CEPS Student, Faculty, and Staff Virtual Awards Ceremony
Posted on May 7, 2021 by Amber Day
The University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies faculty, staff, and students were recently honored at the Spring Virtual Awards Ceremony hosted via Zoom.
We continue to celebrate the hard work of our college and students as we end the spring semester and near graduation.
Click the tabs below to read about this year's awardees.
Patricia Spencer was named the spring 2021 Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences Dr. Chandru Hiremath Memorial Award Instructional Design and Development Ph.D. Student of the Year.
Spencer earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s in history, and will receive a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Development in May 2021. During her time at South, Spencer served as the treasurer for Phi Kappa Phi.
In addition, Spencer is currently involved in the Instructional Design and Development Graduate Association. She plans to become an evaluation specialist and work on projects that specifically promote education, economic and health equity.
“South has a great program in instructional design and development,” Spencer said. “I am passionate about program evaluation, an area within instructional design and development, because of its potential to improve outcomes in people's lives through the continuous focus on refining programs, courses, training or any type of evaluation and using data to inform decision making.”
Julie Andel was named the spring 2021 Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences Dr. John E. Morrow, Sr. Memorial Award Instructional Design and Development Master’s Student of the Year.
Andel will earn a master’s in library and information studies. During her time at South, Andel has been involved in the Instructional Design and Development Graduate Association. She loves working with technology and people. Andel chose South because the program and courses offered matched well with her working background. She plans to incorporate instruction into her photography business and work as a freelancer for companies developing instructional products.
“I am inspired by the people I meet everyday,” Andel said. “Whether they are academic professionals I have met in my program or the professional photographers I work with in my field. Dr. Joel Billingsley and Dr. James Van Haneghan provided great encouragement when I began my degree, and I continued to stay connected with both of them professionally. Dr. Joel Billingsley inspired me in my coursework from the very first class I attended, and I took several other classes with her that also impacted me positively.”
Victoria Dixon was named the spring 2021 Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences Outstanding Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.) Graduate Student.
Dixon will earn a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling May 2021. During her time at South, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s in psychology. She also received the Dr. Vaughn Millner’s Endowed Scholarship in Counseling. Dixon is an involved member of the Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society. She plans to continue her education in the area of clinical psychology. In the fall 2021, Dixon will begin doctoral studies in South's Clinical and Counseling Psychology Ph.D. Program.
“The College of Education and Professional Studies' community outreach and commitment to continuing education makes the college unique,” Dixon said. “I have personally had multiple positive contributors to my experiences at South. Dr. Tres Stefurak, who has been a committed mentor and advocate throughout my educational journey, and Dr. Yvette Getch, who has always been communicative and looking for ways to meet for her students' needs, are two that stand out.”
Kaitlyn Mount was named the spring 2021 Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences Outstanding School Counseling (M.Ed.) Graduate Student.
Mount will earn a master’s degree in school counseling May 2021. During her time at South, she has been an involved member of Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society. In addition, her professors describe her joy of working with students as being evident and contagious.
“I chose South because my husband is a 2014 graduate of the University,” Mount said. “He is employed by the University, and I worked as a social worker at University Hospital. I knew that I would receive a quality education and be surrounded by some of the trailblazers in my field of study. I am passionate about school counseling because I know that school systems are imperative in the development of a person. I believe in education, and I believe in advocating.”
Karleesha Springs was named the spring 2021 Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences Outstanding Educational Media - Library (M.Ed.) Graduate Student.
Springs will earn a master’s in educational media in May 2021. As a wife and a mother of three, Springs stays focused on structure, family and faith. She has become not only a role model for other students but an influence in the community. In addition, Springs shows constant perseverance and has her mind set that the “sky's the limit.” After completing her first internship at a local high school, Springs saw a great need to reach students before they enrolled in college or vocational schools. She hopes to one day work at a high school to help students become better prepared when navigating complex digital tools or content, think critically, as well as working with our community to help students develop as readers.
