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College Awards - 2020

Annually, faculty and staff are recognized for their accomplishments.

This year’s recipients reflect the quality of

teaching, service, and research that embody our community.

Yongmei Ni

Outstanding Faculty Research and Scholarship Award

Yongmei Ni, PhD

Dr. Ni is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. She has a distinguished record of rigorous and relevant scholarship. Her record of research in economics of education, school choice, educational leadership, and quantitative research methods have resulted in a) illuminating the complexity of school choice policies, particularly the effects on students and educators alike, b) exploring the educator labor market, and c) increased understanding of the impact of quality of leadership preparation programs on leadership practices. Dr. Ni has established herself as an expert in educational policy and school administration and a highly respected leader in the field, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Ni’s scholarship centers on educational leadership and policy research, aiming to improve equity and excellence for all students.


Eric Poitras

Outstanding Early Career Faculty Research and Scholarship Award

Eric Poitras, PhD

Dr. Poitras is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. His program of research is focused on novel ways for adaptive instructional systems to track, detect, and model the cognitive, affective, metacognitive, and motivational (CAMM) processes that mediate learning. He utilizes a variety of individualized instruction across a wide variety of formal and informal learning contexts. His research is interdisciplinary in focus, as it incorporates elements from cognitive psychology, computer science, education, and data mining, in their application to a wide variety of content learning areas. Dr. Poitras has also collaborated with colleagues from the Department to expand intelligent tutoring systems to delivery of feedback via natural language processing for more clinical applications. He is particularly grateful for the support that the College of Education has provided to enable this work.


Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski

Outstanding Early Career Faculty Teaching Award

Sharon A. Aiken-Wisniewski, PhD

Dr. Aiken-Wisniewski s a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. The exchange of ideas that occurs through an active classroom environment had such profound impact on her as a first generation college student that she selected a career in education. Through classroom presentations, seminars, or meetings with advisees, she not only observed students actively engaging with concepts such as restorative justice, empathy, and inclusion, but experienced deeper understanding about these concepts through dialogue and sharing lived experiences. The opportunity to learn from and with students, colleagues, and strangers expands her world view, offers strategies to negotiate life with grace, and presents opportunities for continual development. The impact of teaching is complex, multifaceted, and on-going. Teaching impacts self, other individuals, and the future.



Aaron Fischer

Outstanding Early Career Faculty Service Award

Aaron Fischer, PhD, BCBA

Dr. Fischer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. He has been involved in service at the community, department/university, and national levels. A large portion of Dr. Fischer’s service occurs within Utah’s public schools. In particular, he has developed strong and lasting relationships with Granite, Salt Lake, Canyon, and Washington County school districts. Within these districts, the exceptional student members of his team collaborate with district teachers, administrators and diverse students to improve academic, behavioral, and social‐emotional outcomes. The impact of these services has been felt, not only by teachers, school staff and parents, but most of all by students. His positivity and belief in the goodness of people is contagious. His ability to incorporate the input and needs of others is impressive.



Kristen Lindsay

Outstanding Staff Award

Kristen Lindsay 

Kristen is the Executive Secretary for the Urban Institute for Teacher Education. She serves as the first point of contact for UITE students, as well as many others coming to our building. Students feel welcomed by Kristen. She consistently inquires with each faculty member as to how she can assist. Whatever the task, she approaches each with a positive attitude and is always focused on problem solving. You can count on her to help others in the College with special projects that need an extra hand. Kristen is hardworking and always a joy to be around.

Last Updated: 3/15/21