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Join Professor Alexandra Loukas as she discusses the alarming jump in e-cigarette use within the past year among high school and middle school age students.

Loukas’ research focuses on adolescent and young adult problem behavior development, and tobacco use and cessation. She has a special interest in examining how factors from multiple ecological levels (e.g., family, school, culture) interact to protect youth from negative health outcomes. She is the Barbie M. and Gary L. Coleman Professor in Education within the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education.

Discovery Minute is a video series that highlights and introduces various topics that are researched by faculty at the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Our faculty explore topics that have a direct impact on education, policy, health, and our community.

-Motion graphics and video editing by Davey Newton

Learn about the effects of educational injustices on the lives of urban youth, primarily youth of color, in order to interrupt cycles of miseducation. David E. Kirkland focuses on the education and miseducation of Black males and highlights how cycles of inequity (i.e., racial injustice) influence how, why, and what youth of color learn to read and write. Second, he will analyze how critical educators can disrupt such cycles to empower urban youth to transform their own communities, lives, and educational destinies.

Kirkland is an associate professor of English and Urban Education and the executive director of the NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. He received his PhD from Mighican State University in Language, Literacy, and Urban Education. His research broadly examines the intersections of race, gender, and education.

Each year, nearly 7.5 million students are chronically absent – missing 10% or more of the school year. How should researchers, policymakers, and educators address chronic absenteeism and its effects on students?

Panelists include Kevin Gee (UC Davis – School of Education and Center for Poverty Research), Shaun Dougherty (Vanderbilt University – Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations), Sarah Lenhoff (Wayne State University – Educational Leadership and Policy Studies), Bertha Arellano (Austin Independent School District), and Sonia Dominguez (E3 Alliance, Senior Director of Learning Networks).

Curriculum and Instruction Clinical Associate Professor Haydée Rodriguez takes a group of pre-service bilingual/bicultural education students on community walks near Zavala Elementary School in Austin each semester. The walks help the students learn about the various resources in the neighborhood as well as the history and people that exist in the communities in which their students live. Students visit the local panadería, the bakery, located in the home of a community member and taste various traditional Mexican pastries. They learn about the history of the homes, churches, and other community supports that dot the area.

The community walks give the pre-service teachers the chance to learn more about their students and incorporate their heritage and cultural experiences within the classroom. Research shows that educators’ respect for and incorporation of students’ heritage and background increases students’ engagement and academic motivation. Learn more by watching the video of one such community walk adventure.

Video by Jordan Steyer and Davey Newton, photography and videography interns for the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education.

Kinesiology and Health Education junior Vida Nwadiei and Educational Psychology Professor Kevin Cokley will travel to Ghana this summer as part of a new research project, The Color Complex. The project, which received the President’s Award for Global Learning, is a cross-disciplinary look at colorism, both in Ghana and here at the University of Texas at Austin, in order to mitigate its harmful effects.

Colorism is discrimination based on skin color or skin shade. Dominate groups can prefer people with lighter skin shades, and the preference can also occur within communities of color. In some cultures, the preference for lighter skin causes people to use harmful skin bleaching creams in order to lighten their own tone.

Nwadiei, Cokley, and a team of students and faculty across campus, will investigate how businesses can stop the promotion of conventional “fair and lovely” beauty standards to young women of color. The team will conduct a qualitative study about the perceptions of skin bleaching and use their findings to create a campaign that educates people on the dangers of the practice.

–Videos by Christina S. Murrey

Join Professor Hirofumi Tanaka as he explains what hardening of the arteries is, why it is an important indicator of aging, and what can be done to maintain arterial health.

Tanaka is a professor and the Director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory within the Kinesiology and Health Education Department at the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Tanaka’s research interests revolve around vascular aging that manifests as the stiffening (hardening) of large elastic artery and vascular endothelial dysfunction. Masters athletes or aging competitive athletes are often studied as the model of successful aging. He has published over 250 research articles in this area.

