Nicole Russell

  • Biographical Description

    • Dr. Nicole M. Russell joins the DU community as an assistant professor of education in the Morgridge College of Education.

      Dr. Russell holds a degree in multicultural and mathematics education from the University of Washington, where James A. Banks served as her dissertation chair. She also had the privilege to study with seminal scholars such as Dr. Geneva Gay, Dr. Nancy Beadie, and Dr. Ilana Horn (now at Vanderbilt University).

      Her research interests include mathematics achievement of African Americans; culturally responsive pedagogy; equity/access in mathematics classrooms; classroom discourse; the role of African American culture in learning broadly, and mathematics development specifically; pre-service and in-service teacher professional development; history of mathematics education of African Americans (1860s to twentieth century)

      Dr. Russell's work is founded in the tenet of education as liberation. She utilizes a critical race and multicultural education lens to understand the historical, social, cultural, and political nature of mathematics teaching and learning in the U.S. and its role in perpetuating dominant ideologies of mathematics domain identity.

      Winter Quarter 2014 Office Hours:

      Mondays: 2:00 - 3:30


      Office: 303.871.2487

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Service

    • SISTAH NETWORK at University of Denver

      The Sistah Network is a group of current Black women from doctoral programs and faculty accross DU.  This group of women come together to support Black graduate females in doctoral programs.  The mission is to provide academic opportunities for formal professional development (i.e. mock defenses and job talks), accountability structures (i.e. creating timelines for graduation), and paper or conferenceproposal development.  We are documenting the effectivenss of this affinity network group through an action research project.  Currenlty, we have over 50 women involved in this needed work.

    • Here is a copy of our flyer for academic year 2012-2013.

  • Scholarship: Research Projects

    • My research is about advancing equity and social justice for Black
      females with a particular focus on mathematics education.  I have lead
      several research efforts and projects regarding this interest.

    • History of Mathematics and Science Education of Blacks, 1866 - 1954

      This is a project that is currently being funded through a PROF grant from the University of Denver. This is an examination of the mathematics content and learning expereinces of African Americans mainly in the South during dejure segregation.

      I am examining primary sources from 20 different Historically Black Colleges and Universites. June 2013, I collected data from 9 of those institutions. Below are some pictures of my research travel.

    • TuskegeeArchives.jpg
    • TuskegeeArchives2.jpg
  • Scholarship: Research & Projects

    • College Aspirations Readiness and Empowerment (CARE) for Adolscent Black Girls is a project that brought 45 8th, 9th, and 10th grade African AMerican girls from Cherry Creek School District to DU. It was a collaborated effort with Dr. Lori D. Patton, Associate Professor and many other departments at DU including Natural Sciences and Matheatmics faculty and the Center for Multicultural Excellence.  

      It was a day filled with workshops that focued on STEM and Empowerment.  Take a look at the program.  We conducted a pre and post survey of the young ladies' college aspirations and readiness.  We are in the process of analzyzing this data.

    • scienceworkshop3.JPG
    • ESEA Grant:  Mathematics & Science Leadership Institute

      The MSLI institute was a project that I was co-PI on with Dr. Kent Seidel, Associate Professor of Educatinal Leadership and Policy.  I lead the mathematics design team.  To learn more about this work, go to our MSLI portfolio at

  • Teaching


      I approach my courses as a transformative educational scholar.  I am interested in how graduate students of education can build consciousness, knowledge, and ideological foundations to transform the educational experiences of all students in our increasingly diverse nation. 

       As your instructor, I will do my best to create an environment where all students have an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas.  I am not interested in having all of us think similarly; I am more interested in exploring differences and the cultural ramifications and beliefs behind our differing opinions.  I am not afraid to have difficult conversations.  My one requirement is that all students are heard and respected.

       In view of the fact that students learn in different ways, I take different approaches in presenting/facilitating the information—readings, large and small group discussions, and use different types of media.  In this way it is my goal that ALL of my students are able to leave the course feeling successful.

       A few challenges that I pose to students who take my couses as well as myself are to: 

      • Be courageous in putting forth your own thoughts while being open to the ideas and experiences of others
      • Make this course about uncovering your own thoughts, questions, and assumptions as an educator and/or emerging scholar, but also go in with the mindset that you will stay open to new ideas presented in the course and through discussions
      • Try to remember that considering new perspectives is not about discounting or negating your own experiences, but about opening yourself to the lived experiences of others
      • Remain tactful, thoughtful, and respectful when presenting your ideas and responding to others

      Here is a sample syllabus below.

    • This was a hybrid course.  Hybrid means that we meet F2F and online.

    • The video below is a  welcome message that I use for my hybrid and online courses.

    • Welcome Video

    • This video below is demonstrating one way in which I enhance the learning experience of my graduate students by co-constructing classroom norms.

    • Co-Constructing Norms With Students
This portfolio last updated: Mar 6, 2014 10:00:10 AM