Visiting Faculty Scholars of Color

Each year since 2008, a number of scholars of color from all over the country are invited to Penn GSE to give lectures and share their research with faculty and students as part of the Visiting Faculty Scholars of Color series. The series also provides an opportunity for doctoral student socialization and learning. These talks are followed up with a lunch and conversation between students and the speaker about his/her work. 

As lecture dates are confirmed, they will be posted here as well as on our Penn GSE events calendar.

2018-2019 Events

Brian Burt, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Dr. Burt’s program of research uses qualitative methodological approaches to study the experiences of graduate students, and the institutional policies and practices that influence students’ educational and workforce pathways. His current research projects fall in two strands: 1) exploring the experiences of underrepresented graduate students of color in engineering; and, 2) understanding the science of team science.



Cynthia Dillard, Mary Frances Early Professor of Teacher Education, University of Georgia

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Dr. Dillard’s major research interests include critical multicultural education, spirituality in teaching and learning, epistemological concerns in research and African/African-American feminist studies. Her research has focused in Ghana, West Africa, where she established a preschool and an elementary school. Two of her books, On spiritual strivings: Transforming an African American woman’s academic life (SUNY Press, 2006) and Learning to (re)member the things we’ve learned to forget:  Endarkened feminisms, spirituality and the sacred nature of research (Peter Lang, 2012) have been selected as Critics’ Choice Book Award winners by the American Educational Studies Association (AESA).


Xueli Wang, Associate Professor, University of Winconsin-Madison

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Dr. Xueli Wang studies college students’ learning, pathways, and success, with a particular focus on community colleges and STEM education. Dr. Wang utilizes a variety of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches in her research. Her scholarship appears in numerous academic journals. She was honored with the 2015 Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award by the Council for the Study of Community Colleges.



Micere Keels, Associate Professor, University of Chicago

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Dr. Keels' principal research interests concern issues of race-ethnicity, inequality, poverty, and the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods. Dr Keels is the principal investigator for, where she translates her work into layman’s terms to make it more accessible to the public. She has examined how educational disparity trickles down to future generations and is further examining the role the education gap plays for minority students.




2017-2018 Events

Craig Steven Wilder

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Craig Steven Wilder is a professor of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Wilder’s most recent book, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities argues that the nation’s early colleges were dependent on wealth accrued from slavery and played a major role in the extermination of indigenous populations and the enslavement of people of African descent.




Travis Bristol

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Travis Bristol is an assistant professor at Boston University whose research agenda is centered on three interrelated strands: (1) district and school-based practices that support teachers of color; (2) national, state, and local education policies that enable and constrain the workplace experiences and retention for teachers of color; and (3) the intersection of race and gender in schools. 


Janelle Scott

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Janelle Scott is an associate professor at the University of California-Berkeley. She studies the relationship between education, policy, and equality of opportunity, and centers on three related policy strands: (1) the racial politics of public education; (2) the politics of school choice, marketization, and privatization; and (3) the role of elite and community-based advocacy in shaping public education.


Robbin Chapman

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Penn GSE, Room 203, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Robbin Chapman is the associate provost and academic director of diversity and inclusion at Wellesley College. Her research focalizes on equity, education and Computer Science theory to create a space where students reimagine how learning flourishes in partnership with digital technologies.

Past Events

Dr. Ruth N. López Turley

Professor of Sociology
Rice University
Director, Houston Education Research Consortium
“Connecting Research and Policy to Reduce Inequality”


Dr. Cecilia Rios-Aguilar

Associate Professor of Education
Director, Higher Education Research Institute
University of California Los Angeles
“Using Big (and Critical) Data to Unmask Inequities in Community Colleges” 


Dr. Brenda Jones-Harden

Associate Professor, Developmental Science Program
Department of Human Development, University of Maryland
“Buffering Children Against Adversity Through Early Childhood Intervention”


Dr. Angel L. Harris

Professor of Sociology & African and African American Studies, Duke University
“Is the Compass Really Broken: Parental Involvement in Children’s Education” 


Dr. John Diamond

Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Education
“Despite the Best Intentions: The Persistence of Racial Inequality in “Good: Schools” 


Dr. Derrick Darby

University of Kansas
Department of Philosophy
"Why the Origins of the Racial Achievement Gap Matters" 


Dr. Ebony McGee

Assistant Professor
Vanderbilt, Peabody College of Education
"Marginalized STEM Talent: Young, Gifted, and Robust...yet Fragile"


Dr. Caroline Turner

Professor of Education Leadership & Poicy Studies
California State University-Sacramento
"Modeling Mentoring Across Race/Ethnicity and Gender: Practices to Cultivate the Next Generation of Diverse Faculty"


Dr. Rich Milner

University Of Pittsburgh
“Reforming Teacher Education in Challenging Times”


Dr. Kimberly Griffin 

Associate Professor of Counseling & Personnel Services
University of Maryland College of Education
“Aligning Agendas: Reconsidering Connections between Excellence, Mentoring, and Faculty Diversity” 


Dr. Brendesha Tynes 

Associate Professor of Education Psychology
Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California
“Online Racial Discrimination and Mental Health Outcomes among a Diverse, School-Based Sample of Adolescents”


Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker

Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Educational Studies
Division of Educational Studies, Emory University
“A More Effective Way”: An African American Curricular Model for Education in the Segregated South”