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Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement PhD


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.



The Assessment Profession in Higher Education: Addressing the Varied Professional Development Needs of Practitioners.

Jennifer Ann Morrow“I am very grateful for the support of my UT and AALHE colleagues who encourage my passion for teaching and engaging in quality higher education assessment work. I look forward to continued collaboration with my students and colleagues in this important area.”

The report was released by the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) and Watermark. The organizations stated a mission to work collaboratively in striving to develop resources that help assessment practitioners and institutions advance the practice of meaningful assessment, provide opportunities for assessment professionals to connect, as well as conduct and share research on current assessment practices and results.

AALHE and Watermark explained the report provides insights into several area of assessment including:

  • practitioners’ perceptions of assessment
  • the roles/positions and activities conducted by assessment practitioners
  • practitioners’ professional development needs

The report authors – Laura Ariovich, Conna Bral, Patricia Gregg, Matthew Gulliford, and Jennifer Ann Morrow – provided practical recommendations for institutions and professional organizations to better support assessment practitioners, particularly in the area of professional development.

  • Collaborative sharing across institutions and assessment personnel should be examined as a viable method for supporting the work of assessment practitioners.
  • Professional associations, individual institutions, and consortia should offer professional development opportunities in a wide variety of delivery methods to meet the varied needs of practitioners.
  • Topics addressed in professional development offerings must include both assessment tasks, such as conducting data collection and analysis activities, and more complex assessment work, such as creating assessment cultures and facilitating change in higher education organizations.

“We see a real alignment in our organizations to advance the practice of assessment and help institutions use better data to improve student learning and institutional outcomes – an area that is of critical and growing importance to the future of higher education,” said Monica Stitt-Bergh, AALHE President. “We share the belief that this collaboration has been mutually beneficial for our organizations and higher education more broadly.”

“We have a great deal of respect for AALHE, its researchers, and the leadership it provides for the higher education community,” said Kevin Michielsen, CEO of Watermark. “This study underscores our commitment to supporting and empowering higher education with the kind of information and insight needed to drive decision making that ultimately improves student and institutional outcomes.”


About AALHE
Founded in 2009, the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education is a non-profit professional association for assessment practitioners at colleges, universities, and higher education support organizations. It serves the needs of those in higher education for whom assessment is a tool to help them understand learning and develop processes for improving it. AALHE provides resources and a forum to support assessment practitioners’ professional development and the research, documentation, open discussion of issues, strategies, policies, and processes associated with the use of assessment to improve student learning and institutional effectiveness in fostering student success. For more information and to become a member, visit www.aalhe.org.

About Watermark™
Watermark’s mission is to put better data into the hands of administrators, educators, and learners everywhere in order to empower them to connect information and gain insights into learning which will drive meaningful improvements. Through its innovative educational intelligence platform, Watermark supports institutions in developing an intentional approach to learning and development based on data they can trust.


EPC Facebook page.


Awards

CEHHS Board of Advisors Faculty Support Award
Awarded to recognize current/past accomplishments or future projects of one outstanding faculty member for teaching/research/service efforts in any area within CEHHS.

Gary Skolits

Gary Skolits
Program Coordinator & Associate Professor in Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

 

“It truly was a special privilege to be recognized in my role as an EPC faculty member. The nomination by faculty peers alone was a special honor to me; the subsequent commendation at the college level will always remain a highlight of my faculty career.”


Helen B. Watson Outstanding Faculty Research Award
Awarded to a full-time faculty member or team within the departments of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; Edu­cational Psychology and Counseling; Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies; or Theory and Practice in Teacher Education.

Louis RocconiLouis Rocconi
Assistant Professor in Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected for this prestigious award. I am truly humbled to receive recognition for my research and grateful to be a part of this esteemed department and college.”


Louie M. & Betty M. Phillips Faculty Support in Education
Awarded to a faculty member in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences related to the preparation of teachers involved in K-12 education. This award serves to highlight outstanding research and teaching efforts.

Melinda GibbonsMelinda Gibbons
Program Coordinator & Professor in Counselor Education

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized for my research and outreach activities. I am also happy to have the opportunity for others to learn about the need for this type of engaged scholarship.”


Recognition

Casey A. Barrio Minton
Professor in Counselor Education

– Recognized under Presidents of National/International Professional Organizations for being President-Elect of Southern Association of Counselor Education & Supervision


Pamelia Brott
Program Coordinator & Associate Professor in School Counseling

– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for National Career Development Association Fellow


Synthia Clark
Administrative Specialist I

– Recognized under UT Support Staff Service Awards for five years of service


Stephanie Cowherd
Associate Director of Center for Literacy, Education & Employment

– Recognized under Grants & Contracts Recipients for the TN DHS-DRS, Tennessee Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services, $797,060


Lisa Crawford
Associate Director of Center for Literacy, Education & Employment

– Recognized under Grants & Contracts Recipients for the Coordinated School Health Events, Tennessee Department of Education, $270,759
– Recognized under Grants & Contracts Recipients for the Partners in Education (PIE) Conference Support, Tennessee Department of Education, $1,308,909
– Recognized under Grants & Contracts Recipients for the TDOE Summer Trainings, Tennessee Department of Education, $621,980


Melinda M. Gibbons
Program Coordinator & Professor in Counselor Education

– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for the Counseling Vision & Innovation Award from the Association for Counselor Education & Supervision
– Recognized under Chancellor’s Honors Awards for Research & Creative Achievement


Craig Howard
Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology

– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for the Distance Learning Best Practice Award from the Association for Educational Communications & Technology Division


Robert Kronick
Professor in Counselor Education & Director of University-Assisted Community Schools

– Recognized under Authors/Editors of Books & Assessments for Community Engagement: Principles, Strategies, and Practices
– Recognized under Authors/Editors of Books & Assessments for Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution
– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for Counselor Education of the Year from American Mental Health Counseling Association


R. Steve McCallum
Professor for School Psychology

– Recognized under Editors/Co-Editors of Peer Reviewed Publications for being Co-Founder & Consulting Editor of Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment


Gary Skolits
Program Coordinator & Associate Professor of Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

– Recognized under Editors/Co-Editors of Peer Reviewed Publications for being Co-Editor of The Qualitative Review


Qi Sun
Program Coordinator & Associate Professor in Adult Learning

– Recognized under Editors/Co-Editors of Peer Reviewed Publications for being Co-Editor of Adult Education Quarterly
– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for the Outstanding Service Award by The American Association of Adult and Continuing Education


Duren Thompson
Instructional Designer & Program Coordinator

– Recognized under UT Support Staff Service Awards for twenty years of service


Lisa Yamagata-Lynch
Program Coordinator & Professor in Instructional Technology/Learning Environments & Educational Studies

– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for the Distance Learning Best Practice Award from the Association for Educational Communications & Technology Division

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