Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Student Spotlight


School Psychology

Kala is currently seeking her PhD with the School Psychology program. Originally from Asheville, NC, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with her BS in psychology at Millsaps College and earned an MS with the Applied Educational Psychology program here at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She joined School Psychology in 2014. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards

National

  • American Academy of School Psychology Memorial Scholarship for Research (2016): Awarded annually to five deserving doctoral students in school psychology.
  • National Association of School Psychologists Graduate Student Research Grant (2015): Awarded annually to three students who demonstrate exceptional ability to conduct high-quality research that furthers the mission and goals of NASP and has the potential to impact the field positively.

University

  • Chancellor’s Fellowship (2014-2018): A four year, merit-based fellowship awarded annually by the Office of the Chancellor to two incoming graduate students per college.
  • University of Tennessee 3 Minute Thesis (3MT©) Semifinalist (2017): 3MT© is a research communication competition in which participants have three minutes and a single slide to present their research to a lay audience.
  • Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Professional Promise (2016): Awarded by the Office of the Chancellor to graduate students for professional promise in teaching, research, or other contributions.
  • Shipley-Swann Fellowship (2014): A one year fellowship awarded by the graduate school to students who demonstrate academic excellence.

Accomplishments

Roles/Positions

  • President, UT School Psychology Association 2016-2017
  • School Psychology Student Representative, Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling 2015-2016
  • GRA, School Psychology program faculty 2014-2016

Refereed Journal Publications

  • Cazzell, S., Taylor, K., Skinner, C., McCurdy, M., Skinner, A., Ciancio, D., Beeson, T., & Cihak, D. (2017). Evaluating a computer flashcard reading intervention with self-determined response intervals in a post-secondary student with intellectual disability. Journal of Evidence-Based Practice in the Schools, 16(1), 74-94.
  • Cazzell, S., Skinner, C., Taylor, K. (2017). Implementing computer flashcard reading with self-determined intervals. Journal of Evidence-Based Practice in the Schools, 16(1), 95-100.
  • Cazzell, S., Skinner, C., Ciancio, D., Aspiranti, K., Watson, T., Taylor, K., McCurdy, M., & Skinner, A. (2016). Evaluating a computer flashcard sight-word recognition intervention with self-determined response intervals in elementary students with intellectual disability. School Psychology Quarterly. Advance online publication.

Symposiums

  • Taylor, K., Skinner, C., Ciancio, D., Turnbull, S., Ruddy, J., Beeson, T., & Skinner, A. (2016, October). Altering text to make it disfluent hinders sight-word acquisition in post-secondary students with Intellectual Disability. In C. H. Skinner (Chair), Computer-delivered learning trials to enhance sight word reading in post-secondary students with Intellectual Disability. Symposium conducted at the Tennessee Association for Behavioral Analysis 19th Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.
  • Turnbull, S., Taylor, K., Beeson, T., McCurdy, M., Skinner, C., Ciancio, D., & Skinner, A. (2016, October). Allowing students to self-determine response intervals during computer-based S-R-S-R learning trials. In C. H. Skinner (Chair), Computer-delivered learning trials to enhance sight word reading in post-secondary students with Intellectual Disability. Symposium conducted at the Tennessee Association for Behavioral Analysis 19th Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.
  • Gibbons, S., Ryan, K., Taylor, K., Beeson, T., Turnbull, S., Skinner, C., Cianico, D. & Skinner, A. (2016, October). Self-determined versus fixed 1-s and 5-s response intervals. In C. H. Skinner (Chair), Computer-delivered learning trials to enhance sight word reading in post-secondary students with Intellectual Disability. Symposium conducted at the Tennessee Association for Behavioral Analysis 19th Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.
  • Taylor, K., Skinner, C., Ciancio, D., Turnbull, S., Ruddy, J., & Beeson, T. (2016, May). The effects of perceptual dysfluency on sight-word acquisition rates in a post-secondary student with intellectual disabilities. In C. H. Skinner (Chair), Enhancing word reading in post-secondary students with Intellectual Disability. Symposium conducted at the Association for Behavior Analysis International 42nd Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • Turnbull, S., Taylor, K., McCurdy, M., Skinner, C., Ciancio, D., & Beeson, T. (2016, May). Evaluating a computer flashcard reading intervention with self-determined response intervals in a post-secondary student with intellectual disabilities. In C. H. Skinner (Chair), Enhancing word reading in post-secondary students with Intellectual Disability. Symposium conducted at the Association for Behavior Analysis International 42nd Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • Ryan, K., Gibbons, S., Taylor, K., Beeson, T., Turnbull, S., Skinner, C., & Ciancio, D. (2016, May). Evaluating and comparing computer flashcard reading interventions: Self-determined response intervals verses fast and slow computer paced. In C. H. Skinner (Chair), Enhancing word reading in post-secondary students with Intellectual Disability. Symposium conducted at the Association for Behavior Analysis International 42nd Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.

