Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

SOE Featured Faculty & Students.


Feb. 8, 2017 – Shekila Melchior, a doctoral candidate in Counselor Education, will receive the CLAHS Outstanding Graduate Student Award at the Graduate School's Graduate Education Week awards banquet. Shekila was nominated for this award based on her accomplishments in Research, Outreach, and Teaching. Shekila became an advocate for undocumented students while she was a high school counselor in Bassett, Virginia. That commitment and passion is evident in her dissertation research on the "Social Justice Identity Development of School Counselors who Advocate for Undocumented Students." She has also made five professional presentations regarding the topic of supporting undocumented students. Shekila is engaged with the VT undergraduate community as a Residential Fellow in West Ambler Johnston, and with the broader VT graduate community as a GA in the Graduate School Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives. She has co-taught five courses in the master's Counselor Education program, has been the instructor of record for one, and currently is teaching as an adjunct at Radford University. 
Congratulations, Shekila Melchior!

Jen Brill, associate professor of Instructional Design and Technology, served as an invited panel member on March 27 for the University of Georgia's Future Faculty Program (FFP), a highly competitive year-long mentoring opportunity offered by UGA's Center for Teaching and Learning for a select group of doctoral students from across the university. As an alum of UGA's FFP, Jen was delighted to give back to the program by mentoring this year's FFP cohort.

Nathan Rogers, Rebeca Lamas, Kristen Crocker, Erin Dreelin and Clint Whitten were each nominated by their advisor to represent Virginia Tech at the Teachers of Promise Institute in Richmond on March 24-25. Each university from Virginia sponsors five students to attend and hear inspiring experiences from past state and national award winning teachers. Congratulations, and thank you for representing us so well!


Jen Brill, associate professor of Instructional Design and Technology, was delighted to serve as an invited panel member for two important Virginia Tech events. On February 2, Jen partnered with other VT women leaders to discuss women and leadership in Higher Education as part of the Women's Center's annual Women's Leadership and Mentoring Program. On March 16, Jen served on a Career Services panel to speak with undergraduate women and men about women in STEM careers.

Congratulations to Daniel Newcomb (Dual MA candidate in Curriculum and Instruction (history and social science) and History) on receiving the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science 2017 Outstanding Master Student for his outstanding research and service. Daniel will receive his award - certificate and honorarium - at the Graduate Awards Banquet on March 30, 2017.


Congratulation to Ricky Mullins (PhD candidate in Curriculum and Instruction- History and Social Science) on receiving the 2017 Graduate Teaching Excellence- Assistant Award for outstanding contributions as a teaching assistant. Ricky will receive his award-plaque and honorarium - at the Graduate Awards Banquet on March 30, 2017.

Gabriel R. Serna, Higher Education Assistant Professor was recently cited by personal finance website regarding student credit cards at

Shekila Melchior, doctoral candidate in Counselor Education, was invited to join the Virginia Tech Edward A. Bouchet Honor Society. The purpose of the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society (Bouchet Society) is to recognize outstanding scholarly achievement and promote diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. The Bouchet Society seeks to develop a network of preeminent scholars who serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy, for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. Edward Bouchet (1852-1918) graduated from Yale College in 1874 was the first African American to earn a doctorate from an American university with a Ph.D. in physics at Yale University in 1876. At that time, Bouchet was the sixth person in the western hemisphere to earn a doctorate in physics.

Dr. Carol Mullen, Educational Leadership Professor, received the 2017 NCPEA Living Legend Award from the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration. NCPEA is a premier professional organization in the educational leadership and administration discipline. As part of her award, Carol will give the keynote speech at the Living Legend banquet at the NCPEA conference in Puerto Rico, August 2017.

David Hicks, alongside co-authors Stephanie van Hover (UVA), Melissa Lisanti (Radford University), and Colleen Fitzpatrick (UVA), received the 2017 National Technology Leadership Initiative Award for their paper entitled "Shifting the gaze: Using Actor Network Theory to examine preservice teachers' uses of digital technologies" at the annual conference of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies.



Associate professor, Dr. Mesmer recently published a book related to the Common Core Curriculum and complex text. The book, published by Teacher' College Press, is entitled, " Teaching Skills for Complex Text: Deepening Close Reading in the Classroom." It was supported by a Niles Research grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Congratulations to History and Social Science Alum Chris Bunin who received the 2017 National Council for the Social Studies Secondary Teacher of the Year. In this post fact world Chris was reportedly heard saying "I could not have achieved this without my experiences in the History and Social Science Program at VT!"

Congratulations! Dawn Knight (Office of Academic Programs) has been named Advisor of the Month for December 2016! The goal of the Advisor of the Month program is to recognize outstanding academic advisors. Read more

Dr. Quentin Ballard (a graduate from Educational Leadership program), principal of Stonewall Jackson Middle School, was recognized by the Virginia Department of Education for his outstanding family engagement effort. Congratulations, Quentin!

Congrats to Dr.Elizabeth Creamer, PI David Knight and the Engineering Education team, and the Human Development team on their new NSF award "Gatekeepers to Broadening Participation in Engineering"



Leadership Faculty Present at International Society of Educational Planners at New Orleans Conference

On Nov 10th, Amy Azano, assistant professor of adolescent literacy, will be giving a TED talk: "The Ruralities of Autism."  Congratulations, Amy!

Jen Brill, IDT associate professor and program leader, has a new publication: Enabling systemic change: Creating an ePortfolio implementation framework through design and development research for use by higher education professionals in the International Journal for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. This work is a collaborative effort derived from co-author Samantha Blevins's dissertation research, which was supervised by Dr. Brill.

Assistant professor, Jennifer M. Bondy, was invited to join the Editorial Board of Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education. Taboo is an academic forum for transdisciplinary studies that focus on the relationship between education and its sociocultural context. As an Editorial Board member, Dr. Bondy looks forward to supporting theoretically and methodologically diverse approaches in education.