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Faculty Research Interests

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Dr. Britt Baker

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Impact of academic/instructional coaches on student achievement
  • Impact of ACT courses on test performance
  • Impact of Teacher Mentors on newly hired teachers' performance
  • Teacher morale in a school under transformation and how it impacts student achievement
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Student data analysis
  • Targeting areas of improvement and prioritizing professional development
  • Leading professional development on instructional strategies based on data analysis
  • Researching effects of best practices

 


 

Dr. Brian Bell

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Technology
  • School Facilities
  • Professional Development
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Technology
  • School Facilitie

 


 

Dr. Rick N. Bolling

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Educational Leadership Styles
  • Student Engagement
  • College Access
  • School Climate
  • Student Achievement in Mathematics
  • Academic Achievement of Subgroup Populations
  • School Improvement Planning
  • Teacher Evaluation
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • School Improvement Planning
  • Student Engagement
  • Student Achievement in Mathematics
  • Academic Achievement of Subgroup Populations

 


 

Dr. Keith D. Brewer

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • School Leadership
  • School Finance
  • School Law
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • School Administration
  • School Leadership
  • School Finance
  • School Law

 


 

Dr. Lynn Stevenson Burger

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Dispositional Traits and Characteristics Related to Degree Completion within Doctoral Programs
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Change Processes
  • Entrepreneurship

 


 

Dr. Rebecca Burleson

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Special Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Families, Agencies, and Collaboration
  • Distance Education Delivery
  • Teacher Education
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Distance Education
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Families and Family Systems

 


 

Dr. Chessica Cave

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Literacy
  • Professional Development
  • Literature Circles
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Teaching strategies
  • Literacy
  • Professional Development

 


 

Dr. Vicki Clevinger

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Literacy Instruction
  • Change Theories
  • Literature Studies
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Instructional Strategies in Secondary Environment
  • Classroom Management Techniques for Secondary Students
  • Meeting Diverse Learners in the Classroom
  • Establishing a Positive Climate for Learning

 


 

Dr. Shannon Collins

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Writing and Developing Learners as Writers
  • Reading and Developing Learners as Readers
  • Literacy and Language (Development/Best Practices)
  • Young Adult / Adolescent Literature
  • Professional Development of Teachers
  • Language Education and Social Advantage
  • Microaggressions
  • Social Justice
  • Special Education Topics
  • Middle School Education
  • Language Arts/English Education
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Writing and Developing Learners as Writers
  • Reading and Developing Learners as Readers
  • Literacy and Language Education (Development/Best Practices)
  • Young Adult / Adolescent Literature
  • Professional Development of Teachers    

 


 

Dr. Joseph Casey Cosgriff

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Special Education (specifically):
  • Advocacy
  • Parent and Family Participation
  • Social Skills
  • Autism
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Emotional Disorders
  • Intervention
  • Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Management
  • Single Subject Design
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Special Education (specifically):
  • Advocacy
  • Parent and Family Participation
  • Social Skills
  • Autism
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Emotional Disorders
  • Intervention
  • Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Management

 


 

Dr. David L. Cook

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Special Education
  • Pre-School Education
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Pre-Service/Induction of New Teachers and Administrators
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Special Education
  • K-5 Curriculum
  • Personnel Collaboration
  • Student Achievement
  • School Law

 


 

Dr. Andrew Courtner

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Student Engagement
  • Student Success
  • College Access
  • Adaptation to College
  • Faculty-Student Interaction
  • Student Achievement
  • Higher Education
  • Rural Education
  • Survey Methodology
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative

 


 

Dr. Edward L. Diden

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Developing Collaborative School Cultures
  • Professional Learning Communities of Practice
  • Principal Leadership in the 21st Century Context
  • Place-Based Education
  • Challenges and Opportunities in Rural Education
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Qualitative
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Development of PLC Structures within Schools
  • Leadership Development for Teacher-Leaders and Administrators
  • Place-Based Learning
  • The Impact of "Brain Drain" on Rural Communities

 


 

Dr. Joel “David” Effler

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Quantitative EEGs and Neurofeedback as Diagnostic and Treatment Modalities for Mental Disorders
  • Universality and Diversity Issues in Counseling
  • Transgender Theory
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Neuropsychological Issues in Understanding Mental and Learning Disorders. 

