AERA 2021: At a Glance

April 14, 2021

Faculty, graduate students and alumni from the Michigan State University College of Education shared research throughout the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. Several were also recognized for their exemplary work. Below, learn about some of the honorees during 2021’s virtual conference.

Leadership roles

Sheneka Williams, chair of the MSU Department of Educational Administration, was named vice president-elect for Division L: Educational Policy and Politics. Williams, who came to the College of Education in fall 2020, will join AERA’s 2022-23 Council following the annual meeting, and will serve a three-year term.

Sheneka Williams

Research recognitions

Assistant Professors Joanne Marciano and Vaughn W. M. Watson received the 2021 Outstanding Publication of the Year award from the Narrative Research special interest group (SIG) for their paper: “‘This is America’: Examining Artifactual Literacies as Austere Love Across Contexts of Schools and Everyday Use.”

Published in The Urban Review in March 2020, the paper considers how educators might use “relationships, experiences, pasts and possibilities to more fully recognize and extend already-present literacy practices of youth of color.” These practices, the authors say, can help build more equitable curriculum and expand teaching opportunities.

Associate Professor Madeline Mavrogordato and alumna Rachel White received the William J. Davis Award, celebrating the most outstanding article published in Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ) during the preceding volume year. The honor, announced during the AERA Division A: Administration, Organization and Leadership business meeting, recognized their article: “Leveraging Policy Implementation for Social Justice: How School Leaders Shape Educational Opportunity When Implementing Policy for English Learners.” The article was published in January 2019. White, Ph.D. ’17 (Education Policy), is an assistant professor at Old Dominion University.

Photo courtesy of Teach for America.

Alumna Cierra Presberry received the Distinguished Dissertation Award from Division G: Social Context of Education for her work on: “The Ones Who Need the Most: Race, Ability, and Restorative Justice in an Urban School.” The honor recognizes work that is exemplary conceptually, methodologically and with rhetorical quality. Presberry, B.A. ’08 (Special Education), M.A. ’12 (Teaching and Curriculum) and Ph.D. ’20 (Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education), is a curriculum development specialist with MSU’s instructional technology and development team.

Lawrence Louis, a doctoral candidate in K-12 Educational Administration, received the Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Research. The SEL special interest group recognized Louis for his work on “Searching for Racial Literacy: Racial Inequality Sense-Making Among Educators.”

Louis and Education Policy doctoral student Sandy Frost Waldron were also named 2021 Clark Scholars. The David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration & Policy—sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), Divisions A and L of AERA and SAGE Publications—includes networking and professional growth opportunities for doctoral students.

Related news

The MSU College of Education was selected to host the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) for five years starting in July 2020. UCEA represents scholars from over 100 member universities and significantly influences the work and training of K-12 educational administrators.

Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ), the leading research journal in the field, is also based at Michigan State.

Read more about these partnerships.