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Middle & High School Education Research, Publications and Accomplishments

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our department. Middle & High School Education faculty don't just teach in the classroom - they also share their expertise in a variety of other venues, including publishing books and articles, presenting research at conferences worldwide, accepting fellowships from prestigious programs, and serving on professional boards.

Here are just a few of our most recent publications and accomplishments.


Dr. Tiffany DeJaynes is an Assistant Professor and co-coordinator of the English Education program in MHSE. The two key strands of her research are adolescent literacies and multimodality and youth participatory action research (YPAR). She was awarded a CUNY Social Practice Grant (funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) for the 2021-2022 school year to build an “Art & Activism Research Symposium: Studying the Impact of COVID-19 with Bronx Youth.” She will work with Lehman alumni, current teacher candidates, and Bronx young people on the research study. Check out her related articles in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and English Journal for more information.

Transforming School Hallways Through Critical Inquiry: Multimodal Literacies for Civic Engagement

Youth Researchers Wrestling with Gender and Sexuality

“What Makes Me Who I Am?”: Using Artifacts as Cosmopolitan Invitations

Participatory Action Research in Schools: Unpacking the Lived Inequities of High Stakes Testing

Dr. DeJaynesDr. DeJaynes also co-wrote Arts, Media, and Justice" which was published by Peter Lang Inc. in 2013. In "Arts, Media, and Justice", the aesthetic contours of literacies and communication are explored through a collection of chapters authored by educators, emerging and established researchers, youth researchers, and teaching artists whose lives intersect with those of young people inside and outside of formal institutional settings. At the heart of the varied research and curricular projects—ranging from writing workshops and photography walks to a theater elective at an alternative to incarceration program—represented in this volume is the pursuit of play, imagination, multimodal expression. The authors share their experiences working with court-involved youth to explore issues related to justice, community, identity, and representation through engagement with multiple media and modes—including photography, theater, writing, painting, and video.


Dr. Sherry Deckman Dr. Sherry Deckman, Social Studies Education, authored a book titled Black Space: Negotiating Race, Diversity, and Belonging in the Ivory Tower which will be published by Rutgers University Press in January of 2022.

 

 

Protests against racial injustice and anti-Blackness have swept across elite colleges and universities in recent years, exposing systemic racism and raising questions about what it means for Black students to belong at these institutions. In Black Space, Sherry L. Deckman takes us into the lives of the members of the Kuumba Singers, a Black student organization at Harvard with racially diverse members, and a self-proclaimed safe space for anyone but particularly Black students. Uniquely focusing on Black students in an elite space where they are the majority, Deckman provides a case study in how colleges and universities might reimagine safe spaces. Through rich description and sharing moments in students’ everyday lives, Deckman demonstrates the possibilities and challenges Black students face as they navigate campus culture and the refuge they find in this organization. This work illuminates ways administrators, faculty, student affairs staff, and indeed, students themselves, might productively address issues of difference and anti-Blackness for the purpose of fostering critically inclusive campus environments.

Dr. Deckman was appointed Deputy Executive Officer for the PhD Program in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center beginning August 2021.

Dr. Deckman was awarded a 2020 AERA Conference Grant along with Dr. Ester Ohito on, "The Missing Discourses of Geographies, Genders, and Sexualities in Education Research on Black Girls.

This conference contributes to education research that prompts engagements with Black girlhood as an inherently dynamic and plural category by functioning as a venue for examining the philosophical, sociological, historical, and other foundational contexts of the geographies, genders, and sexualities of Black girlhoods. Conference participants will disrupt the meta narrative of Black girlhood as a narrowly singular category by irradiating how geographies (defined here as specificity of context and location or situatedness in space and place), as well as the expansiveness and expressiveness of genders and sexualities, intersect with other identities (e.g., race, class, dis/ability, religion, ethnicity, etc.) to shape Black school-aged girls’ multiplicitous experiences of Black girlhoods.

Dr. Sherry Deckman co-authored an article titled, "Distressing” Situations and Differentiated Interventions: Preservice Teachers’ Imagined Futures With Trans and Gender-Creative Students" which was published in 2020 in the Teachers College Record, Volume 122, Number 7.


