Dr. Mayida Zaal was awarded $500,000 from the Spencer Foundation’s Large Research Grant on Education for her study “Teacher Diversity, Retention, and Muslim-American Teachers”. The grant will support the first national-study of Muslim-American K-12 teachers. The study will be conducted by a seven-member participatory action research collective, Reclaiming: ME (Muslim Educator). Members of the collective include Maheen Ahmad (MSU 2013, West Orange Public Schools), Chedia Ayari (Teacher Education Teacher Development, PhD Student), Nagla Bedir (Founder, Teaching While Muslim), Amir Billups (Head of Social Studies – University High School), Nushrat Hoque (MSU 2016, Penn State Chemistry), and Manar Hussein (Teacher Education Teacher Development, PhD Student).
Dr. Zaal is an Associate Professor in the Teaching and Learning Department. As an activist scholar, Dr. Zaal is committed to decolonizing methods of research and to collaborating with communities to prepare future teachers.