Our Faculty

Our Faculty

Endowed Faculty

Stephanie Knight, Ed.D.

Leon Simmons Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Dr. Stephanie Knight

Well-respected in her field, Knight began her service as the Simmons School dean in August 2017. Prior to this, she 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.

Knight’s scholarship includes interest in relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes; teacher professional development, and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes. She recently concluded five years as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and also served from 2004 to 2006 as co-editor of the Teaching, Learning and Human Development section of the American Educational Research Journal. She currently serves as associate editor of the Review of Educational Research. Read more.


Stephanie Al Otaiba, Ph.D.

Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair

Dr. Stephanie Al Otaiba, Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair

She’s passionate about helping children learn to read successfully by providing them with reading interventions that have evidence behind them and by developing an evidence base for new interventions.

Her research team has attracted federally funded grants to support this line of research, which is conducted in DISD schools. Impact can be seen in these schools, where historically many children have not been able to read on grade level. Read more.

"Support for the work we do at Simmons translates directly into improving the knowledge of teachers. Further, this translates into increasing students’ reading abilities and, in turn, their preparedness to succeed in school and as citizens.”

Frank Hernandez, Ph.D.

Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair

Dr. Hernandez serves as professor of Education Policy and Leadership and as the associate dean in the Simmons School.

Prior to his work at SMU, Dr. Hernandez served as Dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (Odessa, TX). Dr. Hernandez currently has four lines of inquiry that have guided most of his research: Latinos and school leadership, Latino racial identity development, inclusive leadership for LGBTQ students, and leadership for social justice. He has published extensively on Latino leadership, including two books: Abriendo Puertas, Cerrando Heridas (Opening Doors, Closing Wounds): Latinas/os Finding Work-Life Balance in Academia (With Elizabeth Murakami and Gloria Rodriguez) and Brown-Eyed Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Leaders (with Elizabeth Murakami). In spring 2017, he published his third book Developing and Supporting Critically Reflective Teachers: Diverse Perspectives in the Twenty-First Century.

Dr. Hernandez is the past president of the Minnesota Network of Latinos in Higher Education and is a founding member of Deans for Impact, an organization focused on transforming educator preparation and elevating the teaching profession. Dr. Hernandez is a graduate of the 2016 class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, an initiative that draws upon the U.S. presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. He is a 2014 graduate of the Millennium Leadership Initiative. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of cases in Educational Leadership and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of School Leadership. Read more.


Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Ph.D.

Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education

Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education

Dr. Ketterlin Geller is a professor in Simmons’ Education Policy and Leadership department and is director of the K-12 STEM Initiatives project in the Lyle School of Engineering.

Her scholarship contributes to understanding and closing the gap in mathematics education by emphasizing the role that educational systems play in supporting teachers’ instructional decision making.

Her work includes creating assessments that teachers can use to make meaningful decisions and understanding what makes tests more (or less) accessible for some students. Read more.

“Because we know that pressing problems are multi-dimensional and multi-faceted, our faculty works together to harness our unique perspectives to make a difference in shaping the education of tomorrow.”

Paige Ware, Ph.D.

Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Endowed Professor

Paige Ware, Ph.D., Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Endowed ProfessorDr. Paige Ware is a professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning at Southern Methodist University. Prior to earning her doctorate in Education, Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of California at Berkeley, she was an English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher. Fluent in Spanish and German, she was a Fulbright scholar in Germany before moving to Spain, where she taught in a bilingual Spanish-English elementary program. Her research focuses both on the use of multimedia technologies for fostering language and literacy growth among adolescents, as well as on the use of Internet-based communication for promoting intercultural awareness through international and domestic online language and culture partnerships.

Her research has been funded by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship, by the International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), and by the Ford Scholars program at SMU. She was also the principal investigator of a Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) professional development grant supporting secondary school educators in obtaining their ESL supplemental certification. Read more.


Peter Weyand, Ph.D.

Glenn Simmons Endowed Professor

Dr. Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Professor of Applied Physiology & Biomechanics

Dr. Weyand is an internationally recognized expert in human speed.

His research at SMU's Locomotor Performance Laboratory explores the scientific basis of fitness, performance, and health using whole-body biomechanical and physiological approaches.

On a daily basis, research can involve anything from running Olympic athletes on the turbo-treadmill to conducting walking metabolic tests at Flag Pole Hill. Read more.

“We are having quite a productive time doing cowboy science in the Lone Star state thanks to the support made possible by the Simmons School and SMU."

