Dr. Tara Nkrumah, Assistant Research Professor
Tara was born in Chicago, Illinois. Most of her early adult life was spent in Texas and Tennessee before moving to West Africa. After seven years, she returned to the United States from Ghana to complete her PhD. She has 13 years of teaching experience in the United States and seven years in Ghana. Her ability to successfully teach science in diverse settings by population, culture, and class is attributed to years of teaching in U.S. inner city, urban schools, and overseas at the top international school in Accra, Ghana with over 60 nationalities. She has taught both high school level courses in Biology, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, Health, Algebra I and in middle school Comprehensive Science. She is well versed in teaching the Middle Years Program (MYP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum as well as Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Mentored by her father and grandmother at an early age cultivated her passion in the field of science/STEM education. The conferred degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Middle Tennessee State University, a Masters in Education from Tennessee State University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of South Florida. Tara is energetic, disciplined and passionate about exposing students to the joys of science education through hands-on experiences that help them to bridge the classroom to their community and life. Tara’s research agenda on science curriculum (leadership) development explores methods to increase the underrepresentation of Black women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, (STEM). Her current research on the pedagogical and theoretical development of science educators’ understanding and practice of engagement in science relies on poststructuralist perspectives, her extensive experience teaching science, and her exposure to qualitative research methods. Additionally, her training in anti-oppressive theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, supports her examination of how popular culture and sociopolitical discourse flow through entertainment media and frame public perception about science education and/or STEM careers, particularly for underrepresented groups. Besides conducting research and presenting, she enjoys meeting new people, traveling, exercising, dancing, eating Indian food, and spending time with her husband and daughter.