The Peabody Pulse

March 15, 2021

Contact:  Michael Hobbs (michael_hobbs (AT)

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This Week

Monday: Methods Considerations for IES Grant Proposals, 12:20 p.m., Zoom

Tuesday: HOLD candidate Suzan Wasik presentation, 12:20 p.m., Zoom

Wednesday: Deadline for Staff Excellence Awards nominations, 5 p.m., form

Wednesday: MEITE info session, 6 p.m., details

Wednesday: Teaching Fellows Seminar: Culturally Responsive Teaching, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: HOLD candidate Diane Garvarkavich presentation, 12:20 p.m., Zoom

Thursday: MSA info session, 6 p.m., details

Friday: COVID-19 volunteering in schools, noon, Zoom

Friday: HOLD candidate Jemilia Davis presentation, 12:20 p.m., Zoom

Friday: DEI Chat: Getting Started with Digital Accessibility, 3 p.m.


Three candidates for HOLD coordinator present this week

Three candidates for the coordinator of the Human Organizational Leadership and Development program will visit the School this week, giving presentations and sitting for interviews. Each of the three will give presentations at 12:20 p.m. viewable on Zoom. Contact Caroline Weaver for the Zoom links to the presentations and for interviews.

Tuesday: Suzan Wasik

Wasik has a Ph.D. in Counseling and Counseling Education from UNC Greensboro. Her professional experience includes a clinical practice in counseling (including a great deal of executive counseling for corporate leaders), executive and business leadership development, and teaching and coordinating in the Career Counseling program at NC Central (where she taught career development and professional ethics courses.) She also taught for the human services program at Elon University. She is currently Organizational Development Manager, at TransLoc, a start-up that develops tech tools for public transit that was recently acquired by Ford.

Thursday: Diane Gavarkavich

Gavarkavich earned a B.A. in Human and Organizational Development and an Ed.D. in Leadership and Learning in Organizations from Vanderbilt University. After spending several years as director of research services at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute – where she led a wide range of community program project evaluations, developed partnerships with a wide range of community organizations, and supervised students – she formed a consultancy that does evaluation and organizational development for the nonprofit sector. She has also taught program evaluation and non-profit administration to undergraduates at Queens University of Charlotte.

Friday: Jemilia Davis

Davis earned her Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Leadership, and Development, with a focus on postsecondary student affairs in 2019 from North Carolina State University. She is currently director of strategic initiatives and external relations for the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research. She has a diverse portfolio at Belk, working on evaluating preparation programs for early childhood educators, leadership development for community college presidents, and maintaining relations with external partners. Before pursuing her Ph.D., Dr. Davis worked for seven years in student affairs and academic advising at UNC Wilmington. Dr. Davis has taught graduate courses in finance in student affairs at NC State and undergraduate courses in Civic Engagement at UNC Wilmington.


Kyle Nickodem to give talk on IES grant proposals today

Kyle Nickodem, the School of Education’s research statistician, will give a presentation today entitled “What’s the Plan? Methods Considerations for IES Grant Proposals.” Nickodem’s talk will provide guidance and resources for writing the Research Plan section of Institute of Education Sciences grant proposals. Nickodem reviews typical IES requirements for the Research Plan along with considerations for describing the study sample, selecting outcome measures, handling missing data, aligning a power analysis to the proposed research design and data analysis plan, and conducting a cost analysis. The talk will be held on Zoom, beginning at 12:20 p.m. Other details are in an email from Caroline Weaver.


In the media: Kristin Papoi interviewed for WBTV report

Charlotte television station WBTV interviewed faculty member Kristin Papoi for a report that examined plans to reopen schools to in-person learning and for summer intensive learning sessions. In the piece, Papoi talks about plans to launch a special summer school program intended to help students who have fallen behind in learning. Papoi says in the report that students and teachers have demonstrated that they are resilient and largely have been able to adapt to the circumstances the pandemic has presented. You can view the report here.


