Amanda moved to southern New Mexico from Chicago, Illinois in 2015 to pursue a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Her two passions are being a researcher-educator-writer who focuses on children, diversity, technology, and media and balancing her love of being a scholar with maintaining a wholistic lifestyle. Her dissertation research examines the racial and gender representation of characters within preschool apps. She currently works at NMSU’s Learning Games Lab, where she leads user-testing sessions, teaches summer sessions with young people on game design, and works on a few design teams on current projects in development. She is also a Research Fellow with New America‘s Educational Policy Program and a 2020-2021 National Science Foundation CADRE Fellow.
In addition to her own research and her work as the Games Lab Coordinator, Amanda is a contributing writer for Edutopia, a founding member of KidMap, an active member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and a member of Britannica Early Learning Advisory Council. She was also a member of the Technical Working Group to refresh the ISTE Standards for Educators released in 2017. Before coming to NMSU, Amanda conducted research with Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative and was the program coordinator at the Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute.
To maintain her sanity and continue thriving in her professional pursuits, she likes to go on runs, nurture a daily asana and meditation practice, spend time with friends and family, develop her photography and creative writing skills, and take time to be with herself. One of her favorites quotes is by Audre Lorde which states, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Amanda recently wrote about her self-care journey in the essay, “I Didn’t Expect This!: How Healing and Care Became a Part of My Black Feminist Journey in Academia”, which will be released in 2020 in the upcoming book Feminist Pilgrimage: Journeys of Discovery. She also completed her 200 yoga teacher training with Downtown Desert Yoga and teaches at the studio.
- Doctoral Candidate – New Mexico State University, College of Ed., Curriculum & Instruction Ph.D. program; Focuses: Learning Design & Technology and Early Childhood Education
- Erikson Institute, M.S. in Child Development with specialization in Administration
- Bradley University, B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and Minors in German and Women’s Studies