GTF Faculty Fellows (GTF Fellows) was created for the foundation to have a role in building research and teaching capacity for Texas faculty working in areas related to the foundation’s mission and strategy. Over time, GTF Fellows will continue to create a broad and deep network of highly talented and committed Texas researchers working to understand barriers for students and identify research-based solutions to help more Texas students access and succeed at the postsecondary level.

Following a competitive proposal process in 2016, the foundation selected four individuals for the fourth cohort of the GTF Faculty Fellowship ProgramEach GTF Fellow receives up to $30,000 per year for a period of three years to support a proposed research agenda. Through the application process, each fellow identified a mentor to provide assistance throughout the three-year fellowship. Each of the selected fellows’ home institutions committed to a partial match for the program.

Please read on to learn more about the fourth cohort of GTF Fellows:

Dr. Brittany L. Hott
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Counseling & Special Education
College of Education and Human Services, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Mentor: Dr. Gil Naizer, Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education and Human Services, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • “The GTF fellowship will provide the opportunity to extend my work in the area of school-based mathematics interventions to in-service teacher development. Project DREAM (Developing Rural Educators’ Algebra Methods) explores the feasibility of sharing evidence-based practices through an interactive website tailored to identified teacher needs. Specifically, Project DREAM focuses on supporting teachers working with students from diverse backgrounds (non-native English speakers, students from low socio-economic backgrounds, students with math difficulty or disability) in rural east Texas. I am excited to learn and collaborate with fellows, my mentor, Dr. Gil Naizer, and GTF.”

Dr. Lauren Schudde
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Administration and Sociology
College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Mentor: Dr. Harrison Keller, Deputy to the President for Strategy & Policy, The University of Texas at Austin
  • “As a newcomer to Texas, I’ve spent much of this year getting to know the higher education system in the state. I quickly realized that Greater Texas Foundation is a key player in research initiatives to improve the outcomes of college students in Texas. My project for the GTF Fellows program merges my interest in community college student success with my emerging interest in policy implementation within the complex organization of Texas higher education, which is quite decentralized. The project examines the implications of state transfer policies in order to understand how we can smooth students’ transition from community colleges to public universities. The Fellows program is not only providing the financial means to examine this important topic, but also the support and feedback of other fellows, mentors, and GTF staff. That support will play a vital role in developing clear and feasible policy recommendations based on my analyses.”

Dr. David S. Yeager
Assistant Professor
, Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Mentor: Dr. Uri Treisman, Executive Director, Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin
  • “I’m thrilled to be included in a group with such amazing peers. I’m excited to see how we use our opportunity to carry out science for the betterment of higher education in Texas.”

Dr. Yi Leaf Zhang
Assistant Professor
, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
College of Education, The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Mentor: Dr. Linda Hagedorn, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University
  • “This fellowship with Greater Texas Foundation provides me with additional resources, time, and mentorship to extend my current research on student persistence and postsecondary degree attainment. It will allow me to carefully investigate the extent to which college students’ transfer pathways, early academic momentum, and course-taking patterns affect students’ baccalaureate degree attainment, especially in STEM fields of study. It will also enable me to develop a portfolio that positions me as a strong researcher, as well as a competitive candidate for promotion to Associate Professor with tenure. Additionally, the GTF Fellowship will offer me great opportunities to network with other GTF Fellows, higher education leaders, administrators, and policy makers. This fellowship will not only allow me to focus on the proposed research project, but also serve as a foundation for future research on transfer students’ transition experiences and academic success.”