Jennifer Priest Mitchell

Faculty members, researchers and recent graduates of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College will be honored with research awards at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 8-12. AERA is the leading organization for advancing knowledge about education and promoting the application of educational research. Eighty scholars from the college will share their research at the annual meeting. Learn more.


Michelene “Micki” Chi, the Dorothy Bray Endowed Professor, received the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award. The award honors a meritorious contributor to educational research; its purpose is to publicize, motivate, encourage and suggest models for educational research at its best. Chi is the author of more than 120 academic publications. Her collective work has been cited more than 30,000 times. She has won many awards and recognition for her research, including being cited in Carnegie-Mellon University’s 2001 Centennial Magazine as one of its most successful undergraduates.  Learn more

Eugene Garcia, professor emeritus, research professor and dean of ASU’s College of Education from 2002-06, is the latest faculty member of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to be named a fellow by AERA. The fellows program honors education researchers with substantial research accomplishments. Fellows are nominated by their peers, selected and recommended by a committee and approved by the AERA Council, an elected governing group of AERA. Renowned for research in effective schooling for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations, Garcia has published extensively on language teaching and on bilingual development. He joins 19 other ASU scholars who have been selected as AERA fellows. Learn more

Steve Graham and Karen Harris, both Mary Emily Warner Professors, have explored the teaching of writing for decades. Their recent publication, “Practice-based professional development and Self-Regulated Strategy Development for Tier 2, at-risk writers in second grade” (co-authored with Dr. Mary Adkins at Goucher College) was recognized with the AERA Division K Award for Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education.

This publication is part of a body of influential research showing that educators feel inadequately prepared to teach writing. Their latest trial was an investigation of one teaching method, Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD), in story-writing among students at risk for academic failure. SRSD instruction, which Harris developed in 1980, includes the use of specific interactive learning strategies for each type of writing a student is completing. The method has been replicated and reported on many times and, Harris says, has the largest impact on student outcomes of any evidence-based practice designed to improve writing. When Harris met Graham, who had studied writing, they began to collaborate on implementation of SRSD and measurement of its success. They have been married 33 years and have taught and conducted research in various institutions, including Purdue University, the University of Maryland and Vanderbilt. They are each actively engaged in research that is separate from the SRSD work in this award-winning publication. Learn more

David Berliner, Regents' Professor of Education at Arizona State University, is the first-time winner of a new award — the Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award from AERA. The award honors a scholar for communication of research findings to the general public and recognizes scholars for exemplary communication to the broad public. He has written extensively on education, teaching and the education system, and says his latest two books likely contributed to his being considered for the award. He is a co-author of “Collateral Damage: How High-Stakes Testing Corrupts America’s Schools,” which, he says, categorizes the many ways in which testing negatively impacts public education. The second of these two books, co-written with Gene Glass, Regents Professor Emeritus at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, is “50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education.” Berliner says that in writing this book, they used evidence to argue against many myths about public education. Learn more 

Margarita Pivovarova, assistant professor, and Jeanne Powers, associate professor, were honored with one of the 2016 Education Research Service Project (ERSP) awards from AERA. They will begin their project, “An Analysis of Teachers' Career Paths in Arizona: Retention, Mobility and Attrition,” with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) later this year. Learn more 

Dissertation Awards

Olena Aydarova, a postdoctoral scholar, conducts research on what defines a qualified teacher, among other issues. As a postdoctoral scholar at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, she was chosen as one of only two recipients of the 2016 Division K Outstanding Dissertation Award. Aydarova’s work, “Teacher Education Reform as Political Theatre: Modernization Dramas in the Russian Federation,” is the study of teacher education reform in Russia and behaviors by policy makers that delay reform. Learn more

Amelia Marcetti Topper (PhD, ’15) is concerned with defining student success. Topper’s dissertation was honored with one of only two 2016 Division J Dissertation of the Year Awards. This award category was for dissertations completed during 2015 that advanced knowledge in the field of higher education and made innovative use of methods and theory. Her work,A Multiplicity of Successes: Capabilities, Refuge, and Pathways in Contemporary Community Colleges,” was completed at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Learn more

Ed Sloat (EdD, ’15) was awarded the Division H Outstanding Publication Award in Category 4, Outstanding Dissertation. “Examining the Validity of a State Policy-Directed Framework for Evaluating Teacher Instructional Quality: Informing Policy, Impacting Practice" analyzes the effects of state requirements for teacher evaluation that went into effect in Arizona in 2011. When the law passed, Sloat was a doctoral student in the Leadership and Innovation Program at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and the director of research in a large public school district. He combined his work and research to address whether the new framework districts were required to implement for teacher evaluation was effective and appropriate for rating teacher competency. Learn more