Christine S. Powell

Ph.D Student, School of Education
Expected Graduation: May 2022
Program Area: Special Education and Disability Leadership
Graduate Assistant with MERREC

Headshot of Christine Powell, VCU Holmes Scholar, in 2022.Education

  • Ph.D. in Education, Special Education and Disability Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University (May 2022)
  • M.S. in Education, Special Education & General Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.S. in Psychology, minor in nonprofit management, Virginia Commonwealth University

Line of Research

My research agenda focuses on licensure and retention outcomes of minoritized special education teachers to improve the overall supply and demand of teachers entering the field through an alternative route.

Selected Research and Scholarship

  • Why They Persist in the Profession. Teacher Education and Special Education.
  • Cormier, C. J., Scott, L. A., Powell, C., & Hall, K., (In press). Locked in glass classrooms: Black male special education teachers socialized as everything but educators. Teacher Education and Special Education.
  • Scott, L. A., Powell, C., Oyefuga, E., Padhye, I., & Cormier, C. J. (2021). Complementary review of the literature on attrition and retention patterns of special education teachers of color: What we know and how we move forward. Multiple Voices, 21(1), 3-39.
  • Scott, L. A., Brown, A., Wallace, W., Cormier, C. J., & Powell, C. (2020). If we’re not doing it, then who? A qualitative study of black special educators’ persistence. Exceptionality, 29(3), 182-196.
  • Brendli, K., Scott, L.A., Taylor, J., Ruiz, A., Powell, C., & Mehtaji. M., (Under Review). Won’t stop, can’t stop: Alternative route to licensure special education teachers’ persistence in their careers. Action in Teacher Education.
  • Scott, L.A., Powell, C., Bruno, Lauren, Cormier, C., Hall, K., Padhye, I., Taylor. J., & Vitullo, V. (Under Review). The other fifty percent: Expression from special education teachers about why they persist in the profession. Exceptionality.

Book Chapters

Powell, C., Scott, L., Oyefuga, E., Dayton, M., Pickover, G., & Hicks, M. (in press). COVID-19 and the special education teacher workforce. In D.T. Marshall (Ed.)., COVID-19 and the classroom: How schools navigated the great disruption.** Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Scott, L.A., Ruiz, A.B., & Powell, C. (2020). Deconstructing racial and ethnic inequalities in special education: Perceptions from a Black professor and Black doctoral students. In R. Gargiulo & E. Bouck (Eds.). Special Education in Contemporary Society. SAGE Publishing.

**page numbers, to be assigned


Christine Powell is a doctoral student in the Special Education and Disability Leadership program at the VCU School of Education. As a former Richmond Teacher Resident, she served as a special educator in Richmond City Public Schools. She is dedicated to improving outcomes for students with disabilities by supporting special education teachers through mentorship and conducting research to improve retention and attrition outcomes. Currently, she serves as the Chair for the School of Education Student Leadership Council. She’s also a program assistant with the Minority Educator, Recruitment, Retention and Equity Center and a graduate research assistant for the Department of Counseling and Special Education. In May 2021, she became the editorial coordinator for Inclusion, the premier online journal for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

What does the Holmes Scholars program mean to you?

The Holmes Scholars Program means that I have access to resources and opportunities to connect with diverse doctoral scholars from VCU and other universities. The Holmes program will provide tools to strengthen my research and academic writing skills while also expanding my professional networks, thus helping me reach my professional goals.

Curriculum Vitae