Dr. Jennifer Waddell, Director

Jennifer WaddellDr. Waddell currently serves as the Director of the Institute for Urban Education (IUE) and Sprint Foundation Endowed Professor in Urban Education at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In this role, she works collaboratively with Kansas City partner school districts and the community to prepare educators who are committed to social justice and educational equity. Dr. Waddell has been with the IUE since its inception, first serving on the IUE Program Design Team and Executive Committee during the initial planning phases of the IUE. In 2005, when IUE launched, Dr. Waddell served as the IUE Associate Director and was responsible for IUE recruitment, curricular programming, IUE internships and school partnerships, and student support and mentoring. Dr. Waddell served in the role of IUE Associate Director until 2017, when she was named Director. Dr. Waddell has received a number of grants related to the IUE and preparing teachers for urban schools. Most notably, she was the Principal Investigator and primary author on an $8.36 Million Teacher Quality Partnership Grant from the US Department of Education (Project CAUSE) and a $356,000 grant from the WK Kellogg Foundations (Project ACCESS) which enhanced community partnerships for the IUE and elementary education programs. Dr. Waddell teaches courses in diversity, working with communities and families, curriculum design, effective instruction and teacher leadership. Both nationally and internationally, Dr. Waddell has presented her work around teacher preparation and educational equity in a variety of forums, including a session at the US Department of Education on preparing culturally competent teachers and professional presentations at conferences such as American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, American Educational Research Association and Association for Educational Studies. Dr. Waddell is active in research and scholarship pertaining to teacher preparation for diverse communities, social justice education, and diversity and educational equity. Her faculty webpage contains more information about her role as a faculty member and leader within the School of Education and UMKC, including information about select publications.

Dr. Brad Poos, Associate Director

Dr. Poos is currently the Associate Director in the Institute for Urban Education (IUE). As Associate Director, Dr. Poos is responsible for teacher pathway programs, community partnerships and engagement, and student support. Dr. Poos has experience in both k-12 and higher education. Having started his career in education as a middle and high school social studies teacher, Dr. Poos then moved into school counseling as a middle school counselor. Most recently, Dr. Poos was a faculty member and coordinator of the Grow Your Own program at Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri.  His research focuses on issues related to the historical and social context of schooling. In particular, Dr. Poos is interested in the history of urban education, urban teacher preparation, social justice education, and diversity and educational equity. Dr. Poos has written and published broadly in these areas and has presented his work around the country. He has long been committed to work around equity and justice in education and the community at large. Most notably, Dr. Poos has been involved in Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (National SEED Project: https://nationalseedproject.org/about-us/about-seed) programming and has served on the board of directors for the AdHoc Group Against Crime and the Center for Conflict Resolution.

Dr. Hilary McNeil, Site Coordinator

Dr. McNeil currently serves as a Site Coordinator for the Institute for Urban Education (IUE).  As a Site Coordinator she supports and coaches teacher candidates in IUE school sites and builds relationships with K-12 teachers and schools to partner in preparing exemplary teachers.  Dr. McNeil also teaches courses in the IUE and elementary programs.  Prior to her work at the University of Missouri Kansas City, Dr. McNeil taught at the elementary school level in different regions of the country.  Her doctoral research focused on the social-emotional experience of reading in urban elementary schools.  Overall research interests include urban teacher preparation, reading teacher preparation, and equitable literacy education for diverse populations.