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Eastern's Moorehead and Graham recognized for excellence in teaching, research

Published on June 03, 2020

Eastern's Moorehead and Graham recognized for excellence in teaching, research

Moorehead and Graham
English Professor Tanya Moorehead and Biology Professor Matthew Graham received campus-level faculty awards from the Board of Regents for teaching and research.

The Board of Regents of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System has named two faculty members at Eastern Connecticut State University as recipients of campus-level faculty awards for teaching and research for 2020.  Tanya Moorehead, assistant professor of education, won the teaching award and Matthew Graham, associate professor of biology, won the research award.

 “Teaching chose me, I did not choose it,” said Moorehead. “However, it is the best career choice that I could have made. Teaching embodies who I am and how I live.” Moorehead focuses on inclusive education teaching strategies, special education, and classroom management, paying special attention “to educational equity and serving students who are considered forgotten or left behind. I want my classroom to become a community of learners who are committed to each other’s success and who support one another as learners and practitioners.”

Moorehead is coordinator for Eastern’s Holmes Program, which involves mentoring students from underrepresented populations. Prior to joining Eastern, she served as an instructor at Goodwin College and the University of Central Florida, and was an assistant professor at Montclair College. A special education teacher for seven years, Moorehead was named the 2006 Bloomfield Teacher of the Year.

Moorehead has also published widely, including as co-author of  “The Effects of Modeling the Use of Technology with Pre-service Teachers,” in “Computers in the Schools”; “Community-based Partnerships and Tutoring in Mathematics and Reading” in the National Association of Special Education Teachers Special Educator E-Journal; and “Leveraging Technology in the Co-teaching Model for STEM Education” in “The Bridge.”

Moorehead earned her Ph.D. in Exceptional Education from the University of Central Florida and her master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Connecticut.

Graham shares his passion for biodiversity with his students during field courses and hands-on laboratory experiences. He secured a grant in 2019 of more than $500,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The four-year research grant will develop young scientists and contribute to the understanding of climate change in deserts. The grant focuses on the habits of a little-known type of arachnid known as the camel spider.

Graham’s research students use molecular genetics, morphology and climate modelling to learn about the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity across landscapes, focusing on arachnids. “The most important thing Eastern is getting out of this is student training in some very marketable laboratory skills,” said Graham, who teaches courses in Organismal Biology, Parasitology, Desert Ecology & Biogeography, Tropical Biology, Invertebrate Biology and Honors Thesis biology.

Graham has co-authored and published nearly 45 scholarly articles, including “Venom diversity in the Neotropical scorpion genus Tityus: implications for antivenom design emerging from molecular and immunochemical analyses across endemic areas of scorpionism,” and “Evolutionary conservation and selective pressures in hadrurid scorpion venom toxins.”

Prior to coming to Eastern, Graham served as research associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science; research associate at the San Diego Natural History Museum; and teaching associate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Graham earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Nevada; and his M.S. and B.S.  in Biological Sciences at Marshall University.

Written by Dwight Bachman