CREE (Lacretia) Pendergrass, a standout adjunct faculty member at Lehman College, has decided to pursue another avenue of scholarship as a doctoral student in the Graduate Center's Urban Education Ph.D. Program-Cohort 21. CREE has played an active role in the Lehman community, most recently co-facilitating events such as MHSE Teaching Exemplar: Planning for Spring 2021 to support other instructional faculty with virtual teaching best practices and participating in Lehman's teacher ed reaccreditation process through CAEP. As an adjunct at Lehman, CREE has worked under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Deckman and is looking forward to continuing this dynamic relationship working with and learning from Dr. Deckman as Sherry's doctoral advisee at the Graduate Center. She is passionate about serving young people and creating liberating educational spaces, while simultaneously de-centering Eurocentric oppressive pedagogy and practices. CREE is a recipient of the highly competitive Graduate Center Fellowship in recognition of her academic achievement and future academic success and plans to pursue research inquiry closely aligned to her passions and activism in the promotion of youth agency and youth justice.

Eleanor (Ellie) Williamson is elated to join Cohort 21(beginning fall 2021) in the Urban Education Ph.D. Program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Ellie is a passionate secondary science educator. She has been teaching science for over 22 years. Currently, she teaches Living Environment and AP Biology at the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction in Manhattan where she also leads and supports the science department. Ellie works collaboratively to mentor and support in-service and preservice teachers, and has also collaborated with research scholars. Having received her Master’s degree in Science Education at Lehman College, Ellie continued being active in the Lehman College community by serving as an adjunct lecturer working with science teachers under the guidance of Dr. Jack Henning and Dr Wesley Pitts. She also served as an adjunct at Hunter College and at Brooklyn College. Ellie is looking forward to continuing to work dynamically in the Urban Education Program with Dr. Pitts as his advisee. Her research interests are in the areas of science teacher education and professional trajectories and science learning in urban classrooms. Additionally, she participated as a presenter at Lehman College’s STEM Teacher Mini-Conference. Highlights of her career also include being a recipient of the Shell Science Educator Award and leading professional development in the Math for America community and the New York Master Teacher Program. Ellie is a recipient of the highly competitive Graduate Center Fellowship recognizing her academic and leadership achievements. Ellie is the author of A Jamaican-born Science Educator Reflects on Success Attainability which appears in the edited book A Paradise to Regain (2019) edited by Harushimana, Alfred and Davis (Myers Education Press).


Dr. Sunyata Smith, Science Education, worked alongside Dr. Jennifer Collett, ECCE, to produce the research project, Liberatory Learning Through Design Thinking: A collaboration between mentor and student teachers will be conducted across the 2021-2022 academic year where the focal participants will include 6 mentor teacher, or host teachers, as well as the 6 teacher candidates working with these mentor teachers. All participants will be affiliated with the year-long teacher residency program at Lehman College, The Lehman Urban Transformational Education-Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (LUTE-STEM) Program. Building upon the work generated from The Stanford d.School, this project builds off the findings from a pilot study and seeks to understand how teachers develop approaches steeped in liberatory design thinking[1] to create pedagogical practices and mindsets that invoke spaces of equity and agency across learning contexts at the classroom and school level.


Dr. Joye Smith, TESOL Education, authored an article entitled, "Grammar teaching practices of ESOL school teachers" which was published on August 16, 2021 in the TESOL Journal.

Although judicious grammar teaching in college ESOL instruction is generally accepted, little is known about the grammar teaching practices of teachers of school-age English language learners (ELLs), who are learning academic content as well as a new language. In this study, 86 primary and secondary teachers of ELLs in a U.S. metropolitan area were surveyed about teaching grammar; nine also participated in a focus group. Most integrate grammar teaching into literacy instruction and use a wide range of approaches, including, but not limited to, explicit teaching of rules or patterns. However, their teaching is complicated by varied student literacy levels, the demands of high-stakes testing, time constraints, limited connection with higher levels of discourse, and inconsistent administrator support and curricular integration. Results suggest the need for teacher–peer collaboration and common frameworks as teachers and students connect forms and meaning across content discourses and, in teacher education, equipping teachers with a dynamic and socially situated pedagogical grammar that moves beyond “error correction” to provide “a linguistic resource for making meaning” (Myhill, 2005, p. 84).


Dr. Mithat Gashi is a principal at New World High School, which is a hub for pre-service clinical experience for Lehman College students who pursue teaching as a career. New World High School gained national ranking and was recognized as America’s best high schools by US News & World Report. New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, held a press conference at the school to highlight the school’s graduation record. Stanford University researchers have profiled New World High School as one of the six schools in the country where English Language Learners have shown extraordinary academic achievements. Dr. Gashi was awarded the outstanding principal award in 2019 by the NYCDOE AP for All Team.

