Welcome (Back) to Wheelock: Recently Awarded Faculty

We’re kicking off the fall semester with a look at our new, promoted, and awarded faculty members. In this post, you’ll meet the full-time faculty members who have received awards at BU Wheelock. Meet our new full-time faculty members in this post, and our recently promoted faculty members here.

Stephanie Cox Suarez

Clinical Associate Professor, Special Education

Dr. Stephanie Cox Suarez was awarded the 2019 Edward H. Ladd Award for Academic Excellence and Service, which recognizes an outstanding member of the faculty for their contributions to the college. Dr. Cox Suarez’s work founding the BU Wheelock Documentation Studio and her service as a member of the planning committee for the 2018 Wonder of Learning Exhibit hosted at BU Wheelock were highlighted in her receipt of this award. 

Rebecca Shangraw

Lecturer, Applied Human Development

Dr. Shangraw was awarded the 2019 Wheelock College Distinguished Contribution to the Alma Mater and Alumni Award.  Dr. Shangraw earned her EdM in Human Movement from BU Wheelock in 2005, and returned to complete her EdD in Curriculum and Teaching in 2013, with a Physical Education and Coaching Specialization. From 2013-2015 Dr. Shangraw served as an Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Landmark College in Vermont.  She returned to Wheelock College in 2015, where she became a Lecturer in the Applied Human Development Program. In her brief time thus far at BU Wheelock, Dr. Shangraw has assumed significant leadership roles, including serving as the Program Director for the Applied Human Development program and as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs ad interim. Dr. Shangraw’s research focuses on identifying and investigating recommended teaching practices to use when instructing physical education students or athletes with learning disabilities, ADHD, or Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Further, Dr. Shangraw has also served as a leader in the Human Development field broadly, and within Physical Education specifically, and as a tireless advocate for students in her role as School Committee member for Weymouth, MA.

Christine Montecillo Leider

Clinical Assistant Professor, Bilingual Education

Dr. Chris Leider earned the 2019 Wheelock College Undergraduate Advising Award for her dedication and work with students within her program and across the college. In her work, Dr. Leider strives to help preservice teachers transition to their best professional selves. She has been integral to the success of the bilingual education and TESOL licensure programs, including successfully integrating former Wheelock students in the new BU Wheelock.

Elena Forzani

Assistant Professor, Literacy Education

Dr. Elena Forzani was awarded the 2019 BU Wheelock Award to Support Grant Proposal Writing. This award provides a faculty member preparing a large-scale grant with additional time to facilitate successful proposal completion during the semester preceding their submission. Dr. Forzani is preparing an NSF Discovery Research Grant that will be submitted in the November funding cycle. Her project focuses on developing an intervention that will prepare seventh graders to conduct scientific Internet inquiry focused on evaluating the credibility of information around current science topics. If funded by NSF, her study will be conducted with students from economically-challenged backgrounds in and around BPS, with the goal of increasing student interest in science by providing opportunities to learn about current, relevant topics in a relatively familiar and engaging context for adolescents – that of the Internet.

Kimberly Howard

Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology

Dr. Kim Howard was awarded the 2019 Gordon L. Marshall Fellowship to support her scholarship on identifying best practices in elementary school career development programming. The goal of the Gordon Marshall Fellowship is to provide a BU Wheelock faculty member with time and resources to support a new or potentially significant line of research. Dr. Howard plans to use the award to conduct a pilot study in six northeastern U.S. states, where she will conduct surveys of school counselors to identify the typical content and processes of elementary school career development activities and the strategies used by elementary school counselors to ensure that all students have access to and benefit from career development programming. Dr. Howard will use the results of this pilot to pursue future funding to support a national survey of career development practices.

Christina Dobbs & Janine Bempechat

Assistant Professor, English Education & Clinical Professor, Applied Human Development

Dr. Christina Dobbs and Dr. Janine Bempechat were awarded the 2019 Catalyst Award to support their scholarship on understanding undergraduates’ experience of the transition to writing in college (i.e., their self-efficacy, identity as writers, and motivations for writing). The goal of the Catalyst Award is intended to support work that is original, fundable, and potentially groundbreaking and it is expected to serve as a foundation for securing more substantial, external funding. Dr. Dobbs has identified an understudied area within writing research, and she and Dr. Bempechat will conduct interviews with a large number of first-year BU undergraduate students from across the university. These interviews will serve as the foundation for a survey measure that could be deployed by writing and higher education researchers.