Lynnette Mawhinney

Visiting Senior Scholar


B.S. in Secondary Education, English and Communications, Penn State University
M.Ed. in Urban Education, Temple University
Ph.D. in Urban Education, Temple University


Lynnette Mawhinney is Chair of the Department of Urban Education and Associate Professor of Urban Education at Rutgers University-Newark. She is also affiliated faculty in the African American and African Studies Department. Her love for teaching has always been a deep passion. She started her teacher training at Penn State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education/English and Communications, with a minor in Movement Science to use for athletic training with youth and adults. Later, she earned her Masters and Ph.D. in Urban Education at Temple University.

As a seasoned educator, Dr. Mawhinney is proud to have taught within many diverse populations from the American Indian reservations of South Dakota to urban Philadelphia. She has taught in a range of urban educational contexts, including middle school, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and GED and employment training programs for TANF (formerly known as Welfare) recipients and dislocated workers. For the last ten years, she has conducted teacher training in the U.S., Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, South Africa, and Egypt.

In 2013, Dr. Mawhinney was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Core Scholar award. For the award, she spent one academic year (2013-2014) as Associate Professor of Educational Psychology teaching courses in educational trends and issues, action research, and child and adolescent development at Bahrain Teachers College in The University of Bahrain. In 2018, Dr. Mawhinney received the American Educational Research Association’s Division K award for Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education. In 2020, Dr. Mawhinney was the recipient of the American Educational Studies Association’s Critics Choice Book Award for There Has to be a Better Way: Lessons from Former Urban Teachers.

Dr. Mawhinney’s publications are as international as her teaching experience. She has published extensively in both U.S. and internationally focused peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of There Has to be a Better Way: Lessons from Former Urban Teachers and We Got Next: Urban Education and the Next Generation of Black Teachers and co-editor Teacher Education Across Minority-Serving Institutions: Programs, Policies, and Social Justice and Opportunities and Challenges in Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Teachers’ Voices Across the Pipeline, and the upcoming book, Strong Black Girls: Reclaiming Schools in Their Own Image. Dr. Mawhinney is also co-editor of the book series, Contemporary Perspectives on the Lives of Teachers: Opportunities and Challenges, with Information Age Press.

Aside from academic books, Dr. Mawhinney is also a children’s book author. Her recent book, Lulu the One and Only, received an acclaimed starred Kirkus Review. Imagination Soup labeled the book as one of the best picture books of 2020.

Coupled with her writing endeavors, Dr. Mawhinney is also Associate Editor of the Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies journal under Taylor & Francis.

Dr. Mawhinney’s research focuses on the professional lives of urban teachers and pre-service teachers (with a specific focus on teachers of color), the schooling experiences of urban youth, biracial identity development, and autoethnographic approaches in educational settings.

Dr. Mawhinney is acting as a Visiting Senior Scholar at RFA working with research scholars around concepts of race and anti-racist research and writing practices in educational research. She is also a research consultant on the Aspire 2 Educate evaluation team looking at the implementation of pipeline programs for future teachers of Color.