What’s Next for Dr. Nicole M. Russell?

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What's Next for Dr. Nicole M. Russell?

Since joining the Morgridge College of Education faculty in 2011, Dr. Nicole M. Russell, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, advances research and practice around issues related to access, equity and achievement for underrepresented minorities. Her work focuses particularly on social justice for African American females in math education. In addition to her research, Dr. Russell is strongly committed to teaching, employing transformative practice to co-construct deep learning experiences for her students. Congratulations are in order; Dr. Russell was recently awarded the 2014-2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Dr. Russell is currently working on a number of research projects. She is co-editing a book with MCE alumna Dr. Chayla Haynes and Dr. Floyd Cobb entitled, Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power: White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms, which seeks to link issues of inclusion to teacher excellence by illuminating the critical influence that racial consciousness has on the behaviors of White faculty in the classroom (Haynes, 2013). The important work specifically examines STEM classrooms because of the over saturation of White faculty teaching in STEM, in addition to the STEM system being a White institutional space that perpetuates hegemony, thereby negatively influencing racially minoritized students’ equitable outcomes. The book is scheduled for release in the spring of 2015.

In addition to finishing her book, Dr. Russell continues her work on the math and science education of Blacks during segregation from 1854 to 1954 through a University of Denver funded PROF grant. This study focuses on archival data collected from 28 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across 11 states from sources such as math and science textbooks, math and science faculty papers, institution catalogs, yearbooks, and school newspapers. This history project has advanced Dr. Russell to be a semi-finalist for the 2014 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship.  Additionally, Dr. Russell recently submitted an article to the Journal of Negro Education based on this work and is also working on turning this research into a book manuscript.

Beginning Fall 2014, Dr. Russell will work with a University of Denver Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In) Equality (IRISE) post-doctoral fellow to study race, class and gender inequalities in K-12 schools. Over the next two years, she and the post-doc will be working with the historical study data as well as designing a graduate course that will be cross-listed in education, social work, and law.

While working on these projects, Dr. Russell also continues her work with The Sistah Network, a group she founded in 2012 that includes more than 50 Black women who are current doctoral students and faculty members across the university. The Sistah Network brings these women together to provide them with academic opportunities for professional development and support their psychological, social and emotional success.

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