Honors and Teacher Education Researchers

Honors and Teacher Education Researchers

Cynthia Benally


Sharlene A. Kiuhara

Sharlene A. Kiuhara is Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education, College of Education. She served as an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Post-Doctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University in Special Education. She was nationally recognized as an Early Career Publication Award recipient by the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children, an award that honors outstanding research contributions by an individual within the first five years after completing the doctoral degree. Her current research focuses on developing evidence-based practices for students with or at-risk for learning disabilities in the areas of self-regulation and constructing written arguments to develop mathematical reasoning.

Larry Parker

Laurence Parker is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy and has been at the University of Utah since 2010. He previously taught at the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Temple University. He is currently one of the associate Deans at the Honors College. His areas of research and teaching interests are in critical race theory and educational leadership and policy; and leadership for social justice in K-12 and higher education. He has published in journals such as Teachers College Record, Race Ethnicity & Education and Urban Education. Dr. Parker is an active member of AERA and was one of the 2013 recipients of the Derrick Bell Legacy Awards from the Critical Race Studies in Education Association.

Mary D. Burbank Advisory Board/Thesis Advisor

Mary D. Burbank is the Assistant Dean for Teacher Education and Director of the Urban Institute for Teacher Education in the College of Education at the University of Utah. As a faculty member since 1994 she holds the rank of Clinical Professor. She is a 2014 recipient of a University of Utah Diversity Award, a 2005 Distinguished Teaching Award, a 2002 College of Education Teaching Award, and service awards from the College of Education, University Alumni Association, and the community. Her teaching, research, and service interests examine pathways to higher education for under-represented students and families with collaborations in math and science including co-PI on a 2010 Noyce grant. She is the author/co-author of three books and has written multiple book chapters and peer reviewed research articles. She has secured over $2.3 million dollars in federal and state grants and awards. She oversees accreditation for the university’s teacher education programs.

Kerry Herman

Kerry Herman is a career-line Associate Professor in the Urban Institute for Teacher Education in the College of Education. In her role as an Elementary Cohort Leader, Kerry supervises pre-service teachers, as well as teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in classroom management, literacy methods and instructional coaching. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah. In addition, Kerry holds teacher certification in the following areas: Early Childhood, Elementary Education, Special Education, and English Language Learners, and is a certified Educational Diagnostician and Reading Specialist. Dr. Herman works collaboratively with local school districts to provide professional development to in-service teachers with a focus on evidence based practices in the areas of literacy and instructional coaching. During the 2019 school year, she engaged in a partnership with Granite School District to provide professional development for district level coaches. Most recently Kerry co-authored a book chapter in the upcoming 2nd edition of Best Practices of Literacy Leaders: Keys to School Improvement.

Jose Francisco Gutierrez

I recently completed my first year as an assistant professor in the Department of Education, Culture & Society at the University of Utah. During the 2017-2018 school year I taught two graduate seminars: Intro to Qualitative Research Interviewing in STEM Education, and STEM Education and Society. Prior to becoming a faculty member at The U, I was an IES postdoctoral fellow in the Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. There, I collaborated with colleagues in the Department of Psychology to understand mathematics learning vis-à-vis issues related to equity during student-student interactions in a laboratory setting.

Susan Johnston

Susan S. Johnston is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Utah and serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Education where she coordinates academic and student affairs. Susan’s research and scholarly interests include augmentative and alternative communication, early language and literacy intervention, and early childhood special education. She has published articles and has delivered state, national, and international presentations in these areas. Susan has been with the University of Utah since 1997. She received her MA and Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. Prior to coming to Utah, Dr. Johnston was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI.

Lauren Barth Cohen

Lauren Barth-Cohen (Ph.D. Science and Math Education, University of California, Berkeley) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah. Dr. Barth-Cohen holds a BA in Physics from Smith College and previously held a post-doctoral position at the University of Maine and a Research Faculty position at the University of Miami. Her expertise is in Science Education and her research focuses on student and teacher learning in the physical sciences. Her publications include articles in journals such as, Science Education, Computers and Education, Journal of Science Education and Technology, and The Science Teacher. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation.


