Category Archives: Research and Funded Projects

PowerPoint Presentation

SPIN Workshop

Find funding for your research with the world’s largest web-based database of sponsored program opportunities. In this hands-on workshop, conducted by Dr. Joseph Thomas, you will establish an account and learn to use SPIN to search for grant funding opportunities.  The SPIN database will also send alerts to users when funding that fits your research interests and goals becomes available.  Workshop participants will receive Distance Education Professional Development credit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
1:00 — 2:00 p.m.
Speight 242


College of Education Graduate Recognition Ceremony – December 19, 2015

The College of Education Graduate Recognition Ceremony is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The faculty and staff of the College of Education are pleased to present a special Graduate Recognition Ceremony (GRC) for our graduates. The ceremony will feature individual recognition of College of Education students receiving degrees. Friends and families of the graduates are cordially invited to attend. It is not necessary for graduates or guests to RSVP for this event. Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony.

For University Commencement Ceremony details and information about the ECU Commencement Weekend, please visit


Teach for Changency is an Educational Community to Promote Change

Dr. Anne Ticknor (Assistant Professor in Reading Education) and Dr. Katie Schwartz (Associate Professor in Mathematics Education) led a mathematics-specific induction program, LAUNCH into Mathematics Teaching, for 20 beginning elementary teachers in eastern North Carolina. The induction program included over 60 hours of mathematics professional development and specialized mentoring across two years. The Z Smith Reynolds Foundation funded the program.

Drs. Ticknor and Schwartz collected data from the program and found that the program structure supported beginning teachers in the how-to of enacting mathematics curriculum in their particular classrooms, created an external network of educators to share ideas and frustrations, provided windows into “what’s possible” in other schools/districts, and offered opportunities for reflection about their teaching visions and pedagogical decisions.

Ticknor and Schwartz have presented these findings in a variety of venues including local, regional, and national conferences and written reports for national education journals. Currently a social media campaign, Teach for Changency, is underway to disseminate findings and provide an informational and educational community to promote teacher agency and pedagogical change. Join the community and follow @teach4changency on Twitter and like on Facebook. 

Abbie Brown

The COE Research Committee Presents Dr. Abbie Brown: Increasing Your Impact with Social Media

Come to Speight 202 on October 22, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to learn how to use web-based and mobile applications to create and share content.

Making good use of web-based and mobile applications can significantly increase one’s academic impact. Social media offers a variety of opportunities for scholarship and service to one’s discipline, while increasing the visibility of academic programs and institutions. For the past two years, Dr. Abbie Brown has been experimenting with podcasting, blogging, and content curation via the Flipboard app, resulting in the receipt of a national award for his podcast series, opportunities to collaborate with major figures in his discipline, and invitations to speak at international conferences. It’s one example of using innovative social media to positively affect productivity in more traditional venues.

The workshop’s purpose is to share information about making effective use of social media to increase your own academic impact by reviewing examples and describing the tasks involved in blogging, ‘casting, and curating content

Faculty participants will receive Distance Education Professional Development Credits. ECU

Faculty and Staff can register for this event in Cornerstone.

Casey Robacker

ECU at The Council for Learning Disabilities

On October 2nd, 2015, ECU’s own Cassie Robacker presented at the International Council for Learning Disabilities Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her presentation, “Token Economy Made Easy Through ClassDojo,” was a sensation. Congratulations Cassie for a wonderful presentation. Thank you for representing ECU and the Special Education, Foundations, and Research Department.

Bob Porter

Grant Writing Workshop Series Opportunity Available

Grant Writing Workshop Leader Robert Porter, PhD, has presented grant writing to leading universities and medical schools internationally. He is coming to ECU this Fall to conduct three focused sessions. RSVP early as seating is limited to forty (40) per session.

All sessions will be held in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Room 1

Session 1: Writing Successful Grants –  September 22, 2015 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
Session 2: Grants in the Humanities and Social Sciences – September 22, 2015 (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Session 3: Writing Proposals to the US Department of Education – September 23, 2015 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

To attend, please RSVP to :

Start arriving at 8:00 a.m. for the morning sessions and at 1:00 p.m. for the afternoon session.

Session 1: Writing Successful Grants

This is an introductory workshop that covers basic principles of good grant writing, starting with the phrasing of a compelling research theme to the actual construction of the proposal itself. Major differences between traditional “academic prose” and persuasive grant writing are highlighted. Common pitfalls that can lead to early rejection of good ideas are reviewed, matched with practical strategies for better writing. Special attention will be paid to the perspectives of grant reviewers and how to write in ways that will meet their expectations.

