[View Image] School of Education

Catina Venning

Ph.D. Student, School of Education
Expected Graduation: Spring 2022
Program Area: Educational Psychology

Headshot of Catina Venning, VCU Holmes Scholar for 2020-2021. [View Image]


  • Ph.D. in Education; Educational Psychology; Virginia Commonwealth University (Spring 2022)
  • M.Ed. in Special Education; City University New York
  • J.D.; Howard University School of Law
  • M.S. in Criminal Justice; Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.S. in Psychology, Political Science; James Madison University

Line of Research

My research examines the allocation of power in learning spaces, how that power is communicated through episodic discursive  engagement analysis in the learning triarch (teacher, students and families) and the cognitive or motivational impact on learning.

Research and Scholarship

  • Bae, C., Venning, C., Cabrera, L., Sealy, M. & Mills, D. (manuscript in progress). Science discourse that builds on students’ funds of knowledge: Development of a codebook.
  • Bae, C. L., Mills, D. C., Zhang, F., Sealy, M., Venning, C., & Cabrera, L. (submitted). A systematic review of scientific discourse in K12 urban classrooms: The role of individual, collective, and contextual factors. American Educational Research Association, 2021.
  • Emery, A. & Venning, C. (in progress). Teaching and Applying Motivation Constructs to Promote Asset-Based Interactions in Schools. Theory Into Practice.
  • Venning, C. & Bae, C. (in progress). Family learning culture (FLC): A systematic review of literature on family as a source of cognition and motivation.
  • Venning, C. & Bae, C. (in progress). Student Led Instructional Prompts (SLIPs): Framework for examining student-led discursive engagement and teacher response in science.
  • Venning, C., & Bae, C. L., (submitted). Student Led Instructional Prompts (SLIPs): Agency and Reciprocal/Radical Listening for Inclusive Science Classrooms. American Educational Research Association, 2021.
  • Venning, C. (2020). A Mixed-Methods Study to Identify Opportunities for Engagement in Diverse Science Classrooms. Poster Session at American Psychological Association, 2020 Division 15, Washington, D.C.
  • Venning, C. (2020). Opportunities for Engagement in Diverse Science Classrooms. Poster Session at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education Research Symposium, Division 15, Washington, D.C.


Catina Venning is a doctoral student in the Education Psychology program in the VCU School of Education with a professional background in academic justice and civil rights.  She earned a B.S. in Psychology and Political Science from James Madison University, a M.Ed. in Special Education from City University New York and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. In addition to ensuring educational equity through responsible research, she is exploring communication practices between students, teachers and families, and how those practices inform power and achievement.

What does the Holmes Scholars program mean to you?

Regurgitating research content that excludes the array of narratives comprising the current education landscape does serve and has not served marginalized people. The Holmes Scholars program at its root honors the scholarship of people of color at all phases of their career. When I leave my doctoral studies, I want to have cultivated a roster of historically marginalized scholars that I can seamlessly incorporate into scholarly discourse in “the Academy.” As I pro-actively align my academic self with those interested in restructuring academia for inclusion, I am hoping that Holmes will provide opportunities for richer discussions and collaborations with people of diverse and divergent paths for stronger contextual grounding.

Curriculum Vitae


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