Leticia Alvarez

My experience as a first generation Purépecha Xicana who entered US schools as a monolingual Spanish speaker, and grew up in a working-poor household along the San Diego-Tijuana border informs my work as a researcher and educator. I grew up in a mixed-status family, and know what it is like to navigate poor urban K-12 public schools and elite institutions of higher education. These experiences have shaped my research agenda, and have established my commitments to teaching and service in order to improve the access and quality of education for historically marginalized young people and their families who have often been excluded from the education system. In particular, my research focuses on undocumented young people, and especially those who have been racially profiled and tracked as “illegal within schools. As a feminist community-based research scholar, activist, teacher, facilitator, and community member, I am committed to the intersectionalities of the ideals of educación, familismo and overall community well-being particularly as these pertain to equitable educational opportunities to pursue higher education. Institutions of higher education are in need of revising the way(s) we build sustainable and reciprocal bridges with historically marginalized communities of color—in particular, Latina/o immigrants who are undocumented. As a Latina professor, I teach and mentor students of linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, including first generation college students with whom I share common life experiences and who constantly enlighten my research, teaching and service. I conduct research and teaching from a much-needed perspective—historically marginalized young people and families—and my service/community engagement activities also focus on improving educational access for disenfranchised communities.

Dr. Kirsten Butcher is an associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology's Instructional Design and Education Technology program. The goal of Dr. Butcher's research program is to better understand how multimedia and educational technology support meaningful learning and knowledge transfer, with particular attention to the cognitive processes employed by learners and the learning outcomes that they achieve. Dr. Butcher has received several research grants from the National Science Foundation to study issues of cyber learning, teacher learning, and multimedia comprehension. Dr. Butcher regularly works with collaborators from the Natural History Museum of Utah, faculty/researchers in computer science, and education specialists.

Honors Courses Taught: Ed PS 2140 (Using Technology in Diverse Classrooms, K-6)

Past Students' Theses Titles: Parisa Badizadegan (graduated Spring 2015), "Understanding and Evaluating Effective Technology Integration in the Classroom"

Tracy Dobie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah. Dr. Dobie holds a B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. She conducts research focused on student engagement, equitable learning opportunities, and teacher professional development in K-8 mathematics education. In particular, Dr. Dobie explores questions regarding what kind of math learning is useful and meaningful for students, how to connect classroom learning with out-of-school experiences, affordances and constraints of digital platforms for teacher professional development, and how to encourage productive discourse in teacher learning communities. Her publications include articles in journals such as Mathematical Thinking and Learning and Teaching and Teacher Education.

Lauren Aimonette Liang is an associate professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Utah, and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in children's and young adult literature and reading instruction. Her research and teaching focuses on children's literature. She is especially interested in evaluation, availability, and popularity of children's and adolescent literature; text characteristics as related to student comprehension and response to text; and students' understanding of the specific text that they are reading.

Dr. Liang's work has been published in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Children's Literature, and The Reading Teacher, as well as in both professional and practitioner books. She is also an author of the widely used children's literature textbook, Literature and the Child. Since 2003, she has helped created the annual "Annotated Bibliography" for Research in the Teaching of English, selecting the best research on children's literature and response published year.

Dr. Liang serves on editorial boards for several journals and committees for the International Reading Association (IRA), the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Literacy Research Association (LRA.) She is a long-time reviewer for The Horn Book Guide and other review publications, and served as the chair of the IRA Children's and Young Adult Book Awards Committee for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Dr. Liang received the College of Education Faculty Teaching Award in 2009 and the University of Utah Early Career Teaching Award in 2010. She was the Advisor for the Elementary Education Honors Program from 2009-2014.

Kelby McIntyre-Martinez

Kelby McIntyre-Martinez is the Assistant Dean of Arts Education and Community Engagement in the College of Fine Arts and the Program Director of Professional Development at the University of Utah for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program where she works in partnership with 125 regional elementary schools to provide professional development support and model best practices in the field of arts education and integration. Mrs. McIntyre-Martinez works collaboratively with University Neighborhood Partners at the Hartland Youth Center to provide a year-round youth theatre and dance education program for young people. She is adjunct faculty in the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah.

Claire Seung-Hee Son

Dr. Seung-Hee Clair Son's research focuses on early childhood learning and development of early literacy, language, numeracy and self-regulation skills, especially for at-risk children in poverty and of ethnic minority. Dr. Son is interested in assessing contexts for early literacy development including home, preschool, and other informal learning contexts, such as community, library, and museum. Early literacy learning and technology is another area of interest.