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What Do These People Have in Common?

They are all new faculty in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences!

In addition to welcoming over 600 new students this fall, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences welcomed six new faculty members.  These faculty have more than 70 years of combined experience in their disciplines and bring not only vast reservoirs of knowledge but diverse life experiences. We are delighted to welcome our new faculty members to a community committed to excellence and enhancing the quality of life through research, outreach, and practice.

Brittany N. Anderson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Theory and Practice in Teacher Education

University of Georgia (PhD)


A native Texan, Brittany has general education teaching experience in kindergarten and second grade. For the past several years, Brittany has been involved in the professional development of in-service teachers in urban school districts around issues of recruitment and retention of culturally, linguistically, linguistically, and economically diverse students for gifted services and programming.

Brittany’s research focuses on pre-service and in-service teacher professional development around talent development and talent identification of underrepresented youth in Title I schools. Brittany’s research also focuses on the development/impact of teacher preparation programs on cultivating culturally competent teachers.

Recent Faculty Highlights

  • National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) 2017 Doctoral Student Award
  • Hines, M. E., Anderson, B. N., & Grantham, T. C. (2017). Promoting opportunity, rigor, and achievement for underrepresented students. In Eckert, R. & Robins, J. (2nd ed.)
  • Designing Programs and Services for High-Ability Learners: A Guidebook for Gifted Education (pp. 151-168). Washington, DC: Corwin Press and National Association for Gifted Children.

What’s your favorite thing about Knoxville?

I love the Smoky Mountain being in our backyard. I’ve greatly enjoyed the hikes and scenic views.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

Being a Volunteer means being dedicated to my students in preparing them to be phenomenal leaders in our Nation’s classrooms, being committed to solid research, and serving in reciprocal, mutually-beneficial relationships with the community to identify and respond to community issues and needs.



Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies

The Ohio State University (PhD)



Samara is a white female, mother of three children and grandmother of 5 children. She was born and raised in Chula Vista, California but moved to the Big Island of Hawaii at the age of 12 and lived there for 17 years.

Her research has focused on the emotional lives of adults and children in early childhood classrooms using collaborative ethnographic methods. Her research also examines early childhood educators development of intercultural competence and intercultural relationships while teaching in Nepal.

Recent Faculty Highlights

  • Awarded the 2017 Innovative Course Grant from the University of Wyoming.
  • I have a forthcoming co-edited book with Dr. Mary Jane Moran and Dr. Robyn Brookshire entitled Collaborative Cross-Cultural Research Methodologies in Early Care and Education Contexts. This will be published by Routledge Press in December 2017.
  • On the International Outreach Committee for the Association for Childhood Education International.

What’s your favorite thing about Knoxville?

The humidity, rain, and green areas remind me of Hilo, Hawaii. It makes me feel at home!

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? Striving to be my best self and helping others to do the same; I am extremely proud to be part of the Volunteer community.



Assistant Professor, Theory and Practice in Teacher Education

Michigan State University (PhD)


Frances earned her PhD in mathematics education at Michigan State University (2017) and two master’s degrees related to mathematics education, one at Harvard University in Mathematics for Teaching (2011) and the second at Stanford University in Curriculum and Teacher Education (2012). She was PK-12 educator, teaching mathematics, reading, and English in various urban contexts, for eight years, and she has been involved with the professional development of practicing and prospective mathematics educators in different capacities since 2007.

Her research broadly focuses on issues of equity and social justice in mathematics education and teacher education, particularly within urban contexts. She strives to support teachers to enact equity-minded teaching practices (e.g., complex instruction, math for social justice) and to understand students’ experiences with those teaching efforts.

Recent Faculty Highlights

  • Lead author on two chapters in the recently published book, Building support for scholarly practices in mathematics methods, the final volume in the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Professional Book Series. This book is the product of collaborations among 40 mathematics teacher educators across the country.

What’s your favorite thing about Knoxville? What does being a Volunteer mean to you? My favorite thing about Knoxville is the abundance of spaces for outdoor recreation. My dogs and I love the various parks and greenways, and we look forward to exploring the nearby mountains and lakes.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

To me, being a Volunteer means devoting my time and energy to community outreach and service. I strive to build partnerships with teachers, families, and other community members towards improving the educational experiences and opportunities of children.


Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies

University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (PhD)



Megan grew up in Marietta, Georgia and upon graduating headed north to the Midwest for college (Indiana University) and graduate school (University of Illinois). Upon earning her degree, she took a southern route to Auburn University where she was a faculty member for 4 years before joining the Child and Family Studies department at the University of Tennessee.