  •  Killer mistakes in grant writing and how to avoid them
  •  Two critical steps that will double your chances for success
  •  How to win over the grant reviewer
  •  Simple keys to a more powerful writing style
  •  Visualization: Using illustrations to “sell” your project

Session 2: Grants in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Starting with the National Endowment for the Humanities, this workshop will cover a number of funding sources of particular interest to disciplines broadly grouped in the humanities and social sciences. Specific grant programs will be reviewed, together with eligibility requirements, funding levels, and lists of projects recently funded by each program. Key elements of the NEH grant review process will be covered, and excerpts from successful proposals will be highlighted. Additionally, participants will be guided to numerous opportunities posted by private foundations.

  • Overview of NEH mission, structure and budget
  • Fellowships and residency programs
  • Awards targeted to junior faculty
  • Support for graduate study and doctoral dissertations
  • Key do’s and don’ts for success

Session 3: Writing Proposals to the US Department of Education

Of the wide range of grant programs offered by the US Department of Education, a select few are targeted to university-based researchers. This session will focus on funding tracks within key DoE divisions such as the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). Guidance will be provided on locating current and future funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, proposal structure, and DoE grant review procedures. Excerpts from successful proposals will be examined as models for preparing key sections. Topics to be covered include:

  • Navigating the DoE grant process
  • Deconstructing the Application Notice
  • Organizing the proposal
  • Understanding DoE grant review and selection criteria
  • Writing critical proposal elements: Need for Project, Research Objectives, Quality of Project Design, Quality of Project Personnel, and Project Evaluation

For more information, please visit

COE Seal - Feature Image

2015 College of Education Faculty and Student Research Showcase

The COE Research Committee is proud to announce the 2015 College of Education Faculty and Student Research Showcase.  Please plan to attend and participate in this event on Wednesday, March 25 from 4:00-6:00PM in Mendenhall 244.

Date:  Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Time:  4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location:  Mendenhall room 244

Presenters and Research Studies:

Faculty invited paper presentation (4:15-5:00):

  • Dr. Benjamin Blaisdell (SEFR), Schools as Racial Spaces: Understanding and Resisting Structural Racism

Faculty invited round table presentation (5:00-5:45):

  • Dr. Abbie Brown (MSITE), 3D Printing in Instructional Settings: Identifying A Curricular Hierarchy of Activities
  • Drs. Christina Tschida, Judy Smith, & Liz Fogarty (ELMID), “It Just Works Better”: Introducing the 2:1 Model of Co-Teaching in Teacher Preparation

Graduate student poster presentations (5:00-5:45):

  • Kristin Justice (ELEM), Thinking Maps and Latin Instruction
  • Kathy Robertson (ELEM), Tutoring to Improve Language and Grammar Skills
  • Kathryn V. Cayco (ELEM), Explicit Instruction vs. Student led Learning Experiences
  • Ashley Lynn (ELEM), Literature Based Instruction vs. Phonics in Isolation
  • Audrey Dexter (ELEM), The Effects of Music in the Elementary Classroom
  • Melinda Harrell (ELEM), Math Notebooks: Should They be Structured for 6th Grade?
  • Kelsey Shue (ELEM), Determining If the Use of Technology Has a Positive Effect on Math Fact Fluency and Automaticity
  • Kelly Hylton (ELEM), Project Based Learning: Does it Make Science Education Better?
  • Lisa Howell Langley (ELEM), Multiplication Fact Fluency:  Traditional Instructional Practices versus iPad/Web Based Applications
  • Catherine Bademian (ELEM), The Effects of Background Music on Student Work
  • Lauren Griffin (ELEM), Best Small Group Reading Instruction Method for Upper Elementary: Guided Reading or Literature Circles?
  • Jessica Stroud (ELEM), Will K-2 Students Produce Higher Scores on their DIBELS Reading Assessment if Tested in the Morning versus in the Afternoon?
  • Samantha Dinner (ELEM), Stability Balls in the Classroom- Does Usage Increase Student Achievement?
  • Blythe McGowan (ELEM), Reading Comprehension Strategies
  • Tracy Lynn McIntyre (ELEM), Singapore Math: The Modeling of Word Problems
  • Heather Marshall (ELEM), Does Integrating the Arts, Specifically Music, into the Math Class, Increase Student Performance?
  • Jennifer Burleson (ELEM), The Effectiveness of Technology on Reading in the Classroom

For more information, contact the COE Research Committee:

Glee and New Directions for Social Change

LEED Doctoral Student Published

The book Glee and New Directions for Social Change features a chapter from Davis B. Smith entitled “The Asteroid and the Active Shooter.” This work is about the importance of everyday interactions and using active listening so that we can better understand one another. Smith is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Doctor of Educational Leadership program with the Higher Education concentration.

