CEHS Students, Faculty, and Staff Recognized for Their Outstanding Achievements

April 1, 2024

Every year, the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) recognizes students, faculty, and staff who promote the college and university mission and vision. Of more than 100 exemplary individuals nominated through their departments, centers, and programs, sixteen individuals in CEHS recently received recognition. Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Dean Al Smith said, “The award recipients meaningfully contribute to our college mission, enriching lives through their commitment to excellence in service, teaching, mentoring, and research. It is an honor to work with such accomplished and passionate colleagues.” Following are brief summaries of the 2024 CEHS award recipients and their contributions to the college and university.  

Legacy of Utah State Award
Honoring a student who represents the heart and soul of the university

Megan RaddatzMegan Raddatz, Psychology
Megan Raddatz is a dedicated neuroscientist-in-training in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program at Utah State University. Throughout her education, she has consistently shown a strong commitment to her academic pursuits and to serving her community. In addition to maintaining academic excellence, Raddatz has spearheaded the neuroscience outreach program by visiting more than 20 classrooms and educating over 1,000 K-12 students about the function and power of the brain to increase the accessibility of science education. Additionally, she generously shares her experience and time by mentoring undergraduates and graduate students both inside and outside the laboratory space.

Scholar of the Year
For excellence in scholarship and service to USU by a graduating senior

Audrey FloodAudrey Flood, Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences
Audrey Flood is graduating with a degree in Human Experience Design and Interaction, with minors in Psychology and Disability Studies. Her academic work centers around investigating and improving digital and educational user experiences, with emphases on accessibility and inclusion. Flood has worked in multiple capacities at USU as an undergraduate researcher, a lead broadcast facilitator for Classroom Technologies, and a station director of Aggie Radio. As a researcher, she has co-authored four papers that are awaiting publication this year and participated in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. After graduation, Flood seeks to create inclusive digital experiences through working in an area of user experience design or human-computer interaction.


Undergraduate Student Researcher of the Year
For outstanding undergraduate research

Kiernan CallisterKiernan Callister, Psychology
Kiernan Callister will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in May. She recently accepted the position to continue her studies and research in the Behavior Analysis Ph.D. program at USU. Callister has been involved in undergraduate research for more than two years. She is the senior laboratory technician in a behavioral pharmacology lab, a research assistant for a school psychology lab, and a research assistant for PSY 3400 (Advanced Principles of Behavior Analysis laboratory). She was also one of the undergraduates selected to participate in the Research on Capitol Hill event in January. Callister has been the lead student researcher and second author on a publication evaluating female non-human subject inclusivity in behavioral research. Her research interests include maladaptive behavior, addiction, and impulsivity. 

Undergraduate Teaching Fellow of the Year
For outstanding teaching fellowship

Taelor SmithTaelor Smith, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling
Taelor Smith worked as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow (UTF) assisting professors and students over two courses in the Special Education Department during Fall semester 2023. While working as a UTF, Smith was able to support students in her department by offering constructive feedback, providing office hours over Zoom to offer perspective and guidance on assignments, creating study guides, offering to mentor students if they desired, and answering course-related questions. By providing this support to students, she established meaningful connections and has continued to give back to the Special Education Department.

Doctoral Student Researcher of the Year
For valuable contributions by a doctoral student in the area of research

Samuel SkidmoreSamuel Skidmore, Psychology
Samuel Skidmore is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Combined Clinical/Counseling program in the Psychology Department in CEHS. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brigham Young University in 2018. His research examines the ways religiosity affects sexual and gender minoritized people as well as the health disparities for religious sexual minoritized people, particularly in conservative religious backgrounds. He also explores the various benefits of belongingness and how such feelings affect mental health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Skidmore integrates his research findings into his clinical work as well as in community advocacy efforts and volunteer work.

Graduate Student Researcher of the Year
For valuable contributions by a graduate student in the area of teaching

Megan BagleyMegan Bagley, School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Megan Bagley is a doctoral student and instructor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. After years of teaching elementary school and earning a master’s degree in education, she began teaching undergraduate courses at USU in 2014. Now in her third year of graduate studies, Bagley is actively pursuing a doctoral degree focused on literacy education and leadership. With a graduate assistantship, she teaches undergraduate courses that advance effective literacy instruction for aspiring educators and the academic community.

Master's Student Researcher of the Year
For valuable contributions by a master's student in the area of research

Man ZhangMan Zhang,
Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences
Man Zhang is a master’s student in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences. She began her research journey as a research assistant in January 2022. Her research interests focus on science learning in informal settings such as social media platforms. She analyzes users and content on X/Twitter about science topics. To achieve better research results, Zhang learned three data analysis software programs and developed coding skills. She has taken an active role in the data collection and analysis phases of the observation, interviewing, and coding on a USU Research Catalyst seed grant. Zhang has also been involved in four presentations at regional and national conferences in the United States.

Eldon J. Gardner Teacher of the Year
For outstanding performance in the areas of teaching and learning 

Amanda DelimanAmanda Deliman, School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Amanda Deliman, assistant professor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership, specializes in early childhood and elementary literacy education. Her scholarly interests encompass social-emotional learning, teacher learning and teacher education, and children’s literature integration. She passionately advocates for student well-being while prioritizing student-centered practices in the courses she teaches. Deliman leads professional development initiatives for practicing and pre-service teachers and offers mentorship both in and out of the classroom. She is an active member of several committees affiliated with the Center for Empowering Teaching Excellence, including the ETE Faculty Committee.

