Educational Psychology & Counseling Department

ESM News

September 2015

Lots of congratulations to give! One of our recent graduates and two of our current students have been offered (and accepted) new jobs in the field.

Niranji Pathirage (Summer 2015 graduate) has accepted a position as a Research Analyst in Institutional Research at Washburn University in Topeka, KS.

Sherry Marlow Ormsby (3rd year ESM student) has accepted a position as Director of Assessment and Planning in the Institutional Effectiveness and Research Office at Chattanooga State Community College in Chattanooga, TN.

Paul Kirkland (2nd year ESM student) has accepted a position as a Research Coordinator in the Reliability & Maintainability Center at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN.

July 2015

Congratulations to Wenshu Li, 4th year ESM student, who has been awarded a prestigious CDC Evaluation Fellowship! This highly competitive fellowship allows advanced doctoral students/recent PhD’s to work under the leadership of the CDC’s Chief Evaluation Officer. Each fellow is matched with a program(s) at the CDC to work on national and international evaluation projects. They were very impressed with Wenshu’s skills in evaluation and statistical analysis and commented on the number and diversity of experiences in evaluation that she possesses.

The ESM program is very proud and excited to see how much you will continue to grow working at the CDC.

Way to go Wenshu!

March 2015

Morrow, Jennifer_verticalJennifer Ann Morrow has been invited to teach at the American Evaluation Institute’s Summer Evaluation Institute in June 2015 in Atlanta, GA. She will be leading workshops on the topic of quantitative data cleaning. Three learning points include – the recommended 12 steps for cleaning dirty evaluation data, suggestions for ways to deal with messy data at each step, and methods for reviewing analysis outputs and making decisions regarding data cleaning options.

 Brittany Defense

Congrats to Brittany Daulton  who successfully defended her dissertation on March 24. Her dissertation is entitled “Student persistence in career and technical education: A multi-sample, mixed-method evaluation of student services.”

March 2014

Congrats to Brittany Daulton and Niranji Pathirage (3rd year ESM students) who successfully defended their comprehensive exams (Portfolio option) this March. They both did an exceptional job on their qualifying exams!

Congrats to Lakmal Walpitage who has been awarded an Office of Research and Engagement Summer Graduate Research Assistantship. Lakmal will be working under Gary Skolits in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling.

Congrats to Pat Barlow who successfully defended his dissertation and will be graduating in May with a PhD in Educational Psychology and Research with a concentration in Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement (ESM). Pat will be moving on to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health for a postdoctoral fellowship. We wish him well!

Congratulations to Jennifer Ann Morrow who will be presenting research papers at both the European First Year Experience Conference in Nottingham, England and the International Congress of Applied Psychology Conference in Paris, France this summer. She will be presenting research on first-year seminars that are focused on alcohol and drug prevention, a paper on her 12-step process of cleaning quantitative evaluation data, and a paper on the development of a new safety culture instrument.

October 2013

Congrats to Jennifer Ann Morrow who was elected Chair of the Teaching of Evaluation Topical Interest Group (TIG) for the American Evaluation Association at their annual business meeting in October. Congrats also to Brittany Daulton (3rd year ESM student) who was elected as the graduate assistant to the Teaching of Evaluation TIG.

Brittany Daulton, has been nominated for the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O) Scholar Award by the local AX Chapter. The P.E.O. Scholar Award, established in 1991, is a merit-based award given to women in the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral degree. P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations. Brittany has also been nominated for the Inez Bailey Tennessee State P.E.O. Scholarship by the local AX Chapter. If Brittany receives either of these awards the funds will be used to support her dissertation research. Congrats on being nominated for these two prestigious awards!!!

May 2013

Congrats to Jennifer Morrow and Gary Skolits! Jennifer Ann Morrow and Gary Skolits have been invited to conduct a workshop on data cleaning at the 2013 Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) Conference in Brisbane, Australia in September. AES is the primary Australasian evaluation organization with over 1000 members (

Congrats to Ann Cisney-Booth and Tiffany Smith, both of whom successfully defended their comprehensive exams this month. They both did an amazing job!!! Kudos!

Congrats to Tiffany McGee, an incoming ESM student, who has been awarded two fellowships for the 2013/2014 school year. Tiffany was awarded the ESPN Student Fellowship (given to the top incoming student in an EPC doctoral program; one of 4 students awarded this year) and the Shipley-Swann Fellowship (given to incoming doctoral students; based on vita/letter of support; one of 5 students awarded this year).

April 2013

Congrats to Pat Barlow who successfully defended his comprehensive exams (Portfolio option) on April 10. Pat presented and defended his work beautifully and produced a great portfolio.

Congrats to Niranji Pathirage who has been awarded an Office of Research and Engagement Summer Graduate Research Assistantship. Niranji will be continuing her work evaluating the English 121 course for UT’s English Department. She will be working under Tanita Saenkhum in the Department of English.

Congrats on being selected for this very competitive assistantship! Kudos to you!

Updated 12/29/2015

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