Author Archive

Nakisha Whittington Named June Holmes Scholar of the Month

Nakisha WhittingtonCongratulations to Nakisha Whittington, Holmes Scholar of the Month for June 2021. Whittington is a scholar at Pennsylvania State University and recently defended her dissertation, “Exploring the Digital Literacy Practices of Black Elementary Students in a New Orleans Charter School.”

As an educator, Whittington has experience in K-12 classrooms and instructing undergraduate students in the Elementary Education program at Penn State.  

 Whittington’s research interests are centered around digital literacy practices of urban youth. She has published several articles on effective instructional practices to meet the needs of diverse learners, including Scaffolding inclusivity through making: A preliminary analysis of diverse learners’ meaning making through complex systems. Whittington also serves as a reading specialist and editorial assistant for an educational research journal.

Ariela Martinez Named May Holmes Scholar of the Month

Ariela MartinezCongratulations to Ariela Martinez, Holmes Scholar of the Month for May 2021. Martinez is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in higher education leadership at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, TX. Her research interests examine enhancing undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student college success. 

Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Martinez was a college access and higher education professional who served students from diverse academic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds at the high school and collegiate levels. She has held professional titles that include TRiO Student Support Services Lead Ambassador, College Adviser via TCU College Advising Corps, Success Coach at Tarrant County College (TCC), and Senior Transfer Admission Counselor and adjunct instructor at TCU. Martinez earned her associate degree from TCC and her B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from TCU. As a critical scholar, her research interests center on issues of educational equity in higher education for minoritized students.

Ayan Mitra Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Ayan MitraCongratulations to Ayan Mitra on being named the March Holmes Scholar of the Month. Mitra recently defended his dissertation, titled “Exploring Neurocognitive Processes that Underline Reading Performance in Children: A Foundational Study.” His other research agenda attempts to bridge the gap between education and neuroscience. Mitra strives to understand how connectivity across different regions of the brain (coherence) is predictive of reading measures in widely used cognitive reading assessments. With rapidly evolving neuroimaging techniques providing better spatial and temporal resolution to brain imaging, it is increasingly important for literacy scholars to theorize the neural basis of reading.

A Recap and Reflection: Applying Technology-enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought immediate changes to the normalcy of pedagogy practiced within the classroom. Because of the changes, educators are tasked with establishing innovative approaches to teaching in making the learning process more engaging. For a variety of factors, technology-enhanced learning (TEL) is critical. It is critical not only because it is the current educational standard but also because it can enhance the way we develop the education system (Carrillo and Flores, 2020). The Applying Technology-Enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal in 2021 and Beyond session at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting took a deeper dive into the need for more teacher preparation programs that adopt inclusive approaches to educating at all levels of education.

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