Cazier Professor Lifetime Achievement Award
For more than 20 years of consistent excellence in academic career

Renee GalliherRenee Galliher, Psychology
Renee Galliher is a professor of Psychology and currently serves as the director of clinical training for the Combined Clinical-Counseling psychology doctoral program. Galliher’s research focuses on identity development processes, emphasizing intersections of domains of identity within relational and cultural contexts. Her work examines patterns of risk and resilience in consideration of cultural influences and the impact of prejudice and discrimination. Galliher has dedicated much of her professional efforts to undergraduate and graduate teaching and mentorship, serving as chair for 60 undergraduate honors theses, master’s theses, or doctoral dissertations. She has also demonstrated sustained commitment to university governance and citizenship through her roles in faculty senate and the Office of the Provost.

Faculty Researcher of the Year
For outstanding research and scholarly contributions within the last five years

David FeldonDavid Feldon,
Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences
David Feldon is a professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences and associate vice provost for Graduate Studies. His research examines the learning mechanisms and pathways of post-secondary students as they transition into the STEM workforce. Feldon links a deep understanding of motivation and cognition to broader cultural and structural influences that shape pathways to professional success. He is also a mixed methodologist with a forthcoming book on integrating qualitative data into psychometrics. Feldon recently received a 2024–2025 Fulbright Scholar award and was the co-recipient of the 2019 Award for Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology from Division D of the American Educational Research Association.

Faculty University Service Award
For outstanding leadership and excellent service to the university

Michelle McKnightMichelle McKnight, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling
Michelle McKnight is an assistant professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling in CEHS. She has a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education from Michigan State University. McKnight serves as the executive director of Aggies Elevated, USU’s inclusive postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Her research focuses on quality-of-life challenges for autistic people and those with intellectual disabilities entering adulthood and the workforce.

Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year
For excellence in preparing graduate students for productive careers

Kaitlin BundockKaitlin Bundock, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling
Kaitlin Bundock is an associate professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling and the director of the Special Education Master’s Program. Bundock’s research and teaching focuses on effective secondary mathematics instruction and interventions for students with disabilities as well as variables that impact student success and achievement (e.g., behavior supports, engagement, and self-regulation). She advises master’s students in the Special Education master’s program and doctoral students focusing on special education within the Disability Disciplines doctoral program. Bundock values holistic graduate student mentoring and believes that graduate students rise to meet high expectations when they are provided with appropriate support and guidance tailored to their professional goals and interests.

Strong Human Services Award
For significant and sustained leadership in human services and applied research

Tom HigbeeThomas Higbee, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling
Thomas S. Higbee is professor and department head in the Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling Department, where he has worked since 2002. He is also the founder and executive director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for young children on the autism spectrum. 
The primary focus of his research and clinical work is on the development of effective supports for children on the autism spectrum and with related developmental disabilities. Over the past 20 years, hundreds of professionals have been trained in evidence-based practices by Higbee and his team in the ASSERT program. He is also committed to the broad dissemination of evidence-based supports for students on the autism spectrum and with related disabilities. As such, he has helped to create evidence-based preschool and school programs in public education for these children in Brazil, Russia, Portugal, and throughout Utah. 

Undergraduate Faculty Mentor of the Year
For faculty excellence in academic advising

Kimberly SnowKimberly Snow, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling
Kimberly Snow is a professional practice assistant professor in the Severe Program within the Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling Department. Her focus lies in the education of students with significant cognitive disabilities. She has dedicated 29 years to mentoring and teaching. Throughout her career, Snow has positively impacted more than 18,000 students as she mentors them through their educational journey. This commitment ultimately impacts the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. She has mentored graduate students by serving on master’s committees and facilitating teaching experiences for doctoral students. Snow is resolute in her dedication to continue mentoring students and serving CEHS and the field of special education.

Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year
For outstanding undergraduate research mentorship

Sandra GillamSandra Gillam, Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education
 Gillam is a professor in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education with a long-standing track record of undergraduate research mentorship. Most of her research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education and involves exploring and developing evidence-based assessment and intervention practices to improve the lives of individuals diagnosed with or at risk for speech and language difficulties. Over the years, her undergraduate mentees have contributed to over 63 international, national, regional, and state presentations, and been co-authors on eight articles, book chapters, and books. In April 2024, five of Gillam’s mentees will be presenting their work at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research in Long Beach, California.

Outstanding Staff of the Year
For carrying out responsibilities in an exceptional manner

ReNae WamsleyRaNae Wamsley,
Human Development and Family Studies
RaNae Wamsley is the graduate program coordinator in the department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her enthusiasm inspires those she mentors as she fosters a supportive environment that helps them thrive. Wamsley demonstrates exceptional ability in successfully managing sensitive tasks and balancing multiple (and sometimes competing) demands. Her deep understanding of the department’s inner workings, fostered by close collaboration with leadership and extensive institutional knowledge, extends far beyond the graduate program. Wamsley’s dedication to service is evident in her unwavering support for students, faculty, and staff across the department.