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Faculty Spotlight: Fall 2014 Faculty Research Grant Recipients, Part 1

Submitted by on December 3, 2014 – 11:32 amNo Comment

We are going to spend the next several weeks spotlighting the recipients of the Fall 2014 Faculty Research Grants. Get to know these distinguished faculty members below!

Carlos Lee photoName: Carlos Lee

University: Louisiana State University

Title of Proposal: A Comparative Look at Community, Connectedness, and Learning within the Online and Traditional Face-To-Face Environments

Bio: Dr. Carlos Lee is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership within the College of Human Sciences and Education (CHSE) at Louisiana State University. In addition, Dr. Lee is Program Coordinator for the online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and advisor to students enrolled in this degree program. Dr. Lee brings more than 20 years of administrative and teaching experience to the CHSE. His research interests include Educational Administration, Management Theory, and Policy Evaluation. He received his Ed.D. from Seton Hall University, M.Ed. from the University of Texas at Arlington, and B.S. in Mathematics from Southern University.

Name: David Sparks & Kathryn Pole

University: University of Texas at Arlington

Title: Using Anonymous Avatar-Based Discussions to Engage in Discourse on Stereotyping in Master’s Level Diversity Courses


David Sparks photoDr. David Sparks joined UTeach Arlington and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction as Visiting Assistant Professor of Science Education in 2013. He is a 21-year veteran science and instructional technology teacher. After teaching middle school science from 1992-1999, he began teaching at the high school level. From 1999-2013, he taught Physical Science, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, Biology, Pre-AP Biology, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Science, and AP Environmental Science. During that time, he also taught Business Computer Information Systems (BCIS) and Dual Credit BCIS for four years. As a college instructor, he taught an Educational Technology course in the spring of 2009 at Texas A&M University-Texarkana and A+ Computer Maintenance at Texarkana College. He has worked with Ashford University as an Associate Instructor since July of 2012, teaching courses in the Educational Technology and Design department. He completed his B.S. from Texas A&M University in 1990, his M.S. from Texas A&M University-Texarkana in 2005, and his Ed. D. in Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction-Higher Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2013.

For the 2012-2013 school year, he taught in Hope, Arkansas at the Hope Academy of Science and Technology, which allows students to have laptop computers and is centered around Project-Based Learning. The experience of working in a PBL school was great for Dr. Sparks, and it has helped solidify his commitment to inquiry-based learning and constructivist teaching styles in Science Education. As far as research goes, he is exploring the factors that help make female and minority students successful in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) college majors and careers.

Kathryn Pole photoDr. Kathryn Pole is a literacy researcher and teacher-educator in the Literacy Studies Program, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her research, publications, presentations, and work focus on the teaching and learning of literacy, critical literacy, teacher decision-making, professional development, and education policy. She is committed to literacy education and advocacy as it relates to equitable and just practices in classrooms and communities.

She earned her doctorate in Reading Education with a minor in Educational Leadership from Texas Woman’s University in federation with the University of North Texas. She believes in linking theory to practice, and maintains teaching certifications in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Learning Resources Pre-K -12. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.

She is active in international, national, and state literacy-focused organizations including the International Reading Association, the Literacy Research Association, the American Educational Research Association, the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy, and the National Council of Teachers of English.

Dr. Pole’s current projects include studies into teacher effectiveness; research into the ways children’s literature can be used to support critical literacy; exploring literate practices in electronic environments; and continuing research into socially just, equitable, and democratic education.

Eugene Rutz photoName: Eugene Rutz & Suzanne Ehrlich

University: University of Cincinnati

Title: Improving Learner Engagement Using Interactive Feedback in Online Learning


Eugene Rutz serves as Academic Director in the College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati. Eugene has taught online for 10 years and also leads the college’s online programs, working with other faculty to develop quality courses and experiences. Eugene’s research interests are at the intersection of teaching, technology and engagement. Eugene has also worked as an engineer in the nuclear power industry and as a mechanical design engineer.

Suzanne Ehrlich photoDr. Suzanne Ehrlich is a nationally certified interpreter and led the establishment of the Signed Language Interpreting Program at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Ehrlich has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of e-learning and educational technology integration for interpreter education. She recently served in the role of Visiting Scholar at Heriot-Watt University in the department of Language and Intercultural Studies. Dr. Ehrlich’s research includes work examining American Sign Language instruction using videoconferencing technology, integration of e-learning technologies in interpreter education curricula, use of online protocols to improve discussion, and cognitive apprenticeship as a framework for interpreter education at a distance. Her most recent research has focused on the use of iPad technology to bridge access to interpreting services for post-secondary students at a university. Dr. Ehrlich’s service includes her recent appointment as co-chair of the scientific committee for the World Association of Signed Language Interpreters (WASLI) international conference in 2015.

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