Maria Teresa Tatto leads ASU’s contingent of AERA notables


Erik Ketcherside

The annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, held each spring, is a gathering of more than 14,000 members of the world’s leading organization for advancing knowledge about education and promoting the application of educational research. When the 2020 AERA conference, to be held April 17–21 in San Francisco, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than 170 ASU scholars and graduate students had been slated to be presenters and participants. AERA will be making as many papers and presentations as possible available through their online repository this summer.

The AERA annual meeting is also the occasion for recognizing new fellows, veteran scholars and emerging researchers. Three of those selected for honors this year are faculty members or alumni of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Tatto named AERA fellow

Maria Teresa Tatto

Maria Teresa Tatto
, Southwest Borderlands Professor of Comparative Education, is the latest MLFTC faculty member to be named a fellow of the association. AERA fellows are selected for their notable and sustained research achievements. They are nominated by their peers, selected by AERA’s fellows committee and approved by the association’s elected governing body. Tatto is one of 12 fellows to be inducted this year, joining 665 current AERA fellows recognized for excellence in research and scholarship.

“I am honored to have been selected as an AERA fellow,” Tatto said. “It is such a special distinction to be recognized by one’s peers and by the prestigious AERA family. Because my research is collaborative and comparative, this recognition also honors the global network of educational researchers with whom I share a commitment to produce evidence through rigorous research to help improve access to quality education for underserved populations.”

Current, emeritus and affiliated MFLTC faculty members previously inducted as AERA fellows include Alfredo Artiles, Dale Baker, Sasha Barab, David Berliner, Bryan Brayboy, Michelene Chi, Carol Connor, Gustavo Fischman, Eugene García, James Gee, Gene Glass, Steve Graham, Karen Harris, Danielle McNamara, Joseph Ryan and Patrick Thompson.

Sampson, Carrillo receive Early Career Awards

Carrie Sampson

Carrie Sampson, assistant professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation, was a winner of the AERA Division A 2020 Early Career Award. This recognition is given to an early career scholar who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of leadership, administration or organizational theory. Candidates are nominated by their peers for consideration by the award committee.

Drawing from a range of critical theories, Sampson’s research focuses on educational leadership, community advocacy and policymaking as related to racially and linguistically minoritized students. Her recent research projects on school board policymaking, district structures, community organizing and school desegregation have been published in journals such as Education Administration Quarterly, American Journal of Education, Urban Education, Educational Policy and Teachers College Record. Sampson’s most recent publication, co-authored with Sarah Diem of the University of Missouri–Columbia, is “Goals, Rhetoric, and (In)Equity: The Rationales Behind Decentralizing a Large, Diverse School District.” It appeared in the online-first edition of Urban Education.

Juan Carrillo

Associate Professor Juan Carrillo received the Early Career Award from AERA’s Division G. The award committee applauded Carrillo for “... the amazing contributions of [his] work in relation to the division’s mission on the social context in education.” Carrillo's research uses narrative inquiry, autoethnography and testimonios to examine the role of agency in historically marginalized communities, with a particular focus on Latinx students. One of his focus areas is the schooling trajectories of academically successful Latino males who come from working-class origins. His own career path and scholarship have been chronicled by USA Today and The Texas Observer. The son of Mexican immigrants, Carrillo says he was highly influenced by his family’s ways of knowing and his upbringing in Los Angeles barrios that nurtured his sense of memory and place, and of education.

Carrillo's work has been funded by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, and has resulted in publications that include the book, “Barrio Nerds: Latino Males, Schooling, and the Beautiful Struggle”; and articles in The High School Journal, Harvard Educational Review and Educational Policy. In collaboration with Jason Mendez, Carrillo developed the podcast and online magazine, “Block Chronicles.”

Loescher’s award-winning dissertation

Shawn Loescher

Shawn Loescher earned his Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Innovation in 2018, and the next year was named one of TED-Ed’s 16 extraordinary innovators worldwide for his leadership in advancing education innovation. For 2020, Loescher’s EdD dissertation was named dissertation of the year by the AERA Action Research Special Interest Group. “I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition from AERA and the Action Research SIG,” Loescher said. “This honor is representative of the expectations and standards of the EdD program, MLFTC and the new American university model of ASU that calls upon us to make a lasting impact for the public good.”

MLFTC’s EdD program is grounded in action research, in which educators use traditional research methods and techniques to conduct research on their own practice in their own settings. The work that went into Loescher’s dissertation, “Hope as Strategy: The Effectiveness of an Innovation of the Mind,” has been key to his position as CEO of Urban Discovery Schools, a free, public charter school system in San Diego. Loescher outlines his research and dissertation on the Hope as Strategy homepage. His work in this area also earned him an invitation to present a paper at the 2018 AERA conference, “Hope as Strategy: Initial Actions in Reforming a District's Course of Study to Clarify Pathway.”