Posts Tagged ‘Holmes Program’

Diana Gallardo Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Diana Gallardo

Congratulations to Diana Gallardo Holmes Scholar of the Month for September 2021. Gallardo is currently a doctoral student in the counselor education and supervision program at The Pennsylvania State University. She is an alumna of Northwestern University where she obtained her master’s in Mental Health Counseling. She has extensive experience in bilingual therapy, leadership, and psychodynamic oriented group work.

‘Policy is Personal’ and ‘Information is Currency’

This article is a personal reflection of the 2021Washington Week Holmes Policy Advanced Policy Course by attendee Shauna Torrington.

Shauna TorringtonMy takeaways from my participation in the Holmes Advanced Policy Course have been threefold. This course has impacted me as an international student, an advocate, and as a practitioner.

As an international student, I have a greater understanding about the terminology that is normally used in policy advocacy. This new knowledge has enabled me to follow along with a clearer understanding during discussions on policy. The words representative, senator, and congressperson also now have greater meanings for me. I am aware of the basics of the legislative process and can better follow the process of how a bill becomes a law. I now know what it means to introduce a bill or to sponsor a bill. Additionally, I know what a “markup” means and what is the process that comes after a markup. I know where to look to find information on my senators and my representatives. I know how to contact their offices or to see what issues they voted for or against.

UofL Doctoral Student Pursues Degree to ‘Prepare the World’ for Students with Autism

This article originally appeared on and is reprinted with permission.

Lorita RowlettLorita Rowlett, like so many students, wears a variety of hats: mother, teacher and student, to name a few.

Rowlett is pursuing her doctoral degree in special education through the College of Education and Human Development and says it is the only path she could have imagined pursuing.

“After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I went right into teaching and taught in a self-contained classroom for eight years,” Rowlett said. “I switched to special education because I have a son who was diagnosed with autism, so it became my life. I wanted to help other moms like me.”

Initially inspired to improve the curriculum and instruction for students in her own classroom, Rowlett returned to UofL to receive her master’s degree in special education with a focus in autism studies.

Advancing Educational Equity

This article is a personal reflection of the 2021 Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Rangel Zarate.

Rangel ZarateThis year’s AACTE Holmes Policy Institute was rich with memorable discussions about culturally-relevant care, digital technology in the classroom, and equity issues in schools.

The year 2021 has led to an unexpected metamorphosis in education and has forced many instructors and educational leaders to rethink the way they approach student learning and their own teaching practices. In our conference panel discussion, “Advancing Educational Equity Post-COVID” AACTE staffer and associate professors at Columbia University’s Teachers College Deltra Price-Dennis and Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz invited us to reflect on our own thoughts surrounding this new culture of change in educational institutions.

Promoting Policy Change from the Bottom-Up

This article is a personal reflection of the 2021 Washington Week Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Kamilah Bywaters.

Kamilah BywatersAACTE’s Holmes Policy Institute was literally “a breath of fresh air.” The gathering was a reminder of the extraordinary leaders within our nation who are dedicated and committed to forward thinking ideas that are good for all of humanity. I was more than thrilled to hear from Jessica Cardichon, assistant secretary in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development with the U.S. Department of Education. Her specific role that day was to inform Holmes Scholars of the initiatives and goals of the Biden Administration. To top it off, Nick Lee, the deputy assistant secretary for higher education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development with the U.S. Department of Education, provided valuable information on one of the objectives to ensure that higher education is equity focused and affordable to underserved and underrepresented communities. I am filled with hope to know that many of our nation’s leaders listen to the communities they serve and strive to implement policy that provides access and does good in the world.

Time is Running Out to Register for AACTE Holmes Policy Events

There is only one week left to register for the 2021 Holmes Policy Institute, September 8-9, and the 2021 Holmes Program Advanced Policy Short Course, September 14-15! Register by 12:00 midnight EST on Friday, September 3, to experience AACTE’s policy and advocacy events curated specifically for the Holmes community.
Hear from outstanding speakers regarding advancing educational equity and policy and promoting culturally sustaining practices in education:

Congressman Mondaire Jones Will Speak to Holmes Scholars at AACTE’s Washington Week

Mondaire JonesAACTE is excited to announce Congressman Mondaire Jones will participate in its 2021 Washington Week virtual conference Holmes Program. Representative Jones serves on the House Committee on Education and Labor. He is a champion of public education and understands that a quality education leads to intergenerational mobility.  

About Rep. Mondaire Jones

Congressman Jones is serving his first term as the Congressman from New York’s 17th District, encompassing all of Rockland County and parts of central and northern Westchester County.

A product of East Ramapo public schools, Rep. Jones was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family.

Texas Woman’s Joins Program to Increase Diversity in Education

The Texas Woman’s University College of Professional Education (COPE) has been selected to participate in the Holmes Program sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), which supports racially and ethnically diverse students pursuing graduate degrees in education.

TWU is the only woman-centric university participating in the program to date. Founded in 1991 for doctoral students, the AACTE Holmes Program provides students mentorship, peer support, and professional development opportunities.

