Deziree Baker is a first-year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction Program - Urban Education strand. She attended Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, earning degrees in History-Secondary Education and Urban Education. Her primary research interests are Black female teacher pedagogy, the preservation of Black girlhood in K-12 education, and culturally responsive pedagogy in social studies education. She began her career as a high school teacher, where she taught social studies courses across various grade levels. She has since transitioned to middle grades education, where she hopes to provide a positive educational experience for her students as they engage with the scoial studies curriculum. After completing her doctoral studies, Deziree looks forward to serving as a professor to prepare pre-service and in-service teachers for serving diverse student populations.
Sydney Carroll is a PhD student in the Curriculum and Instruction, Curriculum and Educator Development program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Sydney is a Graduate Assistant at UNC Charlotte. Her responsibilities include managing undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte in the North Carolina Teaching Fellows, teaching undergraduate courses such as the seminar course associated with the Teaching Fellows program. In addition to supporting the North Carolina Teaching fellows program at UNC Charlotte, Syndey is also responsible for organizing and curating professional development and coaching for teachers through the Charlotte Writing Project also on the campus of UNC Charlotte. This is her tenth year in education and has written two literacy curriculums for state districts. Sydney has a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University. Her professional development areas have been in finding ways to conjoin mental health, culturally responsive teaching and secondary evidence based practices as it pertains to literacy. Outside of her professional pursuits Sydney desires to have a family, travel the world and help people produce the best versions of themselves. Sydney's ultimate goal is to open an K-12 academic training facility dedicated to supporting teacher development in areas such as a restorative and culturally responsive teaching practices that caters to children of color in the greater Charlotte area.
Lily Gates is a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum and Instruction Program - Urban Literacy strand. She attended UNC Charlotte, earning a degree in English and Secondary Education. She also attended Appalachian State University, earning a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her work as an educator for over a decade, in Title 1 public high schools, inspired her research interests. Lily's research interests are centered around literacy practices at the secondary level, particularly in alternative education settings. Lily is also interested in amplifying the voices of high school students in literacy research, reimagining high school English pedagogy, and literacy practices that empower secondary learners. What she most looks forward to post-graduation is teaching in the academy and continuing her quest to encourage secondary learners to see how cool (and life changing) reading and writing can be.
A Charlotte native, Ashley Reid is a second-year doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction-Urban Education. Her research interests focus on education policy and the early childhood workforce. Mrs. Reid has been involved in Early Care and Education for more than 20 years with her current role being a Lead Coach with the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia. She holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters degree in Leadership, Policy and Advocacy in Early Childhood Education. She is looking forward to using her skills and experience to create research-based policies that support equitable student instruction.