letter

From the Desk of the Dean - March 2021

By SEHD News

From the Desk of the Dean - March 2021

By SEHD News

It is officially spring! As we emerge from the disruption and devastation of the past year, this month’s issue of Engage highlights the SEHD faculty members’ innovative and interdisciplinary research in several areas, across our three departments. This work enables our vision and mission to spring forward in important ways.

In the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies we highlight Dr. Joseph Kitchen’s research that supports college achievement for low-income, first generation and racial minority students; as well as work by Dr. Jue Wang that provides psychometric modeling and the evaluation of rater effects in performance assessments.

In the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Science, Dr. Joseph Signorile has amassed significant evidence for the effectiveness of exercise in improving cognitive function as measured by changes in eye microvasculature; and Dr. Kevin Jacobs has been working on understanding the effects of meal consumption and exercise on fat metabolism of those with spinal cord injuries.

In the Department of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Matthew Deroo’s project “Learning with the Lowe” integrates the Lowe Art Museum’s resources into the local community and supports student learning across contexts; and Dr. Jennifer Khan is part of a UM Interdisciplinary “ULink” grant team that addresses lack of inclusion and equity in the data life cycle with anti-bias training interventions targeting students and professionals across disciplines. 

Finally, I am pleased to announce the recent publication of Dr. Wendy Cavendish’s book with colleague Dr. Jenifer Samson, “Intersectionality in Education: Toward More Equitable Policy, Research, and Practice.” The book is in the Disability, Culture and Equity series published by Teachers College Press, and is based on Dr. Cavendish’s engagement with cross-disciplinary projects while she was a visiting scholar at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute.

I invite you to engage with these recent examples of the interdisciplinary breadth and excellence of our faculty, as I know you will find something in their work that resonates with our goal of transforming lives in the areas of educational, physical and psychological well-being. Please contact me should you wish to help advance our research portfolio through the SEHD dean’s Innovation fund, from which we provide seed funding for faculty to explore new ideas, test innovative concepts, and prepare themselves for significant external awards from multiple funding agencies. And, please do not forget to enjoy spring, which feels almost like a renewal as we emerge from the long and devastating pandemic.

 

Be well!

Laura