This summer the School of Education welcomed Maisha T. Winn, PhD and Lawrence (Torry) Winn, JD to the School of Education. Maisha T. Winn has been appointed as a Professor, and the UC Davis Chancellor and Provost additionally have extended her the new honorary designation of “Chancellor’s Leadership Professor.” Torry Winn will serve as an Academic Administrator. The Winns, who are married, will jointly develop a center for restorative justice to be located within the School of Education.
Maisha T. Winn earned a BA in English with a minor in African-American Studies at UC Davis, an MA in Language, Literacy, and Culture at Stanford University, and a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture at UC Berkeley. She comes to the School from her position as the Susan J. Cellmer Distinguished Chair in English Education and Professor in Language and Literacy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
“One of the reasons why I wanted to come back to UC Davis is that I think the University has an opportunity to be a leader in transformative justice and education,” she said. “There is a culture and rich history of engaging in difficult conversations about differences among people, and looking at those differences as an asset, not a deficit. It’s a way of being in the world that I’m particularly looking forward to engaging in at UC Davis.” She also is very interested in working to make restorative justice training part of the School of Education’s teacher education program so that teachers arrive in their first classrooms already equipped with techniques and tools.
Maisha T. Winn became reacquainted with the UC Davis community last fall when she spent a day discussing restorative justice as a featured speaker at the School of Education. “I was thoroughly impressed with the student presence at my talk,” she said. “There were many undergraduate, credential and master’s students who attended, and their presence was very powerful. I loved the fact that the students were so agentive and self-determined in their learning experiences. I also had an incredible opportunity to sit with the School of Education faculty and talk about the ways in which the work I do fits into the larger conversation about education.”
Torry Winn is currently a doctoral candidate in Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His dissertation examines social capital, racial disparities, and how black youth examine the impact of those disparities on their schools and communities. He was recently on staff at Race to Equity, a multi-year initiative exploring the pattern of racial disparities between African-Americans and whites living in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Torry Winn earned his BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley, JD from Vanderbilt University Law School, and MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has founded and directed several nonprofit agencies, and consulted on civic engagement, equity, and educational/youth programs with national foundations including Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
In addition to teaching, Torry Winn will collaborate with Maisha T. Winn in the development of the School’s new center for restorative justice. “As co-director, my role will be to help with the planning, visioning and implementation of the center,” he said. “I’ll engage and mobilize students, educators and community members to get their feedback. There’s a commitment to equity, social justice and collaboration by the faculty and students at UC Davis, and the vision of the University to be transformative in both scholarship and the role it plays with communities. I’m excited by the University’s fierce sense of urgency to be the best.”