Texas Tech University

College welcomes new tenure-track faculty members

Robert Stein

September 5, 2019

Gina Childers

Gina Childers is an assistant professor of STEM education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research foci include investigating the affordances of technology and gaming on learning of science concepts, skills and processes as well as documenting the public's perception of science and motivation to learn about science through community-based events such as science cafés, science festivals and science fiction conventions.

Childers has served as an assistant professor of middle grades/secondary education at the University of North Georgia, director of research and development for a nonprofit education organization and an instructional coach serving rural, suburban and urban schools in North Carolina. She also taught high school biology in Savannah, Georgia.

In 2017, she was awarded Best Paper in the Applied Research in Immersive Environments for Learning (ARiEL) Special Interest Group (SIG) from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She received the John C. Park National Technology Leadership Fellowship Award from the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) in 2016 in collaboration with Rebecca Hite (Texas Tech University) and M. Gail Jones (North Carolina State University). In 2011, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year at Savannah Early College.

What is the last book you read? "Gardens of the Moon" by Steven Erikson

What do you do for fun outside of work? Hiking, traveling (New Zealand is now #1 on my dream travel list), eating spicy foods and snuggling with my cats.


Jeasik Cho

Jeasik Cho is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He is very excited to join the College of Education faculty and to become a Red Raider. Before relocating to Texas Tech University, Cho taught at the University of Wyoming for the past 17 years. He received his doctorate from The Ohio State University. Cho's scholarship focuses on alternative, holistic and critical discourses in curriculum theory, qualitative research and multicultural education.

One of Cho's noteworthy accomplishments is the recent publication of his new book entitled "Evaluation of Qualitative Research" (Oxford University Press). He is also a recipient of the University of Wyoming's 2016 Everett D. & Elizabeth M. Lantz Outstanding Professorship Award. Another one of Cho's achievements was his role in conducting a collaborative action research with teachers in a rural Wyoming school district. Cho still carries this three-year engagement project in his heart and looks forward to working with the wonderful educators throughout Texas.

Throughout his scholarly work, Cho explores compassion as a virtue in order to remind the teacher and the student of the importance of common humanity in a multicultural society. He also strongly believes that Blended Learning and Personalized Learning (BL/PL) could serve as an alternative educational theory and praxis for providing diverse pathways and increased opportunities for ALL students.

What is the last book you read? "Y'all: The Definitive Guide to Being a Texan"

What do you do for fun outside of work? Cho loves playing tennis and serves as a USTA tennis official for juniors.


Grant Jackson

Grant Jackson is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership. He completed his Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan. Motivated by the role higher education can play in developing students holistically and preparing them for life in an increasingly diverse and complex society, he studies ways in which students' developmental capacity and social identities influence their engagement with and experience of college curricula, pedagogies and related institutional endeavors.

His current research focuses on how students at varying levels of development and of diverse identities interpret, experience and are impacted by intergroup dialogue, a pedagogy that brings together students from different social identity groups to engage in difficult conversations. Guiding such research is his interest in supporting students, units and institutions interested in implementing or participating in such pedagogies, but have hesitancies or experience barriers related to such pursuits. He is also working with colleagues on research related to the persistence of women and minoritized groups through community college STEM curricula, disability and accessibility in college teaching and other projects similarly designed to increase our understanding of how access and engagement can be optimally pursued and attained in higher education.

Prior to becoming a faculty member, Jackson worked in other higher education capacities as an intergroup dialogue facilitator, instructional consultant and academic advisor. He looks forward to being able to work with and learn from colleagues and students at Texas Tech University.

What is the last book you read? "The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success" (an assigned text for the research seminar I am teaching). Being able to consume knowledge responsibility, effectively and in a way that it is invigorating is something I value, so I appreciate the opportunity to teach a class focusing on the literature review process. I also welcome the opportunity to pass on things I wish I had known (or known earlier) in graduate school!

