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CEHHS Welcomes New Faculty

Child and Family Studies

Julia Jaekel is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies. Jaekel earned her PhD in developmental psychology at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, postdoctoral at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, and higher doctoral in developmental psychology at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. Her research is interdisciplinary and often combines multiple methods such as behavioral, cognitive, academic, neurological and physiological assessments to understand long-term developmental mechanisms of vulnerability, resilience and susceptibility in individuals facing socio-cultural and/or biological adversity.


Julia Jaekel Assistant Professor in Child and Family Studies

Jaekel is currently involved in a number of international longitudinal studies. She has published widely in leading journals, held several research grants in Germany, and is the leading coordinator of the adolescent psychopathology interest group of the Adults Born Preterm International Collaboration (APIC).

Sally Hunter, Assistant Clinical Professor in Child and Family Studies

Sally B. Hunter is an assistant clinical professor and Child and Family Studies Undergraduate Advising Coordinator. Since completing her PhD in 2009 from the University of Tennessee, she has been a lecturer for the Department of Child and Family Studies. In recent years, Sally has published work related to dimensions of parenting that influence adolescent behavior. She is also interested in college student learning outcomes and how they differ based on method of course delivery.

Sally recently presented some of her work at the Lilly International Conference on College Teaching.

Juli Sams, University of Tennessee alumni, is the Community Outreach Practicum Coordinator in the Department of Child and Family Studies. Juli has applied experience with families of children with special needs as well as parenting and parent education. She has taught child development courses spanning the lifespan and families in context. She currently oversees the capstone practicum experience for the Child and Family Studies Community Outreach students in addition to teaching other CFS courses. Juli continues to work towards a better understanding of families of children with special needs.

Juli Sams, Community Outreach Practicum Coordinator

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

 Lisa Driscoll, Assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies image

Lisa G. Driscoll is an associate professor in Educational Administration in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. She earned her PhD in Educational Administration and a MSEd in Vocational and Technical Education from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).  She earned her BS in Animal Science and Chemistry from Berry College in Georgia.  Lisa has been in public education over 30 years and has held teaching and administrative positions in both pk-12 education and in higher education.

Lisa teaches graduate courses in educational law, educational finance, school budgeting, the history of education, and human resources and supervision.

Lisa’s work focuses on applied and theoretical research in education finance, law, and policy. Currently, she is investigating judicial decision-making in school finance equity and adequacy litigation. In addition to refereed publications, Lisa has prepared legal and fiscal analyses for courts of law, state legislatures, public school districts and professional educator’s organizations.

In 2011 she was named a Fellow by the National Education Finance Conference.

Educational Psychology and Counseling

Laura Wheat, Assistant Professor and Coordinator for the Grief Outreach Initiative

Laura Wheat is an assistant professor and Coordinator for the Grief Outreach Initiative (GOI) in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. She worked as a school-based counselor in York, South Carolina before moving to Charlottesville for her doctoral studies in Counselor Education & Supervision at the University of Virginia. Laura focuses on loss and life transitions, particularly as they impact children and adolescents.

She is beginning outcome research to investigate the effectiveness of GOI activities with preschool-12th grade students.  She is also in the midst of designing the GOI’s first grief camp, to be held in summer 2016. Laura is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Death Education & Counseling (ADEC).  The Board is the governing body of this multidisciplinary, multinational organization devoted to the study of death, dying, and bereavement and the practice of helping those who are dying and those who mourn.

Craig D. Howard earned his PhD from Indiana University Bloomington and his MA at Teachers College Columbia University in New York City and is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. Craig spent a few years teaching in New York City public schools and seven years as a lecturer at two universities in Tokyo, Japan. He studies instructional design- how we put instruction together, how we go about deciding what methods help learners learn best, and how we select the tools we’re going to use to do it.

Craig Howard, Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies image

Craig has been involved with the International Journal of Designs for Learning, since the journal’s first inception in 2010.

Casey A. Barrio Minton, Associate Professor and Counselor of Education in Educational Psychology and Counseling Image

Casey A. Barrio Minton is an associate professor and Counselor of Education in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. Casey holds a BA in Sociology and Communication from St. Norbert College and an MS in Counseling, PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education, and a Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She specializes in crisis intervention and has worked as an assessment and crisis counselor with adolescents and adults across mental health counseling settings. 

