At their marquee event this spring, the American Educational Research Association will honor numerous Teachers College faculty and alumni for their contributions to the field. Find details below. 

This is a developing story. Know of a TC honoree not listed here? Please let us know by emailing 


Sonya Douglass, Professor of Education Leadership, was elected vice president-elect of the Educational Policy and Politics division and will join AERA’s 2025–2026 Council, following the 2025 Annual Meeting. Douglass will serve for three years. 

A recipient of AERA’s Scholars of Color Mid-Career Contribution Award in 2022, Douglass is known for her groundbreaking research and scholarship on racial inequality in K-12 schools. As the director of the Black Education Research Center, Douglass developed a Black Studies curriculum for NYC public schools, which is undergoing pilots as the first of its kind. Her research also includes timely findings on attitudes surrounding inclusive education and her co-authored book, The Politics of Education Policy in an Era of Inequality: Possibilities for Democratic Schooling. 

Daniel S. Friedrich, Associate Professor of Curriculum, will receive the Critical Issues In Curriculum and Cultural Studies Mid-Career Award for his scholarship and service. 

The honor follows Friedrich’s extensive work exploring the politics of schooling and teacher education, with an interdisciplinary, comparative and international approach and particular emphasis on Latin America. His recent work includes editing Pop Culture and Curriculum, Assemble! Exploring the Limits of Curricular Humanism through Pop Culture, as well as writings on multimodal education and scholarship across the internet, television, comics and more. In addition to his scholarship, Friedrich has served Teachers College and academia more broadly in numerous capacities, currently as a member of the Comparative and International Education Society’s Board of Directors. 

A. Lin Goodwin, Edward S. Evenden Professor Emerita of Education, was named as one of the 2024 AERA Fellows, which “honors scholars for their exceptional contributions to, and excellence in, education research.” 

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A. Lin Goodwin

The recognition follows Goodwin’s 2023 Legacy Award from AERA’s Teaching and Teacher Education division, given for “significant and exemplary contributions to the field of teaching and teacher education.” Goodwin is now the Thomas More Brennan Professor of Education at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Her research interests include teacher identity and development, as well as the education of immigrant youth and children of color. A recipient of the 2022 Spencer Foundation Mentor Award, Goodwin designed and launched TR@TC, the College’s lauded teaching residency program for NYC schools. 

Jeffrey Henig, Professor of Political Science and Education, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Educational Policy and Politics division. 

The honor recognizes Henig’s 45-plus years examining the boundary between private action and public action in addressing social problems; privatization and school choice; race and urban politics; the politics of urban education reform; and the politics of education research. He has authored and co-authored more than 13 books, including Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politics and The End of Exceptionalism in American Education. In addition to his scholarly publications, Henig’s writing on contemporary policy issues aimed at more general audiences have appeared in Education Week; The Chronicle of Higher Education; Boston Globe; The Los Angeles Times; The Washington Post; The New York Times; and as guest posts on prominent education policy blogs.

Bettina Love, the William F. Russell Professor, will receive the Teaching and Teacher Education division’s Midcareer Award, which aims to recognize a significant program of research on critical issues in the field. 

A leading voice on racial justice and education, Love is the author of the critically acclaimed Punished for Dreaming, published last fall, and We Want to Do More Than Survive. Her writings and lectures engage with a wide range of topics, including abolitionist teaching, queer youth, educational reparations and more. Love’s cultural impact includes serving on the task force that developed a $15 million guaranteed income pilot program in Georgia, one of the largest in the U.S., and recognition from The Kennedy Center for her impact. 

Patricia Martínez-Álvarez, Associate Professor of Bilingual/Bicultural Education, is awarded with the 2024 Mid-Career AERA Division K: Teaching & Teacher Education Award. Martínez-Álvarez's critical research focuses on the intersection of bilingualism/biculturalism and disability studies. Her work prioritizes equity in education by broadening the definition of language and content knowledge to include bilingual communities, fostering collaboration between bilinguals with dis/abilities and learning environments, and enhancing bilingual teacher education for inclusive classrooms. 

She serves as co-editor of Exceptional Children and associate editor of the Teachers College Record. Her recent book publications include Teacher Education for Inclusive Bilingual Contexts: Collective Reflection to Support Emergent Bilinguals With and Without Disabilities. 

Felicia Moore Mensah, Professor of Science & Education, will receive the Scholars of Color in Education Distinguished Career Contribution Award, which recognizes scholars who have made significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations within education research and development.

Mensah previously received AERA’s Early Career Award in 2012 and makes an impact through her work in critical race theory, racial literacy, and intersectionality in science teacher education. She aims to equip aspiring educators with the tools for anti-racist pedagogy, which stems from her extensive experience in teaching, mentoring, community outreach across schools and professional development. Mensah is the author of  Like Words Falling onto the Page: Demystifying the Academic Writing and Publishing Process, which supports academic writers at all career stages. She is also the co-editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST), a Lead Editor of Cultural Studies of Science Education, and an associate editor of Learners of the African Diaspora Journal (LADJ).


