Educational Psychology students earn accolades at regional, international conferences

Park and Flatt
Nicole Park (left) and Kimberlee Flatt (right) at the Graduate Research Symposium

Educational Psychology doctoral students Nicole Park of Lewisville and Kimberlee Flatt of Princeton, Texas, earned third place in the education, humanities and social science category at the 4th Annual Federation of North Texas Area Universities Graduate Student Research Symposium at Texas Woman’s University.

Their award came for a poster presentation titled “Leadership in Special Education: Using Human Systems Dynamics to Address Sticky Issues.” They conducted their research with Dr. Bertina Combes, associate professor of educational psychology  and Dr. Leslie Patterson, professor of teacher education and administration — both in the College of Education.

Park and Flatt are scholars of Project TELL, a five-year federally funded doctoral program in the College of Education to prepare leadership personnel in special education to work in local and state agencies, school programs and districts in high-needs areas.

Park works as a transition support specialist at Lewisville ISD.

“Working with Dr. Combes and Dr. Patterson on the Human Systems Dynamics project was an honor,” Park said. “From being part of the coding team on the project, to working with our mentor professors in putting together the poster, and then presenting our work to the various judges – the entire process was a wonderful learning experience.”

Flatt serves as a board-certified behavior analyst supporting local school districts.

“Our project focused on equipping educators in public schools to view their worlds as complex systems,” Flatt said. “Once you see the broad system at work and identify your role, you are able to become an agent of change in that system. The research project itself was exciting and powerful, and being recognized at the symposium was a tremendous honor.” 

The Federation of North Texas Area Universities is a consortium of Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas Woman’s University and UNT, allowing students access to the combined academic resources of the three universities.



Frankie Norris of Fort Worth, a doctoral student in the special education concentration within the department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas’ College of Education and a teacher in the Birdville Independent School District, received the 2013 Outstanding Educator Award from the Council for Exceptional Children-Division of Learning Disabilities. The award is designed to recognize outstanding professionals who serve students with learning disabilities.

Norris is one of 10 Project TELL scholars, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. Project TELL’s goal is to prepare leadership personnel in special education. 

Norris was recognized at this year’s Council for Exceptional Children Conference in San Antonio.

"I am beyond honored to receive this award from an organization of this size that works to equalize the educational opportunity for students with disabilities,” Norris said. “Accepting the award in person was such a humbling experience. There are no words.”

Norris completed her undergraduate degree in special education at UNT in 1997 and was a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program scholar. Norris also earned her master's degree in educational administration from UNT in 2005.