MSE: Culturally Responsive Leadership & Instruction

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Leah Shepard-Carey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Education - Graduate Studies

Contact Information

Phone: 515-271-3697
Address: 2507 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311

Office: Collier-Scripps Hall,121


B.A. College of Saint Benedict

M.A. University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Ph.D. University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Honors & Professional Memberships


  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship- University of Minnesota (2020-2021)
  • Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) Fellow, University of Minnesota, 2019-2020
  • 2018 Graduate Student Award-American Association of Applied Linguistics 
  • TESOL International Association Research Mini-Grant Award, September 2018
  • Curriculum & Instruction Outstanding Graduate Student Research Paper Award: Equity in Education, University of Minnesota, 2019-2020

Professional Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
  • TESOL International
  • Literacy Research Association 

Prior Positions

  • Adjunct Faculty at The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University
  • Invited Instructor for Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition Summer Institutes
  • English as a Second Language Teacher (K-12 schools)
  • Bilingual Head Start Teacher

Areas of Expertise

Leah's research and teaching spans the areas of language and literacy education. She is interested in culturally-sustaining approaches to education, multilingualism, and elementary literacy for younger multilingual children. She also focuses on critical approaches to teacher education. Her research has been featured in The Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Linguistics and Education, TESOL Quarterly, and TESOL Journal.

Courses Taught

  • Urban Trends in Literacy Education
  • Educational Research
  • Methods of Linguistic Differentiation for English Language Learners
  • Interdisciplinary Literacy
  • Various ESL and World Language education courses

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