Faculty members and graduate students in the Virginia Tech School of Education are helping to define the future of education through innovative research and outreach initiatives, with financial backing from a range of sources. Awarded projects in the past year alone total $3,464,413 in new external grants and $26,975 in new internal grants. These initiatives represent significant advancements in educational theory and practice, with a strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“These programs represent substantive efforts to explore and disseminate strategies for enhancing learning and making education more equitable and accessible to all,” said Barbara Lockee, interim associate director of the school’s Office of Educational Research and Outreach.

A few of these efforts include:

  • Amy Azano, an associate professor of adolescent literacy and rural education, received funding from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in support of “The Appalachian Rural Talent Initiative.”
  • Brenda Brand, a professor of science education, and Brandy Faulkner, the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies and a collegiate assistant professor of political science, were awarded National Science Foundation funding for their project, “AGEP Transformation Alliance: Supporting Underrepresented Participation in Research and Academia.”
  • Patty Bickley, director of the Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC), and Lockee, who is also a professor of instructional design and technology, received a renewal of the T/TAC award from the Virginia Department of Education, to support learners with disabilities, their teachers, and families throughout southwest and southside Virginia.
  • Tonisha Lane, an assistant professor of higher education, and Ian Shoemaker, an assistant professor of physics, were awarded funding from the Spencer Foundation for their project, “Broadening Access to Undergraduate Research for Underserved Students in STEM amid Unprecedented Times.”
  • Lane also joined in partnership with colleagues at Florida A&M University in support of a collaborative effort entitled, “AGEP Transformation Alliance: Improving Pathways in the Professoriate for Minority Women in STEM.”
  • Bill Price, an associate professor of career and technical education, and Joseph Mukuni, a collegiate associate professor of career and technical education, successfully obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Education to advance their initiative, “Globalization Business Skills, Diversity Awareness, and Entrepreneurship Workforce Development in Zambia.”

The school’s faculty members are currently engaged in externally funded projects representing a total of $20,682,554 in funding from a variety of federal, state, and foundation sources.

“School of Education faculty members are not only reimagining the future,” said Kristin Gehsmann, director of the school, “but they are also transforming lives and communities through high-impact research, outreach, and ongoing professional development opportunities, bringing the university’s land-grant mission to life.”

To learn more about these and other research projects, visit the research page on the School of Education’s website.