College News

Counseling doctoral student earns $20,000 fellowship

UNT College of Education doctoral student Ana Guadalupe Reyes has been selected for a $20,000 fellowship from the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Reyes is a doctoral student in the college's counseling program, specializing in equine-assisted psychotherapy and LGBTQ+ issues. As a National Board for Certified Counselors fellow, she will receive funding and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations.

“As the daughter of two undocumented immigrants, this fellowship recognizes the sacrifices my parents made to provide me with a better education,” said Reyes. 

This fellowship will help Reyes receive further training in equine-assisted psychotherapy at the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies in Littleton, Colo., and complete her dissertation in equine-assisted psychotherapy with underrepresented populations.

Reyes said that during her fellowship year she will begin drafting a business plan for a private practice/nonprofit organization dedicated to providing mental health services to LGBTQ+ youth and other underserved populations.

As part of her clinical coursework, Reyes currently serves underrepresented clients and offers bilingual counseling through UNT’s Counseling and Human Development Center.

Reyes, who received her bachelor’s degree from Tiffin University in Ohio and her master’s from Marymount University in Arlington, Va., was just one of 22 students selected for the fellowship.

Higher Ed alum elected to state Board of Directors position

By Raquel Talamantes

Hope Garcia, director of Student Services at UNT’s New College at Frisco and a 2015 graduate of the UNT College of Education’s Higher Education doctoral program, was recently elected to the Texas Association for College & University Student Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA) Board of Directors.

“I have previously served as TACUSPA’s newsletter editor for two years and director of technology for three years,” Garcia said. “TACUSPA was the first professional organization I was introduced to, and it fits me well because there is a great deal of generalist work within student affairs that is included in my job duties. I enjoy working with my colleagues in TACUSPA, so being able to work closely with them on meaningful work is a pleasure.”

Garcia was nominated for the position against a handful of other TACUSPA members. She will be in charge of managing the member and institutional database and reporting out membership status and increases to organization. She will also recruit new members.

TACUSPA brings together administrators, staff, students and other higher education student affairs professionals across the state.

“Historically, TACUSPA’s membership has been composed heavily from public, four-year institutions,” Garcia said. “I would like to work toward increasing the number of represented organizations and members from the varying levels of higher education — four-year, two-year, private, for-profit, professional and residential.”

“Along with my colleagues, I also hope to work toward ensuring that the space TACUSPA provides is one that encourages the across-the-table talk and knowledge-sharing that would provide equal benefit to these various institutional types and in turn, a holistic benefit to higher education and the students and communities each of us touch.”

With this new position, Garcia said she will strive to help institutions support students, goals and institutional livelihood. 

Garcia will be officially sworn in at the TACUSPA Fall Conference in Dallas this October.

EPSY's Mun earns national dissertation award

Rachel U. Mun, a University of North Texas professor, has been awarded the 2017 National Association for Gifted Children Dissertation Award.

Mun, an assistant professor and program steward for the master’s concentration in gifted and talented education in the College of Education's Educational Psychology department, won with a shortened version of her dissertation, titled, “Parental expectations for Asian Americans who entered college early: Influences on their academic and career decision-making.”

She will give a special session on her work at the National Association for Gifted Children conference in November.

“It is a great honor and privilege to receive this dissertation award,” said Mun. “I am humbled to have placed first knowing there were many qualified applicants.”

Mun describes her research as an intersection between gifted education, mental health and immigrant issues. For the last five years, her research has focused on social and emotional development, immigrants and culturally responsible practices, parental influences, career decision-making and educational access for special populations of gifted learners using primarily mixed and qualitative methods. Most recently, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Research on Gifted Education at the University of Connecticut, conducting research on identifying and serving traditionally underrepresented gifted learners.

COE’s Castro elected to NAEYC Governing Board

Dina Castro, professor and current Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education in UNT's College of Edcuation, was recently elected to the Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Castro has worked in the field of early childhood development and education for 35 years, conducting research and offering professional development programs for early educators both in her native country, Peru, and in the United States.

“The force driving my professional work has always been how to help children living in poverty, including those from diverse cultural and language backgrounds, have access to high-quality early childhood experiences,” Castro said. “Through rich interactions with families, early childhood educators, administrators, researchers and policy makers, I have gained a deep understanding of the early education field. This will certainly help me in making meaningful contributions to advancing NAEYC’s mission and goals.”

NAEYC focuses on promoting high-quality early learning for young children, from birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy and research. The association comprises nearly 60,000 individual members of the early childhood community and more than 300 regional affiliate chapters.

