Research highlights collaborative nature of faculty, alumni

Three recent publications highlight the collaborative nature of the College of Education as well as the success of students post-graduation.

Rhea Miles headshot

Dr. Rhea Miles

Dr. Rhea Miles, a science education professor, published an article with three local high school students: Lucas Mebane of JH Rose High School, Taylor Hill of Greene Central High School, and Bishop Miles of DH Conley High School. Their article, titled “How planarians are affected by mouthwash and cough syrup” was published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators.

The abstract reads:

Cough syrup and mouthwash are commonly used items and often end up flushed down the drain or toilet. These substances can become dangerously addictive to humans over time and eventually get into freshwater waterways which can be harmful to many marine organisms, such as planarians (aquatic flatworms). To investigate the affects of these substances on planarians, we tested six different concentrations of Listerine mouthwash and its active ingredients and ten different concentrations of Robitussin cough syrup and its active ingredients. We used a behavioral assay to test the effects of mouthwash and cough syrup or their individual active ingredients on planarian behavior. Active ingredients of cough syrup but not mouthwash detrimentally affected planarian behavior. In light of our results, we provide recommendations for the disposal of cough syrup to lessen the environmental effect it can have on aquatic life.

Jennifer Mann headshot

Jennifer Mann

Jennifer Mann, a graduate of the MAEd in Reading program and former high school teacher, has continued to positively impact the field of reading/literacy education with her recent publication in Fringes: The NC English Teachers’ Association Journal. She promotes instructional practices that value student experience and increase engagement in the learning process in the article titled “Cultivating Classroom Connections through Literature and Relationships.”

The abstract reads:

Through a collaborative self-reflective process, using both personal reflection and a series of interviews with a former student, I explore student motivation and classroom engagement. In this narrative reflection on my practices as a high school English Language Arts teacher and my former student’s experiences in the classroom, I expound upon the importance of cultivating human connection and discuss the potential implications of not cultivating connection in the classroom. This article highlights the ways in which interest in our students’ lives, perspectives, and experiences promotes a classroom culture of human connectivity, which enhances student learning and engagement. Additionally, I reflect on how educators can and should experience literature with our students by making connections between literature and the world and making space for students’ personal and collective connections to that literature.

Dr. Janeé Avent Harris

Dr. Janeé Avent Harris

Dr. Janeé Avent Harris, an associate professor in counselor education, published an article in the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health with colleagues from College of William & Mary: Natoya Haskins, Janise Parker, and Aiesha Lee. Their article was titled “Womanist Theology and Relational Cultural Theory: Counseling Religious Black Women.”

The abstract reads:

Black women face significant stressors that impact their emotional and mental health. Counselors have a unique opportunity to provide culturally responsive and affirming counseling that works toward the liberation of Black women from oppression, marginalization, and psychological distress. However, there is not a current theory that specifically addresses the nuances of Black women’s experiences, focusing especially on the vital relevance of religion and spirituality. To that end, we propose an integrated model of Relational Cultural Theory and Womanist Theology. This article provides an outline of the proposed model, suggestions for therapeutic application, and considerations for counselors.

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