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College of Education

Holmes Scholars

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TCU is proud to be part of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) Holmes Scholars Program. Holmes Scholars at TCU will join a national network of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds and are pursuing doctoral degrees. Holmes Scholars are selected based on their academic achievements and their commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of education.

As a member institution, TCU’s College of Education will provide financial support and mentorship through the AACTE program. Each student will serve a 3-year term, participating in research, advocacy and policy initiatives, including the AACTE Annual Meeting and the Holmes Scholars Summer Policy Institute.

To learn more about this program or to become a Holmes Scholar, contact the Program Coordinator:

Jan Lacina, Ph.D.
Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

 

Faculty mentors include:

Frank Hernandez, Ph.D.
Dean
Endia Lindo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Floyd Wormley, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies

 

  • Membership in a national network of peers with access to dedicated online social networks
  • Mentoring opportunities by Holmes Scholar alumni currently in academia and other leadership positions
  • Opportunities to present their research at the AACTE Annual Meeting
  • Dedicated mentoring programs at the AACTE Annual Meeting
  • A job fair at the AACTE Annual Meeting and access to position announcements through the year
  • Annual Holmes Scholars Summer Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., including participation in AACTE’s Day on the Hill and networking events associated with the AACTE State Leaders Institute
  • Leadership and professional development opportunities at the national level, such as participation in conference presentations and policy/advocacy training

Individuals eligible for selection as AACTE Holmes Scholars must:

  • Be enrolled in a doctoral program within the College of Education
  • Self-identify as members of racially and ethnically diverse groups traditionally underrepresented in the education professoriate or in leadership positions, or education research fields
  • Currently or plan to engage in the following types of research:
    - Teacher education (preservice and/or in-service)
    - School-based focus (e.g., educational administration/leadership, science education, curriculum studies, or counseling)
    - Educational research focus (e.g., educational measurement and statistics, qualitative inquiry)
    - Or other areas related to education
  • Agree to participate in university-school-community collaborative partnership arrangements, for research, service, or advocacy activities

To apply to become a Holmes Scholar in TCU’s College of Education, please complete an application for the program. Required application materials include:

  • A 3-4 page curriculum vitae
  • A 2-3 page statement outlining:
    - Describe your professional goals
    - Describe your commitment to scholarship, educational practice, and improvement
    - Why do you want to be a TCU Holmes Scholar?
    - How do you plan to contribute to the program?

To learn more about the application process, contact the Program Coordinator:

Jan Lacina, Ph.D.
Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

Awardees are expected to:

  • Serve a 3-year term
  • Participate in the AACTE Annual Meeting, including the Holmes Scholars pre-conference events
  • Submit proposals to present their research at the AACTE Annual Meeting each year they are in the program
  • Participate at least once in the AACTE Holmes Scholars Summer Policy Institute and AACTE Day on the Hill
  • Participate in at least one other education conference, such as that of the American Educational Research
  • Association, the Association of Teacher Educators, or another organization within their discipline
  • Propose and implement a project that relates to or forwards the goals of AACTE and authentically engages them in advocacy, policy, service, or research work that furthers high-quality and equitable educator preparation
  • Participate in activities and meetings sponsored by the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA) during their final year in the Holmes Scholars Program (some of which occur at the AACTE Annual Meeting)
  • Consider affiliate membership in NAHSA during their final year in the program

Cara Jones 
Educational Leadership Doctoral Student 

Cara Jones is pursuing a degree in K-12 Educational Leadership. Her doctoral work is focused on racial identity development, Critical Race Theory, and data use in schools. She is particularly interested in how biracial students develop their racial identity in school and critical quantitative studies. Cara has worked for the last eight years in K-12 education as a teacher, instructional coach, data analyst and curriculum specialist. She also serves as an adjunct professor in the TCU College of Education. Cara holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from TCU and a bachelor’s in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin. Cara has a wonderful partner, Trevon, and an amazing toddler, Lucas – both who inspire her every day.
Cara Jones

 

Ebony Love
Educational Leadership Doctoral Student

Ebony Love received her master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Alabama along with a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from TCU. Prior to starting her doctoral program, Ebony worked as an assistant principal, administrative intern through the TCU Principal Fellows program and has taught chemistry, debate and coached cheer. Her research interests include understanding the intersection of data and educational policy, empowerment of individual districts and examining how politics impact decision making in education. Outside of academia, she enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, reading, and watching college football. Her mission as an educational leader is to create growth-centered environments in which individuals are empowered to innovate in order to cultivate success in all students as learners and individuals.
Ebony Love

