New Faculty 2021-2022

October 22, 2021

The College of Education welcomed seven new faculty members and three academic specialists this academic year. In addition, several faculty were named to leadership positions within the college.

New Leadership:

Starting July 1, 2021, University Distinguished Professor Ann E. Austin became interim dean of the College of Education. Austin, a nationally and globally renowned leader in higher education, has been a member of our Department of Educational Administration since 1991.

Professor Emily Bouck, a leading scholar in special education, was named the interim associate dean for research in September. Bouck assumed the role from Austin. Bouck’s academic scholarship includes 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, six books and over 30 book chapters.

Below, our new faculty share, in their own words, about their research goals and themes:

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

Beatrice Lee

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison


“My clinical experiences of working with people with neurological disorders (e.g., multiple sclerosis, epilepsy) sparked my interests in exploring how protective positive psychological factors can enhance transition to better functioning, vocational/community participation and quality of life. My research aims to gain a better understanding of to what extent protective factors can reduce vulnerability to experience stress and foster health, mental health and well-being. I hope my research will empower and improve wellness in people with disabilities.”

Emre Umucu

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison


“My work is dedicated to conducting high-impact and inspiring research to improve the health and quality of life for all individuals, with and without disabilities. Specifically, in my lab, my colleagues and I are examining both micro-level factors (e.g., individual-level variables) and macro-level factors (e.g., societal- and institutional-level factors) affecting psychosocial adjustment, happiness and well-being in people with and without disabilities and chronic conditions, including veterans with disabilities. Our hope is to improve rehabilitation, education, mental health and overall health outcomes in individuals and achieve our mission of ‘achieving optimal happiness and independent living for everyone’ by conducting scientifically rigorous and funded research.”

In the Department of Educational Administration:

Tasminda (Tasmin) Dhaliwal

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Southern California


“My research examines what happens after policymakers and leaders act to promote educational equity. I look at policies designed to increase equity in educational inputs (e.g., providing more resources to students) or outcomes (e.g., resolving opportunity gaps) for students of color and low-income students. I pay attention to the way policies are enacted, including the ways implementation subverts or supports the initial equity-oriented goals of policies; what the ultimate impacts of these policies are; and how social and economic conditions (e.g., racial implicit bias, homelessness) shape the educational experiences of marginalized students. Through my research, I invite educational leaders and policymakers to examine the possibilities and pitfalls in promoting equity with education policy, and to re-imagine what is thought of as education policy.”

Jerome Graham

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Georgia


“A chief aim of my research is to think about ways—and show ways—we can structure schooling to not only nurture students’ cognitive skills and traditional academic outcomes, but also to nurture social and emotional wellbeing, promote positive mental health and ensure that schooling operates in ways that affirm the diverse identities that students bring with them while they’re learning.”

In the Department of Kinesiology:

Katy Tran Turner

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Michigan State University


“My work is focused on helping performers in high-pressure situations excel, which can result in improving athletic performance in sport or saving the lives of tactical athletes in military and first-responder populations. I also hope to help these individuals develop resilience in the face of complex and dynamic demands with the goal of enhancing their well-being, enjoyment and relationships both within and outside their performance domains.”

Ashley Triplett

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Michigan State University


“My research interest aims to understand the impact of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction on health-related factors including physical activity participation, aerobic fitness, body composition and cardiovascular health. The information gained from my research will help inform clinicians about potential cardiovascular risk factors that may become important in the months and years following surgery. My hope is that this information will also be used to assist in the implementation of both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal rehabilitation interventions to promote adequate physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors in patients with a history of ACL reconstruction.”

In the Department of Teacher Education:

Alyssa Morley

Assistant Professor & Coordinator of the Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP)
Ph.D., Michigan State University


“I am passionate about preparing pre-service teachers to engage with global issues in ways that promote justice, equity, cross-cultural understanding and solidarity. Understanding and responding to the challenges facing us—like climate change, white supremacy and a pandemic—cannot be confined to one nation state or one subject area. By enacting global perspectives, teachers who understand global complexities and interdependencies will be able to support diverse learners in making sense of global dilemmas and positively intervening in them.”

The college also recently welcomed three academic specialists. Learn more about their expertise:

Ketura Graham

Academic Specialist – Outreach
M.S., University of Georgia

Ketura Graham is an outreach academic specialist in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education at Michigan State University. Ketura Graham earned her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia. 

She has more than seven years of experience working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis working for non-profits, such as Creative Community Services and the Kennedy Krieger Institute (Neurobehavioral Unit). 

Mary Patillo-Dunn

Academic Specialist – Advisor & Coordinator of the Urban Educators Cohort Program (UECP)
M.A., Michigan State University

Mary Patillo-Dunn is an academic specialist in the Department of Teacher Education. She is the coordinator of the Urban Educators Cohort Program (UECP) and supports UECP students by facilitating workshops & service opportunities, teaching TE 101/102 and ensuring completion of UECP requirements. Patillo-Dunn is currently a doctoral student at Oakland University and her research interests include teacher education programs, urban educators and social justice focused teaching.

John Lane

Academic Specialist – Outreach
Ph.D., Michigan State University

John Lane is a qualitative researcher who focuses on the social contexts of educational policy implementation. Before coming to MSU, Lane worked as a teacher, county office of education curriculum specialist and a school administrator.

Alyssa Stepter

Academic Specialist – Urban Recruitment, Outreach & Programming
M.S., Michigan State University

Alyssa Stepter is an academic specialist in the Department of Teacher Education where she specializes in outreach, recruitment and programming initiatives for students from urban communities across the state of Michigan. She currently serves as program director for the College of Education’s pre-college summer programs, including the Early Success Scholars, Teacher Education Academy as well as Advance to Adventure, which focuses on graduate-level outreach and recruitment for the college.