Nicol R. Howard, PhD is currently the Interim Dean in the School of Education at the University of Redlands. Dr. Howard is also the Co-Director of the Race in Education Analytics Learning Lab (REAL Lab) where she engages students in critical quantitative and mixed methods research projects that allow them to critically examine systems, policies, and practices as they seek change within their various professional contexts.
Dr. Howard was recently invited by the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed-Methodologies (ICQCM) to join the 2021 National Science Foundation QCM Scholars Cohort. Dr. Howard’s research focuses on the racialized experiences of Black girls and families in mathematics, science, computer science, and digital spaces. She uses critical quantitative and mixed methodological approaches that center Black girls’ experiences to further interrogate the impact of intersecting social locations and complex power dynamics (in and out-of-school) while uplifting the Black community and families. In recent works, she examined how the prevalence of deficit narratives rooted in racist ideologies call for more nuanced ways of liberating Black learners from experiences that criminalize positive practices (e.g., dreaming, resting) in order to provide fertile ground for use of Black radical imagination - one that cultivates stories of a thriving Black future. She continues to explore the possibilities and affordances of engaging daydreaming as freedom dreaming for Black learners (Jones & Howard, 2022). In addition to her work that centers Black youths' experiences, she advocates for digital equity and justice for marginalized peoples.
Her concerns for certain inequities have led to numerous publications in journals, such as the Urban Education, Journal of Future Studies, Educational Policy, and e-Learning and Digital Media. She has also co-authored four books: Standing in the Gap: Empowering New Teachers through Connected Resources, Closing the Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for Teacher Prep Programs, Closing the Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for the K-12 Classroom, and Coding+Math: Strengthen K-5 Math Skills with Computer Science. Dr. Howard is co-founder and co-editor for the Journal of Computer Science Integration.