Grants, Awards and Achievements: March 2023

Educational Leadership and Policy

Steven R. Gonzales • Alumni Ph.D. in Educational Administration
Alfredo de los Santos, Jr. • Alumni Ph.D. in Educational Administration

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education recently announced that Steven R. Gonzales and Alfredo de los Santos, Jr. (posthumously) will be co-recipients of their Diverse Champions Award for 2023. The Diverse Champions Award recognizes higher education leaders who have shown unwavering commitment to equal opportunity and access for all, particularly at the community college level. The award was created by the publication in 2012 upon the retirement of the inaugural Diverse Champions Award winner, John E. Roueche, as director of the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) here in the College of Education.

Kinesiology and Health Education

Owen Beck • Assistant Professor

A new study co-authored by Owen Beck was featured on the February 2023 cover of Science Robotics. The study, “Exoskeletons need to react faster than physiological responses to improve standing balance,” found that the key to augmenting balance is through the use of an artificially developed boot that acts faster than human reaction times. The wearable robots – like powered lower-limb exoskeletons – can improve balance, prevent falls and enable people to be active for longer, especially people with balance impairments such as older populations and those who have Parkinson’s disease or other medical conditions.

Caroline North • Ph.D. Student
Alexandra Loukas • Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

The study “Marijuana use behaviors on Texas college campuses” conducted by Ph.D. candidate Caroline North and Alexandra Loukas was highlighted in a recent Inside Higher Ed article about marijuana usage on college campuses as legalization spreads across the country. Caroline was quoted throughout the article discussing the findings and how the study will inform Texas college leaders on the extent of marijuana use on campus so they can take preventative measures to address it.

Special Education

Jessica Toste • Associate Professor

In recognition of her record of excellence in graduate student teaching, mentoring, educational innovation and engagement with graduate programs’ curricular reform, Jessica Toste was awarded a President’s Associates Graduate Teaching Excellence Award for the 2022-23 academic year. The recipients of the President’s Associates Graduate Teaching Excellence Award are UT Austin’s educational innovators whose commitment and performance is not only teach, but to inspire graduate student learners. Congratulations Dr. Toste on this well-deserved recognition!

Jessica Toste was also accepted as a scholar in the Comprehensive Program for Adaptive Interventions Training in Education (CATIE). The highly competitive Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded training program will be held in person over three days this month. The training is designed for scholars with doctoral degrees interested in learning more about adaptive interventions in education and the use of SMARTs to build high-quality adaptive interventions. Participants in the training receive rigorous foundations in the design, funding, conduct and analysis of novel experimental design methods for optimizing adaptive interventions, including SMART designs, and also career development.