Holmes Scholars Program

The TWU College of Professional Education (COPE), in partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership, offers the Holmes Scholars Program â€“ an outstanding opportunity for female-identified doctoral students of color. 

The Holmes Scholar award offers uniquely relevant experiences and benefits to women of color within COPE who are committed to equity and diversity in educational practice. 

  • Mentoring
  • Financial support
  • Enriched learning
  • Conferences and boot camps
  • Job search support
AACTE Holmes

TWU is the only woman-centric university participating in the AACTE Holmes Program to date. A key goal of the COPE Holmes Scholar program is to increase the presence of doctoral candidates from historically underrepresented communities while providing crucial support towards their success.

Sponsored by both AACTE and the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, the COPE Holmes Scholar cohort develops outstanding candidates for future faculty and community leadership roles.

Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership

COPE Holmes Scholars make a commitment to three consecutive years of enrollment and progress in their selected area. They must have a clear interest in pursuing a career as a faculty member, researcher, public policy expert, or other leadership position within education.


Gina Anderson, EdD
Associate Dean for Educator Preparation and Partnerships

Randa Keeley, PhD
Program Coordinator
Associate Professor

2022 COPE Holmes Scholars

2021 COPE Holmes Scholars

The 2021 COPE Holmes Scholars were the inaugural cohort of Holmes Scholars at Texas Woman's University. The group consisted of: 

  • Phyliciá Anderson
  • Nicole Hall
  • Kimberly Lawson
  • Kiana Moore
  • Marilyn Roberts
Phyliciá Anderson

Phyliciá Anderson

Phyliciá Anderson joins the inaugural cohort of Texas Woman’s COPE Holmes Scholars with a master’s degree from Full Sail University and almost 10 years of teaching experience.

A Texas Woman’s ELLevate! scholar, Anderson also served as the grant’s liaison for Denton Independent School District’s Braswell High School where she taught English and sponsored student extracurricular activities like the yearbook and the Black Student Union.

Anderson seeks a doctorate in Reading Education, and joins the COPE Holmes Scholars program after three years of part-time graduate study at TWU. During that period, she published a book review and a peer-reviewed article, presented at conferences locally, nationally and internationally, and produced manuscripts currently out for review.

With more than 10 years of experience as a children’s church teacher in her congregation, Anderson’s community service also includes membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Nicole Hall

Nicole Hall

In August 2020, Nicole Hall entered the Texas Woman’s doctoral program in Child Development and Early Education as a part-time student. A school counselor with a Master of Arts in teaching from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wis., Hall brings a keen understanding of societal pressures faced by students in schools and in online settings.

Her research interests spring from her own background as a multilingual educator raised by native Spanish speakers from outside of the United States. She recognizes the pressing need for change in ways people of color are treated and the limited opportunities available to them.

She plans to explore the perils and adaptations experienced at the intersection where the lived experiences of BIPOC middle school students meet projections of social media.

As a teacher and counselor, Hall worked on the front lines of efforts to empower BIPOC students, using her position and influence to encourage them – along with faculty, staff, and administrators – to consider fresh perspectives on diversity and inclusion, equity, and justice.

Kimberly Lawson

Kimberly Lawson

Holmes Scholar Kimberly Lawson joins the doctoral program in Reading Education after a distinguished career as an instructor, lead teacher, bilingual coordinator, school administrative team leader, and state reviewer/verifier for prekindergarten instructional material.

Twice recognized as Teacher of the Year by the Houston Alliance of Black School Educators, she was described by colleagues as “a great motivator” and “a person of great leadership.”

She anticipates her research will focus on the impact that equitable and diverse early literacy programs will make to learning environments for students from all backgrounds. She aims to become a leading researcher in her field, and recognizes that the Texas Woman’s program and the Holmes Scholars opportunities will be instrumental in meeting her goal.

Lawson attended high school in the northeast section of Houston, Texas, and her community ties include membership in a church located in the city’s historic Fifth Ward.

Kiana Moore

Kiana Moore

A Texas Woman’s University alumna and first generation collegian, Kiana Moore entered the College of Professional Education’s doctoral program in Child Development and Early Education in January 2021.

She graduated with a double bachelor's in German and Psychology from the University of North Texas, and earned a master’s in Early Childhood Education from Texas Woman’s in 2020. Moore worked as a special education teacher in the North Texas independent school districts of Garland and Plano.

Her research interests center on social emotional development, representation in the classroom, and the intersection of race, challenging behaviors, and punishment in school settings.

Moore notes that her experience as both a student and teacher raised her awareness of social-emotional effects students experience when educators neither represent nor understand their lives.

She anticipates connecting with a unique network of scholars and educators through the Holmes Program, and looks forward to contributing to a community of researchers focused on transforming the existing education system into one that is more intentional and developmentally appropriate.

Marilyn Roberts

Marilyn Roberts

Marilyn Roberts joined Texas Woman’s doctoral program in Special Education in January 2021, having earned a Master of Education from Prairie View A&M University and a bachelor's degree from Dallas Baptist University.

In addition to her EC-12 principal certification, she is also certified as an ESL and Generic Special Education teacher. Having served two years as a social worker and social services coordinator, Roberts began classroom teaching in special education in the Fort Worth Independent School District in 2003, steadily progressing to achieve her current role of Special Education Curriculum Specialist for FWISD.

She has extensive experience applying the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion to meet the needs of a wide array of underserved students, whether they have learning disabilities or have been underserved due to racial inequities. Employing a collaborative approach, Roberts leverages her expertise and passion for equitable education with fellow teachers, school leadership, and district executives.

Her research aspires to ensure that underrepresented individuals and their communities can access and thrive, not only in school settings, but in the life that lies beyond. Roberts seeks to effect greater social justice with her academic research around equity in education.

As a member of organizations like the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Alliance of Black School Educators, she has laid professional groundwork for bringing about the change she values.