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The CEP Pulse Volume IV Issue I Fall 2016

Dean’s Message: Impacting Our Community

“...preparing the next serve the citizens of East Texas.”

Ross Sherman, Ed.D.

As 2016 winds down and the new year approaches it is a good time to reflect on the many blessings we enjoy and to make plans for the coming year. As a College we are focused on operationalizing our core purpose, which is to prepare competent, caring and qualified professionals in the fields of education, psychology and counseling, and to advance the knowledge base in our respective disciplines. One of the major initiatives we will be pursuing in the coming year is seeking UT System and Higher Education Coordinating Board approval for the establishment of a PhD in Clinical Psychology. A recent study conducted by UT Health Northeast entitled, The Health

Status of Northeast Texas 2016 found that Northeast Texas had higher than average suicide rates, and health related behavioral risk factors such as smoking, substance abuse, and poor diet. Our proposed PhD in Clinical Psychology will partner with health care providers in the region to focus on underserved populations including: older adults, adults in rural areas, active duty and retired military personnel, and minority populations. The second major initiative the College is proposing in the coming year is an Ed.D. in School Improvement. Research suggests that low performing schools are disproportionally located in areas with a high number of diverse students, from ethnic minority groups and economically disadvan-

taged backgrounds. Deep East Texas consists of 103 school districts serving more than 170,000 students of which 62% are categorized as economically disadvantaged. This degree will develop educational leaders who can work with diverse populations to develop innovative plans that result in school improvement.

Dr. Ross Sherman Dean, College of Education & Psychology

As a College we embrace our core purpose and seek ways to prepare competent, caring, and qualified professionals. We recognize that the development of doctoral programs will allow the College of Education and Psychology to prepare the next generation of educational leaders and mental health professional to Inside this issue: serve the citizens of East Texas. School of Education


Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


Department of Psychology & Counseling




Odds & Ends




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The CEP Pulse—School of Education Our Goal to be Greater Colleen Swain, Ph.D.

Dr. Colleen Swain Director, School of Education

You might have seen the Twitter campaign #GoaltoBeGreater where individuals, organizations, and educators alike share our goal to improve experiences for students and the education for all children. The School of Education is also striving to be greater and we’ve moved toward greatness in new directions. First, we’re committed to having fantastic faculty to lead our courses, degree programs, and work with schools and the East Texas community. We had the good fortune to welcome Dr. Gina Doepker to our literacy faculty. Dr. Doepker’s expertise is in early literacy and she brings a wealth of experience to our students and enhances the literacy programming we can provide to UT Tyler students and individuals and schools seeking expertise in early literacy.

We also had two faculty members announce their retirements. Dr. Bernadine (Berni) Hansen will retire at the end of the fall term and Dr. Mark Lewis will retire at the end of August 2017. Both of these faculty members have been with UT Tyler for many years and have been powerful influences on students and our programs. We will greatly miss these two family members.

prove our communication with students, alumni, and the East Texas community. We’ve jumped into social media in new ways and hope you will follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Our name is UTTylerSOE for all of the social media accounts. This will enable you to keep up with the fantastic things happening in the School of Education.

Second, the School of Education is striving to continuously improve all of our degree programs. School of Education faculty are actively engaged in redesigning our undergraduate curriculum for the EC-6 programs and Secondary/All-Level program. By doing this, we will ensure we are meeting the needs of our diverse student population in East Texas in a manner consistent with teaching and learning research for the 21st century.

Fourth, we’re working toward the greater good by adding to the knowledge base in our respective fields. School of Education faculty are doing this through work in organizations, publications sharing scholarship of discovery and scholarship of application, as well as increasing our interactions with local schools and organizations. School of Education faculty members are delighted to be engaged in (Continued on page 6)

Third, we’re working to im-

Annamary Consalvo co-hosts Robert E. Cormier Symposium: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Hate, Bullying, and Terrorism Annamary Consalvo, Ph.D.

Dr. Annamary Consalvo Assistant Professor of Literacy

In concert with the observation of National Bullying Prevention Month, the School of Education, The Robert Muntz Library, and Fitchburg State University co-hosted the October 12, 2016 symposium centered on the archive of the renowned young adult author, Robert E. Cormier. The sympo-

sium celebrated the release of the free, open, digital exhibit, “Evil, Empathy and Finding Humanity: Lessons from the Robert E. Cormier Archive.” UT Tyler provided national virtual access to the symposium for teachers and their classes, which took place live at Fitchburg State. This collaborative, interdiscipli-

nary, inter-regional three-year project was developed by Dr. Annamary Consalvo of UT Tyler’s School of Education, and Dr. Elisabet Takehana, a digital humanities scholar from Fitchburg State University in central Massachusetts. The exhibit focused on three of (Continued on page 6)

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The CEP Pulse—Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Continuing to Grow Wes Hickey, Ed.D.

