I am a current Education PhD candidate at George Mason University with a primary specialization in Special Education focused in Education Policy; and a secondary specialization in Multilingual Education.
My research interests involve education policies that impact linguistically diverse students who receive special education services. This includes researching special education teacher preparation, the teacher shortage in the United States, and evidenced based instructional interventions for English learners with disabilities. Broadly, my research revolves around on strategies to attract, prepare, and retain effective personnel for all English learners with disabilities (OSEP, 2020). Currently, my dissertation investigates the preparation of a multilingual teacher candidate population to fulfill critical special education teacher vacancies through Alternative Route Preparation Paths.
At George Mason University, I am on the research team WEGO-RIITE: Writing Efficiently With Graphic Organizers - Responsive Instruction While Implementing Technology Effectively. WEGO-RIITE is funded by the U.S. Department of Education (OSEP) which designed and continues to research a technology based graphic organizer that is implemented in grades 3-12. Its interactive components empower students and teachers in the digital writing process.
In addition, I am also a student researcher on Project FRaME, Using Feedback, Reflection, and Multimedia to teach evidence-based practices in classroom management. The Project FRaME research team is developing a feasible and sustainable multimedia intervention that, when used by teachers during their preparation to become professionals, will result in positive engagement and academic achievement of K–12 students with disabilities.
I have also worked in the K-12 education sector for over 10 years. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor concentration in African American Studies from Virginia Tech. After my undergraduate studies, I was an Americorps service member and worked on a state funded literacy program for at-risk elementary students. I then went on to earn my Master of Education in English of Speakers of Other Languages at George Mason University. Since earning my M.Ed., I worked as an English Learner teacher and served as a lead teacher for the majority of my K-12 teaching career. I am passionate about multicultural education, disability rights, and the affiliated economic impacts in my work and research.
On a personal note, I am a proud Virginian who enjoys an epic crab feast and a good hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains.