Meet the Team
Derrick P. Alridge
Derrick P. Alridge is Director of the Teachers in the Movement Project and a professor in the Social Foundations of Education program at the University of Virginia. His primary areas of scholarship are African American educational and intellectual history and the civil rights movement. He is the author of The Educational Thought of W.E.B. Du Bois: An Intellectual History, co-editor of Message in the Music: Hip Hop, History, and Pedagogy (with James B. Stewart and V.P. Franklin), and co-editor of The Black Intellectual Tradition in the United States in the Twentieth Century (in progress with Cornelius Bynum). Alridge’s scholarship has appeared in the History of Education Quarterly, The Journal of African American History, The Journal of Negro Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, and numerous other scholarly journals and volumes. Alridge is a former fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and former postdoctoral fellow of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.
Danielle Wingfield-Smith is the Associate Director of the Teachers in the Movement Project. Additionally, she is a Research Associate in the Center for Race and Public Education in the South at the University of Virginia. She obtained her Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia and her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2014. She graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in sociology and philosophy in 2011. Her primary areas of scholarship are legal history (education, civil rights, leadership, social movements) and education law and policy.
Chenyu Wang is an anthropologist of education with a Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. Her research interests include the politics of multiculturalism in education, race theory, and critical pedagogy in a global context. Currently, she is a Research Associate in the Center for Race and Public Education in the South in the Curry School.
Alexander Hyres is an assistant professor in the history of US education at the University of Utah. His research focuses on the African American experience, teacher and student activism, the American high school, and curriculum and pedagogy. His first project, "In the Shadow of Jefferson's University: Black High School Teachers and Students in the Struggle for Educational Equity, 1926 - 1991," draws upon materials generated through the TIM project to examine how, and in what ways, Black teachers and students struggled within and beyond the classroom for educational equity in Charlottesville, Virginia. His writing has appeared in the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Negro Education, History of Education Quarterly, and the Washington Post.
Alexis Johnson, a doctoral student in Social Foundations of Education, is a native of South Carolina. She holds a BA in English from Francis Marion University and an MA in Pan-African Studies from the University of Louisville. Prior to arriving at UVA, she worked in higher education administration as a Writing Center Coordinator and an Advising Director. Her research interests are the historical experiences of African Americans in higher education, student activism, rural education, and the reciprocal relationship between social justice movements and education.
Kristan McCullum is a doctoral student in the Social Foundations of Education program at the University of Virginia under Dr. Derrick Alridge. Born and raised in Southeastern Kentucky, she earned her bachelor’s degree (2011) from the University of Kentucky and her master’s degree (2015) from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Prior to beginning her Ph.D., she spent five years working in education in the Mississippi Delta. Her research interests include Southern educational history and culture with a focus on the relationship between rural schools and their communities.
Hunter Holt is a doctoral student in Social Foundations of Education at the University of Virginia working under Dr. Derrick Alridge. Hunter's research interests include rural education in the South and connections between economic expansion, gentrification, and schooling. Before moving to Virginia, he worked as the Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Teacher Corps and taught high school science in West Point, Mississippi. He holds a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi and a BA in English from the University of Alabama.
Emily Arizaga is the Project Coordinator for the Center for Race and Public Education in the South. She holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from Campbell University. She is interested in combining her event management and marketing experience to provide support across various projects.
Casedy A. Thomas is a Ph.D. Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, Mathematics Education in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. Her research interests have focused on linking research and practice for culturally responsive teaching and culturally relevant pedagogy in pre-kindergarten through 12 th grade mathematics education, the development of ambitious or high-quality instruction with elementary mathematics teacher candidates with an emphasis on opportunities to learn, and oral histories of segregated Black education in Virginia during the Civil Rights Movement.
Tiffany Mitchell Patterson
Tiffany Mitchell Patterson, PhD, is a manager of social studies at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Prior to joining the central services social studies team at DCPS, she served as an assistant professor of secondary social studies at West Virginia University in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies. She taught middle school social studies for 10 years in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia. Mitchell Patterson earned her doctorate in multilingual/multicultural education and education policy from George Mason University. Her research interests include racial and social justice in education, education activism, critical civic education, teaching Black and underrepresented narratives in social studies education. Advocacy, activism, intersectionality, anti-racist and anti-oppressive education lie at the core of her work. Education is her revolution.
Chris Seeger, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia, and a member of the Teachers in the Movement and Remaking Middle Schools research teams. He was previously a middle school history teacher in his hometown of Fairfax County, Virginia. Seeger completed his PhD at George Mason University, where he documented the teaching adaptations of social justice educators in high-poverty schools in the DC-area. Seeger's goal is to design engaging K-12 resources using critical histories of 19th and 20th century America, and to connect the past and present through the intersections of race, gender, power, culture, art and media.
