Shabnam Koirala-Azad, PhD


Shabnam Koirala-Azad

Shabnam Koirala-Azad explores social and educational (in)equities through a transnational lens. Through ethnography and participatory research, her work critically examines the experiences of South Asian students and families in schools and society, as they experience shifting identities and navigate through structural inequities in various geographic, social and political spaces. By examining their realities in both home and host country contexts, she offers new ideas for transnational social action and highlights methodologies that directly address concerns with power and representation. As a mother-scholar, she is also interested in scholarship with an asset-based understanding of how mothering enriches careers in academia.

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Colette N. Cann, PhD


Colette Cann

Dr. Colette N. Cann is an associate dean and associate professor in the School of Education. Dr. Cann earned her BA from Stanford University and completed both her MA and PhD at the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. Before coming to USF, she served for over ten years at Vassar College as an associate professor of Africana Studies and Education, as a class advisor, as a house fellow in a residence hall, and as the director of Exploring Transfer (a program to support community college students’ aspirations to transfer to four-year institutions). In addition, Dr. Cann worked with students over the past four years to establish the RISE Center for Racial Justice. RISE's most recent initiative focused on working with teachers to increase their racial literacy. Her scholarship has allowed her to collaborate with teachers, students, and community organizations and has appeared in journals such as Race, Ethnicity and Education, Whiteness and Education, Urban Education, Journal of Peace Education, Qualitative Inquiry, and Cultural Studies <–> Critical Methodologies. Dr. Cann's most recent publication is The Activist Academic: Engaged Scholarship for Resistance, Hope and Social Change. She is excited to join this leadership team of fierce scholar-mothers of color.

Dr. Whitneé L. Garrett-Walker


Whitnee L. Garret-Walker headshot

Dr. Whitneé L. Garrett-Walker (she/her) is the Assistant Dean of Credentialing and Partnerships in the School of Education. Dr. W. Garrett-Walker is a Black, Indigenous (Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana, enrolled member) and Queer wife, mother and scholar born and raised on Raymaytush Ohlone Land. Whitneé has extensive experience loving, living and working in the field of public education and spent over a decade as a middle and high school teacher, instructional coach and school administrator in urban public schools in Oakland Unified and San Francisco Unified School Districts, respectively. Dr. Garrett-Walker is a triple- credentialed California educator who believes deeply in the power of critical hope, healing, and educational justice.

Whitneé is a qualitative researcher whose scholarship is grounded in her desire to explore and make known the experiences of racialized and gendered people in educational leadership, more specifically, Black and Indigenous women. Her dissertation titled, Replanting a Wild Seed: Black school leaders subverting Ideological Lynching, explored the life and work of current and retired Black women in urban a larger urban school district in Northern California. Drawing on the work of Octavia Butler, Ida B. Wells and Whitneé’s own ancestors, she sought to bring Black women in conversation across different generations to find out why they’re in this work and how they heal in the face of such intense and unforgiving work.

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