Full Professors

Jill Allor, Ed.D

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Jill Allor is a professor with the Department of Teaching and Learning. She received her Ed.D. in special education with an emphasis on reading and reading disabilities from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 1996. A former special education teacher, her research is school-based and focuses on reading acquisition for students with and without disabilities, including students with learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. Prior to arriving at SMU in 2004, she held faculty appointments at Florida State University and Louisiana State University. Read more.


Eric Bing, MD, Ph.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness, Global Leadership Institute

Eric G. Bing, MD, Ph.D., MBA is a professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in the Simmons School and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at SMU. He has a concurrent appointment with the George W. Bush Institute as senior fellow and director of global health. Read more.


Aki Kamata, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership, Center on Research and Evaluation

Dr. Kamata is the Executive Director of SMU's Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) and holds a faculty appointment in both the Department of Education Policy & Leadership in the Simmons School and the Department of Psychology in SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Prior to joining SMU, Dr. Kamata was a faculty member at the University of Oregon and Florida State University. Read more.


Lynn Romejko Jacobs, Ph.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dr. Lynn Romejko Jacobs developed an interest in adult fitness when she served as the physical supervisor at the Dallas Cardiac Institute working to rehabilitate patients who had undergone heart surgery. She fueled her fitness interests even further when she served for two years as an Athletic Director for the oil corporation, the Western Company of N.A., in Ft. Worth, Texas. Designing employees' fitness programs along with coordinating incentives and benefits within the company were strategic to the success of this experience. These two experiences prepared her for continued growth in adult fitness and wellness. Read more.


Paul Yovanoff, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Paul Yovanoff completed his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology--with an emphasis in psychometric theory, statistical decision analysis, and behavioral research methods--and a master's degree in special education. Prior to receiving his Ph.D. in 1992, Dr. Yovanoff was employed as a special education teacher. He has remained active in the field as a professor of educational research and measurement methodologies applied in special education contexts. In addition to numerous publications and conference presentations, Dr. Yovanoff consults routinely with government and research institutions. Current research interests include psychometric modeling of assessments for special populations, specification of optimal cut-scores for classification decisions, and culturally sensitive measurement and assessment for educational decisions. Read more.


Associate and Assistant Professors

Dominique Baker, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Dominique Baker is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Leadership. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on the effects of higher education access policies on students, particularly those who are underrepresented within higher education. Read more.


Doris Baker, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Associate Professor Doris Luft Santos Baker is engaged in developing and evaluating instructional tools and assessments in English and Spanish designed to improve and monitor the academic performance of English learners. Dr. Baker’s research has been funded by agencies such as the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Child Development Coalition, among others. Read more.


Sondra Barringer

Education Policy and Leadership

As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, Dr. Sondra N. Barringer teaches courses in statistics and academic governance. She was awarded her Ph.D. and Master of Art in Sociology from the University of Arizona where her research was funded by the Association for Institutional Research and an Excellence Graduate Fellowship in the Social Sciences. Read more.


Scott L. Davis, Ph.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dr. Scott Davis is a physiologist who joined the faculty of SMU in the Fall of 2010. He is the Director of the Applied Physiology Laboratory in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. He is also currently an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Read more.


Denisa Gandara, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Denisa Gandara is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Georgia. Her research agenda broadly explores higher education policy formulation processes and impacts, especially on populations traditionally underserved in higher education. Read more.


Anne Garrision Wilhelm, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Annie Wilhelm is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the department of Teaching and Learning. She holds B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Santa Clara University, an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Washington, and an M.Ed and a Ph.D. degree in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership and Mathematics Education from Vanderbilt University. Prior to attending Vanderbilt, Dr. Wilhelm taught high school mathematics, ranging from Algebra 1 to AP Calculus, for four years in the Seattle area. Read more.


Michael S. Harris, Ed.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Michael S. Harris is an associate professor of higher education and director of SMU's Center for Teaching Excellence. His research investigates the impact of economic, political, and social changes influence on the culture, strategy, and behavior of higher education institutions. His current research focuses on differences in behaviors with respect to different missions and organizational cultures. Read more.


Alexandra Pavlakis, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Pavlakis is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Leadership. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.Sc. in Social Policy and Planning from The London School of Economics and Political Science, an M.Sc. in Teaching from Pace University through the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, and a B.A. in History from Brown University. Read more.


