Alum named National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow

June 27, 2023

MSU College of Education alumna Davena Jackson has been named a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow.

The annual program supports early career scholars who engage in “critical areas of education research.” Just 25 were selected for the cohort out of 195 applicants. Honorees receive funding and opportunities to attend professional development events.

Davena Jackson

Jackson will work in eight English classrooms in an urban high school to “transform Black students’ literacies.” In this study, Jackson will utilize the justice-oriented solidarity framework — which she created and explored in a 2020 Journal of Literacy Research article. The research will highlight “teachers working in solidarity with a teacher-researcher and sharing in the commitment to advancing Black students’ literacy development within equitable and just learning spaces where Blackness is centered.” Read more about Jackson’s Fellowship research on the NAEd website.

While at MSU, Jackson earned an Excellence-in-Teaching Citation for her skill and care shown in the classroom. She graduated in 2019 with a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education and a graduate certificate in Urban Education.

Jackson, who has spent more than 20 years as an educator, now works at Boston University. She is the faculty lead for the Affiliates Program at the Center for Antiracist Research and a faculty affiliate at the Center on the Ecology of Early Development. In addition, Jackson is a member of the ELATE Executive Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Bryan Van Wyck is another Spartan also named a Postdoctoral Fellow. Van Wyck, a University of Maryland assistant professor, earned a Ph.D. in History in 2019. Broadly, his research will examine Turkish teachers and imams in post-war Germany.