Dr. Elizabethe Payne is a critical sociologist of education with research interests in LGBTQ issues in education; gender, sexuality and popularity in schools; the transgender elementary school experience; sex education curricula; and adolescent lesbian/queer girls’ experiences with the gender binary. Her recent publications include work on the slut discourse and the marking of adolescent womens’ sexuality, and evaluation work on the Reduction of Stigma in Schools program. She teaches courses on qualitative research and the LGBTQ experience in schools. Dr. Payne serves on the New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Task Force, the DASA State Policy Group, and the New York State Education Department School Professional Certification Committee on Diversity. DASA is the New York State student anti-harassment law which went into effect July, 2012. She is Associate Professor of Education, Part-time, at Syracuse University, in the Cultural Foundations of Education department and in the LGBT Studies program area. She was a high school English teacher in Houston, Texas before returning to graduate school.
Dr. Payne began the Reduction of Stigma in Schools (RSIS) program in 2006 as an exploratory effort in utilizing research to create educator professional development trainings in support of LGBTQ students. The research component of the project quickly expanded and the scope of research widened beyond the original intentions of RSIS to include generating new strands of research and addressing critical issues within the field. In 2009, she founded The Queering Education Research Institute.
QuERI Research Fellow and Professional Development Coordinator
2012-2013 QuERI Dissertation Fellow
Research Focus: Teacher Professional Development; Teacher Ally Identities
Melissa J. Smith has been with QuERI since 2008 and is a graduate student research fellow with the Institute. She has served as co-researcher with Dr. Payne on several qualitative studies, including an evaluation study of the Reduction of Stigma in Schools program, and was the first research fellow for QuERI. Melissa delivered RSIS training throughout Central New York from 2008 -2012 as an intern and then as the RSIS Coordinator. Melissa is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cultural Foundations of Education department at Syracuse University and her on-going dissertation work addresses the classroom/school experiences of straight-identified teacher allies. Prior to her doctoral work, she was a high school English teacher in Omaha, Nebraska, Public Schools. She holds a M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska. As of Fall 2013, she is Assistant Professor and Director of English Education at University of Central Arkansas.
Research Focus: Social Justice-Centered Arts Curriculum
Kristin Goble interned with the QuERI Arts-in-Action program from 2009-2012 and is a research fellow with the Institute. Kristin delivered LGBTQ focused arts workshops in high schools throughout Central New York and developed curriculum guides to support teachers in using the student artwork to begin classroom conversations on the LGBTQ student experience. Kristin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Teaching and Curriculum Department at Syracuse University. Her research interests include adolescent art education, visual culture, gender and social justice within high school visual art curriculum, and LGBTQ student voice through art. Kristin’s dissertation research explores democratic access to art education through the use of visual culture. Prior to her doctoral work, she was a high school and middle school art teacher in New York City. She holds a M.A. in Art and Art Education from Columbia University, Teachers College and a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of Michigan. In Fall 2012, she began a new position in the College of Education at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Kristin is expected to defend her dissertation in the summer of 2013.
QuERI Research Associate
Research Interest: queer masculinities in education spaces, LGBT college student development, LGBT educators, and LGBT issues in teacher preparation programs
Lauren Hannahs (also known as LB) began work with QuERI after participating in the Queer Kids/Straight Schools course in her senior undergraduate year. She is now a research associate with the Institute. Her autoethnographic research grew out of her student teaching experience in her senior year and explores her own queer masculinity as a student teacher placed with a hyper masculine host teacher, in the space of a high school band room. LB holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, with a minor in LGBT Studies and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration, both from Syracuse University. She is now the Director of LGBT Affairs at the University of Florida and is responsible for support and advocacy for all students, faculty, and staff of marginalized genders and sexualities. Additionally, LGBT Affairs offers educational opportunities related to issues of sexuality, gender, and social justice throughout the broader campus community. LB also serves as the Outreach and Advocacy Chair of the National Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and on the executive board of the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida.
Syracuse University Engagement Fellow
Trevor Raushi is interning with QuERI for the 2013/14 year as a Syracuse University Engagement Fellow. Trevor is a 2013 graduate from Syracuse University and received a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in LGBT Studies. As an undergraduate, he took two QuERI courses: “Queer Kids/Straight Schools©” and “Goodgirls, Sluts and Dykes©” and became interested in QuERI research and applied work. Trevor will be compiling and analyzing documents related to the implementation process of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) in New York State, examining settlement documents in a LGBTQ student harassment case, and bringing leadership projects into the schools to engage young people in actively participating in DASA implementation. He will also be taking graduate course work in Qualitative Research Methods. Trevor plans to go on to law school after his year with QuERI, and hopes to work in LGBT Rights after law school.
