Laura Lee Summers, PhD is a clinical associate professor at the University of Colorado-Denver where she is the program leader for the Learning Design & Technology graduate program which includes the Teacher Librarian endorsement, Leadership for LDT certificate, and the Leadership for P12 Libraries certificate. She is also an affiliate faculty member for LEO and a faculty member for the Professional Learning concentration within the Leadership for Educational Equity EdD program.
Dr. Summers designs and facilitates professional learning with over 25 years experience in K-20 public education. She serves as a design and coaching consultant for online professional learning communities that are practitioner-led, include social, emotional and culturally responsive principles, and measure for student impact. She also serves as a facilitator of professional learning for effective coaching practices and educator well-being. While Summers has been associated with CU-Denver since 2006, she spent six years simultaneously working in the P-12 field to continue her professional growth as an Instructional Coach Administrator for district school coaches, as a Director of Educational Effectiveness, and as a Director of Professional Learning and Culturally Responsive Education (CRE).
Summers has written and been awarded 11 grants including three grants to implement school-based professional learning communities with coaching for CRE which were grant funded for over five million. The majority of her publications and presentations focus on virtual professional learning, social emotional cultural learning, transformative coaching for educational equity and measuring the impact as referenced in her linked CV.
Areas of Expertise
- 8 Dimensions of Wellness for Educators
- Measuring for Professional Learning Impact
- Coaching for Equity (Executive and Instructional)
- Digital Literacy and Pedagogy
- Transformative Professional Learning Communities of Practice
- Social, Emotional and Cultural Learning Strategies
- Culturally Responsive Teaching in School Libraries
- Qualitative Methods (e.g., Portraiture, Case Studies, Student Focus Groups, Interviews)
Education, Licensure & Certifications
- Ph.D., Instructional Design: Online and Blended Professional Adult Learning; minor in applied qualitative methods, University of Northern Colorado, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Greeley, CO
- Executive Leadership Certificate and Superintendent’s License, University of Colorado Denver, School of Education and Human Development, Denver, CO
- K-12 Principal License, University of Colorado Denver, School of Education and Human Development, Denver, CO
- M.A., Educational Media with added K12 library endorsement, University of Northern Colorado, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Greeley, CO
- B.A., English Education, University of Northern Colorado
- Lynn Rhodes Faculty Award for Outstanding Service (SEHD; 2021)
- Excellence in Teaching (SEHD nominee; 2010)
- Excellence in Service (SEHD nominee; 2009)
- President’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative (2009-10, 2010-11)
- Colorado Association of Libraries
- Educational Advisory Board for Clyfford Stills Museum
- Learning Forward
I am a practitioner-based researcher who measures the impact of professional learning through inclusive communities of practice and studies self-efficacy through coaching and transformative, social, emotional, and cultural professional learning practices. I began this research as a recipient of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) early career grant for culturally responsive professional learning for school library educators; and then, continued this work with school leaders as a director of professional learning in a large urban school district where I launched grant-funded communities of practice for culturally responsive school leadership (2016-2019). I received my PhD in Instructional Design from the University of Northern Colorado where I also earned my doctoral minor in applied research methods with an emphasis on qualitative methods, specializing in portraiture, ethnographies, narratives, case studies and focus groups.
Publications and Presentations
- Morris, S. M., Summers, L. L., & Rai, L. (2021, December 15). Hybrid pedagogical selves. University of Eastern Finland. https://www.uef.fi/en/event/pedagogical-selves-webinar
- Montoya, A. & Summers, L. (2021). Eight dimensions of wellness for educators. The Learning Professional. 42(1), 50 – 62
- Summers, L. (2021, June) The power of coaching conversations for equity. InnEdCO, Breckenridge, CO
- Summers, L. & Russell, B. (2020 - 2021). Shine-a-light on innovative practices webinar series [Project]; partially funded by a IMLS grant
- Summers, L. (2020). The right blend: SEL skills support teacher learning in person and online. The Learning Professional. 41(4), 32-36
- Summers, L., Skrzypchak, A., & Killion, J. (2019, December). Measuring impact: Three years of professional learning. Research presented at Learning Forward. St. Louis, MO.
- Summers, L., Jackson, J., & Scogin, A. (2018, December). Teacher-led improvement science: Equity-based math practices. Research presented at Learning Forward. Dallas, TX.
- Summers, L. & Linder-VanBerschot, J. A. (2015). Quality in the face of transience. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education 2015 Special Issue
- Crepeau-Hobson, F., & Summers, L. (2011). A case study of a crisis team’s response to a hostage event at a public high school. Journal of School Violence, 10(3), 1-18
- Summers, L. & Dunlap, J. (2010, October). Online faculty mentoring. Paper presented at the annual meeting. Association of Educational Communications & Technology, Anaheim, CA.
- Summers, L., Dunlap, J., Westland, C., Giullian, S., & Townsend, S. (2010, April). Peer mentoring in a changing world: A collaborative process for online instructors. Paper presented at annual meeting, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Denver
- Summers, L. (2010, May). Developing an online research course. Paper presented at International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
- Summers, L. (2010, March/April). Culturally responsive leadership in school libraries. Library Media Connections, 10-13.
- Summers, L. (2009, October). Results from an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Culturally Responsive Library Program Grant, American Association of School Libraries (AASL) Conference, Charlotte, NC