Megan’s research is two-fold: 1) Along with a team of researchers and community partners, including the Knoxville Family Justice Center, she is interested in better understanding the help-seeking experiences of victims/survivors of domestic violence; 2) She is also interested in better understanding the experiences of young adults who were exposed to father-mother domestic violence during their childhood and adolescence, with a focus on their coping strategies and resilience.

Any accomplishments we might include?

Recent Faculty Highlights

  • Research has been published in a variety of family studies and family violence journals, including Psychology of Violence; Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Trauma, Violence, and Abuse; and, Journal of Marriage and Family.
  • Serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Marriage and Family
  • Recently presented a webinar presentation on my research on “the cycle of violence” for the Battered Women’s Justice Project.
  • Chair-elect for the Feminism and Family Studies Section in the National Council of Family Relations.
  • Recently received two awards: Samia I. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award in Women’s Studies (Auburn University) and the Cindy Winter Scholarship Award (National Council on Family Relations).

What’s your favorite thing about Knoxville? My favorite things about

Knoxville is the Saturday Farmer’s Market and the diversity of restaurants and outdoor activities.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? Being a volunteer means making the deliberate decision to be an active and engaged community citizen through advocacy sharing of my time and resources.


Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

California Lutheran University (EdD)


James has 20+ years of instructional and leadership experiences, including teaching and administrative roles in public, private, parochial and boarding school environments. In addition, he has served as Accreditation Visiting Committee Chairperson for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Lead Instructor for the Johns Hopkins University Engineering Innovation Program, Member of the Academic Senate, Grant Co-Principal Investigator and Dean of Education Search Committee member.

He has substantive experience in developing quantitative and qualitative research design methods for data collection and devising/implementing interventions for early career teachers/administrators to increase student success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). He is the National Co-Leader of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Secondary Teacher Retention in Diverse Educational Settings (STRIDES) Research Action Cluster, leading a collaborative team of teacher education, mathematics faculty and school district partners to increase retention of math teachers across the United States.

Recent Faculty Highlights

  • Martinez and his teachers were awarded the 2012 California School Board Association (CSBA) Golden Bell Award for Community Partnerships. In 2016, he was nominated by his students for the Maximus Award for Teaching and Student Support.
  • Martinez, J.A., Mathematics Attitudes and Achievement of U.S. High School Sophomores Based on Race, Academy for Educational Studies (AES) Journal of Critical Questions in Education (ISSN 2327-3607), Vol. 8, Issue 1, January, 2017
  • Co-Principal Investigator – $1.28M California Mathematics Readiness Challenge Grant Initiative (CMCGI), offered by the California Department of Education (CDE).
  • Annual Speaker for Regional/National Conferences:  School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA), North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PMENA) and  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

What’s your favorite thing about Knoxville? Rowing on the Tennessee River 

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? Being a gracious and effective collaborator in supporting my department (ELPS) with their efforts to effectively prepare our graduate students for future service in K-12 and higher education institutions.  Also, forming substantive connections with local/regional/state/national institutions to develop research/practice to improve student learning experiences.


Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies

Georgia State University (PhD)



Margaret studied humanities during her undergraduate and initial graduate degrees but switched to social science.  Eventually, she was led to teaching; She taught in preschool classrooms in the US and in Northern Ireland for five years.

Margaret’s research interest is in children’s early writing: the nature, measurement, and development of these foundational skills.  Further she is interested in teachers’ practices around early writing and emergent literacy and their impact on child outcomes concurrently and longitudinally.

Recent Faculty Highlights

  • Finished my PhD in May at Georgia State University and was awarded with the best dissertation in my college (the College of Education and Human Development).

What’s your favorite thing about Knoxville? I love the small-town feeling of Knoxville.  I know my neighbors and they know me. It makes for a nice community, even though we are so new to town.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? Being a volunteer means helping whenever you can, wherever you can, however you can.


Assistant Professor, Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Oklahoma State University (PhD)



Boham has worked as a registered dietitian, restaurant and wine marketing manager, and culinary assistant

Her research interests are in food safety, local/sustainable food consumption, healthy eating environment, and entrepreneurship in the hospitality industry

Recent Faculty Highlights

  • Published 6 articles and received 2 research awards.

What’s your favorite thing about Knoxville?  I am excited to be exploring a new life in Knoxville, TN