Paper Presentations

  • Moore, T., Daniels, S., Eshbaugh, J., Gordon, J., Kirkpatrick, B., O’Reilly, C., Taylor, K., & Wright, S. (2017, October). Supporting effective classroom management and behavior management practices: Reports from school staff and implications for the behavior analyst. Paper submitted for presentation at the Tennessee Association for Behavioral Analysis 20th Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.
  • DeZutter, S., Taylor, K., Hewlett, A., & Hoskin, S. (2015, April). Where do we go from here?
    Questions raised by student-perceived incongruities between research on self-regulation and practices encountered at a high-poverty school. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Poster Presentations

  • Taylor, K., Skinner, C. H., Ciancio, D., Krider, S., Gibbons, S., Ruddy, J. & Ryan, K. (2017, August). Effects of foreign names on elementary students’ reading comprehension and comprehension rate. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Taylor, K., Gibbons, S., Ryan, K., Ruddy, J., Turnbull, S., Skinner, C. H., & Beeson, T. (2017, August). Perceptual fluency and word acquisition in students with disabilities. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Taylor, K., Skinner, C., Cazzell, S., Ruddy, J., Ciancio, D., Cihak, D., & Beeson, T. (2016, February). Perceptual disfluency and learning in a FUTURE student with Intellectual Disability. Poster presented at the University of Tennessee Gallery of Excellence, Knoxville, TN.
  • Cazzell, S., Taylor, K., Skinner, C., McCurdy, M., Skinner, A., Ciancio, D., Beeson, T., & Cihak, D. (2016, February). Evaluating a computer flashcard reading intervention with self-determined response intervals in a post-secondary student with Intellectual Disability. Poster presented at the University of Tennessee Gallery of Excellence, Knoxville, TN.
  • Gibbons, S., Ryan, K., Skinner, C., Taylor, K., Beeson, T., Ciancio, D., & Cazzell, S. (2016, February). Expanding research on a computer-based flashcard reading intervention with a post-secondary student in the FUTURE Program. Poster presented at the University of Tennessee Gallery of Excellence, Knoxville, TN.
  • Taylor, K., Cazzell, S., Ruddy, J., Skinner, C. H., Ciancio, D., Cihak, D., & Beeson, T.
    (2016, February). Disfluency and sight-word learning in a student with Intellectual Disabilities. Poster presented at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.
  • Taylor, K., Ruddy, J., Cazzell, S., Skinner, C. H. (2015, November). Investigating the effects of flashcard text fluency on learning. Poster presented at the Mid-South Conference for Psychology in the Schools, Murfreesboro, TN.
  • Taylor, K., Ciancio, D., Ruddy, J., & Skinner, C. H. (2015, August). Correlating WCPM with
    reading comprehension and global reading ability. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, Canada.
  • Taylor, K., Scott, K., Turnbull, S., & Watson, T. (2015, August). The effectiveness of readability
    formulas as predictors of oral reading fluency. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, Canada.
  • Taylor, K., Ciancio, D., & Ruddy, J. (2014, November). Correlating WCPM with the Woodcock
    Johnson passage comprehension subtest and broad reading cluster in a sample of first- through third-grade students. Poster presented at the Mid-South Conference for Psychology in the Schools, Chattanooga, TN.

See Curriculum Vita for additional details.

