Leshell Hatley is the founder and Executive Director of Uplift, Inc. and its Research & Development Center for Learning and Educational Media (CLEM). She is a certified K-8 teacher. Leshell is also a 2009-2010 Anita Borg Google Scholar. Her research interests include: technology that supports learning (animation, mobile apps, intelligent tutors, and virtual instructors), culturally relevant pedagogy, information access, and human- computer interaction. A project she created that embraces these topics revolve around two characters she created called Myles & Ayesha. Through this project, Leshell has positioned Myles & Ayesha as learning companions and is working to create a series of themed-based learning activities, animations and books to teach science, technology, engineering, math, reading, and history concepts.
In addition to research, Leshell teaches out-of-school programs in Washington, DC in the subjects of Science,Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), 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, an afterschool program designed to teach African-American and Latino students how to create Android Apps.
Leshell 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.