Research, Impact and Achievements: January 2024

Educational Leadership and Policy

Michael A. GoodmanAssistant Professor of Practice

Michael Goodman has recently been honored with multiple awards and grants for his research. He was named Faculty Member of the Year by the Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA) and awarded TACUSPA’s Dr. Adam Peck Research Development Grant. The grant, a collaboration with second-year M.Ed. candidate Elizabeth Doyle, will support research and development for neurodivergent student leadership projects. Additionally, Goodman, along with graduate students Yacine Starr and Natalie Spitzer, received the Gold Scholar Award from the National Association of Campus Activities, which will allow the team to complete research on college student government leaders and how they respond in moments of crisis.  

Victor SáenzProfessor and Associate Dean for Student Success, Community Engagement and Administration
Emmet CamposLecturer and Director of Project MALES

Victor Sáenz and Emmet Campos have been selected as recipients of the Iverson Award for Innovation, recognizing innovative new teaching methods and topics in their Latinx Males K-12 and Higher Education course.  Sáenz and Campos received the award at the Signature Course End-of-Semester Celebration on December 6, 2023, in the Texas Union.  

Richard RhodesProfessor of Practice

Richard Rhodes (Ph.D. ’96) was recently named Austinite of the Year by the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Rhodes, who received his doctorate in educational administration with a focus on community college leadership, retired as the longest-serving chancellor of Austin Community College in 2023 and will be honored for helping spur growth throughout the ACC district. During Rhodes’ tenure, the ACC system added 11 new campuses and acquired more than $1 billion in grants. Rhodes will receive his award at the Chamber’s “Cheers to the Year” event on February 13.  

Stella M. FloresAssociate Professor
Denisa GandaraAssistant Professor
Liliana GarcesProfessor
Angela ValenzuelaProfessor

Stella Flores, Denisa Gandara, Liliana Garces and Angela Valenzuela have been recognized in Education Week’s top 200 university professionals who had the greatest impact on shaping policy and practice in education. The 2024 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings are compiled by AEI’s Rick Hess for his column Straight Up and appear in This year marks Garces’ first entry on the list, while Valenzuela, Flores and Gandara return from last year. UT’s Department of Psychology professor David S. Yeager also made the list. 

Special Education

Doris BakerAssociate Professor
Christian DoablerAssociate Professor

Doris Baker and Christian Doabler have received Education, Innovation and Research (EIR) grants from the Department of Education in support of ongoing work to address post-pandemic academic recovery, especially for students who have been historically underserved. Baker received a mid-phase grant for her research project “Transforming the Learning of Science for Second Grade Latinx Students Through Meaningful Interactions using Technology Outside of School (Project MITOS)” while Doabler received an early-phase grant for his project, “Preparing High-Need Students for Success in Early Science Instruction.” Learn more about the program

The Rather Prize Accepting Applications for 2024

Students with innovative ideas for improving Texas education are encouraged to apply for the $10,000 2024 Rather Prize. The Rather Prize was established in 2016 by famed TV anchorman Dan Rather and his grandson, Martin, as an incentive to spur exciting new changes in education. Applicants will be asked to answer the question, “What is your best idea to improve Texas education?” Submissions are being accepted through January 31, 2024; the winner will be announced at the SXSW EDU Conference on March 5, 2024. The application is available online