Affiliated Faculty

Ayana Allen
Ayana Allen
Assistant Professor
ayana.m.allen@drexel.edu
Drexel University | School of Education

Ayana Allen, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education and Education Policy at Drexel University. She received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as a first grade teacher and  literacy specialist in the Houston Independent School District from 2001-2008. After completion of her M.Ed. from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, she served as the Director of College Counseling and Alumni Programs at YES Prep Public Schools from 2008-2012.  In 2010, she completed her Ph.D. in Educational Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Urban Education from Texas A&M University. Most recently she completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at The Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte. Dr. Allen’s research examines issues of access, equity, achievement, and social justice within urban schools and communities. 


Tosha Arriola Headshot
Tosha Arriola
Director of the Teaching Fellows Program
arriolat@queens.edu
Queens University of Charlotte | Cato School of Education

Tosha Arriola is currently an instructor in the Cato School of Education at Queens University of Charlotte. She is also the Director of the Teaching Fellows Program, where she supervises leadership and community service projects to enrich the students’ educational experiences. 

Arriola taught for fifteen years in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School district and also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica early in her career. She received her B.A. in Spanish and Education from SUNY Cortland and her M. Ed. in Literacy from Queens University. She is finishing her degree in Organization Development with a certificate in Executive Coaching. Tosha has a passion for diversity, community engagement, and service learning.


Dante Bryant Headshot
Dante Bryant
Adjunct Faculty Member
dbryan30@uncc.edu
University of North Carolina at Charlotte |

Dante’ Bryant is a doctoral student in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). He serves as an adjunct faculty member at UTA the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Johnson C Smith University. Mr. Bryant has worked in social services and community outreach for more than 10 years. He holds graduate degrees in psychometric-psychology, theology: western-philosophical pragmatism, and social work. Mr. Bryant’s research interests include AA males in post-secondary educational environments, theoretical development and the critical social critique of social work education and practice strategies. 


Michael T. Conner
Michael T. Conner
Chief Academic Officer
Norwalk Public Schools |

Michael T. Conner, Ed.D. is the Chief Academic for the Norwalk Public Schools in Norwalk, CT. Previous, Dr. Conner served as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for the Windham Public Schools (Willimantic, CT) and Principal of Augusta Lewis Troup School (New Haven, CT).  Dr. Conner obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education/Humanities from Lasell College. He also received his Master of Science Degree from the University of Bridgeport, Sixth-Year Diploma from Southern Connecticut State University, and Doctorate in Education from Cambridge College. Most recently, Dr.Conner completed the prestigious Executive Leadership Program at the University of Connecticut and attended the Harvard Institute for Urban School Leaders. He was also selected to participate in the 2017 Harvard Institute for Superintendent/District Leaders and 2017-2018 AASA National Urban Superintendents Academy in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Conner was born in New Haven, CT and lived there for fifteen years before moving to Branford, CT. Currently, he resides in Milford, CT with his wife Viviana Conner and their son, Michael Terrell Conner Jr.


Adrienne Dixson Photo
Adrienne D. Dixson
Associate Professor
addixson@illinois.edu
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign |

Dr. Adrienne D. Dixson attended Southern University from 1985-1989 where she was a flautist in the Southern University Jazz Ensemble and a Jazz Studies Major in the Alvin Batiste Jazz Institute. In 1990, she earned a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University in Ohio, and an M.A. in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She earned her Ph.D. in Multicultural Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Dixson currently serves as an Associate Professor of Critical Race Theory and Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her scholarship examines the intersectionality of race, class and gender in urban educational contexts, with a particular interest in how these issues impact educational equity for students and people of color in the urban south. Her work is widely published in academic journals and edited books. Her most recent books include Critical Race Theory and Education: All God’s Children Got a Song, Handbook of Critical Race Theory and Education, Resegregation of schools: Education and race in the 21st Century (Routledge) and upcoming Researching race in education: Policy, Practice and Qualitative Research (IAP Publishing).