“The college is proud to be part of the prestigious Holmes Scholars program,” COPE Dean Lisa Huffman said. “Our participation — with our program’s unique focus on underrepresented women — will allow us to provide support to doctoral students that ensures their success and builds the next generation of diverse leaders in education.”

Frank Conic Named August Holmes Scholar of the Month

Frank ConicCongratulations to Frank Conic, Holmes Scholar of the Month for August 2021. Conic successfully defended his dissertation titled, “Analysis of the Impact of SB 1720 on Gateway Math Courses” this summer. 

Currently, Conic serves as an assistant program director for the Community College Futures Assembly, a University of Florida Institute of Higher Education independent policy forum, where he works to prepare students for the many facets of post-secondary education.

Conic has been a Holmes Program participant since 2011 and continues to exhibit the values of excellence and leadership through his service as a student mentor and instructor. He is a mathematics instructor at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, and plans to continue in the professoriate at the community college level to support students who are often first-generation, low income, and minority students. 

To nominate a Holmes Scholar for the Scholar of the Month award, please use this online form

Join Me for AACTE’s 2021 Washington Week

Robert E. Floden


As chair of the AACTE Board of Directors, I invite you to attend AACTE’s second virtual Washington Week, taking place throughout September. Your participation, and your voice, are critical in supporting programs, advocating for funds, and advancing policies our institutions need to move the profession forward.

Watch the video to learn more about the virtual conference. Register now and invite your colleagues and students to participate in AACTE’s 2021 Washington Week. View the event schedule and details at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTEWW21.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact AACTE’s Events Team at

 I look forward to seeing you at AACTE’s virtual event next month!


Robert E. Floden
Dean Emeritus and University Distinguished Professor, College of Education, Michigan State University
Board Chair, AACTE

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AACTE Welcomes New Holmes Scholars

The AACTE Holmes Program continues to expand to support new scholars in their academic pursuit. We are pleased to welcome Ava Jackson, Holmes Post-doctoral Fellow at Boston University, and Elizabeth León Zaragoza, Holmes doctoral student at University of Nevada Las Vegas, to the Holmes community. Congratulations to these scholars and their institutions for their commitment to promoting excellence and success of diverse scholars.

A Scholar’s Reflection: Everybody is an Advocate

Girl standing by stairsWashington Week 2020 sessions helped me, a Holmes Scholar and second-year doctoral student in special education, gain an understanding of how to advocate for equitable educational opportunities for marginalized students including students with disabilities by participating in interactive policy discussions and briefings with prominent speakers and participants. I mainly learned that everybody could advocate for promoting educational improvement and success in different ways. This advocacy work becomes a crucial duty especially in this unprecedented time where COVID-19 has exacerbated educational inequities and hit students of color disproportionally.

The amazing Jane West presented and discussed the 4 Ps of Policy Advocacy (People, Policy, Process, and Politics) and their use in planning an advocacy strategy. As an international doctoral student who is not familiar with the American legal system, I found that the session equipped me with the knowledge about the legislative and executive policy cycle with all its players as well as the process and skills needed for effective policy change advocacy.

Washington Week Reflection: Finding a Seat at the Table

Anthony WebsterHave you ever felt like you were in the right place at the right time? Attending Washington Week during the early stages of a global pandemic was an experience I will never forget. It honestly helped solidify my why and purpose.

As a first-year Ph.D. student, I was looking forward to the learning experiences that laid ahead. However, I did not expect them to come so soon. During my first week in the Ph.D. program, I attended the 2020 Holmes Program Washington Week sessions. Between work and school, I was “Zoomed” out. So, I was skeptical of the impact this would have since it was virtual. As a natural extrovert, I was unsure how I would connect with others. So, you can see why I had my doubts.

Weade James and Jane West could not have hosted a better virtual Washington Week. Since my time as an admissions recruiter at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, I have always been interested in policies, particularly educational policies that impact historically marginalized populations. From the achievement gap to the allocation of resources, I have witnessed first-hand how this hinders the success of students and educators within urban school districts. Attending Washington Week provided me with some fundamental tools to make a difference in my corner of the world.

During Washington Week, I learned how to connect with state senators and representatives regarding policies and ideas to move education forward. West insisted that Twitter was a great platform to connect with government officials because, believe it or not, someone is always watching. I had an opportunity to engage with dynamic leaders from across the world who are doing great work on behalf of students and educators. Everyone that spoke during Washington Week mentioned that there is much work to be done. The participants also talked about knowing that they make a difference motivates them to do their job. Despite the politics that come with policymaking and seemingly seeks to undo the impact educators and policymakers strive to have, they have no choice but to show up because people need them.

During our discussion, I heard that if you don’t have a seat at the table, you might end up on the menu. This phrase may sound a bit cliché’, but during Washington Week 2020, I found my voice. This statement will stick with me for the rest of my life. From this experience, I am looking forward to claiming my seat at the table and making a difference.

Anthony Webster is a Holmes Scholar and Ph.D. educational leadership and policy studies candidate at Wayne State University.


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