QuERI GSA Coordinator 2012-2013
Catherine is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration at Syracuse University’s School of Education. Catherine received her B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. As an undergraduate, Catherine was involved in student activities and student government, as well as was a member of the Equestrian Team. Catherine hopes to work as a college administrator in student development after obtaining her Master’s Degree.
QuERI GSA Coordinator 2011-2012
Kimberly is a Spring 2012 graduate of the Syracuse University School of Education with a dual M.S. in Secondary English education and Inclusive Special Education. Kimberly received her B.A. in English Literature from James Madison University, with a focus on alternative genres and modern literature. Before returning to school to work on her M.A., Kimberly spent a year in schools working in special education classrooms in Hawaii. In Fall 2012, Kimberly will begin her teaching career as a special education teacher in South Carolina.
QuERI Research Fellow 2009-2011
Research Focus: School Policy
Rebecca Johnson is a PhD candidate at Syracuse University in the Cultural Foundations of Education Department with a focus on education policy.
Johnson has been an educational advisor and teacher since 1997. She has taught in public and private schools in the United States and abroad and is a New York State Certified Teacher. In her consulting and professional development work in New York State Schools, she has conducted workshops on inclusive teaching and reducing bias in the school environment. Most recently, she worked at the Center on Education Policy in Washington D.C., researching and current federal education policy.
Johnson holds a B.S. in Economics and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a M.S. in Applied Economics from Cornell University. Starting in Fall 2012, she will be an Assistant Professor of Education at Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, New York.
QuERI Research Associate 2010-2011
Research Focus: Arts Educators’ Experiences in Supporting LGBTQ Youth
Kristin Kelly was the Syracuse University 2010-2011 Engagement Fellow in the arts, dedicating a year to QuERI Arts-in-Action projects in performance and visual arts. She also took qualitative research methods coursework during her engagement year and participated in data collection on using arts to facilitate LGBTQ inclusion in school spaces. Kelly graduated in 2010 from Syracuse University with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. While an undergraduate, she co-founded Community Arts Practice and developed socially and politically aware pieces of theatre, including a musical about the issues of gay marriage. Kristin is currently working for Creative Arts Team in New York City in a program that uses theatre to develop students’ literacy skills for sixth grade students. She has also assistant directed theatre with Spark Summit, and worked as summer Music Director of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s Real Arts Camp. As a performer, Kristin is proud to be singing regularly at LezCab, a monthly musical theater cabaret for and by queer womyn.
Reduction of Stigma in Schools Trainer 2010-2011
Research Focus: School Leadership
Marcia A. Ranieri is a doctoral student at Syracuse University in the Teaching and Leadership Program. Prior to coming to the University, Ranieri was a high school Spanish Teacher and school building leader in a suburban NY district for 8 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish education from Geneseo, her Masters in Bilingual Education from the University at Buffalo, and her C.A.S. in Educational Leadership from Syracuse University. Her research interests include social justice leadership, gender, and inclusion. Ranieri is a member of the Reduction of Stigma in Schools Program that is a partnership between Syracuse University and the School of Education, that works with district leaders and classroom teachers to facilitate discussion and create awareness around the issues that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) students face each day in our schools. In addition, Marcia is the bilingual parent outreach coordinator for the Syracuse University Parent Advocacy Center at Syracuse University. She works to assist bilingual parents in gaining more equitable access for their students with disabilities. Ranieri has received recognition in the field for her work with diversity efforts as well as excellence in teaching. Her current position is an Instructional Administrator in the Guilderland (NY) Central School District.
Reduction of Stigma in Schools Intern 2006-2007
Deanna Adams is currently working on her doctorate in Special Education and Disability Studies at Syracuse University. Her interests are in the critical study of special education and inclusion through a disability studies lens. She is currently doing research on school-wide positive behavior supports as a behavior intervention technique. Deanna has been a teacher in special education at the secondary level and worked as an instructor in the teacher preparation program in inclusive education at Syracuse University. Deanna was the first Reduction of Stigma in Schools graduate student intern in 2006-2007.