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The Faculty Spotlight highlights Graduate School of Education faculty members throughout the academic year. Each spotlight includes the research interests, scholarly accomplishments, and academic courses taught by the highlighted faculty member.

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Deborah Moore-Russo

Deborah Moore-Russo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department of Learning and Instruction
566 Baldy Hall
(716) 645-4069

Deborah Moore-Russo earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics in 1988 from Oklahoma Christian College and in 1990 from Pittsburg State University, respectively. While working on her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at the University of Oklahoma, she taught in the Department of Mathematics at St. Gregory's College (1990–1995), and served as the director of the associate of applied science degree program. She then joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, where she served as the associate dean for research and academic affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences. She became a UB faculty member in 2003.

Dr. Moore-Russo studies how spatial literacy mediates mathematical understanding. By studying the multiple ways that a single mathematics concept is conceptualized, represented, visualized, and communicated, she researches how meaning is made. Similarly in science and engineering education, she has used a multimodal lens that recognizes the multiple resources that characterize human interaction, communication, and meaning-making to study how physical and digital tools can facilitate learning. Recently, she studied how using digital representations of mathematics teaching with preservice teachers can help them: (1) reflect on how the discipline of mathematics is conceptualized and perceived, and (2) change their instructional practices to better represent mathematics as a dynamic, engaging discipline that goes beyond memorization of rules and equations.

Funded by 11 grants totaling over $3.5 million, Dr. Moore-Russo's work has appeared in a range of journals including Educational Studies in Mathematics, International Journal of Engineering Education, Journal of College Science Teaching, Journal of Mathematical Behavior, and Teaching and Teacher Education. She won the Best Paper Award from the American Society for Mechanical Engineering at the 2011 Symposium on International Design and Design Education. Valuing the benefit of interdisciplinary collaboration, she has worked with faculty from these UB departments: Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering; Geography; Geology; Mathematics; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Physics.

Over her career, Dr. Moore-Russo has won three teaching awards and received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Department of Learning and Instruction Graduate Student Association. She is proudest, though, of her mentoring efforts and that she has published articles with 12 of her students.

Her service to UB has involved directing the curriculum, instruction, and the science of learning Ph.D. program, as well as the secondary mathematics education, gifted mathematics, and online gifted education programs. Her service to the mathematics education community includes work as a steering committee member for the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, North American Chapter; a reviewer for eight STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education journals; and an assessor for the (South African) National Research Foundation.

The courses that Dr. Moore-Russo most frequently teaches include: Methods of Teaching Mathematics in Grades 5–12, School Mathematics from an Advanced Standpoint, Teaching of Advanced Placement Calculus, and Technology in Secondary Mathematics Education.

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