Dr. Gashi’s recent research and scholarship activities includes Problem-Solving Style and Conflict Management Among School Superintendents (forthcoming book), which is based on his recently doctoral dissertation earned at Fordham University. The study tests the relationship of school superintendents’ conflict-handling modes and their preferred style of solving problems. Dr. Gashi also serves as an adjunct faculty in the MHSE teaching foundations of education courses.


Professor Deborah YasinskyProfessor Deborah Yasinsky, Art Educator, presents a solo art exhibition entitled "Tapestries of Memory" which will be on view from Sunday, September 12th Professor Deborah Yasinsky through Saturday, October 9th with an in-person opening Sunday, September 12th 3:00-5:00 pm at Empty Set, 860 E. 136th Street, #10D, Bronx, NY. Virtual opening will take place on Sunday, September 12 at 2:00pm on Instagram Live (@empty.set.gallery). The gallery will also host a virtual artist talk on Thursday, September 30 at 6:30 pm on Instagram Live (@empty.set.gallery). This program is made possible by the New York City Artist Corps. Prof Yasinsky is the Curator of Education at the Lehman College Art Gallery.image


Dr. Demet Arpacık Dr. Demet Arpacık, received the Swiss Government Excellence Post-Doctoral Fellowship. She will be affiliated with the Institute of Multilingualism at the University of Fribourg during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Dr. Arpacik is a 2021 Joshua Fishman Dissertation Awardee. Her dissertation is entitled, "The Medium of Liberation: Kurdish Language and Education Activism in Turkey" (publication forthcoming). This prestigious award is intended to support scholars at the early stages of their careers.

 

 


Dr. Herminio Martinez, in his role as Executive Director of The Bronx Institute, which works to improve educational opportunities and quality of life in the borough, has been awarded a seven-year $12.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help prepare low-income public school students for college and subsequent career success.

The funding will support the Institute’s largest program, GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), which provides mentoring and other services to a cohort of sixth- and seventh-grade students at eight local middle schools. The program follows the students over seven years, guiding them through high school, into college or skills training, and ultimately into the workforce. All told, the Bronx Institute expects to support some 2,175 students through 2028.

Dr. Martinez was very pleased to announce that the Institute received a grant in 2021 in the amount of $448,000 from the Llewelyn Family Foundation. These funds which are administered by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors are in support of The ENLACE program (a program for high potential Latino secondary school students in The Bronx) which has been a signature program of The Bronx Institute for the past 20 years. Proudly, the ENLACE Program has continued to function during the pandemic in support of the students who are enrolled.


Dr. Serigne GningueDr. Serigne Gningue, principal investor, along with Gillian Bayne, Celia Cruz, Andrei Jitianu, Anne Marie Marshall, Joseph Fera and Jane Higgins are co-principal investigators were awarded a five-year $1.2 million interdisciplinary grant from the National Science Foundation on March 1, 2021. Dr. Serigne Gningue

Over the next three years, the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program will help recruit STEM majors and STEM professionals who might not have considered a career teaching in kindergarten through grade 12. Specifically, scholarship money will support 27 STEM majors and professionals, such as chemists or engineers, who want to obtain their master’s degrees in education.

These scholarship recipients will eventually teach elementary, middle, and high school students in high-need school districts in the Bronx, Mount Vernon, and other communities in the country.

During their first two years of teaching, these new Noyce scholars/teachers will receive regular mentoring and professional support from Lehman College professors in the School of Education.


Cecelia CutlerDr. Cecelia Cutler, TESOL, was appointed the Executive Officer of the Ph.D. Program in Linguistics at the Graduate Center for the period beginning July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.

Dr. Cuttler authored an article tited "Metapragmatic comments and orthographic performances of a New York accent on YouTube" which was published November 22, 2019 in a special issues of World Englishesa and Digital Media.

Dr. Cutler co-authored a book titled, "Multilingual Your Practices in Computer Mediated Communication" which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

With an eye to the playful, reflexive, self-conscious ways in which global youth engage with each other online, this volume analyzes user-generated data from these interactions to show how communication technologies and multilingual resources are deployed to project local as well as trans-local orientations. With examples from a range of multilingual settings, each author explores how youth exploit the creative, heteroglossic potential of their linguistic repertoires, from rudimentary attempts to engage with others in a second language to hybrid multilingual practices.


