Overview

Remote learning has become necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, communities have experienced greater inequities, particularly communities that have already been marginalized due to structural factors. Even more so than in typical times, educators and families need each other to support the education of children, but the conditions under a global pandemic make this even more difficult.

The Digital Education Hub provides educational materials, networking opportunities, and resources to empower community and family voices to promote equitable and inclusive learning environments for all children–particularly the most marginalized due to race, ethnicity, immigration or refugee status, disability, first language, religion, national origin, or socioeconomic status.

Digital Education Community Caucus

The Digital Education Community Caucus (DECC) is a team of stakeholders representing grassroots organizations in the community, across the field of education, and among district/state agencies. These individuals will intermittently convene in communication, review the products created by the DEH, and caucus once a year for the Digital Education Hub Summer Institute.

The DECC will provide valuable insight to project administrators to how DEH-created products could be used to support equitable and inclusive digital education, how the DEH-created products may be externally received, and how the DEH may contribute holistically to the Indianapolis and Marion County community, the Central Indiana region, the State of Indiana.

  • Anthony Robinson III
  • Austin Trinh
  • Carla McNelly Valladares
  • Derrin Slack
  • Donnell Duncan
  • Dynesha Harris
  • Erika Huber
  • Jarrod Nicholas Dortch
  • Karen Routt
  • Katie Quinn
  • Kelly Grillo
  • Lashun Aron-Smith
  • Mariana Barquet
  • Mariely Vega
  • Michelle Wickham
  • Quentin Foltz
  • Sheila Edwards
  • Thian Hnem
  • Vallene Outlaw
  • Viveca Carter
Anthony Robinson III

Anthony Robinson III

>

Anthony Robinson III is a technology solutions analyst for an Indianapolis management service provider. He troubleshoots technology use issues with school district administrators as they use digital education tools that support the function of their organizations. Testing new technology and building systems to facilitate the work of clients are his interests. Robinson is the parent of a child receiving special services in the K-12 system. He supports his student as he completes the e-learning experience, directly observing the challenges that he faces with completing Kindergarten using distance education platforms. He hopes to contribute a knowledgeable and positive perspective on how the DEH project can impact the Indianapolis community and the state of Indiana as a whole. As a professional in Information Technology and as a parent, Robinson feels that these two perspectives lend valuable insight to the importance of educators carrying an equity and inclusion lens as they learn learning for all student populations.

Austin Trihn

Austin Trinh

>

Austin Trinh is from Fort Wayne, Indiana and graduated from R. Nelson Snider High School. He is a state licensed soccer referee for Indiana in his spare time and works in the kitchen at Casa Ristorante Italiano part time. Trinh hopes to help improve virtual learning by providing insight and perspective as a student who endured the COVID-19 safety precautions.

Carla McNelly Valladares

Carla McNelly Valladares

>

Dr. Carla McNelly Valladares is the Love of Reading Family and Community Educator at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Meredith Nicholson elementary school. Her role during the Covid-19 pandemic has been providing encouragement and support to Spanish speaking language learning students and families who make up 95% of the school’s population. Student and family encouragement and support includes one-on-one and group in-person, virtual, and hybrid contact. Examples include translating communication from teachers, English and Spanish language development, teaching students to read in Spanish, bilingual newcomer reading groups, and wholistic programming that meets the needs of individual and small groups of students.

>

Community Engagement page

Derrin Slack

Derrin Slack

>

Derrin Slack is the Founder and CEO of ProAct Indy and Co-Founder of Know More LLC. In these roles, Slack supports educators, corporate employees, and nonprofit leaders to improve learning opportunities for all students. For the past decade, Slack has led initiatives to engage over 25,000 individuals in activities providing schools, businesses, and nonprofits human-centered professional development programs and facilitated learning communities. As an instructional designer, Slack has designed and administered robust learning management systems optimizing blended learning creating innovative approaches to scalable digital learning.

Donnell Duncan

Donnell Duncan

>

Donnell Duncan, a native of Indianapolis, IN. is a results oriented young professional with broad leadership experience in highly competitive IT, beverage, foreign language, and education industries. He has a proven track record of leading and managing multi-state and international programs and projects. Specializing in launching new programs and projects from concept to roll-out and building organizations from the ground up. He has expertise in improving team performance while securing company trust and forging valuable relationships with diverse internal and external partners.

