Dissertation Proposal Defense

I have successfully defended my dissertation proposal!


The tentative title for my dissertation is Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Racial Literacy Instruction in Secondary Teacher Education. I would like to thank my committee members (Drs. Enid Rosario-Ramos, Michelle Bellino, Maren Oberman, and Ruth Behar) for their help and support through this process.

SOE Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity Award


I am honored to be recognized alongside my friend and colleague Ebony Perouse-Harvey for the 2019 School of Education Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity Award.

Working together with Ebony to make change in our community has been one of my proudest accomplishments this year. Thank you Ebony for keeping me honest and inspired!

Congratulations to Carla O’Connor (faculty) and Melinda Richardson (staff) for their hard work. Thank you for your service to your community!


Carla O’Connor
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Education
Director, Wolverine Pathways

Melinda Richardson
Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education

Student (awarded jointly):
Ebony Perouse-Harvey
Doctoral Student, Teaching and Teacher Education
Laura-Ann Jacobs
Doctoral Student, Educational Studies: Literacy, Language, and Culture

SOE Spring/Summer 2019 Award


Proposal funded! I have received the SOE Spring/Summer 2019 Grant to fund work around my dissertation proposal. The topic of this study is Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Racial Literacy in Secondary Teacher Education.

I thank the University of Michigan School of Education for their support of this work.

AERA 2019 Presentation

AERA 2019

I will be presenting a workshop format at 2019 AERA in Toronto with Carolyn Hetrick and Naivedya Parakkal. Our workshop is titled “Moving Theory into Practice: Methodological Considerations Regarding Positionality, Identity, and Research Reflexivity.


In this session, we will share about our own evolving research, reflect on how critical race methodologies have informed our work, and facilitate discussion around how attendees’ see themselves engaging with identity, positionality, and reflexivity in their own work.

We have created visual tools to support this discussion and engagement. Please contact lxjacobs@umich.edu for more information.

Racham Public Scholarship Grant

I am proud to announce a partnership between the University of Michigan and the Ypsilanti District Library Downtown Branch! Ashley Jackson and I have had the opportunity to work with Teen Services Librarian Kelly Scott at the Ypsilanti District Library for the past few years. Together, we applied for the Rackham Public Scholarship Grant to fund a teen-driven program called STEAM Cafe. Read more about the program below!

Educational studies doctoral students Ashley Jackson and Laura-Ann Jacobs received a Rackham Public Scholarship Grant for a project with the Ypsilanti District Library. In partnership with Youth and Teen Librarian Kelly Scott and the library’s Teen Advisory Group, they will create a Teen STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Cafe program.

Guest speakers will discuss their work, explain how they came to be in that career, and host activities related to their career. In collaboration with the library’s Teen Advisory Group, Teen STEAM will also offer access to opportunities to learn about and create media projects through experimentation and professional guidance.

Rackham Public Scholarship

Congratulations to our cohort of grant recipients!

Kathryn Berringer
Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology and Social Work
“An Organizational and Community History of LGBTQ Organizing in Detroit”

Peter DeJonge
Ph.D. Candidate, Epidemiology
“Enhancing Data Collection and Utilization Within a Local Child Care Illness Surveillance Network”

Maggie Hanna
Ph.D. Student, Educational Studies
“Creando Juntos: Community Language and Literacy Support (CLLS)”

Megh Marathe
Ph.D. Candidate, Information
“Voices of Epilepsy”

Kayla Fike and Ozge Savas
Ph.D. Students, Psychology and Women’s Studies
“Community Language Advocacy Program” (CLAP)

Click here to learn more about this year’s grant recipients.
Click here to learn more about our grant.

2019 GSRC Keynote Panel

Announcing the 2019 GSCO Graduate Student Research Conference Keynote Panel! Panelists will speak about their work and make connections to the conference theme, Embracing Tensions for Equity: Bridging Research, Policy, and Practice in Education.

Keynote Panelists:
Charles Wilkes, University of Michigan
Dr. Maren Oberman, University of Michigan
Dr. Alistair Bomphray, University of Michigan
Dr. Maisha Winn, University of California, Davis

Ebony Perouse-Harvey

GSRC Keynote Panel

What's Good?: Women of Color and the Academy

Announcing an upcoming panel hosted by Women of Color and the Academy at the GSCO Graduate Student Research Conference.


