Curriculum Vitae


2022 – Ph.D., Educational Studies, Philosophy and History of Education, The Ohio State University

  • Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Cognitive Science
  • Extensive course work in Education Policy as well as College and University Teaching
  • 2021 – MA, Educational Studies, Philosophy and History of Education

2017 – M.A., English, Rhetoric and Composition concentration, Ohio University


  • B.A., summa cum laude, English, Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University
       – minors in philosophy and psychology
  •  2010 Study Abroad, Università degli Studi di Milano
        – Studied modal logic under Professor Paolo Valore


  • 2 classes taken at University of Dayton – Models of Teaching; Philosophy of Education
  • class taken at Wright State University – Cultural and Communicative Competence for Educators

Doctoral Dissertation

“Recognition and Footing: Using Charles Taylor to Understand the Student as Cultural Other”

Committee Chair: Professor Bryan R. Warnick

Committee Members: Professor Winston Thompson, Professor Jan Nespor, & Professor Ann Allen

America’s public schools are diversifying. This diversification demands that teacher preparation programs prepare novice teachers with a vision of teaching that accounts for cultural difference. Scholars like Gloria Ladson-Billings have done work on how teachers might move toward more culturally relevant teaching with all students, but Ladson-Billings herself observes the need for a more theoretical grounding for this kind of teaching. I investigate the vision of teaching found in the philosophies of Plato, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey, Nel Noddings, and Paulo Freire to see if any of them offer the theoretical grounding for culturally relevant teaching. When these philosophies are found wanting, I turn my investigation to an organization doing the explicit work of preparing teachers to teach culturally Other students—Teach For America. I also suggest the philosophy of Charles Taylor offers useful principles for grounding culturally relevant teaching. Through historical and qualitative study, I use Teach For America as a case study of a teacher preparation program preparing teachers to teach diverse students. This dissertation offers lessons for all teacher preparation programs seeking to better do this work and for all teachers wishing to be culturally relevant in the classroom.

Graduate Thesis

“To Build Maps of Writing and Critical Consciousness: Transfer in Writing Studies & Critical Pedagogies”

Committee Chair: Professor Ryan P. Shepherd

Committee Members: Professor Mara Holt & Professor Gabriel Hartley

Composition instructors have investigated how students transfer writing knowledge into contexts beyond composition classrooms in higher education (e.g. Reiff, & Bawarshi, 2011; Wardle, 2012; Yancey, Robertson, & Taczak, 2014). These scholars have used studies of transfer in education (e.g. Beach, 1999; Donovan, Bransford, and Pellegrino, 2000) in order to see how composition instructors might teach for the transfer of learning.

In this thesis I show how critical pedagogues (Freire, 1978, 1997; Shor, 1987a, 1996; Keating, 2007, 2013) have also been thinking about how to foster students’ use of knowledge in new contexts.

In this project I develop a framework from the work on transfer from Donovan, Bransford, and Pellegrino (2000). Then, I use this framework to analyze the pedagogies of Freire (1978, 1997), Shor (1987a, 1996), and Keating (2007, 2013), in an attempt to put these pedagogical ideas in conversation with each other, hoping to inspire more interdisciplinary research.

Undergraduate Thesis

Male Narrative Identity in Young Adult Literature: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Narrative Psychology and Literary Analysis

Advisor: Professor Joseph Bianco

This thesis investigates how narrative psychology can inform the work done by scholars of literature. It applies a “life-story” framework from Dan P. McAdams’s work on narrative development to the character development in S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.