“Dr. Pamela Moore has a skillset that goes beyond preparing graduate students for educational media courses,” Springs said. “She motivates and encourages her graduate students to strive for excellence within our career and personal goals. When I first began my journey in the graduate program, it was not easy. In fact, I had several personal and professional setbacks. It seemed as if everything was going downhill. In January 2020, I had an advising meeting with Dr. Moore and shared my concerns with her about some of the situations. She told me there were seasons in our lives and sometimes, we have to do what we have to do. I was unsure at the moment of those words she'd spoken to me. She counseled me and gave me two options for my next steps in the program. She also shared her experience from her graduate study journey as a mom with a young child. Afterwards, I prayed, cried, and stood on faith. I was able to be still and at that moment, I'd selected the most challenging option for the program and told her that I was going to go for it.”
Jaime Koppersmith was named the spring 2021 Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences Outstanding Educational Media and Technology (M.S.) Graduate Student.
Koppersmith will earn a master’s in educational media and technology May 2021. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from South and currently works for South in the educational technology and services department to provide multimedia support for the College of Medicine. In addition, she has been involved in the USA Health & Wellness Initiative, Love Your Community, and Keep Mobile Beautiful.
"My purpose for pursuing the Master of Science in Educational Media and Technology was to develop advanced learning in the field with in-depth understanding and to become an expert on the topic,” Koppersmith said. “The experience has been an integral part in the continuum of my professional development giving me the advanced skills needed in areas to improve problem-solving, focusing on technology in different teaching environments. I think it is important to ensure that the use of technology enhances teaching, research, and support operations. Taking advantage of the program offerings and the opportunity to network with faculty, students, and staff will help seamless technology integration in the classrooms and in training exercises."
Geena Pitts was named the spring 2021 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Exercise Science Graduate Student.
Pitts is currently an adjunct instructor teaching exercise physiology and applications in sport and fitness conditioning. She graduated from South in December 2020 with a master’s in exercise science. During her time at South, she served as a teaching assistant for the exercise physiology course. In addition, Pitts has served as a research assistant, helping to collect data for externally funded projects.
Pitts recently accepted a position at Fit Body Boot Camp in Daphne, where she will be serving as a full time coach and internship coordinator. This new position will fulfill her desire to educate and help influence behavior change as relates to overall health and wellness. Pitts is currently ranked 126 in the world in her division for the Crossfit open competition, a competition that involves more than 85,000 participants.
Merritt Vise was named the spring 2021 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Exercise Science Undergraduate Student.
Vise will earn a bachelor's degree in exercise science in May 2021 with a 4.0 GPA. Originally from Lucedale, Miss., Vise is active in the University's Honors College, which has a rigorous requirements of the major, and serves as a member of the Preoccupational Therapy Club. In addition, Vise has worked throughout school, served his community in various roles and conducted ongoing research with the Department of Occupational Therapy. Vise also served as a Jag Pal as a peer academic leader where he sent weekly emails to the class to present on various college success topics, such as study skills, and served as a resource for the students as they adjusted to college. Vise has recently been accepted to the occupational therapy graduate program at South.
“I decided to come to South because I loved the campus and because the Allied Health programs were the best in the area,” Vise said. “I am passionate about my field because no matter who you are or what career you pursue, you take part in movement. I love kinesiology so much because in the end, we all need to move in some way or another, so I see a career in kinesiology as being a professional in helping people achieve their own goals.”
Paige Stribling was named the spring 2021 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Health and Physical Education/Teacher Certification Undergraduate Student.
Paige graduated in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and is currently serving as a graduate assistant in the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport. Originally from Moody, Ala., Stribling chose South because she really enjoys the atmosphere and likes the proximity to home. She is the founding president of the Health and Physical Education Majors Club, a member of Kappa Delta Pi, and the former manager of the women's basketball team here at South. In addition, she is a dedicated student who was instrumental in starting and getting the Health and Physical Education Majors Club approved. Stribling chose to become a physical education teacher because she loves working with kids and playing sports. She wants to teach students how to play sports and live an active and healthy lifestyle.