What do you do for fun outside of work? My family (including four children) infuse my life with the most wonderful of adventures. Trips, games, sports, nature, movies, pets and all manner of recreational activities and learning experiences.


Nicole Noble

Nicole Noble is an assistant professor of counselor education in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership. She holds her Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Texas and has counseled individuals, groups and couples in a variety of settings, including schools, higher education and a private practice.

In her counseling work, she specializes in serving individuals who are coping with issues of trauma, grief, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, anger, healthy relationship formation, self-harm and suicidal ideation. In her former role as a career counselor, she had the opportunity to support a diverse student population, including individuals with disabilities, individuals with autism, students who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including international students. Working with unique populations fostered her research interests in counseling unique populations, understanding twins' development, counseling twins and exploring ethical concerns in counseling.

She has served in professional leadership positions including as secretary of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC), president of the Texas Association of Adult Development and Aging (TAADA) and director of the Texas Career Development Association (TCDA).

What is the last book you read? "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, which describes a mysterious tale of an orphan boy who did not feel accepted and his resulting behaviors.

What do you do for fun outside of work? Exercise, complete home improvement projects, spend time with family, binge watch shows.


R. Joseph Rodriguez

R. Joseph Rodríguez is an assistant professor of language, diversity and literacy Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He has taught English and Spanish language arts in public schools, community colleges and universities. He is a graduate of Houston ISD schools and earned a bachelor's degree in modern languages and literatures from Kenyon College, a master's in English and American literature from The University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Connecticut.

Rodríguez's research interests include children's and young adult literatures, language acquisition and socially responsible biliteracies. He is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and serves as co-editor of English Journal. His research has been published in several academic journals. He is the author of "Enacting Adolescent Literacies across Communities: Latino/a Scribes and Their Rites" and "Teaching Culturally Sustaining and Inclusive Young Adult Literature: Critical Perspectives and Conversations." Currently, Rodríguez is working on a few research books as well as articles on emergent bilingual students in various communities and teachers as writers who compose with their students.

Based on his research as a teacher educator, Rodríguez supports professional learning and exchanges across the country to advance student learning, literacy research and the teaching profession. He served as co-director of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers at The University of Texas at El Paso in 2017 and 2019.

What is the last book you read? Rodríguez is motivated by the art of teaching and learning and is a reader of diverse U.S., borderlands and world literatures. The most recent books he read were "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel" by Ocean Vuong, "Spark" by Patricia Leavy and "This American Autopsy: Poems" by José Antonio Rodríguez.

What do you do for fun outside of work? When he is not reading, teaching or writing, Rodríguez enjoys cooking, hiking, kayaking, storytelling and traveling with the love of his life and their cantankerous canines.


Soohyun Yi

Soohyun Yi is an assistant professor of educational psychology. Her scholarly trajectory aims to improve education for underserved and underchallenged students with impactful research and evidence-based interventions. Longitudinal research methodology is the main area of her expertise, which has enabled her to investigate growth trajectories of motivation and career choices, identify opportunity gaps within underserved groups and evaluate and improve educational interventions in STEM.

In her dissertation, she investigated high school students' talent development paths in STEM using 10-year longitudinal cohort data. She also led several research projects regarding the development of student motivation and measurement issues in longitudinal research. One of her original studies validating a motivation scale for engineering students was recently published in the Journal of Engineering Education.

With expertise in quantitative research methodology, she is passionate about collaborative research with school districts and interdisciplinary programs. She has been involved in several large-scale federal grant projects, in which she has worked on research design, longitudinal data collection and analysis.

What is the last book you read? "The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future" by Joseph Stiglitz

What do you do for fun outside of work? Gardening, traveling, cooking/baking, reading books, playing with my kids

Other tenure-track appointments

Jessica Gottlieb, formerly an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is now an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership.

Linnie Greenlees, formerly an assistant professor of practice in the Teacher Education Department, is now an assistant professor of special populations in the same department.

Vanessa de León, formerly a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Psychology, is now an assistant professor in the same department.