Current Occupation

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

TBSP provides technical assistance (i.e., training, consulting, and external coaching) to East Tennessee public schools and districts to develop, implement, and sustain continuums of positive behavioral interventions and supports within an RTI2-B framework.

Personal Interests

I am an aerialist, so I spend several hours a week training on fabrics, and recently, lyra. In my free time I enjoy gardening, traveling, working on my house, and spending time with my partner and family. I have four wonderful pets that bring incredible joy to my life. I am the proud daughter of a veterinarian, and it shows. I can find an animal in need anywhere and am actively involved in rescue and trap-neuter-return efforts.

Future/Vocational Goals

I plan to obtain my Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential and then pursue licensure. I enjoy working in both school and clinical settings, and I want to have the option to do either. I decided to pursue a degree in school psychology because I wanted to help diverse children and families from low-socioeconomic status backgrounds. That is still my primary goal, but I haven’t decided exactly what it will look like in practice yet.

What sold you on this program/department/university?

Initially, I applied to UT because of an article I read citing Chris Skinner as one of the most published authors in the field of school psychology. I was interested in his research on reading and thought we would be a good fit. I was also impressed by the efficiency of the program. Students tend to finish in five years and defend their dissertations before internship; I didn’t find those things at the other universities where I interviewed. There was better funding available at UT than most of the other programs I was interested in, and the graduate students I met at interviews seemed to have a healthy work/life balance. I also wanted to move closer to my parents, and I have family in Knoxville.

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

Get things done before the deadline. Learning to do things early will put you ahead, free up time for other endeavors, and relieve so much stress. Also, be your own advocate. Look for opportunities outside of your program. You are in charge of your own success.


Learning Environments &
Educational Studies

Jaewoo is currently seeking his PhD in education with the Learning Environments and Educational Studies (LEEDS) program. Originally from Seongju County, South Korea, he received his BS and MS in educational technology at the Andong National University. He came to Knoxville, TN and joined EPC in 2012. We asked him to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read his responses below.

Awards

2016, Selected Best Paper at the Convergent Research Society among Humanities, Sociology, Science, and Technology’s 10th International Interdisciplinary Workshop for Development of CS Course for Improving Creativity based on CPS Model: Focusing on Image-Making

2015, Certificate of Appreciation by Bill Haslam, Governor of the State of Tennessee

2014, Certificate of Appreciation by the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Atlanta for organizing and managing Korean Culture Show for Korean War Veterans

2013, Honorary Citizen by the City of Knoxville

Accomplishments

Publications

  • Do, J., & Yamagata-Lynch, L. C. (in press). Designing and Developing Cell Phone Application for Qualitative Research. Qualitative Inquiry.
  • Yamagata-Lynch, L. C., Do, J., Deshpande, D., Skutnik, A. L., Murphy, B. K., & Garty, E. (2017). Narrative Inquiry with Activity Systems: A Story About Net Neutrality. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16(1), 1-11.
  • Howard, C. D., & Do, J. (2017). L2 (Im) politeness in the Synchronous Chat of Elementary School Learners. Teaching English with Technology, 17, 17-45.
  • Kim, J. & Do, J. (2016). Exploring the national competency standard curriculum of graduate school professors. Asia-Pacific Journal of Multimedia Services Convergent with Art, Humanities, and Sociology, 6, 145-153. (in Korean)
  • Yamagata-Lynch, L. C., Skutnik, A. L., Garty, E., & Do, J. (2016). Interactionist qualitative research as a semiotic mediation activity. SAGE Open, 6(3). doi:2158244016666889
  • Kim, J., & Do, J. (2015). Analysis of Blackboard system in Korea and the United States universities. Journal of Education and Culture, 21, 27-56. (in Korean)
  • Yamagata-Lynch, L. C., Do, J., Skutnik, A. L., Thompson, D. J., Stephens, A. F., & Tays, C. A. (2015). Design lessons about participatory self-directed online learning in a graduate level instructional technology course. Open Learning, 30, 178-189.
  • Kim, J., Kim, Y., Heo, S., & Do, J. (2017). University life and self-development. Seoul, Korea: Academia. (in Korean)

Current Occupation

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Instructional Training & Development
Office of Information & Technology
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

I design and deliver technology training, develop instructional materials, and provide technology consultations to faculty. Each project I have conducted has provided me an ideal learning environment for developing skills that are required for a prolific instructional designer.

