Academics

Faculty Research Interests


Dr. Katherine Anderson
Dr. Anderson’s current program of research is focused on health sciences (specifically, epidemiology, health education, and public health), methods of analysis of large data sets, Parkinson’s disease, gerontology, health economics, pharmacoeconomics. Dr. Anderson’s research is often quantitative in nature.
Katherine.Anderson@lmunet.edu
Dr. Judy Arnold
Dr. Arnold’s research interests focus on the methodology involved in qualitative/ethnographic studies and issues of equality such as gender, poverty, and culture.
Judy.Arnold@lmunet.edu
Dr. Sandra Birchfield
Dr. Birchfield’s research interests include supervision and administration dealing with students, time management and organizational procedures of the organization.
Sandra.Birchfield@lmunet.edu
Dr. Martha Jean Bratton
Dr. Bratton’s research interests center around school leadership, school climate, high priority/risk schools and students, diversity, parent engagement, value added assessment, student mobility, school management related in discipline, etc., and school improvement.
Martha.Bratton@lmunet.edu
Dr. Lynn Stevenson-Burger
Dr. Stevenson-Burger’s research focuses on the extent to which the collection of process data related to specific management tasks can inform, direct and predict effective school management.; The extent to which principals, in their role of instructional leaders, can mine data from decision-support systems to inform and direct staff development such to positively impact student learner outcomes.; What is the "state of the art" in implementing data driven / performance based decision-making by school administrators. What tools are available? Are there any tools that are truly system-wide (enterprise wide resource managers)? Can these tools be classified? How are these tools being implemented - e.g., SIS, Finance, HR, are usually married to some data-mining tool. What are the costs and problems associated with such tools? Costs and problems associated with each. Do any of these tools collect process data?; What skill sets do administrators need in order to provide the right guidance to long-range technology plans that do not trap them in current models, but inform them on how to improve practice and discover new approaches to managing teaching and learning?; What methodologies could be used to enlist professional staff in the adoption of a decision-support system? How could issues related to union policy, accountability, information sharing and collaboration be addressed?; What impact will and should the newer technologies have on K-12 school administration - e.g., social networking; Web 2.0 approaches (for staff and students); distance education, virtual classrooms; and others?; How could new information technologies promote and support research across traditional intra- and inter-organizational boundaries?
Lynn.Burger@lmunet.edu
Dr. Michael Burger
Dr. Burger’s research focuses on enabling the transformation of instructional systems through the effective design, development, and implementation of information technologies. The design and implementation of instructional systems that are student-centered, standard-based, and highly accountable by empowering practitioners in education to develop their skills as decision-makers and researchers. He is also interested in the involvement of all stakeholders in instructional programs. In addition to curriculum design, development assessment (especially in standards-based instructional systems), and organizational change.
Michael.Burger@lmunet.edu
Dr. Rebecca Burleson
Dr. Burleson’s research interests include early childhood education, special education, early childhood special education, Family Systems Theory (as it relates to service delivery in special education), and family, agency, and professional collaboration to support students with exceptionalities. Dr. Burleson’s research also focuses on the use of mobile learning technologies in P-12 environments and in higher education, internet safety for students in P-12 environments, and supporting the emotional schema of students and families in P-12 education.
Rebecca.Burleson@lmunet.edu
Dr. David Burrell
Dr. Burrell’s current research interests focus on coaching strategies for continuous improvement of teaching. His research interests also include the relationship between improved children’s health and the subsequent improvement in academic achievement.
David.Burrell@lmu.net.edu
Dr. Margie Carico
Dr. Carico’s specializes in research centered on curriculum, action research, and learning theories.
Margie.Carico@lmunet.edu
Dr. Joseph Cosgriff
Dr. Cosgriff’s research interests center around students with autism, social skills and communication, transition for students with disabilities (especially students with severe disabilities), and peer support for students with disabilities.
Jospeh.Cosgriff@lmunet.edu
Dr. Joel Effler
Dr. Effler’s current research interests focus on Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) as a measure of brain functioning for learning /performing efficiency and identification of psychopathologies and disabilities.
Joel.Effler@lmunet.edu
Dr. Cherie Gaines
Dr. Gaines’ current program of research is focused on teacher/leader burnout, school climate/culture, Middle school practices, and teacher leadership efficacy.
Cherie.Gaines@lmunet.edu
Dr. Susan Gratz
Dr. Gratz’s research interests focus on technology and the use of technology in the public schools that LMU Harrogate serves.
Susan.Gratz@lmunet.edu
Dr. Deborah Hayes
Dr. Hayes’ research interests center around teacher leadership, integrated arts programs, service learning, and the impact of stress on learning.
Deborah.Hayes@lmunet.edu
Dr. Michael W. Hayes
Dr. Hayes’ research focuses on alternative dispute resolution, collaborative conferencing, and mediation/negotiations.
Michael.Hayes@lmunet.edu
Dr. Laura Hopfer
Dr. Hopfer’s research interests focus on pre-service education, bully in schools, equity education, bully by educators, and professional learning communities.
Laura.Hopfer@lmunet.edu
Dr. Kevin Jones
Dr. Jones’ research interests focus on substitute teaching and teacher training, in-service/professional development and workshops, value of standardized testing, non-traditional instructional strategies, embracing non-STEM content areas, benefits of less government involvement, case for classroom teacher autonomy, EQ vs. IQ, Socio/cultural competence vs. content knowledge, and the impact of student/teacher relationships on academic outcomes. Dr. Jones’ research interests also include the importance of play, recess, sports, music, extra-curricular activities, and pet/animal therapy for students in school.
Kevin.Jones@lmunet.eduu
Dr. Sylvia Lynch
Dr. Lynch’s research interests focus on language arts
Sylvia.Lynch@lmunet.edu
Dr. Lajuana Morris
Dr. Morris’s research interests center on K-12 curriculum, teaching and learning strategies, reading, writing, language arts, assessment, evaluation, brain-based education, neuroscience, early childhood education, elementary, middle, and high school education, and technology in the classroom.
Lajuana.Morris@lmunet.edu
Dr. Patricia Murphree
Dr. Murphree’s research interests focus on educational issues involving students and curriculum.
Patricia.Murphree@lmunet.edu
Dr. Cynthia Norris
Dr. Norris’s research interests center on servant leadership, authentic and transformational leadership, learning communities (in organizations and academic settings), cohorts, women in leadership, leadership styles, brain-based leadership, and creative thinking and leadership.
Cynthia.Norris@lmunet.edu
Dr. Howard Norris
Dr. Norris’s principal research interests include educational leadership and educational law.
Howard.Norris@lmunet.edu
Dr. John O’Dell
Dr. O’Dell’s research interests center on updates on school law, school improvement and finance in Tennessee and surrounding states.
John.Odell@lmunet.edu
Dr. Katherine Pebworth
Dr. Pebworth’s current program of research is focused on physical education and physical activity.
Katherine.Pebworth@lmunet.edu
Dr. Toby Rogers
Dr. Roger’s research interests include qualitative interview research and working with doctoral students whose dissertations are centered in this area.
Talbot.Rogers@lmunet.edu
Dr. Bill Russell
Dr. Russell’s research interests focuses on elementary level education, differentiated teaching strategies, working with children from poverty, student/teacher relationships and the effect on student achievement, and administrators as instructional leaders and the effects on student achievement.
Dr. Dennis Smith
Dr. Smith’s research interests focus on the role of principals within the school as instructional leaders, their leadership styles and strategies used in administration, and their relationship to faculty, staff, and community.
Dennis.Smith@lmunet.edu
Dr. Jack Smith
Dr. Smith’s research interests focus on instructional leadership, effects of leadership styles, and school environment.
Dr. Betty Standifer
Dr. Standifer’s research interests include issues for girls/women, prisons, in-mate’s children and their problems in education, alternative schools, and the teaching of troubled students.
Betty.Standifer@lmunet.edu
Dr. Christopher Underwood

