Special Education Consultant
Arthur, Art, Mitchell is a Special Education Consultant of a Youth Advocacy Firm called Zaj Inspirations located in Charlotte, NC. At the age of 6, Arthur was diagnosed with an eye disease called Keratoconus. Keratoconus is an eye disease that presses on your pupil causing blurriness to your vision. Growing up with this disease was not an easy task and Art experienced bullying from his peers. Art was later introduced to a procedure that could possibly help his vision, called corneal transplants. Art had 7 eye surgeries to correct his vision. For nearly a decade, Art's passion for working with the youth increased tremendously. He has worked with various organizations to give youth direction and support. As a speaker, author & life coach, Artempowers Special Education students to achieve their annual IEP academic goals, healthy lifestyles, and building character.
Associate Director of Student Involvement
Heather Miller is an Associate Director for Student Involvement at UNC Charlotte and has worked for the university for 6 years. She mentors and advises students in all areas of personal and professional growth, empowering them to contribute to a vibrant and engaging campus culture. Over these 6 years, Heather has also worked to heal her mental and emotional health, a journey that inspired her to complete a 200-hour yoga and meditation teacher training program in the fall of 2018. This program imparted on Heather the benefits of turning inward and becoming friendly with your mind in an effort to heal harmful thought patterns. She hopes to share a bit about these self-inquiry practices and the impact they can have on one's own healing.
Janaka Bowman Lewis, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Study of the New South at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the author of Freedom Narratives of African American Women (McFarland 2017) and three children's books (Brown All Over, Bold Nia Marie Passes the Test, and co-author of Dr. King is Tired, Too!!). She is a co-creator of a joint-family Charlotte based educational service company, Backpack Plus Family Resources, and founder of the Vanilla Bowman Foundation for Educational Impact based in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Kara is an undergraduate student at Charlotte where she works as a Communications Consultant for Communication Across the Curriculum. Kara is majoring in English with a minor in Chinese. She is a part of the English Honors Program, a member of Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honors Society), and works in the Charlotte Office of Disability Services as a closed captionist. In 2020-2021, Kara and Sharmily Ambroise researched the impact of online environments for their peer Communication Consultants at Charlotte. This research was presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference and won the Education and Communication oral presentation award for their research. Kara did additional research this past summer analyzing linguistic markers of Marshallese English with Dr. Elise Berman as part of the OUR Summer Research Program.
Ninah-Miriam Dickson Kiraya was born and raised on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Ninah-Miriam is currently an International Student at Queens University in Charlotte where she is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship– the highest scholarship at Queens based on high academic and leadership achievement. She is a pre-nursing major with a public health minor. Through educational exhibitions, such as travelling to the University of Oxford, and several immersion trips to multiple countries in both Africa and Europe, Ninah-Miriam has expanded her ideas and perspectives of the world. Additionally, Ninah-Miriam attended the United World College of East Africa in Moshi, Tanzania. Ninah-Miriam believes in the art of diversity for the progression of the world's challenges and strives to develop her cultural competence.
Quinton is a third year student originally from Lumberton, North Carolina. Quinton is double majoring in architecture and history at UNC Charlotte. As a member of the Levine Scholars Program, Quinton has been encouraged to study the intersection of gentrification and urban development in the Charlotte neighborhood. Quinton participated in a year long research project with Dr. Nicole Peterson to analyze previously recorded oral histories from Charlotte residents in the Lockwood neighborhood and conduct additional archival research. Quinton was awarded the Community Engaged Research Award at Charlotte's Undergraduate Research Conference.
Sharmily is an undergraduate student in her senior year at Charlotte where she works as a Communications Consultant for Communication Across the Curriculum. In 2020-2021, Sharmily and Kara Richardson researched the impact of online environments for their peer Communication Consultants at Charlotte. This research was presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference. Sharmily is a biology major with hopes of going into the medical field after graduation. Sharmily is involved on campus and is a member of Global Medical Brigades, Delta Phi Lambda sorority, and is involved in the Honors in Biological Sciences Program. Outside of school, work, and her involvements, you can find Sharmily reading, hiking, baking, or traveling.
Stephen is a recent graduate from the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture and currently practice architecture with a high-end residential contractor in Charlotte. Stephen has spent the last 10 years of his career living and designing homes in the suburbs, but his academic studies and personal experiences from the pandemic have displayed how suburbia cannot be the solution to social exchange and financial investment. While pursuing his Master of Architecture degree at UNC Charlotte, Stephen researched the social and financial obstacles that prevent upward mobility through real estate investment that will be outlined in a report made public this fall. As an uptown Charlotte citizen, Stephen believes that the only sustainable, resilient, and humane way to live is in an urban setting– because fences do not make good neighbors, they make good strangers.
Dr. Tehia Starker Glass is an award-winning Associate Professor of Elementary Education and Educational Psychology and the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Cato College of Education at UNC Charlotte. She was the first Black woman to earn tenure in the Cato College of Education in 2014. Tehia is the co-founder and program director for the Anti-Racism in Urban Education graduate certificate program. She also is the campus co-lead for the Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium. She is a proud alumna of Bethune-Cookman University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include exploring how teachers and caregivers discuss race with children, preparing preservice and inservice teachers‚ culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy, and examining motivational factors that influence teachers' behavior towards racially diverse students. Tehia lives in the Charlotte area with her partner and two young sons.