Fall 2018 Newsletter from CERD

Ah, even as the start of a new academic year brings more intense schedules, it also brings us new colleagues and exciting opportunities all around.   I have an update to the great news shared by Dean Alexander during our Welcome Back luncheon in August:  the final total for AY 2018 on new awards to our College faculty is $49,995,166.   This is a remarkable 80% increase over the previous year’s total!  EAHR walks away with top honors this year with a departmental total of $27,143,634, thanks in part to an extraordinary $12m award to Dr. Beverly Irby from the Department of Education.   We also have consistent funding to faculty in each of the other three CEHD departments, pulling in more than $7m each.  Congratulations to the many faculty awarded these funds; this is a key indicator of the impact you are having on your disciplines and our country. 

Heaton Hall repairs/future plans:  Thanks for your patience over summer with occasional difficulties in finding our post-award business staff.   Following an epic four separate flooding situations in Heaton in May and June, some of our post-award staff had to relocate to Harrington or 1st floor Heaton for the duration of repairs and renovation.  As of mid-August, all are now back in our 2nd  floor Heaton offices.  I was particularly proud of how well our post-award business staff adapted to the inconvenience of working at some distance from most of their hard-copy files in order to keep your important business requests moving.  Special thanks to Clayton Holle, Adriana Burnett, Amber Cervantez, Tracy LaTourette, and Erin May for their perseverance during this period!  I would also like to recognize the pre-award and outreach staff who stuck in there and manned their offices while clean up and construction took place which often times was VERY noisy.  Special thanks also to Windy Turner, Amy Hinnant, Jesus Palomo, and Gabe Rivera. 

 Ironically, we learned early this month that Heaton is now on near-term demolition list.  With important financial support from the Provost’s Office, the College is seeking off-campus office space to accommodate our expanding needs for physical office space.   As many of you are aware, both classroom and research space is in increasingly short supply in Harrington.   Related to this is the need for revisions of our College policy on how research-dedicated space is allocated; your College leadership team is actively working on this.

I must highlight the critical importance of certifying your time and effort reports.  As PI’s we are responsible (by federal law) for providing verification that the research accounts supporting portions of our own salary, as well as those of GAR’s and research staff, is properly assigned according to the proportional effort of each employee on those projects.  The University puts such a premium on this task that lists of PI’s who are delinquent in certifying T&E are sent directly to our Dean.  Our list from 9/1/2018 was particularly long.  I sent an email last week to all CEHD faculty urging approvals of all “open” T&E certifications; if by chance you missed that email,  please  log in to the Time & Effort application at http://sso.tamu.edu and approve certifications.   If you are one of the many PI’s who have filed payroll corrections in order to correct erroneous T&E allocations, be advised that  Clayton Holle and his crew are working hard on these corrections; these also must pass through another 3-4 levels of approvals.  Please contact Clayton at cholle@tamu.edu with your questions.    The Dean and I will really appreciate your attention to this.

I cannot close without noting Windy Hollis Turner’s imminent retirement…. a bittersweet moment for all who have enjoyed working with Windy.    She has been a TAMU employee for 29 years and with our College for all but two of those 29 years, in one capacity or another.  Her can-do attitude, integrity, and sheer competence in so many arenas has been valued by every Associate Dean for Research since 1996.    Save the date on your calendars for Windy’s retirement reception at the Hildebrand Equine Center:  November 30, 3-5 pm.

Finally, I’m pleased to note that Dr. Tim Elliott (EPSY) will be chairing our College Council of PI’s this year.  Send your inquiries/concerns to your departmental representatives . See the CPI section below to find your representative.

Best wishes for a productive year,

Sue Bloomfield


Welcome to Dr. Kimberly Vannest as the CERD Office’s Leadership Development Fellow in Research

Kimberly Vannest, PhD is a professor in Educational Psychology who joined the faculty in 2001. Her areas of research include the prevention and intervention of problems for students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and the improved measurement and detection of treatment effects through single-case research. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Texas Education Agency, the Institute of Education Sciences and the Department of Defense. She enjoys working with graduate students and faculty to think creatively in problem solving.