What’s Good?: A Conversation with Women of Color and the Academy

Friday, March 15
2:45 - 3:45 PM
Room 2346

Laura-Ann Jacobs
Ebony Perouse-Harvey

Asya Harrison

Ashley Jackson
Christina Morton
Naivedya Parakkal
Christine Quince
Jenny Sawada
Crystal Wise

Panelists will share some of their own experiences and strategies for persisting within this predominantly white institution for the purpose of supporting, encouraging, and connecting with other panelists and audience members. We hope that intended audience members will take away some sustaining strategies for surviving and thriving as individuals and as a community. Additionally, we hope that this panel creates a space of love, support, and community within the GSCO Graduate Student Research Conference as panelists and audience members share about their experiences and encourage each other in their personal and professional work.

Our intended audience is those who identify as women of color--this includes graduate students of color and faculty members of color. We welcome audience members who do not identify as women of color or persons of color. However, this presentation intends to feature, center, and privilege the voices and experiences of women of color.

This presentation will be divided into two parts. The first part of the discussion will feature panelists responding to questions generated at a WOCATA core member meeting. The second part of the discussion will include a Question and Answer session with audience members. This second portion of the discussion will be less structured and will invite audience members to ask questions and to share about their own experiences.

GSCO/BET Graduate Student Research Conference 2019


Embracing Tensions for Equity

Bridging Research, Policy, & Practice in Education

Friday, March 15, 2019, U-M School of Education

Proposal Applications Due January 22, 2019

As we engage in research, develop policy, and implement practice, we must resolve various tensions in order to create equitable solutions. Negotiating how to apply differing methodologies and navigating our positionalities and obligations to multiple stakeholders are a few of the inherent tensions in our work. Eliding these tensions is problematic—they have consequences for the lived experiences of every stakeholder in education, from students to policymakers.

The debate involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), implemented in 2012, provides an example of the type of tensions involved in equity work. The administrative protections provided to Dreamers, children and young adults who entered the United States without documentation, are now in jeopardy under the current presidential administration. Researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners must grapple with tensions related to DACA’s position as an administrative program that can be more readily “rolled back,” as well as its prohibitions against providing undocumented students with federal and state financial aid, which potentially hinders Dreamers’ access to higher education. This is just one example of some of the overlapping tensions that inform the work of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in that area.

Reimagine your current work: how can you leverage who you are and what you bring to your work in a way that productively and generatively confronts these tensions and promotes diversity, equity, justice and inclusion?

Click here to learn more about the GSCO Graduate Student Research Conference.

DIJE Arts Showcase 2018

Excited for the upcoming UM SOE DIJE Arts Showcase!

DIJE Arts Showcase Committee Members: Debi Khasnabis, Patricia King, Catalina Ormsby, Katie Robertson

Call for Proposals:

At the 2018 Winter Wonderland dance party, the SOE invites community members to express their dije commitments through an “Arts Showcase.” This event provides an opportunity for community members to share their artistic talents as they intersect with commitments to diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity. The Arts Showcase is a space where community members can present their creative work through artistic installations and performance art. At the event, attendees and artists will have opportunities to engage in dialogue about the creative pieces, artistic processes, and personal experiences with the pursuit of diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity. We invite Statements of Interest from students, staff, and faculty in the form of visual art exhibits, performances, simulations, documentaries, multimedia displays, and other creative forms. We invite statements of interest for both single-authored and co-created work.

Your expressive piece may speak to any one or more of the following purposes:

  • work that centers your own social identities, including but not limited to cultural, gender, sex, race, ethnicity, citizenship, socio-economic, religious, and political identities

  • work that expresses your experience as a member of our community related to issues of diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity

  • work that explores your own personal commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity

  • work that recognizes you both as an individual with distinct talents, perspectives, and insights and as a member of social groups who have benefited from or been disadvantaged by historical and contemporary power inequalities

  • work that explores diversity of identity, culture, perspective, language, and mode of expression in either concrete or abstract ways

  • work that reflects a vision for diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity in our community

Arts Showcase 2018

American Educational Research Association 2019


Excited to be attending the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2019 Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada!

I will be presenting a workshop with Carolyn Hetrick and Naivedya Parakkal titled "Moving Theory into Practice: Methodological Considerations Regarding Positionality, Identity, and Researcher Reflexivity." We worked hard to coordinate our proposal across three different time zones this past summer.


