Meet Teachers College Faculty Tenured in 2022

Four Teachers College professors joined Columbia's tenured faculty in 2022. Tenure is a distinction that recognizes scholarly excellence, demonstrated capacity for imaginative, original work, and great promise for continued contributions at the leading edge of the disciplines.

Prerna G. Arora, PhD, conducts research on issues of access to mental health resources and quality of care for historically marginalized youth and adolescents. In particular, she focuses on identifying risk and protective factors in the development of depressive disorders among racial and ethnic minoritized and immigrant-origin youth; barriers to help-seeking among these youth and their families; and developing and implementing culturally-informed school and community-based prevention and intervention programming for youth internalizing disorders. Professor Arora’s work is grounded in a participatory action research approach and incorporates the use of mixed methodology. 

She received her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, completed her internship at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  

Prerna Arora's Faculty Profile

Melissa Collier-Meek is an Associate Professor of School Psychology at Teachers College. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles on school-based implementation, the research-to-practice gap, and teacher coaching. She is presently co-Principal Investigator of an Institute of Education grant, “Project PRIME2: Planning Realistic Intervention implementation and Maintenance by Educators,” a five year, $3.7 million efficacy trial to evaluate support for elementary teachers' implementation of function-based interventions.  Professor Collier-Meek received the Lightner Witmer Award from the American Psychological Association for her early career scholarship related to school-based implementation and sustaining practices.

An elected member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology, Professor Collier-Meek is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She serves as an Associate Editor for School Psychology and provides reviews to leading education journals, for which she has been twice been honored as reviewer of the year. Professor Collier-Meek teaches graduate courses related to consultation, school-based interventions, and applied behavior analysis. 

Melissa Collier-Meek's Faculty Profile

Pamela Koch studies how experiences with food and eating, especially as children, impact a person’s health and relationship with food, with others, and with the planet. Throughout her career, a cornerstone of Professor Koch’s research has been developing and evaluating behaviorally-focused and theory-based food and nutrition education curricula for school children and understanding students' experience with school meals. She has also evaluated ongoing school-based school programs that provide students with experiences gardening, cooking, learning nutrition, exploring food justice, and improving school lunch. Most recently she has been exploring what types of experiences New York City Public school children have with food and nutrition education, assessing the reach of these programs, and how equitably they are distributed. She teaches courses that expand students' thinking and worldview, including Nutritional Ecology; Food, Nutrition and Behavior; and Strategies for Nutrition Education.  

Professor Koch received her BS and MS from Rutgers University in nutrition and dietetics. She received her EdD from Teachers College in 2000 and was Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy and Associate Research Professor before being appointed Mary Swartz Rose Associate Professor of Nutrition and Education in September 2021.

Pamela Koch's Faculty Profile

Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author whose writing, research, teaching, and educational advocacy work focus on disrupting education reform, strengthening public education through abolitionist teaching, as well as Black joy and anti-racism. She teaches classes focused on abolition, Hip Hop education, and the failures of school reform.  

The aim of her scholarship is twofold: first, to advance how the field of education understands and critiques school reform and the systemic and structural racism of public education within the U.S.; and second, to advocate for abolitionist approaches in the field of education that seek new possibilities for educational justice. She works with activists, communities, youth, families, and school districts to build communal, civically-engaged schools rooted in the aspirations of abolitionist strategies that love and affirm Black and Brown children. She is the co-founded the Abolitionist Teaching Network, which aims to develop and support teachers and parents to fight injustice within their schools and communities, and is a founding member of the Old 4th Ward Economic Security Task Force with the Atlanta City Council. The goal of the task force is to bring guaranteed income and income stability to Black women residents living in Atlanta.  

Professor Love received her PhD from Georgia State University in Educational Policy Studies, and her master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh.  

Bettina L. Love's Faculty Profile