Five Simmons researchers received the Dean’s Road to R1 Excellence Awards. Dean Stephanie Knight presented the awards during the Simmons Fall Faculty and Staff meeting on August 30.
For bringing in over $1,000,000 in external research funds:
Dr. Annie Wright-Executive Director of SMU Simmons Center on Research and Evaluation
Wright and her CORE team are working with Temple University in conducting a “Learning through Play” national study. The LEGO Foundation has awarded a $19.98 million grant to fund the longitudinal study. SMU Simmons’ CORE will be the Dallas site lead for the national study and will receive $2.8 million over 5 years to conduct the work locally. The research will follow Pre-K through 4th graders and will study how creating active, engaged, socially interactive classrooms can bring about deeper learning and joyful teaching.
For being awarded $500,000 in external research dollars:
Dr. Jill Allor – University Distinguished Professor, Department of Teaching & Learning. A former special education teacher, her research is school-based and focuses on literacy acquisition for students with and without disabilities. She has received numerous awards for both research and practice, published and presented widely in leading outlets, and received nearly $10 million of external research funds.
Dr. Tony Cuevas – Assistant Dean for Technology and Innovation and Clinical Professor
He designed the curriculum for the SMU Guildhall Master of Interactive Technology degree program and served as Academic Director for several years before transferring to Simmons School. He heads up the Center for VR Learning Innovation and co-chairs the TEIL search committee. He was part of the SMU Adult Literacy XPrize team that developed an award-winning app to help adults learn to read.
Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller – Professor, Department of Education Policy & Leadership, Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education, Director of Research in Mathematics Education and Faculty Fellow for K-12 STEM Initiatives in the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education. Her research focuses on the development of formative assessment procedures in mathematics and valid decision-making systems for students with diverse needs. She has received over $20 million in external funding and recently received the largest single grant in SMU history for $8m.
Dr. Akihito Kamata – Professor and Director of the Ph.D. Program and Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Endowed Professor in the Department of Education Policy & Leadership. Dr. Kamata’s primary research interest is psychometrics and educational and psychological measurement. Currently, Aki’s primary focus is on psychometric model development for oral reading fluency (ORF) assessment data, through three grant projects funded by IES. He has numerous journal articles and book chapters in leading publications and handbooks in the field.