. Her current research focuses on inclusive education policy for students with disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Rebecca Burns, PhD, was selected to receive the Kosove Distinguished Graduate Teaching & Service Award. The award is presented to tenure-earning faculty members with at least five years of service at USF and who demonstrate teaching, service and leadership activities that effect positive change in the community as stated in the “Kosove Society Goals.” The Kosove Society was established at the University of South Florida in 1983 by A. Harrison and Ruth Kosove to support and encourage young people to develop strong academic credentials, leadership abilities and a commitment to the betterment of society.

Leia Cain

Leia Cain, PhD, was selected as a 40 Under Forty Leadership Award recipient by her alma mater, East Carolina University. Recipients of this recognition are selected based on their ability to apply their education at the university in the following categories; Research and Education, Health and Wellness, Public Service, Arts and Humanities, and Business. Dr. Cain is an instructor in the College of Education’s Educational Measurement and Research program.

Barbara Cruz in Spain

Bárbara Cruz, Ed.D, was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and traveled to Alicante, Spain to teach and conduct research at the Universidad de Alicante. Her research project, “The Art of Teaching: Innovations in Social Studies Teacher Preparation,” will include teaching at the university, presenting workshops for practicing teachers, developing a social studies-art curriculum, and investigating teachers’ use of contemporary art in their teaching. The project began in January 2020.

Dr. Cruz, a professor of social science education, has published and presented extensively, focusing her scholarship on diversity and equity issues. As an English language learner herself, she is particularly interested in this student population and works to increase access to quality education for all students.

Amber Dumford, PhD, was awarded the Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), a global association that empowers higher education professionals at all levels to utilize data, analytics, information and evidence to make decisions and take actions that benefit students and institutions and improve higher education. The Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award celebrates scholarly papers presented at the AIR annual conference that best exemplify the standards of excellence established by the award's namesake and that make significant contributions to the field of institutional research. 

Tanetha Jamay Grosland, PhD, was awarded the 2019 Reviewer of the Year award by the Florida Journal of Educational Research (FJER). Published by the Florida Educational Research Association (FERA), FJER seeks to facilitate conversations between educators, policy-makers and researchers by publishing articles that examine issues important to Florida’s educational community.

Dr. Grosland is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at USF. Her research focuses on the politics of education, with a special interest in the relationship between emotional conditions, political issues, and/or policy.

Elizabeth Hadley gives a presentation at USF

Elizabeth Hadley, PhD, was the keynote presenter at the David C. Anchin Center’s second community speaker presentation for the 2019-20 academic year. Dr. Hadley’s presentation, “Talking to Learn: Supporting Oral Language Development in Early Childhood Classrooms,” explored research on how teachers and parents can nurture children's language development and prepare them to be lifelong readers through language-building conversation. Following the presentation, a panel of literacy professionals and scholars provided insights from their own work about how educators and parents can better support a child’s language develop and literacy skills.

Veselina Lambrev, PhD, was awarded the 2020 Paper Award by the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) International Studies Special Interest Group (SIG). Dr. Lambrev’s submitted research paper titled, “Targeted Policies, Missed Possibilities: Roma and Non-Roma Stakeholders’ Views on Bulgaria’s Early Childhood Education Reforms,” addresses anti-Romaism as a particular form of racism that militates against the inclusion of Roma in modern European society and pathologizes minority students in spite of recent policy reforms. Co-authors of the paper include Early Childhood Education Professors Anna Kirova, PhD, and Larry Prochner, PhD, from the University of Alberta.

Johanna Lasonen, PhD, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) International Studies Special Interest Group (SIG). The award is presented to individuals who have consistently demonstrated outstanding participation with AERA’s International Studies and to acknowledge the SIG’s gratitude for the recipient’s years of dedication.

Dr. Lasonen is a professor of career and technical education at USF. Her research has focused on the comparisons of education systems in different countries, immigrant integration into the workplace with a special emphasis on equity and access issues, efficiency of learning environments and work-based learning. 

