Christina A. Tillery

Ph.D. Student, School of Education
Program Area: Counselor Education and Supervision
Doctoral Student and Adjunct Professor

EducationChristina Tillery

  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Virginia Commonwealth University (July 2024)
  • M.Ed. in School Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University (December 2016)
  • B.A. in History, The College of William and Mary, (May 2012)

Line of Research

Throughout history, Black girls have been systematically excluded from research concerning equitable access to schooling and mental health resources. My research is dedicated to investigating methods for enhancing and expanding school-based mental health resources specifically tailored for Black girls. Recognizing that Black girls possess invaluable expertise on their own lived experiences and mental health needs, my research seeks to rectify the absence of their voices, perspectives, and insights in existing research, scholarship, policies, and solution-driven initiatives.

Selected Research and Scholarship

  • Mason, E., Michelm R., Young, A., Olsen, J., Tillery, C. A., & Chang, M. (2023) School Counselor Leadership and Program Implementation Revisited: Findings From a National Sample. Professional School Counseling Journal.

  • Naff, D., Meadowes, M., Dupre, K., Gaston, A., Khawaki, F., Tillery, C.A., Lindsay D'Abreu, M., Powell, L., & Fierro, D. (2023). Addressing school bullying since the onset of COVID-19. Richmond, VA: Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium.

  • Duyile, B.E., Tillery, C.A., Apugo, D. (2022) “Now Tell My Mama I Belong in that Slow Class”: Reclaiming the Genius and Post-Secondary Options of Black Students with Disabilities. W. Hunter, J. Taylor, L. Scott, L. (Eds.) The Mixtape Volume 1: Culturally Sustaining Practices within MTSS featuring the Everlasting Mission of Student Engagement. Council for Exceptional Children

  • Tillery, C. A., Crane, E., and Goodman-Scott, E. (2022). Tiered Supports for the Class of 2021 in Unprecedented Times: A High School Counseling Department's Journey. Professional School Counseling Journal.

  • Naff, D., Ainsworth, D., Crane, E., & Tillery, C.A. (2022). Responding to community pushback on school curricula. Richmond, VA: Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium.

  • Tillery, C.A. (2021). She’s Not Forgotten: School Counselors in the Pursuit of Ending the School Pushout of Black Girls [Research Poster]. Virginia Commonwealth University 24th Graduate Research Symposium, Richmond, VA, United States.


Christina A. Tillery, M.Ed., is a community educator and scholar who actively bridges gaps between research and practice. She is a former high school counselor with over ten years in secondary education and a doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University's Counselor Education and Supervision program in Richmond, VA. Also, she represented the commonwealth as Virginia's School Counselor of the Year (2022 - 2023). Her research interests include utilizing youth-participatory action research to create safe spaces for Black girls and girls of color. Christina has worked on the local, state, and national levels, advocating for equitable practices to support all students.

What does the Holmes Scholars Program mean to you?

As a practicing school counselor transitioning into academia, I prioritize increasing my professional involvement in the counselor education field. The Holmes Scholar program will allow me the safe space and community to develop my research skills and expand my self-efficacy. I genuinely believe in having a supportive village. I am excited to be a member of a program that is centered on connectivity and fellowship.

Curriculum Vitae