Elyse Hambacher, B.A.E. ‘05 & Ph.D. ‘13, was recently selected as a Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Emerging Scholar for 2019. Emerging Scholars are recognized for paving the way in research, teaching and overall scholarly contributions in the first edition of the magazine every year. Each year, fifteen minority scholars under the age of 40 from multiple disciplines and institutions are selected.
For Hambacher, her research focuses on teaching and learning in high-poverty and urban schools and exploring social justice in the context of education, which includes how teachers use and resist punitive school discipline practices in schools.
“My research investigates the development of teacher’s critical social justice literacy and how educators operationalize teaching toward justice in education settings,” said Hambacher. “I’m interested in research related to how schools and teachers create classroom communities of success and resilience for students from minoritized backgrounds.”
Hambacher obtained a bachelor’s in Elementary Education from UF in 2005. After spending a couple of years teaching in South Florida and Japan, she found that she had lingering questions about justice in the context of education, so she returned to UF to pursue a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Teacher Education in 2013.
“In my teaching experience and through my own schooling experiences when I was in K-12 schools, I was seeing a lot of things that did not seem right, a lot of inequities that were occurring,” said Hambacher. “I didn’t quite have the language to be able to articulate what those inequities were, and I felt like I needed to go back and get my Ph.D.”
For Hambacher, her education at UF was an integral part of her career. Through rigorous coursework, hands-on faculty and unique opportunities, she was able to prepare herself for a career as a professor and researcher in education.
The most influential aspect was her mentorship, especially from Professor Elizabeth “Buffy” Bondy, who she developed a relationship with as an undergraduate student in her classroom management course. Hambacher’s positive experience with Bondy eventually led her to apply to UF for a Ph.D. and work with her again.
“I would not be in the position that I am today without her mentorship and without her guidance, said Hambacher. “I’m really thankful that I had and continue to have opportunities to work with her.”
Check out Elyse Hambacher’s feature in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s January issue here.