Abiola Farinde-Wu Headshot
Abiola Farinde-Wu
Assistant Professor
afarinde@pitt.edu
University of Massachusetts Boston | Department of Leadership in Education

Abiola Farinde-Wu is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Urban Education. Prior to earning her PhD, she received her Master of Education degree in Administration from Lamar University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Texas A&M University. In her previous position, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests are the educational experiences and outcomes of Black women and girls, teacher retention, and urban teacher education.


Sejal Foxx Headshot
Sejal Parikh Foxx
Associate Professor
sbparikh@uncc.edu
University of North Carolina Charlotte |

Dr. Sejal Parikh Foxx is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education and School Counseling Program Director at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is coauthor of School Counseling in the 21 st Century, 6 th ed. As a former urban school counselor, Dr. Foxx developed a passion for multicultural counseling with a special focus in social justice and advocacy. Dr. Foxx also has experience in building university-school partnerships which keeps her grounded and focused on current issues in education  and school counseling. In addition to her academic time, Dr. Foxx has also presented over 100 conference presentations, workshops and invited sessions.


Photo of Lateefah Id-Deen
Lateefah Id-Deen
Assistant Professor
laidde01@louisville.edu
University of Louisville | College of Education and Human Development

Dr. Lateefah Id-Deen is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at the University of Louisville. She completed her undergraduate degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  After completing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Iowa State University, she taught high school mathematics in both suburban and urban contexts. She went on to complete her doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education at Michigan State University, with foci in Urban Education and Mathematics Education. Her dissertation details the connections between student-teacher relationships and learning in an urban mathematics classroom. Continued research examines Black students’ perspectives on their experiences in mathematics classrooms, and ways to support educators in hearing and developing practice in relation to students’ expressed interests. She is a Content Area and Equity Consultant for the National Science Foundation’s Designing Equity by Teaching Mathematics project. Currently, Dr. Id-Deen teaches mathematics methods courses for prospective mathematics teachers, specifically those preparing to teach in urban schools. Her research and teaching reflect her passion for creating equitable learning environments for students of color in mathematics classrooms. 


Tambra Jackson Headshot
Tambra O. Jackson
Associate Professor
tambjack@iupui.edu
Indiana University | School of Education

Dr. Jackson is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education in the Indiana University School of Education at Indianapolis. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Miami University (Ohio), a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Education Policy from Michigan State University. Dr. Jackson considers herself to be a scholar-activist committed to social justice issues pertaining to the historical and contemporary oppression, miseducation, and liberation of children of Color in U.S. schools. She studies these issues within the field of teacher education where her research and teaching focus on teacher learning and development across the professional continuum specifically centered on preparing teachers to teach for social justice, developing culturally responsive teaching and pedagogy, and examining the experiences of preservice teachers of Color and Black women faculty.


Patricia Larke Headshot
Patricia J. Larke
Professor
Texas A&M University | Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture

Dr. Patricia J. Larke is a professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture (TLAC) and the 2014-2016 Teacher Education Fellow. She is currently serving as a Scholar in Residence at University of North Carolina, Charlotte in its Urban Education Center. Dr. Larke has been a scholar in the field of Multicultural Education for over 25 years and has over 100 publications and has made over 400 conference presentations.  Her research interests include: Effective Multicultural Teachers,  Academic Achievement of Girls of Color, Integrating Multiculturalism in the Curriculum and Diversity in Driver Education.  She was a 2005 Fulbright Scholar to China.  She was  the recipient of National Association of Multicultural Education’s (NAME) 2004 Multicultural Educator Award. She served as President of Texas NAME Chapter and received the 2010 Legend Award. She received  TLAC’s Award of Excellence (2015) and Climate and  Diversity Award (2014).


