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Katrina Cummings

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
Katrina Cummings specializes in early childhood education, early childhood special education, and early childhood mental health.


Dr. Katrina P. Cummings is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education Department. She has field experiences in early intervention, early childhood education, and child and family mental health. She is passionate about teaching and research that center on family engagement, social and emotional well-being for young children, and special education services for young children from marginalized groups. She approaches her work through a systems perspective and also embraces a critical lens to acknowledge and address social injustices.

Dr. Cummings has set out to be a lifelong learner and teacher. She is excited about the opportunity to prepare future teachers who think critically, have an understanding of sociocultural and historical contexts, are active co-constructors of knowledge, and thus are well equipped to meet the needs of children and their families. In her spare time, she enjoys socializing, singing, dancing, and planning events.


  • Family systems
  • Developmentally appropriate practice
  • Early childhood disabilities


  • 2018, Rural Special Education Quarterly Article of the Year, American Council for Rural Special Education
  • 2017, Simpson Interdisciplinary Research Grant, Simpson College
  • 2011-2015, Early Childhood Leadership, Education, Advocacy, Diversity & Scholarship
  • (EC LEADS) Scholar, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
  • 2013, Public Scholarship Graduate Student Network Research Award
  • 2008, Summa Cum Laude, North Carolina Central University
  • 2004, Magna Cum Laude, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2000-2004, Gates Millennium Scholar


  • 2015, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Ph.D., Special Education - Early Childhood
  • Dissertation: Ecocultural factors that impact parents’ from rural communities sustained engagement in early learning opportunities
  • 2008, North Carolina Central University, M.A., Agency Counseling
  • 2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., Child Development and Family Studies