Grants, Awards and Achievements: April 2023

Curriculum and Instruction

Tia Madkins • Assistant Professor

Tia Madkins has been named the recipient of two awards recognizing her work and scholarship. First, Dr. Madkins was named a 2023 Emerging Scholar by the Comparative and International Education Society African Diaspora Special Interest Group (SIG). The award highlights individuals whose work focuses on the empowerment of people of the African Diaspora and are conducting creative, pivotal research and implementing best practices through community activism within and/or across the African diaspora. Dr. Madkins’ research examines equity-focused PK-16 STEM teaching and learning across urban contexts with a focus on Black girls.

Dr. Madkins has also been named the recipient of the 2023 Revolutionary Mentor Award given by the AERA Critical Educators for Social Justice (CESJ), the largest SIG in AERA. This award honors a scholar (at any rank) who has been vital in supporting others in their research, teaching and critical community engagement; and who encourages, supports and collaborates with graduate students and junior faculty to cultivate transformative scholarship that impacts communities inside and outside of the academy.

Educational Leadership and Policy

David DeMatthews • Associate Professor

David DeMatthews was named a nominee for the 2022 Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards for his book “Maximizing the Policy Relevance of Research for School Improvement.” The Hamilton Book Awards recognize UT Austin faculty or staff members who, in the preceding calendar year, produced the best book-length publications as determined by a multi-disciplinary committee of scholars appointed by the Vice President for Research. The second volume in the Leadership for School Improvement series, Dr. DeMatthews’ book is designed for education researchers, faculty and advanced graduate students seeking to enhance their research impact and awareness in areas related to educational policy and policy making. Timothy G. Ford and Angela Urick are co-editors of the book.

Linda García • Executive Director, Center for Community College Student Engagement; Assistant Professor of Practice

Linda García was named the 2023 recipient of the Terry O’Banion Prize for Inspiring Significant Change to Teaching and Learning given by the League for Innovation in the Community College and sponsored by Educational Testing Service (ETS). García was selected for the award due to her commitment to and excellence in teaching and learning. Her experience includes student development, instructional support, grant writing and teaching. She also served as a coach for the American Association of Community Colleges Pathways 2.0 and continues in this same role for the Texas Pathways Project.

Pedro Reyes • Ashbel Smith Professor of Education Leadership & Policy; Executive Director of the Texas Education Research Center

Pedro Reyes was named to the inaugural national P-12 Research Advisory Council (RAC)for The Education Trust, an organization committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the American education system. As a member of the 12-person RAC, Dr. Reyes will work with other members to advise Ed Trust’s research agenda on teaching and curriculum and provide insight on the educational landscape to help identify specific equity-based research projects that can deepen and expand the work on Ed Trust’s P-12 priority areas. Dr. Reyes’ research and expertise are in education and opportunity, particularly on student success for children experiencing poverty and how school leadership and state policy facilitate student success across the education pipeline.

Educational Psychology

Sarah Kate Bearman • Associate Professor
Jessica O’Bleness • Assistant Professor of Practice
J. Mark Eddy • Professor

Sarah Kate BearmanJessica O’Bleness and J. Mark Eddy were awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund their program Training in Comprehensive, Culturally Affirming Services (TRACCS) in School Psychology: Increasing School Mental Health Service Capacity in High Need Schools. The program prepares future school psychologists to provide evidence-based and culturally affirming mental health services in high-needs school districts. Students earning their school psychology master’s degree are eligible to apply to the program and field training will take place in partnership with Del Valle Independent School District. TRACCS will begin in Fall 2023, and Drs. Bearman and O’Bleness will serve as principal investigators (PI) and Dr. Eddy will serve as co-PI.

Special Education

North Cooc • Assistant Professor

North Cooc is a member of one of eight research teams receiving an over one million dollar grant from the California State Legislature in support of the AAPI Data project. Focused on social science research around the needs of AA and NHPI communities, the funding supports studies including, “How School Climate Influences the Bullying Experiences of California’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANPI) Youth: Long Term Trends Across AANHPI Ethnic Subgroups.” Dr. Cooc and lead-PI Dr. Kevin Gee aim to break new ground in developing strategies to prevent hate and bullying against California’s diverse AA and NHPI youth.

Alyssa Barrera Lansford • Ph.D. Student 
Patricio Erhard. • Ph.D. Student
Molly Oshinski • Ph.D. Student

Three outstanding Ph.D. students, Alyssa Barrera Lansford, Patricio Erhard and Molly Oshinski, were the recipients of recent awards that include winning a scholarship, a paper competition and an investment in a company.

Alyssa was awarded a student scholarship from the Association of Professional Behavior Analysis (APBA) and Black Applied Behavior Analyst (BABA) to attend The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) convention. The scholarship was a competitive student essay and only five students were selected. The scholarship included full conference payment with workshops and continuing education credits (CEUs).

Patricio won the Association for Behavior Analysis International DEI Paper Competition for his paper “Evaluation of Instructive Feedback and Multiple-Exemplar Training as Strategies for Generalizing Tacts Across English and Spanish Responses.” In addition to his research, Patricio also teaches a Spanish-speaking course in the college that is aimed at providing future teachers, therapists and administrators with a comprehensive understanding of autism through a compassionate and culturally responsive lens.

Molly recently won the Health Innovation Award at the Texas Ventures Lab Investment Competition and was awarded $5,000 for her company Pickle System. Molly’s research focuses on teaching menstrual care using a video model to individuals with autism. Pickle System was co-founded by Molly and her sister Morgan Marquez, and develops video models to teach daily living skills including menstrual care, hygiene and other intimate skills to individuals with autism and developmental disabilities.

Ailani Elizondo • Undergraduate Student

Ailani was recently named a recipient of a 2023 Janice S. Jones Scholarship given by the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE). The award is a one-time grant designed to assist in the career development of promising teacher candidates in the identified critical need areas. Ailani is a special education major and will be graduating in May. Her goal is to spark the desire to learn within her students and help teachers around her find their light in this amazing career field, and she plans to continue her education and earn a master’s and Ph.D.