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Dean Kohn-Wood

Dear SEHD friends,

We are in full swing with our spring semester underway, seemingly forgetting that we all just experienced a perspective-changing, world-impacting, once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully), global pandemic. As a community psychologist, I am particularly interested in understanding how our collective "sense of community" was altered by the experience – as well as how we strengthen our cooperative energy in the School of Education and Human Development. I am also curious about how we, particularly our students, make meaning from what they went through at such a developmentally significant time. I was compelled by a recent New York Times article (Three Years Into COVID, We Still Don’t Know How to Talk About It, published Feb. 22, 2023) that reported on the COVID archive developed by sociologists at Columbia University. The piece asserted that: 1) most people particularly do not want to look back at our pandemic experience; 2) as a society we have a remarkable ability to incorporate the previously unimaginable into our expanding sense of normal; and 3) the pandemic experience was incredibly contextual and generally narrativeless. A fascinating yet inconclusive read.

In SEHD, despite simultaneously grappling with and ignoring our recent past, we have regained our footing. Our faculty have been making great strides in research as well as providing our students with new learning experiences.
Dr. Maite Mena has received a multi-year grant from SAMSHA to provide
trauma-focused services to children and adolescents. During the winter break, Drs. Erin McNary and Warren Whisenant chaperoned an inaugural trip to Spain with sports administration students in collaboration with LaLiga. We are working to create a renewed sense of engagement among faculty and staff in SEHD, and we have all had to adapt to working, teaching, and learning based on our recent past (e.g. remote modalities) and adjusting to what is new (e.g. ChatGPT). Overall, I am optimistic given the resilience everyone has shown, and the promise for what is yet to come.

So far, the year has proven to be refreshing and before long, another group of SEHD graduates will be walking across the stage at commencement, which is always the best way to culminate another academic year.



Dean E-Signature

Laura Kohn-Wood
Dean and Professor
School of Education and Human Development




Disparate public-school funding greatly affects students’ achievements

Teaching and Learning Chair Bruce D. Baker, a leading expert on how states allocate public-school funding, explains how underfunding of certain school districts can affect outcomes. Learn more


Football player’s injury spotlights ultimate risk

Kysha Harriell and Tywan Martin, professors in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences, shed insight on recent athlete’s injury and the fascination with the violence of the sport. Learn more


Women of the U: Paying it Forward with Dean Laura Kohn-Wood

Dean Laura Kohn-Wood in an engaging conversation on the importance of paying it forward and the role that fostering relationships can have on personal and professional growth, moderated by SEHD alumna Britney Clarke, B.S.Ed. ’12.


SPAD students travel for LaLiga Week

Fifteen SEHD undergraduate students, majoring and minoring in sport administration (SPAD), travel to Spain for a week-long immersive experience through a partnership with LaLiga Business School and learn about its business strategy through a series of activities during their visit.



Wendy Cavendish, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and Ashu Agarwal, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, have been awarded a U-Link Social Equity Grant for the project, Joint Academic Nurtureship for Underrepresented Students, JANUS 2.0. The project is a continuation of the 2021-2022 JANUS project and will support a second cohort of undergraduate and high school mentor pairs in various University of Miami lab experiences as well as examine STEM Identity development for underrepresented student groups.

Scott Grapin, professor in Teaching and Learning, received the 2023 Provost’s Research Award in recognition of his exceptional research for his project, Computational Modeling With Pre-Service Teachers to Address Systemic Inequities Faced by English Learners in K-12 Education. The project will produce an innovative, classroom-tested instructional module that can be used or adapted by teacher education programs across the nation while also contributing to the knowledge base on preparing teachers, who are both technologically proficient and agents of change, in K-12 schools.

Maite Mena, research assistant professor in Educational and Psychological Studies, has been awarded a four-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Child Traumatic Stress Network to establish the Center for Family and Adolescent Trauma Treatment (CFATT). The center, consisting of UM and community partners, will provide evidence-based, trauma-focused and culturally informed outpatient (Culturally Informed and Flexible Family Based Treatment for Adolescents and Trauma Focused CBT) and in-home services to children and adolescents (ages 11-18) through an integrated framework that includes wraparound services available through local care coordination/natural helper teams.

An expert in the field of education, Nam Ju Kim in Teaching and Learning, was selected to serve as a scientific committee member at the 10th International Conference on Multimedia and Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI 2023). This year’s human-computer interaction conference, held in London and virtually, brought together scholars from all over the world to present advances in the relevant fields and provide an environment to develop new collaborations. In addition, Dr. Kim has been invited to serve as a review editor in Frontiers in Psychology, where he will contribute to the journal’s editorial direction. He has also been selected to serve as reviewer for the evaluation report in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) – the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. With his expertise in Bayesian statistical analysis, Dr. Kim will judge the quality of the report synthesizing What Works Clearinghouse research, a leading federal source of evidence-based information about education programs, policies, and interventions that show promise for improving student outcomes.


The Science of Mattering

Isaac Prilleltensky, professor in Educational and Psychological Studies, shares his experiences, research, and insights from his recently published book on the science and importance of mattering: How People Matter: Why it Affects Health, Happiness, Love, Work and Society, in BarryWehmiller‘s Truly Human Leadership Podcast series.




3:30 pm

CEWRC Speaker Series: Zahra Hazari


11:00 am

2023 SEHD Research Symposium