Dr. Jill Channing, Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) ’11 Ph.D. graduate, was recently appointed to serve as Chair for East Tennessee State University’s Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department. Dr. Channing also serves and Associate Director of the Center for Community College Leadership and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Dr. Jill Channing, ELC alum
Dr. Jill Channing

Previously, Dr. Channing served as Dean of Liberal Arts at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, NV. She also held appointments as Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kankakee Community College in Kankakee, IL and as Director of Writing Programs and English Department Head at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC. She has more than a decade of experience leading academic departments and teaching in higher education. She earned a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. Dr. Channing holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from UNC Greensboro.

Dr. Channing shares, “I use my learning about education and leadership from UNC Greensboro on a daily basis. I see ensuring academic excellence and supporting faculty and students as my top priorities as chair. I hope to bring to my new role innovations in curricula and look forward to collaborating with and supporting colleagues further as we engage in continuous quality improvement in research, service, and teaching.”

Dr. Channing has published articles and presented on various topics related to teaching, culture and education, and higher education leadership.

Dr. Heather Coleman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Specialized Education Services (SES), and three of her students received two Undergraduate Research and Creativity Awards this spring. Dr. Coleman will be supporting undergraduate students Krystal Yow and Maria Bonilla-Cooksey for the project titled “Faculty Experiences Related to Team Teaching in an Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Program,” and undergraduate student Heather Church on the project titled “Understanding the Experiences of Parents of Children with Autism and Helping them Teach their Children.”

The Undergraduate Research and Creativity Award (URCA) is designed to help faculty and students partner in meaningful projects that result in advances in understanding within their discipline/field of study. Support can be used to help defray the cost of material expenses and/or related travel, or can be used to provide a stipend for the students. The general URCA program is funded through the indirect costs generated by external grants awarded to UNC Greensboro.

Read more about these undergraduate student projects in Dr. Coleman’s description below.


It is a great honor to have the opportunity to support three students. They were chosen for these awards because of their high achievements in the Birth to Kindergarten (BK) program, their leadership skills, and their passion to pursue research activities that will advance their careers upon graduation. By the end of the summer, both of these projects will provide students the opportunity to work on disseminating the research in paper and presentation form. Thus, I’m excited that students will have the opportunity to practice writing for publication, and presenting at a state-wide conference.

The projects are quite different in nature. Krystal and Maria will be joining a team of BK program faculty and doctoral students from the Departments of Specialized Education Services (SES) and Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS, in the School of Health and Human Sciences) in their exploration of the benefits and challenges of the team taught courses. Many classes in the program are team taught between an instructor from HDFS and SES, and some classes are team taught with a family member that has a child with a disability.

As part of on-going program development, the BK faculty would like to gain students’ and faculty perspectives on how effective the team teaching process is, the benefits, and the challenges. The research team has surveyed students and interviewed faculty to gain their perspectives. In the summer, Krystal and Maria will help the team analyze this data, and publish the information they gather as an example of an effective interdisciplinary program that practices team teaching.

Heather Church has been selected to work on the autism project because of her interest in working with families and children with autism. Heather will assist in analyzing interview data collected to understand the experiences of parents of children with autism. Further, we will be working together to create a virtual parent coaching intervention designed to help parents increase their child’s communication. We will be testing the needed technology and intervention protocols.

I truly enjoy working with and mentoring students in research. I believe when students are engaged in research projects, it provides them a broader educational experience and allows students to further develop critical thinking skills, and oral and communication skills through writing for publication and presenting at conferences.


Read more about Dr. Coleman’s work and research interests here.

The U.S. News & World Report released its 2022 ranking for Graduate Schools of Education on March 30, 2021, and the UNC Greensboro School of Education (SOE) has been ranked #73 nationally as a Graduate School of Education, the SOE’s highest ranking on record. More specifically, the SOE has been ranked the #3 Graduate School of Education in North Carolina and #5 nationally among Graduate Schools of Education in public R2 (high research) institutions.

Additionally, Counseling and Educational Development (CED) is ranked #4 in the nation and #1 in North Carolina for the Student Counseling specialty area. The CED department has consistently been recognized as a top graduate education program by the U.S. News & World Report, ranking in the Top 8 list for more than two decades.

Library and Information Science (LIS) is ranked #8 in the nation and #1 in North Carolina for the School Library Media specialty area, and is ranked #23 nationally among Library and Information Studies Programs. The LIS department blends coursework from library and information science, computer science, geography, information systems, and education research methodology to prepare students to work in a variety of ever emerging fields. LIS is also the largest online program at UNC Greensboro.

