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mentorship


Adult Learning

Steven earned a PhD in educational psychology and research with a concentration in the Adult Learning (formerly Adult Education) program in 2007. He is originally from Altoona, PA and currently lives in Cookeville, TN. We asked him to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where he’s at now. Read his responses below.

Current Occupation

Associate Professor & Interim Director
School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Tennessee Tech University (TTU)
Cookeville, TN

Interdisciplinary Studies majors create a customized/personalized major built upon two emphasis areas. Because of the nature of our department, I have the opportunity to teach a variety of courses: Adult Learning; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Introduction to Religious Studies; Introduction to Honors; Academic and Community Connections (a summer course for student-athletes); Introduction to the University Experience (freshman student-athletes); and even an honors colloquium – Intro to Ancient Greek!

Awards and Accomplishments Earned as a Student
  • #1 – Finished my Dissertation!!
  • Phi Kappa Phi – 2007
  • Chair of the Graduate Student Group, American Association for Adult and Continuing Education
Accomplishments since Graduating
  • Receiving the TTU Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, and the Award for Excellence in First-Year Experience Instruction in 2016 – teaching is somethings I am passionate about.
  • Serving as the current president of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.
Personal Interests

I am passionate about family. My wife Becky and I have been married for 32 years. Jordan and Taylor, our two sons, both graduated from TTU, and live in Knoxville. I enjoy traveling with Becky and any family members we can bring along, fishing (especially in my Kayak), fixing things, playing guitar, and hanging out with special friends.

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

My experience at UT Knoxville truly prepared me for my career at TTU. I was honored to work with some amazing faculty who pushed me and challenged me to branch out and grow: Ralph Brockett and Mary Ziegler in Adult Education, John Peters in Collaborative Learning, Sandra Thomas in Nursing, Howard Pollio in Psychology, and Kathy Greenberg in Educational Psychology. UT Knoxville also gave me opportunities to teach in Educational Psychology and Career and Personal Development that greater prepared me to be a university professor.

Did you end up where you thought you would?

I took a position at TTU teaching Educational Psychology courses to undergraduate teacher education students while in the dissertation process. After three years on an that annual contract, I became the first faculty member in the new College of Interdisciplinary Studies. Everything happening in this new program fit my background, experience, and training. Within the past three years we were able to create courses and a minor in Religious Studies, the area of my first three degrees. Did I expect this? No. But it is wonderful to end up exactly where you belong!

How did your experiences as a student help you in your professional/personal life after graduation?

My relationship with professor Ralph Brockett has continued on in my career beyond UT Knoxville. He has been a constant encourager and colleague, supporting me along the way and still mentoring me as only Ralph Brockett can! At the end of my time as a student I became friends with Jonathan Taylor, who followed me as the Program GA in Adult Education. Over the past few years we have researched, presented, written, and traveled together. On top of that, together with our wives and children we have developed a very special family friendship. Another amazing gift received because of my time at UT Knoxville.


“I am truly grateful for my time at UT Knoxville, and would consider myself a proud product of the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. My experiences at UT empowered me to grow academically and professionally, and led me to my current position (Steve McCallum recommended me to TTU). Whenever I have the opportunity, I encourage potential students to take a strong look at the Adult Learning program at UT.”


School Psychology

Renee earned a PhD with the School Psychology program in 2005. Originally from Assonet, MA, she currently lives in Cincinnati, OH. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

Current Occupation

Associate Professor & Program Coordinator
School Psychology Program
University of Cincinnati (UC)

I conduct applied research in local schools identifying effective interventions to meet the needs of struggling students, particularly students with emotional and behavioral disorders; supervise graduate students completing practicum experiences; teach courses in academic assessment and intervention, behavior research methods, and disabilities and disorders in childhood; mentor doctoral students in research and professional practice; and provide leadership for the program, including coordinating accreditation.

Awards and Accomplishments Earned as a Student

As a student, I actively participated in research teams and was able to graduate with a strong publication record. I also took advantage of teaching opportunities to develop my skills as an instructor.

Accomplishments since Graduating

I am very proud of the contributions I have made to the School Psychology program at UC over the past 11 years. Through my role as program coordinator, I facilitated our program accreditation by the Association for Behavior Analysis International, expanded program-community partnerships and field placements for students, and helped revise the doctoral program to better align with national accreditation standards for training in professional psychology.

Personal Interests

I have been married to my husband, James, for over 12 years now and we have three little boys, ages 3, 6, and 8, who keep us very busy!

What sold you on this program/department/university?

When I visited UT as I was making my admissions decision, I was impressed with both the professional accomplishments of the faculty and the program climate. The faculty were all so welcoming, as were the students. It was clear that the program was collaborative, that faculty really knew and cared about the students, and that the students felt supported and were happy.

What would you tell an incoming/current student in the program/department?

I would encourage students at UT to take advantage of all the opportunities that the program provides you! The faculty includes national figures in school psychology who have made significant scholarly contributions to the field. As a former student of Chris Skinner, Bob Williams, and Steve McCallum, and a professional colleague of Merilee McCurdy, I can attest that each is dedicated to sharing their expertise with you to help you grow professionally and meet your goals.

How did your experiences as a student help you in your professional/personal life after graduation?

My experiences at UT prepared me not only for success on my pre-doctoral internship at Girls and Boys Town but also for my role as a faculty member. The program provided me with opportunities to develop my skills for psychological practice, teaching, and research – all of which are a part of my professional life. In particular, the research and teaching experiences I had as a doctoral student made me competitive for a faculty job upon graduation.

Personally, I made life-long friendships during graduate school and also met my husband! I always look forward to catching up with my cohort and we will always be connected by our experiences at UT.

“I am so grateful for the mentorship the faculty at UT provided to me as a student and that they continued to provide as I started my career. It is a top-notch program that open doors for graduates!”

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