Awards and Achievements

Peabody College was Vanderbilt University’s highest-ranked graduate school in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate School” rankings, published in March. Peabody ranked at No. 7 (a tie). Its programs also were highly ranked: Administration/Supervision, 1; Special Education, 1; Education Policy, 3; Curriculum/Instruction, 3 (tie); Educational Psychology, 4; Elementary Education, 5; Higher Education Administration, 5; and Secondary Education, 8.

The 2017 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings included seven members of the Peabody College faculty. The list is published annually by Education Week to recognize the top 200 university-based scholars contributing to the national discourse on education issues. Included this year were: Dale Ballou, associate professor of leadership, policy and organizations; Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development and professor of psychology; Lynn Fuchs, Dunn Family Professor in Psychoeducational Assessment; Ellen B. Goldring, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy; Jason Grissom, associate professor of public policy and education; Gary T. Henry, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy and Education; and Joseph F. Murphy, Frank W. Mayborn Professor of Education.

Carolyn J. Heinrich, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy and Education, was among 14 scholars elected as 2017 fellows by the American Educational Research Association during the 2017 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Heinrich is the 13th Peabody faculty member to be named an AERA fellow. At the conference, AERA research articles by Jason A. Grissom, associate professor of public policy and education; doctoral candidate Christopher Redding; Douglas Clark, professor of science education; and Emily Tanner-Smith, associate research professor, Peabody Research Institute, were recognized as being among the most read in 2016. The AERA’s Division L Outstanding Policy Report Award was presented to Gary Henry, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy and Education, and doctoral student Adam Kho for their report, “The Effects of School Turnaround in Tennessee’s Achievement School District and Innovation Zones.”

The Office of the Provost awarded Discovery Grants to proposals submitted by two Peabody professors. They are: “Tennessee Education Research Alliance Data Warehouse,” by Dale Ballou, associate professor, in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations; and “Learning Through Objects in Infants and Toddlers with Down Syndrome,” by Amy Needham, professor of psychology and human development and chair of the Department of Psychology and Human Development. The Discovery Grants program has awarded more than $16.5 million to Vanderbilt researchers since its launch in 1998.

The Peabody IRIS Center, which brings educational research to classrooms worldwide, has received the ACRES 2017 Exemplary Program Award for Educational Technology. Presented by the American Council on Rural Special Education, the ACRES award recognizes the positive effect the IRIS Center has on education in rural communities. Visits to the IRIS Center website in 2016 grew by 20 percent, to a total of 1.7 million visits. The IRIS Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

John M. Braxton, professor of leadership, policy and organizations, emeritus, was selected by the Association for the Study of Higher Education for the 2016 Research Achievement Award. The award is presented for outstanding contribution to research to an individual whose published work advances understanding of higher education in a significant way. Braxton received the award in November 2016 at the ASHE conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Lisa Fazio, assistant professor of psychology, was selected to receive a $50,000 share of a $1 million prize offered by the Knight Prototype Fund for research that builds support of journalism and combats misleading or false news stories. Twenty projects were chosen from more than 800 submissions. Fazio’s winning submission includes developing and expanding CrossCheck, a collaborative journalism project that was created by First Draft and Google News Lab to combat misinformation during the most recent French election. Fazio’s research shows that the brain begins to perceive a lie as more truthful after being exposed to it multiple times and that false information is often retained even after a person knows it has been debunked.

Anjali Forber-Pratt, assistant professor of human and organizational development and a former Paralympian, traveled to Zambia in March to meet with aspiring Paralympians in that country. The visit was part of a U.S. Department of State effort. Forber-Pratt’s research focuses on diverse populations dealing with issues of identity, equity and empowerment. Those differences include, and are not limited to, disability, race, gender and sexual orientation.

Ebony McGee, assistant professor of diversity and STEM education, will serve as a mentor for one of the seven newly named Vanderbilt Academic Pathways Fellows. The program addresses the acute need for greater diversity in the professoriate by offering a specialized postdoctoral program for scholars from underrepresented backgrounds that incorporates enhanced teaching and professional development opportunities geared toward future academics. McGee will serve as mentor for Monica Ridgeway, who earned a Ph.D. in instruction and the science of learning from the University of Buffalo. The program is supported by Vanderbilt and the National Science Foundation.

Ellen Goldring, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Education Policy and Leadership, was part of a delegation of education researchers who visited congressional offices in March. Goldring and her colleagues addressed members of Congress who hold leadership positions on key committees affecting education policy and research.

Nicole Joseph, assistant professor of mathematics education, served on a Vanderbilt panel discussion on the underrepresentation of women in STEM. The panel included Vanderbilt School of Engineering alumna and founder of Black Girls Code Kimberly Bryant; Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Alyssa Hasty, and Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences Education Bonnie Miller.

Christine Quinn Trank, associate professor of the practice of leadership, policy and organizations, was elected to a three-year term to the Academy of Management’s Board of Governors. She has been a part of the Academy of Management since 1992.

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