Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Student Spotlight

School Psychology

Baileigh is currently seeking her PhD in School Psychology. Originally from Lawrenceville, GA, she graduated with her BS in psychology at Berry College in 2015 and earned an MS in educational psychology with the Applied Educational Psychology program at the University of Tenessee in 2018. She joined EPC in 2015. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards
  • Mary Philips Shepard Graduate Fellowship, 2018
  • Chancellor’s Fellowship, 2015
Accomplishments

In my time at UT I have contributed to a number of peer-reviewed presentations and publications. I have presented 13 presentations at national and regional conferences including the American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention and the National Association of School Psychology (NASP) Annual Convention. I have also contributed to several manuscripts. Topics include a class-wide positive peer reporting intervention, and emotional intelligence assessment development. I was also able to co-author a book chapter on nonverbal assessment. Aside from professional presentations, I have led study skills training for student athletes and served as the NASP student representative and social chair for UT’s School Psychology Association.

See Curriculum Vita for more information.

Current Occupation

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
Tennessee Behavior Supports Project (TBSP)
Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education (TPTE)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

TBSP is a grant-funded program that provides training, materials, and tools to support administrators, teachers, and staff in the implementation of Response to Instruction and Intervention – Behavior (RTI2-B). At UT Knoxville, we are a multidisciplinary team housed in TPTE. Tara Moore, assistant professor, is our project director, and the team consists of five full-time consultants and five GRAs from School Psychology and Special Education programs.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I like to take advantage of the beautiful Smoky Mountains! I enjoy hiking and camping during the weekends, and try to trade out of the office for some fresh air when I can. I also spend free time baking and cooking! The smell of fresh bread baking is one of my favorite things.

Future/Vocational Goals

After finishing my PhD, I plan to work in as a school psychologist in a school district. I am excited to be involved with the community where I work and for the opportunity to serve students from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of needs. My long-term goal as a school psychologist is to work in private practice or in a clinic setting.

What sold you on the program/department/university?

The faculty’s commitment to student success is what sold me on the University of Tennessee. I was impressed by the emphasis faculty placed on making sure students got the most out of their time here, and knew that the faculty would be supportive in helping me achieve my goals.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the department?

I would tell incoming students that they should not shy away from experiences that may be out of their comfort zone. There are a wide variety of opportunities the University of Tennessee and Knoxville provide, and I have learned the most from the times that I took on projects outside of my comfort zone.

Adult Learning

Julie is currently seeking her PhD in educational psychology and research with the Adult Learning program. Originally from Knoxville, TN, she graduated with her AAS in radiologic technology at Roane State Community College in 2000, BS in biochemistry, molecular, and cellular biology at the University of Tenessee in 2004, and an MPH in community health education at UT in 2007. She joined EPC in 2011. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards
  • Finalist for Roane State Community College’s Ellen Benroth Award for excellence in teaching, which is awarded to one faculty member per year; winners are nominated and chosen by their peers and must demonstrate excellent student-based objectives and evaluation scores; Top 3 finalist in 2015, 2016, and 2017
  • Excellence Award provided by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), Roane State Community College, 2012
  • Spotlight on SAILS Award, Roane State Community College, 2011
Accomplishments

Conference Presentations

  • Hall, J. (2016, Nov). Harmonizing self-direction and mandatory continuing education; Attitude of the health care professional. Proceedings of the 64th American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference. Albuquerque, NM.
  • Hall, J. (2014, Nov). I think I can! Positive psychology for health professional programs. Proceedings of the 63rd American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference. Charleston, SC
  • Hall, J. (2013, Nov). Leaving the nest: From novice to professional. Proceedings of the 62nd American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference. Lexington, KY
  • Shih, C. & Hall, J. (2012, Nov). Connect, communicate and collaborate: Using Facebook groups to build a community of practice. Proceedings of the 61st American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference. Las Vegas, NV

Peer-Reviewed Publication

  • Hall, J. (2014). Staged Self-Directed Learning Model: Leaving the nest; From novice to professional in J. Holtz, S. Springer, & C. Boden-McGill (Eds.), Building sustainable futures for adult learners. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

