Ayana Allen-Handy, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education. She received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as a first grade teacher and literacy specialist in the Houston Independent School District. After completion of her MEd from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, she served as the Director of College Counseling and Alumni Programs at YES Prep Public Schools. In 2010, she received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Urban Education from Texas A& M University.
Most recently she completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at The Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte where she conducted ethnographic research on comprehensive urban school transformation in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dr. Allen’s research interests include the interdisciplinary examination of issues of equity and social justice in schools and historically marginalized communities. She is passionate about youth identity development and Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR). Her work seeks to illuminate the community cultural wealth embedded in communities of color in urban epicenters.
In her leisure time she is committed to her yoga practice, pilates/barre classes, running on the Kelly Drive Loop, and spending quality time with her family.