Staff Profiles

Dr. Regena F. Nelson

Dr. Regena F. Nelson is the Director of the Urban Teacher Residency Program that is funded by a 5-million-dollar Teaching Quality Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase teachers of color in Benton Harbor Area Schools and Kalamazoo Public Schools The program is preparing culturally competent and trauma informed urban educators.  She is a professor in early childhood education with over 25 years of research, teaching and consulting experience in the field. Dr. Nelson has worked on numerous research studies on school readiness, authentic assessment, culturally appropriate practices, and mentoring. Her work has been published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Research on Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, and Multicultural Perspectives.

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Dr. Xin Li

 Dr. Xin Li’s current role in the Urban Teacher Residency Program is program evaluator. She has been working and researching early childhood education for more than 6 years. Before joining the Urban Teacher Residency Program, Dr. Li was the program manager of PREP, promoting math education for diverse students using Shanghai math strategies. Previously, Dr. Li was a preschool teacher, later a director of the Discovery Center, Kalamazoo, a non-profit preschool and daycare. Her research focus is anti-bias and anti-racism education, multicultural teacher education, and China-US early childhood education comparison. More specifically, she explores how teacher education programs can provide supports for teaching in diverse classrooms.

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Marian Triplett, LMSW, M.Ed., IHHW

Marian Tripplett is a 2021-22 DREAM Fellow for Western Michigan University and provides student support services to Kalamazoo participants in the Urban Teacher Residency Program. Marian is a Faculty Specialist II for WMU School of Social Work and serves as Director of Field Education and the Benton Harbor Program Director.  Marian is a licensed clinical social worker and specializes in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in field education, intercultural social work, child welfare, healthcare social work and rural social work.

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Monique Marshall, M.A.T

Monique Marshall joins the Urban Teacher Residency Program with 17 years of experience in the field of education. In District of Columbia Public Schools, Monique was an award-winning teacher specializing in Special Education. Monique has held positions such as Department Chair, Lead Teacher, Program Coordinator and Grant writer in the Washington, D.C. metro area. She holds a master's degree in Teaching from Bowie State University. Monique’s role in the Urban Teacher Residency Program is Clinical Experiences Specialist. She supports program participants throughout their residency.

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Rebecca Attila-Fried

Rebecca Attila-Fried HeadshotRebecca Attila-Fried is the coordinator for clinical experiences for the Urban Teacher Residency Program. She has 17 years of urban education experience at Kalamazoo Public Schools and Benton Harbor Area Schools. Prior to becoming an educator, Rebecca worked in corporate America in sales and marketing. She holds a master’s degree in secondary education curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in history from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in urban education curriculum and instruction at Western Michigan University. Rebecca’s passion lies in equity-centered trauma-informed education that creates a climate and culture where students, staff, families and the community are interconnected. Rebecca’s role in UTRP is to provide continued support during the induction phase of teacher residency.

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