School of Education Academic News

Six students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were among the 17 students in the 2018 cohort of Aspirations Fellows. Honored were: Julia Billingsley, a senior Political Science and Public and Urban Affairs major; sophomore Public Relations and Political Science major Haley Burnell; Katarzyna Goebel, a senior Literature and Language major; Lauren Hughes, a junior Human Development major; Ali Mayer, a graduate student in Higher Education and Student Affairs; and junior Publication Relations, Public and Urban Affairs, and Diversity and Community Engagement major Jordi Shelton.

Creativity and Education in China, Paradox and Possibilities for an Era of Accountability (Routledge 2017) by Carol Mullen, a professor in the School of Education, received a 2018 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award Honorable Mention; Mullen accepted the award at the society’s annual meeting on April 14 in New York, New York.

The following academic advisors in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences completed the Virginia Tech Academic Advising Institute: Claire Boor, an instructor in the Department of Communication; Brianna Crowder, an undergraduate advisor in the Department of History; Laura Ferguson, and office assistant in the Department of English; Meghan Jester, an assistant director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs; Dawn Knight, a pre-education advision program coordinator for the School of Education; Brandi Quesenberry, an advanced instructor in the Department of Communication; Emily Stallings, an advanced instructor in the Department of Communication; and Amanda Villar, an academic advisor in the Department of Religion and Culture.

The Academic Advising Institute is a semester-long cohort program designed to assist academic advisors with enhancing their advising skills, while also encouraging them to recognize the importance of advising concepts, content, and relational skills needed within the advising relationship.

Mary Alice Barksdale, an associate professor in the School of Education, published Literacy and Democracy in South African Primary Schools (Baltimore, Maryland: Lexington Publications, 2018), with Getahun Abraham.

In addition, she received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award of the Eastern Educational Research Association (EERA); the award recognizes exemplary contributions to the association through leadership activities, mentoring, and/or ongoing participation in the association’s activities. The award was presented at the EERA annual meeting, which took place February 7–10 in Clearwater, Florida.

School of Education faculty member Mary Alice Barksdale and doctoral student Donna Fogelsong presented “Portrayals of Teachers in US Films 1990–2017” and, with Rachelle Kuehl and Caryn Caruso, “Diversity and Classroom Management: Examining the Impact of a Boot Camp for Student Teaching” at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, which was held February 7–10 in Clearwater, Florida.

The following graduate students were inducted into the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence on March 28: ASPECT doctoral students Anthony Szczurek and Shelby Ward as associates, and Leanna Ireland, Sociology, Audra Jenson, Philosophy, and Christopher Savage, Curriculum and Instruction, as members. The purpose of the Academy is to enhance the knowledge and skills in teaching through the provision of opportunities for graduate students to receive advanced education and training in innovative teaching and learning strategies and to recognize excellence in teaching by graduate students.

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences faculty members M. David Alexander, a professor in the School of Education, Neal Larry Shumsky, an associate professor in the Department of History, and Randy Ward, a professor in the School of Performing Arts, along with staff member Carolyne Dudding, Naval ROTC, were recognized for 45 years of dedicated service to Virginia Tech and commitment to upholding the university’s mission. A complete list of employees recognized this year for 10 or more years of service (in five-year increments) can be found here.

During the 2017–2018 academic year Dean’s Faculty Fellowships were awarded to Joseph Eska, a professor in the Department of English; Katherine Haenschen, an assistant professor, and John Tedesco, a professor in the Department of Communication; Melanie Kiechle, an assistant professor in the Department of History; and Heidi Anne Mesmer, an associate professor in the School of Education.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors recently conferred the emeritus title on the following faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:

Penny Burge, Professor of Educational Research and Evaluation, contributed to scholarship in programmatic and instructional assessment and evaluation through work with the U.S. Armed Services and the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, along with numerous educational institutions at the international, national, and state levels. She served as the editor of the Journal of Career and Technical Education and authored or coauthored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reviews. During her tenure at Virginia Tech, which began in 1980, she served as chair of numerous doctoral and master’s degree committees. Burge earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

Elizabeth Creamer, Professor of Educational Research and Evaluation, was the principal investigator for more than $3 million in National Science Foundation grants focused on the recruitment of women to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She has authored or coauthored more than 80 books, peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reviews. Creamer joined the Virginia Tech community in 1982; during her tenure, she was a faculty member in both the Gender Studies and Educational Research and Evaluation programs, serving as head of the latter. Creamer earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, her master’s degree from Colorado State University, and an Ed.D. from Virginia Tech.

Steven Janosik, Professor of Higher Education, joined the Virginia Tech community in 1979 and contributed to the field of higher education administration through scholarship in higher education law, specifically campus crime; the Clery Act; college administration, policy, liability, and risk management; and professional standards and ethics. During his tenure at Virginia Tech, he held a number of leadership positions in the School of Education, including Associate Director. In addition, he served as Associate Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Programs and Associate Director for Residence Life as well as editor of the Journal of College and University Housing. He earned his bachelor’s degree and Ed.D. from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia.


College faculty who received Global Partnership Project Grants during the 2017–2018 academic year were: Joyce Arditti, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, and Amy Azano, an assistant professor in the School of Education.

Arditti’s research project, “The Effects of Parental Incarceration on Danish Youth: A Multivariate Test of the Family Stress Proximal Process Model,” involves collaboration with colleagues at the Danish Center of Applied Social Science in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

As part of her proposal, “Worlds Apart? Using a ‘Beyond Boundaries’ Approach for Global Understandings Related to Common Challenges in Rural Teacher Education in Rural Appalachia and Rural Australia,” Azano will collaborate with colleagues at the University of Canberra and Queensland University of Technology in Australia.