Sushmita Purkayastha, Ph.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dr. Sushmita Purkayastha’s is an Assistant Professor in Simmons' department of Applied Physiology & Wellness. Her research focuses on cerebral blood-flow regulation and the role of the autonomic nervous system in healthy and diseased humans. She has expertise in transcranial Doppler ultrasonography to examine cerebral blood-flow regulation non-invasively. Dr. Purkayastha completed a NIH T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for translational research in Aging at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Read more.


Meredith Richards, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Meredith Richards is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Leadership. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy from the University of Texas at Austin and was an IES Post-doctoral Fellow in Education Policy and Methods at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more.


Diego Román, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Diego Román is an Assistant Professor in Teaching and Learning who specializes in bilingual and science education. He holds a B.S. degree in Agronomy from Zamorano University in Honduras and a M.S. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He also earned a M.S. degree in Biology, a M.A. in Linguistics, and a Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics all from Stanford University. Prior to starting his studies at Stanford University, Dr. Román taught middle school science to English Learners and newcomer students for seven years, first in rural Wisconsin and then in San Francisco, California. Read more.


Amy Gillespie Rouse, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Amy Gillespie Rouse is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master of Teaching in Special Education from the University of Virginia, Dr. Rouse was a special education teacher in Virginia public schools for six years. She subsequently earned her doctorate in Special Education from Vanderbilt University, where she was an IES predoctoral fellow. Read more.


Kenneth L. Springer, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Ken Springer is a developmental psychologist. After receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1990, he served on the faculty of SMU's Psychology Department before moving to the Simmons School in 2002. Dr. Springer currently teaches graduate classes in research methods, statistics, and program evaluation. Dr. Springer is an active researcher, with more than 60 scientific publications and presentations, as well as 3 books to his credit. Read more.


Candace Walkington, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Specializing in mathematics education, Dr. Candace Walkington is an Associate Professor in Teaching and Learning. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from Texas A&M University, and she is a former NSF-GK12 Fellow and college mathematics professor. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at Austin. She was also an IES Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Walkington was a recipient of the prestigious Spencer Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Grant. Read more.


Beverly Weiser, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Beverly Weiser received a Ph.D. in Education from SMU in 2010 with an emphasis on education research and statistics. Before coming to SMU, Dr. Weiser taught third grade and served for 10 years as an educational consultant who specialized in instructional curriculum and implementation, coached teachers and reading specialists, performed statistical analysis, contributed to computer assisted technology curriculum, participated in educational leadership research, and tested students for reading, spelling, writing, and mathematics difficulties. Read more.

 

Clinical Professors and Lecturers

Caitlin Anderson

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Caitlin Anderson is a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. She earned her Master's degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University, with an emphasis in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education. She joined the SMU faculty in 2012. Read more.


B. Harold Barkley, Jr., Ph.D.

Counseling Graduate Studies

Dr. Barkley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a Certified Sex Therapist with the American Association of Sex Educators. He earned a Master of Education degree in Counseling from Texas Tech University in 1972 and a Ph.D. in Counseling from the University of North Texas in 1982. Read more.


Ann Batenburg, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Ann Batenburg serves as a clinical associate professor of Gifted Education in the Simmons School. She earned her Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a focus in Gifted Education from the University of Iowa in 2011. She also holds two master’'s degrees: one in Special Education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, and one in Teacher Leadership from North Park College in Chicago. Read more.


David Bertrand

Applied Physiology and Wellness

David Bertrand is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Applied Physiology & Wellness Department. He earned his M.S.Ed. in Health & Human Performance from Baylor University, with a special emphasis in Sport Pedagogy. David started teaching at SMU in 2007 and thoroughly enjoys sharing his passion for health, wellness, and coaching with all students. Read more.


Watt Lesley Black, Jr., Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Watt Lesley Black, Jr. joined the SMU faculty after a 26-year career in public schools, where he began as a foreign language teacher and ended with a successful 8-year tenure as principal at Blalack Middle School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. Read more.


Roxanne Burleson, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Roxanne Burleson is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Director of the Accelerated Leadership Program in the department of Education Policy and Leadership. Her research interests include education policy and governance of public and non-profit organizations. Roxanne spent thirty-one years in public education as a teacher, middle school and high school principal, and assistant superintendent for Plano ISD. Read more.


Peter Carton Jr., J.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Peter Carton, J.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Director of Sport Management in the department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. He received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, NJ and his experience includes working for Major League Baseball (MLB). Read more.


