New faculty and tenured professors broaden school’s expertise, research capabilities

Headshots of new faculty and tenured professors
The Warner School of Education and Human Development deepens the ranks of its faculty in 2022 with the addition of four new faculty, in addition to the promotion of four existing educators based on their research and scholarly contributions.

“Our new faculty represent the future of the Warner School and its efforts to lean into our research agenda,” said Sarah Peyre, dean. “We believe we’ve represented issues of inclusion and diversity well with the addition of this new group of faculty who will focus on interdisciplinary research that advances our social justice mission.”

In recognition of the school’s faculty promotions, Peyre said, “one of the best parts of working in academia is we can recognize and celebrate the successes of our colleagues. Our four faculty promotions represent the growing impact that these faculty have on their various fields.”

New faculty

David FiglioDavid Figlio is the Gordon Fyfe professor of education and economics. He also serves as provost of the university, joining us from Northwestern University, where he was dean of their school of education. Figlio is an internationally recognized economist and educational leader whose interdisciplinary research spans educational, public, and social policy, including the link between health and education. He conducts research on a wide range of education and health policy issues from school accountability and standards to welfare policy and policy design, as well as the interrelationship between education and health. He also studies aspects of the academic profession itself, with recent papers on academic peer review and the publication process. He collaborates frequently with state and local health and education agencies, and recently led a National Science Foundation-sponsored national network to facilitate the use of matched administrative datasets to inform and evaluate education policy. He was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2017.

Figlio has published his work in numerous leading journals, including the American Economic Review, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, JAMA Pediatrics, Review of Economics and Statistics, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and Journal of Human Resources. Organizations supporting his research include the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Annie E. Casey, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Gates, Laura and John Arnold, MacArthur, Smith Richardson, and Spencer foundations, among others. Figlio is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; a research fellow of the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany; a member of the CESifo Network on the Economics of Education in Munich, Germany; and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Amanda McLeroyAmanda McLeroy joins the counseling faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor associate in North Carolina, a nationally certified counselor, and a telemental health provider with more than five years of clinical experience. McLeroy has worked with clients in educational and community-based settings, correctional facilities, and private practice. Previously, she served as a postsecondary transition instructor in the Beyond Academics program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In this role, McLeroy taught students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and spearheaded an outcome evaluation study to investigate the differences in academic performance, independent living skills, depressive symptomatology, and well-being among students who were receiving third-party support services and those who were not.

McLeroy’s primary research interests include childhood and racial trauma, caregivers of individuals with disabilities, and multicultural issues affecting underserved and underrepresented populations. Her current work concerns black adolescents' experiences of police brutality exposure via social media.

Sloan OkreySloan Okrey (they/them) is a tenure-track assistant professor in the counseling and human development department. Okrey’s research is focused on family relationships and adolescent development, with a specific focus on (1) conservative Christian families in the United States and (2) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer adolescents and young adults. Okrey’s scholarship is informed by a critical, feminist perspective and grounded in theories of psychosocial development, attachment, family systems, and ambiguous loss. As an interdisciplinary scholar with a background in social work, Okrey is passionate about collaborative, integrative learning environments and community-engaged, translational research.

Okrey’s scholarship has been published in several peer-reviewed journals across multiple disciplines, including but limited to: Family Relations, Infant and Child Development, Journal of Youth Development, Social Work, and Journal of LGBT Youth. 

Tiffany SteeleTiffany Steele is a tenure-track assistant professor in the educational leadership program. Her work focuses specifically on the lived experiences of black girls and women in education and the influence of external factors on their identity development. Specifically, Steele analyzes connections between inequitable U.S. societal elements and how they influence daily living and educational trajectories of black girls and women. She also maintains a secondary interest broadly focusing on college access and retention of minoritized students and staff members at predominantly white institutions.

Steele has published in several journals, including the College Student Affairs Journal, College Student Affairs Leadership, AERA Open, and Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. Most notably, she served as an associate editor for the second edition of Intersectionality and Higher Education.

Nicole KingNicole King is a clinical assistant professor and directs the TESOL and foreign language teacher preparation programs and focuses on multilingual education. Previously, she served as a postdoctoral research fellow on the Strengthening Equity and Effectiveness for Teachers of English Learners National Professional Development Grant sponsored by the Office of English Language Acquisition and as an instructor and supervisor in the TESOL and world language teacher preparation programs at The Ohio State University.

King is a former elementary and middle school teacher with certifications in TESOL, as an intervention specialist, and in early childhood special education. Her research explores the translingual and transmodal practices of multilingual students and teachers. Her work has been published in TESOL Journal, System, Foreign Language Annals, Language Teaching, and other scholarly journals. Her most recent research project employed ethnographic methods to explore a multilingual family engagement project on the translingual composition and storytelling practices of families.

Faculty promotions

Samantha DaleySamantha Daley received tenure as associate professor. She holds appointments across three program areas: teaching & curriculum, counseling & human development, and education policy. Trained in human development and psychology and in working with students identified with learning disabilities, Daley’s work focuses on the driving question of how to design inclusive learning environments in which students thrive both academically and emotionally. Projects address multiple perspectives: 1) motivational and emotional experiences of students with learning disabilities; 2) inclusive instructional design; and 3) motivation and emotion in learning more broadly.

Tricia ShalkaTricia Shalka received tenure as associate professor in the higher education program. Shalka’s primary research investigates the impacts of traumatic experiences on college students, particularly in terms of developmental outcomes. Her most recent work in this area explores the intersection of identity development and trauma in college students. She also maintains a secondary research interest in the internationalization of higher education with a particular emphasis on the experiences of international students in American colleges and universities.
Valerie MarshValerie Marsh was promoted to clinical associate professor. Marsh teaches in the teacher preparation program for English education. Marsh’s research interests explore best practices in urban education, leveraging and supporting the educational partnership of the University of Rochester and East High School. Additionally, she researches adolescent new literacies, particularly the connections between online learning spaces and physical classroom spaces to make classrooms more inclusive and relevant to the values and priorities students experience in out-of-school spaces.

Shaun NelmsShaun Nelms was promoted to clinical professor of educational leadership and teaches courses in human resource management, school governance, and leadership in urban schools. Nelms also serves as the superintendent of East High School, through the university’s partnership with the school district. In his role as director of the Center for Urban Education Success at the Warner School, Nelms applies learnings from East High to support the success of K-12 urban schools through a combination of research, relationship building and a commitment to pursue and share best practices.

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