The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has named TC’s Sonya Douglass, Professor of Education Leadership, the recipient of its 2022 Scholars of Color Mid-Career Contribution Award.

The annual honor recognizes educational research by a mid-career minority scholar that has deepened the understanding of issues affecting historically marginalized populations.

Director of the Black Education Research Collective (BERC), Douglass last year was the principal investigator of the first mixed-methods study connecting the pandemic and police killings of unarmed Black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor to Black student outcomes in six urban communities. The study was funded by the Spencer Foundation and the Nellie Mae Foundation.

“Participants expressed concern over the fact that schools are ill-equipped to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of their children,” wrote Douglass and her “Black Education in the Wake of Covid-19 & Systemic Racism” co-authors. “And that COVID-19 and increasing racial violence have revealed further their lack of capacity or willingness to meet the educational needs of Black students or expectations of Black parents.”

The report underpins the development by BERC and Douglass of a citywide, interdisciplinary, PK-12 Black studies curriculum. The work is supported by $3.25 million in funding from the New York City Council – an amount that stands as the largest single grant from the city to TC.

Douglass’ honor follows that of Erica Walker, Clifton Brewster Upton Professor of Mathematical Education and Director of the Edmund W. Gordon Institute Urban & Minority Education whose contributions to scholarship and research earned her the distinction of being named an AERA Fellow.

In addition to Douglass and Walker, the AERA singled out two TC students as Dissertation and Research Grant awardees.

Katherine Parham, a Ph.D. student in Education Policy, is focused on closing the gap between research and policy. Her dissertation is titled Whose IDEA Is This? A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Federal Emphasis on Inclusive Education.

Daniel Sparks is a doctoral student in the Economics & Education program and a Senior Research Assistant with the Community College Research Center. His dissertation: To Give or To Take: Effects of Reductions in Pell Lifetime Eligibility on Community College Transfer Student Success in STEM.

Sparks and Parham as awardees will receive grants to support their work during the composition and final preparation of their respective dissertations.

The TC honorees will be recognized at the 2022 AERA Annual meeting, April 21-26 in San Diego.