Democracy’s College: Research and Leadership in Educational Equity, Justice, and Excellence

Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois

This monthly podcast focuses on P-20 education pathways with a focus on research and leadership that promotes educational equity, justice, and excellence for all students. This podcast is a product of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership or OCCRL at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Learn more about OCCRL at occrl.illinois.edu.

All Episodes

In this episode, Dr. Francena Turner talks with humanities educators at community colleges in California and North Carolina about the importance of the humanities to community colleges and to community college students. The guests also share the challenges they've faced during COVID-19, as well as the challenges they've experienced in introducing students to skills learned through the humanities that contribute to student learning, mobility, and employability.

Jun 11

1 hr 17 min

In this episode, Nathaniel Stewart talks with Mauriell Amechi, Regina Gavin Williams, and Blayne Stone Jr. about how the transitions and pathways to postsecondary education are similar and different for Black former foster care students. The scholars also discuss key elements to successfully connect foster care youth to educational resources that help advance the postsecondary education opportunities for this student population.

May 1

40 min 45 sec

In this episode, José Del Real Viramontes talks with Santiago Bernal, Alfred Herrera, and Dimpal Jain about how community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities can work together to develop and enhance a transfer-receptive culture.

Mar 2

28 min 3 sec

In this episode, Dr. Nolan L. Cabrera joins OCCRL Director Eboni Zamani-Gallaher to examine whiteness and discuss various areas of racism. Dr. Cabrera is an associate professor of educational policy studies and practice at the University of Arizona.

Jan 27

47 min 38 sec

In this episode, OCCRL Director Eboni Zamani-Gallaher talks with Rita Ali and Jennifer Foster about implementing paths toward equity for underrepresented individuals in career and technical education and in the CTE workforce. Ali is the vice president of workforce and diversity at Illinois Central College, and Foster is the deputy executive director for the Illinois Community College Board.

Dec 2020

34 min 2 sec

In this episode, Nina Owolabi, a research assistant at OCCRL, talks with Heather Blicher about the many possibilities as well as the challenges of open educational resources for instructors and institutions. Blicher is a coordinator of librarian services for two campuses at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia.

Nov 2020

24 min 50 sec

In this episode, Heather McCambly and Lorenzo Baber talk about the intersections of racial justice, educational philanthropy, and the needs and roles of community colleges in the COVID-19 postsecondary landscape. McCambly is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University who is studying the intersections of racial justice and educational philanthropy. Dr. Baber is an associate professor of higher education and the program chair of higher education at Loyola University.

Sep 2020

22 min 56 sec

In this episode, OCCRL Director Eboni Zamani-Gallaher talks with Dr. Ann Edwards about college readiness in math and about curricular alignment. They also discuss issues related to placement and developmental mathematics courses, guided pathways, math pathways, and student participation in STEM. Dr. Edwards is a senior research associate and the director of learning and teaching at West Ed.

Aug 2020

1 hr 2 min

In this episode, OCCRL Director Eboni Zamani-Gallaher talks with Dr. Heather Shotton about the multiple and nuanced ways that universities perpetuate settler colonial aims of eraser for Indigenous students. Dr. Shotton is an associate professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the director of the Indigenous Education Initiatives at the University of Oklahoma.

Jul 2020

22 min 38 sec

In this episode, Colvin Georges Jr., a research associate at OCCRL, talks with Dr. Nidia Ruedas-Gracia about what it means to have a sense of belonging and discusses her research in this area. They also discuss how a sense of belonging affects college students from historically minoritized racial groups.

May 2020

26 min 2 sec

In this episode, OCCRL research assistant Chequita Brown continues the conversation about foster care youth by talking with Patricia Palmer about accessing available resources in Illinois for youth-in-care who want to pursue a secondary education.

Apr 2020

27 min 20 sec

In this episode, OCCRL research assistant Chequita Brown talks with Maddy Day about the Fostering Success Michigan initiative and the impact of campus-based support programming on foster-care collegians' postsecondary access and retention. Day is a consultant for the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Mar 2020

30 min 7 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, the director of OCCRL, talks with Dr. Paul Gorski about advancing racial equity work, as well as about diversity and inclusion efforts in education. Dr. Gorski is the founder of the Equity Literacy Institute and EdChange.