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies has been active in teaching, scholarship, and service over the past year. The department has experienced a 38% increase in candidates in the principal preparation program. In addition, the Department held the first Educational Law conference in the spring featuring Jim Walsh and released the inaugural edition of the first UT Tyler online Journal entitled, Diversity, Social Justice and the Educational Leader. The Department conducted

the first onsite School Board Training session and is producing weekly videos on timely topics that have had over 50,000 views since January. These activities are just the start. The faculty of EDLR continues to influence the policies and education of administrators in the state of Texas. Briefly, their involvement includes: 

Vance Vaughn is concluding his term as President of Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration.

Gary Miller was a keynote speaker in the Kappa Delta Pi webinar “Become an Informed Voter.”

Jennifer Jones is arranging ongoing involvement with the Texas Rural Education Association.

Yanira Oliveras-Ortiz and Wes Hickey recently published their book Proficient to Distinguished: Mastering the T-TESS.

The department’s purpose, which is to develop great educational leaders, continues through the excellent work of its members.

Dr. Wes Hickey Chair, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

The Launch of UT Tyler’s First Online Journal: Diversity, Social Justice and the Educational Leader Yanira Oliveras, Ph.D.

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies has created the first online journal at UT Tyler, entitled, Diversity, Social Justice and the Educational Leader. The journal was founded by Dr. Yanira Oliveras-Ortiz as a result of her desire to reach out to scholars and practitioners to raise awareness among educational leaders about the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students. Dr. Oliveras-Ortiz and Dr. Jennifer Jones serve as co -editors of the journal. Both are former school administrators who each spent over a decade leading schools and districts with a high number of culturally, racial, and linguistically diverse

students in both urban and rural school districts. Diversity, Social Justice and the Educational Leader is an online, double blind peer reviewed journal. The journal has a national editorial board comprised of members from a multitude of educational fields, including UT Tyler’s Dr. Kouider Mokhtari and Dr. Vance Vaughn, and other national experts such as: Dr. Sharon H. Ulanoff, Professor and Associate Director of the Educational Leadership Ed.D. Program at California State University, Los Angeles; Dr. Rene AntropGonzalez, Dean of the College of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University in Saint

Paul, Minnesota; Dr. Amy C. Stevens, Professor of Special Education at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. The first edition of Diversity, Social Justice and the Educational Leader includes an editorial piece about the mission of the journal, a position piece about the desegregation of Latino students, and research manuscripts on the efforts of early college high school principals to serve as social just leaders. UT Tyler faculty and graduate students are invited to submit their work for consideration. For additional information and the current call for manuscripts, please visit the journal’s website at dsjel.

Dr. Yanira Oliveras Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership

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The CEP Pulse—Psychology & Counseling There’s Strength in Numbers Chuck Barké, Ph.D.

Dr. Chuck Barké Chair, Psychology & Counseling

At the Spring 2016 UT Tyler graduation ceremony, we graduated our first Honors in Psychology students, who were also the first Honors in any major at UT Tyler. This group of 5 students participated in advanced coursework and carried out research projects that were successfully submitted and presented at a regional Honors conference. Two more graduated in December 2016. We also have 16 currently enrolled Honors in Psychology students, including 2 Sophomores, 6 Juniors and 8 Seniors. This fall semester, we welcomed 45 new undergraduate Bachelor of Applied Arts and

Sciences (BAAS) majors who selected Psychology to complete their degree. These students will take all of their courses fully online, providing maximum flexibility for a student population that includes many full-time working nontraditional students. This past summer the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) reviewed our two-year progress report for our Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) master’s program, and voted to extend our accreditation another six for a total of eight years, the maximum allowable. We are pleased to have achieved this milestone, a reflection of the commitment and efforts of our

faculty and staff. Also this past summer, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted unanimously to give preliminary planning authority for our department’s proposal for a new Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology. We have now submitted the full proposal to the UT System, which will act on it at their February 2017 meeting. If approved then, it will be submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for full approval. Once fully approved, we hope to be able to admit our first cohort of doctoral students for the Fall 2018 semester. We appreciate the strong support from (Continued on page 7)