May of 2018 was the first of what maybe a series on Department of Education (DOE) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funding process.  The Research Office of the CEHD hosted an esteemed panel of IES funded PI’s including center director and former panel chair Dalun Zhang, as well as Jeni Ganz, and Kay Wijekumar, and Malt Joshi.  The participation level was standing room-only in with attendees representing all the departments in the college and some from across the university such as Engineering and Liberal Arts. Panelists described the submission and review process, shared experiences and provided suggestions for the audience.  A question and answer session fueled the final discussion. Survey responses indicated an interest in future sessions.  We especially appreciate and want to acknowledge the time of Dr’s Joshi, Wijekumar, Ganz, and Zhang.

New Awards: May 23, 2018 – September 21, 2018

NAME Agency Title Funding
Khalil Dirani (Co-PI) [Jack Baldauf, PI] National Science Foundation An International Network-to-Network approach to Generating New Scientific Community Collaborations in the Gulf of Mexico and Surrounding Region – A Case Study 16,098
Larry Dooley (PI) Universidad Panamericana Certified Project Management Professional Non-Course Based Certification 16,800
Timothy Elliott (PI) Central Texas Veterans Health Care System IPA with Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS) 12,629
Jennifer Ganz (PI) and Kimberly Vannest (Co-I) Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Board-certified Behavior Analyst Training for Teachers/Paraprofessionals: Preparing Researchers, Educators, & Parents (PREP): Tools for Autism and Behavior 675,605
Jennifer Ganz (PI), Cynthia Riccio (Co-I) and Jeffrey Liew (Co-I) Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Parent-directed Treatment: Coach to Communicate (C2C) 707,081
Oi-man Kwok (PI) Central Texas Veterans Health Care System IPA with Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS) 20,065
Deborah Simmons (PI) and Melissa Fogarty (Co-PI) Vanderbilt University – US Department of Education IES Project Connect-IT (Connecting Text by Inference and Technology): Development of a Text-Integration Intervention for Middle School Students with Comprehension Difficulties 261,204
Laura Stough (PI) American Red Cross Disability and Disaster Long-Term Recovery Training (D2 LTRT) in Inclusion and Support of Individuals with Disabilities 329,946
Laura Stough (PI) Rebuild Texas Fund Individuals with Disabilities: Disaster Recovery Resources and Training 116,870
Dalun Zhang (PI) Texas Workforce Commission Basic Employability Skills Training (BEST) 1,000,000
Dalun Zhang (PI) Texas Workforce Commission TWC Statewide Capacity Building and Coordination with TEA and ISDs 1,820,630
Nicolaas Deutz (PI) and Marielle Engelen (Co-PI) International Business Machines (IBM) IBM Sensor Testing 23,500
Marlene Dixon (PI) North American Society for Sport Management A Comparison of Role Management among Division I Athletes and Non-Athletes 1,604
Tim Lightfoot (PI) American College of Sports Medicine Metabolic Phenotyping Using Kinetic Measurements in High-and Low-Active Mice 2,728
Whitney Garney (PI) and Idethia Harvey (Co-PI) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research for Tobacco Use in Rural Areas 440,373
Whitney Garney (Co-PI) [Carly McCord, PI] Department of Health and Human Services Enhancing Patients Access to Telehealth by Engaging Rural Networks (e-PATTERN) 201,896
Michael Massett (Co-I) [Andreea Trache, PI] American Heart Association Cytoskeleton Remodeling Regulates Contractile Function and Mechanosensing in Vascular Smooth Muscle 15,882
Steven Riechman (PI) National Cattleman’s Beef Association Nutrition, Vision, and Cognition in Sport Study: Beef (IONSport-Beef) 145,362
Steven Riechman (Co-PI) [Stephen Balsis, PI] Texas A&M Agrilife Research – The National Mango Board Enhancing Efficacy of Mango Phytochemicals in Cognitive Function and Cardiometabolic Health in Lean and Obese 38,610
Melinda Sheffield-Moore (PI) and Traver Wright (Co-PI) University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston – Moody Foundation Gut and Brain Plasticity in Mild TBI following Growth Hormone Therapy 298,824
Mary Margaret Capraro (PI) Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service – Texas Workforce Commission Pre-Employment Transition Services – Explore STEM CAMP 39,825
Cheryl Craig (PI) University of Houston – NSF STEM Scholarship Program with Promotion and Retention of STEM Education through Networking Team (PARENT) Support 70,000
Cheryl Craig (PI) University of Houston – NSF University of Houston – Leadership through Equity and Advocacy Development (UH-LEAD) 453,503
Roger Howe (PI) National Science Foundation Collaborative Research: Rank and Duality in Representation Theory 48,725
Hersh Waxman (PI) and Kayla Rollins (Co-I) United Way Proposed Evaluation of United Way of Greater Houston’s Educational Initiative 212,143
Kay Wijekumar (PI) and R. Malt Joshi (Co-I) US Department of Education – Institute of Education Sciences Goal 3 Efficacy Trial of Text Structure Strategy Instruction on the Web for Spanish-Speaking English Learners (SWELL) in Grades 4 and 5 3,298,201
Kay Wijekumar (PI) US Department of Education – Institute of Education Sciences Efficacy Trial of the We-Write Intervention with 4th and 5th Grade Students 3,299,952


