Ejana Bennett: AACTE Holmes Scholar of the Month

SOE doctoral student and VCU Holmes Scholar earns top honor from national program.

Headshot for 2022 of Ejana Bennett, president of the VCU Holmes Scholars Program.
Ejana Bennett, January 2022 AACTE Holmes Scholar of the Month.

By Leslie Ekpe, Holmes Council Vice President, Texas Christian University

This article originally appeared in the January 2022 issue of the Holmes Bulletin, the official newsletter of the AACTE Holmes Program. It is shared here with permission.

Congratulations to Ejana Bennett, Holmes Scholar of the Month for January 2022. Bennett is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Curriculum, Culture and Change program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Bennett’s research examines how teacher-critical racial consciousness impacts implementation of culturally relevant practices, student-teacher relationships, student learning outcomes, and student development, as well as opportunity gaps that positively address the racial/ethnic student-teacher mismatch.

Bennett earned her B.A. in psychology and her M.T. in elementary education with an endorsement in special education from the University of Virginia. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Bennett was an elementary school teacher in Richmond Public Schools in Virginia, and previously was a special educator at a charter school in Brooklyn, N.Y. Through her research, Bennett seeks to help teachers and administrators develop culturally relevant school curriculum, and instructional methods and assessments that reflect students’ culture and experiences. She has presented her research at numerous conferences such as the National Council for Social Studies Conference, and AACTE’s Annual Meeting.

When interviewed and asked why she participates in the Holmes Program, Bennett stated: “I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded doctoral students and mentors who look like me and support me through my educational journey.”