Alumna Darlene Ryan wins national award

Alumna Darlene Ryan (A.B.Ed. ’78, M.Ed. ’03, Ed.D. ’11), assistant superintendent for elementary schools for Durham Public Schools, has been named the 2021 winner of the Outstanding Administrative Support Award from the National Science Education Leadership Association. The recognition is given for demonstrated exemplary support for science education at the school, district, higher education, and/or county level. This award honors an administrator whose primary responsibility is outside the area of science instruction. Ryan has worked as a teacher leader, STEM coach, district-level science/math coordinator, principal, and executive director for curriculum/instruction, being recognized for her leadership in science/STEM education in three North Carolina school districts. The School of Education gave her its Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002.


In latest edition of newsletter, Buck Goldstein calls for investment in higher education

Faculty member Buck Goldstein, in the latest edition of his “Our Higher Calling” newsletter, says now is the time to ramp up investments in higher education. Goldstein points out that only about a third of U.S. adults have college degrees and that there has been a dramatic drop in college applications from minority and first-generation students. Forgiveness of existing college loans and providing more funds for higher education, including community colleges, are among the steps he advocates. Read and subscribe to the newsletter here.


Nominations for UNC School of Education Staff Excellence Award due Wednesday

Nominations for the 2021 UNC School of Education Staff Excellence Award, which will recognize annually two staff members who exemplify qualities such as teamwork, respect, service, innovation, and integrity, are open until Wednesday at 5 p.m. Please consider nominating a School of Education staff member — each employee may submit up to three nominations — using this nomination form. If you have any questions, please contact Staff Excellence Award Committee Chair Lisa Johnson at


Info session Wednesday for students interested in master’s program

Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree are invited to an info session about the Master’s in Educational Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship program being held Wednesday at 6 p.m. Learn more about the MEITE program from faculty and staff, including how to apply. Learn more about the session here.


UNC Teaching Fellows seminar series presents talk on culturally responsive teaching Wednesday

The next event in the UNC Teaching Fellows seminar series will present on Wednesday a discussion entitled “Culturally Responsive Teaching,” presented by Cathy Kea, professor of special education and North Carolina A&T University’s College of Education. The talk is part of a seminar series sponsored by the UNC-Chapel Hill cohort of the N.C. Teaching Fellows program. The theme of this year’s series is “Diversity in Schools: Cultural, Ethnic, and Racial.” Additional events in the series are planned for next semester. Kea’s talk begins at 6:30 p.m. Those wishing to attend should email Tammy Siler,


Info session held Thursday for MSA program

Students interested in earning a Master’s of School Administration degree are invited to an information session on Thursday at 6 p.m. The MSA program is designed to help educators hone leadership skills and to acquire knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to become an effective school leaders. Learn more about the information session here.


DEI Chats focus on accessibility issues on Friday

DEI chats during the month of March will focus on digital accessibility and will be led by Gia Branciforte, web and multimedia specialist who also serves as the School of Education’s digital accessibility liaison. The next chat will be held Friday and is entitled “Getting Started with Digital Accessibility.” Attendees of the chats will learn information related to the required guidelines around digital accessibility that faculty and staff need to include in our work. Look for Zoom meeting signup info via email from Dana Griffin.


Event on Friday to showcase volunteer opportunities for employees

Faculty and staff employees interested in using COVID-19 community service leave to support public schools are invited to attend an information session on Friday. Employees may use up to 80 hours to work in schools, doing tasks such as check-ins, monitoring outdoor lunches, and supervising students in before and after-school programs. The session on Friday, starting at noon, will include presentations by school system officials from Durham Public Schools and Orange County Schools. The session is hosted by Carolina Center for Public Service and UNC School of Education. The session will be held on Zoom here. Those interested in volunteering are asked to fill out this form.


Thad Domina giving March 26 talk exploring inequities of pandemic’s online learning

Faculty member Thad Domina is one of the presenters on March 26 in a Carolina Seminars event entitled “Remote or Removed? Predicting Successful Engagement with Online Learning During COVID-19.” The talk by Domina and Sabrina Zadrozny of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is entitled “Dual Impact of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism and Inequity on Childrens’ Developmental Trajectories in the Early Years: Interdisciplinary Conversations and Development of a Research-Policy Agenda.” The talk begins at 12:30 p.m. Learn more here.