CPI Updates

by Dr. Timothy Elliott, Chair

 CEHD Membership for 2018-19


Dan Bowen, Immediate Past Chair

Gwen Webb-Hasan


Jamilia Blake

Mack Burke

Timothy Elliott, Chair


Marielle Engelen

Tamika Gilreath

Steven Riechman

Matthew Walker


Joanne Olson

Kay Wijekumar

TAMU CPI Representatives:

Oi-man Kwok, EPSY

Rafael Lara-Alecio, EPSY


Upcoming meetings for the Fall:

October 25th at 11:00 in 211 Heaton Hall

December 6th at 11:30 in 801 Harrington Tower


KUDOS to These CEHD Faculty Award Winners Honored at the Welcome Back Luncheon on August 23, 2018.

Senior Scholar:  Jeff Liew (EPSY)









Early Career: Dan Bowen (EAHR)

Early Career:  Steven Woltering (EPSY)

Outstanding New Faculty:  Sarah Castro-Olivo (EPSY)

Spotlight on Research Staff

Starting with this newsletter, the CERD office  will spotlight a staff member that is working hard at  their center or their field of research.  In this issue, please say Howdy to   Elsa Villarreal!    Elsa is a Research Specialist II and Coordinator for Accelerated Preparation of Leaders for Underserved Schools (A-PLUS) in the Educational Leadership Research Center (ELRC) and the Center for Research & Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition (CRDLLA).  Elsa is also a Ph.D. student in Educational Administration. She earned her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria and her B.A. in Spanish from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She holds Texas educator certifications in Spanish (Grades 6-12) and as a Principal (Grades EC-12).

Elsa is a program coordinator for a multi-million dollar research SEED (Supporting Effective Educator Development) grant awarded to Texas A&M University from the U.S. Department of Education (PI’s-Dr. Beverly Irby, Dr. Rafael Lara, Dr. Fuhui Tong, and Dr. Mario Torres). This project will support a cohort of 100 aspiring principals over three years. Elsa’s research focuses on women in leadership, Latina principals, and leading English learners (ELs). She volunteers her time in the community mentoring high school students and assisting first generation and Title I students with goal setting and navigating the college application process.