“I have two professors who have made a huge impact on my experience at South, first being Dr. Holden,” Stribling said. “I have had many of Dr. Holden's classes and she has been very helpful with my undergraduate classes. Dr. Holden is always there to answer my many questions and just someone I can always go to, I do not have a specific story. Dr. Parkes is my second professor, he has impacted my undergraduate career specifically in physical education and those courses. He has been there when I have questions or need to bounce lesson ideas off of. They both pushed and motivated me to become a graduate assistant in the HKS department to further my education. I am thankful for everything each of them has done for me, and I'm glad I can return the favor as a graduate assistant.”
Hunter J. Peters was named the spring 2021 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Sport and Recreation Management Undergraduate Student.
Peters graduated from South with a bachelor’s degree in sport and recreation studies in December 2020. Originally from Madison, Wisc., Peters has served as a student athlete on South’s track and field team, where he performs as a hurdler. During his time at South, Peters has completed numerous service learning assignments gaining valuable experiences. He has represented South well because of his enthusiasm, professionalism and academic strengths.
“I want to be able to impact other student-athletes in a positive manner so that they can have the best possible experience in collegiate athletics,” Peters said.
Brooke Alexis Barre was named the spring 2021 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Therapeutic Recreation Undergraduate Student.
Barre will earn a bachelor's degree in leisure studies in May 2021. Originally from Mobile, Barre knew she wanted to major in therapeutic recreation from the first time she heard the profession explained.
“Attending South has allowed me to continue working toward my passions as I completed my coursework,” Barre said. “My first passion is using the healing power of horses to help people. I was able to continue working at Celisse's School of the Equestrian Arts. This organization is a therapeutic riding center that serves individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. My second passion is circus performing. Since age 11, I have performed trick horseback riding in front of audiences. Trick riding involves performing stunts like standing up and hanging upside down on horses. I am now a professional equestrian circus performer, and attending classes at South made it possible to keep practicing my skills with my circus troupe in Mobile. I knew I wanted to major in therapeutic recreation from the first time I heard the profession explained. My intuition told me that this profession could give me the tools to turn my two passions into a career.”
Giovana Maymon Reynosa was named the spring 2021 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Sport Management Graduate Student.
Reynosa will earn a master’s in sport management and master’s in health in May 2021. Originally from Mexico City, Reynosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University. She served as graduate assistant for the women's golf team and plans to become a women's golf coach at the collegiate level.
“Dr. Shelley Holden has been my advisor and teacher,” Reynosa said. “She has always helped me when I needed her and also her classes have been extremely helpful and fun.”
Ashley Oakman was named the spring 2021 Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management Outstanding Undergraduate Student.
Oakman is originally from Birmingham, Ala., and she graduated with a bachelor's degree in hospitality and tourism management in December 2020. During her time at South, Oakman was in the Jaguar Marching Band and a member of Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society. Her thesis in the Honors College was titled “Enhancing Cultural Learning in Walt Disney World’s Epcot.”
“I decided to study at South simply due to the hospitality and tourism program offered here,” Oakman said. “I have always been passionate about culture, language, and travel, and when I discovered that I could focus on those things as a career, I had to jump at the opportunity. It also helps that I am completely obsessed with one of the largest hospitality entities in the world, The Walt Disney Company.”
Austin Roper was named the spring 2021 Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management Outstanding Intern of the Year.
Originally from Greenville, Ala., Roper will earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management in May 2021. Roper serves as vice president for the Hospitality Club, president of Eta Sigma Delta, and ambassador for the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He completed an internship with Meyer Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores, Ala. After completing his internship, Roper was offered a position where he is now serving as the owner’s relations manager with the company.
“When I was touring different universities in high school, South was welcoming and made me feel like I belonged,” Roper said. “It had a small school atmosphere within a large university, and that was very comforting to me, especially coming from a small town. In my field, hospitality and tourism management, it is truly a world of opportunities. I am passionate about this field because I get the chance to serve others while also being able to travel and be immersed in other cultures from around the world.”