Personal Interests

I am a coffee lover. I am enjoying my doctoral student life with a coffee adventure in Knoxville. At home, I make coffee with various methods, such as using an espresso machine, Kalita, and Aeropress. Each cup of home brew deserves to be savored with my unique coffee cups. Collecting coffee cups is one of my hobbies. Another hobby of mine is searching for local coffee shops in Knoxville. You never know when you will find a hidden gem. I’ve visited all local coffee shops in Knoxville, as well as a few surrounding areas, and have enjoyed their coffees. Some of these coffee shops are perfect places for writing a paper.

Future/Vocational Goals

Recently, I decided to start my teaching career in the U.S. At the moment, I am seeking a faculty position by working on my dissertation. In addition, I’ve designed education programs and education systems for universities and companies in Korea as an instructional technology (IT) consultant. This position has helped me to reduce the gap between IT theory and practice. I’d like to conduct both an educator’s and a practitioner’s role in the field of instructional technology.

What sold you on this program?

When I prepared for studying abroad, I searched many universities that had an IT program. To me, UT’s LEEDS program looked like a new approach to IT, and it was. The LEEDS program is a unique interdisciplinary program. LEEDS is a blend of educational psychology, instructional design, and cultural studies in education. I believed that this interdisciplinary nature will give me more opportunities to learn new topics that are unfamiliar to me but can contribute to develop my ability for future endeavors in the field. Additionally, unlike other traditional IT programs, LEEDS curriculum includes new and interesting topics of IT that provide a new approach to IT research and practice.

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

Before I started the program, I was in the instructional technology field for 10 years as a student and an instructional designer. From those experiences, I entered this program with a tentative future research topic. This topic was “improving student’s learning skills though a quantitative approach”. But now, my dissertation topic is “understanding instructor’s course design experiences with a qualitative approach”. As you see, there is a dramatic change in my research interest. The experiences in EPC including courses, GRA, collaboration, and research experiences have helped me to expand my view on research and to find what I want to investigate as a researcher. IT in the LEEDS program has its own unique characteristics compared to IT programs at other universities. Please be open and expand your view of IT with our programs.


Applied Educational Psychology

John is currently seeking his MS in educational psychology with the Applied Educational Psychology program. Originally from Knoxville, TN, he received his BS in education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He joined EPC in 2016. We asked him to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read his responses below.

Accomplishments
Current Occupation

Director of Operations
UT Conference Center
Knoxville, TN

I devote most of my time mentoring student workers; organizing sales, catering, and FOH staff; facilitate online learning for a culinary certificate program.

Personal Interests

Enjoy spending time with my wife (Lydia), my two dogs (Leo & Izzie), and pursuing a lifelong goal of visiting every NFL stadium. I enjoy spending time at church where I teach a Sunday school class and lead the choir.

Future/Vocational Goals

I would like to become a department head, an administrator, or maybe even do some teaching.

What sold you on this program?

The online component was a big key. The structure (night classes, 2 classes per semester) seemed very manageable to full-time employee.

What do you think has been the most rewarding/challenging?

Meeting the diverse group of people with different experiences and viewpoints. Group activities have been great, as well as class content. I am currently using, and even putting into practice, many things I have already learned in the program.


Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Jordan is currently seeking her MS in counseling with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Originally from Kingston, TN, she received her BA in sociology with minors in religion and psychology at Maryville College. She joined UT Knoxville and EPC in 2015. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards
  • “Most Outstanding Student – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program” awarded by the UT Knoxville Counselor Education Program, Spring 2017
  • “Most Outstanding First Year Student – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program” awarded by the UT Knoxville Counselor Education Program, Spring 2016
Accomplishments
  • Member of Chi Sigma Iota – Upsilon Theta Chapter, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International, Fall 2016
  • See resume for more details
Current Occupation

Throughout graduate school, I have worked as an advocate at the Family Crisis Center, a domestic violence program within the Helen Ross McNabb Center (HRMC). I am also currently employed as an advocate at the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee, another HRMC program. In each of these roles, I work to empower individuals who have experienced trauma, whether in the form of intimate partner violence or sexual assault/abuse.

