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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I was a school psychologist at Heartland Area Education Agency 11 in central Iowa. I worked out of the Indianola, Iowa, office, but the agency headquarters were in Johnston, Iowa.
What brought you to LSU?Well, frankly, my husband did. We met in our Ph.D. program, and got married before internship. George (Noell, Department of Psychology) was going to be the family academic. I had planned to get a job in one of the surrounding parishes as a school psychologist. However, upon our arrival in Baton Rouge, I discovered that the School of Social Work was looking for someone to handle the research end of their Title IV-E contract — child welfare education. I applied and was fortunate to begin my academic career here. From there, I was offered a tenure track line in social work, followed by the tenure track line in special education, that I currently hold.
What is your research interest?Iíve had several over the years, but my current interests are in K-12 teacher effectiveness, and how higher education can increase it. I am also interested in the behavioral correlates of teacher effectiveness in the classroom, i.e., how do teachers who are very effective differ from teachers who are less effective in terms of their behavior in the classroom with students?
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?For now, I hope to get additional grants that will allow me to do research on the relationship between teacher classroom behavior and student achievement measures.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?For a capital city, Baton Rouge has a surprisingly small-town feel. LSU has the most positive aspects of a flagship university campus in a big city, but I am very comfortable raising my kids here, and I donít feel the population pressure that is evident in more densely populated areas.
What are your major accomplishments?Louisiana was the first state in the nation to develop and implement a statewide value-added teacher preparation assessment system, for which I have been responsible in large part over the past several years. This is a huge data management and analytic task. I am fortunate to have been involved with its implementation over the past several years.