Alexa Weaver was named the spring 2021 Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management Outstanding Intern of the Year.
Originally from Madison, Ala., Weaver will earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management in May 2021. She minored in visual arts with focus in glass blowing. She completed her internship with Panini Pete's Hospitality, which is the parent company for Panini Pete’s, Sunset Pointe, Ed’s Seafood Shed and Squid Ink. She has worked with two of their restaurants underneath their portfolio. Weaver currently serves as the assistant manager of Sunset Pointe in Fairhope.
“This college is so unique in my opinion because it is so hands on,” Weaver said. “It offers so many opportunities to see what type of hospitality job you want to explore. It is like no other degree here at South because you get to meet high end industry partners in the hospitality field as well as get to mentor with these professionals. This degree sets you up for success when you graduate college.”
Kearria Freed was named the Department of Integrative Studies Outstanding Interdisciplinary Studies Student.
Freed will earn a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in human services in May 2021. She chose South because the Interdisciplinary Studies Program was flexible and it allowed her to choose courses that supported her educational goals. Freed credits Bob Charlebois as an amazing asset to her experience at South. He guided her during her transition from a community college to South through the Pathway USA program. Freed plans to obtain her master's degree in rehabilitation counseling and assist disabled individuals with employment, education and independent living.
“My mother is my biggest inspiration, because she has exemplified what it is to be a hard working first generation graduate with multiple degrees in education,” Freed said. “Seeing her mother accomplish her goals, has shaped her to believe that she can overcome and she can achieve anything that she commits herself to.”
Sheldon Chappell was named the Department of Integrative Studies Outstanding Educational Studies Student.
Chappell received a bachelor's degree in educational studies, with a concentration and teaching and learning and a minor in criminal justice. Originally from Fort Payne, Ala., Chappell is currently in the K-6 alternative master’s in education degree program at South. She has a passion for making a difference in the world, especially through the education of children.
Chappell was initially interested in South because it was near the beach and the area’s warm climate. She chose South when she found out about the excellent programs as well as a track and field program. Chappell completed an internship at the Waterfront Rescue Mission Center virtually during Covid. She created instructional videos on resume writing, completing job applications and interviewing for the clients. Upon completing her master's degree, Chappell would like to teach kindergarten or third grade, and she said she might even consider a Ph.D. program after some experience in the classroom.
“Dr. Vitulli has had such a positive influence during my last year of undergrad and also coming into my master's degree,” Chappell said. “I have had very honest conversations with Dr. Vitulli about the things going on in the world around us and she has also been there for me academically and pushes me to do more than I thought I could.”
Gillianne Sharp was named the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education Outstanding Early Childhood Education Student.
Gillianne Sharp received a bachelor’s degree in K-6 elementary education. Sharp originally came to South to run cross country and track. She has always loved working with kids and students. Sharp believes that children have so much to offer, and spending time with them and teaching them is a great way for her to get a glimpse of what is going on in their minds. She is currently a K3 teacher at St. Paul’s Early Education Center.
Zain Sayegh was named the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education Outstanding K-6 Teacher Education Student Teacher.
Sayegh is graduating May 2021 and will receive a bachelor's degree in K-6 teacher education. Originally from Auburn, Ala., Sayegh is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta Club and served as a tutor at the Center of Academic Excellence for general chemistry and First Year Experience Mentor. She also served as a WileyPLUS Student Partner for Organic Chemistry. Sayegh was involved in the March for Life and The World Food Championship. She took care of children after school at St. Paul's Episcopal School and tutored children at St. Luke's Elementary School. She also volunteered at Providence Hospital and Pediatric Associates of Mobile.
“Dr. Karen Morrison has been amazing and never fails to help me whenever I need it,” Sayegh said. “She would always help me and email me back at any time day or night. She always made me feel like I could do anything. She has helped me grow so much and gain so much more confidence as a future teacher.”