Research and Teaching Areas
I am a biogeographer with research interests in forest and disturbance ecology (primarily forest fires) and environmental change during the Holocene—the present geological epoch that began ca. 11,700 years ago. I use natural proxies, such as tree rings and soil charcoal, to explore past environmental change in order to provide knowledge that can better prepare humans to predict, lessen the impacts of, or adapt to future global change.

One of the best parts of my job is that this type of research is often conducted in some of the most beautiful places in the world. I have worked on projects based in the mountains and high-elevation desert of the Pacific Northwest, the Appalachian Mountains, the bayous of Louisiana, and arctic Sweden. My research has always provided opportunities for student collaboration, and I invite you to inquire about current projects in which you could participate.

My teaching interests include introductory geography, physical geography, environmental geography, biogeography, weather and climate, Appalachian geography, and natural hazards.

Scholarly Highlights

Co-principle investigator for a recently funded research project ($170,000 from the United States Geological Survey) that will use tree rings from centuries-old oak trees to establish the long-term range of variability in drought conditions for the Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin

During the past ten years, I have participated in the dendroarchaeological dating of some of the oldest log structures in Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, including the cabin at President Lincoln’s Birthplace National Historic Site.

Recent publication on carnivorous plant research: Horner, J.D., Cross Steele, J., Underwood, C.A., and Lingamfelter, D. 2012. Age-related changes in characteristics and prey capture in seasonal cohorts of Sarracenia alata pitchers. The American Midland Naturalist 167: 13–27

My research has been recently presented at multiple professional conferences (e.g., Ecological Society of America, Association of American Geographers, Geological Society of America).
christopher.underwood@lmunet.edu