Terrapin EdTalks

Elevate Research. Spark Change.

Launched in 2019, Terrapin EdTalks was created to showcase and promote the College of Education’s research and scholarship. The annual event brings together faculty experts, staff and leading voices in the field of education, human development, and psychology to elevate research and spur critical conversations that will shape policies and practices in Maryland and beyond. 

Terrapin EdTalks 2024
Promoting Holistic Well-being in Education and Beyond

On Monday, April 8, 2024, five College of Education faculty delivered EdTalks centered around the theme of "Promoting Holistic Well-being in Education and Beyond." From advocating for culturally sensitive mental health practices to empowering children to challenge inequalities to identifying practical strategies to disrupt gendered racism, Terrapin EdTalks 2024 was a rich showcase of research, academic programs and community initiatives geared towards cultivating a healthier society.


Rossina Zamora Liu, Assistant Professor of Urban Education
Why are You the Person to Tell This Story

Researchers and educators must contend with who they are in relation to systemic racism and how their proximity to structural and instructional power impacts their telling of other people’s stories. Liu, a multiethnic, Southeast Asian American woman and non-Black Critical Race educator of Color, discusses the importance of critical reflexivity when working with, and learning from, communities of Color. She asserts that zine-making is one way to understand how our histories, experiences and relationships are all intimately connected. It can help illuminate the human-presence, experiential expertise and origin stories that are essential to racial healing and racial justice. As she has always taught in her classes, “You must know why you are the person telling the story.”

Cixin Wang, Associate Professor of School Psychology
How to Support Asian American Students who Experience Racism and Mental Health Challenges

Asian American youth are often labeled as “model minorities,” yet beneath this stereotype lies a reality marked by discrimination and its intertwined impact on mental health. Suicide stands as the leading cause of death among Asian American youth ages 15-24. Wang discusses the importance of culturally tailored mental health interventions and the critical role parents play in fostering conversations about race and racism.

Jessica Diaz McKechnie, Assistant Clinical Professor of School Counseling
A New Program to Improve Counseling Services for Immigrant and Refugee Students

McKechnie unveils a new initiative: a pioneering certificate program designed to seamlessly connect the practices of school counselors and the unique needs of immigrant and refugee students and families. It bridges a gap in the understanding of a complex system where every path to “here” is distinctly different. 

Jioni Lewis, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology
How to Survive and Thrive in the Face of Gendered Racism

Black women experience unique stressors stemming from the intersections of their race and gender. Lewis discusses the impact of gendered racism on the mental and physical health of Black women, shares strategies to disrupt gendered racism in various aspects of everyday life, and explores how to cultivate radical healing to combat gendered racism.

Melanie Killen, Professor of Human Development
Children as Agents of Change for Promoting Justice and Fairness

Children who are excluded from their peers based on their gender, race or ethnicity are at risk for stress, anxiety, depression and social withdrawal. Surprisingly, schools lack a context for discussing what underlies social exclusion. What children think about these issues remains a mystery for most educators. Melanie Killen introduces the Developing Inclusive Youth program to empower children to challenge inequalities and reject stereotypical expectations, with the goal of promoting belonging, inclusion and social justice.

Promoting Holistic Well-being in Education and Beyond
A Panel Discussion

An insightful and reflective discussion  featuring William Ming Liu, Chair & Professor, University of Maryland College of Education; PhiXavier Holmes, Professional School Counseling Instructional Specialist; Ileana Gonzalez,  Associate Clinical Professor of School Counseling, University of Maryland College of Education; and Jonathan Thio (he/him), School Counseling Graduate Student at the University of Maryland College of Education.

Elevating Teachers and Teaching

David Blazar, Associate Professor
Why Black Teachers Matter

Black teachers make an incredible difference in kids’ lives and on their educational outcomes. However, there are far too few Black teachers in P-12 public schools, a trend that has not changed much in 30 years despite considerable and growing policy interest. Associate Professor of Education Policy David Blazar encourages us to create race-conscious pathways into teaching that begin early in children’s educational careers.

Segun Eubanks, Professor of Practice
The Story of a School-University Improvement Journey  

Building school district-university partnerships has become a common clarion call in education (mostly in higher education). Yet making such partnerships real is easier said than done. Segun Eubanks, director of the Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement, discusses the unique relationship between the University of Maryland, College Park, and Prince George’s County Public Schools. He shares how they use improvement science as a vehicle for building meaningful and genuine partnerships that lead to better and more equitable outcomes.

Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Clinical Professor
Educators Navigating Inequities: The Power of Partnerships in Mitigating the Effects of Childhood Trauma

Research consistently shows that one caring educator can mitigate the effects of trauma. However, caring too often comes at a cost: educator secondary traumatic stress and burnout (serious mental health and workforce issues). Clinical Professor of Human Development Christy Tirrell-Corbin explains how research-practice-policy partnerships unite key community members around data on local needs and assets, creating actionable, trauma-informed conditions where educators and students can thrive. 

Jade Wexler, Associate Professor 
Rethinking Literacy Instruction Through School-wide Approaches

Many middle and high school students struggle to read and understand text, making it difficult to learn content they need to succeed in school and beyond. To support students, all teachers school-wide need to provide evidence-based literacy instruction. However, teachers have varying levels of skill and other competing priorities. Jade Wexler, associate professor of special education, explains innovative ways to support teachers as they help students understand and learn from text.

Jing Liu, Assistant Professor
Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence to Support Teachers

Formative feedback can improve both teachers’ instruction and their students’ outcomes. Yet, the average teacher in the U.S. has limited access to such feedback because conventional classroom observations are labor intensive, costly and subject to evaluators’ bias. Jing Liu, assistant professor of education policy, offers an affordable, scalable and effective tool called M-Powering Teachers to complement human-based classroom observation tools. Combining cutting-edge machine learning, rich educational theory and behavioral sciences, M-Powering Teachers creates automated measures  on complex teaching practices and provides educators with nuanced, specific, actionable feedback.

Doug Lombardi, Associate Professor
Weathering the Storm: Teaching to Counter Disinformation

People are flooded with information, much of which is generated by nefarious actors spreading disinformation and denial. In the midst of this deluge, teachers face challenges educating students on fundamental scientific, historical, social and civic principles. Doug Lombardi, associate professor of human development, makes the case that effective teaching can counter disinformation and misinformation, especially when teachers collaborate with researchers to develop and use instructional tools and strategies that support students’ critical thinking skills.

Outside the Classroom: Learning, Development, and Well-being in Informal Spaces

Natasha Cabrera, Professor 
Money and love: Fathers' contributions to their children's development
Kimberly Griffin, Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs 
Being better mentors: Building our capacity to care [or just better mentoring]
William Ming Liu, Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education
Being on white time & living in white space 
Geetha Ramani, Associate Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
Families count: Engaging playful learning at home for math success
Campbell Scribner, Assistant Professor of Education 
Nothing to $!&#ing cheer about
Stephanie Timmons Brown, Executive Director of Mathletics
More than an athlete: Engaging Black and brown youth in sports data

How the College of Education is paving the way to advance equity in Maryland and beyond

Patricia A. Alexander, Distinguished University Professor
The Non-Smart" Use of Smart Technologies: The New Digital Divide for Today's iGeneration
Nathan Fox, Distinguished University Professor
Experience and the brain 
Sharon Fries-Britt, Professor and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher
Advancing the nation: Investing in the education of Black collegians 
Imani Goffney, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education
From Oakland to Wakanda: Transforming mathematics classrooms to become equitable and empowering spaces for Black and brown students
Julie J. Park, Associate Professor of Education
Race on campus: Debunking myths with data