Temple Zimlich was named the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education Outstanding Graduate Student - Elementary Education.
Zimlich will receive a masters degree in Elementary Education in May 2021. Originally from Mobile, Zimlich also received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from South. She is a member of Tau Sigma National Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.
"I decided to study at the University of South Alabama because my grandfather was a professor in the College of Education from 1966 to1993 and both of my parents are graduates of the University,” Zimlich said. “I am extremely passionate about education because I come from a long line of educators and I think education is one of the most powerful ways to change lives. "
Caitlin McCoy was named the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student K-6- Teacher Education.
McCoy will receive a bachelor's degree in K-6 Teacher Education in May 2021. Originally from Spanish Fort, McCoy served as a member of Kappa Delta Phi - International Honor Society in Education and the Golden Key International Honor Society. After graduation, McCoy plans to get a teaching job with Baldwin County Schools. She also plans to continue her education by working towards a master's degree in elementary education.
“I decided to study at South because of its proximity to my hometown,” McCoy said. “I attended schools in Baldwin County, and I am currently a resident of Spanish Fort. I was excited to find out that students in the teaching program at South had the option to complete their student teaching internships with Baldwin County Schools. I was fortunate to have amazing elementary teachers who expressed their dedication to not only my academic success, but also my social and emotional success. Those teachers inspired me to develop a love for learning and teaching others. In my future classroom, I hope that I can share my passion for learning and teaching with my students and assure them that there is someone who cares about them and believes that they can accomplish great things.”
Abigail Crawford was named the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education Outstanding Graduate Student - Special Education (M.Ed.)
Crawford recently received a master’s degree in Special Education Collaborative Teacher K-6. Originally from Mobile, Crawford also earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at South and is currently pursuing her Educational Specialist degree in Special Education K-6. Crawford is a member of Future Educators in Action, Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society, The Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. In the future, Crawford would like to continue expanding her knowledge of the field of education by attending a doctoral program.
“Dr. Abigail Baxter and Dr. Linda Reeves have both positively contributed to my experience at USA,” Crawford said. “I am truly a better student and educator because of the many lessons they have taught me about the field of special education.”
Georgia Davis was named the Outstanding PASSAGE USA Student.
Davis is graduating May 2021 and will receive her PASSAGE USA Certificate.
While at South, Davis has taken a variety of classes to fit into her interest of art, business, education, communication and fitness. Davis is originally from Fairhope and her favorite thing about South is that there is a Starbucks in the library. During her time at South, she has had multiple employment experiences in on and off campus settings. Her future plans are still undecided.
“Ms. Alex always makes sure that I don't worry about different things,” Davis said. “She taught me a lot about cooking, and now I am making progress in getting over my fear of cooking.”
Hunter Appling was named the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education Outstanding Secondary Education Student Teacher. Hunter is graduating May 2021 with a degree in Secondary Social Studies 6-12. Originally from Cullman, Ala., Appling has served as a member of the USA Track and Field team and was a part of the South Alabama Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Appling enjoyed South because of his instructors, especially the ones in the History Department and the College of Education and Professional Studies. He enjoyed being a history major living in Mobile because of Mobile’s rich history. Appling loved meeting new people from all different backgrounds while he was at South. In the future, Appling plans to either continue to run track and pursue his master’s degree or find employment in his hometown while he pursues a master’s degree online at the University of South Alabama.
“I did not have a single professor from the College of Education and Professional Studies that was not spectacular,” Appling said. “I loved each and every one of my professors, especially Dr. Santoli, who is a true gem. I was in the field within my first year at South. After that year, I was in the field each semester, observing and learning. This was so helpful for me because it showed me that I knew that what I was pursuing was right for me. I absolutely loved my field experience here at USA. Especially my student teaching internship. The amazing support from our professors and passion we see in them combined with amazing field experiences at an early stage in our academic careers is what sets South apart. I truly have loved my college professors so much. They have been amazing.”
Lauren Boshell was named the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education Outstanding Student- Secondary Education.
