Dr. Luchara Wallace is the Interim Associate Dean for the College of Education and Human Development. In this appointment, some of her responsibilities include fostering scholarship and external funding, supporting faculty and staff development, the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and serving as the liaison between CEHD and the Merze Tate College. Dr. Wallace is also the Director of the Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations and an Associate Professor in Special Education where she leads research and advocacy on topics such as juvenile incarceration, generational wealth attainment, and policies impacting families and individuals with disabilities.
Prior to her administrative appointments, Dr. Wallace taught courses in the Learning Disabilities endorsement block and was a co-principal investigator on the Turnaround School Leaders Project, which was a federal grant designed to turnaround priority schools and develop a leadership pipeline within the partner districts. Dr. Wallace is currently engaging in research related to the development of an off-campus alternative to school suspension in an effort to interrupt the school to prison pipeline for at-risk middle and high school students. Most recently, Dr. Wallace developed a summer youth employment program based upon preliminary results from the alternative to school suspension research and feedback from incarcerated youth. Dr. Wallace is also leading an effort to establish a statewide Youth Juvenile Justice Fellows network that empowers juvenile justice system-involved youth and allies to advocate for juvenile justice reforms.
Dr. Wallace is a WMU Certified Cultural Competencies Facilitator and is regularly invited to facilitate conversations and trainings focused on race and ethnic relations, with an emphasis on cultural competency.
Prior to her entry into higher education, Dr. Wallace dedicated herself as a full-time teacher in both elementary and secondary classrooms. Throughout her career she has coordinated programming to support students with learning disabilities as well as emotional and behavioral disorders. The programs offered to students focused on empowerment and well-being by teaching tools of self-advocacy and independent learning. Dr. Wallace also empowered her students to be social justice advocates in their communities.
As a member of the faculty and now administration, Dr. Wallace has multiple opportunities to advise and mentor both undergraduate and graduate students preparing to become special educators as well as students engaged in the work of the Lewis Walker Institute. Dr. Wallace is looking forward to her extended opportunities to serve more comprehensively across the College of Education and Human Development.