This fall, Clemson’s College of Education begins the fall semester with several new faculty members. College leadership is excited to welcome these faculty members, who will enable student learning and contribute to the planned growth of the college. The new faculty members by department are as follows:

Teaching and Learning

Shanita Anderson

Shanita Anderson began her career in 2001 as a middle grades social studies teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Since that time, she has served as a classroom teacher, an AIG Coordinator, a literacy coach, instructional coach with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and most recently as a new teacher support coach with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Anderson earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Her doctoral work focused on trust and coaching practices geared to elicit instructional improvement. She earned a master’s degree in language arts through Fayetteville State University as well as a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Anderson earned her bachelor’s degree in middle grades education from East Carolina University and is certified in English language arts, reading K-12, social studies, AIG and literacy coaching.


Luke Bennett

Luke Bennett comes to Clemson University from the University of Central Florida. Prior to his move to higher education, Luke served for 16 years in K-12 education where he held both teaching and administrative positions. Luke has a strong background in online education and course development. His research interests include the management and pedagogy in emerging learning spaces and teaching and learning in virtual and augmented reality environments. Bennett earned his Ed.D. in instructional leadership and curriculum development and instructional technology from Nova Southeastern University. He earned a master’s degree in teaching from Belhaven University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida International University. Bennett enjoys running and cycling as well as spending time with his family.


Kristen Duncan

Jill Shelnut

Kristen E. Duncan is an assistant professor of secondary social studies education. Her research focuses on the experiences of Black teachers and the ways social studies teachers discuss race with their students. Duncan is a former social studies teacher and earned her Ph.D. in educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia.

Jill C. Shelnut joins the college as a lecturer in early childhood education. Shelnut’s has served as an early childhood teacher, special education teacher and early interventionist. She will continue to pursue research in the areas of early literacy, critical issues in early childhood and preservice teacher preparation.

Daphne Wiles

Daphne Wiles serves as a clinical assistant professor in the teaching and learning department and the program coordinator for the M.Ed. program. Her research interests include STEAM education, assessment, and gifted, talented, and creative studies. Prior to coming to Clemson, Wiles taught at Purdue University and, while there, worked for the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning. Daphne earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Florida State University, a master’s degree in human resources management from Troy University, a master’s degree in education from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Purdue University. She enjoys hiking, photography, and traveling, and lives in Anderson with her husband, Ben, and their two children, Ellie and Duncan.


Education and Human Development

Lisa Aker

Lisa D. Aker worked in Virginia public schools for 11 years as a classroom teacher, reading specialist and literacy coach. Her research focuses on teacher professional development, literacy coaching, early literacy intervention and metacognition. Aker received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Emily Howell

Emily Howell serves as a faculty member in literacy in the college’s education and human development department. Howell has taught English and writing at the secondary and collegiate levels and currently teaches pre-service teachers and graduate students in both online and face-to-face classroom environments. Her research interests include multi-literacies, adolescent literacy, writing instruction and digital tools. Howell approaches research through partnerships with teachers using methodologies such as design-based research. Her research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Literacy Research, The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, andProfessional Development in Education.

Matthew Madison

Matthew Madison is an assistant professor of education, specializing in psychometrics and educational measurement. More specifically, he focuses on contemporary item response models called diagnostic classification models (DCMs). His recent research has examined the use of longitudinal item response models to assess student growth and evaluate educational interventions. In addition to methodological research, Madison collaborates with applied researchers to use DCMs and other psychometric models to answer substantive questions in educational contexts. Madison received his Ph.D. in quantitative methodology and a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Georgia. He received a master’s degree in mathematics from central Michigan university and bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of South Carolina.


Office of Field and Clinical Partnerships and Outreach

Paula Adams

Paula Adams is the middle and secondary grades placement coordinator for the Office of Field and Clinical Partnerships and Outreach. As a former high school mathematics teacher, Adams recognizes that support for preservice as well as in-service teachers is essential. Her current doctoral work is focused on opportunities to build relationships with partner schools and provide support for teachers. Adams earned her master’s degree in secondary school counseling from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Winthrop University.

Tomiko Smalls

Tomiko T. Smalls serves as the early childhood and elementary placement coordinator in the Office of Field and Clinical Partnerships. She has enjoyed a career as a classroom-based educator, ELA Partner Teacher, reading interventionist, student services coordinator, teacher in residence and human resources director. Smalls has been recognized as one of the first African-American educators in South Carolina to earn National Board Teacher Certification, McCormick County Teacher of the Year and North Augusta Walmart Teacher of the Year. She has also been honored as a member of the Aiken County Teacher of the Year Honor Court. Smalls earned an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from Augusta State University. She is a graduate of Clemson University, where she earned a master’s degree in elementary education and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.