Grants, Awards and Achievements: December 2022

Texas Center for Equity Promotion

Esther J. Calzada • Center Director

Esther J. Calzada was appointed as the center director for the Texas Center for Equity Promotion (TexCEP). Calzada will oversee the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of TexCEP with the goal of increasing the center’s visibility and reach both within and beyond the university. Working closely with founding members, as well as TexCEP’s executive and steering committees, Calzada and the team will continue to establish collaborations that promote equity-centered science in alignment with the center’s mission and values.

Student Affairs

Sharon Evans • Director, Education Services

Congratulations to Sharon Evans, COE’s Director of Education Services, who will be awarded the Education 2.0 – Outstanding Leadership Award in Education during the winter 2022 Education 2.0 Conference in Dubai, UAE. Evans is being recognized for her contributions to international leadership which are determined based on five key parameters including reputation, achievements and accolades, experience, creative thinking and decisive leadership.

The University of Texas High School

UT High School (UTHS), which is celebrating 23 years of online education, was recently awarded $1.9 million from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to launch UTHS Empower Academy. This innovative, free program – created in partnership with UT High School District and TWC – will provide eligible Texas residents, 21+, the opportunity to complete their high school diploma or prepare for and take the GED exams online.

Curriculum & Instruction

Grace MyHyun Kim • Assistant Professor

Grace MyHyun Kim has been selected as a 2022-24 Faculty Fellow of the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. Gathering scholars from different fields, fellows will work at the intersection of humanities and digital technologies. The fellowship’s interdisciplinary inquiry centers on “Digital futures and social justice” and coincides with the Humanities Institute’s new Initiative for Digital Humanities.

Educational Leadership and Policy

Angela Valenzuela • Professor

Angela Valenzuela received the Presidential Award during the Texas NAACP State Conference in recognition of her work as a teacher, scholar and advocate. Gary Bledsoe, the Texas NAACP president, presented the award to Valenzuela for her advocacy and dedication to equity. Valenzuela, a member of the National Academy of Education, specializes in urban education from a sociological and multicultural perspective, with a focus on minority youth in schools, particularly at the K-12 level.

Educational Psychology

Colin Muething, Ph.D. • Alumnus

Colin Muething, a College of Education alumnus who earned his doctorate in school psychology in 2016, was a recipient of an Outstanding Young Texas Exes Award for 2022 which recognizes young alumni for their significant achievements in their career and service to the university. Muething specializes in the assessment and treatment of the most severe forms of problem behavior and is a psychologist in the Severe Behavior Program at Marcus Autism Center, where he serves as program manager of the Day Treatment Program. He is also an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine.

Special Education

Laura Estep • Assistant Professor

Laura Estep recently formed partnerships with two local organizations, Longhorn TIES and the Autism Society of Texas (AST), to provide graduate students in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities and the Early Childhood Special Education programs the opportunity to share information and provide support to community partners serving the autistic community. The new collaboration also provides a valuable platform for mutual learning and growth for both the community partners and graduate students.

Sarah Gorsky • Ph.D. Student

Sarah Gorsky, a Ph.D. student in the Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders program, has been invited to join the 15th cohort of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Research Doctoral Student Scholars. Nominated by faculty member Sarah Powell and selected as an outstanding scholar through an internationally competitive review process, Gorsky will have the opportunity to participate in seminars and develop relationships with other doctoral scholars that will provide the basis for future professional associations.