Spencer Salas Headshot
Spencer Salas
Associate Professor
ssalas@uncc.edu
University of North Carolina Charlotte | College of Education

Spencer Salas, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he is TESL strand coordinator for the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Among the courses he teaches are Globalization, Communities, and Schools; and, Teacher Leadership. An award-winning District of Columbia Public School ESL teacher, he has been a Fulbright Fellow to Romania (1998), Guatemala (2007), and South Africa (2013); a Senior English Language Fellow for the U.S. Department of State to Peru (2001-2003); and a frequent English Language Specialist for the Office of English Language Programs. His empirical and theoretical scholarship focuses on teachers' negotiation of New South contexts and the implications of Latino immigration for educational policy and praxis. His writing has appeared in venues such as TESOL Journal, Bilingual Research Journal, The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, The Peabody Journal of Education, and, The Journal of Basic Writing. In 2004, he was named a Scholar for the Dream by the Conference for College Composition and Communication; in 2008, a National Council of Teachers of English New Voice among Scholars of Color; and, in 2009, an Early Career Fellow with the University of Georgia's Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education. He is co-editor of Vygotsky in 21st century society (Peter Lang, 2011); U.S. Latinos and education policy (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2014); Latinization of K-12 communities (SUNY Press, under contract for 2017); and, Volume 15 TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, Administrative and Organizational Issues (TESOL Inc/Wiley International (under contract for 2017).


Victoria Showunmi Headshot
Victoria Showunmi
Assistant Professor
V.Showunmi@ioe.ac.uk
UCL Institute of Education, UK |

Dr. Showunmi is an Assistant Professor in Education at UCL Institute of Education, UK.  She focuses on 1) Gender and Educational leadership and 2) Black young women and their well being  through an intersectional lens.  She is currently leading an educational leadership partnership with colleagues on projects  that are based in Pakistan,  Germany and the USA .


Tracy Spies Photo
Tracy Spies
Assistant Professor
tracy.spies@unlv.edu
University of Nevada, Las Vegas | English Language Learning Program

Dr. Tracy Spies is an Assistant Professor of English Language Learning at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston and taught in elementary bilingual classrooms throughout her teaching  career. After completion of the M.S. in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University, she served as an elementary school principal. In 2010, she completed her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Hispanic Bilingual Education from Texas A&M University.  Her teaching and administrative experiences shape a research agenda that focuses on creating classroom conditions supportive of student access to the standards through the development of academic language.


Andrea Tyler Headshot
Andrea L. Tyler
Director of Graduate STEM
atyler2@tnstate.edu
Tennessee State University |

Andrea L. Tyler, Ph. D is currently the Director of Graduate Students services and a Research Associate at Tennessee State University. She is also the Director of the POTUS Fellows Program that supports African American STEM graduate students in an attempt to address the global need to increase African American representation in the STEM disciplines.  Andrea earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the Miami University of Ohio. Andrea also holds degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and Mechanical Engineering.

Andrea’s research focuses on the higher education experiences of African American graduate students and faculty. More specifically, her research explores graduate student achievement, outcome, and career choice in STEM; graduate and faculty mentoring, socialization, and identity constructs; and African American females in STEM.

These interests have led Andrea to conduct research and write grants on a variety of topics such as academic preparation and retention in STEM fields, the influence of mentoring relationships on student outcomes, the experiences and motivational patterns of high achieving students of color, Black single motherhood, and higher education access for STEM students of color.

Prior to completing her doctoral work at Miami University of Ohio, Andrea worked as a Mechanical Engineer for companies such NASA, Honeywell, and ServiceMaster and as a K-12 central office administrator for a large Mid-West urban school district.


Bettie Ray Butler Photo
Bettie Butler
Affiliated Faculty
bettie.butler@uncc.edu
UNC Charlotte | College of Education

Dr. Bettie Ray Butler is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education in the College of Education at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University, whereby she earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Urban Education Policy. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D. she received both her Bachelor’s (North Carolina A&T State University) and Master’s (Texas A&M University) in Political Science. Dr. Butler’s existing publication record consists of several referred journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports; all of which highlight her research interests in issues of equity, representation, and achievement among vulnerable populations, particularly students of color, in K-12 urban settings.


