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University of Iowa News Release


April 9, 2007

Three College Of Education Faculty Members Named Dean's Scholars

Sandra Damico, dean of the University of Iowa College of Education, has named three associate professors as Dean's Scholars.

These are three-year appointments for professors who are highly productive, on track for promotion to full professor and who have demonstrated excellence in research or creative work. The 2007-09 Dean's Scholars are Tarrell Awe Agahe Portman (Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development), William Liu (Counseling Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations), and Kathy Schuh (Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations).

"This is a very prestigious appointment, and these are all exceptional faculty members," Damico said. "They are all pursuing very diverse and dynamic areas of research, and they have invested significant intellectual energy into projects and initiatives that will do everything from make a real difference in the lives of gifted students in American Indian tribal schools to illuminate issues related to multicultural competency and explore how children make meaning from the information they encounter in the classroom."

Dean's Scholars awards are made possible through a combination of funding from the College of Education and the UI Foundation. Each scholar works with a faculty mentor who is a full professor.

Portman's research focuses on counseling issues among gifted students in American Indian tribal schools. This research, Damico said, will make an important contribution to multicultural and gifted and talented literature. Related areas of research include school counseling reform, multicultural counseling, American Indian counseling issues and counseling supervision. Portman is also a Holmes Scholar alum and on the board of directors for the National Association for Holmes Scholar Alumni. She has been honored as a National Indian Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education, an American School Counselor Association National Standards Trainer, 2000 Recipient of the Audrey Qualls College of Education Diversity Award and the 2004 National Counselors for Social Justice CSJ Mary Smith Arnold Anti-Oppression Award. Her mentor is Nicholas Colangelo, director of The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

Liu's research includes multicultural competency, social class and classism and men's issues. His professional interests include multicultural competence development, counselor training, research training and men's therapy. He served as the program chair for the National Multicultural Summit and Conference this year and received the Emerging Young Professional Award, Division 45 of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2006. He received the Researcher of the Year Award, Division 51, APA in 2005 and the collegiate teaching award in 2005. He also served as co-editor of the Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology in 2003 and was the recipient of the UI Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Award, also in 2003. His faculty mentor is Elizabeth Altmaier, professor in the Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations in the College of Education.

Schuh's research involves exploring how students create meaning from the information they encounter in their classrooms and the personal experience and prior learning they bring with them. This qualitative research, and a follow-up quantitative study, will make valuable contributions to the educational psychology literature, Damico said. Schuh's research interests include contemporary perspectives of learning, implementing theory into practice and children's meaning-making processes. She is a member of the National Consortium for Instruction and Cognition, the International Society of the Learning Sciences, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and is treasurer for the Semiotics in Education Special Internet Group in AERA. Her faculty mentor is David Lohman, professor in the Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations in the College of Education.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,