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Highlights & News

Ren PlunkettJoren “Ren” Plunkett is the recipient of the 2018 NASPA Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community Award due to her engagement and support of this community in the higher education environment. Ren is in the M.Ed. Student Affairs Program and will travel to Philadelphia in March to receive this award. Read more here.

Congratulations to Erin Castro and Edén Cortez for their recent publication in the AMAE journal. Mexican and Mexican American Student Reflections on Transfer: Institutional Agents and the Continued Role of the Community College. Please click hereto view the complete issue.

  Paula SmithWilliam SmithThe Black Student Union at the University of Utah are excited to honor Dr. Paula Smith, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy at the University of Utah and Dr. William Smith, Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Education, Culture & Society at the University of Utah, with The Black Student Union’s Annual Legacy Award for their continuous and outstanding service to African American students in the community and  at the University of Utah.

Paula SmithThe Kearns Community Coalition, on which Dr. Paula Smith of the ELP department serves, has received a five-year, $625,000 grant from the Office of National Drug Control to curb alcohol and e-cigarette use among teens. See this article for more information:

Romeo JacksonELP student Romeo Jackson reviewed On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, for the journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.


Jason TaylorDr. Jason Taylor recently co-authored a paper titled, Improving IPEDS Data Collection on High School Students Enrolled in College Courses. The paper was commissioned by the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC) and provides recommendations on how to improve data collection on dual enrollment students for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the federal postsecondary data collection system. The paper will serve as a background for an IPEDS Technical Review Panel which will consider how to modify federal data collection.

Sharon Aiken-WisniewskiDr. Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski appointed as the co-editor of NACADA’s research publication, The NACADA Journal, for 2017-2019. Sharon has been active member of NACADA for many years, having served on their Board of Directors.  She has been instrumental in setting and moving forward NACADA’s research agenda.

Congratulations, Sharon!

Erin CastroErin Castro co-authored a short article regarding the use of prior criminal history in graduate school admissions for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Read the article>>

AMY-KATRYN-ANDREAThree ELP people win awards at the 2017 Regional NASPA!

Congratulations to Kathryn Coquemont (Doctoral candidate) for Outstanding Mid-Level Professional, Andrea Salcedo (Higher Ed Masters Student) for Undergraduate Rising Star, and Amy Bergerson, Professor, for Fred Turner Outstanding Service to NASPA. Click here for more>>

Liliana Castrellano - Judith Perez-torresLiliana Castrellón, ELP doctoral candidate, and Dr. Judith Perez-Torres, ELP alumnus, recently published a chapter in the book, "Culturally Engaging Service-Learning with Diverse Communities". The title of their chapter is "I see myself in them: Understanding racialized educational experiences of students of color through critical race service-learning".  The book provides scholarly research on service-learning models that deconstruct systemic social injustices within historically marginalized communities.  For more information on the book, click here >> 


ELP graduate, Alonso Reyna Rivarola, had his article, "Undocumented" Ways of Navigating Complex Sociopolitical Realities in Higher Education: A Critical Race Counterstory, published in the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher education and Student Affairs. For more on his article which was based on his master capstone, click HERE>>

Erin CastroAssistant Professor Erin Castro was featured in a Harvard EdCast, The intersection of education and incarceration. Dr. Castro engaged one of her incarcerated students, Michael Brawn, in a dialogue exploring the challenges of educating a population within the constraints of a carceral system. 
"Michael Brawn, my coauthor, is a student in the Education Justice Project (EJP), a model college-in-prison program affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has extensive experience with critical pedagogy, as he outlines in our article in the Spring issue of the Harvard Educational Review, because many of his instructors—including me—attempt to engage the spirit of critical pedagogy in the prison classroom. His criticism of emancipatory authority, a key tenet of critical pedagogy, served as an impetus for our collaboration." An excerpt from The Blog of Harvard Educarion Publishing.

Feng WeiDr. Feng Wei, ELP’s Visiting Professor from Nanjing Normal University, China, was awarded the 2017 National Social Science Funding of China, one of the highest levels of academic funding in the national social science research. His project is a case study about compulsory education governance in rural China. In addition, the second edition of his book, Elasticity and Toughness, has been published by Shanghai Joint Publishing Press. The book was an ethnographic study that analyzed the relationship between educational policy and rural culture, based on many rural teachers’ life histories that were influenced by educational policy in one county in China from 1950s to 1990s. Read an excerpt from his October. 3, 2017 presentation on Understanding the Roles of Local Educational Departments in School improvements in China

Gerardo Lopez, and Laurence Parker each published a chapter in Critical Approaches to Education Policy Analysis: Moving Beyond Tradition  (Young & Diem, Eds., 2017). The book is published by Springer Press. Lopez’s co-authored chapter is titled "When Parents Behave Badly: A Critical Policy Analysis of Parent Involvement in Schools.” Parker’s co-authored chapter is titled "Silent Covenants in the Neoliberal Era: Critical Race Counternarratives on African American Advocacy Leadership in Schools.” 

Wanda Pillow, faculty member in the department of Education, Culture, and Society, also has a chapter in this same book titled "Policy Studies Debt: A Feminist Call to Expand Policy Studies Theory.”

Last Updated: 3/16/18