Newly Expanded Holmes Scholars Program Looks to Hit the Ground Running

The newly developed Holmes Postdoctoral Program in Education and Human Development at BU’s School of Education looks to break new ground in offering support and opportunities to underrepresented future educators at the master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels. The program marks a continuation of SED’s partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

SED joined AACTE as a member institution in 2010, and initiated the Holmes Scholars Program at BU in 2015. The current program recently included master’s students, and is laying the groundwork for the new Holmes Postdoctoral pilot program. The inaugural cohort of BU Holmes Scholars consists of doctoral students Dana Dunwoody and Courtney James, and master’s students, Makaela Jones, Sadiki Lewis and Sadia Sharif. Michael Dennehy, Executive Director of College Access and Completion, serves as SED’s Holmes Program coordinator.

Pictured left to right: Back - Sadiki Lewis, Dana Dunwoody, Courtney James. Front - Sadia Sharif, Makaela Jones, Michael Dennehy.
Pictured left to right: Back row – Sadiki Lewis, Dana Dunwoody, Courtney James. Front row – Sadia Sharif, Makaela Jones, Michael Dennehy.


The first meeting of Holmes Master’s and Holmes Scholars at SED, which included Mr. Dennehy and Jessica Rouser, Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services, set in motion the plan for future sessions, events, and initiatives. More broadly, the primary mission of the expanded program is to provide a network of mentorship, peer support, and connections to valuable educational development opportunities to postdoctoral students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

Math Education master’s student and Holmes Scholar, Sadiki Lewis, explained why he initially got involved, “Being in Math Ed., I joined Holmes for the support network and to gain the skills to support other students. I chose this program because, like myself, BU notices these disparities in education, and especially with Math Ed., it’s clear the goal is to serve all students.”

With direction from Dean ad interim Dr. Cathy O’Connor, Associate Dean of Research Dr. Beth Warren, and Professor Dr. Michelle Porche, the Holmes Postdoctoral program will offer mentoring from SED faculty, support from faculty in developing peer-reviewed publications, applying for research grants, and conducting research projects. Additionally, postdoctoral associates will be given the opportunity to teach one SED course per year.

Makaela Jones, Sports Psychology master’s student and Holmes Scholar, elaborated on the program’s focus, “We get to do a lot of curriculum building and event planning with both middle and elementary school groups. And hopefully as a Holmes Scholar, this will really expand on what we’re doing with undergrad and grad students in making programs more accessible to future SED students of color.”

The Holmes Postdoctoral program seeks to maintain SED’s current Holmes Program commitments as well as provide postdoctoral associates with two years of SED residence funding, starting in Fall 2018. Candidates for the Holmes Postdoctoral Program in Education and Human Development must be within three years of receiving their Ph.D. or Ed.D. in an education-related field and have completed their undergraduate degree by July 2018. Current AACTE Holmes Scholars are encouraged to apply.

For more information on the Holmes Scholars Program and how to get involved, please contact Michael Dennehy at, or visit: