Futrell Scholars




Cultivating Diversity, Empowering Excellence

The Futrell Scholars Program was created to honor the work of Dr. Mary Futrell, former Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (1995-2010). During her tenure, she championed diversifying graduate student enrollment and progression at GW. Building on her efforts and our commitment to diversity, GSEHD established the Futrell Scholars Program to recruit and retain a diverse group of scholars each year, reduce education costs, and mentor scholars throughout their doctoral programs at GW.

Mary Futrell headshot

Dr. Mary Futrell


Graduates of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), which include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and others, who have been accepted into a GSEHD doctoral program and meet all requirements for the MSI Scholarship are eligible to participate in the Futrell Scholars Program. (Access is based on this determination by admissions and is not restricted to any one program, department, or racial group.)

Program Overview

Having a supportive and understanding community throughout a doctoral program is proven to help students better navigate challenges and establish an academic network for post-graduate careers.

Futrell Scholars will be assigned to a cohort, including 2-3 other scholars, led by volunteer GSEHD faculty and/or professional staff members. The program does not replace the guidance of academic advisors; rather, it extends the support network and advocates for participating students during their tenure at GW.

The Scholars program emphasizes the three Rs - rigor, relevance, and relationships. Our faculty and staff mentors form relationships with the new students, help scholars to think through major issues (rigor), and ensure participants are connecting what they are learning to the world around them (relevance).

Applying for the Program

Doctoral students that are eligible for the MSI Scholarship are automatically invited to participate in the program. To be considered, indicate in your application for admission that you graduated from a MSI and that you are interested in receiving funding.

Learn More

For more information, contact Dr. Doran Gresham, Faculty Director for the Futrell Scholars Program, at dgresham@gwu.edu.

cutout photo on white backgroun, Dr. Doran Gresham high fives Hippo mascot wearing GW Teach shirt




Meet the 2024 Futrell Scholars


Amanda Deebrah headshot

Amanda Deebrah   |   New York, NY

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I wouldn’t be who I am today without the people who have helped me, and I look forward to paying that back and helping others however I can.

Research Interests: Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher retention in New York City Public Schools (NYCPS)
   - M.S., New York Institute of Technology - Instructional Technology
   - B.Se.D., CUNY New York City College of Technology - Career and Technology Teacher Education

Tiffany Emanuel-Wright headshot

Tiffany Emanuel-Wright   |   Warner Robins, GA

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My desire is to continuously learn and improve my practice to demonstrate excellence and unrelenting drive to my daughter and two sons. They are definitely my greatest and proudest accomplishment in life!

Research Interests: Culturally responsive school leadership in curriculum & instruction amid current education policy and legislation
   - M.S., Nova Southeastern University - Educational Leadership
   - B.A., Howard University - Communications

Tiombe Ewing headshot

Tiombe A. Ewing   |   Bronx, NY

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Addressing systemic inequities and ensuring equal opportunities for all students drives my advocacy for trauma-informed practices and inclusive educational environments.

Research Interests: Addressing disparities in access to trauma-informed services, support, and ensuring that all children, regardless of background, can benefit from a more just and equitable educational experience
   - M.Ed., The George Washington University - Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
   - B.S., Centenary College, NJ - Business Administration
   - A.S., Essex County College, NJ - Special Education

Patrice Hydara headshot

Patrice Hydara   |   Queens, NY

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My family, kids, and husband. The students I work with. I want them to know they will always have someone in their corner rooting for their growth and success.

Research Interests: Special education inclusion and general education teacher's attitudes and beliefs towards them
   - Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate, George Mason University
   - M.S., Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus - Mental Health Counseling
   - B.S., University of Maryland Eastern Shore - Special Education

Kimberly Jackson headshot

Kimberly Jackson   |   Holly Springs, MS

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I am motivated to be better each day by my faith that this world can be a better place for everyone.

Research Interests: Informal social networks impact on minority career progression and belonging and career network platforms and its influence on minority career progression
   - M.S.A., Trinity University, Washington, D.C. - Human Resources Management
   - M.B.A., Trinity University, Washington, D.C. - Business Administration
   - B.S., Trinity University, Washington, D.C. - Business Administration




Meet the Faculty & Staff Mentors


Dr. Arshad Ali

Associate Professor, Educational Research

(202) 994‑0272
Dr. Doran Gresham

Assistant Professor, Special Education and Disability Studies

(202) 994-1509
Dr. Lionel C. Howard

Academic Dean; Associate Professor, Educational Research

(202) 994-4959
Dr. Elisabeth Kutscher

Assistant Professor, Special Education and Disability Studies

Dr. Natalie B. Milman

Associate Dean, Office of Student Life; Professor, Educational Technology Leadership

(202) 994-1884
Dr. Christine Nganga

Associate Professor, Educational Administration

(202) 994-0957
Dr. Maggie Parker

Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Development

(202) 994-8108
Dr. Delishia Pittman

Associate Professor, Counseling

(202) 994-0780
Dr. Sarah M. Ray

Assistant Professor, Human and Organizational Learning

Dr. James Williams

Professor, International Education and International Affairs

Dr. Dwayne Kwaysee Wright

Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration; Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives