Commission Co-Chairs

Amy Vetter, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Dr. Amy Vetter is an associate professor in English education in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she teaches undergraduate courses in teaching practices and curriculum of English and literacy in the content area, and graduate courses in youth literacies, teacher research, and qualitative research design. Her areas of research interest are literacy and identity, positioning theory, critical conversations, and teacher research. She presents regularly at the National Conference for Teachers of English and Literacy Research Association Conference. Currently, she is co-chair for the ELATE (formerly CEE) Social Justice Commission.

Melissa Schieble, Hunter College CUNY

Dr. Terri Rodriguez is a Professor of Education at the College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University, a residential liberal arts college and university in central Minnesota. She teaches undergraduate courses in multicultural education, middle and secondary English language arts, and young adult literature. She recently co-authored Supporting Muslim Students: A Guide to Understanding the Diverse Issues of Today’s Classroom (2017). Her research focuses on critical multicultural teacher education, social justice teaching, and literacy education. She presents regularly at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Conference for Teachers of English (NCTE). Currently, she is co-chair for the ELATE (formerly CEE) Social Justice Commission.

Liaison to the CEE Executive Committee

David Schaafsma is interested in scholarly issues concerning the preparation of English teachers, young adult literature, community-based literacy, the uses of narrative in research and learning, and the relationship between literacy, democracy, and social action. He has been working on projects in the past year that include a (research methods) book, Narrative Inquiry in English Education, that he is writing with Ruth Vinz; an edited collection of essays entitled Jane Addams, Hull-House and the Call to Education, and an edited collection of baseball poetry tentatively titled Take me Out to the Ballgame. He is developing, with his colleague Todd DeStigter and Oak Park-River Forest High School English teacher and Spoken Word Club Coordinator Peter Kahn, an MA in English Education certificate program in Teaching Spoken Word Poetry.

David Schaafsma, University of Illinois at Chicago

Research and Writing Workgroup Leaders

Deborah Bieler is an associate professor of English and the coordinator of the English Education program at the University of Delaware and is a former high school English teacher, college writing center director, and mentor for urban student teachers. Her teaching and scholarship concerns the preparation and retention of equity-oriented teachers; her work has appeared in Educational Leadership, English Education, English Journal, English Leadership Quarterly, PennGSE Perspectives on Urban Education, Teachers College Record, Teacher Education Quarterly, and The New Educator. She is the author of The Power of Teacher Talk: Promoting Equity and Retention Through Student Interactions (Teachers College Press, 2019). She has been a member of the CEE Social Justice Commission since 2009.

Briana Asmus ( completed her PhD in English Education at Western Michigan University in 2015 and her undergraduate studies at Aquinas College in 2005. Her research interests are situated within the intersecting areas of critical literacy, second language acquisition, and migrant education. She has taught English as a second language at the middle, high school and college levels in Japan, South Korea and the United States. Briana currently teaches in the School of Education at Aquinas College.

Dr. Charles H. Gonzalez, Ph.D. ( is an assistant professor of Secondary Education. He has worked with diverse populations of public school students, out-of-school youths, and adult learners. His duties in the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership at Alabama A&M University currently include teaching pedagogy and education courses and mentoring/supervising student teacher interns. His research focuses on discovering ways to encourage and support pre-service (and in-service) teachers to be culturally relevant and uncovering ways to develop new culturally sustaining pedagogies. He has published articles and book chapters on multimodality, teacher education, and implementing digital video into English/Language Arts classrooms. He has taken part in over twenty presentations at national and state level conferences.

Commission Website Development Workgroup Leaders

Noah Asher Golden ( is an assistant professor in the College of Education at California State University, Long Beach, and is a former English teacher and literacy coach in New York City alternative schools and programs. His research focuses on adolescent literacy, urban education, identity, and agency. Noah served as the chair of the (2016-2017) CEE nominating committee, was a co-chair of the CEE (now ELATE) Social Justice Commission from 2014-2016, and has been a member of NCTE since 2007.