Dynesha Harris

Dynesha Harris

>

As a police officer of the Warren Township School Police Department, Dynesha Harris has had many encounters with female students that resulted from violent altercations, self-harm incidents, or have engaged in some form of illegal, inappropriate, or criminal act. It is her belief that at-risk students would benefit from some sort of intervention, so she developed a program that helped nurture, empower, and inspire students who may have been pulled in the wrong direction. Harris created the Women In Power (WIP) program designed for Warren Township female students to empower, educate, and inspire them through mentorship and establishing a community-based forum that may serve as an intervention for better decision-making. Since the pandemic, she has transitioned from in-person monthly meetings to virtual sessions. Harris delivers supplies to students at home, As the students return to a hybrid education schedule, her hope is to incorporate both in-person and virtual sessions, connecting students with mental health professionals and leaders in the community who are “Women In Power.”

Erika Huber

Erika Huber

>

Erika Huber received her M.Ed from Depaul University in Chicago. She currently serves as, the Director of Student Success for Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) at Kenzie Academy, Erika Huber has developed impactful online lessons around happiness, mental health, project planning, organizational skills, college readiness and leadership for Kenzie Academy, IDEW Summer Program, Speaking College, and Center for Leadership Development. She has 20 plus year career in education, She has developed a firm belief that education is the key to unlocking the door to opportunities that advance and enhance quality of life. In this belief, she is committed in producing quality programming and services that allows students to have the opportunity to pursue their ambitions and goals.

Jarrod Nicholas Dortch

Jarrod Nicholas Dortch

>

Largely underrepresented in museums and galleries, Dr. Jarrod Nicholas Dortch is part of a movement of Black artists and curators who are hosting exhibits and creating work that shines a light on Black culture. He has been affiliated with Big Car as a Community Artist and as Community Gardener at the Tube Factory artspace. Dortch serves as both a professor of communication and a business owner. He owns and operates Solful Gardens, a natural produce provider in Central Indiana that brings quality food access to urban areas that are underserved with an overall focus on food equity. With their roots in art, community, and education, Solful Gardens is leveraging these disciplines to help promote personal and communal growth one naturally-grown-vegetable at a time.

Karen Routt

Karen Routt

>

Karen Routt is the Education Director of School-Based Services at School on Wheels in Indianapolis. In her role, she establishes goals and outcomes for our school-based programs and implements the framework to carry out these goals. Additionally, Karen oversees our K-12 curriculum resources used by tutors at all of our sites. Karen works to meet the educational needs of School on Wheels students and parents so that they receive the necessary tools for academic success. Throughout the past year, our School-Based team worked to ensure our students stayed connected to their classroom teachers via virtual learning platforms. Karen oversaw this shift in the program plan, and continues to support students and families affected by homelessness.

Katie Quinn

Katie Quinn

>

Katie Quinn teaches English to Chinese students aged 4-15. She loves connecting digitally with children in a one-on-one immersive environment. Quinn also world-schools her six-year-old son through a personalized curriculum that combines traditional and digital components to maximize his learning experience no matter where in the world they are.

Kelly Grillo

Kelly Grillo

>

Dr. Kelly J. Grillo, is an award-winning educator who has served Special Education and Education Justice for over two decades. Dr. Grillo earned her PhD at the tech-savvy University of Central Florida and taught many courses online perpetuating theory into practice for all learners. Currently, Dr. Grillo is a coordinator of Special Education Services for Cooperative School Services Coop in Indiana. Dr. Grillo is on the Leadership Development Committee for the International Council for Exceptional Children, serves on the board of IN*SOURCE Parent Resource Network in Indiana and International Dyslexia Association, Indiana. Most recently, Dr. Grillo is the International CEC Teacher of the Year, 2020.

Lashun Aron-Smith

Lashun Aron-Smith

>

Dr. Lashun Aron-Smith is an experienced academic administrator with over 20 years of experience in higher education. She is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Martin University. Aron-Smith holds a PhD in Educational Leadership in Higher Education Administration from Argosy University, an MSM in Management from Oakland City University, and a BA in Organization Communication from Concordia Wesleyan University. She has also been the Director of Academic Initiatives at the University of Indianapolis, and previously served as a National Chair for a non-profit organization focused on helping at-risk students succeed in k-12 and higher education. Dr. Smith has worked in online higher education for over ten years, she was responsible for managing the office of distant education including remote faculty and staff. She held several online webinars focusing on online teaching and students at risk. Dr. Aron-Smith also serves as a consultant to provide institutional innovation, leadership development, and strategies for improving students of color academic performance.

