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College of Education > News and Publications > 2018: 04-06 news > Around the College: April 25, 2018

Around the College: April 25, 2018

Students, staff and faculty members from Penn State's College of Education share recent research and career achievements.

— Talat Azhar, recently retired associate director of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program, has been appointed vice president of institutional effectiveness and dean of student affairs at Habib University in Pakistan. In this position, she will be responsible for leading the Office of Academic Performance, Office of Institutional Research, Center for Pedagogical Excellence, Office of Career Services, Office of Student Life and the University Library. Azhar also is an alumna of the college, earning a dual doctorate degree in education theory and policy and comparative and international education.

David Baker, professor of education (educational theory and policy) and sociology, has been invited to address the Leopoldina, Germany's National Academy of Science in Berlin, in July. He will speak about "Education, World Health and Brain Power," and will discuss his research on the impact of the education revolution on cognition and world health and societal development.

— Christopher DeJarnett, a doctoral student studying educational leadership, has been awarded the William H. Hastie Creative and Research Fellowship by the Second District of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. The award recognizes scholars and creative artists and provides $2,500 for assistance in completing work, publications or studies.

Erica Frankenberg, associate professor of education (educational leadership), and Kendra Taylor, a doctoral student studying educational leadership, co-authored "Resistance to school integration in the name of 'local control': 5 questions answered," which was published in The Conversation.

Jeff Hayes, professor of education (counselor education), is the recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA) Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science and Profession of Psychology. According to the PPA website, the award is "given to a Pennsylvania psychologist for outstanding scientific and/or professional achievement in the areas of expertise related to psychology, including teaching, research, clinical work and publications." Hayes will receive the award at the PPA Annual Convention on June 14.

— Jessie Jenkins, a junior majoring in rehabilitation and human services, is the recipient of the 2018 Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award. The award recognizes a junior, senior or graduate student for outstanding efforts to enhance the understanding of diverse cultures and create a community where all individuals are accepted and valued equally.

— Shannon Lee, a doctoral candidate in the Workforce Education and Development program, has been awarded a Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship from the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. The one-year, competitive fellowship introduces graduate students to the Austrian, Virginia and Bloomington schools of political economy as academic foundations for pursuing contemporary policy analysis.  

— Research led by Paul Morgan, professor of education (education policy studies), was the focus of the article "Does a lack of executive function explain why some kids fall way behind in school?" published by The Hechinger Report. The research also was reported on by EducationDive and The 74.

— Undergraduate Rachel E. Shriver and Seth Wilcox each have been awarded a $3,500 Erickson Discovery Grant to fund summer research. Shriver's research will focus on "Más Que Mojitos: Reciprocity within Global Conversations Course." Wilcox's research will focus on "Large Scale Keyphrase Evaluation via Crowdsourcing."

— G. Brian Toth, a faculty member in the Penn State World Campus educational leadership program and superintendent of the Saint Marys Area School District, was elected as one of five Pennsylvania superintendents to serve on the American Association of School Administrators Governing Board. He also has been nominated for the 2018 John C. Maxwell Transformational Leadership Award.

 — Anne Whitney, professor of education in the College of Education, is the recipient of the 2018 Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award. The award honors and recognizes outstanding achievement by a faculty member with at least five years of service who effectively guides junior faculty. 

"Around the College" highlights accomplishments by faculty, staff and students in the College of Education, including publications; research presentations at conferences and workshops; and awards, grants and fellowships. Please share your news with us and your colleagues by emailing