Dr. Gillian Bayne, Science Education, partnered with Alison Lehner-Quam and Michelle Ehrenpreis to secure a membership for Lehman College to The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. The HistoryMakers Digital Archives is an online database of thousands of African Americans from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. Unlike other resources, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive provides high-quality video content, fully searchable transcripts, and unique content from individuals whose life stories would have been lost were it not for The HistoryMakers.

Dr. Bayne co-authored an article entitled, "Pedagogical challenges involving race and the unwritten rules in settings of Higher Education" published in the Cultural Studies of Science Education in June 2020.

Book CoverDr. Bayne is a contributor to Girls and Women of Color In STEM: Navigating the Double Bind in K-12 Education which was published in 2020.

Additionally, Dr. Bayne contributed to, "A Paradise to regain: Post-Obama insights from women educators of the Black diaspora" published by Myers Education Press in 2019.

 


Amanda GullaDr. Amanda Gulla, English Education, co-authored a book with English Education's Adjunct Faculty member Professor Molly Sherman titled, "Inquiry-Based Learning Through the Creative Arts for Teachers and Teacher Educators" which was was published in 2020 by Palgrave Macmillan.

This book is a theoretical and practical guide to implementing an inquiry-based approach to teaching which centers creative responses to works of art in curriculum. Guided by Maxine Greene’s philosophy of Aesthetic Education, authors Amanda Gulla and Molly Sherman discuss the social justice implications of marginalized students having access to the arts and opportunities to find their voices through creative expression. They aim to  demystify the process of inquiry-based learning through the arts for teachers and teacher educators by offering examples of lessons taught in high school classrooms and graduate level teaching methods courses. Examples of student writing and artwork show how creative interactions with the arts can help learners of all ages deepen their skills as readers, writers, and thinkers.

Dr. Amanda Gull authored a chapter titled "Aesthetic Experiences and Dewey’s Descendants: Poetic Inquiry as a Way of Knowing"in Imagining Dewey: Artful works and dialogue about Art as Experience, Maarhuis, P & Rud, A eds. Brill/Sense published in 2020.

 

Dr. Amanda Gulla also authored a chapter titled "Imagination and Inquiry: A Deweyan Approach to Education in a 21st Century Urban High School" in Imagining Dewey: Artful works and dialogue about Art as Experience, Maarhuis,P & Rud, A eds. Brill/Sense published in 2020.

Dr. Amanda GullaDr. Amanda Gulla authored "Difficult, Beautiful Things: Young Immigrant Writers Find Voice and Empowerment through Aesthetic Education and Poetry"in Poetic Inquiry as Social Justice and Political Response, Faulkner, S. & Cloud, A., eds. Vernon Press., Wilmington, DE in 2019.

 



Two Science Education Graduate students, Ms. Jasmin Robinson and Ms. Sasha Bloshenko, worked with Dr. Luis A. Anchordoqui, Lehman College Physics & Astronomy , and Dr. Rafael A. Colon, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, to investigate the radiation sources and risk for a crew on a manned flight to Mars. They co-authored an article entitled, "Health threat from cosmic radiation during manned mission to Mars" which was published in 2020 in the Proceedings of Science journal.

Cosmic radiation is a critical factor for astronauts’ safety in the context of evaluating the prospect of future space exploration. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on board the Curiosity Rover launched by the Mars Scientific Laboratory mission collected valuable data to model the energetic particle radiation environment inside a spacecraft during travel from Earth to Mars, and is currently doing the same on the surface of Mars itself. The Martian Radiation Experiment (MARIE) on board the Mars Odyssey satellite provides estimates of the absorbed radiation dose in the Martian orbit, which are predicted to be similar to the radiation dose on Mars’ surface. In combination, these data provide a reliable assessment of the radiation hazards for a manned mission to Mars. Using data from RAD and MARIE we reexamine the risks for a crew on a manned flight to Mars and discuss recent developments in space exploration.


Dr. Wesley Pitts, Science Education, was the closing keynote speaker at the 4th Annual STEM Education Conference. The conference took place at the The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on February 25-27, 2021. His topic was, "Transforming science education: Knowing that you have become a good disruptor helps you to understand why you are a good disruptor”:

Dr. Pitts co-authored a book titled "Latinas Pathways to STEM: Exploring Contextual Mitigating Factors" which was published by Peter Lang Inc. in 2021. The book presents transnational case studies of Latinas and Mexicanas pursuing a STEM degree/career from the United States (Georgia, New York, Texas) and México. The authors underscore that the experiences of the participants highlighted in this book provide insights into how to support successful Latinas and Mexicanas in STEM career pipelines and pathways.

