Laura K. Handler       

Laura K. Handler photo

Laura Handler is an Assistant Professor of Education focusing on elementary education and instructional design at Greensboro College. She credits the hundreds of students, families, student teachers, colleagues, and mentors throughout her educational journey for their shared learning experiences that have put her in her current position. Their collective stories of triumphs, ambitions, challenges, and inequities drive her work within and around the education system.

Throughout her nine years teaching at the elementary level, Laura focused on building school community through family engagement and service opportunities, such as gardening, art, and storytelling. She also led partnership and grant initiatives aimed at enriching the learning experiences offered by the school, initiating a summer camp that grew into a current Freedom School site. Prior to completing her doctorate, Laura also coached teachers in meeting the learning needs of diverse students. She has taught and studied in Argentina, Mexico, and Kenya, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Currently, Laura serves on the Community Equity Committee for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and co-chairs Children of the World Learning Center, a nonprofit, dual language and multicultural preschool.

Experiences in schools–then and now–drive her research pursuits focused on educational equity: at the policy level focused on school choice and integration; in teacher education preparing candidates to enact practices of equity; and in the PreK-12 classroom investigating inquiry-based pedagogies that promote social justice. Laura is co-editor of The Divide Within: Intersections of Realities, Facts, Theories, and Practices, and has published in journals such as Educational Policy Analysis Archives, Theory & Research in Social Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, and Journal of Research on Technology in Education.

Laura received her B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2004, her M.Ed in TESOL from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2009, and her Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction also from Charlotte in 2018. For four years Laura served as Adjunct Faculty there, supervising student teachers and teaching undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses in instructional design, elementary social studies and diversity, inclusive classrooms for immigrant students, and teacher inquiry. Laura lives in Charlotte with her husband, Jeff, and two young boys, who provide interesting insights each day about individual learning processes and schooling experiences.

Joshua Fitzgerald photo

“I loved the GC Honors program and Greensboro College. I felt safe and a sense of genuine belonging at the college. I worked closely with my thesis advisor and professors who helped inspire me to define my path and passion of interest. That path has led me to my doctoral studies in Engineering Mechanics.”

- Joshua Fitzgerald, Class of ’19, Mathematics Major

Joshua currently studies astrodynamics at Virginia Tech University and is an Engineering Mechanics Ph.D. Candidate.