Gloria Campbell-Whatley
Associate Professor
gcampbe1@uncc.edu
UNC Charlotte | College of Education

Dr. Campbell-Whatley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Child Development at UNC Charlotte.  She has delivered numerous national and international presentations, workshops, and strands. Her specialty in academics and research is infusing diversity into higher education and K-12 curriculum and she also offers solutions for behavior problems, response to intervention, and social skills training in public schools.   She has written several articles related to multicultural education and published three books.


Heather Coffey
Affiliated Faculty
hcoffey@uncc.edu
UNC Charlotte | College of Education

Dr. Heather Coffey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle, Secondary and K-12 Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she completed the program in Culture, Curriculum and Change and developed an interest in English language arts teacher preparation, service-learning and critical literacy. Dr. Coffey's primary teaching responsibilities include graduate English language arts methods as well as service-learning courses. Her research interests include ways to develop critical literacy with urban learners, bridging the gap between educational theory and practice in teacher education, and supporting in-service teachers in urban school setttings through professional development. Dr. Coffey's record of publication includes book chapters and articles in refereed practitioner and research journals.

 


James Davis
Affiliated Faculty
UNC Charlotte | College of Education

Dr. James Davis received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Urban Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He also received a B.A. degree in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies, an M.Ed degree in Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education, and an M. SA degree in School Administration. Davis has taught and worked as a school administrator for 13 years in North Carolina. He currently lives in North Carolina where he is a middle school principal. Dr. Davis also teaches for UNC Charlotte and he conducts staff development on "School Transformation", "Principal Leadership", “Teacher Retention”, “Safe Schools”, and “Serving At-Risk Populations.”
 


Ruth Greene
Professor
704-378-1052
rgreene@jcsu.edu
Johnson C. Smith University |

Dr. Ruth L. Greene is a Professor of Psychology at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received her doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts and has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Aging and Human Development at Duke University Medical Center and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Her research and professional interests have been broad based and include minority issues in the area of urban education, minority aging, cultural competency, diversity training and adolescent development and health.  She has served as Assistant Dean of Studies at Mt Holyoke College, Chair of the Education and Psychology Department at Fayetteville State University and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Robert L. Albright Honors College  at Johnson C. Smith University. She also served as an Extramural Associate with the National Institutes of Health and faculty researcher for the Department of Defense.

Dr. Greene has served on numerous boards that include the Executive Committee, Ford Foundation, Charlotte Mecklenburg School Reform Initiative, Co Chair, Research Committee of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Charlotte, the  Larry King Center, Council on Children, the Carolinas Association for Community Health Equity, the Executive Board, American Red Cross, Greater Carolinas Chapter, the Governor’s Planning Committee on the Concerns of Older Women in North Carolina, the Executive Board  of the Human Services Council  for Charlotte Mecklenburg, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Mental Health Board, the North Carolina Cultural Competence Initiative Advisory Committee, the Executive Board, of the Council on Aging for Mecklenburg and Union Counties, the Education Committee of Division 20, Adult Development and Aging, American Psychological Association.


Brenda McMahon
Affiliated Faculty
brenda.mcmahon@uncc.edu
UNC Charlotte | College of Education

Dr. Brenda J. McMahon’s research focuses on educational leadership, student engagement, resilience, and the roles that race assumes within urban high schools. She is co-editor of the Inclusion in Urban Educational Environments: Addressing Issues of Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice series for Information Age Publishers and of the multinational volume: Student Engagement in Urban Schools: Beyond Neo-liberal Discourses. Dr. McMahon’s single and co-authored publications include: The Perpetuation of Risk: Organizational and Institutional Policies and Practices in a Title 1 School in the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies; White Educational Administrators: Working Toward Antiracism and Social Justice in the Journal of Educational Administration; Engagement for What? Beyond Popular Discourses on Student Engagement in Leadership and Policy in Schools; Putting the Elephant in the Refrigerator: Student Engagement, Critical Pedagogy and Antiracist Education in the McGill Journal of Educational Research; and Engaged Pedagogy: Valuing the Strengths of Students on the Margins in the Journal of Thought.


