Author Archives: Yolette Garcia

About Yolette Garcia


Ketterlin Geller and Perry Receive $2.5M from NSF to Measure Early Math Skills

With a $2.5M grant from the National Science Foundation, Professor Leanne Ketterlin Geller and researcher Lindsey Perry, Ph.D. are developing math assessment tools to measure mathematical reasoning skills for K-2.

Few assessments are currently available to measure the critical math concepts taught during those early school years, Ketterlin Geller said. Read more.

Ketterlin Geller is Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education. Perry received her Ph.D. in 2016 from SMU Simmons. Her dissertation is based on the mathematical constructs highlighted in this grant.

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Simmons Teams Up with Dallas Arboretum For Teacher Development In Galapagos

This summer, Teaching and Learning faculty members Diego Román, Ph.D., and Dara Rossi, Ph.D., invited Dallas Arboretum educators, Dustin Miller and Marisol Rodriguez, to help train 125 Ecuadoran teachers in the Galapagos Islands.

Román and Rossi participate in a four-year professional development program initiated by The Galapagos Conservancy and Ecuador’s Ministry of Education. They also advise The Dallas Arboretum Education Department, which focuses on life and earth science and trains 500 teachers annually. So having Miller and Rodriguez teach with them in the Galapagos was a plus. The team also included Greses Perez, a Simmons alumna, and current student, Heny Agredo. More about the trip.

In addition to SMU, Stanford, North Caroline State, Rutgers, and Oregon State also participate in the program and the Center on Research and Evaluation assesses the program.

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NYT Covers Locomotor Performance Lab’s Research on Usain Bolt

Simmons Professor Peter Weyand, director of the  Locomotor Performance Laboratory, and colleagues Andrew Udofa and Larry Ryan were featured by the New York Times for their recent research on Usain Bolt’s speed and stride.

Udofa reported  at a conference in June that Bolt may have an asymmetrical stride that influences  his speed. The existence of an unexpected and potentially significant asymmetry in the fastest human runner ever would help scientists better understand the basis of maximal running speeds.  Read more.





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Simmons, Guildhall, and LIFT Advance in Adult Literacy XPRIZE Competition

The Simmons, Guildhall and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) team, PeopleForWords, is one of eight semifinalists advancing in the $7 million Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The Adult Literacy XPRIZE is a global competition that challenges teams to develop mobile applications designed to increase literacy skills in adult learners.  Read more.

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Texas Tribune Interviews Jill Allor on Reading Research

Jill Allor, Professor in Teaching and Learning, discussed her research that focuses on reading and reading disabilities with The Texas Tribune. Read more.

Currently, she is the principal investigator on Project Intensity, a federally-funded research grant from the Institute of Education Sciences.



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Applied Physiology’s Davis and Allen Discuss MS Research in Podcast

Scott Davis, associate professor in Applied Physiology and Wellness, and doctoral candidate Dustin Allen are featured in the Journal of Neurophysiology’s June podcast.

They speak to Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates and  Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute’s Matthew Mueller about their work on thermoregulation in patients with multiple sclerosis. Listen.

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Adding An Advantage To Social and Emotional Learning

Annie Wright, director of evaluation for Simmons’ Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE), contributed a blog piece for Teachstone on how social-emotional learning can integrate with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. Read here.

CORE conducts evaluations that are broadly related to healthy individuals, schools and communities. Most of its  work focuses on educational programs, and also examines a variety of other programs and topics.

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STEM Academy for Middle-School Science Teachers Launches

Eighteen science teachers from six DISD middle schools are shooting off rockets, kayaking the Trinity River and collecting data on animals at the Dallas Zoo this summer as part of the new STEM Academy directed by Professor Leanne Ketterlin-Geller in Simmons.

The academy is designed to give the middle-school science teachers tools they need to strengthen their engagement with students. Read more.

The program is done in partnership with the Lyle School of Engineering. A major grant from the Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation and support from the O’Donnell Foundation help fund the academy.

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Mentoring Students Changes Lives

Eric Bing, professor of global health in Applied Physiology and Wellness, has an impact on his students inside and outside of his classroom.

His work with students can be seen through his one-on-one mentoring and the teaching he does in his rigorous global and public health class. In the case of graduating senior Dylan DeMuth, he gained a new philosophy from Bing, and also participated in the class for which he hadn’t initially qualified. Mentoring from Bing has changed his life. Read more.

For a look at one of Bing’s student projects for the global and public health class this spring, see this report from NBC5.

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Simmons Welcomes New Dean, Stephanie L. Knight

Stephanie L. Knight, associate dean and  professor of education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University will become dean of the Simmons School at SMU on August 1.

Well-respected in her field, Knight joined Pennsylvania State University in 2009 as professor of educational psychology, where she taught courses in educational psychology and effective learning. In 2013 she became associate dean at Penn State, leading the College of Education’s undergraduate and graduate studies programs. Prior to that, she held a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M.  Read more.

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