Robert W. Simmons III

SimmonsAssociate Professor
Teacher Education Department
Director, Center for Innovation in Urban Education
Loyola University Maryland
School of Education
4501 N. Charles Street, BE 014
Baltimore, Maryland 21210
410-617-5776
rwsimmons@loyola.edu
http://robertwsimmonsiii.com/index.html
Follow Dr. Simmons on Twitter: @Robert_Simmons3

Favorite Quote:
Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.
-Tupac Shakur

Education

Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Doctor of Education, May 2007

Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan
Masters of Science Education, May 2001

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Bachelors of Science, December 1997

Courses

Graduate:
   • Education 611 The History of Education in the United States
   • Education 670 Teacher Research and Inquiry
   • Education 805 Capstone Seminar
Undergraduate:
   • Teacher Education 606 The Teaching of Science
   • Education 203 Elementary Mathematics Methods
   • Education 206 Elementary Mathematics Methods Lab
   • Education 430 Field Experience: Science

Bio

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Robert W. Simmons III is the director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Loyola University Maryland as well as an associate professor in the teacher education department in the School of Education and an affiliated faculty member in the African and African American studies program. Additionally, Robert is a member of the nationally recognized social justice collaborative Edchange, and a contributor for the The Village Celebration. A former middle school science teacher in the Detroit public schools, his teaching and administrative career in Detroit, Minnesota, and the Dominican Republic, included being nominated twice as the Walt Disney National Teacher of the Year and once for the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation Outstanding Educator Award. Additionally, Robert has been part of a team of educators who started a STEM focused middle school for boys, a board member at one of the few public Montessori schools in an urban community, and the founder of a mentoring program for African American boys in Minnesota.

Robert has been a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation and participated in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund. As a contributing author to the highly acclaimed books, White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms: A Guide to Building Inclusive Schools, Promoting High Expectations, and Eliminating Racism (2006), and White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms: Creating Inclusive Schools, Building on Students' Diversity, and Providing True Educational Equity (2011), much of his work explores the experiences of African American boys in public and Catholic schools, the teaching practices of African American male teachers utilizing hip hop in classrooms, urban education, and the role of race in understanding the social context of schooling. Robert recently co-edited Talking about Race: Alleviating the Fear with Steve Grineski and Julie Landsman.

Selected Awards and Grants

Awards

I am Loyola Award, Loyola University Maryland, December 2010
Emerging Scholar in Service-Learning, University of Minnesota, June 2009
Academic Service-Learning Research and Scholarship Award, Eastern Michigan University, April 2009
Faculty of the Year, Graduate School of Education, Hamline University, May 2007
John Wesley Leadership and Service Award, Hamline University, May 2006

Grants

Smith, J., & Simmons, R. (2013). ($30,000/1 year). Funded project through the Raskob Foundation. Role: co-Principal Investigator.

James, M., & Simmons, R. (2013). Equity and Excellence. Funded project through Loyola University Chicago. ($12,100/1 year). Role: co-Principal Investigator.

Simmons, R. (2013). Double consciousness and cultural flexibility in Jesuit high schools: African American males from urban communities and their journeys. Funded project through Loyola University Maryland’s School of Education Hoen Faculty Development Fund ($5000). Role: Principal Investigator

Simmons, R. (2012). Interrupting the school to prison pipeline in an urban Jesuit high school: The academic journey of African American males from an urban community. Funded project through Loyola University Maryland’s School of Education Hoen Faculty Development Fund ($2000). Role: Principal Investigator

Simmons, R. (2012). Interrupting the school to prison pipeline in an urban Jesuit high school: The academic journey of African American males from an urban community. Funded project through Loyola University Maryland’s School of Education Hoen Faculty Development Fund ($6000). Role: Principal Investigator

Simmons, R. (2012). Interrupting the school to prison pipeline in an urban Jesuit high school: The academic journey of African American males from an urban community. Funded project through Loyola University Maryland’s Kolvenbach Fellows Program (course release, Spring 2013). Role: Principal Investigator

Simmons, R. (2011). The experiences of urban African American males at three Jesuit high schools. Summer Research Grant Program at Loyola University Maryland ($4000). Role: Principal Investigator.

Simmons, R. (2010). Why did we decide to do this?: The journey of Black men who decide to become teachers in urban schools. Funded project through the Summer Research Grant program at Loyola University Maryland ($4000). Role: Principal Investigator.

