Two scholars earn award at graduate student research symposium

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 13:29

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- University of North Texas doctoral students Nicole Park of Lewisville and Kimberlee Flatt of Princeton, Texas, earned third place in the education, humanities and social science category at the 4th Annual Federation of North Texas Area Universities Graduate Student Research Symposium at Texas Woman's University.

Their award came for a poster presentation titled "Leadership in Special Education: Using Human Systems Dynamics to Address Sticky Issues." They conducted their research with Dr. Bertina Combes, associate professor of educational psychology and Dr. Leslie Patterson, professor of teacher education and administration -- both in the College of Education.

Park and Flatt are scholars of Project TELL, a five-year federally funded doctoral program in the College of Education to prepare leadership personnel in special education to work in local and state agencies, school programs and districts in high-needs areas.

Park works as a transition support specialist at Lewisville ISD.

"Working with Dr. Combes and Dr. Patterson on the Human Systems Dynamics project was an honor," Park said. "From being part of the coding team on the project, to working with our mentor professors in putting together the poster, and then presenting our work to the various judges – the entire process was a wonderful learning experience."

Flatt serves as a board-certified behavior analyst supporting local school districts.

"Our project focused on equipping educators in public schools to view their worlds as complex systems," Flatt said. "Once you see the broad system at work and identify your role, you are able to become an agent of change in that system. The research project itself was exciting and powerful, and being recognized at the symposium was a tremendous honor."

The Federation of North Texas Area Universities is a consortium of Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas Woman's University and UNT, allowing students access to the combined academic resources of the three universities.

About UNT's College of Education

UNT's College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teacher's training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,000 students in the College of Education, which consists of four departments -- counseling and higher education; educational psychology; kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and teacher education and administration. UNT's College of Education certifies about 1,000 teachers a year -- making it the largest producer of new teachers in the north Texas region. Students are also prepared for careers as researchers, counselors, leaders, physical activity and health promotion specialists, child development and family studies specialists and more.

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