AACTE Welcomes New Holmes Scholars

The AACTE Holmes Program supports students who self-identify as racially and ethnically diverse and are pursuing graduate degrees in education at AACTE member institutions. 

With 65 active member institutions, the Holmes Program continues to grow to include new members and diverse scholars who are pursuing graduate degrees in various specialty areas. AACTE is proud to welcome new scholars from Texas Christian University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Eric E. Barnes is an experienced educator passionate about positively impacting communities and scholar success. He believes an inspiring educator ignites a passion for learning in which ordinary scholars become extraordinary. Barnes is a dedicated, instructional leader with 17 years of educational service, including nine years at the administrative level. Furthermore, he has a diverse background in working with scholars in both suburban and urban areas in every K-12 setting with a humble start as a 4th-grade teacher in Jackson, MS. What motivates him as an educator is being able to serve as a role model in helping young people transition into lifelong learners with hearts for service.

Sydney Carroll is a Ph.D. student in the Curriculum and Instruction, Curriculum and Educator Development program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she also serves as a research assistant for a National Science Foundation grant. Caroll has a master’s in clinical mental health from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University. Her research agenda seeks to combine mental health, culturally responsive teaching, and secondary evidence-based practices as it pertains to literacy. Caroll’s professional goal is to provide expertise to educators to reduce burnout and increase retention, particularly for Black female educators. Carroll also desires to open an academic training facility dedicated to supporting K-12 teacher development in areas such as restorative and culturally responsive teaching practices that support children of color in the greater Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina.

Jose Omar Serna is a Ph.D. student in the Curriculum Studies program at the College of Education at Texas Christian University. Serna is also a research assistant working on various projects at the Tānko Institute, which helps to disseminate Indigenous pedagogies amongst educators. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico. Serna also teaches English as a second language to adults in Fort Worth, TX. His research interests are at the intersection of language, race, transnationalism, and education.

Joy Davis is a scholar, womanist, and academic who is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina Charlotte where she is pursuing a degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in women and gender studies. Her multidisciplinary framework intersects women’s studies, urban education, and business. Her research agenda addresses the pedagogical study of the social, educational, professional, and cultural plights of women of color in the academy. Her dissertation applies an empirical, qualitative case study to examine high-achieving Black female collegians and their academic experiences from an equity and policy lens. Davis applies Black Feminist Thought, Critical Race Feminism, and bell hooks’ liberatory educational theory of Engaged Pedagogy in her research. Davis’ two most recent research contributions were published in Films as Rhetorical Texts: Cultivating Discussion about Race, Racism, and Race Relations” by Lexington Books (2020) and an upcoming anthology “Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels” published by Black Lawrence Press (2023).

Claudia Chiang-Lopez (they/she) is a queer, multiple-disabled first-generation scholar and Asian-Latinx immigrant. Chiang-Lopez is a Ph.D. student in the Cultural Studies, International Education, and Multicultural Education program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition to being a Holmes Scholar, Chiang-Lopez is also a Point Foundation scholar, and an American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education Fellow. She has also been recognized as an Outstanding Instructor at UNLV for their teaching in the Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies department. Chiang-Lopez is a founding member and president of the Latinx Graduate Student Association at UNLV. Her research focuses on how marginalized communities create discursive spaces in-person and online and examines the relationship between abolition and dis/ability critical race studies. Her research has been published in Race, Ethnicity, and Education.

Anel Rojas is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Psychology, Leadership, and Higher Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). As a first-generation college student, Rojas’ personal experiences, cultural background, and educational journey have profoundly shaped her academic perspectives. Being a Latinx student, she recognizes the obstacles faced by underrepresented students and is dedicated to challenging systemic obstacles in higher education. Her research pursuits center on advocating for community-based scholarly approaches, fostering transparent and equitable practices at minority-serving institutions, and amplifying Latinx voices in academia. Through her involvement in the Holmes Program, Rojas looks forward to further developing her academic and professional skills, showcasing her research at conferences, and engaging in enriching mentorship experiences that will shape her journey as a scholar.

Marcellis Perkins is a native of Chesapeake, VA, and current doctoral student at Texas Christan University in the Higher Education Leadership program. Perkins has held numerous leadership roles at his campus, including serving as program coordinator for professional development in TCU’s Department of Student Athlete Development, and representative of the College of Education for the Graduate School Senate. Perkins is currently a graduate assistant in the Office of the Chancellor and President at TCU. He is also co-author of A History to Remember: TCU Purple, White, and Black, chair of the TCU Portrait Project, and co-host of the podcast “Reconcile This!”

Erica Terrell is a proud native of Dallas, TX, where she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of North Texas, and University of Texas at Arlington, respectively, and studied speech communication and political science. Terrell is a longtime educator, having taught for 10 years. She is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership program at Texas Christian University. Her research agenda seeks to improve student retention and success, specifically identifying evidence-based tools needed for current and future generations of students to persist in higher education.


Weade James

Vice President, Organizational Advancement