Alexander, J., Burke, W., & Simmons, R. (2008). Michigan service scholarship award for student teaching. Funded project from Michigan Campus Compact and Americorps ($50,000/2 years), (1/1/2008-6/12/2010). Role: Co-Project Director.

Anderson, D., Simmons, R, & Harland, D. (2008). The MIND project’s cutting edge health science initiative. Funded project from the National Institutes of Health ($1,301,730/6 years), (3/20/2006-2/28/2012). Role: Co-Principal Investigator.

Simmons, R. (2008). Building communities, building lives. Funded project from Michigan Campus Compact and Learn and Serve America ($64,000/2 year), (10/6/08-6/1/2010) Role: Project director

Simmons, R. (2008). Clarita park and the YMCA service-learning academy: A collaboration to save an urban green space. Funded project from Michigan Campus Compact ($2,288). Role: Project Director

Simmons, R. (2008). Wake up Detroit let’s get involved in service learning: A community event celebrating Young Detroit Builders & the Detroit Service Learning Academy. Funded project from Michigan Campus Compact ($500). Role: Project director

Simmons, R. (2007). What is our story: An exploration of the teaching experiences of African American men in urban schools. Funded project from the Eastern Michigan University Provost Office ($3,800). Role: Principal Investigator

Research Interests

Urban Education
African American male students and teachers
Science education in urban classrooms
The experiences of African American students, alumni, and parents at Jesuit high schools
K-12 service-learning

Recent Publications

Journal Articles (peer reviewed)

Simmons, R. (accepted). Understanding the local context of the civil rights movement: using service learning to develop an oral history of our community. Black History Bulletin.

Simmons, R. (in press). Navigating intraracial and interracial relationships at a Jesuit high school: Using resilience theory and Critical Race Theory to craft a framework for success. Journal of African American Males in Education.

Simmons, R., Carpenter, R., Ricks, J., Walker, D., Parks, M., & Davis, M. (2013). African American male teachers and African American students: Working subversively through hip-hop in three urban schools. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 4 (2), 69-86.

Simmons, R. (2012). Exploring how African American males from an urban community navigate the interacial and intraracial dimensions of their experiences at an urban Jesuit high school. Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, & Research, 8, 4-12.

Webster, N., Coffey, H., & Simmons, R. (2012) Becoming "agents of change": The possibilities of using service-learning and critical pedagogy to prepare pre-service teachers to be critically conscious educators of urban African American learners. African American Learners: Journal of the Institute for the Study of the African-American Child, 1(1). 

Simmons, R. (2012). Don’t just talk about it be about it: The role of narrative and activism as a Critical Race Theorist. PowerPlay: A Journal of Educational Justice, 4(1), 217-224.

Owens, D., Simmons, R., Bryant, R.M. & Henfield, M. (2011). Urban African American males' perceptions of school counseling services. Urban Education, 46(2), 165-177. Paper honored in the 2012 Urban Education Editor’s Choice Selection.

Simmons, R. (2010). Pursuing racial equity in our schools: Lessons learned from African American male teachers in a suburban school district. AILACTE Journal, 7(1), 33-47.

Simmons, R. (2009). The bumps along the way: The journey of novice service-learning practitioners in an urban school. Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research, 5, 65-73.

Landsman, J., Moore, T., & Simmons, R. (2008). Reluctant teachers, reluctant learners: Intersections at the schoolhouse door. Educational Leadership, 65 (6), 62-66.

Book chapters (peer reviewed)

Simmons, R. (2013). It can be done and it must be done: Creating educational excellence for African American girls in urban science classrooms. In E. Zamani-Gallaher & V. Polite (Eds.). The State of the African American Female in Michigan: A Courageous Conversation. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.

Simmons, R. (2013). Introduction: Our separate voices, our combined vision. In S. Grineski, J. Landsman, & R. Simmons (Eds.). Talking about Race: Alleviating the Fear (pp. 9-11). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Simmons, R. (2012). Looking back on teaching in Detroit: Lessons learned from a middle school classroom. In R. Lake & T. Kress (Eds.). We Saved the Best for You: Letters of Hope, Imagination and Wisdom (pp. 157-160). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Simmons, R, & Carpenter, R. (2011). Innovation in urban education: Two charter schools in Detroit lead the way. In L. Howell, C. Lewis, & N. Carter (Eds.) Yes We Can!: Improving Urban Schools Through Innovative Educational Reform (pp. 3-21). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Simmons, R. (2011). The empty desk in the third row: Experiences of an African American male teacher. In J. Landsman & C. Lewis (Eds.), White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms: Creating Inclusive Schools, Building on Students’ Diversity, and Providing True Educational Equity (2nd ed.) (pp. 47-55). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishers.

Sledge, J., & Simmons, R. (2010). African American boys and the hip hop world. In S. Steinberg & M. Kehler (Eds.), Boy Culture: An Encyclopedia (pp. 50-54). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Anderson, D, & Simmons, R. (2010). Coming out of the HIV/AIDS closet: Giving voice to the disparate impact of HIV/AIDS on African American men nationally and in Michigan. In E. Zamani-Gallaher & V. Polite (Eds.). The State of the African American Male (pp. 165-188). East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.

Simmons, R. (2006). The empty desk in the third row: Experiences of an African American male teacher. In J. Landsman & C. Lewis (Eds.), White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms: A Guide to Building Inclusive Schools, Promoting High Expectations, and Eliminating Racism (pp. 43-51). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishers.

Books (published/in press)

Grineski, S., Landsman, J., & Simmons, R. (Eds.) (2013). Talking about race: Alleviating the Fear. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Edited Volumes (peer reviewed)

Simmons, R. (2012). Narratives and counter narratives in urban school life. PowerPlay: A Journal of Educational Justice, 4(1), 1-269.

Guest editor introductory and epilogue articles (peer reviewed)

Simmons, R. (2012). In memoriam: Derrick Bell—1930-2011. PowerPlay: A Journal of Educational Justice, 4(1), 216.

Recent Presentations

Simmons, R. (2013, July). Looking beyond the Empty Desk in the Third Row: Reflections on African American males in American schools. Invited Keynote at National Convening of the Rockefeller Brothers Fellows for teachers of color. Philadelphia, Pa.

Simmons, R. (2013, May). Looking beyond the Empty Desk in the Third Row: Reflections on African American males in American schools. Invited keynote for the Urban Teacher Education Program at the University of Chicago. Chicago, IL.

Simmons, R. (2013, April). Reflections from a phenomenological study on urban African American males attending Jesuit schools. Paper presented at 2013 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA.

Simmons, R. (2013, April). Making college work for African American males: Celebrating our success and authoring a counternarrative. Invited keynote at the 4th Annual Males of Color Higher Education Conference at Baltimore City Community College. Baltimore, MD.

Simmons, R. (2013, April). Walking through the forest in higher education: The journey of African American males in K‐12 & American colleges and universities. Invited keynote at Winona State University. Winona, MN.

Simmons, R. (2013, February). You ain’t no thug…be an intellectual: A message to young African American boys. Invited keynote for Rothenburg Preparatory Academy. Cincinnati, OH.

Simmons, R. (2013, February). Translating the African American male experience from Jesuit high schools to Jesuit universities. Invited keynote at Georgetown University. Washington DC.

Simmons, R. (2012, December). Animating urban education in innovative ways. Invited keynote at Miami University (Ohio). Oxford, OH.

Simmons, R. (2012, October). Interrupting the school to prison pipeline in an urban Jesuit high school: The academic journey of African American males from an urban community. Paper presented at the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research (IOSSBR) Fall International Conference. Las Vegas, NV. Awarded best paper at the conference.

Simmons, R. (2012, October). Educating African American males. Invited keynote for the African American Males Symposium sponsored by Urban Needs in Teacher Education. Chicago, IL.

Simmons, R. (2012, September). Educating African American students in urban schools in an era of opportunity gaps: Moving beyond the language of crisis. Invited keynote for the African American Student Symposium sponsored by the Detroit Public Schools. Detroit, MI.

Simmons, R. (2012, August). Educating African American and Latino students in urban schools: Navigating the complexity of urban school and urban communities. Invited lecture for Magnolia Science Academy. Los Angeles, CA.

Owens, D. Simmons, R., Bryant, R.M. & Henfield, M. (2012, April). Urban African American males' perceptions of school counseling services. Poster presentation at Breaking Barriers: The Quest for Excellence & Postsecondary Success among School-Age Black and Latino Males. 2012 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting. Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).

Simmons, R. (2012, April). Being who I am or who you want me to be: Racial identity development of African American males at a suburban Jesuit high school. Paper presented at 2012 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting. Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).

Professional Activities/Society Memberships

American Education Research Association
Edchange
Critical Race Studies in Education Association