Diversity & Equity Series Featured Biography: Dr. Robert Simmons
Dr. Robert Simmons will be speaking at IDEAA's Spring 2013 Diversity and Equity Series on Wednesday, February 20th at which he will be discussing his research related to urban education, the experience of African American students in Jesuit high schools, and the social justice implications of ensuring success in colleges and universities.
A native of Detroit, MI, Dr. Robert W. Simmons III is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Loyola University Maryland, and is an affiliate faculty member in African and African American Studies. Additionally, Robert is a member of the nationally recognized social justice collaborative Edchange (edchange.com), writes about education in the African American community for the The Village Celebration, and was formerly an assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University. In addition to his work as a university professor, Robert is actively involved as a teacher mentor at a high school in SE Washington DC, student mentor in the Baltimore City Public Schools and the Detroit Public Schools, as well as actively mentoring numerous doctoral students.
A former middle school math/science teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, Robert was nominated twice as the Walt Disney National Teacher of the Year and once for the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation Outstanding Educator Award. Robert has been a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation and participated in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund. As a contributing author to the highly acclaimed books, White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms: A Guide to Building Inclusive Schools, Promoting High Expectations, and Eliminating Racism, and White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms: Creating Inclusive Schools, Building on Students' Diversity, and Providing True Educational Equity, much of his work explores the experiences of African American boys in public and Jesuit schools, as well as the ways the teaching practices of African American male teachers in urban and suburban schools.
The author of numerous book chapters and journal articles, including a chapter in the recently released Yes We Can!: Improving Urban Schools Through Innovative Educational Reform, Robert is currently coediting Going Deeper: Having Honest Conversations About Race (Stylus Publishing) with Julie Landsman and Steve Grineski. Included in his scholarly work, Robert has spent the last five years as a member of the Mind Project (mind.ilstu.edu) research team. Funded by the National Institutes of Health through a $1.3 million grant, Robert and his colleagues have not only developed a series of virtual labs and physical robots, but also explored the ways in which teachers and students, particularly in urban schools, utilize this technology and enhance student self-efficacy in STEM areas. Robert has been a consultant to well over 50 schools on issues such as culturally relevant pedagogy, race and racism in schools, effective science instruction in urban schools, and the development of school wide service-learning programs targeting relevant social issues in urban communities.
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