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2021-2022 Graduate Student Ambassadors- Caitlin M. Donovan

Program Area of Study

Ph.D. Teacher Education and Learning Sciences (TELS), Literacy & English Language Arts


Caitlin M. Donovan is a second-year doctoral student in the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences program. Her research interests center on critical digital literacies, online writing communities, e-learning, LGBTQ student success, and teacher preparation. As an instructor of undergraduate and graduate teaching methods courses, she emphasizes intentional writing scaffolding, the power of digital tools, and the importance of culturally sustaining pedagogies. Caitlin currently works with the Literacy and Community Initiative and Pathway to Practice residency license program. When not writing, you can find her playing Dungeons & Dragons, chilling with her cats, and eating old lady ice cream flavors. 

Why NC State?

I chose to attend NCSU’s graduate school due to the high quality faculty for research and advising, an emphasis on making meaningful change to practice through research, and my program’s commitment to racial justice. The broad range of experiences offered to graduate students aligned well with the necessary skills and dispositions necessary for professional placement both within and outside of academia. 

One insight gained so far…

Figuring out how you are best positioned to use your experiences, learning, and research to fight for justice in education is tough. I, like many of my colleagues, came to this program with a desire to not only learn, but also to do more for the field. I came in with a perspective hyper-focused on the teacher or school-based experience; my time at NCSU has already introduced me to both philosophies and opportunities to understand and research education from other lenses. The CoE at NCSU provides you with access to faculty whose research emphasizes equity and justice. However you want to be involved, there are projects with different focuses that are excited to welcome you on board. Are you a researcher’s researcher, interested in publishing and presenting at top rated conferences? Are you interested in preservice teachers, teacher mentors, or teacher educators? Are you invested in schools or the community based organizations that support them? Do you believe systemic change happens with students, administrators, or policies? I thought I knew my answer to these questions, but this program has shown the multiplicity of ways that justice work needs to be done if we want an equitable educational experience for all students and staff.