Meredith Sinclair

Secondary Schools Outreach Coordinators

Becki Maldonado

Michelle Fowler-Amato

Work Group Leaders for Critical Literacy

Jason Courtmanche

Melissa Schieble

Current Members

Meghan E. Barnes is Assistant Professor of English Education at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on teaching English to secondary learners, the politics of language and writing, teacher research, and young adult literature. In her research, Meghan draws on sociocultural theory to consider pre-service teachers’ developing conceptual understandings of teaching and literacy, as well as community-engaged approaches to both teaching and research. Meghan’s recent work has been published in Teaching and Teacher EducationJournal of Teacher EducationEnglish EducationJournal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and English Teaching: Practice and Critique.

Ashley Boyd is Assistant Professor of English Education at Washington State University where she teaches graduate courses on critical and cultural theory and undergraduate courses on English Methods and Young Adult Literature.  Her current research includes examining young adult literature as an avenue for cultivating students’ critical literacies; investigating practicing teachers’ social justice pedagogies and critical content knowledges; and exploring the implementation of tribal curriculum in secondary classrooms in Washington state. Her book Social Justice Literacies in the English Classroom:  Teaching Practice In Action (2017, Teachers College Press) analyzes case studies of practicing English teachers to identify specific pedagogic approaches for advancing equity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Dr. Alison G. Dover ( is a former urban high school English teacher and an Associate Professor in the Department of Secondary Education at California State University, Fullerton.  Her current research examines the ways that teachers use their professional agency and expertise to promote social justice within and despite heavily regulated classrooms.  Dr. Dover is a co-author of Preparing to Teach Social Studies for Social Justice: Becoming a Renegade (2016, Teachers College Press), and has published scholarship on literacy, social justice, and teacher education in journals like Teaching and Teacher Education, the Journal of Adolescent & Adult LiteracyEnglish Journal, The Educational Forum and Equity & Excellence in Education.  Alison has been a member of NCTE since 2005.

Seth David French currently works as a graduate assistant and distinguished doctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Seth’s research is primarily focused on Critical Media Literacy, New Literacies, and Teacher Education. His most recent publication is “Media Literacy and American Education: An Exploration with Détournement” in the Journal of Media Literacy Education. He is currently conducting his three-article dissertation research which centers around developing students’ critical media literacy through the multimedia détournement creation process. You can reach him at or follow him @GameSethMatch.

Jennifer M. King ( earned a Ph.D. in Teaching, Curriculum, and Change from the University of Rochester’s Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, focusing on secondary English education and adolescent literacies. After serving in teacher education for over a decade, she has recently transitioned back into secondary education and is currently an English teacher in the Bloomfield (NY) Central School District. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescent Young Adulthood/English Language Arts. Her teaching and research interests within secondary English education and adolescent literacies include youth participatory action research, social justice pedagogies, critical literacies, and new literacies (particularly to foster global literacies and global citizenship). She has been a member of NCTE and the CEE Commission on Social Justice since 2006, and served as a co-chair of the commission from 2014-2016.

Dr. Holly Hungerford-Kresser is an associate professor of Literacy Studies and English Education in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she teaches undergraduate courses in English Language Arts and Reading methods, content area literacy, and leads the clinical teaching semester courses for the Secondary Education program. At the graduate level, she teaches courses in adolescent literacy and literacy research methods. Her research focuses on the intersection of college and career readiness and teacher education–with a focus on critical pedagogies for both students and future teachers. While she presents regularly at the Literacy Research Association annual conference, she looks forward to being more involved with NCTE in the coming years. She also works closely with AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), and helped build their Teacher Preparation Initiative.

