Standing Committees 2021-22

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
  • Kathryn Canterbury – Office of the Dean
  • Greta Davis – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller – Research in Mathematics Education (RME)
  • Aki Kamata – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Amy Rouse – Teaching & Learning
  • 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 Council (AAC)

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 reports to the Dean and merged with the Technology Advisory Council to streamline the work of both governing bodies, which ensures faculty governance of program and course approval.

Technical Requirements for Simmons Hybrid/Digital Courses


  • Tim Jaccobe – Associate Dean, Chair, Office of the Dean
  • Sarah Brown – Applied Physiology & Sports Management
  • Diane Baty Gifford – Teaching & Learning
  • John Potter – Lifelong Learning
  • Edita Ruzgyte – Counseling
  • Milan Sevak – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Candace Walkington – Teaching & Learning


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
  • Aki Kamata –  Simmons Ph.D. Committee, Education Policy & Leadership
  • Stephanie Al Otabia – Teaching & Learning
  • Scott Davis – Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Alex Pavlakis – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Meredith Richards – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Quentin Sedlacek – Teaching & Learning
  • Candace Walkington – Teaching & Learning
  • Jeanna Wieselmann – 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
  • Becky Hood – Office of the Dean
  • Cindy Mazariegos – College Access
  • Kate Montgomery – Graduate Liberal Studies
  • Regina Nippert – The Budd Center
  • Abby Opersteny – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Brandy Schumann – Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Samia Siddiqui –Teaching & Learning
  • 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

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.


  • Tim Jacobbe –Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Office of the Dean
  • Mario De La Garza – Dispute Resolution & Counseling, Counselor Class
  • Milan Sevak – Education Policy & Leadership, Principal Class
  • Roxanne Burleson – Education Policy & Leadership, Superintendent Class
  • Amy Richardson – Teaching & Learning, Teacher Class

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