Jimmeka Anderson is a Doctoral student in the Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a research focus on urban students and critical digital media literacy. She received her master's degree in Educational Media with a focus on New Media Literacies and Global Perspectives at Appalachian State University. While serving as the Founder and Executive Director of I AM not the Media, Inc. for nine years, she has developed curriculum and award winning community programs that empower youth through media literacy and media creation (www.iamnotthemedia.org). Additionally, Jimmeka is the Chapter Lead for North Carolina for the national Media Literacy Now organization, the creator of the Teen Media Literacy Conference in Charlotte, NC (www.tmlconference.com) and serves on the Student Leadership Council for the National Association of Media Literacy Education.
Julie Bacak is a first year Ph.D. student in the Curriculum & Instruction, Urban Elementary Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Language and Literacy Education, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has over a decade of teaching experience in elementary and middle grades. Her research interests include teacher preparation, intermediate mathematics intervention, and mathematical writing.
Deneen Dixon-Payne is a second year doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in the Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Education program. She attended Winston-Salem State University where she received a B.A. in Elementary Education. She then earned her M.A. in School Administration at Gardner-Webb University. Deneen has taught elementary and middle grades for over 20 years. She has also been an academic facilitator, testing coordinator, and new teacher coach. Her research interests address issues of equity and achievement among Black students in K-12 urban schools and diversity and inclusion in gifted education, STEM inclusion for Black girls and culturally responsive leadership.
Tia Dolet is second year Ph.D. student in the Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Education program. She is originally from the Washington, D.C. area where she mainly worked with young women of color teaching comprehensive life skills, college and career readiness, and reproductive health. She holds a B.A. from American University and an M.Ed. in Minority and Urban Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research is centered on inclusive socioemotional and physical safety in urban schools. Through this lens, she investigates the psychological and post-secondary effects of the under-protection and criminalization of marginalized student populations, particularly examining the intersections of race, gender/gender-presentation, sexuality, and socioeconomic status while exploring solutions that create liberating educational spaces. After completing her doctorate studies, Tia hopes to become an educational researcher, continuing to use her research efforts to fight for educational justice.
Erin Lewis is a second year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She attended the University of South Carolina and obtained a B.A. in English and Women’s and Gender Studies and holds an M.A. in English from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She formerly taught Language Arts for four years in high needs schools, where she served as a Grade Level Chair and held memberships on a Faculty Advisory Committee and School Leadership Team. Erin is currently a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Her research interests include College and Career Readiness, Multicultural Education, and Gifted/Advanced Education for Students of Color.
Jordan Register is a first year Ph.D. student in the Urban Mathematics Education program at UNC Charlotte. She received both her Bachelor's of Science degree in Mathematics and her Master's degree in Mathematics education at UNCC. She currently works as the STEM Specialist for the UNC Charlotte Center for STEM Education and as the teaching assistant for the CResT, Culturally Responsive Teaching Program. As a high school mathematics teacher, Jordan was a practitioner and advocate of inquiry learning, Standards Based Grading, restorative, and culturally responsive teaching. Her research interests are focused on promoting equity in the mathematics classroom for widespread quantitative literacy, and critical STEM consciousness for the responsible use of mathematics in society.
Bonnie Robinson is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University, an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Montreat College, and National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Literacy. She has taught upper elementary grades in Title I schools for ten years and was recently awarded Teacher of the Year at her school. Her research interests include culturally responsive teacher education, pre-service teacher training, and racial identity development.
Anna Sanczyk is a fourth-year doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Literacy, TESL program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Philology from the University of Bialystok, Poland and a master’s degree in English Linguistics from the University of Oslo, Norway. She taught adult ESL and was a program coordinator at Central Piedmont Community College. Her research interests include language teacher agency, language teacher identity, culturally responsive pedagogy, critical pedagogy, and multicultural education. She presents at various conferences, prepares professional development workshops, and promotes diverse initiatives in the community to raise awareness on the importance of supporting and empowering Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners in their educational journeys.
Andrea Wright is a 2nd year Ph.D student in Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Textile Technology and Dance from SUNY Buffalo State College. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her passion for helping children has led her to relocate to Charlotte where she is now an elementary math teacher. Her research interests include equity in Education Policy, more specifically how education policy shows up inside schools for marginalized students.