Moss Chair of Excellence in Urban Education
University of Memphis
Beverly Cross is the Morrie and Lillian Moss Chair of Excellence in Urban Education in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. She received her BS degree from Alabama A&M University and her MA and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University. During her professional service in education over the past 38 years, she worked in Ohio as a high school teacher and state department of education supervisor. As a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee she co-led an innovative program to prepare teacher leaders for urban schools. Since arriving in Memphis 12 years ago, she has designed a Graduate Certificate in Urban Education, created The Center for Urban Interdisciplinary Research and Engagement), and coordinated the Johnson Scholars Program that develops exceptional urban educators for Shelby County Schools.
Her research focuses on equity in education, urban education, and teacher education. Her research has appeared in national scholarly journals such as the International Journal of Educational Reform, Educational Leadership, the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Education Studies. She guest edited a special issue of the journal, Theory Into Practice, focused on urban education. In addition to numerous book chapters, she co-edited two books: A Look Inside Social Justice Practices: A Primer for Social Justice and Teacher Lives in the Bluff City: Voices and Perspectives from Classrooms.
She was recently served as co-PI on a grant entitled the African and African American Institute that engages an interdisciplinary group of faculty, university students, and classroom teachers in learning abroad in Ghana. This experience is used to offer a summer institute for area high school students to enable them to make strong connections between African and African history, arts, and culture (proven to enhance academic achievement). She enjoys and dedicates her extensive work with teachers and district leaders.
Recently she contributed to the new design for teacher preparation at the University of Memphis that focuses on preparing teachers who are: grounded in urban education, trained to teach with culturally relevance, steeped in their content knowledge, and all hail from the local Memphis area and can bridge community to education.