Grants, Awards and Achievements: January 2023

Curriculum and Instruction

Tia Madkins • Assistant Professor

Tia Madkins has been awarded a 2022-2023 Research & Creative Grant (RCG) for her study, Racialized Mathematics Learning Environments Phase Two: Understanding Teachers’ Racialized Beliefs. The RCG funding will allow Madkins to develop the first large-scale survey ever used to examine secondary mathematics teachers’ beliefs related to minoritized students, families and communities and inclusive teaching practices nationally. The RCG program is administered by the UT Austin Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors. Congratulations Dr. Madkins!

Luis Urrieta • Charles H. Spence, Sr. Centennial Professorship in Education
Judith Landeros • Ph.D. Student

Luis Urrieta and Judith Landeros were featured on a FreshEd podcast episode titled “Counterstories of Fundamental Education in Central Mexico” where they discussed and critiqued a UNESCO development project started in the early 1950s in Central Mexico that promoted fundamental education, revealing problematic deficit perspectives as well as nuanced counterstories of silenced voices. Dr. Urrieta is a Cultural Studies in Education professor whose research centers on cultural and racial identities, agency, migration and social movements in education; Landeros is a doctoral student in the Cultural Studies in Education program with a certificate in Native American and Indigenous studies.

Educational Leadership and Policy

Norma Cantú • Professor

Congratulations to Norma Cantú, Ken McIntyre Professor for Excellence in School Leadership, for being named the recipient of the American Bar Foundation 2023 Fellows’ Outstanding Service Award. Cantú is receiving the award in recognition of her outstanding career of service to the legal profession and the public. She has a joint appointment in both the College of Education and the Law School and teaches topics in civil rights and the intersection of law and policy in education. For eight years, she served as the assistant secretary of education for civil rights in the Clinton Administration, where she oversaw a staff of approximately 850 in implementing governmental policy for civil rights in American education. Prior to her service in the Clinton Administration, Cantú worked for 14 years as regional counsel and education director of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Denisa Gándara • Assistant Professor

Congratulations to Denisa Gándara for her recent selection to the Board of Directors of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). She was appointed along with four others who share IHEP’s passion for building an equitable future by ensuring everyone has the chance to succeed in postsecondary education. IHEP cites Dr. Gándara’s work to expand postsecondary educational opportunities for students from marginalized communities as being an excellent fit with the organization’s mission.

Professor Gándara was also recently recognized for her collective effort, along with a dozen fellow researchers, in producing a web-based handbook synthesizing more than a decade of research around tuition-free college. Funded by The Kresge Foundation through a CoPro2.0 grant to the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, The Free College Handbook: A Practitioner’s Guide to Promise Research,  provides actionable strategies for policymakers, civic leaders, college administrators and philanthropists in understanding how the reduction of college costs can simultaneously help students and the places they live.

Stella Flores • Associate Professor
Denisa Gándara • Assistant Professor
Angela Valenzuela • Professor

The College of Education congratulates faculty members Stella FloresDenisa Gándara and Angela Valenzuela for being named to the 2023 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Ranking list. These rankings recognize university-based education scholars of any discipline for their contribution to the public. Each year, scholars are scored in nine publicly available metrics including their Google scholar score, book points, Amazon ranking, syllabus points, education press mentions, web mentions, newspaper mentions, congressional record mentions and Twitter score. The top 200 make the list. David Yeager, associate professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts, was also named to this year’s list. Congratulations!

Elizabeth Aritonang • Ph.D. Student
Armando Lizarraga • Ph.D. Student

Ph.D. students Elizabeth Aritonang and Armando Lizarraga were selected as two of five Student Fellows in the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) in the LBJ School of Public Affairs. This unique, year-long fellowship pairs students with Faculty Fellows who serve as mentors, guiding them in their research around issues and policy development focused on race, democracy and social justice. Ultimately, their projects will aid in the creation of a database of relevant research that will serve as a launchpad for additional social-justice-oriented work. Student Fellows also participate in CSRD events, such as a fellows symposium and networking events, and act as ambassadors on behalf of the CSRD, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and UT Austin. Congratulations to Liz and Armando!

Special Education

Katherine O’Donnell • Ph.D. Student

Katherine O’Donnell, 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 Nathan Clemens and selected as an outstanding scholar through an internationally competitive review process, O’Donnell will have the opportunity to participate in seminars and develop relationships with other doctoral scholars that will provide the basis for future professional associations. Congratulations!