 

Above, Dina Castro speaks at a conference in Lima, Peru.

UNT names Elizabeth Murakami Mike Moses Endowed Chair

Elizabeth Murakami, professor and director of programs in Educational Leadership in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M-San Antonio, has been selected to serve as the Mike Moses Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership in the UNT College of Education. She will begin her role as professor of educational leadership and endowed chair in August. The position was left vacant following the retirement of faculty member Jane Huffman last year.

“It is a distinguished honor to join students, faculty and administrators at UNT in enhancing its visibility as the most significant contributor in the preparation of quality educators,” said Murakami. “The department’s strong generation of research, commitment to students and efforts in joining several national and state organizations in order to deliver the best preparation programs was a big factor in accepting this role.”

Murakami is a distinguished national educator and research fellow, having received national and international recognition for her research contributions. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in educational administration at Michigan State University. Murakami has been dedicated to the improvement of Texas schools for more than a decade and has numerous published works that include academic journals, book chapters, creative works and edited books.

The endowed chair position was funded by Donald A. Buchholz, a UNT alumnus and member of the UNT Board of Regents. Buchholz also is the founder of Southwest Securities Inc., which established a scholarship endowment to benefit students in UNT's superintendent certification program last year.

The chair position is designed to reward an exceptional faculty member for his or her scholarship. In addition, the funding provides resources to build UNT's educational administration programs and bring increased recognition to the graduate programs in this area. The chair position is named for Mike Moses, who has served as a Texas educator for more than 30 years. Moses was the Commissioner of Education for the state of Texas from 1995 through 1999, deputy chancellor for Systems Operations at the Texas Tech University System from 1999 to 2001 and general superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District from 2001 until 2004. 

Teacher Education and Administration earns inaugural equity and diversity award

The University of North Texas’ College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education and Administration earned the inaugural Inclusive Excellence Award from UNT’s Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

The award was presented to Jim Laney, department chair, and Miriam Ezzani, Educational Leadership Program coordinator in the department, at the Equity and Diversity Conference last month.

Laney said that several years ago his department recognized the need for professional development and took action. Faculty representatives began pursuing external professional development opportunities to increase their cultural proficiency. They also created a professional development plan for all of their faculty and graduate assistants to become proficient in culturally responsive instruction.

Laney said the $5,000 prize will be used on a faculty retreat at the end of this semester at which they will revise course syllabi as needed to remain culturally responsive. Faculty are also working on identifying a topic and guest speaker for the fall.

“Our efforts are ongoing,” Laney said.

The Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity supports and affirms efforts across the university that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The Inclusive Excellence Award was created to recognize units who exemplify these qualities. 

COE doctoral student wins SERA Award

Peter Boedeker, an Educational Psychology doctoral student in UNT’s College of Education, recently won the Southwest Educational Research Association (SERA) Bruce Thompson Outstanding Paper Award. Boedeker’s degree plan focuses on research, measurement and statistics.

Boedeker researches the application of advanced statistical methods in education research, with a particular interest in meta-analysis.

“Meta-analysis is a method of consolidating quantitative findings across related studies in an effort to concisely summarize all of the results,” Boedeker said. “Within meta-analysis there are several different models for estimating the combined effect across studies. Two such models are fixed-effect and random-effects. The random-effects model is most applicable in educational research, and thus my paper focuses on this model. Just as with any model, there are options for how to estimate the parameters. The most common method is the DerSimonian and Laird Method and a less tested method is fully (hierarchical) Bayesian estimation. In the paper, I compare these two estimation techniques in the random-effects meta-analysis model. While the research itself is not focused on a particular education issue, it has implications for how to conduct meta-analysis in education research.”

His award will be presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference, of which SERA is a regional association.

“Presenting at the national conference is an opportunity to share my findings to a broader audience and converse with experts in various fields of education research,” Boedeker said. “These opportunities are critical in my development as a scholar, and I look forward to taking full advantage of them.”

Boedeker describes the submission process as more of a review than a nomination. He said individuals interested in competing for the award submit a paper to the SERA executive director during the SERA conference. Any member of SERA, including graduate students and university faculty, is eligible to compete. After all papers are reviewed, one paper is selected for the award.

“Developing the idea for the paper and then writing took several months as revision after revision iteratively improved the manuscript,” Boedeker said. “The process was fraught with challenges, but my diligence to communicate effectively the work I had done was rewarded.”

Boedeker will present his paper and discuss his work to other attendees in a special session at the 2017 AERA conference.

 

Apply to be a student ambassador for the College of Education for 2017-2018!

