You are here: American University School of Education Faculty Accomplishments

Notable Faculty & Staff Accomplishments


  • Dr. Cheyenne Batista (EdD ’22) was awarded the prestigious American Education Research Association (AERA) Division A 2023 Award for Outstanding Dissertation for her dissertation, “‘I Am Not Scary. I Am Strong. There’s a Difference.’ Disrupting Misogynoir and Transforming Interpersonal Conflict for Black Women Education Leaders: A Multiple Case Study.” [Mar 17, 2023]
  • Dr. Sarah Irvine Belson, Executive Director of the Institute for Innovation in Education, was awarded $127,000 from the Benedict Silverman Foundation for the initial implementation of a tutoring program utilizing Reading Rescue and Reading Ready. Dr. Belson and her team have secured funding from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), which covers a large portion of the research budget. [November 17, 2022]
  • More than $1.3M was awarded from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to AU’s Dr. Shari Earnest Watkins and Dr. Brian L. McGowan, Associate Professor, as part of the Collaborative Research-Racial Equity project (CRRE) to examine undergraduate Black students’ postsecondary STEM experiences. [October 14, 2022]
  • Dr. Ocheze Joseph, Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education and Senior Professorial Lecturer, was named a 2022-23 Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice (ITOC) Fellow. [June 27, 2022]

Publications & Presentations

  • Professorial Lecturer Dr. William Thomas wrote an article on motivational awareness, "Discovering Motivational Awareness with African Epistemology," for Medium. [Apr 15, 2023]
  • Sr. Professorial Lecturer Dr. Antonio Ellis, Professor Dr. Sarah Irvine Belson, and SOE students contributed chapters to the bookCritical Literacy and Its Impact on Black Boys’ Reading Readiness. [Apr 15, 2023]
  • Professorial Lecturer Dr. Tracy Spesia co-authored a chapter, "Embracing edTPA: Our Journey With Data-Informed Practices," in Effectively Using Data for Educator Preparation Program. [Apr 15, 2023]
  • Professorial Lecturer Dr. Terence Ngwa wrote a review of the bookRe-Envisioning Education: Affirming Diversity and Advancing Social Justice. [Apr 15, 2023] 
  • SOE Dean Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy and Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, President Emerita of Spelman and Bennett Colleges, co-authored a call to action for higher education faculty and staff in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. [Mar 17, 2023]
  • Instructional Coach for Urban Teachers in Dallas and SOE Adjunct Instructor Calago Hipps shares his reflections on Black History Month and his inspiration to become an educator. [Mar 17, 2023]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Amaarah DeCuir co-authored the newly released book, Islamic-Based Educational Leadership, Administration and Management. [Feb 15, 2023]
  • School counseling professionals, led by Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoypenned a letter in The Chronicle of Higher Education about the recent Advanced Placement (AP) African American studies course debate. Read the letter here. [Feb 15, 2023]
  • Assistant Professor Dr. Robert Shand wrote a National Education Policy Center (NEPC) review, The System-Level Effects of Denver’s Portfolio District Strategy: Technical Report. He was also was quoted in two articles highlighting timely topics: policies allowing school choice and community schools. [Feb 15, 2023]
  • In this 60-second video, Associate Dean Dr. Corbin M. Campbell describes her research on student-centered teaching and equitable student outcomes. [Jan 18, 2023]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Eugene Pringle published two book chapters: "Leveraging the Mentorship Experiences of Black Males with Doctoral Degrees" in Best Practices and Programmatic Approaches for Mentoring Educational Leaders and "Foundations of a Resilience Model Pipeline for Black Male Well-Being and Leadership Principles" in The Future of Black Leadership in Higher Education: Firsthand Experiences and Global Impact. [Jan 18, 2023]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Phelton Moss wrote for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) about how Black boys express their personality and character through their sneakers. Read his article here. [Jan 18, 2023]
  • Check out the Noodle podcast "The Most Interesting People in Higher Ed" (Episode 19) featuring SOE Dean Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy here. [Jan 18, 2023]
  • Virginia Public Media, the Richmond National Public Radio affiliate, interviewed and quoted Assistant Professor Dr. Robert D. Shand about the proposed Education Savings Account policy in Virginia. Read the story here. [January 18, 2023]
  • SOE is the first AU school to have a land acknowledgment statement, which made news in this District article about the university's Indigenous inclusion, where Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy was quoted. [Jan 18, 2023]
  • SOE is the first AU school to have a land acknowledgement statement, which made news in this District article about AU’s Indigenous inclusion, where Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy was quoted. [Dec 15, 2022] 

  • Associate Dean Dr. Corbin Campbell was an invited panelist at the Boyer 2030 Commission National Conference, sponsored by the Association for Undergraduate Education at Research Universities. The convening brings together higher education scholars and leaders from across the US to discuss issues related to the support of college teaching, learning, and equity. In this presentation, she talked about her forthcoming book (Harvard Education Press, 2023), Great College Teaching: Where it Happens and How to Foster it Everywhere. [Dec 15, 2022] 

  • Dr. Phelton Cortez Moss, Education Policy Advisor in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senior Professorial Lecturer of Education Policy and Leadership, convened an education brain trust to make recommendations for Congress’s Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. The commission recommends policies to improve upon, or augment, current government programs, and is chaired by Congress member Frederica Wilson. [Dec 15, 2022]

  • Director of the Education Policy and Leadership Program and Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Reuben Jacobson was a panelist for the talk, "Community Schools: A Model Locally, a Model Nationally," at the Jefferson Educational Society Global Summit in Erie, PA. He also served as moderator for the panel discussion, “How District Leaders Start and Sustain Community Schools,” hosted by Brookings. [Dec 15, 2022]