Dr. Pitts co-authored an article with Professor Alison Lehner-Quam titled, "Engaging the framework for information literacy for higher education as a lens for assessment in an ePortfolio social pedagogy ecosystem for science teaching education" which was published in the International Journal of ePortfolio in 2019. This article highlights a case study that assesses how graduate-level, in-service science teachers engage in an ePortfolio social pedagogy ecosystem to document their growth in knowledge practices and dispositions in information literacy.

Dr. Pitts co-authored an article with Professor Alison Lehner-Quam titled, "Exploring Innovative Ways to Incorporate the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework in Graduate Science Teacher Education ePortfolio Projects, New Review of Academic Librarianship"which was published in New Review of Academic Librarianship in 2019. This article investigates ways in which student voice informed design-based research into information literacy instruction. The instruction occurred across a year-long graduate science education ePortfolio culminating project. Library and science education faculty partnered in a two-year project to create communities of secondary science education students, in two cohorts, who used the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education to support their own research and reflections into information literacy.


Immaculee HarushimanaDr. Immaculee Harushimana, Foreign Language Education, was in the first cohort of Lehman Faculty to successfully complete the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) course 2020-2021.

2019 Fulbright Scholar Awardee, Mzuzu University, Malawi

Project: “Language and Literacy Professional Development” Institute for Malawi Teachers: A CUNY-UMzuzu Collaboration Proposal

My ten-month-long Fulbright project involved ground research intentioned to inform a cost-effective intervention to enhance the literacy proficiency among in-service and pre-service secondary English teachers in rural and peri-urban Malawi, through a self-regulated professional development model. After introductory conversations with faculty and leaders at the host institution, a preliminary classroom research on both the teachers’ linguistic and literacy performance ensued. The preliminary findings of the study were used to introduce the proposal to the university’s Vice-chancellor for the creation and sponsoring of a language and literacy professional development institute for in-service and pre-service elementary and secondary teachers. In addition to a book publication in the making, further collaboration with the host institutions is anticipated.

Dr. Harushimana co-authored a book titled, "A Paradise to Regain" which was published by Myers Education Press in 2019.

In A Paradise to Regain (2019), the editors – Harushimana, Alfred and Davis—provide space for women educators from the Black diaspora to reflect on, relate to, and learn from President Barack Obama’s resilient handling of eight years as the first black man at the head   of the United States of America.

 

 


Ms. Michelle Duarte was promoted to CUNY Office Assistant in February of 2020. She was previously a College Assistant.




 


 

Dr. Daniel Stuckart, Social Studies Education, authored a book entitled, "Turning Pragmatism into Practice" which was published in 2018 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

 

 

 

"John Dewey’s pedagogical concepts are timeless and Dr. Stuckart has delivered the preeminent writing on Dewey for the social studies classroom. His book provides social studies educators with the mechanisms for using Dewey’s instrumentalism philosophy to facilitate student learning towards an informed democratic populace. This should be on the bookshelf of every social studies educator!"Kenneth Carano, Ph.D.

 


 

Professor Jennifer Ochoa was named Lehman College’s Adjunct Teacher of the Year in 2020. Jen has been an adjunct instructor in the Department of Middle and High School Education at Lehman College since 2006, teaching pre-service and in-service teachers in the English Education program. Jen's deep knowledge of teaching and learning comes from her experience as a high school and middle school teacher since 1992, both in Lansing, MI and New York City. She currently teaches 8th grade English Language Arts in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.Jen is very much at the heart and soul of the English Education program at Lehman College. Students quote her frequently and speak of her with great affection. She is an incredibly generous teacher who is dedicated to promoting equity and social justice, and cares deeply for her students. She teaches nearly every course in the English Education program --from Young Adult Literature to The Teaching of Writing to the program’s core English Education Methods course, which she designed to be “the nuts and bolts of everything you need to know to be an English teacher."

Professor Jen Ochoa authored a book entitled, "Already Readers and Writers: Honoring Students' Rights to Read and Write in the Middle Grade Classroom" which was published in 2020 by the National Council of Teachers of English under the Principles in Practice imprint.