Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education Faculty Exemplified Research at American Educational Research Association 2024 Conference

April 19, 2024

BATON ROUGE, LA - Faculty from the Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education made a significant showing at the recent meeting of the American Educational Research Association’s 2024 conference in Philadelphia, PA. The 2024 conference theme was Dismantling Racial Injustice and Constructing Educational Possibilities: A Call to Action. The AERA President, Tyrone C. Howard, PhD, challenged attendees to “examine the most complex issues and challenges” facing education. School of Education faculty did not disappoint and through research and essential service at AERA, answered the call, squarely addressing those challenges through presentations that highlighted original research, incorporated doctoral students, and displayed collegiality through co-authorship with colleagues from various institution across the United States. Several SoE faculty also answered the call through service to AERA Special Interest Groups and Divisions, vital to the profession. 

Henderson Lewis, Jr., PhD, (PK-12 Educational Leadership) was part of a dynamic and innovative panel on Wednesday evening prior to the official start of AERA. Held at Philadelphia’s Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary, Lewis participated in “A Community Conversation” which began with comments from Dr. Tony Watlington, Superintendent of Philadelphia Schools, Dr. Tyrone C. Howard, AERA President, and Dr. Sonya Douglas, Founder and Director of Black Educational Research Center. Lewis was joined by several panelists featuring Aliya Catanch-Bradley, Principal of Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary, Omar Crowder, Principal at Northeast High School, and Sharif El-Mekki, Founder and CEO of Black Educator Development. Dialog focused on the factors affecting students’ social, emotional, and academic opportunities and outcomes. 
Ashley Clayton, PhD, (Higher Education Administration) participated in a roundtable session where she discussed the findings from her co-authored paper on “Black first-generation college women in three McNair Scholars programs.” Her co-authors were Roshaunda Breeden, PhD, from East Carolina University and Tiffany J. Davis, PhD, from the University of Houston.  

Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD, (PK-12 Educational Leadership and LSU Writing Project) presented original research resulting from her recent sabbatical in a paper session, titled, “Investigating Omission of Race: Legacy of Paul Witty and the Meet Private Pete Readers,” along with co-presenter, Jennifer L. Jolly, PhD, from the University of Alabama.
“The Practice of Communities: Curriculum Histories Always in the Making” was a roundtable session featuring Molly Quinn, PhD, (Curriculum Studies) and (Curriculum Theory Project) with participation from several LSU colleagues including Jacqueline Bach, PhD, Roland W. Mitchell, PhD, and Petra Monro Hendry, PhD. Hendry, retired from the SoE, also presented, “(Re)membering Trans-Atlantic Creole Pedagogies: Black Fugitive Teachers from the New Orleans Archive.”
“Predictors of Baccalaureate Degree Attainment and Time-to-Degree for Vertical Transfers:  A Longitudinal Study” was also a roundtable session highlighting research by Yu (April) Chen, PhD, (Higher Education Administration) and Jingwen Liu, a doctoral student in the Higher Education Administration program. Chen currently serves as Liu’s major professor.

Tyrslai Menyaee’ Williams-Carters, PhD, (Research & Mentoring) was part of a team that presented “LSU’s LA-BRIDGE Program: A Vehicle for Broadening Participation of Underrepresented STEM Students Through Effective Mentorship and Essential Skill Development,” sharing a roundtable with LSU colleagues, Zakiya S. Wilson-Kennedy, PhD, and Isiah Warner, PhD and Emeritus Professor, as well as Ashleigh R. Wright, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 
Kerri Tobin, PhD, (Curriculum & Instruction) chaired a paper session that featured School of Education’s December 2023 graduate, Dr. Brandi Gros, titled “Toward a Framework for Supporting College Students Experiencing Homelessness.” Tobin served as Gros’s major professor. 
Kim Skinner, PhD, and Estanislado S. Barrera, IV, PhD (Curriculum & Instruction - Literacy & Reading) partnered with several SoE doctoral students, Huy Duc Nguyen and Mitzi Berryhill, and as well as with several additional presenters, Heather Lavender, PhD, University of Georgia, and Leiflyn Gamborg, PhD, former doctoral student, in their roundtable, “Concerted Cultivation Re-Imagined.” 
Ashley Clayton served on the 2024 AERA Division J Program Committee and was a co-chair for the Section 2a: College Student Access, Trajectories, and Transitions.  
Kim D. MacGregor, PhD (Educational Research & Methodology) was 2024 Chair of AERA’s Mixed Methods Research Special Interest Group. 
Kim Skinner and Mitzi Berryhill are also officers in AERA’s Research and Reading Literacy Special Interest Group.
Answering the call is what LSU School of Education faculty do as a matter of course. Whether it is conducting research, teaching, or providing service, SoE faculty who presented at AERA represent the larger faculty who investigate the most complex issues and challenges in education, from early childhood to higher education.
Interim Director of the School of Education, Eugene Kennedy, PhD, stated, “Our faculty are leaders in producing cutting-edge research that advances our understanding of fundamental educational processes. We provide practitioners and policymakers with the guidance needed for continuous improvement."