Commission Co-Chairs

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.

Chaz H. Gonzalez ( is an adjunct professor of Learning and Instruction department at the University at Buffalo (NY) as well as an adjunct in both the Writing department and the Education department at Niagara University. He has taught diverse populations of public school students, out-of-school youths, and adult learners. His research focuses partly on discovering ways to encourage and support pre-service (and in-service) teachers to be culturally relevant and also on uncovering ways to develop new culturally sustaining pedagogies. Chaz is a co-chair of the CEE Social Justice Commission and has been a member of NCTE since 2008.

Research and Writing Workgroup Leaders

Deborah Bieler is an associate professor of English 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 secondary English teachers; her recent work has appeared in English Education, Teachers College Record, and The New Educator. She has been a member of the CEE Social Justice Commission since 2009.

Dr. Alison G. Dover ( is a former urban high school English teacher and an Assistant 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.

Commission Website Development Workgroup Leaders

Noah Asher Golden ( is an assistant professor of Integrated Educational Studies at Chapman University, 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 serves as the chair of the (2016-2017) CEE nominating committee, was a co-chair of the CEE Social Justice Commission from 2014-2016, and has been a member of NCTE since 2007.

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 workgroup co-leader for the CEE Social Justice Commission Website.

Secondary Schools Outreach Coordinators

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.

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.

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.

Current Members

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. Ashley has contributed in roundtable conversations at NCTE’s annual conferences with the CEE Social Justice Commission and participated in the CEE bi-yearly conference.  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 forthcoming book (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.  She is also co-editing a book (Peter Lang) with three colleagues, including CEE Social Justice Commission member Summer Pennell, on social justice teaching across disciplines and grade levels.

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.

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.

(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