Editorial

  • 2015 – 2016 Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) member for the IGI Global peer-reviewed book entitled, Handbook of Research on Training Evaluation in the Modern Workforce
  • 2014 – 2015 Adult Higher Education Alliance (AHEA), proposal reviewer for the national conference
  • 2014 – 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health (Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins), book reviewer
  • 2014 Pearson Higher Education, book reviewer

Accreditation Activities

  • 2014 Compiled a self-study report and oversaw a site visit for the Radiologic Technology Program by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT); the program successfully was awarded re-accreditation for 8 years (maximum amount allowed)
  • 2018 Completed an Interim Report as well as a Substantive Change Report for the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

Significant Roles/Positions

  • 2018 – Present: Member of Roane State Community College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) committee
  • 2018 – Present: Member of Roane State Community College’s Course Evaluation Committee
  • 2018 – Present: Member of Roane State Community College’s Tuition Reimbursement Advisory Group
  • 2017 – 2018: Member of Roane State Community College’s Promotion and Tenure Committee
  • 2015 – Present: Member of the Tennessee Board of Regent’s (TBR) Statewide Curriculum realignment committee for radiologic technology
  • 2014 – Present: Member of the Radiologic Technology Program’s Assessment Committee
  • 2013 – Present: Member of the Radiologic Technology Program’s Admission Committee
  • 2011 – Present: Member of the Allied Health Admission Committee
  • 2011 – 2015: Participated in the Students Achieving Improved Learning Strategies (SAILS) project by implementing a specific learning strategy in classes. SAILS was apart of Roane State Community College’s five year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
  • 2010 – Present: Member of the Radiologic Technology Program’s Advisory Board (ex-officio)

Other Service Activities

  • 2015 – Present: Serve as a site visitor for the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (accrediting body for radiologic technology programs)
  • 2014 – 2015: Served as an item writer for the national licensure exam on behalf of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
  • 2011 – Present: Applied and obtained numerous grant requests for the program

Current Occupation

Program Director
Radiologic Technology Program
Roane State Community College

The Radiologic Technology Program has affiliation agreements with 17 clinical sites/hospitals across the East Tennessee region and is designed to provide students with the skills required to provide excellent patient care in the field of radiology.

Personal Interests

I am a mother/wife with two sons (Michael and Tyler). We enjoy traveling and seeing new places, but my favorite place to visit is Disney world! This past year, we were able to tour the American Southwest (epic road trip) and the year before visited Alaska with my mom. I also enjoy reading!

Future/Vocational Goals

My future goals are to continue conducting research in the area of allied health/radiologic technology. I am interested in topics related to self-directed learning and attitude towards continuing education.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

I have relished my time at UT Knoxville. Particularly, I have enjoyed my courses along with the faculty members and other students. This program has some of the best faculty members that I have ever had the opportunity to work with. They truly care about their students and find ways to help them grow as well as help them through the doctoral process. My advisor, Ralph Brockett, Phd, is absolutely a joy to work with and I could not have succeeded without his support over the years. I would recommend this program to any prospective student!

Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

Erica is currently seeking her PhD in educational psychology and research with the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program. Originally from Blairs, VA, she graduated with her BS in chemistry at North Carolina A&T State University in 2005 and an MS in environmental science and policy at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in 2009. She joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and EPC in 2016. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards
  • UT Graduate Student Senate Travel Award, Fall 2017
Accomplishments

Presentations

  • Echols, E., Ladd, R., Parlier, R. T., Osborne, J. D. (2018). Distance learning in evaluation, statistics, and measurement: Synchronous & asynchronous – A guide to merging your life as an evaluation doctoral student and distance learner. Roundtable presentation submitted for the American Evaluation Association National Conference, 2018, Cleveland, OH (under review).
  • Osborne, J. D., Ladd, R., Parlier, R. T., Echols, E. (2017). Am I a student? Am I an evaluator? I’m both! – A guide to merging your life as a professional evaluator and evaluation doctoral student. Roundtable presentation at the American Evaluation Association National Conference, 2017, Washington, D.C.
  • Echols, E. (2016). Outcomes evaluation proposal for the Program for Excellence and Equity in Research (PEER). Poster presentation given for EDPY 533 Program Evaluation Fall 2016 at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Echols, E. (2016). Survey of best practices for graduate recruitment of underrepresented minorities (URM) in STEM at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Poster presentation given for EDPY 583 Survey Research.