  • 2022-2023, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Ohio University ENG 1510: Writing and Rhetoric I (4 sections each in Fall 2022 & Spring 2023)
  • Summer Term 1 2022, Lecturer, The Ohio State University ESPHE 4403: Ethics and the Professional Context of Teaching (asynchronous online course)
  • Fall 2021-Spring 2022, Instructor, The Ohio State University ESPHE 3206: School and Society (1 section each in Fall 2021 & Spring 2022).
  • Fall 2020-Spring 2021, Instructor, The Ohio State University ESPHE 3410: Philosophy of Education (2 sections each in Fall 2020 & Spring 2021)
  • Fall 2019, Substitute Instructor, Professor Winston Thompson’s ESPHE 4403/6403: Ethics and the Professional Context of Teaching
  • Fall 2019, Facilitator, Managing Workloads: Grading, Planning, Office Hours, Educational Studies Teaching Associates (ESTA) orientation, The Ohio State University
  • Fall 2019, Facilitator, Working Lab – Building Your Class Carmen Page, Educational Studies Teaching Associates (ESTA) orientation, The Ohio State University
  • Fall 2019, Facilitator, Facilitating Classroom Discussion, 2019 Teaching Orientation, The Ohio State University
  • Fall 2018-Spring 2020, Instructor, The Ohio State University
    ESPHE 4403: Ethics and the Professional Context of Teaching (2 sections Fall 2018, 2 sections Spring 2019, 2 sections Fall 2020)
  • Fall 2015-Spring 2017, Instructor, Ohio University
    English 1510: Writing & Rhetoric (1 section Fall 2015, 1 section Spring 2016, 2 sections Fall 2016, 1 section Spring 2017)
  • 2016-2017, Tutor, English Language Improvement Program, Ohio University
  • Spring 2014, Substitute, Springboro High School
  • Fall 2013, Teacher, Detroit Community High School
    • Ninth-grade Algebra (4 Classes)
    • Remedial Math (1 Class)
  • June-August 2012, Teacher, Breakthrough Collaborative
    • Ninth-grade English (2 Classes)
    • Slam Poetry (1 Class)
  • September 2011-May 2012, September 2009-May 2010, Volunteer, Writing Workshop at Athens Middle School

Invited Talks

  • Panelist, Members-Only Online Session about Chat-GPT, Philosophy of Education Society, May 2023
  • Presenter, “What Does It Mean to Be an Educated Person?” The Ohio State University Philosophy Club, February 2023
  • Guest Speaker, “Grad Student Confidential,” Educational Studies Proseminar, November 2018, November 2019
  • Guest Speaker about Teach for America for Ethics and the Professional Context of Teaching, The Ohio State University, October 2017
  • Badge System Grading, “Grading System,” English Department TA Orientation, Ohio University, August 2016
    • invited by Dr. Mara Holt
  • Panel on the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Students for Education Reform Ohio University, March 2016
    • with Dr. Akhil Houston and Benjamin Grice
  • Speaker, “#Socialmedia,” Students for Education Reform National Summit, Harvard University, September 2012

Smith Brain Connections Invited Talks

  • Lightning Talks, 2018 Global Brain Health & Performance Summit, Columbus, Ohio, April 2018
  • “Journey to Recovery: There CAN be a Rainbow,” 2018 TBI Summit: Pathways Through Recovery–It Takes More Than Luck!, Columbus, Ohio, March 2018
  • “Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,” Medical Student Career Exploration, Ohio State University, January 2017


Peer-Reviewed Publications

White Papers

  • Smith, S. J. (2021). “Traumatic Brain Injury in Medical Licensing Exams and Medical Education.” – sent to the United States Medical Licensing Examination Board
    • signed on by Smith Brain Connections, the Ohio Brain Injury Advisory Committee