Since his submission, Sense Publishers has contacted Smith for a future project on ethical decision-making using the TV show The Walking Dead as a backdrop as part of a sociology in television series.

Dan Zuberbier

Meet Dan Zuberbier: A Great Resource for Students, Faculty, and Educators in Eastern NC

Recently, the Joyner Library made a new addition specifically to benefit the College of Education. Dan Zuberbier was hired as the Education and Instructional Technologies Librarian in the Teaching Resource Center.

Like many academic librarians, Dan Zuberbier didn’t follow a straight path to the profession. While finishing his B.A. in History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, he was an assistant baseball coach at Edgewood College, a small private college down the street from the UW. “Baseball had been the center of my life for as long as I could remember,” he said. “Since I wasn’t playing ball any more it made sense to try and break into the coaching ranks.” Unfortunately being an assistant coach at an NCAA Division III school wasn’t enough to pay the bills, and he picked up odd jobs to make ends meet.

Eventually, Dan decided he needed a more stable career path. “Working the equivalent of two full-time jobs to pay the bills took the fun out of coaching baseball,” and reflected on what he wanted to get out of a career. “I needed a career that fulfilled my intellectual curiosities, and, at the same time, provided opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with young adults as I had been able to do with my baseball players. Teaching seemed like a natural fit.”

Setting his sights on becoming a high school history teacher, he enrolled in Pima Community College’s online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Education Program, moved to Arizona to complete his student teaching, and earned his teaching license. Yet, four years later, his career took another unexpected turn. “I was having a hard time building up my students’ research skills, so I reached out to who I thought was our school librarian,” he said. “She kindly informed me she was the library clerk and had no experience teaching students research skills.”

Saying he was surprised his high school, the largest school in the district, didn’t have a certified library media specialist on staff is putting it mildly. To make matters worse, soon after their initial conversation, the library clerk broke her foot and was out of work for a week. Zuberbier stated, “Because she wasn’t a certified teacher-librarian, the school was under no obligation to hire a substitute to keep the library open in her absence. I was speechless.” After being shut out of their library for an entire week, Zuberbier wondered what else his students were missing out on because the school did not have a certified teacher-librarian.

He dove head-first into researching the role a library media specialist should play on a high school campus and petitioned the school board to fund the position. His request was denied. The Superintendent argued that because the school was only four years old, its collection was ‘still so new’ and students had access to so many online resources the school didn’t need a certified librarian. It took another year for Zuberbier’s efforts to succeed, and, in the meantime, he began earning his Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS) through UW-Milwaukee. He was also able to earn his library media specialist endorsement, and became his school’s first certified teacher-librarian.

“Soon after I started my MLIS program, I knew I couldn’t stop being a teacher. But, I also realized I wanted to give myself the opportunity to have an impact on the profession as an advocate for school libraries and through my work as an education librarian,” Zuberbier said. Which is why he considers himself fortunate to be working in East Carolina University’s Teaching Resources Center. “This is my dream job. To not only work with pre-service teachers by teaching them about instructional technologies and what they should expect out of their school library when they enter the workforce, but also serve educators throughout eastern North Carolina is an awesome responsibility.”

Zuberbier is currently working on developing workshops for students and faculty around the basic functions and lesson planning around the use of SMART Boards. He is also looking to collaborate with COE faculty to develop a series of workshops for students that will cover current and emerging K12 instructional technologies that will take place during the Fall semester. He currently resides in the TRC, room 2504, and can be reached through email,, or by phone, 328-0406.

ECU to Provide Early Childhood Mentoring to Eastern NC Educators

Incoming kindergartners throughout eastern North Carolina will soon be better prepared for classroom learning thanks to a $1.3 million grant awarded to East Carolina University.

Barbara Brehm, coordinator of ECU’s birth to kindergarten undergraduate program in the College of Human Ecology, will oversee the Early Educator Support, Leadership and Professional Development (EESLPD) project.

You can find out more about the grant here: ‘Ready to Learn’