Boshell will receive a master’s degree in secondary language arts 6-12 in summer 2021. She previously earned an undergraduate degree in history. She is currently finishing up her master’s coursework in English language arts, but she plans to be certified in history as well. Boshell completed her student teaching at her alma mater, Murphy High School. She was a member of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi.
“I decided on South because I wanted to invest in my local community and have the incredible opportunity to educate the youth of Mobile,” Boshell said. “I aspire to inspire and motivate my current and future students to achieve greatness, in whichever form that may be.”
Pam James received the spring 2021 USA College of Education and Professional Studies Gerry Jean Clark Exemplary Staff Award. James is an academic advisor in the College and is assigned to undergraduate students who are majoring in elementary, secondary, and special education. “It was around this time last year when the University went remote for COVID, and we shifted all advising appointments to Zoom,” said Josh Wooden, who serves as Executive Director of CEPS Student Services. “Pam never skipped a beat and continues to be a stable source of support for her students in all appointment formats. In the words of her students from their advising satisfaction surveys, ‘Mrs. James is extremely helpful, resourceful, great, thorough and awesome.”
Dr. Shengua Zha received the USA College of Education and Professional Studies Faculty Excellence Award.
Zha is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences. While most focus only on publication, Zha has been able to successfully show a productive balance between publication and grants during her time at South. She produced several publications this year. She has had several articles published, in press or under submission. In many of them, she has been the lead author, so she has taken initiative. Zha’s teaching evaluations are consistently at or above departmental averages, and she works continuously to improve her teaching by participating in ILC events or activities.
Amanda Donaldson also received the USA College of Education and Professional Studies Faculty Excellence Award.
Donaldson currently serves as an instructor for the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Education and Professional Studies. She is a scholar-practitioner with 20 years of industry experience who is passionate about educating future leaders in hospitality and tourism. Consistently, she teaches a full load of four HTM courses each semester, along with teaching LS 300 – Global Tourism for the Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Department. For the HTM Department, Donaldson conducts the study abroad program, serves as the faculty liaison on the HTM Advisory Board Fundraising Committee, and serves as the HTM Hospitality Club advisor.
Further, Donaldson has a true volunteer spirit, desire to lead, and passion for community involvement. She not only represents the HTM Department but also is an ambassador for the College and University in all her endeavors and as she serves in local organizations.
Dr. Christopher Parrish also received the USA College of Education and Professional Studies Faculty Excellence Award.
Parrish teaches courses in the secondary education programs. While his expertise is secondary mathematics education, he also teaches courses that include students from other secondary areas. He enjoys getting to know and interact with all of the students throughout the program. Parrish is involved in various projects that make use of Team-Based Learning (TBL). He collaborated with those in the Innovation in Learning Center to develop the Integrated Online Team-Based Learning model, which is an online model of TBL that includes elements of both synchronous and asynchronous engagement. He has also conducted research on the implementation of Team-Based Inquiry Learning (TBIL) in a secondary mathematics classroom, as well as serve as Co-PI on a NSF grant examining TBIL in undergraduate mathematics courses. He enjoys teaching at South because of the autonomy he has been given to develop and implement innovative teaching practices. He is thankful for the support the university provides faculty through the Innovation in Learning Center to improve teaching, either through professional development courses or Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF).
Dr. Matt Binion received the USA College of Education and Professional Studies Dean’s Award of Excellence.
Binion has worked at the University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies since August 2017. The thing that he enjoys most about working at South is the people. Working with a great team of faculty and staff to serve the students is Dr. Binion’s favorite part about his job.
When Binion first started at South, his main task was to prepare the educator certification programs for review by the national accreditor, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP's focus is on continuous improvement and quality assurance. Binion has spent the last three years developing the tools, processes, and procedures that make up all of the facets of a solid quality assurance system. In Fall 2020, CAEP reaccredited the programs for another seven years with no adverse actions. As a result of his work, there has been a great deal of improvement and refinement within the programs.