“These outstanding rankings not only speak to our impact on research and practice at the regional, state, and national level, they also demonstrate the transformative educational experience provided to our students,” says Randy Penfield, Dean of the UNC Greensboro School of Education.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings and data, published in full on usnews.com, are based on in-depth reputation and statistical surveys conducted in fall 2020 and early 2021 of each program in the six largest graduate school disciplines (MBA, law, education, engineering, medical, and nursing programs).

Jon Henner 2021 book Bilingual Deaf Education

Dr. Jonathan Henner, assistant professor in the Professions in Deafness (PID) program in the Department of Specialized Education Services (SES), has published a new book titled Discussing Bilingualism in Deaf Children: Essays in Honor of Robert Hoffmeister, available April 1, 2021.

Dr. Henner is an alumnus of Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, where he received his Ed.D. in Developmental Studies in 2016. He and a group of BU Wheelock alumni and their colleagues in the field of bilingualism and Deaf education teamed up to author this book of essays honoring the work of BU Wheelock associate professor emeritus Robert J. Hoffmeister. It covers topics including bilingual deaf education, teaching strategies for deaf students, signed language assessment, and Dr. Hoffmeister’s impact on the field.

Dr. Hoffmeister joined Boston University in the late 1970s. He was a pioneer in arguing against the long-held idea that learning and utilizing American Sign Language (ASL) would prevent deaf children from excelling in English.

“Bob was instrumental in the movement to bring ASL back into the classroom,” explains Dr. Henner, who co-edited the new book with Charlotte Ens and Lynn McQuarrie. “He continues to be a force for ASL even these days and deserves honor for the work he has done.”

In a recent interview for Wheelock magazine, Hoffmeister explained the need for an approach to Deaf Education that does not treat deafness as a condition in need of fixing. “This is where we run counter to the medical profession,” he told the magazine. But given some of the changes to the field, he said, “I’m hopeful for the future.”

Today, thanks in part to Hoffmeister’s efforts, BU’s Deaf Education program is one of the only programs in the country dedicated to theoretical and applied research in Deaf Education from a bilingual/bicultural perspective.

“When he joined the faculty at BU, Dr. Hoffmeister immediately transformed the Deaf Education program to adopt a bilingual approach,” explains Dr. Amy Lieberman, assistant professor and program co-director for BU Wheelock’s Deaf Studies program. “He put ASL at the center of the educational model for deaf children and has had a tremendous impact on the field.”

Learn more about Dr. Henner’s new book here.

Dr. Brian Clarida, clinical associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) Department, received new funding from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to launch the Assistant Principal Leadership Academy (APLA) project.

The purpose of the Leadership Academy is to develop participants’ capacities as assistant principals who make vital leadership and managerial contributions to their current schools, and to prepare participants for potential transition into the principalship.

Learn more about the project and Dr. Clarida’s hopes for the future of the academy in this Q&A.


When did the Assistant Principal Leadership Academy come to fruition?

Dr. Clarida: After several discussions with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, we were chosen to provide the support that they were seeking for their assistant principals. The project started in January 2021, and we are proud to partner with local school districts to provide services.

What is your educational background and how has it helped you develop this program?

Dr. Clarida: I served in many different leadership roles before coming to UNC Greensboro. One of those roles was as a school principal in two different districts, and I have worked in both rural and urban school districts. In my current role at UNCG, I primarily train individuals to become school administrators through ELC’s Masters in School Administration and Post Masters Certificate in School Administration programs. My experiences from both being a principal and now training others has provided me the necessary training to work with others on their journey to becoming school leaders.

What does your role in the APLA entail, and are there others involved in the project as well? 

Dr. Clarida: I am a co-leader on the project, and Donna Peters is the other co-leader on the project. I am really excited that six of our ELC faculty members have agreed to present sessions for the participants. Donna and I plan and lead each session with ELC faculty and other presenters joining us to present topics related to their expertise.

What kind of preparation do participants receive throughout the program?

Dr. Clarida: The participants are exposed to many different learning modules during the program. In some sessions we discuss leadership versus management; fostering relational culture; crucial conversations; culturally responsive leadership; understanding race, equity, and education; and transitioning into the principalship.

What do you hope the future of the program looks like? 

Dr. Clarida: Our goal is to provide other services to districts across the state on best practices when preparing school leaders to take over the principalship. We hope to continue this relationship with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Dr. Clarida: Providing training opportunities for school leaders provides me an opportunity to feel that I am paying it forward. It is my firm belief that we all had mentors during our journeys to achieve our personal level of success and that we must be willing to provide the same opportunities to others.