Research Spotlight on Dr. Sarah Sass: Understanding and Developing Computer Methods to Treat Anxiety

Dr. Sarah Sass Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Sarah Sass, Associate Professor of Psychology, has a research lab, the Clinical Psychophysiology Research (CPR) Lab, where she and graduate and undergraduate research team members are using electrophysiological and computer -aided processes to help better understand the brain activity associated with anxiety, and create new, cutting-edge treatments for anxiety using computerized interventions. They are studying the potential effectiveness of teaching individuals with anxiety to redirect attention away from

stimuli that create and maintain unwanted anxiety toward stimuli that help reduce anxiety. This treatment method is known as attention training, and will be an intervention that can be used with computer software and eventually with smart-phone based apps that clients can use on their own. This approach to treating anxiety will be more cost effective and accessible, especially for those with fewer health resources who are less well served by existing interventions done in a traditional behavioral health care setting.

Dr. Sass’s previous research in this area has demonstrated that attentional biases to threat in anxiety can be seen as early as 100-200 milliseconds in event-related potential brain data, and this early attention may maintain unwanted anxiety. She has also shown that changing attention focus can be taught to individuals which can reduce their anxiety level and change brain correlates of attentional processing. The CEP and Psychology and (Continued on page 7)

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The CEP Pulse—Editorial The Creation of a Thousand Forests Ross Sherman, Ed.D.

The end of this year will mark the retirement of Dr. Rod Mabry, the third President of UT Tyler. Under Dr. Mabry’s leadership, UT Tyler was transformed from a small upper division and graduate institution into a major regional university offering a full range of undergraduate, and graduate programs. Dr. Mabry’s legacy is forever cast in the transformation of the campus through the numerous academic, student housing and student life buildings constructed, renovated or acquired during his tenure.

But perhaps Dr. Mabry’s greatest impact will be on the students who graduated from UT Tyler during his tenure and are now pursing their professional dreams. Approximately 10 years ago the College of Education and Psychology approached Dr. Mabry with the possibility of offering scholarships/tuition reductions for teachers pursuing a master’s degree. Dr. Mabry immediately recognized the benefits that the school districts in East Texas and throughout the State would receive from educators who possessed advanced training. Dr. Mabry also understood that pursuing an ad-

vanced degree on a teacher’s salary could be a significant financial burden. He approved the special financing for educators and as a result, thousands of educators throughout the state are now school counselors, principals, educational diagnosticians, reading specialists, superintendents and master teachers. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” On behalf of all of the educators in the State of Texas who Dr. Mabry helped achieve their professional goals and are now serving the students of Texas, we thank you.

Please visit to visit the Legacy of Excellence website in honor of Dr. Mabry. #mabrylegacy

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The CEP Pulse—Odds & Ends Our Goal to be Greater (cont.) (Continued from page 2)

activities such as Tyler’s Chamber of Commerce Tyler Area Partners for Education working with schools and school districts in East Texas and Central Texas, Teacher Quality grants, Texas Regional Collaborative grants, Library of Congress grants, serving on committees for national and international organizations. We hope you’ll share your goal of how to make education better for students by tweeting at #GoaltoBeGreater. For more information regarding the Tyler Area Partners for Education, please visit: http:// www.tylerareapartnership4ed

An Interdisciplinary Forum on Hate, Bullying, and Terrorism (cont.) (Continued from page 2)

Cormier’s novels and the symposium included three panel discussions focused on the broader types of violence each featured novel represented: gang violence/peer pressure in We All Fall Down, in which Dr. Frank Dykes of the School of Education presented; extremist terrorism in After the First Death, and bullying and abuse in Tunes for Bears to Dance To. Panelists came from a wide range of disciplines to open interdisciplinary

conversations on bullying, terrorism, intimidation, suffering, choice, healing, and empathy. In addition to the theme-based panels, the program featured keynote speaker, Elizabeth Englander, founder and Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University and Professor of Psychology. Please visit https:// symposium--october-12-2016 to view the full symposium program and to navigate to the digital exhibit.

