James was born and raised in Florida. He is proud to have started at Valencia College earning his Associates in Arts in Business Administration with honors. Continuing his education, James completed his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration at the University of Central Florida. James’ deep passion for education is shown through his experiences as a 5th grade teacher, a college advisor, and now a graduate student researcher. As a result of his experiences as an educator, James’ research is founded in supporting teachers. From classroom management to identifying innovative school models, James aims to support educators to equitably and dynamically empower their diverse students.
James is pursuing a degree in Educational Psychology in the College of Education at FSU, and is currently on the board for a non-profit focused on mentoring at-risk youth. This program was founded and operated by his childhood best friend and has dramatically reduced the recidivism rates of the adolescents who have participated in the program. At last year’s Florida Educational Research Association conference, James was one of two graduate students to earn the Best Overall Poster award for his presentation of Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Strategies in CDF Freedom Schools. This past April, James earned 2nd place in Florida State University’s Graduate School’s inaugural Master’s-in-Four (MI4) Finalist Competition, where he presented Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Strategies Beliefs and Actions in under 4 minutes. He has also been honored with the PURPOSE Fellowship, the Florida Education Fund’s McKnight Doctoral Fellowship and recently received the Dr. Linda J. Smith Endowed Scholarship for Lifelong Learning. He is a member of the Florida State University’s Fellows Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society.
His current research endeavors include a meta-analysis of over 74,000 articles summarizing 20 years of research on the effectiveness of early literacy curricula and instructional practices. He is also working on identifying the possible Peer Effects in small-group language interventions. His most recent presentation was on adapting the 25 years of Evidence-Centered Assessment Design to Evidence-Centered Classroom Assessment Design aimed at collaborating to calibrate teaching. After he earns his PhD, James’ dream is to open Lifespan Development Centers dedicated to providing individualized, real-time, research-informed educational experiences for the community.