New Faculty 2020-2021

September 16, 2020

Join the College of Education in celebrating faculty members who are new to the college and those with recent administrative appointments.

New Leadership:

Welcome to education policy and leadership scholar Sheneka Williams, who became chairperson of the Department of Educational Administration in July 2020. She assumed the role from Marilyn Amey, who stepped down from the position after 13 years as chair and remains on the faculty. Read more about Williams below.

In addition, congratulations to Professor Terah Venzant Chambers, who was appointed as associate dean for equity and inclusion in May 2020. Also, Professor Matthew Koehler stepped into the role of assistant dean for faculty affairs in December 2019.

We asked our seven incoming tenure system scholars to share, in their own words, about their research goals and themes. Presented by department, meet our new faculty:

In the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education:

Hung Jen Kuo

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Michigan State University


“Due to my background in rehabilitation, psychology, technology and computer science, I have a chance to incorporate all these aspects into my research projects. My research centers on developing social and behavioral interventions for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the use of technology, such as virtual reality and mixed reality.”

In the Department of Educational Administration:

Mónica Byrne-Jiménez

Associate Professor
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University


“My research on the relationship between identity and leadership among Latinx leaders has an impact on our understanding of educational leadership, broadly, and Latinx leadership—both individual and community—specifically. It is important for all leaders to know how and from whom they learned leadership across their lives. Our understanding of leadership reflects deeply held values that are rooted in family and community. These need to be explored as both sources of strength and new knowledge that can improve the way leaders engage with and respond to communities of color in schools and districts. It is also essential in supporting Latinx leaders and creating more inclusive systems in K-12 and higher education.”

Sheneka Williams

Chairperson and Professor
Ed.D., Vanderbilt University


“Through my research, I am committed to examining educational opportunities for students of color, and primarily African American students. I hope to highlight the negligence in rural education, particularly in the South. Much of the rural research that’s been published has focused on Appalachia but there are other areas of the country that should be examined more closely. In my school desegregation work, I’m very interested in knowing—now that we have students of different races together in many places—if students are engaging or simply attending school.”

In the Department of Kinesiology:

Matt Harkey

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


“My research aims to better understand the early mechanisms following knee injuries that lead to arthritis. I hope my research will enable clinically accessible techniques to identify the people at highest risk for early arthritis onset. My hope is that if we can identify the people with greatest risk, we will be able to better target interventions to prevent arthritis and maintain long-term joint health.”

In the Department of Teacher Education:

Terrance Burgess

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Syracuse University


“My research seeks to make both theoretical and practical contributions to science education, largely through centering the experiences of an oftentimes overlooked group: elementary youth of color. Research suggests that elementary students who attend public schools in the U.S. receive infrequent science instruction that averages fewer than 30 minutes per day. However, we know students of color have a wealth of knowledge that allows them to make sense of their worlds, indicating a deep conceptual understanding of complex scientific ideas. This knowledge is rarely acknowledged within science instruction and this, coupled with the dominant narrative of who can “do” science and “become” a scientist, indicates a need for further exploration. Theoretically, scholars argue for focusing on how students of color come to view themselves as scientists; however, when considering its practical implications, this is quite complex, an area my work intends to address.”

Jungmin Kwon

Assistant Professor
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University


“My research positions immigrant children and families as multilingual and transnational experts by highlighting the ways in which they uniquely build, draw upon and mobilize their linguistic and cultural repertoires across spaces and countries. Through research, I challenge deficit perspectives around immigrant children’s language and literacy, and I invite educators and researchers to think about ways to create curriculum and instruction that foreground bilingualism and honor children’s transnational experiences.”

Jane C. Lo

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Washington


“My research focuses on the ways in which schooling and classroom practices influence students’ political identity and engagement. Specifically, I’m interested in the ways classroom experiences can empower or disempower students as active participants in our democracy. Given the current political climate, I hope my work on making civic education relevant to all students will help empower young people to make lasting changes for a more equitable society.”

Get to know more of our scholars by hearing from the 2019-2020 new faculty.