Dean’s Diversity Grant Projects Fund Interesting New Research at UC

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Diversity Matters logo

Date: 7/16/2015
By: Kelsey Niehauser

In 2014, CECH began a pilot program to examine and fund research of CECH faculty and staff with a background in their fields on the subject of encouraging diversity. Due to the program’s success and high ratings from students, faculty and staff, it was continued for the 2015-2016 school year. Five new research projects were selected to receive funding this year, highlighted below.

LaTrice Montgomery, PhD, is researching CECH’s Diversity Matters Research Day seeking to make improvements in last year’s program. Working with members of the College and the CECH Diversity Board, Dr. Montgomery is looking at feedback from last year's evaluations in order to expand on her research ideas. “We are considering adding a panel about diverse research topics and adding more programming that will be appealing to both undergraduate and graduate students. The event will provide an opportunity for students and faculty to network with their peers and colleagues and to discuss opportunities for collaboration.”

Christina Carnahan, EdD, is working on her project, “Preparing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of College Success Camp.” She is currently the Assistant Professor of Special Education at UC. She recently earned her Ed.D. from the University of Cincinnati in education with a focus on autism, improving outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities, and teacher training. She has served as a consultant for school districts seeking to improve services for children with autism and significant learning needs. Prior to her doctorate, Dr. Carnahan was a special education teacher in both elementary and middle school. She is aspiring to better prepare students on the Autism Spectrum for college and other career-pursuits.

Natalie Stipanovic, PhD, is researching a project titled “Improving the Career Development and College/Career Readiness of Immigrant and Refugee Youth.” She seeks to provide immigrant and refugee youth in Cincinnati Public Schools with career counseling and educational guidance services that are often not readily available in the school setting. This project also serves to provide masters-level counseling students with experience working with diverse populations and increasing their cultural competency with immigrant and refugee populations. This project will utilize a pre-/post- evaluation design to assess the effectiveness of counseling services in increasing students’ career self-efficacy, career decidedness, and knowledge of the post-secondary system and options.

Dy’an Marinos, MA, is currently studying for her EdD in Counselor Education through CECH. Working with a group of researchers, her project, “An Ecological Approach to Creating Culturally Sensitive Learning Environments,” seeks to inform the development of the Diversity and Inclusion plan for the UC Counseling Department, including interventions to increase cultural competence and the creation of safe learning/teaching environments for students and faculty. Findings seek to measure the impact of such interventions on competence, satisfaction of the training experience, and any other outcomes.

Tracy Herrmann, MEd, and Heather Moore, MEd, under the guidance of Maria Palmieri, PhD, are investigating the representation of underrepresented minority students (URM) in health programs as compared to non-health programs with their project, “A Comparison of Underrepresented Minority Undergraduate Student Retention in Health Programs vs. Non-Health Programs.” .  The study will evaluate how well preparedness factors (e.g., High School GPA, ACT, SAT, English and Math Placement tests) predict the future success (e.g., retention, and graduation) of URM students in health care programs as compared to non-health care programs at UC.  With their findings, the researchers hope to provide recommendations to UC administrators and policymakers designed to narrow the gap in URM student retention and numbers in health programs at UC.

The purpose of these projects is to support and empower students and faculty by advancing, sustaining and promoting diversity and inclusion in their intellectual pursuits. CECH Diversity Matters Research Day is an event designed to highlight CECH undergraduate and graduate research on diverse populations and ideas. The next event will be held in January of 2016. Any questions about it can be directed to Dr. LaTrice Montgomery via e-mail at