Highlights & News

Gerardo LopezPlease join us in welcoming Dr. Gerardo López as our new chair in Educational Leadership & Policy. His research interests are in parent involvement, school-community relations, immigrant education, and issues of diversity/difference within educational policy. Dr Lopez hopes to work closely with local and state educators and policymakers on ways to improve education for students and parents in schools.

Jack NewellAn Examined Life  - Continuum article
Jack Newell is a professor emeritus of education at the University of Utah. When he arrived at the U in 1974, he was 35. He was hired to be dean of students but soon was appointed to a new post, dean of liberal education, charged with revamping the University’s graduation requirements.
For years, undergraduates had been required to take a somewhat random set of “general ed” courses in addition to courses in their majors. The new “liberal ed” program required a more focused selection of classes designed specifically to challenge students to become thinkers. That’s the premise behind the term “liberal education,” which of course is not how to become more like Nancy Pelosi but about teaching students, as current U Honors College Dean Sylvia Torti PhD’98 says, to “thrive in ambiguity and complexity.” Read More >>

erinHigher Education in an Era of Mass Incarceration: Possibility Under Constraint, an article co-authored by Dr. Erin Castro, explores the purposes of higher education in prison during an era of mass incarceration and contend that the potential of postsecondary educational opportunity in carceral spaces is undermined by a single-minded focus on reducing recidivism. Among the over 2.2 million individuals behind bars in the United States, only 6 percent have access to formal postsecondary educational opportunities, and as a result, most incarcerated students are not on an educational pathway likely to result in academic degree attainment. Read more >>

She has also written an op-ed piece in the Salt Lake Tribune "It's time to bring college educations back to prisons".  Read the article>>

Jonathan Gochberg, ELP Ed.D. student, writes opinion article for the Deseret News: Make the move to 50th place in per pupil spending!  "Perhaps a good place to start increasing the amount of money allocated for public schools is to stop cutting. Stop adding additional tax exemptions. Stop diverting funds. Quit asking for corporate tax breaks." Read the article>>

Sharon WisniewskiCongratulations to Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski on receiving the Beacons of Excellence Award from the University of Utah. We are so lucky that Sharon is joining our department! She will be an enormous addition to our faculty and her presence will benefit our programs and the students in them. The award is given to people and programs across campus who provide transformative experiences for undergraduate students.  Please take a minute to read a little more about the award and why Sharon was selected for it, by clicking on the link here.

irene yoon larry parkerDr. Irene Yoon, Assistant Professor, receives the Outstanding Reviewer Award for the American Educational Research Journal – Section on Social and Institutional Analysis, at the annual meeting of AERA in Chicago. The award is for giving collegial, constructive, and timely peer reviews for the journal.


amy bergerson Congratulations to Dr. Amy Bergerson who was honored with a 2015 Distinguished Mentor Award. To honor and encourage the considerable efforts and accomplishments of faculty who consistently serve as effective mentors of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, The Graduate School established a Distinguished Mentor Award. Read More >>

erinDr. Erin L. Castro was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. She is excited for this new responsibility and to contribute to the important work that the ACLU is doing throughout the state.
Board members serve for three-year terms with a normal limit of two terms. Board members are volunteers and receive no financial remuneration for their service. More information about the Board of Directors can be found on the ACLU website.

Dr. Jason L. Taylor, Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership & Policy, presented his research at the opening session of the 2015 National Policy Summit on Reverse Transfer. In an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Giving Credit Where Credit is Due is Tougher Than It Seems, Katherine Mangan cites Dr. Taylor's recent paper Optimizing Reverse-Transfer Policies and Processes: Lessons From Twelve CWID [Credit When It's Due] States.

jason taylorDr. Jason L.Taylor, assistant professor in ELP, presents information and insights on the tradeoffs associated with President Obama's proposal for providing free Community College to eligible students. Click here for the article.

ledesmaELP Assistant Professor, Dr. María C. Ledesma, is the lead author and coordinator for an American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2015 Presidential Session. The session entitled, "Toward Collective Action to Reclaim Public Narrative for Justice: Ameliorating on Impoverished Cultural Discourse on Affirmative Action in Higher Education,” is one of only nine Presidential Sessions selected for AERA's Annual Meeting, to be held in Chicago in April 2015. 

erinErin Castro, Ph.D., ELP Assistant Professor, was a presenter at the Education Justice Project's Symposium on Higher Education in Prison last month. Her presentation examined the politics of doing higher education in prison and the limiting reach of reduced recidivism as a rationale for college-in-prison programming. Read More...

deneeceDr. Deneece Huftalin has been selected by the Board of Regents as the eighth President of Salt Lake Community College.  Dr. Huftalin received her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah in 2006.  Since that time she has served as a core adjunct instructor for our Master’s with an emphasis in Student Affairs program.  We are thrilled for her and proud to have her as one of our alumni!
Read the Salt Lake Tribune article...