Feb 2020

27 min 25 sec

In this episode, Dr. Marci Rockey, a project coordinator at OCCRL, talks with Betsy Barefoot and John Gardner about their efforts to support higher education institutions in advancing equitable outcomes for students, especially as it relates to transfer.

Jan 2020

45 min 22 sec

In this episode, Krystal Andrews of OCCRL talks with Dr. Penny Pasque about implicit bias and policy practices in higher education. Dr. Pasque is a professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Ohio State University.

Dec 2019

22 min 35 sec

In this episode, Jason Keist of OCCRL talks with Dr. Stephen John Quaye about what prompted his journey into higher education. Keist and Quaye also discuss issues pertaining to student support, issues related to intergroup dialogues about race, and about civility on college campuses. Dr. Quaye is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Ohio State University.

Nov 2019

21 min

In this episode, Colvin T. Georges Jr. of OCCRL talks with Dr. William A. Smith about racial battle fatigue. Dr. Smith is a professor and the chair of the Department of Education, Culture & Society at the University of Utah.

Oct 2019

20 min 13 sec

In this episode, Kristal Raheem interviews Dr. Muhammad Khalifa about culturally responsive school leadership. Dr. Khalifa is a professor and Beck Chair of Ideas in Education at the University of Minnesota.

Sep 2019

29 min 24 sec

In this episode, Dr. Amanda Smith talks with Dr. Heather Fox about integrating equity into program review. Smith is the dean of transitional opportunities and career education at Rock Valley College.

Aug 2019

7 min 46 sec

In this episode, HyeJin Tina Yeo, a research assistant at OCCRL, talks with Dr. Hei-hang Hayes Tang about democratizing higher education through community colleges in Hong Kong.

Jul 2019

31 min 21 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, at OCCRL, talks with Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon about reclaiming the racial justice meaning of equity. Dr. Bensimon is a professor of higher education at the Rossier School of Education and the director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California.

May 2019

25 min 26 sec

  In this episode, HyeJin Tina Yeo at OCCRL talks with Dr. OiYan Poon about racial justice among Asian Americans and the current attacks on affirmative action. Dr. Poon is an assistant professor of Higher Education at Colorado State University.

Apr 2019

33 min 47 sec

In this episode, Marci Rockey at OCCRL talks with Dr. Claire Crawford, BRIDGE Research Fellow at the Center for Research in Race and Education at the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, about transnational whitelash in educational policy and practice.

Mar 2019

22 min 39 sec

In this episode, Chauntee Thrill at OCCRL talks with Dr. Asif Wilson, associate dean of instruction at Harold Washington College, about asset-based approaches to developmental education.

Feb 2019

43 min 14 sec

In this episode, Jason Keist at OCCRL talks with Dr. J. Luke Wood, associate vice president for faculty diversity and inclusion and Distinguished Professor of Education at San Diego State University, about engaging and supporting male students of color.

Jan 2019

38 min 43 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher talks with Dr. David Stovall, professor of African-American Studies and Education Policy Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago, about race, decolonizing practices, and community engaged education.

Dec 2018

34 min 45 sec

In this episode, Dr. Heather Fox at OCCRL talks with Dr. Elvira Abrica, assistant professor of higher education and organizational change at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, about the lived experiences of immigrant, migrant, and multicultural populations in postsecondary education.

Nov 2018

29 min 58 sec

This is the second of two episodes, where Chaddrick Gallaway from OCCRL talks with James Felton III, Chief Diversity Officer at SUNY Cortland, and Michelé Smith, Associate Provost and Special Assistant to the President of Diversity and Inclusion at William Rainey Harper College about chief diversity officers in higher education.

Oct 2018

25 min 24 sec

This is the first of two episodes where Chaddrick Gallaway from OCCRL talks with James Felton III, Chief Diversity Officer at SUNY Cortland, and Michele Smith, Associate Provost and Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion at William Rainey Harper College about Chief Diversity Officers in higher education

Oct 2018

31 min 58 sec

In this episode, Dr. Vilma Mesa, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Michigan, talks with Dr. Tatiana Melguizo, Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, about equity-minded approaches to mathematics education.

Aug 2018

26 min 44 sec

In this episode, Francena Turner from OCCRL talks with Dr. Amelia Parnell, the Vice President for Research and Policy at NASPA, about strategies that student affairs professionals can engage in to support diverse community college collegians.

