Celebrating faculty excellence 2018

Each year, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College honors faculty members whose scholarship and teaching embody our mission to create knowledge, mobilize people and take action to improve education. This year, we are pleased to honor four faculty members who, in different ways, exemplify excellence and a spirit of creative intrapreneurship.

Maria Teresa Tatto

Excellence in Research Achievement

Maria Teresa Tatto, Southwest Borderlands Professor of Comparative Education in the division of educational leadership and innovation, has a legacy of research excellence using international comparative frameworks to study education policy and its impact on education systems. Tatto has published extensively on the structure and efficacy of different approaches to educating teachers, the influence of early childhood education on improved knowledge levels for children of underserved populations, the role of values education on citizenship formation, and the development of effective policies to support the education of children of migrant workers in the U.S. Tatto leads a research team of dozens of colleagues in 17 countries for the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics, exploring connections between mathematics preservice preparation and what is learned on the job during the first years of teaching. 

Associate Professor Wendy Oakes

Excellence in Integrating Scholarship with Teaching

 Wendy Oakes, assistant professor in the division of teacher preparation, focuses her research on practices that improve educational access and outcomes for young children with, and at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders, with an emphasis on schoolwide behavior systems based on integrated models of prevention. She translates this research into professional development for preservice and in-service educators, training them to implement evidence-based practices. She also examines issues of teachers’ sense of efficacy related to classroom management and practices for addressing the needs of children with the most challenging behaviors. Oakes is associate editor for Remedial and Special Education and the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, special issues editor for Education and Treatment of Children, and a past president of the Exceptional Children’s Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.

Assistant Professor Melanie Bertrand

Outstanding Promising Research Scholar

Melanie Bertrand, assistant professor of educational leadership, is an authority in educational leadership, youth voice, race and racism in education, and urban education. She is the author of 26 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, policy briefs and other practitioner publications, and her work has appeared in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Policy, Teachers College Record and Urban Education. A national leader in Youth Participatory Action Research, Bertrand is deeply connected to the social, political and economic interests of historically marginalized and underserved communities. An afterschool program she co-founded engaged junior high students and adults in learning how YPAR can advance educational equity, justice and policymaking. Bertrand was co-coordinator for the inaugural Phoenix Social Justice and Ethnic Studies Youth Conference, facilitating youth engagement with school leaders in addressing inequities that affect their lives.  

Principal Lecturer Photini Spanias

Excellence in Teaching

Principal Lecturer Photini Spanias teaches elementary, special and bilingual education math methods courses, and is an honors faculty member of Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. She prepares math educators by providing them with inquiry-based, hands-on activities that inspire and motivate them to perform at their highest potential. She worked with a technology specialist to design and implement technology-infused assignments in math methods courses, and with the iTeachELLs team on math and science inquiry and problem-solving lessons and projects. Spanias has taught 10 mathematics classes each academic year for more than a decade, emphasizing Common Core state standards, the National Standards of Mathematics and current trends in research in mathematics education. Spanias meets individually with any student who requests mentoring, and her course evaluations have been among the highest in the college for 10 years.