To the titles of Clifford Brewster Upton Professor of Mathematical Education, immediate past Chair of the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology and directorship of the Edmund W. Gordon Institute for Urban & Minority Education, Erica Walker can now add another accomplishment to her list of achievements:
That of an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow.
The AERA cited “exceptional contributions to, and excellence in, education research” in naming Walker one of the 18 scholars to join the select group in 2022. An AERA fellowship commemorates lasting contributions to educational research and scholarship.
“Today I am especially thinking of my TC colleagues, the late Professors George Bond and Bruce Vogeli, who were deeply invested in my professional career and were always so interested in my projects,” said Walker. “I wish I could tell them about this award and share in celebrating this accomplishment with them.”
A “deeply honored” Walker also acknowledged the support of family, mentors, and friends and thanked “so many people at TC — colleagues at IUME and in the MST department, and past and present administrators, faculty, staff and students around the College — who contribute to a vibrant environment where I’ve been able to develop projects around mathematics and a host of other interests.”
Highly regarded for her collaborative leadership, Walker centers her research on equity in mathematics education, exploring social and cultural factors that facilitate engagement, learning, and performance in mathematics, especially for underrepresented students.
Working across disciplines, methodologies of research, and with young and adult learners alike, her work has been widely published in numerous journals, including the American Educational Research Journal and the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Beyond campus, she partners with teachers, schools, districts, nonprofit organizations, media companies, and community groups to advance mathematics excellence and equity.
Walker serves on several editorial boards and is the author of two books: Building Mathematics Learning Communities: Improving Outcomes in Urban High Schools (Teachers College Press, 2012) and Beyond Banneker: Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence (SUNY Press, 2014). A current project, one of several funded by the National Science Foundation, emerged from her most recent book and explores the use of storytelling in K-8 mathematics curriculum.
The former high school mathematics teacher earned an undergraduate degree at Birmingham-Southern College, a Master’s at Wake Forest University, and a second masters and her Ed.D. at Harvard.
In addition to the AERA honor, Walker’s scholarship and impact has been recognized by the National Association of Mathematicians and the Association for Women in Mathematics, among others.
The 2022 cohort joins a distinguished list of 696 AERA Fellows dating back to 2008 — a list that includes 20 current and past TC faculty members.