Jeana M. Hrepich earned her PhD in English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently a Core Faculty member at Antioch University Seattle in the School of Education where she teaches literacy methods courses and the MAT program’s culminating capstone project. With her colleague Dr. Christie Kaaland she has developed an annual multicultural children’s literature celebration that brings award-winning children’s authors to Seattle Public Schools. Previous to teaching at Antioch, Dr. Hrepich instructed graduate students in the teaching of English at Teachers College, Columbia University and supervised candidates enrolled in teacher preparation programs in New York and California. She  taught literature, language arts, humanities, and journalism in San Francisco and New York City in middle and high schools. Dr. Hrepich is a committee member of the International Literacy Association’s Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship/ILA Helen M. Robinson Grant/ILA Steven A. Stahl Research Grant as well as a state liaison for the Conference on English Leadership. Her research has appeared in Voices from the Middle.

Dr. Joanne E. Marciano ( / is Assistant Professor of English Education in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. Joanne’s research engages qualitative participatory methodologies to examine opportunities for supporting youth’s literacy learning across contexts of secondary English education, urban education, teacher education, and college readiness. She is co-author of the Teachers College Press books Classroom Cultures: Equitable Schooling for Racially Diverse Youth and College Ready: Preparing Black and Latina/o Youth for Higher Education – A Culturally Relevant Approach. Her work has also appeared in English Journal, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Urban Education, and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Joanne received her doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She previously taught secondary English for 13 years in a NYC public high school.

Summer Pennell is an Assistant Professor of English Education at Truman State University. Her research focuses on English education, social justice, queer pedagogy, and supporting minoritized students.  Summer has participated in roundtables at NCTE’s annual conferences with the CEE-Social Justice Commission and is also a member of and contributor to the Genders and Sexualities Equality Alliance of NCTE. She is currently working on a co-edited volume with three colleagues, including fellow CEE-SJ member Ashley Boyd, called Possibilities in Practice: Social Justice Teaching in the Disciplines that will provide examples of social justice teaching in PK-12 school settings.

Robert Petrone ( is Associate Professor and Director of English Education at Montana State University. Prior to his role as English Education faculty, he taught secondary reading and English in Colorado and New York. Unified by a social justice framework, his research includes re-conceptualizing “adolescence/ts” in English education, the role of critical literacy and popular culture in secondary English classrooms, and learning and literacy in youth cultures. Most recently, he has begun research on English education in rural contexts. In addition to book chapters, his work has appeared inJournal of Literacy Research, Teaching and Teacher Education, English Education, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Journal of Language and Literacy Education, The ALAN Review, and English Journal.

R. Joseph Rodríguez teaches in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University, Fresno. He includes socially just actions in his teaching and research and advocates for socially responsible biliteracies and the reading of YA literature. Joseph is the author of books in these research areas and coeditor of English Journal. He has published in several academic journals and advances teachers and students as writers. Catch him virtually @escribescribe, or contact him at

Dr. Amy Vujaklija ( is an assistant professor at Governors State University in Chicago’s south suburb where she coordinates the secondary English education program and teaches pre-service teacher candidates in middle and secondary English education methods. Areas of service within the university include equity in education attainment, shared governance, and professional development. As an Illinois Writing Project leadership team member, she has been involved National Writing Project grant initiatives including facilitating the College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP). Dr. Vujaklija’s research explores the lived experience of teacher leadership and immersive school experiences to enhance candidate preparation.

Allen Webb ( taught high school English in Portland, Oregon and is now a professor of English education and postcolonial studies in the English Department at Western Michigan University.  He has authored, co-authored or edited a dozen books most of them on social justice themes for teachers, includingLiterature and Lives: A Response-based Cultural Studies Approach (NCTE Press), Teaching the Literature of Today’s Middle East (Routledge), and Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents: Reading, Writing, and Making a Difference (NCTE & Routledge).  For many years he organized a professional learning community for teachers called the Teachers Alliance for Justice.  He believes that what we teach in English is at least as important as how we teach, and that the main task of English language arts is to help students critically think about the world, develop empathy with others, and learn how to speak out, be heard, and make a difference.  While he has taught about many important issues, these days he is freaking out about climate change.

