New Faculty

by John Conroy

Cara Bliss has joined the faculty of the Psychology in Education Department as a visiting clinical instructor and coordinator of the MS program in Applied Developmental Psychology. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, and worked as a school psychologist for 10 years before accepting her current position. Her professional and research interests include school-based mental health, social and emotional learning, implementation science, cross-cultural implementation of evidence-based programs, and optimizing specially designed programming for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.

Byeong-Young Cho has joined the Department of Instruction and Learning as an assistant professor of literacy and English language arts and as a research scientist at Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center. He previously was an assistant professor at Iowa State University. In 2011, he graduated with a PhD in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis
on reading education from the University of Maryland. Previously, Cho
was a teacher of language and literature in secondary schools in Seoul, South Korea. His research interests focus on text comprehension and
 new literacies as well as reading engagement, reading assessment, and disciplinary reading. His publications have appeared in several national and international journals, including Cognition and Instruction, Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and Korean Language Education Research. In his spare time, he practices Kumdo,
a traditional Asian martial art done with a bamboo sword; plays electric guitar; and enjoys third-grade math, arts, and physical activities with
his son, Yoonyoung.

Brian Galla has joined the Department of Psychology in Education
as an assistant professor of motivation. He holds a PhD in educational psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Syracuse University. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, Galla was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Galla’s scholarship combines laboratory and classroom field research to better understand noncognitive factors that support academic achievement and positive youth development. He focuses in particular on the study of self-control and has a strong interest in mindfulness-based approaches to enhancing self-control and their potential to improve both health and academic achievement. Galla’s research has appeared in a range of psychology and education journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, the Journal of School Psychology, and the Journal of Personality. In his spare time, Galla enjoys live music, hiking, and camping; going on silent meditation retreats; and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Gretchen Givens Generett will be the community partnership fellow in-residence for the Center for Urban Education. She is taking a year leave of absence from Duquesne University, where she is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership in the School of Education. She is the former associate dean for graduate studies and research. Her scholarly publications and teaching demonstrate her focus on teaching diverse student populations, along with evaluating and developing tools for serving students of color. Generett serves as the director of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Center for Educational Leadership and Social Justice housed at Duquesne. Generett is a graduate of Spelman College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began her academic career at Virginia Tech and has served on the faculties of Shimabara Agricultural High School in Shimabara, Nagasaki, Japan; George Mason University; and Robert Morris University.

Elizabeth Hufnagel has joined the Department of Instruction and Learning as an assistant professor of science education. Hufnagel earned her PhD in curriculum and instruction, science education, at Pennsylvania State University in 2014 and has been a visiting assistant professor at
the University of Pittsburgh for the last year. She brings a decade of experience in education in a variety of settings. While at Penn State, she worked with a team of science and education faculty members to develop a science content course for preservice elementary school teachers and taught courses on science methods and philosophy of education. She was a high school science teacher and a professional development instructor
at the Urban Ecology Institute, both in Massachusetts. Her work with in-service teachers focused on preparing science teachers to implement urban field studies using geospatial technologies. Before she was a teacher, Hufnagel was an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps member and worked as an environmental scientist. Her current research centers on the intersection between emotions and learning about environmental science topics using discourse analysis. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, biking, yoga, and a good satire.

Christopher Kline has joined the Department of Health and Physical Activity as an assistant professor. He previously was an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry in Pitt’s School of Medicine. With a PhD in exercise science from the University of South Carolina, Kline focuses his research on bridging the fields of exercise science and sleep medicine, specifically the bidirectional relationship between physical activity and sleep, the cardiometabolic health consequences of poor sleep, and how sleep may be an important pathway through which physical activity improves health. His research is currently supported by a National Institutes of Health Career Development Award, through which he is evaluating the cardiometabolic risk associated with a specific sleep phenotype and is developing a behavioral treatment for this phenotype. In his spare time, Kline enjoys tackling home improvement projects and being active with his wife and three children.

Tessa McCarthy is an assistant professor joining the Department of Instruction and Learning in the vision studies program from North Carolina Central University. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2010 with a PhD in special education with an emphasis on visual disabilities and has more than a decade’s experience as an instructor and consultant in orientation and mobility and visual impairments. McCarthy’s research has recently been published in TEACHING Exceptional Children, the International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, and The Journal of Special Education. In the last year, she presented on the use of artificial intelligence in reinforcing braille instruction.

Jill Perry, executive director of the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED), is joining the School of Education faculty in September as a non-tenure stream associate professor. Perry is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she received her PhD in international education policy. Her research focuses on professional doctorate preparation in education, organizational change in higher education, teacher professionalization, and teacher issues both nationally and internationally. She has over 18 years of experience in leadership and program development in education and teaching experience at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the U.S. and abroad. She is a Fulbright Scholar (Germany) and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Paraguay), as well as the Board Chair of the Research & Innovation Advisory Board of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association.