The purpose of the College of Education (COE) Ambassador Program is to promote and represent the College of Education and the University by assisting the COE Recruiter with outreach, working with the COE development office, and providing leadership and support for all education majors.

Why should I apply to be a COE Ambassador?

How does a $500 stipend per semester sound? In addition to the monetary rewards, COE Ambassadors get to meet new people, share their knowledge and love of UNT and the College of Education as well as help current and prospective students every day! They also build connections throughout campus by working closely with the college's Recruiter and Student Advising Office (SAO), Development and External Relations Office (DERO) and the Dean's Office.

What will the COE Ambassador program do for my future?

Students chosen to be part of this elite group receive valuable training and develop skills in problem solving, team building, interpersonal communication, promoting diversity and public speaking, making them more marketable in today's workforce.

What is being a COE Ambassador all about?

The COE Ambassador program is an amazing opportunity for students who desire to help others and promote the College of Education. We are looking for outgoing, friendly students who possess a genuine love for UNT and the COE, and are willing to provide excellent customer service, recruit new students, and be positive role models. Being a COE Ambassador is a prestigious honor and a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Applications are available through the COE Ambassadors page, and are due April 7, 2017.

For additional information, please contact Renee Foster at (940) 565-4577 or Renee.Foster@unt.edu

 

KHPR faculty member earns mentorship award from SHAPE America

Dr. ZhangTao Zhang, an associate professor in the UNT College of Education’s Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation department, has won the 2017 Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award.

“It is my great honor and pleasure to receive the 2017 SHAPE America Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award,” Zhang said. “It is also a great achievement and recognition for our doctoral program in Sport Pedagogy and Motor Behavior.”

Zhang is no stranger to SHAPE America. He won the organization’s Mabel Lee Award in 2013 and has been a Research Fellow since 2012, among other scholarly accomplishments and honors.

Since 2010, Zhang has mentored UNT undergraduate and graduate students who have received approximately 10 state, national and international awards for their research. He has also hosted more than 30 visiting scholars and professors from international universities like the University of Seville, Shanghai University of Sport, East China Normal University, Beijing Sport University and Hunan Normal University.

“My colleagues, international visiting professors/scholars, and undergraduate and graduate students from Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Laboratory at UNT made a strong contribution to help me win this well-known award from SHAPE America this year,” Zhang said.

In order to be eligible to win the award, one must:

  • Currently be a member of SHAPE America and shall have held such membership for at least three years.
  • Work as a full-time faculty member at an institution of higher education.
  • Be nominated by his/her chair, dean, supervisor, colleagues and/or students

For more information about SHAPE America, visit www.shapeamerica.org.

CHE doctoral students receive honors

Two doctoral students in the UNT College of Education's Counseling and Higher Education department recently earned prestigious honors from separate professional organizations.

In Higher Education, Nicholas Fuselier, a member of the American College Personnel Association, has won the ACPA Annuit Coeptis Award – Emerging Professional.

"I'm thrilled to be recognized by ACPA in this way," Fuselier said. "ACPA is my professional home, and it's a real honor to be a recipient of this award. The award has been around since 1979, so I feel incredibly lucky to join the community of recipients who have gone on to do some pretty incredible work in the field of student affairs and higher education."

Fuselier was nominated by a former professor and received letters of support from his colleagues.

According to the ACPA, the award honors five emerging professionals at a dinner that often includes "wide-ranging discussion and exchange about professional issues." The dinner carries on a tradition established by ACPA members Philip A. Tripp and Ursula Delworth, who enjoyed challenging contemporaries and junior colleagues in a spirit of personal and professional sharing, good humor and thoughtful intellectual debate.

Fuselier looks forward to carrying on tradition by joining and learning from the other recipients of this award at the dinner.

In Counseling, Ana Reyes, a doctoral student focused on changing lives in the LGBTQ community, has earned a $20,000 fellowship from the 2017 National Board for Certified Counselors.

The NBCC Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) is concerned with meeting the behavioral health needs of all Americans, regardless of language or culture, thereby reducing health disparities and improving overall community health and well-being, according to the NBCC. Fellowships to doctoral counseling students from the NBCC MFP aim to strengthen the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increase the number of professional counselors providing effective, culturally competent services to underserved populations.

"I think that my dedication and passion for working with underserved populations shined through my educational, work, and volunteer history," Reyes said.

She has worked with LGBTQ students, immigrants, refugees, survivors of human trafficking, and youths battling substance abuse. She said that these experiences have crafted her path to gaining this accomplishment.

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