University of Kentucky’s Cheryl Matias Honored by the American Educational Research Association

University of Kentucky College of Education Professor Cheryl E. Matias has received national recognition for her work in racial justice and teacher education as the recipient of the 2020 American Educational Research Association’s Mid-Career Award in Teaching and Teacher Education.

A national panel of senior scholars unanimously selected Professor Matias for the mid-career award for her contributions to the field, including her research in whiteness, gender and diversity. “Dr. Matias has clearly become a leading voice in racially just teacher education,” wrote Dorothea Anagnostopoulos, vice-president of the association’s Teaching and Teacher Education Division and associate professor at the University of Connecticut. “Dr. Matias’ work rose to the top in a competitive group of very strong nominations.”

Professor Matias’ research and teaching are primarily focused on racial justice in education. But, she also is committed to efforts to remove barriers in academia that often impact women, faculty of color, and mothers. She is the author of Feeling White: Whiteness, Emotionality (Sense Publishers, 2016) and the editor of Surviving Becky(s): Pedagogies for Deconstructing Whiteness and Gender (Lexington Books, 2019).

In accepting the award, Professor Matias stated that “as a mother, scholar, and woman faculty member of color, there were barriers to overcome, hidden pathways to navigate and unspoken rules I had to learn during my early academic journey. This award is especially meaningful to me because it represents not only the difficulty in navigating academia as a mother/scholar of color, but also the importance of studying the emotionality of whiteness to promote racially just teaching practices. And, in a time like now, it is vital we come together for racial harmony.”

Professor Matias is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. She earned a master’s degree in education from California State University, Long Beach and a Ph.D. in social science and comparative education from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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