Randy Bennett (Ed.D. ‘79), Norman O. Frederiksen Chair in Assessment Innovation, is honored with the Cognition and Assessment SIG 2024 Outstanding Contribution to Research in Cognition and Assessment Award.

Through his research, Bennett integrates cognitive science, technology, and measurement to create equitable assessment methods benefiting teaching and learning. His recent work focuses on "born socioculturally responsive" assessments, offering definitions, design principles, examples, theory, and more. Previously, he directed groundbreaking projects such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress Technology-Based Assessment and the CBAL® research initiative to create theory-based assessments reflecting effective teaching and learning. 

The TC alum is a past president of the International Association for Educational Assessment and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). Bennett holds many honors, including the NCME Bradley Hanson Contributions to Educational Measurement Award, Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award, and AERA E. F. Lindquist Award.

Travis Bristol (Ph.D. ’14), Associate Professor at Berkeley’s School of Education, is a recipient of the Early Career Award. Bristol is the faculty director of Berkeley’s Center for Research on Expanding Educational Opportunity. His research spans three areas: the impact of educational policies on teacher workplace dynamics and retention, professional learning communities at district and school levels, and the influence of race and gender in academic contexts. His work has been published in over 60 peer-reviewed articles and books, including Urban Education, American Educational Research Journal, and The Washington Post

The TC alum has also received more than $6 million in research funding from the New York City Department of Education, the National Education Association, the National Academy of Education, the State of California, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the California Department of Justice, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and more.

Jungmin Kwon, (Ed.D. ‘19, Curriculum and Teaching), is a recipient of the Early Career Award from AERA's Language and Social Processes SIG.

Kwon is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. Her research centers around language and literacy, focusing on immigrant children and families, transnational migration, multilingualism, and teacher preparation for diverse students. Through qualitative methods, she examines how immigrant children use their multilingual skills and cultural knowledge across different contexts and countries and investigates the support provided by bilingual parents for their children's language and literacy learning. 

Kwon authored "Understanding the Transnational Lives and Literacies of Immigrant Children" (Teachers College Press, 2022), recognized with the 2022 American Educational Studies Association Critics' Choice Book Award. She received the 2022 Early Career Award from the AERA’s Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education SIG. Her research has been published in journals and funded by organizations, including the American Educational Research Association, the International Literacy Association, and more.

Chenyu Li (M.A. ’16, Social Studies Education), who is also a fourth-year doctoral student at TC, received the Outstanding Paper Award from AERA’s Social Studies Research SIG for “Learning to Belong? Late Arrival Chinese Migrant Youth’s Civic Identities and Their Social Studies Learning.”

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chenyu li

Li’s research interests include transnational citizenship, migrant education, and Asian American education. Before joining the doctoral program, he taught social studies at a bilingual high school in Queens. He is a part-time course instructor at TC, and he also works with pre-service social studies teachers. In his doctoral work, Li aims to explore the civic identities and belonging of Chinese migrant youths amid the US-China geopolitical tension. 

Ty McNamee (Ed.D. ’23, HPSE) will receive the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division J 2023-2024 Dissertation of the Year Award for “The Cultural Transition Into and Navigation of Higher Education for Rural Students from Poor and Working-class Backgrounds.” 

McNamee, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Mississippi, conducts qualitative research on higher education access and equity for rural students through critical and constructivist paradigms, and sociological and anthropological disciplinary lenses. Inspired by his own background, McNamee often focuses his research on rural students, especially those who are poor and working-class and/or queer. During his time at Teachers College, McNamee helped establish the Rural Education and Healthcare Coalition (formally Rural Student Group) to both support rural students across Columbia as well as advance the application of scholarship in rural communities. 

Rabin Nickens (Ed.D. ‘23, Ed.M. ’15, Education Leadership) will receive the Systems Thinking Outstanding Dissertation Award for “An Examination of Urban Education Leadership in the Time of COVID-19.”

Nickens is a consultant specializing in building instructional leadership capacity for school principals, district superintendents and their teams. In her more than 25 years of experience, she has driven achievement in teaching, learning and education leadership in numerous roles across New York City Public Schools. As a scholar-practitioner, Nickens research explores the lived experiences of education leaders, particularly within the context of urban school systems, and is grounded in constructivist epistemology that centers their voices. Her publications include The Playmaking Way, as well as journal articles such as “Authenticity and the Female African American School Leader” and “The Leadership Guide to Designing Professional Learning.”

Honey Walrond (Ed.M. ’21, Education Policy, Teaching of English), a current doctoral student at TC, has been elected as the AERA Chair for the Graduate Student Council. As Chair, Walrond leads more than 7,000 student members, including approximately 6,500 graduate students and 500 undergraduate students.

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honey walrond

Walrond is a research assistant at the Edmund W. Gordon Institute for Advanced Study, where she also previously served as a W.E.B. Du Bois Scholar. She has also served as a research assistant for the Black Education Research Center, and taught at New York City Schools for more than 15 years. Her research focuses on literacy education, and K-12 education leadership and policy.