Discovery Minute is a video series that highlights and introduces various topics that are researched by faculty at the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Our faculty explore topics that have a direct impact on education, policy, health, and our community.

Join Professor Keffrelyn Brown as she discusses problems with educators’ use of the “at risk” label. She hopes to challenge how educators and policymakers think about the label, so that it can be used more equitably.

Brown is the Maxine Foreman Zarrow Endowed Faculty Fellow in Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education. In 2012 she received the Regent’s Outstanding Teaching award, the highest teaching honor given for excellence in undergraduate teaching across the University of Texas system. She was inducted into the Provost’s Teaching Fellows program at UT in 2017.

Discovery Minute is a video series that highlights and introduces various topics that are researched by faculty at the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Our faculty explore topics that have a direct impact on education, policy, health, and our community.

Hegemonic Psychology: The Politics of Ethnic Minority Research

Conducting research that focuses on the experiences of ethnic minorities is fraught with sociopolitical challenges. In predominantly white academic settings the norms for publication outlets are often antagonistic toward so-called “low impact”, “specialty” journals. This has created an academic culture that often marginalizes and penalizes ethnic minority research. In this talk, psychology is used as an example to demonstrate how hegemonic processes perpetuate the marginalization of ethnic minority research. The question “How do we measure the impact of ethnic minority research?” will be addressed. Traditional and alternative metrics of impact will be discussed.

Kevin Cokley, Ph.D. is the Oscar and Anne Mauzy Regents Professor of Educational Research and Development and Professor of Educational Psychology and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers and is Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis. Dr. Cokley’s research and teaching can be broadly categorized in the area of African American psychology. His research interests focus on understanding the psychological and environmental factors that impact the academic outcomes and mental health of African American students. His publications have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Counseling Psychology; Journal of Black Studies; Journal of Black Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology; Educational and Psychological Measurement; and the Harvard Educational Review among other outlets. He is the author of the 2014 book “The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism” that challenges the notion that African American students are anti-intellectual. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Black Psychology and was elected to Fellow status in the American Psychological Association for his contributions to ethnic minority psychology and counseling psychology. He has written several op-eds in major media outlets on topics such as Blacks’ rational mistrust of police, the aftermath of Ferguson, police and race relations, racial disparities in school discipline, and black students’ graduation rates.

“Eating food you have prepared is a great way to ensure you are getting good nutrition without a lot of added fats, sugars, or additives,” says Brittany Crim, lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. “Regular grocery shopping is a great habit to help ensure you are equipped with what you need to prepare your own meals. Knowing how to navigate the grocery store and choose items that are nutritious is a good way to help you stick to a healthy lifestyle.”

These quick research-based tutorials can help guide you and ensure that your next grocery store run leads to a healthier diet.

Bonus: Read Senior Lecturer Dixie Stanforth’s research about how social influences can undermine diet and exercise decision-making.

–Videos by Hannah Lerner

Racial Inequality & Schooling: Providing opportunities for access and identity in a changing educational landscape

This talk examines the nature of racial inequality in schooling, and through drawing on findings from multiple empirical studies, argues that we can and must find ways to provide equitable access to high-quality instruction, using STEM as an example, both within and across schools and districts. Na’ilah Suad Nasir also will discuss the critical role of student identities— racial identity, gender identity, and disciplinary identity— in the learning process and share ways that districts, schools, and teachers have worked to provide new kinds of opportunities for identity construction for marginalized students.

Nasir is the sixth president of the Spencer Foundation which supports research about education. She was a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley from 2008-2017 where she served as Vice-Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley from November 2015. Nasir earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at UCLA in 2000 and was a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Stanford University from 2000 – 2008. Her work focuses on issues of race, culture, learning, and identity. She is the author of Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement for African-American Youth and has published numerous scholarly articles. Nasir is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In 2016 she was the recipient of the AERA Division G Mentoring Award.

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