Pre-Award Updates

Upcoming professional development opportunities through the Division of Research:

  PESCA Writer’s Workshop, Thursday, October 4, 2018, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Interdisciplinary Life Science Building 1143. This workshop is designed to familiarize faculty with the PESCA Research Seed Grant Program and proposal writing best practices. For more information, contact Jim Izat.
  Demystifying the NSF: NSF Funding Opportunities, Proposal Preparation, and Review Process, Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., VIDI Building 223.  This seminar is designed to offer faculty an overview of the NSF organization, aid in identifying appropriate NSF programs, and provide an overview of NSF proposal types and proposal review at NSF. For more information, contact Jim Izat.

Internal Competitions You Should Know About!

PESCA: Deadline October 31, 2018

Texas A&M-FAPESP Research Program:  Deadline October 29, 2018


USRI Awards:

The following faculty were awarded a USRI student to encourage undergraduates in research.


Bin Mai

Michael Beyerlein


Jeffrey Gagne

Fuhui Tong


Marielle Engelen

Idethia Harvey

Lisa Wigfall

Sloane Milstein

Lei-Shih Chen

Steven Riechman


Amy Rector-Aranda

L.Quentin Dixon

Li-Jen Kuo

Joanne Olson

The next call will be issued in April 2019 for the 2020 academic year.  There is also travel funds available to those faculty with students traveling to present their research findings.


Post Award Updates

Our Post Award staff are available to assist with your research grant.

For questions related to purchasing, please email cerdpurchasing@tamu.edu.

That includes:

  • Order requests
  • Reimbursements
  • PI travel reports
  • Credit card receipts
  • Independent contractor invoices/certifications
  • Invoices for vendors

For payroll actions needed on research grants, please email cerdpayroll@tamu.edu.

That includes:

  • Faculty effort
  • Graduate Assistant Research hires
  • Research staff effort and hires
  • Student worker hires
  • Payroll corrections

Payroll Corrections

The Division of Research has become very critical of payroll corrections and transfers on research projects.  Corrections over 90 days will no longer be allowed; therefore, it is important to provide staff, student, and PI payroll funding sources to CERD in a timely manner.  Also it is important to notify CERD of any sponsor award notifications so that our office can work with SRS and VPR to arrange interim funding.


Outreach Services Update

Research in Action

Several faculty members started off the school year in action by presenting their research in the form of training to teachers and staff both locally and in other areas of the state.  Dr. Carly Gilson (EPSY) worked with Bryan ISD, Brenham ISD and Spring Branch ISD to train teachers and paraprofessionals serving  high school and transition-aged students in special education settings.  Her project, Job Coaching Academy, is a Catapult funded grant through CEHD.  Dr. Kay Wijekumar (TLAC) partnered with International Leadership of Texas -College Station during their in service.  IL Texas is the newly opened charter school in College Station.  Dr. Wijekumar provided professional development to the entire teaching staff on her work with text structures in reading comprehension in the upper elementary grades.

Dr. Carly Gilson (EPSY) in Spring Branch ISD presenting her Job Coaching Academy as part of her Catapult grant through CEHD.

Dr. Kay Wijekumar (TLAC) with Dr. Heather McMahan (Class of 2000) principal of IL Texas during August in service training.

Mom’s Everyday Spot on KBTX

The CERD Outreach team worked with KBTX  Channel 3 and Dr. Julie Thompson to provided 3  public service announcements about working with children on the autism spectrum.

Best Practices in Obtaining Letters of Support

One of the services our office can help with is obtaining letters of support for your grant proposal.  Often, the PI may already have good contacts with schools or decision makers that can provide the appropriate form of support.  We can help by reaching out on behalf of the PI  to those contacts, or possibly help in creating new contacts prior to the grant application process so that when the time comes, asking for the support is comfortable.  When asking for letters of support, it is always smart to provide  a draft letter for the individual to have some context for writing the letter.  Additionally, the PI needs to provide a summary or abstract of the project.  Finally, and most importantly, make sure there is plenty of lead time so that the process is not rushed.  We are asking a favor of the individual and want to make it as easy as possible for them to provide the best letter possible.  Contact Amy Hinnant for more information or if you have any questions.