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Full Professors Retta Evans, Ph.D., and Kathleen Clark, Ph.D., have been named department chairs for the Human Studies and Curriculum and Instruction departments at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education.

"We are incredibly excited for our departments to be led by such distinguished educators who have proven leadership skills and research backgrounds," says Teresa Taber Doughty, Dean of the UAB School of Education. "I am confident that both Evans and Clark have the drive to lead our school in a positive and impactful direction for our students, faculty, and staff."

Department of Human Studies

Dr. Evans was named chair of the Department of Human Studies in June after serving as interim chair since June 2022. Dr. Evans has been a faculty member in the department's Community Health and Human Services program since 2003 and has been the program coordinator of the Ph.D. program in Community Health Promotion since 2015.
Throughout her career, Evans focused her research and scholarship efforts on youth and schools related to nutrition and health education. She recently published articles on adolescents' academic performance in food desert areas and the effects of teacher-student relationships during early adolescence.

Evans has been integral to the School of Education community for two decades and is excited to lead the department.

"I have been at UAB for 20 years and in the School of Education for the entire time," Evans said. "I am grateful to the faculty in the department for their collaboration, respect, and willingness to work together for the future of our programs and students. 
Evans earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences from the University of Arkansas in 1996. She became a master-certified health education specialist from the national commission for Health Education credentialing in 2015.

Evans will lead the Department of Human Studies, which consists of 27 full-time faculty supported by two staff employees. The department offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Kinesiology, Physical Education, Community Health and Human Services, Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational Studies in Diverse Populations, and Higher Education Administration — additionally, the school is home to two non-degree-seeking programs, Educational Foundations and Educational Psychology and Research.

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Kathleen Clark, Ph.D., will join the UAB School of Education in August 2023 from Florida State University (FSU) after serving as a professor of mathematics education since 2006 and as the Associate Director of the School of Teacher Education in 2020, and then appointed Director of the School in May 2021.

Before transitioning into higher education, Dr. Clark spent 12 years as a high school mathematics teacher in various urban and suburban settings in Florida and Mississippi. She also spent a year working in educational policy as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. In 2006, she earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction (with an emphasis in Mathematics Education) from the University of Maryland, College Park. During her time in Maryland, Clark was a doctoral fellow at the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning (MAC-MTL).

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Dr. Clark moved to Tallahassee, Florida, after completing her doctoral degree. UAB is the second institution she will call home. At FSU, Dr. Clark's two primary research interests were the history of mathematics in mathematics education and the transition from school to university mathematics (also known as secondary-tertiary transition). She was the principal investigator for the NSF-funded collaborative research project TRIUMPHS (Transforming Instruction in Undergraduate Mathematics via Primary Historical Sources) and a member of various professional organizations, and editorial boards focused on mathematics education.

Dr. Clark is excited to lead the C&I faculty, and she looks forward to working together to tackle the evolving needs of young learners and classroom teachers.

"I am thrilled to be joining the UAB School of Education and thankful for the opportunity to work alongside the talented individuals in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction," states Clark. "The future is bright, and I look forward to working alongside the faculty in the department to develop new programs, initiatives, and enrollment opportunities for the school."

Dr. Clark will lead the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, which includes 30 regular full-time faculty supported by five staff employees. The department has nine undergraduate and graduate degree programs: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Music Education, Arts Education, English as a Second Language, Reading Education, Special Education, School Psychometry, School Psychology, and Instructional Design and Development.