Esrom Pitre Photo
Esrom Pitre
Affiliated Faculty
esromdpitre@gmail.com
University of Houston Clear Lake |

Esrom Pitre has done more than just teach the principles of educational leadership; he has actually practiced them. Prior to joining the UHCL faculty in fall 2013, Pitre successfully took on the challenge of transforming a low-performing/high poverty Louisiana high school into a model of academic change and success. After years of low performance, Donaldsonville High School rated an F school for eight consecutive years, the school had been placed on the academic watch list and was on the verge of being taken over by the state. The graduation rate at the school was a low 67 percent and that the school culture was one where the students weren’t motivated to learn and showed no respect to teachers, with teachers encountering discipline and attendance problems. Dr. Pitre explored the following three research strands: (1) the impact of culturally responsive leadership on improving marginalized students’ achievement, (2) the impact of law and policy on student development and achievement in urban schools, and (3) what role does community engagement play in sustaining school improvement in urban school.


Malcolm E. Scott
Assistant Professor
malcolm.scott@colostate.edu
Colorado State University | School of Social Work

Dr. Malcolm E. Scott is currently an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University (CSU), Director of the Human Services Assessment Project (HSAP) and Associate Director of Public Achievement for Community Transformation (PACT). Malcolm is an advocate for equity and fairness, social and economic justice, and cultural competency and diversity. As an emerging young scholar, Malcolm’s research interests focus on youth and community development, urban education and community-engaged scholarship, issues facing vulnerable populations, and higher education access and opportunity for students of color. In the classroom, Dr. Scott infuses diversity into his teaching and helps students understand human growth and development from a perspective that appreciates the influence of culture, age, sexual orientation, religion and other factors that influence a multi-cultural society.  – Malcolm.scott@colostate.edu


Tehia Glass Headshot
Tehia Starker Glass
Associate Professor
tstarker@uncc.edu
UNC Charlotte | College of Education

Dr. Tehia Starker Glass is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Elementary Education in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at UNC Charlotte.  Dr. Starker Glass earned degrees from Bethune-Cookman University (B.S. Elementary Education), the University of Northern Iowa (M.A. Educational Technology), and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Ph.D. Educational Psychology).  Dr. Starker Glass’ teaching background spans K-12 through higher education.  She has taught in Japan, Italy, Hawaii, New York, Florida, and Tennessee.  The majority of her teaching experiences have been in urban and/or title one elementary schools while in the states. Dr. Starker Glass’ research interests include preparing preservice and inservice teachers’ culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy, examining motivational factors that influence teachers’ behavior towards culturally diverse students, culturally responsive classroom management, investigating the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and teacher education, and instructional design.


Chezare Warren
Chezare Warren
Assistant Professor
chezare@msu.edu
Michigan State University |

Dr. Chezare A. Warren is Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education. In 2014, he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Division of Applied Psychology and Human Development and the Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. He has over a decade of professional experience as a public school educator and was founding math teacher of the Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men in Chicago. Dr. Warren’s research interests include urban teacher preparation, culturally responsive teaching, and critical race theory in education. The American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) selected his dissertation, Empathic Interaction: White Female Teachers and their Black Male Students, for its 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award. Dr. Warren has studied the utility of empathy for White female teachers’ cross cultural interactions with Black boys. Currently, Dr. Warren is looking more broadly to examine the school conditions and teacher dispositions that produce high academic outcomes for students of color, particularly Black males in K-12 education contexts. He is on the editorial boards of Journal of Negro Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, and Journal of Teacher Education. Moreover, Dr. Warren’s work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including Urban Education, The Urban Review, and The Interdisciplinary Journal of Teaching and Learning with forthcoming publications in Journal of Negro Education and Teachers College Record.