Piotr Chelstowski

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Piotr Chelstowski is a professional sport teacher with a martial arts specialization, professional rock climbing instructor, and nationally certified Personal Fitness Trainer. He began at SMU in the spring of 1995 as a co-founder and coach of the SMU Judo Club. Several months later he joined the Wellness Department as a part time judo, a self defense,first aid, and CPR instructor. Read more.


Anthony Cuevas, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Tony Cuevas is a clinical associate professor and director of the Teacher Development Studio. Dr. Cuevas began his career in education as a secondary teacher in Louisiana and earned his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems from Florida State University. He worked as an Instructional Designer and Curriculum Director at EDS and A.T. Kearney for several years before joining SMU. He designed the curriculum for the SMU Guildhall Master of Interactive Technology degree program, rated one of the top programs in the U.S., and served as Academic Director for several years before transferring to Simmons School.Read more.


Greta Davis, Ph.D.

Counseling Graduate Studies

Dr. Greta Davis is a counselor educator, career counselor, and executive coach with 15 years' experience in career development providing services to individual clients, organizations, academic institutions, and the federal government. Read more.


Mario De La Garza

Clinical Assistant Professor, Counseling Graduate Studies, Ph.D.

Dr. De La Garza earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in counseling from the University of North Texas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at Abilene Christian University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a supervisor credential in the state of Texas as well as a National Certified Counselor. Read more.


Sherril English, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Sherril English became an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Simmons School after serving in various other roles in Simmons, including the Project Coordinator for the Early Learning in Mathematics kindergarten research study, a member of the Department of Teaching and Learning's faculty search and recruitment committee, and a student teaching/intern supervisor. Read more.


S. Kiersten Ferguson, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. S. Kiersten Ferguson is a clinical assistant professor and the higher education program director in the department of Education Policy & Leadership. Dr. Ferguson is also a Faculty Fellow for Inclusion and Equity in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, where she assists the vice president and associate vice president with research on campus-wide diversity initiatives. Read more.


Brian Fennig, Ph.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dr. Brian Fennig became a lecturer in the spring of 2001 in the Wellness Department, where he teaches both Personal Responsibility and Wellness and Individual Fitness. He earned a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Health Science in 1989 and a Master of Education in 1990 from Stephen F. Austin State University. He finished a second Master's Degree in Liberal Arts at SMU in 1997. With emphasis in myth, pop music, and modern music technology, he completed a Ph.D. in Humanities at the U.T. Dallas. Read more.


Amy Ferrell

Teaching and Learning

Amy Ferrell joined the faculty of the Simmons School in 2007. Prior to coming to SMU, she taught secondary history and English in Carrollton Farmers Branch and also worked in the New Jersey public school system in the New Jersey Center for Character Education. She holds a Master of Social Studies Education from Rutgers University. Read more.


Courtney Gedney

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Courtney Gedney is a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. She earned her Master's degree in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, with an emphasis in group counseling, psychoeducation and individual therapy. Courtney is currently pursuing her professional counselor license (LPC-I) through the Texas State Board. Read more.


Diane Gifford, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Diane Gifford is a clinical assistant professor in Department of Teaching and Learning. In 2013, she earned her a Ph.D. in Educational Research with a focus on literacy and, more specifically, specific reading comprehension deficits in children. During her doctoral studies at SMU, she was one of ten students chosen nationwide for the Council of Exceptional Children’s Division of Research Outstanding Doctoral Student Scholars for 2010. Read more.


Donna Gober, Ed.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dr. Donna Gober joined the faculty of the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in the fall of 2008 after earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a cognate in Higher Education from Lamar University. She has been teaching full time in higher education since 1995. Dr. Gober earned a Master of Science in Wellness with minors in Exercise Physiology and Counseling from the University of Mississippi while employed as a graduate instructor in the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management. Read more.


Thomas L. Hartsell, J.D.

Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management

Thomas L. Hartsell, Jr. is a lawyer and mediator in private practice with a specialty in family law and mental health practice issues. He has been active in the mediation field since 1986. He is a coauthor of "The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals, an A-Z Guide to Protecting your Clients, Your Practice and Yourself" and "The Portable Ethicist, An A-Z Guide to Responsible Practice" published by John Wiley & Sons and is a frequent lecturer to mental health professionals and organizations. Read more.


Margaret Jacome, Ph.D.

