Student Spotlight: Monique Coleman

Monique Coleman is currently a Rutgers Graduate School of Education student pursuing her Ed.D. with a concentration in Education Culture and Society. Coleman recently published a book review discussing Monique W. Morris’s book titled Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

Pushout is a book that centers in on the lack of literature about the many ways that the school-to-prison-pipeline affects black women and girls in schools. It also addresses the stigmas, stereotypes, and misconceptions that many black girls face on a regular basis. “Often times the girls who experience the type of school push out that Morris studied have experienced trauma in their lives and have had little to no support to help get them on a positive track… this book follows the stories of girls who have been marginalized and criminalized in educational institutions.” Coleman’s review provides a great look into Morris’s book, and she feels that it is a necessary read for educators and students alike. She stressed how important it is to have open and honest conversations with students and educators in an attempt to debunk some of the many stereotypes and stigmas of black womanhood that affect countless black girls in schools. 

The work Coleman has done in her studies at the GSE and in her reading and review of Morris’s book Pushout aims to uncover and discuss educational inequities that often receive inadequate attention.  She seeks to facilitate diverse and inclusive classrooms where black girls feel comfortable and free to be themselves, speak their truths, and have their voices heard and valued. Coleman calls for educators to openly discuss and work to address the stigmas and barriers to educational achievement for black girls. In all the work she does she always strives to Advance Excellence and Equity in Education.

Coleman chose to pursue her Ed.D. at the GSE because of the nationally acclaimed programs and esteemed faculty members that are available to students in the doctoral program.

“The GSE has offered me so much during my time here so far both in practical skills that I can apply in the workplace and in relational skills that I have used to create an amazing network at the university.” Out of all of the takeaways she has gained from the GSE so far, the practical and relational skills she has gained have been the most beneficial to advancing her career in the educational field. Much of the course work in the program has helped her understand how to critically read, analyze, and apply scholarly research articles, and how to utilize multiple frameworks to understand educational phenomena.

“Knowing that I have a community of colleagues and dedicated faculty members there supporting me on my journey is one of the most reassuring feelings… I have made friends that are not only doing amazing work in the educational field but who are friends that I will have for a lifetime.” Dr. Ben Justice, Dr. Melinda Mangin, Dr. Beth Rubin, and Dr. Sharon Ryan are all faculty members who have really been supportive and encouraging of Coleman and who have challenged Coleman at every stage helping her realize her potential.