Jul 2018

19 min 31 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher from OCCRL talks with Dr. Z Nicolazzo, an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the Department of Counseling Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Nicolazzo's research has centered on college student development, post-secondary access, diversity, equity, and culture. In particular, Dr. Nicolazzo is an expert on trans collegians, with particular emphasis on trans student resilience and kinship building.

Jun 2018

23 min 40 sec

In this episode, Fredrick Douglass Dixon from OCCRL talks with Dr. Mara Lazda, Professor of History, and Dr. Lisa Amowitz, Professor of Art and Music, about Bronx Community College's Democracy Project.

May 2018

24 min 20 sec

In this episode, Angel Velez from OCCRL talks with Dra. Aurora Chang, assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago, about undocumented students’ identity and hyperdocumentation.

Apr 2018

23 min 30 sec

In this episode, Chauntee Thrill, from OCCRL, talks with Dr. Jennifer Banks, Coordinator of Mathematics and Science at Washtenaw Intermediate School District, about responsive mathematics pedagogy.

Mar 2018

16 min 50 sec

The purpose of this episode is to bring together community colleges and other partners who are working to scale up their registered apprenticeships. This informative panel includes Matthew Feuerborn the Dean of Career Technologies Division at Kishwaukee College, Dr. Rebecca Lake the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at William Rainey Harper College, Dr. Henry Bohleke the Dean of The School of Business and Technology at Triton College, and Joshua Seeberg the Midwest Manager of the German American Chamber of Commerce’s Skills Initiative. The panel was hosted by Dr. Anjale Welton and Devean Owens.

Feb 2018

27 min 25 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher from OCCRL talks with Dr. George Reese, the director of the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, about equity in mathematics education.

Jan 2018

24 min 22 sec

In this episode HyeJin Yeo from OCCRL talks with José Ángel N., the author of Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant, about the experiences of undocumented immigrants who navigate into and through higher education.

Dec 2017

21 min 23 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher from OCCRL talks with Dr. Gina A. Garcia, an assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, about the retention, success, and identity development of Latina/Latino college students and the role of Hispanic-serving institutions.

Nov 2017

21 min 41 sec

In this episode, Dr. Anjalé Welton from OCCRL talks with Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, the Director of Upskilling Policy at the National Skills Coalition, about policy trends and resources that support adult learners.

Oct 2017

29 min 14 sec

In this episode, Edmund Graham III, from OCCRL, talks to Dr. Dimitra Jackson, an assistant professor for Higher Education at Texas Tech University, about diversity in STEM.

Sep 2017

18 min 17 sec

In this episode, Marci Rockey, from OCCRL talks to Leslie Daugherty, Transfer Coordinator at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, about the potential reverse transfer initiatives to address inequity in higher education.

Aug 2017

14 min 35 sec

In this episode, Dr. Heather Fox from OCCRL talks with Dr. Helen Burn, a mathematics professor and Director of the Curriculum Research Group at Highland College, about equity-minded approaches to mathematics education.

Jul 2017

17 min 16 sec

In this episode, Dr. Anjalé Welton from OCCRL talks with Dr. Linda Tillman, Professor Emerita of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about cultivating the gifts and talents of faculty of color.

Jul 2017

18 min 49 sec

In this episode, Chaddrick Gallaway from OCCRL talks with Dr. Stephen John Quaye, an associate professor in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program at Miami University in Ohio, about scholar activism and self-care.

Jun 2017

21 min 14 sec

In this episode, Dr. Heather Fox from OCCRL talks with Dr. Pamela Eddy, a professor in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership at the College of William and Mary, about advancing equity and diversity in higher education leadership.

Jun 2017

22 min 23 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher from OCCRL will talk with Dr. Lori Patton Davis, a professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University, about engaging Black women in institutional transformation in education.

May 2017

14 min 28 sec

In this episode, Angel Luis Velez, a research assistant at OCCRL, talks with Dr. Michelle M. Espiño Lira, an associate professor of Higher Education at University of Maryland, College Park, on understanding community context and institutional responses associated with educational achievement and outcomes along the academic life-course of racial and ethnic minorities.

May 2017

18 min 45 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher from OCCRL will talk with Dr. Dian Squire, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Iowa State University, about reframing racial justice.

Apr 2017

22 min 32 sec

In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher from OCCRL will talk with Dr. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart, a professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University, about racial equity and justice in educational settings.

Apr 2017

15 min 48 sec