Casey wants to best understand how to prepare professional counselors who are able to provide efficient and effective series to a broad range of clients.

Casey is the founding editor of the Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy and past-president of Chi Sigma Iota International and the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling. She was recently elected to serve as president of the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. In spring 2016, Casey will release a book, Evaluating Student Learning Outcomes in Counselor Education.

Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies

Jeffery A. Graham is an assistant professor in Sport Management in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies. Jeffery graduated with a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin.  He is interested in learning how sport organizations can be more productive, successful, and enriching places to work. To that end, he is currently examining the relationship between work and family, and how individuals working in sport balance their work and family obligations. Jeffery says he is a huge sports fan and excited to cheer for the Vols!

Jeffery A. Graham, Assistant Professor in Sport Management

Lyndsey Hornbuckle, University of Tennessee graduate, is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies. Lyndsey’s primary research interests are the effects of various exercise and physical activity interventions on body composition and biomarkers for cardiovascular disease risk. The majority of her work has examined these relationships in underrepresented populations including African-American women and low-income individuals. Lyndsey is an active member of the American College of Sports Medicine and serves on the Strategic Health Initiative on Women, Sport, & Physical Activity Committee for the organization. She earned both her undergraduate and MS degrees from UT and is excited to return to Big Orange Country!

Assistant Professor, Biomechanics

Joshua T. Weinhandl is an assistant professor of Biomechanics in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies.  Joshua graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Joshua is an expert in biomechanics and neuromuscular control.  He applies these skills to the study of lower extremity injury mechanics through the use of kinematic and kinetic analyses, and computational modeling.

Joshua’s current research is focused on understanding the risk factors and injury mechanisms for anterior cruciate ligament injuries.  He is also focused on understanding the biomechanical characteristics of ACL deficient and reconstructed knees that lead to the development of knee osteoarthritis.


Betsy Anderson Steeves is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition.  Betsy earned her PhD from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a MS from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Betsy began her research career by working as a Research Associate in  Hollie Raynor¹s HEAL lab. This experience led Betsy to seek a doctoral degree in Public Health with a concentration in nutrition from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Betsy Anderson Steeves,

Betsy’s research interests involve community-based interventions to reduce health disparities and prevent obesity among under-served populations, with a specific emphasis on low-socioeconomic status families. She also explores how social and physical (built) environments influence food acquisition and consumption behaviors of youth and adult. She is currently in the process of developing food choice laboratories that mimic small retail food environments, such as convenience stores, to test consumer food environment manipulations. Here is the link to Betsy’s website for the Healthy Eating and Active Living through Healthy Environments (HEALTHE) lab.

Ahmed Bettaieb,

Ahmed Bettaieb is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition.  Ahmed studied cancer biology and chemotherapy at the University of Quebec in Montreal Canada. He did postdoctoral training at the University of California studying obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.  His previous training has afforded him a strong knowledge and technical background making him a well-trained scientist with the capabilities of producing more mechanistic advances in the treatment of metabolic disorders.

The long-term objectives of his research are: (1) provide a better understanding of the molecular and genetic mechanisms contributing to the development of metabolic diseases. (2) Exploit novel genes and therapeutic strategies aiming at reducing the overall burden of these diseases. Research publications- Bettaieb A, Hosein E, Chahed S, Abdulaziz A, Kucera HR, Gaikwad NW, Haj FG. Decreased adiposity and enhanced glucose tolerance in shikonin treated mice. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Sep 16. doi: 10.1002/oby.21263.

Bettaieb A, Chahed S, Bachaalany S, Griffey S, Hammock BD, Haj FG. Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Pharmacological Inhibition Ameliorates Experimental Acute Pancreatitis in Mice. Mol Pharmacol. 2015 Aug;88(2):281-90.

Bettaieb A, Jiang JX, Sasaki Y, Chao TI, Kiss Z, Chen X, Tian J, Katsuyama M, Yabe-Nishimura C, Xi Y, Szyndralewiez C, Schröder K, Shah A, Brandes RP, Haj FG, Török NJ. Hepatocyte NADPH Oxidase 4 Regulates Stress Signaling, Fibrosis, and Insulin Sensitivity During Development of Steatohepatitis in Mice.Gastroenterology. 2015 Apr 14. pii: S0016-5085(15)00509-0.

