COE Spotlight: Sukhjit Kaur Narwal

Narwal, a Secondary Education major, views the teaching profession as her way to give back as a mentor and advocate.

Narwal, a College of Education undergraduate Secondary Education major, views the teaching profession as her way to give back as a mentor and advocate to students in Las Vegas, a community where she was born and raised by immigrant parents. She aspires to become a high school English teacher for Clark County School District, where she found great mentorship and acceptance from her English teacher through the magnet program at Clark High School.

Narwal is currently en route to obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education. She is vice-president of her dance club, a member of Ewalu club, and plans to get involved in the Office of Student Engagement and Diversity. Her favorite class thus far has been in Women’s Studies and sees what she has learned in the course to be very applicable to teaching. Narwal admits, “I’ve never been comfortable talking about gender or class, but taking this course has broadened my knowledge base and I feel more comfortable speaking about these issues.” She adds that she is passionate about fighting the injustices women suffer across the world, including in education.

Narwal currently works for the UNLV/CSUN Preschool as a teacher’s assistant. She enjoys working with children and reports she has learned so much on the job. In her spare time, Narwal volunteers at Jack Daily Elementary School and the Animal Foundation. She stays connected with excellent mentors and advises peers to remain close to their mentors. Narwal looks forward to student teaching and taking courses offered through the College of Education.

For more information on degree programs in secondary education, please go to

The Doctoral Student-Advisor Relationship

Dr. Holly Schneider, a recent alumna in Higher Education, believes that doctoral student graduation rates matter.

Dr. Holly Schneider, a recent alumna in Higher Education, believes that doctoral student graduation rates matter. In her dissertation entitled, “Perceptions of mattering in the doctoral student and advisor relationship,” she examined psychosocial factors that contributed to doctoral student persistence and completion. According to Dr. Schneider, “preliminary research found that faculty-student relationships and collegial support contributed significantly to doctoral completion more so than individual factors including motivation, career goals, procrastination, financial security, and external demands such as family.” In addition she identified three components of mattering: attention, importance and dependence.

Dr. Schneider is currently the Conference Coordinator for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). She hopes to advance in her professional career and continue to work with non-profit organizations in the future.

For additional information about ASHE, visit

The Changing Human Experience in a Digital World

Dr. Tettegah co-authored a book humans in an increasingly online and digital world.

Dr. Sharon Tettegah recently co-authored a textbook that is certain to increase the dialogue around how humans are evolving in an increasingly online and digital world. The text, published by Elsevier’s Academic Psychology Press, is geared towards educators, psychologists and practitioners who want to understand the role of technology in human emotions and behaviors. Specifically, the text covers topics such as the intersection between emotional contagion and emotional socialization theory in virtual interactions, cross-cultural communicative feedback, the multi-dimensions of trust in technology, and more specialized topics such as cyberbullying. This volume is one of seven in the ongoing series on Emotions and Technology: Communication of feelings for, with and through digital media.

Dr. Tettegah is a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Prior to joining UNLV she was the Program Chair of Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching and Agency in the College of Education, at the University of Illinois, at Urbana Champaign. She maintains her appointment in the Cognitive Neuroscience in Bio-Intelligence at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. In addition, she is a Research Scientist and affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Tettegah’s research centers on the intersection of STEM learning, Emotions, Equity and Social justice. She was also a Program Director in 2010-2012 at the National Science Foundation where she managed five programs in the Directorates of Education and Human Resources, Computer and Information Science and Engineering and including a NSF cross-cutting program on Science, Engineering, Education for Sustainability (SEES).

A Model for Mathematics Education

Dr. Stohlmann and colleagues work to demystify notions of mathematical complexity.

Teaching mathematics through the Common Core State Standards is a relatively new area of research. Dr. Micah Stohlmann, Assistant Professor, Ms. Cathrine Maiorca, doctoral candidate, and Dr. Travis Olson, Associate Professor- all from the Department of Teaching and Learning– set out to demystify notions of mathematical complexity and difficulty. In their recent study (Stohlmann, Maiorca, & Olson, 2015a), they examined preservice secondary teachers’ conceptions for teaching mathematics using Modeling-Eliciting Activities (MEAs).

According to Stohlmann and colleagues, research shows that MEAs- activities that seek to construct, evaluate, and review mathematical models- can be difficult for teachers to implement. In addition, teachers are more likely to implement mathematical modeling activities when they have an increased level of self-efficacy with the framework. The current study’s aim was to familiarize participants with mathematical modeling in order to implement within a Common Core State Standards classroom.

Participants were 17 preservice secondary mathematics teachers enrolled in a secondary mathematics methods course. Specifically, participants engaged in a MEA, reflected on their experiences, and discussed how they would implement the mathematical techniques learned into a typical public school classroom. Data were analyzed through cross-case analysis; interpretation focused on group process during the MEA along with general reflections about utility and applicability of the MEA in the classroom.

Findings indicate that it is important to provide mathematical modeling to high school students in the classroom setting. Likewise, it is important to provide training on the implementation of mathematical modeling to secondary mathematics teachers. In order for teachers to implement mathematical modeling techniques effectively, secondary teachers must be taught mathematical modeling while keeping in mind time constraints and Common Core State Standards.

Learn more about Dr. Micah Stohlmann

aStohlmann, M., Maiorca, C., & Olson, T. (2015). Preservice secondary teachers’ conceptions from a mathematical modeling activity and connections to the Common Core State Standards. Mathematics Educator Journal, 24, 21-43.