Dr. Brittnie Watkins: A Passion for Court Education

UNLV alumnae, Dr. Brittnie Watkins is inspiring tomorrow’s leaders.


Brittnie T. Watkins, Ph.D., Esq. ’14, a dual degree graduate from UNLV’s College of Education, having earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology in 2014 and her Juris doctorate in Law in 2014, is inspiring many of tomorrow’s educational leaders in Nevada law and education. As a graduate of UNLV, Brittnie was active within the university and held offices in many student organizations. She was a member of the Nevada Law Journal, Vice President of the Public Interest Law Association, Marketing Coordinator for the Child Advocacy Law Association, and President of the Black Law Students Association. On top of that, she was awarded the “Outstanding Dissertation Award” for her dissertation titled, “Reducing Court-Related Stress through Court Education: Examining Child Witnesses, Attorneys and Parents.” Brittnie credits her extensive research training within the College of Education and her direct advising for her dissertation success. She acknowledges Dr. Rebecca Nathanson as her Advisor and Mentor and recalls Dr. CarolAnn Kardash as instructing her in cognitive research.

Currently, Brittnie is completing a clerkship with Justice Michael L. Douglas of the Supreme Court of Nevada where she conducts legal research, drafts bench memorandums, and attends oral arguments as a Judicial Law Clerk. Upon completion of her clerkship in August 2016 Brittnie hopes to “Take the next step and get some experience at a law firm and then open up her own firm,” she said.

For additional information about UNLV COE Dual Degree, visit http://education.unlv.edu/ephe/programs/dual-degree/

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 http://education.unlv.edu/teach/

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 http://www.ashe.ws

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).