Grants, Awards and Achievements: November 2022

Curriculum and Instruction

María González-Howard • Assistant Professor
Cathery Yeh • Assistant Professor

María González-Howard and Cathery Yeh are part of a consortium that was recently awarded $7.5 million to develop free, high-quality, K-5 science curriculum and professional learning materials called OpenSciEd Elementary. The complete program will meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and include ELA/literacy and math integrations. González-Howard and Yeh will be leading teams that will support work across the development of OpenSciEd Elementary instructional materials and professional learning. Over the next four years the consortium will create, field-test, revise and publicly release units of the program.

Also see related story in Education Week

Tia Madkins • Assistant Professor

Tia Madkins and faculty colleague Yasmiyn Irizarry were awarded a $1.63 million grant from the NSF Racial Equity in STEM Education for the project Collaborative Research: EHR Racial Equity: Examining Blackness in Postsecondary STEM Education through a Multidimensional-Multiplicative Lens. The total award amount of $8.8 million will fund the endeavor across six institutions (UT Austin, University of Illinois Chicago, Georgia State University, North Carolina A&T University, American University and Tennessee State University). The team will develop theories, research methods and tools, as well as forms of knowledge that expand the field’s conceptual understandings of, and implications for, racial equity in STEM education for Black undergraduate students.

Educational Leadership and Policy

Denisa Gándara • Assistant Professor

Denisa Gándara was appointed by President Biden to the National Board for Education Sciences. The 15-member Board focuses on research priorities for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), an independent, nonpartisan branch of the U.S. Department of Education that is charged with supporting research for education practice and policy. Gándara’s research and expertise are in higher education finance and policy, with a focus on college access and success for populations historically underserved in higher education.

Educational Psychology

Kizzy Albritton • Associate Professor

Kizzy Albritton has been selected to participate in the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) Spring 2023 Faculty Success Program (FSP), an intensive virtual faculty bootcamp focused on developing, connecting and empowering the next wave of academic leaders. Albritton’s research examines ways that school psychologists can improve the academic, social-emotional and behavioral outcomes for young children from minoritized and marginalized backgrounds in early childhood settings.

Kinesiology and Health Education

Hirofumi Tanaka • Professor and Director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory

On October 1, Hirofumi Tanaka was inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a kinesiology scholar. Tanaka has been a faculty member at UT Austin since 2002, and his research focuses on vascular aging that manifests as the stiffening of large elastic artery and vascular endothelial dysfunction. He is also currently involved in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, the Jackson Heart Study and the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study on Latinos.

Special Education

Sharon Vaughn • Professor and Executive Director of The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk

Sharon Vaughn has been ranked 298 in the United States and 484 in the world of the Top 1000 Female Scientists by, an organization that provides scientific industry rankings around leading institutional reputation, expertise and publications. Vaughn has worked with educators from around the world and is the author of more than 35 books, 250 peer-reviewed research articles and 65 chapters that address issues related to research and practice around students with learning problems and disabilities.