Dr. Sears is an Associate Professor, associate director for Coalition for Science Literacy with a focus on inclusive excellence, and lead faculty facilitator for the inclusive and equitable pedagogy program at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on curriculum issues, the development of reasoning and proof skills, clinical experiences in secondary mathematics, and the integration of technology in mathematics teaching and learning. She has presented nationally and internationally and has published in leading mathematics education journals, such as: Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education, MathAMATYC Educator, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Perspective of Mathematics Education (APME). She also coordinates developmental mathematics courses
and the undergraduate and master’s degree programs in mathematics education.
Dr. Sears is actively engaged in scholarly activities. She is the principal investigator for the City of St. Petersburg funded grant entitled, “Examination of the historical and modern-day impact of structural racism on the lives of Black people in the City of St. Petersburg, Florida,” and the NSF-IUSE funded collaborative grant (#1726362) entitled “Attaining Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Clinical Experiences with a Lens on Equity”. Dr. Sears is also a co-principal investigator for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and key personnel for the NSF-funded grant (#1525574) Systemic Transformation of Education through Evidence-Based Reforms (STEER).
In addition to her research activities, Dr. Sears provides extensive service to the profession and to her local environment. Notably, Dr. Sears is the co-chair of the Network of STEM Education Centers (NSEC) Annual Meeting, and the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN) in STEM Higher Education Working group for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is also a University of South Florida representative for the Bay View Alliance. Moreover, Dr. Sears is the associate editor for the NCTM journal, Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PreK-12 (MTLT), for the high school grade band. Dr. Sears is also the Florida Department of Education – State Course Numbering System (SCNS)
Discipline Coordinator in the field of Mathematics Education and STEM Education. Additionally, Dr. Sears is a board member for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay and the Bahamas’ PACE Foundation.
At the University of South Florida, Dr. Sears is a member of the Anchin Center STEM Professional Development Leadership Team and serves on NSF funded STEER-Transformation Implementation Leadership Team (TILT). Dr. Sears serves on the university sabbatical committee, and as the constitution committee chair for the Faculty Policy Council. She is also the chair of the university-wide diversity equity and inclusion initiative entitled the Enlightenment Series (https://www.usf.edu/president/antiracism/
resources/enlightenment-series.aspx ), and is a member of the university’s IAspire Implementation Team, and the NSF funded “All ABOARD” – A Bull’s Eye for JEDI initiative.
Awards and Fellowship
Dr. Sears was the 2016 Florida Association of Mathematics Teacher Educator (FAMTE) – Mathematics Teacher Educator of the Year. She is also the 2018 USF Chapter of National Council of Negro Women – Katherine Johnson Mathematics Award Recipient. Dr. Sears previously received the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid Missouri Heroes award, and the VEX robotics volunteer of the year award. Dr. Sears was a recipient of the Organization of American States Fellowship Award, Lyford Cay Foundation Graduate Scholarship Award, Kappa Delta Pi Hollis Caswell Doctoral Award, Center for The Study of Mathematics Curriculum (CSMC) fellowship award, and the University of Missouri Mathematics Education Scholarship Award. Additionally, Dr. Sears was selected as an NSF-funded IAspire Leadership Academy Fellow in 2020.
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