Letters to Editor & Public Scholarship

Conference Presentations

  • Roundtable Session, “Interrogating Teach for America to Make All Teacher Preparation Programs More Culturally Relevant,” in “Ways of Knowing, Ways of Being,” American Educational Research Association, April 2022.
  • Presenter, “Towards a Non-Managerial, Non-Helper Vision of Teaching,” Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society, September 2021.
  • Presenter, “Cultivating a Collaborative Scholarly Personal Narrative: Creating Qualitative Space in the Midst of Multi-pandemics,” Chelsea Gilbert, Lisa Combs, Maretha Dellarosa, Myung-Jin Kim, Alexander G-J Pittman, Spencer Smith, Tessa Smith, Shay Valley, and Penny A. Pasque, 17th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, May 2021.
  • Panelist, “Race & the US Identity Politic: Education Possibilities, An Educational Theory & Core Interview in the Time of the Rebellion,” Philosophy of Education Society (with Sheron Fraser-Burgess, Audrey Thompson, Kurt Stemhagen, Kathy Hytten, Kevin Harrelson, Greg Byrum, & Myron Jackson), March 2021. Click here for video.
  • Presenter, “American Critical Pedagogy,” The Importance of Reciprocity: Blurring the Binary of History and Philosophy of Education. History of Education Society, October 2019
  • Presenter, “Necessary but Not Sufficient: Analyzing No-Excuses Schools Relationally. North American Association for Philosophy & Education, October 2019
  • Presenter, “Dewey vs. Cognitive Scientists: Educational Implications of Mind as Social .” Graduate Student Conference on Philosophy and Education, July 2019
  • Presenter, “Students Lead. Students Deliberate. Students Decide: Using Case Studies from Justice in Schools.” Buckeye Teaching Showcase, April 2019
  • Presenter, Narrative Sharing: A Phenomenological Approach to De-Biasing.” Philosophy of Education Society, March 2019
  • Presenter, “The Contributions of Black Women and Men to the Critical Pedagogy of Citizenship Schools.” American Educational Studies Association, November 2018
  • Presenter, “Using AnaLouise Keating’s Pedagogies of Invitation to Disrupt the Status Quo.” Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society, September 2018
  • Presenter, “Writing Scouts: Using Digital Badges as a Way to Assess Work and Encourage Transfer in First-Year Composition.” Digital Praxis Poster session, Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, March 2017
  • Work-in-Progress Presenter, “Studying Writing Scouts: A Qualitative Study to Understand the Effects of the Use of Digital Badges as a Way to Assess Work and Encourage Transfer in First-Year Composition.” Research Network Forum, Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, March 2017
  • Presenter, “Remixing Composition: How New Media Can (Re)mix Identity and Composition,” Graduate Research Network, Computers and Writing Conference, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, May 2016
  • Presenter, “Creating a Teaching Persona with Merlin,” Perfecting Pedagogical Practices, Ohio University, February 2016
  • Presenter, “Narrative Identity in Young Adult Literature,” poster at Student Research & Activity Expo, Ohio University, April 2013
  • Presenter, “Physical Prisons and Inner Pilgrimages in Boethius’s The Consolation of Philosophy,” Medieval and Renaissance Forum, Plymouth State University, April 2012

Public Testimony

Awards, Scholarships, Fellowships & Grants

  • Graduate Associate Leadership Award Winner, 2021 (nominated by professor)
  • Graduate Associate Teaching Award Nominee, 2019, 2020, & 2021 (nominated by students)
  • TA of the year nominee, Educational Studies Teaching Associates, 2019 (nominated by my students)
  • McPherson Fellowship, Center for Ethics and Education at University of Wisconsin Madison and University of Illinois Chicago, 2018-2019
  • Educational Studies Graduate Student Travel Award, The Ohio State University, 2018
  • University Fellowship, The Ohio State University, 2017-2018
  • Elsie Alberty Scholarship, The Ohio State University, 2017-2018
  • Travel Grant Award, Graduate Research Network, Computers & Writing, 2016
  • English Fellowship, Ohio University, 2015-2017
  • Undergraduate Thesis Award, Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University 2012-2013
  • Leadership Award, Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University 2013
  • Dean’s Scholarship, Ohio University 2012-2013
  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant, 2012-2013
  • Professional Golfers Association Scholarship, 2011-2012
  • Gateway Scholarship, Ohio University, 2009-2013

Applied for Grants

  • Bob Woodward Foundation, Applied in 2017, Rejected in First Stage


  • Member, 2024 Philosophy of Education Society Program Committee
  • ReviewerStudies in Philosophy and Education, 2023
  • Member, 2023 Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society Program Committee
  • Reviewer, 2019 Graduate Student Conference on Philosophy and Education
  • Reviewer, 2019 SIG-Philosophical Studies in Education, American Educational Research Association
  • Member, 2018 American Educational Studies Association Program Committee
  • Reviewer, 2018 EHE Student Research Forum, Proposal Review Committee, 2017
  • Member, 2017 Perfecting Pedagogical Practices Conference, Ohio University, October 2016-February 2017
  • ReaderNew Ohio Review, January 2016-February 2017
  • Associate Editor, Parlour, March 2016-December 2016


While Assistant Professor of Instruction at Ohio University

  • Member, Composition Committee, August 2022-present
  • Member, Dean of Honors Tutorial College Search Committee, January 2023-May 2023
  • Trustee, Brain Injury Association of Ohio, September 2020-September 2023