In this session, three researchers will share their methodological considerations about positionality, identity, and reflexivity. First, the researchers will draw upon a shared framework of critical race methodological literature to establish a common frame for understanding their otherwise disparate scholarship and to orient workshop participants to how the researchers see their work relating to extant reflexivity practices and scholarship. Second, the presenters will each share the methodological processes and theoretical orientations they have used to engage in rigorous (and ongoing) reflexivity and consideration of their positionalities. Third, the presenters will engage participants in small- and whole-group discussion to shed further light on how identities, contexts, conceptual approaches, and other methodological considerations both call for and influence researcher reflexivity and identity-investigation.

Carolyn Hetrick: Through the mirror: Methodological considerations for practicing critical reflexivity as a white researcher working with youth of color

Laura-Ann Jacobs: Twice adopted: A researcher’s investigation of multi-layered identity and reflexive practice

Naivedya Parakkal: Navigating ambiguities and changes in researcher reflexivity and positionality

GSCO at the SOE Information Fair

I had so much fun today representing the Graduate Student Community Organization (GSCO) with my brilliant co-chair Ebony Perouse-Harvey.

We are looking forward to a great year of community building with everyone here at the School of Education!

Check out our flyer below!

GSCO 08302018
GSCO 18-19

Click here to learn more about the Graduate Student Community Organization (GSCO).

Women of Color & The Academy

For the 2018-2019 academic year I will be co-coordinating a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop with my dear friend and colleague Ebony Perouse-Harvey (doctoral candidate, University of Michigan). I am excited to continue my fun and rigorous work with Ebony and our faculty sponsors Dr. Maisie Gholson (University of Michigan) and Dr. Maren Oberman (University of Michigan). Our workshop is titled "Women of Color & The Academy: Exploring Race, Research, Representation, and Positionality." 


This workshop series brings together education scholars and practitioners to examine issues related to race, research, and representation. Participants of this group work in various fields that intersect with education. Our work across these fields provides us varying insights into the representation and positioning of women of color within and outside of the university.  This workshop has two primary objectives:
- To expand what is considered to be academic by exposing the larger community to works created by or featuring women of color
- To provide spaces where women of color can engage deeply with issues that impact them personally and professionally in a way that is responsive to their identities, time, and energies

Click here to view the website for Women of Color & The Academy: Exploring Race, Research, Representation, and Positionality

Click here to learn more about Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops

American Anthropology Association 2018

I will be presenting at the 2018 American Anthropological Association (AAA) Conference. The conference will take place in San Jose, California in November. I will be presenting my installation "Talking Lei" on Saturday, November 17 from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

MVIMG_20180720_173913 (1).jpg


Talking Lei is a multimedia storytelling installation that explores the process of lei making as a metaphor for the embodiment of the connectedness of storytelling in physical space. This installation includes a gallery of autoethnographic written vignettes and visual arts elements. The written vignettes address issues of race, culture, and kinship. The visual arts elements include light boxes, photographs, and watercolor paintings. This installation includes a performance element in the form of interactive lei making that is ongoing throughout the installation.

Talking lei is an autoethnographic study that explores local Hawaiian identity, local Hawaiian knowledge, and the everyday practices of teaching and learning in contemporary Hawai’i. This project centers the importance of researcher identity, positionality, and reflexivity. In particular, the researcher considers how her positionality as a hānai (adopted) daughter in the context of Hawai'i intersects with her identity as a Korean Adoptee raised in the American South to create the unique experience of a twice-adopted daughter. The written vignettes of this installation examine the researcher’s identity and positionality in the context of this ethnographic study of local Hawaiian knowledge.

This installation includes an interactive lei making performance. The researcher will make hakulei, a style of lei created by bundling flowers and wrapping them together. This installation extends this metaphor of bundling and wrapping into physical space: the multimedia elements are displayed in a lei around the room, and visitors are encouraged to move freely throughout the space and interact with these pieces in whichever order they choose, creating a narrative lei of their own.

As an autoethnographic multimedia storytelling installation, Talking Lei considers emerging and unconventional understandings of methods and representation that can contribute to the ways researchers enact qualitative methodologies and envision future research. 

