SMED LEADERSHIP

 

Albertha Lawson, Ph.D. - SMED Chair

Albertha Lawson joined the department in August, 2014. Her background includes a B.S. in Mathematics from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina; a Masters in Applied Statistics with specialty in both quantitative and qualitative statistics from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in research and policy analysis from the University of New Orleans in New Orleans Louisiana. She has over 30 years of experience in higher education as a professor, researchers, statistical consultant, higher education administrator and mentor; and corporate America as an actuarial analyst combined. She currently serves as a National Mathematics Alliance undergraduate and graduate student mentor. She is a recipient of the 2016 Minority Access Incorporated National Role Model Award. Professor Lawson is a contributing author in the Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education, and is responsible for numerous other publications and conference presentations. She has also served as Director of Institutional Research and Statistical Analysis for the Louisiana State University System; Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System; and Vice President of Institutional Research, Assessment and Accountability for Baton Rouge Community College. She credits her time in higher education as an institutional researcher and an Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS) Trainer/Ambassador with her current passion for teaching, mentoring and helping to ensure the success of future education researchers as a SMED professor. Her research team focuses on advancing STEM education in both formal and informal environments at the K-12 and college levels; Improving student education engagement in STEM and computing using various types of education media and technologies; and the use of existing state and national databases to develop statistical/mathematical models necessary for STEM curriculum and pedagogy improvement.

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Susannah Craig, Ph.D.

 Dr. Susannah Fowler Craig has been an advocate for quality instruction and assessment methods for Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade during her 23 year career in education, serving on multiple local, state, and national committees. Dr. Craig began her career in East Baton Rouge Parish with accolades by winning the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year award. She served East Baton Rouge Parish as a teacher and local and state level presenter in constructivist based teaching methods in science.

During her tenure at the Louisiana Department of Education, Dr. Craig researched appropriate assessment methods in mathematics and science and maintained the item development and scoring process for mathematics and science for the state testing program. In addition, she developed and administered professional development opportunities at the local, state, and national levels.

Once Dr. Craig earned her doctorate from Louisiana State University, she was promoted to direct the standards section at the Louisiana Department of Education, managing standards and instructional resources and programs for each subject area: English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, and the arts. Dr. Craig has spent the last 6 years advocating for appropriate instructional methods in science and mathematics and providing professional development opportunities for teachers and district staff.

Research Areas

Research on the effective use of curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices in science and mathematics education.

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Moustapha Diack, Ph.D.

Professor Moustapha Diack is the Assistant Vice President for Online Learning and the Director of Online Learning and Professional Development for Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR), a member of the Southern University System (SUS) of Louisiana. His research interests at Southern University are in the areas of Instructional Design, cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the strategic planning and deployment of online learning systems to enhance student learning outcomes. Diack has extensive experience in the areas of online learning design and delivery and has played a global leadership role in the areas of Open Education and Open Access. He is recipient of the International MERLOT eLearning Innovation Award 2009. He is member of the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching) Faculty Development Editorial Board and Co-Founding Director of the MERLOT Africa Network (MAN), a network of African higher education institutions and digital scholars engaged in the research, development and implementation of open education. At the SUS, Diack oversees the development and implementation of integrated digital library services, the Southern University Online Library for Education (SUOL4ed), to facilitate quality online programs development and college affordability through the adoption of open education resources and open textbook. Diack is member of the Louisiana Board of Regents Task Force On Electronic Learning and Past President 2003-2006 of the Louisiana Academy of Science.

GROUP RESEARCH INTERESTS
E-Learning Instructional Design and Assessment, cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the strategic planning and deployment of online learning systems to enhance student learning outcomes. Educational Technology in the K-12 STEM Classroom. Adaptive and Individualized Learning and Analytics.

SYSTEM-WIDE PROJECT LEADERSHIP
Southern University System (SUS) Virtual Library for Education (http://www.suol4ed.org/events.html)

ACADEMIC CONSULTING
Elearning Consulting with (1) California State University (CSU) Academic Technology Services; Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education and Research/ Senegal Virtual University; Online Learning Consortium (OLC).

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Francesca M. Mellieon-Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Francesca Mellieon-Williams is very passionate about the education of young people and continuously serves as a personal mentor to her students.  

She graduated from Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. Dr. Mellieon-Williams immediately began graduate studies at Washington State University, where she earned a master’s degree in Reproductive Physiology. It was during her time at Washington State University where her passion for teaching was fueled. She later returned to Louisiana and began a successful career as a respected instructor at Baton Rouge Community College in the Division of Math and Science. Dr. Mellieon-Williams continued her graduate studies at LSU in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Science Education where she later earned a doctorate.

Since this time, Dr. Mellieon-Williams has served in several capacities to impact STEM Education PreK-20. As the Co-director for the Southern University Summer Transportation and Energy Institute, she along with the staff work tirelessly during the summer to engage high school students in STEM activities including robotics, engineering build projects and other STEM related experiences. Dr. Mellieon-Williams understands the importance of technology in learning and encourages teachers on all levels to integrate technology into their curricula. She works intimately with faculty at Southern University to effectively integrate technology in their course whether it is using Moodle for course delivery or software/apps to enhance the course content. She believes strongly in identifying methods of instruction to encourage life-long learning and is always willing to share that knowledge with others. To no surprise, Dr. Mellieon-Williams areas of research interest include impacting STEM for minority students and the effective integration of technology in the curriculum.