 


 

Dr. Barbara Flanagan

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • 21st Century Schools
  • Inclusive Education and Instructional Practices
  • Supporting Diverse Learners
  • Building LEA/School Capacity through Special Education Program Reviews
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Qualitative
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • K-12 Inclusive Education and Practices;
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Special Education Program Reviews

 


 

Dr. Cherie Gaines

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Rural Schools
  • Teacher Leadership
  • School Climate
  • Social Justice
  • Middle School Education
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Writing Development
  • School Climate
  • Teacher Burnout

 


 

Dr.  Kristina Hudson

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Education
  • Homework
  • Teaching Pedagogy
  • STEAM-STEM
  • Assessment
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Homework
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment
  • STEM
  • AdvanceEd Certification

 


 

Dr. Anthony Maxwell

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Poverty
  • Academic Achievement
  • Family Structure
  • Diversity
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Poverty
  • Academic Achievement
  • Family Structure
  • Diversity
  • Data Analysis
  • Educational Leadership
  • Relationships for Success

 


 

Dr. John McCook

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • School Law Issues
  • Special Education
  • Section 504
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Special Education Law
  • Section 504
  • RTI

 


 

Dr. Justin McCulley

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Assessment Types
  • Teacher Efficacy
  • Impact of Leadership Practices
  • Professional Development for Teachers
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Curriculum Design and Implementation
  • New Teachers

 


 

Dr. James R. Myers, Jr.

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Poverty and Academic Success
  • Online Graduate Learning vs. Classroom Learning
  • Special Education Students and Standardized Test Accomodations
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Framework For Understanding Poverty

 


 

Dr. Adam NeSmith

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Social Studies Education
  • Literacy
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Professional Development of Teachers
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Literacy
  • Teaching Strategies

 


 

Dr. Alexander Parks

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Social Justice
  • Diversity and Equity
  • LGBTQA Research
  • Young Adult Literature
  • Literacy
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Qualitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Social Justice / Diversity Issues
  • Young Adult Literacy

 


 

Dr. Scott Porter

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Executive Leadership
  • Parental Involvement for Disadvantaged Families
  • Middle Grades Education
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Teacher and Administrator Evaluation
  • School Resource Management
  • Professional Learning Communities

 


 

Dr. Chad Smith

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • School Financing
  • School Safety
  • Instructional Leadership
  • School Culture
 Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • School Culture
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • School Improvement

 


 

Dr. Ashley Stanley

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • English as a Second Language
  • Elementary Curriculum
  • TN Ready
  • Assessment
  • Reading / Math Programs
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Elementary Curriculum
  • TN Ready
  • Math / Reading Programs

 


 

Dr. Terry Stevenson

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Elementary Literacy
  • Grit/Student Motivation
  • Content Literacy
  • Conceptual Approaches to Mathematics Instruction
  • Daniel Pink—Drive
  • Strategy Effectiveness
  • Professional Development / ESSA Model
Areas of Expertise:
  • Assessment—Classroom
  • Assessment—Formative/Summative
  • Literacy
  • Disciplinary Literacy
  • Effective Classroom Practices

 


 

Dr. Jessica Taylor

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • College student success
  • Student development 
  • Institutional supports for at-risk populations
  • Remediation/Developmental education 
  • Community college students
  • Academic preparedness 
  • Higher education 
  • Student engagement
  • Mindset and grit 
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative 
  • Qualitative 
  • Mixed Methods
Areas of Expertise:
  • Community college student success 
  • Co-requisite remediation 
  • Assessment 

 


 

Dr. Connie T. Theriot

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Title IX, Clery Act, and FERPA compliance for Counseling Practicum and Internship students
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Behavior Management
  • Consultation
  • Working with Students with Special Needs

 


 

Dr. Mark Tichon

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Counseling Process and Outcome Research
  • Neuroscience
Preferred Research Methodology/Methodologies:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Career Counseling
  • Evidence-Based Treatment for Behavioral Health Disorders
  • Group Counseling
  • Neuroscience
 

 

Dr. Susan Wagner

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Research Interests:
  • Literacy
  • Content Literacy: Social Studies
  • Instructional Models
  • Self-Directed Learning
  • Pre-Service Teachers
  • Hybrid Learning
Preferred Research Methodology:

Mixed Methods

Areas of Expertise:
  • Instrucional Models: Cooperative Learning Models
  • Literacy Instruction and Coaching
  • Social Studies Instruction
  • Content Literacy
  • Self-Directed Learning;

 


 

Dr. Courtney L. Whitehead

Adjunct Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Poverty,
  • Rural Education,
  • Middle School,
  • School Leadership,
  • Physical Education
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • School Leadership
  • "Creating a Reading Culture Within a Middle School"

 


 

Dr. Stephen W. Wright

Full-Time Faculty Member

Research Interests:
  • Faculty Evaluations
  • Student Dispositions
  • Student Post Degree Career Choices
Preferred Research Methodology:
  • Quantitative
Areas of Expertise:
  • Administrative Leadership Skill Sets
  • Classroom Organization and Management
  • External Review Team Pre-Assessment
  • Federal Program Need Assessments