Alumna Ronda Taylor Bullock to give workshops on antiracist education

Ronda Taylor Bullock, leader of the Durham-based organization weare (working to extend anti-racist education), will give two workshops for School of Education students, faculty and staff on March 31 and April 7. Weare is a nonprofit organization that provides anti-racism training for children, families, and educators. The workshops begin at 4 p.m. and run until 6 p.m. More details for signing up will be in forthcoming emails from Dana Griffin.


Publications, presentations, recent grant awards, etc.

Faculty members are noted in bold, postdocs/graduate students/recent graduates with underline.

Patrick Akos, A. Joshua Leonard & Amy Bugno. Federal Work‐Study Student Perceptions of Career Readiness. The Career Development Quarterly.

Gibbs, B. (2021). What we mean when we say rigor. Principal Leadership, 27(7), pp. 51-53.

Staff member Trish Harris presented at the Profound Gentleman’s Community Impact Assembly over the weekend of March 13-14.

Sherick Hughes. Addressing racial disparities in the caregiving professions. Presentation to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s PolicyLab in its Morning Speaker Series, March 11.

Li Ke and Christina V. Schwarz. Supporting students’ meaningful engagement in scientific modeling through epistemological messages: A case study of contrasting teaching approaches. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

Alison LaGarry-Cahoon was one of the presenters in the UNC System’s Student Success Innovation Labs “Lunch & Learn” series, presenting a talk on March 12 entitled “Evaluating Classroom Supports: Drop-In Tutoring Lab Program at Appalachian State University & the Learning Community Program at East Carolina University. The other presenter was Aubrianne Rote of UNC-Asheville.

Marisa E. Marraccini, Dana Griffin, Lauren Sartain. Building Best Practices for School Mental Health Supports during Isolation from School: Supporting Adolescents with Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors. Paper for the North Carolina Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Esther Ohito and Constance Lindsay have been awarded a $50,000 grant by the Spencer Foundation for a project titled, “What is Black Male Pedagogy? Investigating the Pedagogical Practices and Lived Experiences of National Board Certified Black Male Teachers.” The project extends existing research on the racialized, sexed, and gendered dimensions of pedagogy by spotlighting the pedagogical practices of National Board Certified Black male teachers. The project aims to generate knowledge useful for attracting and retaining Black male teachers in elementary and secondary education.

Peisner-Feinberg, E. (December, 2020). A Statewide Evaluation of the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Program. Webinar presented at the Early Learning Council Meeting, Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Peisner-Feinberg, E. (February, 2021; March, 2021). A Statewide Evaluation of the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Program. Presentations at the Pre-K for PA spring webinars.

Burchinal, M., Garber, K., Foster, T., Bratsch-Hines, M., Franco, X., & Peisner-Feinberg, E. (2020). Relating early care and education quality to preschool outcomes: The same or different models for different outcomes? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 55, 35-51.

Soliday Hong, S., Zadrozny, S., Walker, J., Love, E.N.G., Osborne, J.D., Owen, J. L., Jenkins, G., & Peisner-Feinberg, E. (2021). Longitudinal Study of Georgia’s Pre-K Program: Third Grade Report. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.


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Upcoming Events

Friday, March 26

DEI Chat: Integrating Accessibility into Your Teaching & Research

3 p.m.

Details in Dana Griffin emails


Friday, March 26

Carolina Seminars: Impacts of COVID-19 learning

12:30 p.m.



Wednesday, March 31

weare workshop on anti-racist education

4 p.m.

Details in Dana Griffin emails


Wednesday, April 7

weare workshop on anti-racist education

4 p.m.

Details in Dana Griffin emails


Wednesday, April 7

Soft launch of ‘Ed Tech Connect’

6 p.m.