Meet the UCCS College of Education Dean finalists

The College of Education will be hosting four finalists for the dean position on campus between April 28 and May 10. All faculty, staff, students and interested members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend each of the finalist’s campus presentations and their open forums to ask questions about their qualifications to lead the College of Education. Feedback surveys will be provided next week.

Led by search committee chair Kevin Laudner, Dean of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the 11-person search committee consists of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. See the full search committee listing below.

Valerie Martin Conley, the current dean, will be leaving UCCS after the spring semester to serve as provost at Idaho State University.

Meet the Candidates

Scott C. Bauer, Ph.D. | Thursday, April 28

Scott C. Bauer (PhD, Cornell University) serves as professor and associate dean for advanced education & doctoral programs in the School of Education & Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. From May 2021 to June 2022, he is also co-interim dean of that school. Before coming to Colorado, he was professor and director of the Education Leadership division in the College of Education & Human Development, George Mason University; program leader and member of the faculty in Education Leadership at the University of New Orleans; and research director of the School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans. Before becoming a professor, Bauer was Senior Consultant, then Managing Partner at Organizational Analysis & Practice, Inc., a firm that specialized in conducting research, policy analysis, and professional development programs for schools and education agencies.

Bauer’s teaching focuses on education leadership, organizational behavior and development, and applied research methods. His research interests involve the application of organizational theory to the improvement of schools and colleges, and the efficacy of various strategies used to develop education leaders at all levels. His most recent publications deal with the causes and consequences of educator isolation; the development of teacher and administrative leaders; and the organizational design of collaborative leadership strategies. He is co-author with David Brazer of “Using Research to Lead School Improvement: Turning Evidence into Action” (Sage, 2012), and with Brazer & Bob Johnson of “Leading Schools to Learn, Grow and Thrive: Using Theory to Strengthen Practice” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). He publishes actively and serves as an editorial board member and frequent reviewer and contributor to peer-reviewed journals and has been an officer and active member of several learned societies.

Cover Letter

Henrietta Williams Pichon, Ph.D. | Monday, May 2

Henrietta Williams Pichon is currently serving as the Interim Dean in the College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation at New Mexico State University. Pichon has worked in academia since 1994 and has four years of recent relevant administrative experience at the Associate Dean and Dean level.

She began her career in higher education as a retention counselor at the University of New Orleans and worked her way up the ranks to become the director of several retention programs under the Enrollment Management arm of Academic Affairs. In 2005, Pichon joined the faculty ranks at Rowan University teaching in the Educational Leadership doctoral degree program where she taught research tool courses as well as courses within the higher education master’s degree program. She joined the faculty at Northwestern State University in 2007 where she earned tenure and the rank of Associate Professor. In 2013, she joined the faculty at New Mexico State University where she later earned rank and tenure. Upon earning Associate rank in 2017, Pichon was asked to take on more administrative responsibilities within the college. While serving in an administrative capacity, Pichon continued her research, teaching, and practices regarding access, development, and persistence of historically underrepresented groups in higher education to include students, faculty and staff. 

In the last five years, Pichon had 15 publications: 1 co-edited book, 7 peer-reviewed articles, 4 peer-reviewed book chapters, and 3 blogs. She remains the co-editor for the “Journal of the Professoriate” and participated in 17 scholarly presentations. Because of her scholarship, teaching, service and leadership, she is eligible to apply for Full Professor for Fall 2022.

Within the last four years, Pichon has led the college merger; focused on building community (creating a culture of inclusiveness and oneness); revising college promotion and tenure document; overseeing budget realignment and redistribution of funds (of a $16M budget); reconnecting with community partners and engagement; improved communication stream throughout college via email and social media; participated in legislative policy analysis resulting in additional funding (teacher preparation scholarships, teacher residency program, nursing expansion, autism diagnostic center, endowment funds for social work, early childhood, teacher preparation, and nursing); increased donor support for scholarships, endowments, research, and support services; and grew awareness and enrollment in specific programs–just to name a few accomplishments.

Pichon is a first-generation college student, scholar and practitioner. She earned a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. in secondary English education from Louisiana Tech University. She earned a Ph.D. in education administration (higher education) from the University of New Orleans.

Cover Letter

Michael M. Kocet, Ph.D. | Wednesday, May 4

Michael M. Kocet is Professor and Department Chair of the Counselor Education Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois.

Kocet earned his Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Arkansas and completed a graduate certificate in dispute resolution at University Massachusetts Boston. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MA), a Board Certified Counselor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. His professional areas of interest include: ethical issues in counseling; counseling LGBTQ+ clients; grief counseling, and is author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on ethics, LGBTQ and diversity issues. He is the editor of the book, “Counseling Gay Men, Adolescents, and Boys: A Guide for Helping Professionals and Educators” published by Routledge Press and is co-author of the text Ethical Decision Making for the 21st Century Counselor by SAGE Press.

