Skip to content

2013 Faculty Accomplishments


Central to the mission of the College of Education is the having high caliber educators to train the next generation. Annually the College recognizes faculty who go above and beyond to impact the lives of their students. Nominations for this award are submitted by students so that they may share their insight on the faculty members teaching skills.

Susan Johnston PH.D.Susan S. Johnston, Ph.D., Special Education and the Director of International Initiatives

Susan S. Johnston is a Professor in the Department of Special Education and the Director of International Initiatives in the College of Education. Susan’s research and scholarly interests include augmentative and alternative communication, early language and literacy intervention, and early childhood special education. She has published articles and has delivered state, national, and international presentations in these areas. Susan has been with the University of Utah since 1997. She received her MA and Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. Prior to coming to Utah, Dr. Johnston was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI..


Critical to the role of faculty in a Research I Institution is conducting original research. The College of Education’s Faculty Research Award recognizes faculty, both individual and collectively, for outstanding research.


Robert Zheng Ph.D.Robert Z. Zheng, Ph.D., Instructional Design and Educational Technology(IDET)

Robert Zheng is an Associate Professor in Instructional Design and Educational Technology (IDET) in Learning Sciences Program, Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education, University of Utah. Dr. Zheng’s research interests broadly focus on cognition and learning technologies including multimedia and webbased learning, individual differences, online social network and communication, and complex problem solving.


Service to college, university, community, and professional capacities is at the heart of quality education. The College of Education believes in the importance of recognizing the service faculty provides in areas outside the classroom.


Daniel Olympia, Ph.D.Daniel E. Olympia, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Training Director for the School Psychology Program

Daniel Olympia, PhD. is an Associate Professor and Training Director for the School Psychology Program in the Department of Educational Psychology. His research interests include school-based interventions for academic and behavioral problems, practical applications of positive psychology, social skills training, management of aggression with children and adolescents, parental attributions and disability status, autism assessment and interventions and home school collaboration. He has been active in professional service as a member of several NASP and APA committees, most recently completing a term as president of the Trainers in School Psychology (TSP) and currently serving as a member of the Executive Board of Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs. He has served as a field reviewer for the Program Approval Board and a member of the NASP Program Approval Board. He has also participated as a site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.


In their nomination materials, ASUU solicits nominations by asking: “Students, have you had an amazing professor who deserves some recognition?  Ever been in a class with a professor that inspires you or makes you want to succeed in your chosen field? Let us know! We want to honor those people who take the time out of their day to inspire us as future professionals.” Amy has inspired students since the beginning of her career.  We congratulate her on this well-deserved honor!


Amy BergersonAmy Bergerson received the 2012-13 Associated Students of the University of Utah Student Choice Teaching Award.

Amy Bergerson, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on college choice and college student retention.


University of Utah Reading Clinic(UURC)

Director Kathleen Brown (in center), UURC staff members Molly Maloney-Nemetz and Lynette Jensen

University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC)

 The Ogden City School District honored University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC) Director Kathleen Brown (in center) for 12 years of service to Ogden public school educators, struggling readers and English Language Learners. UURC staff members Molly Maloney-Nemetz and Lynette Jensen were also honored for their outstanding work with close to 100 struggling readers at Ogden's Mound Fort Junior High. Students who benefit from UURC service typically make approximately 1 year's reading growth in 45 intervention sessions. Pictured from left to right are: Peggy Dooling-Baker, Mound Fort principal, Molly Maloney Nemetz, Mount Fort UURC Supervisor, KJB, Lynette Jensen, Mound Fort UURC Assistant, and Paula Kashiwaeda, OCSD Special Education Assistant Director. 

Anne CookAnne Cook, Department of Educational Psychology, Chair

Anne Cook has been appointed Department Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology. Anne will begin her term July 1, 2013. Anne is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology and has been at the U since 2002. Her expertise is in cognitive processes associated with reading comprehension, and she has collaborated with several colleagues on research conducted in the Reading Lab in the department. Anne has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in the Learning Sciences and Instructional Design and Educational Technology (IDET) programs, and recently she has served as director of both Learning Sciences and graduate programs for the department. She is excited about working with faculty, students, and staff as the department and college continue to grow and evolve over the next several years.

