2019 Research Colloquium

Dr. Kara Finnigan, keynote speaker at the VCU School of Education's 2019 Research Colloquium
Dr. Kara Finnigan

Date: Mar. 15, 2019

Time: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Location: Cabell Library, Room 303

Keynote speaker: Dr. Kara Finnigan, professor of educational leadership, University of Rochester

Dr. Finnigan is the author of “Striving in Common: A Regional Equity Framework for Urban Schools.” Her keynote will be followed by a panel discussion with state and regional stakeholders on building a Virginia STEM Education Ecosystem.

Dr. Finnigan’s research focuses on low-performing schools and districts and organizational learning; school improvement under sanction; access, opportunity and outcomes for students of color participating in inter-district choice; parents’ responses to and involvement in the governance of choice policies; district reform; accountability policies; and the role of districts and states in school improvement.

Registration available here: https://redcap.vcu.edu/surveys/?s=L8NCLNHPRY

Register by March 6 since we are asking faculty and doctoral students to consider submitting an e-poster proposal for presentation.


  • 9:00-9:30 a.m. Light breakfast
  • 9:30-10:45 a.m. Keynote address from Dr. Finnigan: "The Politics of Regional Equity: How to Mobilize Communities toward Change"
    Dr. Finnigan will discuss the ways that educational policy over the last decades has focused on technical solutions to urban school "failure" without addressing the underlying social and economic structures that exacerbate educational inequities. She will draw upon themes from her recent book, "Striving in Common: A Regional Equity Framework for Urban Schools" (Harvard Education Press, 2018), which uses case studies and spatial mapping to illustrate these broader social and economic issues. She will highlight the underlying politics that make regional equity approaches so hard to accomplish - as power structures and prior policy decisions maintain the status quo - and steps communities can take to overcome these and mobilize toward change.
  • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. STEM Education Ecosystem Panel Discussion: STEM as a mechanism for regional equity development
    Al Byers, Visiting Scholar, STEM Education, VCU (Moderator)
    Andrew Daire, Dean, School of Education, VCU
    Chuck English, STEM Coordinator, Virginia (Governor's office and Science Museum of Virginia)
    Mary-Chris Escobar, Assistant Director for Academic & Experiential Programs, the da Vinci Center, VCU
    Todd Estes, Director, Career Education Programs, Virginia Community College System
    Libbey Kitten, President, Virginia Science Education Leadership Association
    Tina Manglicmot, Director, STEM Education, Virginia Department of Education
    Kurt Stemhagen, Associate Professor, Foundations of Education, VCU
  • 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Lunch and discussion of panel
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. Faculty and student e-poster presentations:
    Faculty and students will share their research with SOE faculty, staff, students and visitors in an electronic format. Research includes finished and ongoing projects, as well as beginning project ideas or concepts.
  • 4:00 p.m. Happy hour at Postbellum, 1323 W. Main St.