Personal Interests

Outside of school and work, I enjoy taking advantage of the incredible live music scene that Knoxville has to offer. I love hiking and camping in Big South Fork; most recently, I have begun to conquer my fear of heights by learning how to rock climb. I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for as well as an incredibly supportive family. I live in South Knoxville and can often be found snuggling with my precious pup, Norah.

Future/Vocational Goals

My internship at the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee solidified my desire to seek employment as a counselor for trauma survivors. In the future, I would love to work in a community mental health agency that specializes in therapeutic trauma services.

What sold you on this program/department/university?

When I decided to pursue a degree in counseling, I knew that I needed a program that would be trauma informed, theoretically sound, collaborative, and supportive. Because I was already working in the field as an advocate for youth and young adult survivors of interpersonal violence, I met plenty of clinicians from a variety of programs. To put it simply, I was most impressed by the individuals with a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from UT Knoxville. I had several pivotal conversations with recent UT grads in which I learned:

  1. Faculty and staff genuinely care about their students.
  2. Faculty members encourage students to explore various theories and techniques.
  3. Recent graduates felt prepared to enter the workforce and provide competent clinical services.

During my time in the program, each of these factors has been affirmed, time and time again!

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

One of the most unique and life-changing aspects of my time in the program has the process of developing deep and meaningful relationships with my peers. I can honestly say that my cohort has been my primary support system and my source of sanity during grad school. So, my advice to incoming students is this: Take full advantage of this unique time in your life. Be intentional about getting to know your peers. Sit in a different chair each class period so that you interact with your full cohort. You’ll be surprised at the wealth of knowledge, humor, humility, and love that will blossom out of these relationships!


Adult Education

Sue is currently seeking her MS in educational psychology with the Adult Education program. Originally from Chattanooga, TN, she received her BS in business administration with a concentration in accounting at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). She joined EPC in 2016, and still lives in Chattanooga. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Current Occupation

Director
Joseph F. Decosimo Success Center
UTC College of Business
Chattanooga, TN

Student success is my passion. Using my experience from my previous 25 years in banking has allowed me to develop a focus for students to become business world ready. In the Success Center in the College of Business at UTC, we offer our professional academic advisors to academic achievement and the Career Development Center to assist students in becoming competitive in the business world through professional development opportunities and internships.

Personal Interests

My family time together is very important and I truly enjoy hanging out with my with husband, Lee (retired engineer, UTC ’70, ’76), our two children and their spouses, our two grandchildren (Topher and Patricia), our dog, Riley and grand dogs (Rosie and Laney). Hiking is one of my personal pleasures in life, and we try to get to Colorado each summer to fill that space! Yoga is something that Lee and I enjoy frequently, as well as spending time walking Riley and consider mindful living as a ritual of our lifestyle. Additionally, travel is a great learning experience, and we love to travel to educate ourselves about other parts of the world.

Future/Vocational Goals

My only goal at this stage of my life is to be more effective at UTC. The increased understanding of the dynamics of the way adults learn, the techniques of program planning, and the fascinating theories of educational psychology and adult learning will allow me to broaden the scope of services and apply my knowledge to provide a more robust experience for our students.

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

Make a commitment to yourself be an active participant in the program. The program is so amazing and the sharing of experiences from our many backgrounds provides an inclusive learning platform. We enjoy others’ similarities, differences, and perspectives as we learn from one another. The faculty brings the theory to life through a variety of means, and the students confirm our learning through our experiences.

What do you think has been the most rewarding/challenging about this program?

I came from the business world with a successful 30-year career in the financial industry. Making the transition from the business environment and philosophy to education was in itself a personal challenge. This program is not easy. The challenge in producing and addressing the theoretical assignments in a scholarly way has made me a better writer and thinker. I look at the world differently now. It has opened up another world of information that is very exciting and applicable in many ways.

Educational Psychology & Counseling Department
College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

535 Bailey Education Complex
1122 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996-3452
Phone: 865-974-8145 Fax: 865-974-0135