Charisse Cowan Pitre, PhD

Charisse Cowan Pitre Headshot

PhD, Curriculum & Instruction, University of North Texas
MA, Curriculum & Instruction, Seattle University
BA, English, University of Washington

Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Justice Initiatives
Professor, Teacher Education (MIT)

Phone: (206) 296-5773

Building/Room: Loyola 315

Research and Teaching Interests

Dr. Cowan Pitre’s research and teaching interests include the sociopolitical context of schools, BIPOC teacher retention, teacher development, and educational opportunity programs to support post-secondary aspirations and access for P-12 students from underrepresented and minoritized groups. She has presented at national and international education conferences and has published articles in each of these areas. Her research has been published in a range of scholarly journals including Teacher Education and Practice, College & University, and Metropolitan Universities. Recent publications include Developing civic-minded teacher leaders through service-learning school partnerships (The Professional Educator), Improving African American student outcomes: Understanding educational achievement and considering strategies to close opportunity gaps (Western Journal of Black Studies), and Increasing aspirations of urban youth with career and community-focused learning experiences: An entrepreneurship inquiry model (in Curriculum Leadership: A Contemporary Approach). Current projects examine the development and retention of teachers committed to teaching for social change, the role of peer-mentoring in the development of social justice teacher leaders, and teacher-led spaces to empower and support BIPOC equity educators.

Recent Book Chapter:

Cowan Pitre, C. (in press). A black professor’s resistance and renewal: Journey reflections with letters to educators who labor for freedom and liberation. In B. Kelly & S. Fries-Britt, S. (Eds.), Building mentorship networks to support Black women (forthcoming, Routledge).


Dr. Cowan Pitre researches sociocultural and schooling factors related to the educational achievement of students from diverse social and economic backgrounds. A former middle and high school language arts teacher, she earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Seattle University and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Texas. Before joining the Seattle University community as a faculty member in the Master in Teaching Program, she was an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.