University of Houston-Clear Lake alumni Eric Tingle and Andrew Lowry, were awarded the 2017 Southwest Educational Research Association’s (SERA) Deans’ Awards for Exceptional Graduate Student Research.

Tingle, principal at Marcellus Elliot Foster Elementary School in the Houston Independent School District, earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from UHCL in December 2016, and a Master of Science in Educational Management in 2011. Lowry is an assistant principal at Obra D. Tompkins High School in Katy ISD. He is currently enrolled in the university’s Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with STEM Focus program, anticipating completion by fall 2018. He, too, holds a MS in Educational Management from UHCL.

SERA is a regional educational research association dedicated to furthering the advancement of research in education.

Tingle’s dissertation research, titled “The Influence of a District Leadership Development Program on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year Principals,” is focused on the components of district leadership development programs that principals find influence their development as school leaders. The quantitative portion of the research answered the question to what extent did the leadership development program influence the principals’ effectiveness as a school leader related to cohort support, instructional leadership, human capital, executive leadership, school culture, and strategic operations.

Tingle explains that four themes emerged from focus group and interview data responses:  principals found that their supervisor and other peers were effective throughout the cohort experience; some principals had no recollection of some of the trainings they attended; principals stated some of the shortcomings of the program, and some principals stated ways the program prepared them for school leadership.

Among Tingle’s long-term goals is that of becoming a district superintendent, where he can utilize his research, as well as his past administrative experience to supervise and support principals. In the meantime, he says he enjoys his role as a building principal, but would also like to be an adjunct professor at a Texas university, teaching aspiring teachers or aspiring principals.

Lowry is in the early stages of his research, which is titled “Self-Efficacy of Pre-Service STEM Teachers: Traditional University versus UTeach.” He reports that initial results indicate that early immersion in authentic teaching experiences/field experience (tutoring, teaching a lesson, etc.) indicate a significant difference in pre-service teacher’s self-efficacy for student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management skills.

Teaching at the university level, specifically in the college of education preparing new teachers is one of Lowry’s goals, but he is also interested in providing educational consulting and/or presenting professional development around the globe.

The two SERA Dean’s Award winners received monetary awards and certificates, in addition to being recognized at the annual conference.

To find out more about UHCL School of Education educational opportunities, call the School of Education Office of Academic Advising, 281-283-3615.

University of Houston-Clear Lake’s College of Education is an accredited teacher preparation program offering course work and field experiences toward more than 70 different degree or certification programs, including two doctoral degree programs, eight master’s degree programs, six professional certificates and the teacher certification program, certifying in more than 15 specializations and teaching fields. The School of Education was named a winner of the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. UHCL was also selected by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its commitment to the community. Its students and faculty have been recognized for excellence and exemplary practices by the Quest for Quality Teacher Preparation in Texas project.  For more information about the School of Education, visit

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