Kocet is a Fellow of the American Counseling Association, the highest award given by the counseling profession in recognition of lifetime contributions to the profession. He served as member of the American Counseling Association Ethics Committee (2001-2007) and chaired the American Counseling Association Ethics Code Revision Taskforce (2002-2005). He is Past President and former ACA Governing Council Representative of the Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE) (formerly ALGBTIC). Dr. Kocet served as a board trustee for five years for the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC). He served on the Minority Fellows Program Advisory Council through the National Board of Certified Counselors.

Kocet currently serves on the American Counseling Association Foundation Board, the ACA Governance and Board Operations Committee, and the AADA Grief Competencies Task Force. Dr. Kocet is active in community service, providing pro bono counseling at the Center on Halsted, an LGBTQ Community Center in Chicago. He also served as a volunteer grief therapist for Comfort Zone Camp, the nation’s largest bereavement camp for children, ages 7-17. He has presented at local, state, and national conferences in counseling and student affairs and is sought out as a national speaker and consultant on ethics, diversity, LGBTQ+ issues, spirituality, and grief counseling. 

Cover Letter

Rebecca K. Weinbaum, Ph.D. | Monday, May 9

Rebecca Weinbaum is Associate Dean in the College of Education and Human Development at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. She served as Chair of the Department of Counseling and has served in the role of program coordinator for school counseling. Rebecca graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Ph.D. in Counselor Education in 2010. A former music educator, elementary school counselor, licensed professional counselor supervisor, and play therapist in Texas, Rebecca continues to connect her work, research, and service in PK-20 education and community partnerships. Her scholarship of more than 55 articles/book chapters has focused on mentoring programs, creativity in counseling and supervision, and methodology in educational and social science research. Her h-index is 23; average cites per paper is 46.71; and her g-index is 50.

Weinbaum has been a recipient of several state/federal grants focused on interdisciplinary practices and mentoring. In 2016, she was awarded a 4-year 1.8 million-dollar grant from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Partners and Crisis Teams (IMPaCT). Other awards include: Most Read Article of 2014 by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group:  Differences of Mentoring Experiences across Grade Span among Principals, Mentors, and Mentees (Frels, Onwuegbuzie, & Zeintek, 2013); Distinguished Paper Award (2013) AERA Mentorship and Mentoring Practices Special Interest Group; Distinguished Paper Award (2013) AERA Professors of Education Research Special Interest Group; and Outstanding Paper Award (2011) at the Southwest Educational Research Association (SERA). In 2016, Weinbaum was recognized with the Merit Teaching Award at Lamar University. She was a guest co-editor of two special issues on Mixed Methods Research in Education for International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches. She enjoys presenting numerous research methodology workshops on the university, state, regional, and national levels.

As Associate Dean, Weinbaum has successfully co-led the efforts for three program accreditations in Teacher Education, Educational Leadership, and School Counseling. She is a reviewer for the accreditation body: Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). She created a guide for best practices in online teaching and learning as well as co-creating a quality assurance system that addresses validity, trustworthiness, fairness, and inter-rater reliability for quality improvement.  She leads the internal and external stakeholder advisory boards, and is a collaborative partner for several new degree programs: the Masters of Art in Teaching and the Masters in Literacy Leadership in Urban Education. Weinbaum enjoys collaborative partnerships within the college and the community for meaningful goals and practices.

As Chair of the Counseling Department, Weinbaum established a student development committee, faculty outreach, and virtual advising. She successfully launched a new concentration in Couples, Marriage and Family Counseling and expanded the School Counseling Program to 60-hours. As Associate Professor, Weinbaum has developed numerous courses including Introduction to Research, Counseling Theories and Techniques, and Assessment. She was a 2021 member of the Texas Education Agency School Counselor Exam 252 State Standards Committee. Weinbaum has been recognized by her students as enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and passionate in her teaching.

International experience includes collaboration with the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania in teaching mixed methods research courses and the Universidad de UNIBE, San Jose, Costa Rica in teaching play therapy courses. She is a member of the Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society.  Weinbaum also specializes in sandtray therapy and provides play therapy workshops to local professional counselors for continuing education. Her teaching includes both campus-based and online courses in the Counseling Department to provide meaningful learning that is creative and interactive for resourceful, enthusiastic professionals dedicated their communities and to the profession.

When not working toward continuous improvement for the college, Weinbaum is enjoying the outdoors, some classical music, or baking up her favorite Food Network dishes.

Cover Letter

Search Firm: Parker Executive Search
Search Committee:

  • Kevin Laudner (Chair), Dean of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Deborah Glynn, Executive Assistant to the Dean, College of Education
  • April Keller, Finance and Administration Manager, College of Education
  • Lori Notestine, Instructor and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Coordinator, Counseling and Human Services
  • Robert Mitchell, Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations
  • Diane Stutey, Department Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling and Human Services
  • Christi Kasa, Associate Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Sylvia Mendez, Department Chair and Professor, Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations
  • Patrick McGuire, Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Kyle Cooper, Superintendent, Hanover School District
  • Kyle Gruenhagen, HR support staff