I am a lover of technology, art, and children. Combined, these make up every aspect of my life’s purpose. My passion for them influence everything I do. Check out my CV. – some of which is listed below:
I am an Assistant Professor of Math & Computer Science at Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD. I am also the founder and Executive Director of Uplift, Inc., where I immerse PreK-20 students in rich educational experiences involving STEAM+CS (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, and computer science) topics. I was a certified K-8 teacher (I let my certification expire).
I am interested in exploring technology’s influence on a learner’s cognitive activity, creativity, motivation, sense of agency, persistence, when learning any topic or attempting any desired task, in formal and informal educational environments. This influence can come from a result of learning about, teaching with, and/or creating technology. I am also interested in the interaction between a learner’s cognition and his/her use technology. Essentially, I study the various ways technology can be used to create meaningful and effective learning environments. Transmedia is one example of all these in action.
I typically investigate these phenomena using a lens of cultural relevance and work with students in the areas of history, science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, computer science, and reading. Currently, my target audience includes African and Latino American males and females in PreK-12th grade.
My Teaching Experience
In addition to research, I teach out-of-school programs in Washington, DC in the subjects of Science,Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics (STEAM), Reading, and Black History by way of Lego Mindstorm Robotics, computer programming, and game design – all powered by Uplift, Inc. One of the organization’s robotics teams recently won 1st place in robot design and 1st place in robot performance at the local VA/DC First Lego League Competition. Uplift, Inc. is also a MacArthur Foundation 2010 Digital Media & Learning Competition Winner. This award has powered Youth APPLab, the first afterschool program designed to teach African-American and Latino students how to create Android Apps in the United States.
I also founded emagine! technologies, inc., a technology solutions consulting firm designed to offer technology based services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. These services include web design, hosting, and development, education and training, network and database setup and maintenance.
Awards, Grants, Scholarships, Honors, and Fellowships:
- 2016 White House HBCU Maker & Innovation Challenge First Place Winner
- 2016 Google HBCU Faculty Summit
- 2016 Doctoral Degree Graduate
- Coppin State Faculty – Math & Computer Science Department
- May 2015 Creative Mornings DC Speaker
- 2014 Joan Ganz Cooney Center – Panelist
- 2013 Women of Color in STEM Conference Entrepreneurial Leadership Award Recipient
- 2013 Florence Letcher Toms Award for Outstanding Community Service – Washington DC Alumnae Chapter (WDCAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- 2013 Digital Media & Learning (DML) Summer Research Fellow
- NSF Grant Proposal Panel Reviewer (Computing Education for the 21st Century)
- 2013 BET’s ‘Blacks on the Brink of Greatness’ List
- 2013 National Society of Black Engineers – Alumnae Extension DC (NSBE-AEDC) Corporate Service & Education Award
- 2013 ShareFundDC
- 2012 ShareFundDC
- 2012 NSF Program Evaluator – Exploring Computer Science (ECS in CA)
- 2012 Diversity City Fund
- 2011 Google RISE Award
- 2010 ING Unsung Hero Award Finalist
- MacArthur Foundation’s 2010 Digital Media & Learning Competition Winner
- 2009-2010 Anita Borg Google Scholar
- 2008 F.R.E.E. Research Competition: 3rd Place for The Black Scholars Index
- Institute of Museum and Library Services: Graduate Fellow – Graduate Assistant, 2007-2009
The following are organizations I am currently a member of and/or groups with which I am affiliated:
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (3-A-91)
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- American Education Research Association (AERA)
- Anita Borg Institute
- Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
- Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
- 2009-2010 Anita Borg Google Scholars
- The Black Scholars Index
- African-American PhDs in Computer Science (AAPHDCS)
- Blacks in Animation
- Black Data Processing Association (BDPA)
- Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)
- Special Libraries Association (SLA)
- American Library Association (ALA)
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Selected Press (2013 and before)
- Youth APPLab is mentioned in a new report about teacher education – http://bit.ly/teacherprep
- In Your Hands: How One App Program is Turning Consumers Into Inventors (March 4, 2013) – http://www.theconnectivist.com/2013/03/in-your-hands-how-one-app-program-is-turning-consumers-into-inventors
- Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) ‘Blacks on the Brink of Greatness List (February 2013) – http://www.bet.com/news/national/photos/2013/02/blacks-on-the-brink-of-greatness.html#!012813-national-black-history-Leshell-Hatley
Speaking about Youth APPLab’s 1st year with the App Inventor Team.
- Atlanta Post 9/27/2011 Article – Black Tech Entrepreneurs Share Lessons from Their Journeys
- Howard University Magazine Fall 2011 Cover Article
- Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s Radio Show – http://dysonshow.org/?p=4440 (marker 22:30)
- ***Black Enterprise TV: Our World – A Slice of Life
***HASTAC: COUNTDOWN TO DML COMPETITION WINNERS’ SHOWCASE: DAY 28 WITH YOUTH APPLAB talks about Leshell Hatley and her teaching African-American youth about technology, with technology. This awesome article discusses Youth APPLab, Myles & Ayesha, and her Robotics in DC project winning the 2011 Google RISE Award. (Feb. 4, 2011)
***Leshell Hatley appears in the February 2011 issue of Black Enterprise (STEM Spotlight – “GAME TIME: What will it take for Black students to excel in math and science?” for her work with Uplift, Inc., Myles & Ayesha, and Youth APPLab. Thanks to Marcia M. Talbert for interviewing me.
***Patriot’s Training Center – 2nd Annual Video Gaming Conference December 2010. Thanks for the invitation to give a workshop. I had a ball!
Another article about the event
***Myles & Ayesha, Uplift, Inc. and I appeared on Blackweb20.com in October in an article featuring The Myles & Ayesha Black Inventors Match Game! Thanks to Black Web 2.0 for the feature. I totally appreciate it!
***My Views about the presence of African-Americans at DC Week 2010 (summer 2010). Thanks to Original Najeema for interviewing me.
***Uplift, Inc. wins 2010 Digital Media Competition. May 2010. Thanks to the MacArthur Foundation for Spotlighting Youth APPLab and allowing me to share our story.
***Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Founders Day 2010 Article on Alumni Roundup. Thanks to Bryndan Moore, co-founder, for given me the opportunity to ‘speak’ on the sorority’s behalf.
***2009 Google Anita Borg Scholar – Thanks to the Scholarship Committee at Google for selecting me!
My students and I at North Star Academy (in Newark, NJ) embarked on a few animation projects. Aside from learning how to create animations, we researched African-American animators and cartoonists. The African-American Literature Book Club caught wind of the project (to this day I have no idea how) and posted our progress at the time on their website. (Scroll to the middle of the page)