Biographies of Fellows

Kathleen S. Lowney, Fellow-in-Residence

Kathe earned her undergraduate double majors in Comparative Religions and Sociology (with honors) at the University of Washington in 1981. She took the summer off from college and went directly to a PhD program at Drew University, earning her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Religion and Society. She came to Valdosta State in 1987, to join her husband, Frank Flaherty, who already was on the faculty.

New to teaching, she had some rough moments as she tried to develop her own teaching style. Teaching came easier though, than publishing did. Getting publishing was hard ; it wasn't until she found a mentor during her 1992 NEH Summer Seminar on Social Problems: The Constructionist Stance that she learned some of the "tricks" about getting published. Since then, she has written two books, over thirty research articles and book chapters, and co-edited several syllabi collections with some of her VSU sociology colleagues for the American Sociological Association.

Since 1989, she has been active in scholarship of teaching and learning activities in sociology and in particular, in the Midwest Sociological Society and the American Sociological Association. In 2009, she applied to become editor of the American Sociological Association's sole pedagogical journal, Teaching Sociology, and she has been editor since January 2010. The journal receives almost two hundred manuscripts (original and revisions) a year.

Starting a writing project is very difficult for her; while she has tried to write every day, that just doesn't fit her teaching schedule and her life, though every January 1, she makes a resolution to try it again! But once she can clear a block of time, find the right music, and can get into the flow of writing, something almost magical happens!


Larry Hilgert, Fellow

My early and present-day career choices were shaped by field experiences during my sophomore year of college.  On weekends I worked as a student assistant at Indiana University Medical School’s Institute for Psychiatric Research in a lab formerly used by B.F. Skinner. During the week I volunteered as a teacher’s aide at an Association for Retarded Citizens at a time when public education did not serve special needs children. In 1974 I earned a BA in psychology from Indiana University and one year later a master’s degree in pre-clinical psychology from Ball State University. The following year I was employed as temporary faculty at Indiana Central University (now University of Indianapolis).

From those early experiences grew an appreciation for the technologies associated with psychology and the importance of a field-based perspective in higher education. Technical and field-based applications continued to more formally evolve during my doctoral experiences in the school psychology program at Ball State University. Following graduation in 1983, I came to the Psychology & Counseling Department at Valdosta State for my first full-time faculty position. I completed state and national certification as a school psychologist and was awarded tenure at VSU.

In 1988, I earned licensure as a psychologist in Georgia, and the School Psychology Program at Valdosta State became Georgia’s first specialist degree program in school psychology to receive national recognition. One year later my doctorate in education from Ball State was changed to a doctorate of philosophy since I had completed a relatively rigorous research program and a relatively high-tech dissertation during doctoral training. My subsequent appointment as a Georgia teaching fellow as well as assisting with the development of the e-Core psychology course, podcasting and participation in e-learning Quality Matters, and affiliation with the iDocs group have enhanced my technical skills in and about the classroom. Contractual services through VSU to Head Start and Brooks County have brought a continuum of field-based experiences.

Technical emphasis soon became a major component of the school psychology program through the implementation of video conferencing using the Georgia State Medical and Academic System (GSAMS) for weekly practicum and internship classes. In 1998, VSU became the first Ed.S. school psychology program in the country  to submit e-portfolios on CD as part of an accreditation report (currently found as e-portfolios in LiveText). National approval in school psychology was also maintained until the program’s deactivation in 2013-14. Still involved in field-based instruction through clinical practicum, I hope to continue using video conferencing with Live Classroom and other forms of distance communication such as Second Life in an effort to reach rural areas that have challenges to access. I also plan to work with school systems in South Georgia and the Georgia Association of School Psychologists in providing continuing education in school safety. Interest in the curricular context for courses, technology, and field activities also continues with my recent appointment as an an assessment team member for NCATE/CAEP.


Karla Hull, Fellow

Karla earned her Masters degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Arizona State University  in 1976 and worked as a speech language pathologist in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics. She began her university teaching career at Holy Names College in the San Francisco/Oakland area of California. Karla clearly remembers trying to figure out how to fill 15 weeks of class time, what to exclude and include, how to balance assignments and examinations and how to determine a valid grading system. Several senior faculty mentored her throughout her time at the College. Since that time she has taught at 3 other universities, and prepared thousands of teachers for their careers.
Karla's doctorate is in Educational Leadership and Policy studies from the University of Vermont. She had  held administrative positions including Department Head, Dean, Interim Assistant  Vice President of Research, and Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Karla wrote and received her first federal grant, while working as a visiting research professor at the University of Vermont. Funding for her position was contingent on grant funds and she went on to write and receive federal funding for 6 federal grants, two of them at VSU. Grant writing is a very individual process fueled by the creative ideas of the writer, as such, Karla believes that a generic workshop is largely ineffective. Karla thinks that a mentorship model, focusing on the specific grant ideas of the faculty or staff member is a more productive way to achieve grant writing success. She looks forward to working with colleagues to develop their grant proposals, identifying resources and funding streams, and supporting others to prepare and submit grant proposals.

She hopes to use the IDEA Center space to encourage colleagues to join her in dedicating a few hours each week for scholarship and writing.


Peggy L. Moch, Fellow 

I am a former inner city high school mathematics teacher from Orlando, Florida and a professor of mathematics education here at Valdosta State University (VSU) where I teach a variety of undergraduate and graduate mathematics education courses in face to face and online classes in the College of Arts and Sciences in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. I graduated with a Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, Florida where I was awarded the Order of Pegasus award, the highest award given to students.

While attending UCF I designed my doctoral curriculum such that a third of my studies were in mathematics, a third in statistics, and a third in curriculum and instruction. I tutored and assisted several doctoral students for statistical courses as well as helping others design, enter data, and analyze data for their dissertations. I have assisted with everything from simple t-test to one-way ANOVA, to repeated measures and single subject designs. Unlike some folks, believe it or not, I really enjoy running statistical analysis! :-) I have worked with several faculty members here at VSU and I am chairing two dissertation committees.

I am currently serving as an elected member of the Executive Council for the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC), elected President of the VSU chapter of the American Association for University Professors (AAUP), and I am serving on a national committee for School Science and Mathematics (SSMA). I am the immediate past International Vice President of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education (KDP). My research interests are in pre-service teacher mathematics self-efficacy, mathematics anxiety, motivational theory, cross-curricular mathematics, and using technology in the classroom. I am currently co-authoring a new early childhood education mathematics content textbook for Kendall Hunt Publications as well as working on a variety of other papers for publication that are in various stages of completion.

In July 2013, I was asked to be VSU's representative on the Design Team for the new online pre-calculus course being developed for University System of Georgia institutions.