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College welcomes 14 new faculty members for 2020-2021 academic year

Lauren Leathers

August 18, 2020

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Anna Abraham

Anna Abraham

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’04, neuroscience, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Job title and department: E. Paul Torrance Professor of Creativity and Gifted Education and director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, Department of Educational Psychology

Research specialties: Neurocognition of creativity and imagination, creativity across the lifespan, individual differences in creativity, understanding reality/fiction distinction, mental time travel and state reasoning, and self-referential and social cognition

Before UGA: Abraham was a professor at Leeds Beckett University’s School of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom and director of the Centre for Psychological Research (PsyCen).

Deborah Barany

Deborah Barany

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’16, dynamical neuroscience, University of California, Santa Barbara

Job title and department: Assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology

Research specialties: Neural basis of goal-directed action, sensorimotor decision making, functional neuroimaging, and non-invasive brain stimulation

Before UGA: Barany was a postdoctoral fellow in neurology at Emory University and a postdoctoral fellow in kinesiology at UGA.

Richard Blissett

Richard Blissett

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’17, education leadership and policy studies, Vanderbilt University

Job title and department: Assistant professor, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy

Research specialties: Information, values, and attitudes in education policymaking; democratic institutions and social movements in education politics; and quantitative research methods

Before UGA: Blissett comes from Seton Hall University where he was an assistant professor of quantitative methods in education leadership, management, and policy. He is also a former adjunct professor for Peabody Online at Vanderbilt University.

Ginny Boss

Ginny Boss

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’14, counseling and student personnel services, University of Georgia

Job title and department: Assistant professor, Department of Counseling and Human Development Services

Research specialties: Equity and justice in higher education and scholarly practice in student affairs

Before UGA: Boss served as a fixed-term assistant professor in the higher, adult, lifelong education program at Michigan State University and an assistant professor of leadership studies at Kennesaw State University.

Amy Childre

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’98, special education, Vanderbilt University

Job title and department: Clinical assistant professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education

Research specialties: Personnel preparation and curriculum development, families of students with disabilities, and literacy intervention

Before UGA: Childre served as a special education professor at Georgia College, Georgia State University, and Georgia Gwinnett College and department chair at Middle Tennessee State University, where her work centered on program development, accreditation, and personnel preparation.

Jamon Flowers

Jamon Flowers

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’20, educational policy, planning, and leadership, William & Mary

Job title and department: Clinical assistant professor, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy

Research specialties: Principalship, rural educational leadership, school culture, race, context, and educational leadership

Before UGA: Flowers served as a public school teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and principal for over two decades in rural, urban, and suburban school districts across all levels.

Lenoir Gillam

Lenoir Gillam

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’98, counseling psychology, University of Georgia

Job title and department: Clinical assistant professor, Department of Counseling and Human Development Services

Research specialties: Group work, supervision and training, multiculturalism, social justice, and school counseling

Before UGA: Gillam is a licensed psychologist and professional counselor in Georgia and a fellow and former president of the Association for Specialists in Group Work, a division of the American Counseling Association. Before her return to Athens, she was a member of the counseling faculty at Columbus State University for more than 16 years.

Jamie Hogan

Jamie Hogan

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’18, language and literacy education, University of Georgia

Job title and department: Clinical assistant professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education

Research specialties: English education, critical and dialogical pedagogies, new literacies, teacher education, and youth participatory action research

Before UGA: While working in K-12 public education, Hogan served as a middle school English teacher, a mentor to teacher candidates, an instructional coach, a researcher, and a high school administrator.

T. Nicole Kirk

T. Nicole Kirk

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’19, education with an emphasis in adapted health and sport pedagogy, Old Dominion University

Job title and department: Assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology

Research specialties: Adapted physical education, physical activity and sport, physical activity motivation and engagement among individuals with disabilities, lived experiences of individuals with disabilities in physical education and activity contexts, accessibility of physical activity environments and physical activity among the visually impaired and dual sensory impairment populations

Before UGA: Kirk was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center on Physical Activity and Health in Pediatric Disabilities in the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology. Before her doctoral training, Kirk worked as an itinerant adapted physical education specialist and sport coach for youth with visual impairments.

Matthew Madison

Matthew Madison

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’16, quantitative methodology, University of Georgia

Job title and department: Assistant professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Research specialties: Diagnostic measurement models, longitudinal measurement models, psychometrics for intervention effects, and item response theory

Before UGA: Madison served as an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Clemson University.

Terry Jean Ragan

Terry Jean Ragan

Terminal degree: M.A. ’02, communication sciences and disorders, University of Georgia

Job title and department: Clinical associate professor and director of the Speech and Hearing Clinic, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education

Research specialties: Language, literacy, autism, early intervention, supervision, school-aged language, augmentative and alternative communication, cleft palate/velocardiofacial syndrome, and teletherapy

Before UGA: Ragan previously owned a private practice in Macon, Georgia, providing in-person and teletherapy services to children with speech, language, and literacy disorders. She also worked for multidisciplinary outpatient clinics, early intervention programs, and nonprofit agencies, and spent several years coaching teachers and families for a cradle-to-college language and literacy initiative in Atlanta. She brings 18 years of varied clinical experience to her new role as the director of UGA’s Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Nina Santus

Nina Santus

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’16, communication sciences and disorders, University of Georgia

Job title and department: Clinical assistant professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education

Research specialties: Stuttering, dysphagia, professional issues, evidence-based practice, speech-language pathology, and trends and issues in education

Before UGA: Santus conducted research as a postdoctoral scholar at Misericordia University where she studied the effects of exposure to stuttering on the autonomic nervous system with biofeedback technologies. Santus has 15 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings, including public schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, private practices, and university clinics.

Jing Xu

Jing Xu

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’11, psychology, University of California, Berkeley

Job title and department: Assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology

Research specialties: Human dexterous motor functions, motor learning and control, and rehabilitation of motor function after brain injuries

Before UGA: Xu served as an assistant research scientist at the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare at Johns Hopkins University. She completed her postdoctoral study in the University’s Department of Neurology with a focus on tracking biomarkers of stroke patients' motor function recovery from acute to chronic stages.

Xiaoming Zhai

Xiaoming Zhai

Terminal degree: Ph.D. ’17, curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in physics, Beijing Normal University

Job title and department: Assistant professor, Department of Mathematics and Science Education

Research specialties: Innovative assessment in science teaching and learning, applied technology in science education, and science teacher education and retention

Before UGA: Before pursuing his doctoral degree at Beijing Normal University, Zhai was a high school physics teacher. Previously, he served as a visiting graduate student at the University of Washington, a postdoctoral research associate at Stanford University and the University of Michigan, and a research specialist at the University of Illinois.