The "Evil, Empathy, and Finding Humanity: Lessons from the Robert E. Cormier Archive” exhibit is the second in a series of three themed digital exhibits showcasing artifacts from the Robert Cormier Collection at Fitchburg State University's Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library. The first exhibit addressed the topic of censorship, and the third and final exhibit, scheduled for release April 2018, will center on abusiveness toward children.

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The CEP Pulse—Odds & Ends There’s Strength in Numbers (cont.) (Continued from page 4)

UT Tyler administration and our community partners and advocates. Our goal is to help significantly improve the lives of those in our East Texas communities by increasing access and quality of mental health services throughout the area. Finally, all of our programs, both undergraduate and graduate have continued to grow, with enrollment increases from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016. For the 2016-17 academic

year, we currently have 97 active CMHC students, while 23 graduated from the program in the past year. Our graduates have also continued the 100% pass rate on the National Counselor Exam for licensure in Texas. We have 103 active Clinical Psychology graduate students, 43 of whom are also specializing in Neuropsychology, and 20 in School Psychology. During the past year, 26 Clinical Psychology students graduated as well. We have 116 active School Counseling majors, and 47 who

graduated during 2015-2016. Our undergraduate programs have 451 active students, while 83 graduated last year.

Research Spotlight on Dr. Sarah Sass: Understanding and Developing Computer Methods to Treat Anxiety (cont.) (Continued from page 4)

Counseling department are providing Dr. Sass with research support for the Spring of 2017 to develop a grant proposal to begin refining existing attention-training interventions for anxiety and apply it on a larger scale. This program of research has the potential to help the large number of persons whose anxiety response patterns limit or impair their work, health and social lives. We are excited about her work and look forward to the results.

Volunteer student hooked up to an EEG cap to measure brain wave activity.

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The CEP Pulse—Development How We Do It Michael Giordano, M.A.T.

In the College of Education and Psychology, we are dedicated to preparing competent, caring, and qualified educators and mental health professionals for the State of Texas. To achieve this goal, we have an accomplished faculty and an amazing staff working to ensure a quality education to all of our students. One thing that is sometimes overlooked is that, in order to provide such a quality education at an affordable rate, we look to outside sources for funding. This can come at many levels. Some people, businesses, and organizations can donate large amounts of money. These donations can take the form of endowed professorships, new facilities, and other major projects.

There are other donors who can donate more moderate amounts. This money can be used for professional development of our faculty and staff, and recruitment of students and faculty. Some donors give smaller amounts. These donations are also valuable to us. They can go towards any of the above purposes, but are also used for day-to-day expenses to assist faculty and students. The point is that whether a gift is large, medium or small, like Goldilocks, we find that it always is “just right” for some purpose. Donors come from all walks of life. We have received donations from foundations and businesses, alumni and faculty, community leaders, and citizens. We have received donations from large amounts that can sponsor a professorship

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” -Etienne de Grellet

down to a dollar or two. In the end, every dollar helps us keep the quality of the education we provide as high as possible, while keeping the costs to the students as low as possible, allowing us to help students who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education. Please consider making a donation, large or small, to the College of Education and Psychology here at The University of Texas at Tyler. Whatever the amount, your show of support will help us as we strive to help Texas. So please take a moment to fill out the form on the next page and to write a check or donate online to support this cause. Your donation will go towards making a difference, not only in the lives of our students, but in the lives of the people whom they will in turn educate or provide with mental health services.

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Would you like to donate to the College of Education and Psychology? _____ $10 _____$25 _____ $50 _____ $100 _____ Other Amt. Please make checks out to: The University of Texas at Tyler Name: _________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________________________ City: _________________________________ State: _____ Zip: ___________ Phone: ______________________ Email: ____________________________ Designate Gift for:

College of Ed. and Psych.

Dept. of Psych.

Please send this form and your check to: UTT College of Education and Psychology Office of University Advancement 3900 University Blvd. Tyler, TX 75799

School of Education

Dept. of Ed. Leadership

If you’d like to donate online with a credit card, please visit:

We would like to thank the members of our Development Advisory Board for their service to The College of Education and Psychology Nancy Clark

Michael Lujan

Sherrill Echols

Mo McSwane

Nez Gross

Bonnie Rayford

Jenni Holman

Cynthia Riter

Michele Jett

Lynda Speak

Barry Jones

Margaret Stewart

The University of Texas at Tyler College of Education and Psychology 3900 University Blvd Tyler, TX 75799

Editor-in-Chief: Sydni Blundell

Check us out online at:

The CEP Pulse, Fall 2016  
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