Thea Williamson is a former urban high school teacher and after-school program administrator. She is currently an assistant professor in the Literacy Studies department of Salisbury University, located on Maryland’s eastern shore. She teaches qualitative research methods and courses about writing and discourse. Her research interests include sociopolitical dimensions of secondary ELA, adolescent literacy identity, language ideology, and writing instruction.

(More info on Current members coming soon)

Past Co-Chairs and Leaders in the commission

Laura Bolf-Beliveau

Jamal Cooks is originally from Oakland, CA. Dr. Cooks works tirelessly to uplift the local community, to impact state initiatives, and to influence national education. Currently, Dr. Cooks is a tenured, Professor at San Francisco State University in the Department of Secondary Education. Dr. Cooks taught middle school and high school social studies and English (remedial coursework) at the junior college level. He earned his B.A. from University of California at Berkeley and a MA in Social Studies Curriculum Development from the University of Michigan. Dr. Cooks completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan with a dissertation entitled “Explicit Instruction, assumed skills, or something in the middle: Expository writing development in different learning environments with high school freshmen.”

Tara Star Johnson is an associate professor of English Education at Purdue University.  She has been a member of the Social Justice Commission since 2007 and served as co-chair from 2010-2014. Tara is also editor of English Education.

David E. Kirkland is a transdisciplinary scholar of English and urban education, who explores the intersections among urban youth culture, language and literacy, urban teacher preparation, and digital media. He analyzes culture, language, and texts, and has expertise in critical literary, ethnographic, and sociolinguistic research methods. He has received many awards for his work, including the 2008 AERA Division G Outstanding Dissertation Award, and was a 2009-10 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and is a former fellow of NCTE Cultivating New Voices. Dr. Kirkland has published widely. His most recent articles include: “Black Skin, White Masks: Normalizing Whiteness and the Trouble with the Achievement Gap” (TCRecord), “English(es) in urban contexts: Politics, Pluralism, and Possibilities” (English Education), and “We real cool: Examining Black males and literacy” (Reading Research Quarterly). He is currently completing his fourth book, A Search Past Silence, to be published through Teacher College Press Language and Literacy Series. Dr. Kirkland believes that, in their language and literacies, youth take on new meanings beginning with a voice and verb, where words when spoken or written have the power to transform the world inside out.

sj Miller, Ph.D.award winning teacher/writer/activist/scholar, is Deputy Director of Urban Teacher Education at the NYU Metro Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of schools and Research Associate Faculty at NYU. sj has a combined 23 years of teaching secondary English Language Arts, and undergraduate/graduate courses in Literacy, and Urban/English Teacher Education. sj has written and published over forty articles in peer-reviewed journals, over twenty book chapters, six books, and presented widely in state, national, and international conferences on a variety of topics including anti-bullying pedagogy, challenging the gender binary and LGBTQIA topics, and disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. sj is Advisor for The National Council Teachers of English LGBT Issues in Academic Studies Committee, GLSEN’s Educator Advisory Committee, consultant for the College Board, and senior advisor working with teachers about transgender Issues for PBS. sj is co-editor of two book series, Social Justice Across Contexts in Education and, Queering Teacher Education Across Context and UNESCO representative for the United States to develop Education for Peace and Sustainable Development in India with the Mohathma Gandhi Institute. sj recently appeared in a feature documentary on CBS, Gender: The Space Between and is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, CBS, and PBS and was just awarded the 2017 AERA Exemplary Research Award for Teaching, Affirming, and Recognizing Trans and Gender Creative Youth: A Queer Literacy Framework. For more information please go to

 Erica Womack ( is an assistant professor in the Department of Education at Otterbein University and currently teaches methods courses in content area literacy and English language arts. Her research interests include adolescent literacies, content area literacies, critical pedagogy, and urban education. Erica was a co-chair of the CEE Social Justice Commission from 2014-2016, and has been a member of NCTE since 2005. Her email is