UrLeaka Woodard Newsome



UrLeaka Newsome serves as an Assistant Professor of STEM and Foundations of Education at Tennessee State University where she teaches pre-service and in-service teachers and conducts research in multicultural STEM education. In addition, as the program coordinator for secondary school instruction for science, she runs the Tennessee ESL and STEM Teaching initiative funded by the Tennessee Department of Education and sponsored by Tennessee State University in collaboration with Nashville State Community College.



Dr. Newsome fell in love with science at an early age and pursued a bachelors and masters of science degrees in engineering specializing in biomedical engineering at Mercer University and Louisiana Tech University. While at Louisiana Tech University, she served as the Chief Lab Resident in the Center of Biomedical Engineering Rehabilitation Science – SLIP-FALLS Lab. After embracing her call to teach, she taught K-12 science and engineering courses for 15 years and continued her passion for research through pursuing a doctorate in science education at the University of Georgia. Through her experiences at the University of Georgia, she has presented at multiple conferences on her studies of African American engineers and engineering students and how their K-12 experiences led them to become engineers.



Furthermore, as a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Dr. Newsome has lately continued her studies in data science and data analytics, where she has taught data analytics courses at Nashville Software School. She has also conducted research to impact education policy using natural language processing to examine the experiences and perspectives of teachers through Vanderbilt University’s research practice partnership, Tennessee Education Research Alliance. Dr. Newsome is excited to continue her journey and connect with the Institute of Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies as an NSF QCM Scholar.