Current Occupation

Recruitment & Communication Specialist
Program for Excellence & Equity in Research
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Erica currently works as the recruitment and communications specialist for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville NIH funded graduate and training fellowship program, Program for Excellence and Equity in Research.

Personal Interests

I enjoy being active in the community. I volunteer with various programs that introduce urban youth to science, science careers, and higher education. I also enjoy playing a variety of musical instruments.

Future/Vocational Goals

My goals are to continue to learn frameworks that are applicable not only in my current position but also in future higher education pursuits. My interest in evaluation and assessment stems from work experience in gauging the impact and progress of students matriculating through various programs I’ve worked with in higher education. As I continue to grow my skills in statistical analysis and program evaluation, my long-term career goal is to own and operate my own consulting firm supporting external evaluations for various higher education, public service, and non-profit entities.

What sold you on this program?

I work full time here at UT and was looking for a doctoral program that aligns with my research interests in evaluation and assessment in higher education, with special interest in understanding workforces that lead to student success in STEM. The Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program was a perfect fit for me and my interests.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

While it is important to begin with the end in mind, be sure to enjoy the journey.

Student Spotlight: Katie Graham

School Counseling

Katie is currently seeking her MS in counseling with the School Counseling program. Originally from Knoxville, TN, she graduated with her BS in child and family studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and joined EPC in 2016. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards
  • Chi Sigma Iota Nomination for Outstanding Entry Level Student Award | November 2017
    This award is to recognize an individual CSI Chapter member who has excelled in scholarship, extracurricular involvements, service to the chapter, and evidence of excellence and commitment to the profession.
  • Most Outstanding First Year Student – School Counseling Program | Spring 2017
    Awarded by the UT Knoxville Counselor Education program, this award recognizes students who exemplify excellence during the course of their first year in the program.
Accomplishments
  • Public Relations Chair of Chi Sigma Iota – Upsilon Theta Chapter, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International, Spring 2017
  • Grief Outreach Initiative Mentor
  • PiPES (Possibilities in Postsecondary Education and Science) Team Member

See resume for additional details.

Katie Graham teaching

Current Occupation

Substitute Teacher
Knox County Schools
I have worked as a substitute teacher for Knox County Schools for the past five years. Since beginning grad school, I work primarily for L&N STEM Academy located downtown. This role allows the much needed flexibility while in school, as well as giving me the opportunity to work with students.

Personal Interests

Outside of school and work, I love spending time with my family and friends. We like to check out different festivals and events that Downtown Knoxville often has to offer, as well as just hanging out and watching a movie on the couch. I also enjoy traveling with my sister and experiencing new cultures together.

Future/Vocational Goals

My internship at Karns Middle School has solidified my interest in working with middle school students. My goal as a school counselor is to achieve a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) and to serve not only the school but the community in which it resides. I am also considering returning to school within the next few years to work towards a PhD in Counselor Education.

What sold you on this program/department/university?

Once I decided that I wanted to pursue school counseling, I began to search for which program would be the best fit for me. Since Knoxville is my home and after attending UT for undergrad I am really biased but I wanted to keep my options open. However, after speaking to different individuals in the school system, it was clear that UT Knoxville’s program was distinguished and produced competent professional school counselors. I emailed the program coordinator at the time, professor Melinda Gibbons, and asked if we could meet so that I could ask some more questions about the program. Her willingness to meet with me gave me a glimpse of the faculty support that I would receive in the future. Now I cannot imagine being anywhere else!

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

I would tell an incoming student who joins this program to take full advantage of the opportunities that are available. By stepping out of my comfort zone I have been able to learn and meet people that I would not have been able to otherwise. I would also tell them to utilize the support that the faculty and their cohort can provide. There have been many instances within my time here that I would not have made it without that support.

Student Spotlight: Jeffrey A. Russell

Adult Learning

Jeffrey is currently seeking his PhD in educational psychology and research with the Adult Learning program. Originally from Brentwood, TN, he graduated with his BS and a Post-Bacc. from Middle Tennessee State University and earned an MS in English with a writing emphasis from Belmont University. In 2012, he joined Adult Learning at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We asked him to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read his responses below.