This installation was supported by the Rackham Graduate School and the Center for World Performance Studies at the University of Michigan. The written vignettes and photographs are produced by Laura-Ann Jacobs (University of Michigan). The watercolor art is produced by Katie Wong (University of Hawai’i, Manoa).

Click here to learn more about the American Anthropology Association

Literacy Research Association 2018

I will be presenting at the 2018 Literacy Research Association (LRA) Conference. The conference will take place in Indian Wells, California in November. I will be presenting with Dr. Annemarie Palincsar, Gabriel DellaVecchia, Kathleen Easley, and Maggie Hanna. Our paper is titled "Historical inquiry to promote community identity at LRA." We will be presenting in the session "Critical understanding of current trends and issues in literacy research."

My portion of the presentation focuses on the history of disciplinary literacy.


This historical inquiry uses the three most recent volumes of the Handbook of Reading Research and the most recent volume of the Handbook of Writing Research to examine developments in the field of disciplinary literacy over the past three decades. This inquiry focuses on the scope of the field of disciplinary literacy research, the influence of theory in the field, and the connection of theory to methodology. This inquiry has three major findings: (1) disciplinary literacy is an emerging field in literacy research that is expanding in breadth and narrowing in depth, (2) disciplinary literacy research is shifting to align with sociocultural theory, and (3) disciplinary literacy research is shifting to qualitative research using ethnographic methods. The future of disciplinary literacy research is likely to continue these trends and is also likely to explore how context mediates literacy practices and assume a social justice stance.

Click here to learn more about the Literacy Research Association

KAAN Conference 2018

I have made plans to attend the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN) 2018 Conference. The conference will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Since 1999, KAAN has provided annual conferences in the U.S. or Korea. These conferences are unique assemblies of Korean-born adoptees of all ages as well as family through birth, adoption or marriage, other Koreans and Korean-Americans, social workers, adoptees from other backgrounds, community leaders, and more. Through gathering together, we find what we have in common and where we can help one another.

Our conferences provide 30+ sessions on race and identity, family relationships, parenting tools, search and reunion, etc. Presenters include authors, educators, activists, therapists, and grassroots leaders. Each block includes an adoptee-only session as well as many choices open to all. Cultural and social activities are offered as well as vendors, exhibits, and film screenings.

Click here to learn more about KAAN.
Click here to read the KAAN 2018 Conference Program.

National Women's Studies Association Conference 2018

I will be presenting at the 2018 National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Conference. The conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia in November. I will be presenting with  Carolyn Hetrick (doctoral student, University of Michigan) and Paulina Fraser (doctoral student, University of Michigan). Our panel is titled "Artistic counter-storytelling as liberatory praxis: Re-imagining and re-storying political identities to reclaim power." 



Responding to the Subtheme 6 call to investigate the question, “What is the role of art in justice and freedom making?”, this panel explores the ways in which three genres of cultural labor and artistic production—stand-up comedy, spoken word poetry, and hip hop music—can serve to advance visions of a more just and equitable world. Panelists all apply Critical Race Theory in their work, and in particular share a focus on developing understandings of artistic counter-storytelling as a political project. Other theoretical lenses applied include critical cultural studies, intersectional feminism, womanism, and performance studies. Together, the panelists hope to engage with the audience in a rich exploration about how various artistic work can function as tools for personal and collective liberatory praxis for people marginalized along multiple dimensions of identity (including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, language, and nationality) in the United States. The panelists, all scholars of education, will discuss implications these liberatory practices may have for working toward social justice in U.S. schooling. The session will be include the viewing of various artistic performances coupled with discussion of these performances as examples of the authors’ theoretical frames and analyses. The aim of the session is to explore the potential for various forms of arts-based discourses to re-imagine and re-story identities and narratives for the purpose of promoting social change.

Paulina Fraser will be presenting on the topic of hip hop.
Carolyn Hetrick will be presenting on the topic of spoken word poetry.
Laura-Ann Jacobs will be presenting on the topic of stand-up comedy.

Click here to learn more about the National Women's Studies Association.
Click here to learn more about the NWSA Annual Conference.



SOE Spring/Summer 2018 Award

Proposal funded! I have received the School of Education 2018 Spring/Summer Award to work on my project titled Embodied Ethnography: Examining Epistemologies in Arts-Based Research.

This project focuses on how field experiences can be embodied and recreated through artistic practice.