Dr. Carmen F. Foster couples her lens as a public historian with expertise in organizational leadership, team development, and facilitation as a consultant and coach for senior executives and next-generation leaders.
Dr. Foster earned her doctorate in education from the University of Virginia. She also holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard University, a master’s in communication from Clarion University, and a bachelor’s in mass communications from VCU.
Her dissertation research has examined the experiences of Richmond’s African American community during school desegregation in the early 1960s. She was one of the first wave of students to desegregate the Richmond Public Schools.
Margaret Thornton earned her PhD in educational administration and supervision at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia, where she served as a graduate researcher assistant to the University Council for Educational Administration Headquarters Office. During her time as a doctoral student, Margaret completed a historical study of Charlottesville’s gifted program which led to equity-focused changes in the citywide program. Margaret’s other research interests include equity-focused school leadership development, school leadership for detracking, and critical race theory. Prior to beginning her studies, she worked in detracking programs in Central Virginia in both teaching and leadership capacities. An alumna of AmeriCorps, Margaret volunteers with several non-profits, including the wraparound educational service program City of Promise. She earned her B.A. in English Literature and her M.Ed. in Secondary English Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia.
Caroline Webster, ’01, UVA School of Education and Human Development (MT, Special Education) and Arts & Sciences (BA, German Language and Literature), is delighted to return to Grounds as project and administrative manager for the Center for Race and Public Education in the South. Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, she spent the past five years living and working in schools abroad before repatriating in 2020. Caroline is excited to support the Center’s team of scholars and various projects. With a background in education and communications, Caroline believes strongly in the power of story and individual voice to connect and inform, inspire, and illuminate. She values all the Center’s initiatives and especially appreciates getting to interact with educators through the Teachers in the Movement project and help explore how their stories might add to our understanding of history and influence education today.
Alexa Rodríguez is a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. Her research examines schools, migration, and the formation of racial and national identities in both Latin America and in the United States. Rodríguez is currently working on a book manuscript, Crafting Dominicanidad, a transnational and intellectual history that examines how Dominican stakeholders used public schools to articulate and circulate competing notions of Dominican racial, class, and national identity during the early twentieth century. She received her Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University and is a former dissertation fellow for the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation.
Patrice Preston Grimes
Patrice Preston Grimes is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Education and an Associate Dean in Office of African-American Affairs at University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the history of African-American schooling in the South before the modern Civil Rights era, and youth civic education/engagement, esp. among underrepresented groups. She has received the Exemplary Research in Social Studies Award by the National Council for the Social Studies, authored book chapters, and published scholarly articles in Theory and Research on Social Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, Journal of Social Studies Research and the Peabody Journal of Education. She has also been a scholar-consultant and presenter on several Teaching American History Grants, and a research consultant to the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center in Charlottesville (VA). Her current research studying the University of Virginia’s role in public school desegregation, as well as her consulting for the African-American Descendants’ Project at James Madison’s Montpelier (VA), extend her commitment to help local communities document their history and culture
Robert Q. Berry, III, Ph.D.
Robert Q. Berry, III, Ph.D. is the President-Elect of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on: 1) equity issues in mathematics education with a particular focus on African American boys; 2) qualitative metasynthesis as methodological approach for mathematics education; and 3) mathematics teaching practices. Berry is the lead developer of Mathematics Scan (M-Scan), a measure of mathematics teaching practices used several projects throughout the U.S. Berry has published over 75 articles, book chapters, and proceedings. His articles have appeared in the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Journal of Teacher Education, American Educational Research Journal, and numerous others scholarly journals. He was on the writing team for NCTM’s landmark publication Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (2014). Berry is the recipient of NCTM’s Linking Research to Practice Publication Award for volume years 2010 and 2014.
Stanley C. Trent
Stanley C. Trent is Associate Professor of Special Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. His current research foci include multicultural teacher training in special education, the disproportionate placement of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in special education programs and programs for the gifted, and inclusive education practices in urban schools.
His work in these areas appears in publications such as Exceptional Children, The Journal of Learning Disabilities, The Journal of Special Education, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, Review of Research in Education, Remedial and Special Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Multicultural Perspectives, Encyclopedia of Special Education, and the Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education. In addition, he has served as a guest editor for two journal issues focusing on the education of culturally and linguistically different exceptional learners. From 1999-2000, he served as an expert witness/researcher for the US Department of Justice where he identified reasons for disproportionate placement of CLD students in programs for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities and the gifted in Alabama. His unique professional experiences as a special education teacher, administrator, teacher educator and researcher have provided him with both the practical and theoretical knowledge needed to examine the implementation of education reforms, sustainability, teacher thinking, and instruction which positively affect the achievement of CLD learners with exceptionalities. In the year 2000, he received the Alpha Phi Foundation’s Professor of the Year Award, International. In 2002, he won the outstanding publication award for volume 25 of Teacher Education and Special Education.