Mariana Barquet

Mariana Barquet

>

Mariana Barquet was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. She is the mother of two children, her youngest was born profoundly deaf. She has been the Hispanic Parent Guide for Indiana for the last 5 years and now serves as the Program Coordinator for the Guide By Your Side Program (GBYS) and the ASTra Program (Advocacy, Support and Training) for the Indiana Hands and Voices Chapter. Her biggest passion is connecting to families and supporting them to ensure that every child with hearing loss in Indiana has access to and receives qualified services to meet their needs and achieve successful outcomes.

Mariely Vega

Mariely Vega

>

Mariely Vega attends Indiana University, Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) as an Organization Leadership major. She currently works for the Indiana Department of Health. Vega believes that she can contribute to helping in the digital education experience, because she has been completing her degree online since the pandemic. She is familiar with the struggles of having to attend class and stay focused while maintaining a work life. She hopes that her contributions to the Digital Education Hub can be of help to those who need it.

Michelle Wickham

Michelle Wickham

>

Michelle Wickham is a parent of five children and an advocate for people with disabilities. She has worked in the field of communications in the government and non-profit sectors, including with Indiana Disability Rights, Indiana’s designated protection & advocacy organization. Michelle has supported pre-service and in-service teachers seeking to develop their teaching practice and increase their connections with families of children with disabilities. Michelle has navigated the IEP process throughout the pandemic, and worked with 10 professionals outside the Case Conference Committee in order to ensure her child’s needs were met in a digital learning environment.

Quentin Foltz

Quentin Foltz

>

Quentin Foltz works as a development assistant in the Department of Undergraduate Education at Indiana University, Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Quentin also serves as a mentor for the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Scholars program. Foltz has former experience in mentoring for the 21st Century Scholars program at IUPUI. He has extensive work with providing advocacy for incoming high-risk college students. Foltz works to integrate students into the college experience through leading goal-setting as well as teaching students how to use technology tools. He is a social work major, with an emphasis on child welfare. In Foltz’s family life, having many young nieces and nephews, he has witnessed first-hand the challenges that K-12 students face with using technology in the education process.

Sheila Edwards

Sheila Edwards

>

Sheila Edwards has two children with special needs who struggle at times with online learning. She is a former educator, is married to an educator, and also worked in professional development and technology for several years. Edwards is currently a case manager for children and adults with disabilities. She runs an online support group for families and has been a part of the Families as Faculty project through IUPUI for a few years, helping to make connections between teachers and families of children with special needs. Edwards serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization FUSE, which empowers families and individuals with disabilities and mental health needs.

Thian Hnem

Thian Hnem

>

Thian Hnem is a recent graduate of IUPUI. Her role in the Burmese community includes tutoring Burmese children K-8, interpret at multiple clinics and hospitals, and research about families with autism in the community. With her expertise, Hnem will contribute to the project by providing her insights and advising the best ways to provide assistance to the Burmese community. She looks forward to joining this initiative and believes the Digital Education Hub project will make a significant difference in communities around the state of Indiana.

Vallene Outlaw

Vallene Outlaw

>

Vallene N. Outlaw is a single mother of 3 girls that are in the sixth, eighth and twelfth grade. She works remotely as a program support specialist for a corporate security company. Her connection with the digital education experience is through her children. The end of the 2019-2020 academic school year was a disaster for her children and for herself, because 2020 was their introduction to the e-learning experience. Now entering the 2020-2021 academic school year, her family feels more comfortable navigating the 100% remote learning experience. The adjustment has not been so easy academically for her sixth grader academically. Outlaw hopes to share her digital experience with her Digital Education Hub Community Caucus peers and to share how the hub can impact Indiana educators as they help other families better transition during their digital education experiences.

Viveca Carter

Viveca Carter

>

Professor Viveca Carter is a native of Gary, IN, though she earned her Bachelors in Secondary Education (Language Arts) at Auburn University. She returned to the Region to teach English classes ranging from sixth grade through college level. She has the distinction of being the first African American teacher at Merrillville High School and the first African American female administrator in Portage Township Schools. Her love of effective instruction led her to a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University Calumet. She then embarked on a study of leadership and obtained an administrative license in Secondary Education followed by an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University. She has served students in the roles of lead teacher, extracurricular sponsor, language arts tutor, English department chair, beginning teacher mentor, assistant principal, associate principal, principal, and director of curriculum and instruction. She now serves students at Martin University as an assistant professor in English, Education, Leadership, and academic mentor. She partners with faculty as Curriculum Chair.

Contact Us

Are you interested in being involved? Please contact us.
Contact