Randi Latzke and Jennifer Jacobs with students at a research conference

Randi Latzke, PhD, and Jennifer Jacobs, PhD, gave two research presentations with a group of doctoral students from USF’s Elementary and Secondary Education programs at the National Association of Multicultural Education Conference in Tucson, Arizona in November. One presentation “Bringing an equity lens to teacher education: Utilizing self-study within a learning community of teacher educators” described this group’s ongoing commitment to learning about equity and social justice and bringing this to action within our programs through a monthly learning community. The other presentation, “Coaching and Confronting for Decolonization: Creating Equity Literate Teachers” focused on the team’s work in coaching undergraduate and graduate students in the field connected to equity and social justice.

Sanghoon Park, PhD, received the Immersive Learning Award in the Linear Category from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology’s (AECT) Division of Emerging Learning Technologies. The award is presented to university faculty, corporate trainers, associate instructors, instructional technologists, K‐12 teachers and instructional technology graduate students who have utilized linear presentations or through interactive media with demonstrated increase in learning. Dr. Park is an associate professor of instructional technology in the College of Education’s Department of Educational and Psychological Studies.

Ruthmae Sears, PhD, was an author on four chapters of the recently published book, "The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership: The Power of a Networked Improvement Community to Transform Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation.” The book provides an overview of a body of work conducted over the past seven years related to the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers by the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-Partnership), a national consortium of more than 90 universities and 100 school systems.

The four chapters Dr. Sears was an author for include:

  • Equity and Justice in the Preparation of Secondary Mathematics Teachers
    Authors: Lorraine M. Males, Ruthmae Sears, and Brian R. Lawler. 
  • Clinical Experiences for Secondary Mathematics Teacher Candidates
    Authors: Marilyn E. Strutchens, David Erickson, Ruthmae Sears, and Jeremy Zelkowski. 
  • Improving Clinical Experiences for Secondary Mathematics Teacher Candidates
    Authors: Marilyn E. Strutchens, Ruthmae Sears, and Jeremy Zelkowski. 
  • Using Co-planning and Co-teaching Strategies to Transform Secondary Mathematics Clinical Experiences 
    Authors: Maureen Grady, Ruthmae Sears, Jamalee (Jami) Stone, and Stephanie Biagetti.

Nathaniel von der Embse presents at USF

Nathaniel von der Embse, PhD, was the keynote presenter at the David C. Anchin Center’s first community speaker presentation for the 2019-20 academic year. Dr. von der Embse’s presentation, “Supporting Teacher Emotional Health: Reducing Stress and Improving Well-Being,” explored a series of studies across states, throughout a school year, and within a school day highlighting the conflicting influences of stress and well-being on teacher burnout and instructional practices. Following the presentation, a panel of school leaders and practitioners provided insights from their respective positions about the importance of supporting teacher emotional health and wellbeing.

Group of USF students and faculty at NAPDS 2020

Numerous faculty members and students from the College of Education shared their research at the National Association for Professional Development Schools’ (NAPDS) National Conference in February. The NAPDS National Conference brings together school and university partnerships from around the country and abroad to address the challenges faced while meeting the needs of the next generation of students, PK-12 educators and university faculty.

USF Faculty:

  • David Allsopp, PhD
  • Nicholas Catania, PhD
  • Jennifer Jacobs, PhD
  • Randi Latzke, PhD
  • Laura Sabella, PhD
  • Rebecca West Burns, PhD
  • Andrea Willson, PhD

USF Students:

  • Wendy Baker
  • Ryan Blew
  • Taylor-Paige Blum
  • Taylor Bryan
  • Kasey Carney
  • Cassidy Gormley
  • Samantha Haraf
  • Amber MacDonald
  • Jennifer McCorvey
  • Jennifer Perez
  • Katelyn Rosenblum

To submit information for a future issue of College of Education Faculty Notes, please contact Elizabeth Engasser at eengasser@usf.edu.