Rutgers GSE CMSI

Naomi Simmons-Thorne

Naomi Simmons-Thorne is a graduate student and early-stage education researcher. She currently studies at the University of South Carolina where she is working towards the completion of a Master’s degree in Secondary Education with focuses in literature, literacy, and composition. Naomi’s research interests include qualitative methods and inquiry, Two-year MSIs, education and opportunity, SOGIE expansive students, Black students and girlhoods, and educational thought and history. Naomi accredits her lived experiences with academic tracking in suburban public schools in the south, what sociologist Dr. Lewis-McCoy terms “inequality in the promised land,” as her most formative catalyst for education equity. Since then, Naomi has gone on to attain undergraduate degrees in the sociology and philosophy of education from the University of South Carolina, study at numerous colleges and universities nationwide, publish scholarship, present at academic conferences, and consult on issues of diversity and inclusion at the K-12 levels. In 2019, she became a Fellow at the Research Institute For Scholars of Equity, a Dept. of Education-funded research training program, where conducted a study on teacher retention, undercredentialing, and education quality in South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice schools. In 2022, Naomi will join the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at the University of Illinois for doctoral work. Naomi is also a first generation American of Trinidadian descent and identifies as a transgender woman.