Union University School of Education Welcomes Three Dynamic Leaders in Education
September 1, 2009 - Three outstanding educators have joined Union University's award winning School of Education. Drs. Dianne Morgan, Murphysteen Counts, and Stephanie Steele will each play integral roles in the School's new programming. Dean Thomas Rosebrough stated, "The School of Education continues to grow and address the most challenging issues in education. We are pleased to welcome these three professionals who will contribute to our work. They exemplify excellence in education as scholars and practitioners."
Dianne Morgan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education, Germantown
Prior to her tenure at Union University, Dr. Morgan was an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis. Her expertise includes how culture shapes engagement in learning, language development/acquisition, as well as early childhood development. She received her Bachelor's of Science and Masters from The University of Texas at Austin in the areas of Deaf Culture and Education. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Educational Psychology studying human development and engaged learning. During her graduate studies, she received the Pre-Dissertation AERA Spencer Grant ($16,000). Her dissertation study examined culturally Deaf preschool teachers' visually based engagement practices and their sense making of those practices, as well as the school setting's and program philosophy's influences on those beliefs and practices. Dr. Morgan has presented her research at multiple national conferences and co-written a book chapter examining the school's function as well as the teacher's role in primary language acquisition and identity development within the Deaf Education classroom. Her course offerings have included Early Childhood Development in Urban Contexts, Faith and Ethics, Engaged Learning. She has provided guest lectures in Special Education, Cognition, and Learning at both of her alma maters. She has also created seminar classes connecting pre-service educators with community leaders and professionals.
Murphysteen Counts, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Education & Graduate Faculty Liaison, MTR
Dr. Counts joined Union University as an adjunct faculty member in 2000. She transitioned to Union full-time in 2009 after retiring from Memphis City Schools. During her 31-year tenure in public schools she taught at the elementary level and served as both assistant principal and principal. Dr. Counts teaches courses, provides leadership in her role as Union's MTR liaison, and serves as a "Coach" for students enrolled in the Memphis Teacher Residency Program (MTR). The MTR is a collaboration involving a Memphis, Tennessee foundation, Union University, and local urban schools.
Stephanie Lee Steele, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education, Hendersonville
While Dr. Steele joined the faculty in 2009, she has been a part of Union in other roles. She is a graduate of Union's School of Education undergraduate program (1998), and she also served in Union's Student Services as the Director of Student Leadership Development (2000-2003). Dr. Steele received both her master's and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt University. Her experience in higher education spans student life, university instruction, and research and policy analysis. Prior to her faculty appointment, she worked for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in the fiscal policy analysis division. Her research interests focus on the college choice process and the college student experience. Dr. Steele serves the M.Ed. and Ed.S. programs in Hendersonville as well as the Ed.D. higher education program in Jackson.