Research Council

Charge: Promotes the development of high-quality research efforts and raises and addresses issues related to research and grant opportunities within Simmons. The council shall facilitate collaboration within and across departments, colleges, and schools in order to promote on-gong and new research initiatives and shall find ways to promote research events and grant opportunities for junior faculty. Other responsibilities may include matters related to: IRB requirements, Principal Investigator challenges, interdisciplinary opportunities, and investment of resources to further the academic and research enterprise.


  • Anthony Petrosino – Chair, Office of the Dean, Teaching & Learning
  • Jill Allor – Teaching & Learning
  • Eric Bing – Global Health
  • Greta Davis – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • David Deggs – College Access
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller – Research in Mathematics Education (RME)
  • Dana Gray – The Budd Center
  • Aki Kamata – Center on Research & Evaluation
  • Amy Rouse – Teaching & Learning
  • Hiba Rahim – Center on Research & Evaluation (CORE)
  • Peter Weyand – Applied Physiology & Wellness

Appointment: With the exception of the graduate student representative, who shall serve a one-year term, terms are set at 2 or 3 years to provide overlap from year to year.

Meeting Dates: Monthly, every last Wednesday of the month

Academic Affairs and Technology Advisory Council (AAC TAC)

Charge: Review curriculum, new program proposals, and academic policies and procedures in order to ensure their consistency with SMU's strategic academic priorities and supports the development and implementation of high–quality online and hybrid programming in Simmons by maintaining an infrastructure for instructional design, structured course–module development, quality review standards and processes, institutional compliance and innovative excellence. The AAC TAC reports to the Dean and merged to streamline the work of both governing bodies, which ensures faculty governance of program and course approval.

Technical Requirements for Simmons Hybrid/Digital Courses


  • Paige Ware – Co–Chair, Teaching & Learning
  • Anthony Cuevas – Co–Chair, Office of the Dean, Teaching & Learning
  • Jennifer Culver – Academic Technology Director, Office of Information Technology
  • Kiersten Ferguson – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Diane Baty Gifford – Teaching & Learning
  • Michele Mrak – Graduate Liberal Studies
  • Milan Sevak – Education Policy & Leadership
  • John Potter – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Misty Solt – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Sarah Brown – Applied Physiology & Wellness


Meeting Dates: Once a month, starting in September and ending in June

Faculty Research Publications and Presentations: For the most current Academic Affairs Digest, click here.

Ph.D. Committee

Charge: Reviews annual student recruitment, admission, funding issues, curriculum, faculty instructional assignments, student advisement, and Ph.D. program policies.


  • Anthony Petrosino – Co-Chair, Office of the Dean, Teaching & Learning
  • Stephanie Al Otabia – Teaching & Learning
  • Scott Davis – Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Aki Kamata – Center on Research & Evaluation
  • Alex Pavalakis – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Meredith Richards – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Candace Walkington – Teaching & Learning
  • Peter Weyand – Applied Physiology & Wellness

Appointment: Unspecified term of service

Meeting Dates: Monthly - every third Friday of the month

Communications/Public Relations

Charge: Promotes Simmons program and department activities and news and prioritizes what the School promotes through SMU and external channels.


  • Yolette Garcia – Chair, Office of the Dean
  • Peter Carton – Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Nancy George – Development & External Affairs
  • Lauren Gilmore – Office of the Dean
  • Frank Hernandez – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Becky Hood – Office of the Dean
  • Jessica Lunce – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Cindy Mazariegos – College Access
  • Jermaine Merritt – Office of the Dean
  • Kate Montgomery – Graduate Liberal Studies
  • Regina Nippert – The Budd Center
  • Brandy Schumann – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Samia Siddiqui –Teaching & Learning
  • Erica Simon – Research in Mathematics Education (RME)
  • Greg Weatherford – Office of the Dean
  • Annie Wright – Center on Research & Evaluation (CORE)

Appointment: Department or program chairs, terms of service are one year

Meeting Dates: Once a month

Program Improvement and Evaluation

Charge: Facilitates a culture of assessment across Simmons, identifies current data collection efforts and needs, establishes a common set of outcomes for Simmons' graduates, makes recommendations for universal data collection system, creates a glossary of assessment/accreditation terms, documents our assessment story


  • Paige Ware – Chair, Teaching & Leadership
  • Les Black – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Jennifer Culver – Academic Technology Director, Office of Information Technology
  • Mario De La Garza –Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Dana Gray – The Budd Center
  • Francesca Jones – Teaching & Learning
  • Yusuf Kara – Center on Research & Evaluation (CORE)
  • Kate Montgomery – Graduate Liberal Studies

Appointment: Nomination by Department Chairs

Meeting Dates: Monthly

TEA Program Directors and Certification

Charge: Responsible for understanding of TEA rules and regulations. Discusses and resolves compliance issues, and implements policy and practice that is consistent across programs.


  • Paige Ware – Chair, Teaching & Learning
  • Roxanne Burleson – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Amy Ferrell – Teaching & Learning
  • Tim Jacobbe – Teaching & Learning
  • Greta Davis – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Mario De La Garza – Dispute Resolution & Counseling

Texas Educator Certifications: For information on Texas Educator Certifications from the Texas Education Agency, click here.

Complaints Against Educator Preparation Programs: For information about filing a complaint against Educator Preparation Programs with the Texas Education Agency, click here.

Educator Preparation Programs Available in the Simmons School: These programs prepare students to meet the requirements for certification by the Texas Education Agency.

Appointment: Job role

Meeting Dates: Monthly

Simmons Educator Preparation Programs Advisory Council

Charge: Discusses the design, delivery, evaluation, and major policy decisions of the teacher, administrator, and school counselor preparation programs at Southern Methodist University. In accordance with TAC 228.20, the Council plays an integral role in the accreditation and review process of the Simmons School and its educator certification programs.

Members: TEA Program Directors, Certification Officers, and School and Community Partners

Appointment: Nomination by TEA Program Directors