Accomplishments
  • Joined Behavioral Intervention Team at Pellissippi State Community College
  • Promoted from instructor to tenured assistant professor of the English Department at Pellissippi State Community College

Presentations & Publications

  • Russell, J., & Vess, K. (2017). Expressive writing: Giving students a voice to their learning experiences! American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, Memphis, TN.
  • Vess, K., & Russell, J. (2017). Mind the gap: How to help fledgling online students through C.A.R.I.N.G. Appalachian College Association, Kingsport, TN.
  • Russell, J., & Vess, K. (2016). Educating the next generation: A practical guide to the millennial student! Appalachian College Association, Kingsport, TN.
  • Brown, C., & Russell, J. (2016). Millennials: From entitlement to empowerment. Two-Year College English Association-Southeast Conference, Knoxville, TN.
  • Russell, J. (2016). Fostering transformative learning: Overcoming barriers using expressive writing and gratitude. Tennessee Association for Student Success and Retention, Chattanooga, TN.
  • Russell, J., & Vess, K. (2015). Academic entitlement: Challenging assumptions and moving forward. Pellissippi State Community College Success Conference, Knoxville, TN.
  • McCrary, M., Gibson, I., & Russell, J. (2015). Intrusive teaching: Teaching English 1010 and its co-requisite as a single class. Tennessee Association For Student Success and Retention Conference, Dickson, TN.
  • Vess, K., & Russell, J. (2014). Academic entitlement: Are we preparing students for real life?
    American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, Charleston, SC.
  • Vess, K., Teel, C., Ambrose, V., & Russell, J. (2014). We’re only human! How emotions influence our teaching, health, and well-being. American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, Charleston, SC.
  • Russell, J., & Vess, K. (2014). Flourishing students: Using reflective gratitude journaling to improve student retention. 2014 Appalachian College Association Summit Event, Knoxville, TN.
  • Russell, J. (2013). The effects of reflective journal writing: A tool for improving student success. Tennessee Association for Student Success and Retention Conference, Dickson, TN.
  • Russell, J. (2013). Using reflective journaling to improve adult learning in the community college classroom. American Association of Adult and Continuing Education 62nd Annual Conference, Lexington, KY.
  • Russell, J. (2010). Finding healing through writing in psychotherapy. Trauma: Intersections among Narrative, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis Conference, Washington, D.C.
Current Occupation

Assistant Professor
English Department
Pellissippi State Community College

Personal Interests

I love playing music, and I love spending time with my family. In my free time (which is not often), I enjoy reading, writing, and movies. Also, I am avid hockey and college football fan. Since I am a proud father, I spend much of my time taking my daughter to her extra-curricular activities such as soccer and gymnastics. Overall, I have many interests, and I like to meet people who are passionate about their own interests.

Future/Vocational Goals

I plan to continue researching expressive writing, positive psychology, and transformative learning. In particular, I want to continue my work to see how writing and other forms of written disclosure can provide a voice for college students transitioning to college or the workplace. My colleague, assistant professor Kellee Vess, and I are currently working on a model to help students make this transition. I am a firm believer that students can succeed when given the proper tools to help with their coping skills, interpersonal relationships, and overall well-being. I want to continue my work in finding ways to help students become more self-regulated and successful in the classroom and beyond.

What sold you on this program/department/university?

When I first began this journey, I thought I would be pursuing a PhD in English. When I started teaching at the community college level, I realized I felt more connected to learning and teaching methods. My first thought was to apply to the Theory and Practice in Teacher Education program, but after I met with associate professor Susan Groenke and discussed my goals, she mentioned the Educational Psychology and Counseling program. Then, I met with professor Ralph Brockett and professor emerita Mary Ziegler, I realized that I was in the right place. They sold me on the program for two reasons. First, Mary and Ralph treated me like I was already in the program and listened to all my ideas and plans. Second, I felt that their background, publications, and expertise were top-notch, and, after learning about the program, I knew from that point this was the place for me.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

I would tell an incoming student to focus on research and collaborate with others in the program as much as you can. Such great ideas can be developed with your peers! Also, I would advise a new doctoral student in the program to get involved early with a variety of studies and go to conferences. Students need to go to conferences early in their doctoral program to network, and they need to submit to journals and conferences as much as they can to gain experience and learn about new opportunities in the field.