COE welcomes new faculty in fall 2022
Georgia Southern University’s College of Education (COE) is excited to welcome nine new faculty members to the College team this semester. New faculty members for fall 2022 include:
Jarvais Jackson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of elementary education and culturally responsive pedagogy in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. Jackson recently completed his Ph.D. in Teaching And Learning from the University of South Carolina. A 2021 semi finalist for the National Academy of Education’s (NAEd) Spencer Dissertation Fellowship award, Jackson completed his dissertation on “Africanizing the Curriculum: African Diaspora Literacy Instruction in Elementary Classrooms.” He earned an M.Ed. in Divergent Learning from Columbia College as well as a bachelor’s in elementary education from Winthrop University, both in South Carolina. His career experiences include teaching in elementary and middle school classrooms and most recently serving as director for the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students in Columbia, SC where he sought funding for the Center, managed daily operations, developed programming and curriculum while maintaining networks with P-20 educators and policymakers. Jackson’s recent publications include topics such as Afrocentrism in critical language and literacy teaching, race mentoring, and maintaining black immigrant racial identities.
Jackson is located on the Armstrong Campus, University Hall 258.
Hui Jin, Ph.D., is an associate professor of science education in the Department of Middle Grades and Secondary Education. Jin taught physics in a vocational high school in China for 11 years prior to earning her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy (with a focus on science education) from Michigan State University. Jin served as an assistant professor of science education at Ohio State University where she taught undergraduate and graduate level courses. Jin joined Educational Testing Service in 2015, where she was promoted to senior research scientist in 2018. Jin has co-directed and served as principal investigator on grants totaling more than $2 million. Her articles were selected for the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Reading List by National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) in 2013 and 2016. Jin served on the editorial board of Journal of Research in Science Teaching, as an associate editor for Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, and on the review panel for NSF and IES. Her research interests include learning progressions, environmental literacy, secondary science teaching, mathematical thinking in science, technologically enhanced science assessment, and cross-cultural research on science teaching and learning.
Jin is located on the Armstrong Campus, University Hall 232.
Alesia Moldavan, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of elementary mathematics and science in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. She joins Georgia Southern from Fordham University in New York, where she served as an assistant professor in mathematics education. Moldavan is returning to the state of Georgia where she completed her master’s and doctorate degrees in mathematics education from Georgia State University and her bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Georgia. She also holds graduate certificates in international education and qualitative research. Moldavan taught in Atlanta-area schools for over four years before joining the staff at Georgia State where she served as an elementary STEM instructor and university supervisor. Her most recent publications include topics on culturally responsive pedagogy in STEM, digital learning tools and platforms to promote pedagogy and well-being in teacher education, and urban teachers’ perspectives on mathematics instruction during COVID-19. She is also an editor of the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education.
Moldavan is located on the Armstrong Campus, University Hall 266.
LaPortia Mosley, M.Ed., is a Double Eagle alumna and an instructor of elementary education in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. A former visiting instructor of elementary and special education in 2021, Mosley re-joins the College this year in a permanent faculty position. Mosley earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in early childhood education from Georgia Southern, and also holds a gifted in-field certification. A classroom teacher with 12 years of experience, Mosley has taught in both special education and elementary education classrooms across Southeast Georgia including Hinesville, Swainsboro, Lyons and Statesboro. Skilled in Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS), Mosley has served as leadership in several schools to provide PBIS support and guidelines. Proactively seeking external support for her initiatives, Mosley has been awarded 11 DonorsChoose educational grants for classroom projects. During her tenure in the classroom, Mosley hosted Georgia Southern COE student teachers and provided mentorship as their clinical associate teacher.
Mosley is located on the Statesboro Campus, COE 4104.
Bailey Nafziger, Ed.D., is an assistant professor of elementary science education in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. Recently completing her Ed.D. in Leadership and Practice from the University of North Dakota in spring 2022, Nafziger worked in middle school science classrooms for seven years prior to becoming a gifted specialist for second to sixth grade students. She earned a master’s in science education from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s in elementary education from the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota. Nafziger’s research interests include gifted pedagogy and culturally relevant science pedagogy.
Nafziger is located on the Statesboro Campus, COE 4141.
Erin Piedmont, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of elementary social studies education in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. Piedmont joins Georgia Southern from the University of North Alabama where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses and also served as an internship supervisor. She earned a Ph.D. in Social Studies Education from Purdue University where she focused her research on critical citizenship education. She earned both a master’s degree in literacy studies and dual undergraduate degrees in elementary and special education from the University of Nevada, Reno. Piedmont has published research on inquiry-based learning in teacher education, civic identity development, and participatory literacy practices.
Piedmont is located on the Armstrong Campus, University Hall 239.
Robert Prosser, Ed.D., is an instructor of elementary education in the Department of Elementary and Special Education. Prosser earned his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University where he completed his dissertation on “Developing a Program to Improve the Morale of Inner-City Elementary School Faculty.” Additionally, Prosser earned an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership and M.S. in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern. Prosser has both experience in the elementary school classroom as well as faculty and administrative roles in the public school system and higher education including instructor, director of clinical supervision and internship placement, academic manager of curriculum development, and behavioral health therapist.
Prosser is located on the Armstrong Campus, University Hall 268.
Ceren Ocak, Ph.D., is an associate professor of instructional technology in the Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development. A native of Turkey, Ocak earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s in curriculum and instruction from Middle East Technical University in Ankara before coming to the United States to study at the University of Georgia (UGA). At UGA, Ocak completed a Ph.D. in Learning, Design and Technology, where she received a research grant for innovative and interdisciplinary research. Her research focuses on embodied learning, ecological embodiment, and computer science education. Ocak has experience developing curriculum for K-12 students as well as game design and development. She is a co-author of Learning and the body: A handbook for designing embodied learning experiences with and through technology, which is currently under review with Routledge.
Ocak is located on the Statesboro Campus, COE 3110.
Rachael Smith, Ed.D., is a clinical assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education in the Department of Middle Grades and Secondary Education. Smith earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University where she also earned her undergraduate degree in secondary education in English and language arts (ELL). Smith also holds a master’s in secondary education in ELL from the University of Kansas. She brings over 13 years of experience including high school language arts teacher, educational technology integration specialist, school district curriculum and instructional coach, and instructional technology instructor and university supervision of student teachers. Smith’s recent publications include topics such as culturally sustaining pedagogy and instruction.
Smith is located on the Armstrong Campus, University Hall 205.
Posted in Faculty Highlights