 

Leslie Ekpe 
Higher Educational Leadership Doctoral Student

Leslie received her B.S. in Management from Alabama A&M University, her M.A. in Communication Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and M.B.A. with a focus in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University. Leslie was a Professional Communications teacher for Uplift Education prior to joining Texas Christian University. Her work aims to promote access for marginalized students at the K-12 and post-secondary education levels. Her research interests include Black women in leadership, college access policies, student activism in the digital age, racial politics in education, and fairness within intercollegiate athletics.
Leslie Ekpe

 

Ariela Martinez
Higher Educational Leadership Doctoral Student 

Ariela Martinez is an experienced college access and higher education professional who has served students from diverse academic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds at both the high school and collegiate level. Her professional work includes: TRiO Student Support Services Lead Ambassador, College Adviser via TCU College Advising Corps, Success Coach at Tarrant County College (TCC), and Senior Transfer Admission Counselor and adjunct instructor at Texas Christian University (TCU). Ariela earned her Associate degree from Tarrant County College (TCC) and her B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from TCU, where she is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership. As a critical scholar, her research interests center on issues of educational equity in higher education for minoritized students.
Ariela Martinez

 

Nicole Masole
Higher Educational Leadership Doctoral Student 

Nicole Masole received a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Government from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a M.Ed. in Mind, Brain, and Education from the University of Texas at Arlington. Nicole's professional career in education started as a middle school math teacher in St. Louis. Upon her return home to Texas, Nicole began an eight-year journey as the Program Director at Breakthrough Fort Worth, an organization aimed at supporting students across Fort Worth in their journey to achieve postsecondary success. Currently, Nicole serves as the Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion at Fort Worth Country Day. Nicole is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Educational Leadership and her research interests include models of inclusive excellence within higher education institutions, innovative teaching and learning practices in higher education, as well as fostering and facilitating partnerships between K-12 and higher education institutions to improve college access and college completion. 

Nicole Masole

 

Naomi Alanis
Science Education Doctoral Student 

Naomi’s research interests include empathy, identity, diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion in higher education and healthcare for underrepresented populations. Additionally, she wants to examine educational disparities in the U.S. in a post-pandemic climate to explore educational attainment in higher education/medical school and its intersection with health and mortality.

Naomi is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Science Education in the College of Education at Texas Christian University. Naomi holds an A.A. in Music from El Centro College in Dallas, a B.A. in Psychology and Music from the University of Texas at Arlington, an M.S. in Information Science with a concentration in Health Informatics from the University of North Texas, and an M.B.A. in Healthcare & Executive Leadership and Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Naomi is an El Paso, TX native. After moving to North Texas, she attended schools in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, and graduated high school from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA). In addition to her professional and educational pursuits, Naomi plays the violin in the Coppell Community Orchestra, where she is the music librarian and board member.

Naomi Alanis

 

Jessie Farris
Science Education Doctoral Student 

Jessie developed a passion for conservation and native plants at Texas Christian University before graduating in 2017. She has been with the City of Dallas for three years as the Northwest District Arborist. When she’s not in the field or meeting with clients, Jessie’s focus is on public education, citizen science, and developing training materials for the City. She also serves on the City of Burleson Parks Board and as Secretary for the Trinity Blacklands Urban Forestry Council. Her work with the city led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Sustainable Natural Resource Management at Unity College. As part of her studies, she developed an environmental education curriculum to spread ecological awareness through a scientific perspective using outdoor labs and nature-based activities.

She chose a PhD in Science Education to learn how to effectively teach students to understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment, while building knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to address complex environmental issues. She is honored to be pursuing her Doctorate in Science Education at Texas Christian University. Her goal is to examine the conditions linked to correlations between socioeconomic status and biodiversity by exploring case studies of inequality in Hispanic communities’ access to these resources to promote equitable access to nature. She hopes to connect students and local communities to the natural environment while promoting active stewardship of its ecological resources to strengthen local and equitable resilience to climate change while creating more sustainable and community-based resource management strategies.

Jessie Farris