Seven presentations made by COE and partners at National Association of Professional Development Schools Conference

Pictured front row (l-r): Amee Adkins, Ph.D,, Nedra Cossa, Ph.D., Jessica Viller, Lindsay Buck, Deonn Stone, Ed.D., Suzanne Fleming, and Lila Duke. Pictured back row (l-r): Janel Smith, Ph.D., Meredith Tanner, Laine Lynch, Nicholas Wozniak, Ellen Whitford, Ed.D., and Cynthia Bolton, Ph.D.

Seven conference presentations were made by Georgia Southern University College of Education faculty and affiliates during the National Association of Professional Development Schools Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, February 14-16.

Representation was present from the College and both Professional Development School partnerships including Richmond Hill High School (RHHS) in Bryan County and Hesse K-8 School (Hesse K-8) in Chatham County.

Presentations included:

  • “Put me in Coach–Effectively Mentoring and Coaching Student Teachers,” presented by Debi McNeal, RHHS principal, and COE faculty members Jana Underwood, Ed.D., Ellen Whitford, Ed.D., and Nedra Cossa, Ph.D.
  • “Creating a High school Gay Straight Alliance Club,” presented by Nicholas Wozniak, M.Ed. Counselor Education candidate and Sean Sullivan, RHHS teacher
  • “Creating Impact Through Professional Development and Collaboration with the High School Counseling Program,” presented by Debi McNeal, RHHS principal, Meredith Tanner, RHHS teacher leader, Laine Lynch, RHHS counseling department, and COE faculty member Ellen Whitford, Ed.D. and M.Ed. Counselor Education Candidate Nicholas Wozniak
  • “Developing a Transformative PDS Partnership: Healthy, Collegial, and Self-Sustaining,” presented by Debi McNeal, RHHS principal, Meredith Tanner, RHHS teacher leader, Laine Lynch, RHHS counseling department, and College of Education’s Amee Adkins, Ph.D., and Ellen Whitford, Ed.D.
  • “Smooth Transitions: Ensuring Effective Communication between School-University Liaisons,” presented by Hesse K-8 Teacher Leader Lila Duke COE’s Nedra Cossa, Ph.D.
  • “Sustaining the PDS through Tumultuous Change,” presented by Deonn Stone, Ed.D., Savannah Chatham Public Schools; Kim Newman, Hesse K-8 principal; and COE’s Cynthia Bolton, Ph.D., Nedra Cossa, Ph.D., Ellen Whitford, Ed.D.
  • “Building our P.L.A.C.E through a PDS,” presetned by Jessica Viller, Hesse K-8 teacher and COE’s Janel Smith, Ph.D.

Jensen serves as expert panelist for social media influence on teens

Lucas Jensen, Ph.D.

Lucas Jensen, Ph.D.
, served as an expert panelist following the free screening of “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age,” held on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah on January 17. The documentary attempts to address how families can minimize the harmful effects of digital devices. Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston decided to make “Screenagers” when she found herself constantly struggling with her two kids about “screen time,” or the time spent looking at digital devices including but not limited to cell phones, tablets, computers and television.

Jensen’s research in the areas of social media and video game technology provided valuable insight into the digital world and the effects these mediums have on the learning environment. For more information or to view some of the research completed by Jensen, visit:

Katz presents at 30th annual NYAR Conference with COE alumnus

Anne Katz, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Curriculum, Foundations and Reading (pictured right), presented alongside College of Education alumnus and Mitchell Sexton, M.Ed. Reading (2018), at the National Youth-at-Risk Conference held March 3-6 in Savannah.

Their presentation, “Transforming Literacy Learning: Action Research through the Lens of a Reading Specialist,” detailed an action research plan centered around literacy instruction through the course of a traditional semester. The plan, developed by Sexton as a part of his master’s curriculum, analyzed the validity, reliability and personal bias inherent in his action research study; developed a literature review on a research topic; implemented a plan for conducting action research; and applied evaluation criteria to his own project. Katz served as Sexton’s faculty mentor during the project.

Parks presents at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fayth Parks, Ph.D.


Fayth Parks, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development gave a Turning Research into Prevention (TRIP) presentation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

The presentation focused on HIV/AIDS and rural health. Along with various federal agencies, the CDC is coordinating highly successful programs, resources and infrastructure in response to the “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative. This national initiative is targeting hot spots in 19 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, as well as in seven states with a disproportionate prevalence of HIV in rural areas.

Shannon-Baker to present at two international conferences in March

Peggy Shannon-Baker, Ph.D.


Peggy Shannon-Baker, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Foundations and Reading, will be presenting on March 15 as a virtual guest lecturer to a doctoral mixed methods course at the University of Alberta, Canada. Shannon-baker will present information on arts-based research approaches in mix-methods studies to a course taught in educational psychology by Cheryl Poth.

Later this month, Shannon-Baker will also present at the Mixed Methods International Research Association’s regional conference in Trinidad and Tobago. She was invited to give a presentation on arts-based approaches to integrating multiple data sets and will also be giving a workshop on culturally relevant approaches to mixed methods research.

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