American Council on Education

Paul GoreDr. Paul Gore, Educational Psychology, Associate Professor and Institutional Analysis, Director

Dr. Paul Gore, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Director of Institutional Analysis has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for academic year 2013-14. The ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. 

Dr. Gore joined the faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology in 2006 and currently serves as the training director for graduate programs in clinical mental health and school counseling. He was instrumental in launching the University of Utah’s Master’s program in school counseling at the Graduate Center in St. George. In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Dr. Gore serves as the Director of Institutional Analysis in the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis. Prior to arriving in Utah, Dr. Gore served as the Director of the Career Transitions Research Department at ACT, Inc. and held tenured or tenure-track faculty appointments at Southern Illinois University and the University of Missouri – Kansas City. His scholarship focuses on contextual and intrapersonal factors influencing student transition and success.

Zac ImelDr. Zac Imel, Associate Editor, APA Division 29's Journal

Congratulations to Dr. Zac Imel who has been selected to be the new Associate Editor of APA Division 29's journal, Psychotherapy. Zac's selection as Associate Editor of this widely read and highly respected (and cited) journal is not surprising given the high quality of his research in the area of psychotherapy effectiveness, his strong record of scholarship, and his desire to contribute to the science of psychology.


The Derrick Bell Legacy Award honors critical race theorists, critical race studies scholars, and progressive educators-activists committed to advancing social justice and educational equity through their teaching, research, writing, and/or direct community action.  Positive actions that illuminate insight into the human condition require courage and commitment and is worthy of respect and acknowledgement.  This award recognizes individuals whose career accomplishments demonstrate personal courage and professional commitment to supporting and advocating for the “faces at the bottom of the well.”

Laurence ParkerLaurence Parker, 2013 Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEA) Derrick Bell Legacy Award

Laurence Parker is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy at the University of Utah. He has developed and taught classes on critical race theory and education policy issues and has concentrated his research and teaching in this area as it relates to equity and education, both K-12 and higher education. His most recent publication is a co-authored book chapter that appears in Facing Accountability in Education: Democracy & Equity at Risk (edited by Christine Sleeter, 2007, Teachers College Press), and he recently edited vols. 29 & 31 of the Review of Research in Education for AERA.

Larry was also recently appointed as associate editor of the social and institutional analysis section of the American Education Research Journal, a role that had been filled by Dr. Donna Deyhle of the College’s Department of Education, Culture & Society for the past 2 years.  See more here:


Janice PompaDr. Janiece Pompa, Department of Educational Psychology, Psychology program faculty

 Dr. Janiece Pompa, Educational Psychology, graduated from Brigham Young University in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish-Speaking American Studies. She graduated from Michigan State University with an MA in 1978 and a Ph.D. in 1983 in Clinical Psychology, with a minor in neuropsychology. She has been a member of the school psychology program faculty of the Department of Educational Psychology for the past 16 years, teaching and supervising psychoeducational assessments by students and directing the Educational Assessment and Student Support Clinic. Dr. Pompa has published numerous articles and book chapters pertaining to the assessment and treatment of children with learning problems, brain injuries and other neurologic disorders. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, is on the boards of the Utah Psychological Association and the Utah Association of School Psychologists, and is a member of the Utah Psychology Licensing Board.

Andrea RorrerAndrea Rorrer, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, Interim Chair

Andrea Rorrer, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, has been appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy for 2013-14. Andrea joined the faculty in 2002. Andrea will begin her term July 2, 2013. Andrea Rorrer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah. Andrea’s expertise is on school district and state leadership, policy, and educational change, particularly those changes aimed at increasing equity in student access and outcomes. Andrea teaches courses in the master’s and doctoral program on organizational change, qualitative methods, and issues of districts in educational reform, and educational politics and policy. Andrea is a member of the University Council for Educational Administration Executive Committee and serves now as immediate past president. She is looking forward to the opportunity to continue working with faculty, students, staff, and practitioners engaged with the ELP Department and College of Education.

