BiographyManya is originally from Washington, D.C. but grew up in Charlotte, NC. She is a product of K-12 public schools and thus believes strongly in education for liberation and civic participation. She is passionate about reforming public schools to offer equitable educational opportunities for all students, regardless of demographic characteristics.
She attended Dartmouth College where she received her BA in Psychology before attending Vanderbilt University for graduate school. At Vanderbilt, Manya received an MS and PhD in developmental psychology in addition to completing considerable coursework in the department of Teaching and Learning. While in graduate school she worked as a cognitive skills trainer and educational consultant before completing a two-year post doctoral fellowship. She is now an Assistant Professor and Associate Chair of Education at Colorado College.
Her book, Learning from the Inside-Out: Child Development and School Choice, describes the intersection of development and educational decision-making for parents/families of children in grades PK-12. Her edited volume, Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance, challenges common discourse by documenting the ways women of color have succeeded in the academy.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My research addresses teacher preparation for pre-service teachers hoping to work in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. I examine teachers' diversity related self-constructions such as self-efficacy for culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP), dispositions for CRP, motivation for teaching, role construction for teaching, and many more.
A secondary research line addresses social justice pedagogy as a means to affect social change. I specifically investigate teacher and student cognitions about poverty, out-group members, and their own civic responsibility. I link these variables to various educational outcomes, paying close attention to well known mediating and moderating variables related to teacher practices.
My past research line investigated parental involvement in low income schools. I was particularly interested in how parents construct their role in their children's education, where parents get information related to schooling, and how school practices affect role construction.
When Manya is not teaching or writing about social and political issues in education, she enjoys horseback riding, reading paranormal romance novels, and binge watching British crime dramas. You might find her at the gym, in a local coffee shop, or enjoying her property in rural Colorado.