Profiles in Diversity

The Profiles in Diversity award recognizes faculty or staff from across the College of Education (COE) for their commitment to issues of diversity, equity, and social justice in their life and work. When choosing recipients for this honor, the Diversity Committee considers a broad spectrum of nominees in order to recognize, highlight, and honor COE faculty and staff whose contributions:

  • Lead to new understandings of inequality
  • Enrich the lives of historically underserved populations
  • Advocate for and catalyze changes in oppressive social systems and structures, or
  • Push us towards the realization of equity within schools and communities.
  • Special attention is given to faculty and staff whose identities and work may have been historically marginalized in society and mainstream educational research and practice.

    Dr. King

    Dr. Laura H. King

    is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research. She is the current Director of the Irene Howell Assistive Technology (IHAT)Center. Her teaching and research interests include assistive technology, universal design for learning, and disability in education and higher education.

    Dr. King obtained her M.S. and Special Education at the University of Central Florida, and her B.S. in Special Education at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke.

    DR. Militello

    Dr. Matthew Militello

    is the Wells Fargo Distinguished Professor in Educational Leadership at East Carolina University. He has held faculty positions at North Carolina State University (2008-2014) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (2005-2008). Prior to his academic career, Militello was a middle and high public school teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Michigan (1992-2003).

    Dr. Militello has more than 60 publications including six books including Reframing community partnerships in education: Uniting the power of place and wisdom of people (2016, Routledge) that is the basis for the Community Learning Exchange work he conducts with educators and community members in North Carolina and across the country.

    Spring 2018

    Profiles in Diversity Winner - Steven Schmidt

    Dr. Steve Schmidt

    is Professor in Adult Education and is a part of Department of Interdisciplinary Professions. His research interests are online teaching and learning, workplace training and development, and cultural competence. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.S in Adult Education from The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and his Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.

    Profiles in Diversity Winner - Janeé R. Avent Harris

    Dr. Janeé R. Avent Harris

    is an Assistant Professor in Counselor Education and is a part of Department of Interdisciplinary Professions. She is a also a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (NC), Approved Clinical Supervisor, and National Certified Counselor. Dr. Avent Harris obtained her Ph.D in Counseling and Counselor Education and her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her BS in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Fall 2017

    Profiles in Diversity Winner - Anne Swenson Ticknor

    Dr. Anne Swenson Ticknor

    is an Associate Professor in Reading Education in the Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education Department. Dr. Ticknor obtained her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Iowa and her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

    Profiles in Diversity Winner - Loni Crumb

    Dr. Loni Crumb

    is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Program in the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions at East Carolina University and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling and Student Personnel Services from the University of Georgia, M.A. in Education and Community Counseling from Clark Atlanta University, and B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina State University.

    Profiles in Diversity Winner - Christopher Rivera

    Dr. Christopher J. Rivera

    is an Assistant Professor in Special Education and is a part of the Special Education, Research, and Foundations Department. His research interests include working with diverse students with moderate and severe disabilities, technology in education, and teacher preparation.

    Profiles in Diversity Winner - Caitlin Ryan

    Dr. Caitlin Law Ryan

    is an Associate Professor in Reading Education and is a part of the Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education Department. Her research interests include multicultural children’s and young adult literature, literacy as social practice in elementary schools, interdisciplinary literacy studies, and queer theory.

    Dr. Benjamin Blaisdell

    Dr. Benjamin Blaisdell

    is currently a Teaching Associate Professor in the Foundations program area at ECU. He serves on the editorial board for Educational Foundations and is involved with the Critical Race Studies in Education Association and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP. Dr. Blaisdell's scholarship examines race and racism in education from a critical race theory perspective.

    Dr. Syntia D. Santos Figueroa

    Dr. Syntia D. Santos Figueroa

    is currently working as assistant professor at East Carolina University (ECU). Her areas of interest include cultural competence development, international counseling, international education, counselor education, and school counseling. In addition, Dr. Santos serves as an editorial board member for the Professional Counselor journal (TPC).

    Profiles in Diversity Nomination Information

    The College of Education Diversity Committee would like to announce its new Profiles in Diversity series. People interested in putting forth a nomination should submit the nomination form below during the open nomination period. 

    Once selected, recipients will respond to a questionnaire asking them more about their work and experiences so that their profile can be posted on the COE Diversity webpage and in the display case outside the Dean's office in Speight. Recipients will also be invited to participate in a panel discussion with other recipients at the end of the year.   

    We look forward to your nominations! COE Diversity Committee


    Spring 2019 Diversity Nominations are now open!
    The nominations will be available from September 17, 2018 - October 17, 2018.