Ahmed Bettaieb, Marcela Vazquez Prieto, Cecilia Rodriguez Lanzi, Roberto Miatello, Fawaz Haj, Cesar Fraga and Patricia Oteiza (2014). (-)-Epicatechin mitigates high-fructose-associated insulin resistance by modulating redox signaling and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 72C:247-256

Inceoglu B, Bettaieb A, Trindade da Silva CA, Lee KS, Haj FG, Hammock BD. Endoplasmic reticulum stress in the peripheral nervous system is a significant driver of neuropathic pain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(29):9082-7. [PubMed]F1000Prime Recomended

Bora Inceoglu, Karen Wagner, Jun Yang, Ahmed Bettaieb, Nils Schebb, Fawaz Haj, Bruce Hammock (2012). Acute augmentation of epoxygenated fatty acid levels rapidly reduces pain-related behavior in a rat model of type I diabetes.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jul 10;109(28):11390-5. [PubMed]F1000Prime Recommended

Bethany Cummings, Ahmed Bettaieb, James Graham, Kimber Stanhope, Riva Dill, Gregory Morton, Fawaz Haj and Peter Havel (2011). Subcutaneous administration of leptin normalizes fasting plasma glucose in obese type 2 diabetes UCD-T2DM rats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 30; 108(35):14670-5.  [PubMed]  F1000Prime Recommended

Public Health

Samantha F. Ehrlich is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health.  Samantha earned both her MPH in maternal and child health and PhD in epidemiology, concentrating on reproductive and perinatal epidemiology, from the University of California Berkeley. Her research area is gestational diabetes and the impact of pregnancy glucose levels on subsequent cardiometabolic risk for the mother and child.  Samantha’s current work examines potential programming for childhood obesity by pregnancy exposures, particularly physical activity during pregnancy.

Samantha F. Ehrlich

Samantha recently received a K01 award from NIH and NIDDK for her five-year project focusing on physical activity in pregnancy for intergenerational obesity prevention.

Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Michelle Childs, Assistant Professor in Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Michelle Childs, graduate of the University of North Carolina Greensboro, is an assistant professor of Retail Management in the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management. Michelle has retail management experience, working for Nordstrom and Kohl’s. Based on her interests in the apparel retail industry, she pursued graduate education in consumer, apparel, and retail studies. Her primary research interests are brand extensions, brand collaborations, and international retailing.

She has conducted research on various brand extension strategies of fashion apparel brands and its impact on brand image. Michelle is a member of the International Textile and Apparel Association and the American Collegiate Retail Association as well as assists retail students involved in the National Retail Federation Student Association.

Theory and Practice in Teacher Education

Michelle G. Swaney, alumna of the University of Tennessee, is a lecturer in the Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Educational Interpreting programs in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. Michelle is an RID nationally certified interpreter, coordinator of the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) and has considerable experience in making online technology accessible for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.

Michelle Swaney, Lecturer in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Educational Interpeting program image

She has 21 years of experience in the field of deafness and her research interests include American Sign Language (curriculum, materials, teaching, and flipped classroom approach) as well as online education and accessibility. Michelle’s thesis for American Sign Language curriculum and materials has been downloaded 40 times since 9/5/15-

Joy G. Bertling, Clinical Assistant Professor in Art Education

Joy G. Bertling, University of Georgia graduate, is a clinical assistant professor in Art Education in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. She earned her National Board Teaching certification in Visual Art and taught art in K-12 public schools for over a decade, primarily at the middle school level. Her research focuses on the intersection of art education and ecological concerns, primarily through research on art education informed by a critical pedagogy of place.

She also explores the potential of image-based research methods through her work. Her article, “The Art of Empathy:  A Mixed Methods Case Study of a Critical Place-Based Art Education Program,” was published this August in the International Journal of Art and Education.

Joshua Kenna is an assistant professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education and earned his PhD from the University of Central Florida. Joshua taught secondary social studies, including American History, World History, and Geography in Florida for several years before getting his doctorate. He was Social Studies Teacher of the Year for his school and participated in several leadership roles including the literacy council and AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination.

Joshua Kenna,

He served as an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech for a year. Joshua’s research interests include the teaching and learning of social studies particularly through film, social issues, experiential learning (such as field trips and service learning projects) and literacy. He is currently examining how social studies teachers use field trips to enhance the curriculum. Joshua serves as a co-conference coordinator for the International Society for the Social Studies.