Student Spotlight July 2018

    Vanessa Posey



    Vanessa Posey grew up in the Michigan education system before attending Indiana University for a B.A. in Business Management. From there, Vanessa moved to Louisville, KY where she attended Bellarmine University and received a Master of Arts in Teaching, then later a Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership and School Administration. After conversations with colleagues, Vanessa joined the University of Louisville family, and is currently entering the dissertation phase of the doctoral program in Education Administration and Leadership.

    “Vanessa Posey embodies the type of student that we want in our Ed.D. program, which is affiliated with the University Council for Educational Administration and the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate. She is a scholarly practitioner using research to inform her work as the Minority Teacher Recruiter in Jefferson County, seeking to diversify the district’s faculty and to improve the experiences and outcomes of at-risk students.”

     -Dr. W Kyle Ingle, Associate Professor and Assistant Department Chair



    1. What brought you to the University of Louisville?

    I knew a couple people who were in the doctoral program, and they spoke highly of it.  I appreciate the cohort model and the partnership UofL has with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), which allows us to be practitioners and students at an affordable rate at a research university. I was also drawn to UofL because of the diversity in the cohort as well as the diversity of the department’s professors.

    2. Specific areas of research (how you chose this research, why it interested you):

    My specific area of research is examining Black female students’ perceptions of restorative practice (RP) talking circles at an urban alternative middle school. This topic is of interest to me for many reasons. Number one, I am the mother of two daughters, and secondly, it relates to my experience in restorative practice and wanting to transform how schools do discipline. There is a grave need for research that explores students’ perspective on RP, due to the ever-increasing number of Black females being suspended and placed in alternative schools.

    3. How would you describe your area of study/ specific research to a friend or family member unfamiliar with your field?

    I would describe my research to my family and friends as a study to research what black middle school girls at an alternative school think about restorative practice talking circles. I want to know if the girls enjoy the talking circles and if it is making a difference in their lives. It is important that we hear from the students regarding programs we are implementing in our schools. I would inform my family and friends that restorative practice talking circles is about relationship building and teaching empathy.

    4. What accomplishment, academic or otherwise, are you most proud of?

    In May, I presented at the Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation (KEEP) summit, in Louisville, KY. I presented on “Reimagining Educator Preparation in Kentucky by Competency, Awareness, and Responsiveness to Diverse Students (C.A.R.D.S)” with Dr. Shelley Thomas and Erin Biery.

    5. What has been your favorite part of the graduate school experience at UofL?

    My favorite part of the graduate school experience thus far has been the friends I have formed in my cohort and how we have supported each other along our dissertation journey. I enjoyed the courses we took and have learned so much. When I look back at myself when I first started the graduate program, I have grown in my writing, in research and professionally.

    6. What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?

    I feel that the greatest challenge that graduate students face is balancing work, family, and school. It is extremely difficult, it takes organization, sacrifices, and a strong support system (family and friends). I have dealt with this challenge with my faith in God, my family and friends, planning things out, staying in the moment when I am with my daughters, and carving out time for myself. I have had to decline to attend many events, but being in school is temporary and graduation for me is less than a year away.

    7. Family life:

    I have two lovely daughters—Kennedi Posey, who is 10 years old and will be in the sixth grade, and Kendall Posey, who is 7 years old and will be in the second grade. I enjoy spending time with my dad, older sister, her husband, and my three nephews and niece. 

    Fun Facts
    A talent you have always wanted: To be able to sing
    Favorite book:This Will Be My Undoing, by Morgan Jenkins
    Favorite quote:

    “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
    Role Model: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey
    Favorite Vacation Destination: Florida; my sister and her family live there.
    If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now? Not sure