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Ralph Brockett


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!


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.


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.”


Adult Learning

Sara is currently seeking her PhD in educational psychology and research, with a concentration in the Adult Learning program. Originally from Tehran, Iran, she received her BA in English literature and MA in educational psychology from Allameh Tabatabaei University and joined UT Knoxville in 2013. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards
  • Travis Hawk Fellowship, Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, University of Tennessee, for outstanding academic credentials and success in academic journey. $1000. 2015
  • Alexander N. Charters Adult Education Research Grant-in-Aid, Syracuse University. Co-principal investigator with G. Ruttencutter. Grant awarded to conduct archival research for Exploring the intersection of adult education and critical theory. $1,850. 2014

Accomplishments

Presentations
Nasrollahian Mojarad, S. (2016). Action comes first and foremost in Iran. 4th Action Research Network of the Americas Conference. Knoxville, Tennessee.

Simarasl, N. & Nasrollahian Mojarad, S. (2015). How Self-directed are Iranian Women Entrepreneurs? Global Issues Conference: International Women’s Rights. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Nasrollahian Mojarad, S. (2015). Self-directed learning and brain executive functions. 29th International Self-Directed Learning Symposium. Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Nasrollahian Mojarad, S. & Ruttencutter, G. S. (2014). From Russia with Love. American Association for Adult and Continuing Education 63rd Annual Conference, North Charleston, South Carolina.

Ziegler, M., Ferris, E. J., Overton, M. D., Nasrollahian Mojarad, S. & Ruttencutter, G. S. (2014). Live Online: Possibilities and Pitfalls of Synchronous Online Teaching and Learning. American Association for Adult and Continuing Education 63rd Annual Conference, North Charleston, South Carolina.

Overton, M. D., Bailey, A., Nasrollahian Mojarad, S., Seidler, A. E. & Shih, C. K. (2014). Jump-Starting Self-Directedness in Adult Learning Using Mobile Apps. American Association for Adult and Continuing Education 63rd Annual Conference, North Charleston, South Carolina.

Nasrollahian Mojarad, S., & Tullier, J. D. (2014). Self-Directed Learning and Cognitive and Metacognitive Capabilities in Adult Learners. 28th International Self-Directed Learning Symposium, Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Publication
Nasrollahian Mojaran, S. (2015). Book Review. [Review of the book Adult learning: Linking theory and practice.] Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 63(1), Spring, 67-68.

Current Occupation

Graduate Research Assistant
Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Personal Interests

I enjoy watching movies and following on my country’s cinema. My other favorite non-academic activity is to record my voice while reading books every mornings in order to send it to my dear ones back home.

As the oldest and only daughter of the family, I have a lot of responsibilities in regard to my parents and brothers that I take care of them even from here, that is thousands of miles away from home. This long distance hasn’t been able to undermine my care and love for the ones who are inseparable parts of my heart and identity and I am even more deeply connected to them from my new home.

Future/Vocational Goals

I am a social activist at this time and I will definitely preserve this social identity in my future profession and processes.

My goal is to become a faculty and researcher in the future and I want my students to identify me as a researcher and then an educator.

What is the best tidbit/find you have about UT/Knoxville?

I started my journey as a PhD student and also in the United States in Knoxville and I am so happy with my experience here. Knoxville is a beautiful city with kind and precious people who were very welcoming from the very first day I entered the city and made me feel at home. This was also true about UT Knoxville, as I could conveniently settle down and adapt to the new system and academic environment that I was in.

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

I owe much of my accomplishments here to my supportive and understanding adviser, Ralph Brockett, my lovely and wholehearted best friend, Gwen Ruttentcutter, and all of the considerate and appreciative faculty members and colleagues from whom I have learned a lot. My most important take away from this program will be the confidence that it gave me through its learner-centered approach to teaching and learning. I am now much more self-reliant than the beginning of my journey and have taken important steps in developing my academic and consequently social identity so far.

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