Urban Education and Family
The Urban Education and Family Transdisciplinary Core will create an Urban Education and Family Institute. This institute will be unique because of its transdisciplinary partnership among the School of Education, College of Humanities & Sciences, and the Wilder School for Public Policy.
The institute will serve as a hub and catalyst for a transdisciplinary community of scholars who are dedicated to equity and excellence for Black and LatinX learners.
- Design and develop culturally informed, transformational, curriculum with a focus on the science of learning, and culturally-sustaining pedagogy
- Formulate strategies that foster educational attainment, such as creating a Center for Urban Education and Families and a Cradle to College Pipeline
- Influence policy reform by constructing research strategies that have the greatest potential to dismantle educational inequities that lead to income inequalities that currently exist in Richmond Public Schools and surrounding counties
Transdisciplinary core team
- Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D.
- Dean, School of Education
Daire’s research examines individual, couple, and family stability and economic mobility with an emphasis on those living in poverty. He has received over $15 million in external funding dollars to support his research, which is primarily community engaged.
- Vilma T. Seymour
- President, League of United Latin American Citizens, Richmond Region
Vilma T. Seymour chartered the Richmond Region League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to advance the educational attainment of Latinos by engaging the community in advocacy and policy efforts at the local, state, and federal level. LULAC believes that universal and quality public education is the foundation for lifelong success, and strongly opposes any measure that denies education as a fundamental right, including that of immigrant children.
- Shawn O. Utsey, Ph.D.
- Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences
Utsey’s research is focused on understanding how race-related stress affects the psychological and physiological health and wellbeing of African Americans. In addition, he studies the role of culture in relation to coping and resilience among African Americans
- Zewelanji N. Serpell, Ph.D.
- Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences
Serpell’s research focuses on optimizing the learning experiences of African-American students. Her work considers sociocultural processes, and advances in cognitive science to develop and test school-based programs. She is an American Educational Research Association congressional fellow, and co-author of the 2018 report “How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures"
- Nakeina E. Douglas-Glenn, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor and Director, The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Douglas-Glenn's teaching and research interest focus on public policy, program evaluation, comparative state politics, women and leadership, and the intersection of race and social policy. She has varied expertise in leadership development in public and private organizations and is active in numerous community and professional organizations.
- Rachel Gomez, Ph.D.
- iCubed Visiting Scholar, Department of Teaching and Learning, School of Education
Dr. Gómez studies the influence of race and ethnicity in urban education and youth development. Her work investigates the significance of critical pedagogies on the critical consciousness and sociopolitical development of adolescents, with particular focus on identity, race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender and culture on educational experiences. From a practical and theoretical perspective, her research draws from Critical Race Theory and Indigenous ways of knowing, sociopolitical development theory, community cultural wealth and Participatory Action Research (PAR). In addition, she studies Latinx resilience in relation to high ethnic identity, culture and familismo. As the granddaughter of Pueblo of Isleta peoples who migrated throughout present-day New Mexico and Mexico, Gómez centers her scholarship through a Chicana feminista relational lens.
- Dwayne Cormier, Ph.D.
- iCubed Visiting Scholar, Department of Foundations of Education, School of Education
Dwayne Ray Cormier, Ph.D., is an Educational Researcher and iCubed Scholar at Virginia Commonwealth University in the School of Education. His program of research has to do with developing pedagogical tools aimed to bridge the sociocultural gap between educational practitioners and students within PreK-12 majority-minority teaching and learning contexts. Dr. Cormier, with his current research, has developed the (CPCDP). The CPCDP, a socially mediated structure, was designed to examine and identify individuals or groups' sociocultural competence/consciousness, i.e., cultural competency, via inquiry and dialogue regarding the experiences of students who are minoritized, marginalized, and othered within PreK-12 schools and classrooms. Additionally, Dr. Cormier has research interest and experience in developing equity-minded summer bridge programs aimed to develop and prepare underrepresented minority (URM) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students' academic and social skills to persist and transition through their higher education.
- Naomi J. Wheeler
- Assistant Professor
Dr. Wheeler studies the contributions of family and romantic relationship quality for a person's stress and holistic health. Additionally, she examines the role of healthy relationships to disrupt poor health trajectories often associated with childhood adversity. She utilizes community engaged approaches to couple and family prevention/intervention that aim to enhance overall adaptation and resilience, particularly among populations historically marginalized and underrepresented in mental health services. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Co-Founder/Fellow with the Consortium for Family Strengthening Research.
- Andrene Castro, Ph.D.
- iCubed Visiting Scholar, Educational Leadership, School of Education
Dr. Andrene J. Castro studies the cultural politics of education and policy. She is a former teacher, school district leader, and policy fellow at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Castro’s research is situated at the intersection of policy and practice focusing on two interrelated strands: (1) national, state, and local policies related to teacher recruitment and retention as well as teacher diversification efforts and (2) strengthening research-policy-practice partnerships with schools and communities.
- Luciana C. de Oliveira, Ph.D.
- Associate dean for academic affairs and professor, School of Education
Dr. de Oliveira’s research focuses on issues related to teaching multilingual learners at the K-12 level, including the role of language in learning the content areas and teacher education, advocacy and social justice. Currently, Dr. de Oliveira’s research examines scaffolding in elementary classrooms. She has authored or edited 24 books and has several and has over 200 publications in various outlets. Dr. de Oliveira has over 25 years of teaching experience in the field of TESOL. She served as President (2018-2019) of TESOL International Association and was a member of the Board of Directors (2013-2016). She was the first Latina to ever serve as President of TESOL.
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