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PPE Fellows Embark on Partnership & Capacity Building Projects

Learn more about PPE fellows and the fellowship program through a 2021 Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) presentation.  View the recorded presentation. 

Ann Aviles, Ph.D.

Ann M. Aviles is an assistant professor in Human Development and Family Sciences, in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware. Dr. Aviles is a community-based, applied social science researcher with a specific focus on the developmental trajectories, academic and life skills of youth of color experiencing homelessness/housing instability. While her work primarily addresses youth homelessness, it also emphasizes an analysis of institutional structures and practices that contribute to and maintain inequitable conditions of poverty frequently resulting in poor educational, health and mental health outcomes for Black and Brown youth populations. 

About the project

Dr. Aviles' Fellowship project will engage youth in the Riverside community of Wilmington, DE in civic education through partnership with Yes, You Can.  The Riverside community is currently undergoing a revitalization effort, REACH (Redevelopment, Education And Community Health) Riverside (, in which they are seeking to transform the Riverside community.  Equipping youth in Riverside with the knowledge and skills to be active contributors to the process will be essential to its success. To that end, Dr. Aviles' partnership project aims to promote civic engagement via Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) to increase youth's capacity to be knowledgeable, active participants in their community's revitalization efforts. 

Janine de Novais, Ed.D.

Janine de Novais is an assistant professor in the School of Education, in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware.  Dr. de Novais works at intersection of race, culture, democracy, and education. She explores the interaction of race and culture in learning spaces, using a multidisciplinary approach that draws from sociology, cultural studies and critical pedagogy.  In her recent work, de Novais introduced Brave Community, a pedagogical approach that leverages classroom dynamics to produce meaningful learning about race and culture. 

About the Project

Dr. de Novais' Fellowship project examines the influence of the Brave Community workshop on instructors who teach about race and culture and their students. In a Brave Community classroom, instructors facilitate a culture where students engage the fraught history and reality of racism —the brave part – and develop empathy for peers who may hold different views—the community part.  Dr. de Novais' project aims to build the capacity of higher education instructors to create such classrooms for their students. 

Katrina Morrison, Ph.D.

Katrina Morrison is a Researcher at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy. Prior to coming to the University of Delaware, Dr. Morrison was a Research Associate at Research for Action, a Research Analyst at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, a high school Humanities teacher, a teacher supervisor, and a lecturer at Drexel University. She received her Ed.D. in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Morrison also holds a B.A. in Political Science and Educational Studies from Swarthmore College and a M.A. in Criminal Justice from Temple University.

About the project

Dr. Morrison, in partnership with Akoben LLC, is undergoing a research-practice partnership around the use of restorative practices in school. Akoben LLC is an educational partner, providing professional learning in culturally-relevant, trauma-informed, assest-oriented, restorative practices. The partnership is examining the impact of restorative practices in school spaces and centers student voice and experience.

Roderick Carey, Ph.D.

Roderick L. Carey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware. Drawing upon critical theories, sociological tools, and constructs from developmental psychology, Dr. Carey’s interdisciplinary research aims at understanding the school experiences of black and Latino adolescent boys and young men in urban contexts. Dr. Carey received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration on Minority and Urban Education, from the University of Maryland College Park; his Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education; and his B.A. in Secondary Education and English from Boston College.

About the project 

Dr. Carey, in partnership with Newark High School, is imagining mattering-- learning from the experiences of Black and Latino boys and the ways they do or do not infer their mattering in school spaces. Dr. Carey hopes to develop professional learning experiences for educators, drawn from students’ voices, which foster school spaces where boys of color can more deeply infer their robust and comprehensive mattering. 

Thomas Giardina, Ph.D.

Thomas Giardina is a professor of biology in the Associate in Arts Program at the University’s Georgetown and Dover campuses. Dr. Giardina was a research and teaching assistant at Binghamton University in New York while earning his B.S. (2008) and Ph.D. (2015) in biological sciences.

About the project

Dr. Giardina is partnering with the Delaware Department of Education on the annual College Access Month (CAM) initiative. Dr. Giardina will recruit sophomores in the Associate in Arts Program to take part in CAM activities at their home high schools, giving them the opportunity to work with students currently navigating the college application process.

Elizabeth Soslau, Ph.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Soslau is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She focuses her teaching, research, and service efforts on Tzedakah (justice) and Tikkun Olam (repair the world). Her research focuses on experiential learning opportunities within field-based course work. Elizabeth seeks to explore teaching practices that contribute to contexts for learning where all education stakeholders can flourish.

About the project

The PPE project explored teachers’ challenges and successes when implementing classroom-based critical service learning as a result of engaging in a PPE funded year-long professional development series delivered to teachers and teacher candidates at Warner Elementary School. Warner is a public school in Wilmington, Delaware that serves a community, which has been historically marginalized and under-served. In collaboration with Need in Deed (NID), a Philadelphia based non-profit with over 30 years of experience successfully training hundreds of Philadelphia public school teachers and impacting thousands of children, Warner teachers and UD teacher-candidates learned how to facilitate their students’ year-long critical service learning projects. Through NID’s My VOICE framework, social issue topics were identified, researched, and addressed by Warner schoolchildren.

Lauren Bailes, Ph.D.

Lauren Bailes is an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. Her scholarship focuses on the ways in which organizational, social-cognitive, and leadership theory unite to promote the success of school leaders and K12 students. Specifically, she addresses social cognitive theory and the efficacy beliefs of school stakeholders; school leader preparation, placement, and evaluation; and shared influences of leaders and organizations on favorable conditions for student success.

About the project

As an inaugural PPE fellow, Dr. Bailes worked with the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s Parent, Educator and Community Engagement Committee to assess parental involvement in their children’s schools and whether they believe the educational system is responsive to their input. Bailes focused on parents who may not attend traditional school activities — like back-to-school nights or parent-teacher conferences — by visiting community events that happen outside of school, such as neighborhood block parties.

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  • Partnership for Public Education
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  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-0184
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