Mary Skorheim

Mary Skorheim
NASPA Pillars of the Profession Award

NASPA(Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education)


Each year at the annual NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Conference, the NASPA Foundation recognizes a series of distinguished individuals who have served as leaders, teachers, and scholars in student affairs and higher education. Each individual is nominated and supported for designation as a Pillar by colleagues, students, friends, or others who find him or her deserving of this honor. In the nominee's name, a gift of $2,500 is made to the Foundation to further research and scholarship in student affairs. The NASPA Foundation's Pillar of the Profession Award is designed to honor members of the profession who are individuals of sustained professional distinction in the higher education field, as defined by donors and supporters; have served in leadership roles in NASPA, either regionally or nationally; are being recognized or remembered by colleagues, friends, students, or student organizations for extraordinary service; and who made significant lifetime contributions to the higher education field. 

Youngmei NiDr. Yongmei Ni, National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr. Yongmei Ni, faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, has been awarded the 2012-2013 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship. The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. This nonresidential postdoctoral fellowship funds proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. The program also develops the careers of its recipients through professional development activities involving National Academy of Education members.


Erin CastroErin L. Castro, Educational Leadership & Policy Assistant professor

Erin L. Castro is an assistant professor in Educational Leadership & Policy. Her interests in public education reform are rooted in a desire for equity and justice, particularly for historically marginalized and chronically underserved students. Her research and scholarly work are guided by a desire to fulfill the promise of social mobility in a society that continues to be stratified along the lines of race and class.

Irene YoonIrene H. Yoon, Educational Leadership & Policy Assistant professor

Irene H. Yoon is an assistant professor in Educational Leadership & Policy. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of Washington. Her research scholarship integrates critical race, critical whiteness, and intersectionality approaches to focus on professional learning, instruction, and teacher communities in K-12 schools. She brings an explicit focus on how race, social class, and gender shape interactions, discourse, and processes that constitute everyday practice in teaching and leadership—e.g., teacher collaboration, classroom instruction, and professional learning—the “pedagogical content knowledge” of leadership and school improvement.


Drs. Clifford Drew and David Sperry were appointed this year by the faculty in their respective departments to the rank of Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Clifford DrewDr. Clifford Drew, Scholar in Intellectual Disabilities and Research Design

Dr. Drew was appointed as a faculty member in the Department of Special Education in 1971. He is a nationally recognized scholar in intellectual disabilities and research design. He has published over 100 scholarly papers, book chapters, and books. His most recent books, Mental Retardation: A Life-Cycle Approach (Macmillan/Merrill, 1996), and Human Exceptionality: Society, School, and Family (Allyn & Bacon, 1996) are his 18th and 19th respectively. Dr. Drew has held a number of leadership positions during his tenure at the University including as an Assistant Dean and an Associate Dean in the College of Education, the Coordinator of Instructional Technology in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Instructional Technology and Outreach.

Dr. David SperryDavid Sperry, First National Defense Education Act Fellow

Dr. Sperry’s affiliation with the College of Education began 51 years ago when he first enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University in the summer of 1962. He went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree and secondary education teaching certificate. His professional career began as a secondary school social studies teacher. He later became the first National Defense Education Act Fellow in the College of Education receiving his Ph.D. in 1970. Over the next 42 years he served in multiple administrative positions in the college including as Assistant to the Dean, an Associate Dean to two former Deans, three separate times as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, and as Dean of the College from 1999 to 2006. Dr. Sperry is also a widely recognized scholar in the areas of educational law and leadership he is the author and/or co-author of numerous books and publications. 

We are happy to acknowledge the significant contributions that both Clif and Dave have made to the College, University, and the field of education during their long and illustrious careers.


Last Updated: 3/15/21