Nakisha Whittington, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning

Nakisha Whittington, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction (language, culture and instruction), The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A.T. in elementary education and teaching, Xavier University
  • B.A. in political science and government (minor in English), University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Research interests

  • Digital literacy practices of urban youth
  • Effective instructional practices to meet the needs of diverse learners

Career highlights

  • AACTE Holmes Scholar, Historian-2020
  • Black Graduate Student Association, Chair of Community Service Committee, 2016-present
  • Bunton-Waller Fellow, 2016-2019
  • Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Student Association President, 2018-2019
  • Golden Key International Honor Society, 2019-present
  • Kappa Gamma Pi (Honor), 2011-present
  • National Dean’s List, Spring 2004 & Spring 2005
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette Dean’s List, May 2003-May 2005


Dr. Whittington is as assistant professor in elementary education in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She joined the VCU School of Education in August 2021. She was named Holmes Scholar of the Month for June 2021 by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. She credits her academic and professional success partly to her involvement in the Holmes Program. She served as the historian on the AACTE Holmes Council 2020-21.

Whittington previously served as an early literacy specialist during the 2015-2016 academic school year at Children’s Literacy Initiative, a non-profit organization headquartered in Philadelphia that works with pre-kindergarten through 5th grade teachers to close the literacy achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers. Prior to that, she served as a first grade teacher from 2011 to 2015 at Fannie C. Williams Charter School in New Orleans.

Whittington has published several articles on effective instructional practices to meet the needs of diverse learners. She also served as a co-director for Penn State’s Summer Research Opportunities Program, Upward Bound instructor, reading specialist and editorial assistant for an educational research journal.

Curriculum Vitae

(804) 828-1305 [main number for Department of Teaching and Learning]