Counseling Graduate Studies

Dr. Jacome received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech in 2005. Prior to becoming a therapist, Dr. Jacome taught for several years in secondary schools and served as a missionary for 10 years in Indonesia. She has bachelor's degrees in advertising art from Texas A & M Commerce and in secondary education/journalism from Southwest Texas State University. Dr. Jacome obtained her master's degree in Social Sciences from Azusa Pacific University in 1994 while residing overseas. Dr. Jacome is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in Texas and an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor. Read more.


Johnitha Watkins Johnson, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Johnitha Watkins Johnson earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Urban Education in 2013. During her doctoral studies at Texas A&M University, she mentored pre-service and in-service teachers in various contexts, and began her research agenda, which focuses on equity in education. She also holds a M.S. in Juvenile Forensic Psychology from Prairie View A&M University. Read more.


Francesca Jones,Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Francesca Jones holds a Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis on behavioral disorders from the University of North Texas in 2005. Before her doctoral studies, she taught students with behavioral disorders in upper elementary school. Dr. Jones received an M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. in Government and History from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Jones' research and teaching interests center on behavior, reading, cognitive disabilities and autism. Read more.


Jan Mallett, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning

Dr. Jan Mallett received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M-Commerce (TAMU-C) in 2014. During more than 30 years as a lower elementary Montessori guide in a large, urban public school district, she also consulted in the areas of Montessori education, new teacher orientation, and adult basic education. Additionally, she served as school director in a Montessori charter school system and as a lower elementary teacher in private schools for children with learning difficulties. Read more.


Gay McAlister, Ph.D.

Counseling Graduate Studies

Dr. McAlister received a M.Ed. in Supervision at Lamar University and a Ph.D. in Family Studies at Texas Woman's University in 2006. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S) and a Registered Educational Diagnostician. She served, by Gubernatorial appointment, to the Texas State Board of Examiners of LPC's from 1999 to 2003. While employed by Dallas ISD, Gay supervised 40 to 80 school counselors per year. Read more.


Nancy Montgomery, Ed,D,

Clinical Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning

Nancy Vincent Montgomery began teaching in the Simmons School in January of 2008. She serves as a clinical associate professor, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) methods courses. Her career in education has included teaching in Illinois, Texas, and Jakarta, Indonesia and serving as an administrator in the areas of reading and curriculum. Before coming to SMU, she served as program coordinator of ESL special projects at TEA's Region 10 Education Service Center. Read more.


Megan Murphy, Ph.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dr. Megan Murphy joined the faculty at SMU in the fall of 2011 as a Clinical Assistant Professor. Dr. Murphy completed her Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in 2008. While at UNTHSC, Dr. Murphy served as a SCORE and MKITS fellow volunteering in ninth grade science classes in the Fort Worth school system with the goal of increasing the students' interest in and awareness of science as a career. Read more.


Ueline Newmon

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Ueline T. Newmon is a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. He earned an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science with a Fitness Specialist emphasis and a Master's degree in clinical exercise physiology from Indiana University Bloomington. Ueline is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist. Read more.


Dawson Orr, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Dawson Orr earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration and social studies from the University of Alabama in 1975. He continued his studies at the University of Alabama, completing a master’s degree in administration and planning in 1976. Dr. Orr went on to earn his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Texas. Read more.

Miriam Ortiz, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Miriam Ortiz received her Ph.D. in Education and Human Development from Southern Methodist University in 2017 with a focus on Special Education and Response to Intervention. Prior to completing her Ph.D. Miriam worked in Tallahassee, Florida as a K-12 teacher for students with severe behavior and emotional disabilities. Miriam has worked closely with the researchers at SMU and across the country to improve the reading skills and achievement of struggling students and students with disabilities. Read more.


Chalie Patarapichayatham, Ph.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Chalie Patarapichayatham is a Research Assistant Professor in Simmons School. She received a Ph.D. degree in Educational Measurement and Evaluation from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand in 2010. Read more.


John Potter

Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management

John Potter, O.D., M.A., is an active practitioner in dispute resolution and conflict management. He has mediated more than 3,000 disputes including many in the health care field. He received a Doctor of Optometry from Indiana University and an M.A. in Dispute Resolution from SMU. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Distinguished Clinical Scholar at the State University of New York’s State College of Optometry. Read more.


Abigail Pruitt, Ed.D.

Teaching and Learning

Abigail Pruitt, Ed.D., serves as a clinical associate professor in the department of teaching and Learning. Dr. Pruitt earned a she earned a B.A. in Political Science and Italian Area Studies in 1994. She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate teacher education courses with a focus on applied linguistics, cross-cultural communication, and human development. Read more.