  • Faculty member Lynne Brenner Ganek was highlighted in this story about actor LeVar Burton’s lifetime achievement Emmy award. She was a creator of Reading Rainbow, which first aired on PBS in 1983 with Burton as host. [Dec 15, 2022]

  • City Teaching Alliance (formerly Urban Teachers), a national teacher residency program and partner with the SOE, was highlighted in media across the county this month. In the Philadelphia Citizen, and on Baltimore-based WBAL television, Urban Teachers was featured as a robust, qualified teacher pipeline in cities with an urgent need for more teachers. [Dec 15, 2022]

  • Dr. Samantha Cohen, Executive Director of EdD Program and Senior Professorial Lecturer, was quoted on how successful teachers engage their students regardless of the modality - online or in person, in this article. [Dec 15, 2022]

  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Amaarah DeCuir published the article "Public Memory Generates Disinformation on 9/11 in Public Schools," in the American Association of University Professors' (AAUP) Journal of Academic Freedom. [Dec 15, 2022]

  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Sherita Flake was a lead conference speaker at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Baltimore, MD. Title: “The Black STEM Teacher Pipeline: Critical Reflection and Liberatory Action.” [Dec 1, 2022]
  • Associate Professor Dr. Jennifer Steele began serving as an Associate Editor of the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ). With a 5-year Impact Factor of 6.246, AERJ is a flagship journal of the American Educational Research Association, publishing articles that advance the empirical, theoretical, and methodological understanding of education and learning. [Nov 20, 2022]
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Sherita Flake was a lead conference presenter at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, where she presented, “The Black STEM Teacher Pipeline: Investigating the Problems, Policies, and Practices that Disrupt the Pipeline.” [Nov 17, 2022]
  • Assistant Professor Dr. Emily Grossnickle Peterson was identified by Educational Psychology Review as one of the most productive early career scholars in an analysis of publishing trends in educational psychology journals. The study, "Individual and Institutional Productivity in Educational Psychology Journals from 2015-2021,” ranked the articles scholars published in the top five educational psychology journals. [Nov 17, 2022]
  • Drs. Samantha Cohen and William N. Thomas IV presented "Supporting Educational Leaders in Creating an Equity-centered Culture of Continuous Improvement" at the University Council for Educational Administration's (UCEA) UCEA22 conference. [Nov 17-20, 2022] 
  • Senior Professorial Lecturer Dr. Altheria Caldera published an editorial in Education Week about how LA City Council Member Nury Martinez's words on the leaked recording reflects the ways Black boys are pathologized by institutions. [Nov 17, 2022]
  • Dr. Amaarah DeCuir - Senior Professorial Lecturer, CTRL Senior Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow, and AUx Faculty Fellow - was invited by the Australian Curriculum Studies Association to be on a panel of international scholars to discuss the policies and practices common in American public schools to advance equity for religious-marginalized students. Watch a video recording of the talk, "Religious Responsivity." [Nov 17, 2022]
  • Professorial Lecturer Dr. Rebecca Lubin presented research at the International Conference on Urban Education's 2022 Conference, "Speaking Truth to Power: Sustaining Excellence in Urban Realities," a solutions-based biennial global event. [Nov 17, 2022]
  • Professor Dr. Vivian Vasquez co-authored her latest book, "Critical Comprehension: Guiding Students to Deeper Meaning," which is in pre-release (available Feb. 2023). It focuses on working with K-6 students to help them think through multiple perspectives, explore diverse texts, and use the power of story to develop life skills to discuss vast topics with critical curiosity. [Nov 17, 2022]
  • Drs. Tomiko Ball and Samantha Cohen presented at the CPED Conference on the topic: Creating Learning Environments within EdD Programs that Foster Antiracist Scholar Practitioner Communities. [Oct 13, 2022]
  • Professor Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss presented at the United We Stand summit to combat hate-fueled violence at the White House. Read a Q&A with her, and watch the recording. [Sep 21, 2022]
  • Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Andre Perry, a Senior Fellow at Brookings, published the Valuing Black Assets Initiative (VBAI), which seeks to mobilize a new generation of leaders to invest in the assets critical to wealth creation and economic growth in Black communities. The work indexes assets and opportunities Black people have in critical quality of life areas – health, housing, business, employment, and education. [Sep 19, 2022]

Other Impactful News

  • In March, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference included SOE ITEP faculty Dr. Elizabeth A. Worden, Dr. Michael Gibbons, Dr. Jisun Jeong, and program alum Adam Medadi (MA '22) as members of its planning committee and as presenters and participants. [Mar 17, 2023]
  • Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success Advisory Board member Eric Waldo was named new President/CEO of the DC College Access Program (DC-CAP). Read more here. [Feb 15, 2023]
  • Instructor Annie Murphy Karabell, Director Danielle Gervais Sodani, and Professor Dr. Sarah Irvine Belson, members of the Institute for Innovation in Education, are doing a year-long course for the District of Columbia Public School principals called the Science of Reading for School Leaders. It is part of a larger project where SOE has worked with 27 DCPS schools over the last three years. [December 15, 2022]

  • Scholar-in-Residence and Director of the Summer Institute for Education Equity and Justice (SIEEJ), Dr. Antonio Ellis was elected chair-designate of the Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award Committee within the American Educational Research Association (AERA). [Nov 17, 2022]

Career Transitions

  • President Biden appointed Elizabeth Ryan, Adjunct Instructor in SOE, to be the new Administrator of OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Ryan is president of Youth First, leading the shift from incarceration to community-based services and resulting in the closing of youth prisons in 6 states. [May 4, 2022]