During PhD, The Ohio State University

  • Brain Injury Survivor, Ohio’s Brain Injury Advisory Committee, January 2020-August 2022
  • Master of Ceremonies, TedxOhioStateUniversity Salon: Vital, September 2019
  • Site Leader, Annual Community Commitment, The Ohio State University, August 2018, September 2019
  • Chair, “Epistemic Justice and Education,” American Educational Research Association, April 2019
  • Site Leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, The Ohio State University, January 2019
  • Volunteer, Registration Table & Book Sale, American Educational Studies Association, November 2018
  • Vice President, The Association of Educational Psychology, Philosophy, and History of Education Scholars, September 2018-April 2019
  • Chair, “Ecology and Politics,” Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society, September 2018
  • Chair, “Thinking About Philosophy and Education,” Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society, September 2018
  • Volunteer, Registration Table, Philosophy of Education Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, March 2018
  • Volunteer, Applicant Review Committee, Breakthrough Collaborative, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 2018
  • Volunteer, Hayes Forum 2018, The Ohio State University, March 2018, March 2019
  • Volunteer, Check In Table, Education and Human Ecology Student Research Forum, The Ohio State University, February 2018
  • Volunteer, Report Card Conferences, Mifflin High School, February 2018
  • Panelist, “Life at OSU” student roundtable, 45th annual Graduate/Professional Student Recruitment Initiative, The Ohio State University, October 2017

During MA, Ohio University

  • Vice President of Communication, Graduate Student Senate, Ohio University, October 2016-April 2017
  • Chair, “Activist Rhetorics in 140 Characters,” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, March 2017
  • Moderator, “Incorporating UDL into Online Instruction” Panel, Perfecting Pedagogical Practices, Ohio University, February 2017
  • Commissioner for Academic Affairs, Graduate Student Senate, Ohio University, September 2016-October 2016
  • Graduate Student Member, Graduate Council, Ohio University, September 2016-April 2017
    • Member, Policies and Regulations Committee, September 2016-April 2017
  • English Department Representative, Graduate Student Senate, Ohio University, September 2015-May 2016
  • Graduate Student Member, University Library Committee, Ohio University, November 2015-May 2016
  • Mentor to first-year graduate students, English Department, Ohio University, August 2016-April 2017
  • Go-Green Move-In Team Member, Ohio University, August 2016
  • Leader, Honors Tutorial College First-Year Seminar Book-Club, September 2015, August 2016
  • Grader, First Year Exemption Exam, English Department, Ohio University, September 2016

While at Detroit Community High School & with Teach for America

  • Assistant Coach of the high school debate team, 2013
  • Member of the North Star Committee, 2013
    • Tasked with awarding a Teach for America teacher with a prize for model work

During Undergraduate Studies

  • State Captain, Students for Education Reform, Ohio, June 2012-June 2013
  • Founding Chapter Leader, Students for Education Reform, Ohio University, September 2011-June 2012
  • President, Honors Community Council, Ohio University, September 2010-June 2012
  • Big Brother, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Athens County, September 2011-June 2012
  • Student Staff Member, Honors Tutorial College Pre-College for Incoming Freshmen, June 2010, June 2011

Research Experience

  • Intern, Leadership for Educational Equity, October 2012-December 2012
  • Participant, Ohio Student Education Policy Institute, January 2012-April 2012
  • Fellow, Rising Leaders Fellowship, February 2011-February 2012
  • Scholar, HTC/Voinovich School Scholar, Regional Nonprofit Alliance Ohio University, August 2011-May 2012
  • Apprentice, Dean Jeremy Webster, Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University, June 2011-August 2011
  • Student Assistant, Alden Library Archives at Ohio University, October 2009-June 2010

Administrative Experience

  • Co-Founder & Vice President, Smith Brain Connections, March 2016-present
  • Member, Leadership Liaison Team for Teach For America at Ohio University, September 2011-June 2012
  • Executive Assistant Intern, KIPP Central Ohio, December 2011-March 2012

Professional Organizations

  • American Educational Research Association, February 2018-present
  • Philosophy of Education Society, September 2017-present
  • Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society, September 2017-present
  • History of Education Society, July 2019-December 2019
  • American Educational Studies Association, September 2018-September 2019, October 2021-present
  • Phi Beta Kappa, inducted June 2012
  • National Council of Teachers of English, December 2016-December 2017
  • Midwest Modern Language Association, May 2016-May 2017