Nancy Roberts

Teaching and Learning

Nancy Roberts is a Professor of Practice for the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development of Southern Methodist University. Nancy has been an educator for many years. Beginning her career in an inner city school, she held many positions in Dallas ISD as a curriculum writer, grant writer, instructional facilitator, and public relations specialist. Serving as a counselor in Allen ISD, she concluded her public school career as an elementary principal for Plano ISD. Read more.


Laura Robinson-Doyle

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Laura Robinson-Doyle, M.S., is a lecturer in the Sport Performance Leadership (SPL) program. She is completing her Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Kinesiology at Texas Woman’s University, with an emphasis in population and global health. Laura’s research interests include physical (in)activity, food insecurity, vulnerable populations (to include military and homeless), and global and community health programming. Laura earned her Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development from Texas Woman’s University, with an emphasis in addictions, and adolescent and young adult counseling. Read more.


Dara Rossi, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning

Dara Rossi, Ph.D., joined the faculty of the Simmons School in 2010. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and a minor in Educational Administration. She holds a master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Texas at Dallas. Read more.


Kelyn S. Rola, Ed.D.

Applied Physiology and Wellness

Kelyn Rola joined the Wellness faculty in 2016 after multiple years of service to the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. Her career at SMU began in the Applied Physiology Laboratory, where she organized and managed the lab and assisted with investigative studies of autonomic function in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Read more.


Robert Rouse, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning

Dr. Rouse joined the Simmons School after completing a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. At Vanderbilt, Dr. Rouse worked with pre-service and in-service teachers in various roles, including as a graduate teaching assistant, university field mentor, and course co-instructor. Read more.


Mark Rudich

Lecturer of Applied Physiology and Wellness

Mark Rudich serves as a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. Mark began his career at SMU in 2013 teaching a variety of physical fitness classes in which students try to establish new goals and understand how to live a healthier life; classes included jogging, weight training, swimming, group fitness, spinning & triathlon. Read more.


Edita Ruzgyte, Ph.D.

Counseling Graduate Studies

Dr. Edita Ruzgyte is a couples and marriage therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor. After coming to the United States from Lithuania, Dr. Ruzgyte received a Ph.D in family therapy. In her dissertation she explored the cultural and social aspects of relationships and sexuality. She continues to do research examining social influences in relationship dynamics and sexual expression in post- Soviet Union countries. Read more.


Brandy Schumann, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Counseling Graduate Studies

Dr. Brandy Schumann is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, Registered Play Therapy-Supervisor, National Certified Counselor, Professor at Southern Methodist University (SMU), and the President of the Texas Association for Play Therapy. Dr. Schumann holds a Doctoral degree in Counseling, with a specialty in Play Therapy from the top ranked play therapy program in the world, which is at the University of North Texas. Read more.


Milan Sevak, Ed.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Milan Sevak has served in school and district roles in a variety of settings. Most recently, Milan worked as Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Leadership in Dallas ISD, where he led the District’s efforts to reform teacher evaluation, compensation, and support systems. Previously, he served as a Division Assistant Superintendent who was responsible for student outcomes in 41 schools that enrolled 30,000 students. Read more.


Betty Snyder, Psy.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management

Dr. Snyder is a Clinical Assistant Professor and director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, where she teaches graduate courses in mediation, communication, the psychology of conflict and neuroscience. She also teaches at The Werner Institute for Negotiation at the Creighton School of Law and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law. Read more.


Misty Solt, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Counseling Graduate Studies

Misty Solt, Ph.D., is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor as well as a National Certified Counselor. Dr. Solt is a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor and received her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in 2003 where she was an Adjunct Professor in the Counseling Department. Dr. Solt has served as the director for SMU's Center for Family Counseling from 2008-2011, and taught courses in the area of Practicum and Child Counseling. Read more.


Ashley Tull, Ed.D.

Education Policy and Leadership

Dr. Ashley Tull serves as a Clinical Associate Professor and as the Director for the Ed.D. in Higher Education Program. Previously, he served as the Director of Assessment and Strategic Initiatives for the Division of Student Affairs at SMU. He has held administration and teaching roles at Tarleton State University, the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Arkansas–Fayetteville, and Florida State University. Read more.


Bradley Warren

Applied Physiology and Wellness

BJ “Coach” Warren has been with the Wellness Department since January of 2013. Previously, B.J taught at Collin College, West Virginia University, and various middle school and high schools. Read more.