Norma is a professor and head of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Coordinator of the Higher Education Administration doctoral program. She teaches courses and advises students in higher education leadership and administration, including values and ethics in educational leadership and research design. She directs doctoral dissertations and chairs graduate committees. She received her EdD in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University, with a collateral in anthropology and education. Prior to becoming a faculty member at UT, she taught language arts and social studies to students in the seventh through 12th grade. She also helped prepared teachers to work in urban, inner city-schools in Michigan and New York City as an assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University and Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges.
Norma has contributed to over twenty books and some of her recent book publications include a chapter in Women of Color in Higher Education: Contemporary Perspectives and New Directions, one in The Diversity Mentoring Casebook, and one in, Disrupting the status quo? Young and new professors of educational administration. She has also published over twenty journal articles in a variety of educational journals including Women in Higher Education, Journal of School Leadership, and Journal of Women in Educational Leadership. For the past thirty years, Norma has helped spread her knowledge with over fifty conference presentations and has had over thirty journal articles published.
On top of the many research contributions she has made, Norma also provides her services to many organizations. She has served as a reviewer for twelve journals and was the Chair for the 2007 International Symposium at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. She also served as a Board member for International Education, Education Administration Quarterly, and the Center for Higher Education Research and Policy at The Ohio State University.
Norma is also a true leader to the education field and for more than forty years at UT, she has advised, guided, mentored, and at times, pushed students to the limits of their possibilities. Her hundreds of graduates, spread across the country in faculty and higher education and student affairs administrative positions, speak with reverence about the impact she had on their academic and personal lives. She exhibits the definition of mentor and advocate for students; many of whom have had substantial influences on the field of student affairs. Norma is one of a handful of students who became faculty members in professional preparation programs across the country. She took a small but thriving graduate program -College Student Personnel – and developed it into one of the top academic and professional programs in the field.