In its continued pursuit to “reimagine the future,” the faculty and students in the Virginia Tech School of Education (VT SOE) have made significant strides in increasing and advancing innovation, diversity, and equity through its sponsored research and outreach efforts this year. 

In addition to currently funded research and outreach projects, the school’s faculty have received more  than $4 million in new external grant funding and nearly $150,000 in internal funding in the 2021-2022 academic year, bringing grant totals to ~$18M in external funding and close to half a million in internal grants.

“Through our research and outreach, we aim to contribute to the common good, improving the human condition and expanding opportunity and access, particularly for traditionally underserved populations,” said Kristin Gehsmann, director of the School of Education. “The research and outreach activities of the VT School of Education are important catalysts for individual and social transformation.”

Marcus Johnson, the associate director of the Office of Educational Research and Outreach, added,  “Our sponsored programs not only support our activities for research, discovery, and outreach, they also contribute to enhancing student learning within and beyond the VT SOE.”

Some of the school’s newly sponsored research programs include:

- Chase Catalano (assistant professor of higher education) — “Racial justice and anti-racism work in LGBTQ+ Centers: Creating a shared vision with scholars and practitioners,” funded by the Spencer Foundation

- David Hicks (professor of history and social science education) — “Evaluation of Holocaust Education Technology Platforms,” funded by the University of Wisconsin, Madison

- Gerard Lawson (professor of counselor education) and David Kniola (assistant professor of practice of educational research & evaluation), — “Secondary School Climate Survey FY22,” funded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Service

- Nancy Bradley (assistant professor of practice and associate director of the school’s Office of Academic Programs) and Donna Fortune (assistant professor of practice of elementary education) — “Southwest Virginia Professional Education Consortium,” funded by the Virginia Department of Education

- Rachelle Kuehl (postdoctoral associate and graduate of the VT SOE) — “Enacting an Antiracist Critical Literacy Pedagogy in Rural Places: How Appalachian Teachers Engage Students in the Interrogation of Whiteness,” funded by the Spencer Foundation

With financial support from a range of sources that include federal and state agencies, departments, and institutions, as well as generous foundations, the school’s faculty and students continue to be engaged in impactful, externally funded projects, including:

Amy Price Azano (associate professor of adolescent literacy and rural education) — “Appalachian Rural Talent Initiative,” and “Summer Enrichment Experience at Virginia Tech” funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Brenda Brand (professor of science education) and colleagues — “AGEP Transformation Alliance: Supporting Underrepresented Participation in Research and Academia,” funded by the National Science Foundation

Matt Fullen  (assistant professor of counselor education) — “Equipping the aging network to address social isolation, loneliness, and elevated suicide risk among vulnerable older adults during Covid-19: A double blind partially nested randomized controlled trial,” funded by Georgia State University

Tonisha Lane (assistant professor of higher education) — “AGEP Transformation Alliance: Improving Pathways in the Professoriate for Minority Women in STEM,” funded by the National Science Foundation

Joseph Mukuni (associate professor of career and technical education) and colleagues — “Globalization Business Skills, Diversity Awareness, and Entrepreneurship Workforce Development in Zambia,” funded by the Department of Education

-   Claire Robbins (associate professor of higher education) — “Examining the Role of Graduate Colleges in Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Public Universities,” funded by the Spencer Foundation

-  Services to improve the educational opportunities and success of children and youth with disabilities through VT’s Training & Technical Assistance Center, funded by the Virginia Department of Education, and led by co-directors Lora Beeken and Diann Eaton.

In the coming year, the School of Education looks forward to the research and outreach efforts that will expand with the newly launched Center for Rural Education (led by Amy Price Azano), and services provided by the Center for Instructional Technology Solutions for Industry and Education, and Virginia Career VIEW

The Counselor Education program will continue to provide counseling services to the greater Roanoke area, and the School’s reading and literacy faculty will continue its webinar series, Virginia Educators Applying Reading Science (VEARS).

Learn more about the VT School of Education’s research and outreach activities, and also subscribe to the school’s newsletter.