Dr. April Baker-Bell Joins National Council of Teachers of English

portrait of a woman with black hair and brown eyes

Dr. April Baker-Bell has been invited to join the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standing Committee on Research, and has also been named a Fellow with the Literacy Research Association (LRA) STAR mentoring program.

Baker-Bell is an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures (WRAC), and the African American and African studies program. She also assists English Education faculty in the College of Arts & Letters (CAL) with coordinating, re-envisioning and maintaining an English Education program serving urban communities surrounding MSU.

Referencing Dr. Baker-Bell’s dual recognition, Dr. David Prestel, professor and CAL senior associate Dean for Research and Administration said, “NCTE is a very large organization, and for a junior faculty member only in her second year to be asked to join this important committee is impressive. Similarly, the LRA STAR appointment as a fellow goes to only six faculty members for each two-year cohort.”

NCTE is a very large organization, and for a junior faculty member only in her second year to be asked to join this important committee is impressive.


Dr. Baker-Bell’s research is situated in critical studies of African American Language at the intersections of literacy and pedagogy. Its primary goal is to align theory and research on language and literacy with classroom practice across K-U settings. She has more than ten years of experience teaching at the secondary and postsecondary levels. She is a former fellow of the NCTE’s Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color, and a recipient of the 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Scholars for the Dream Travel Award.

Organizations’ background info

The National Council of Teachers of English is an American professional organization dedicated to “improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. The Literacy Research Association (LRA) is a community of scholars dedicated to promoting research that enriches the knowledge, understanding, and development of lifespan literacies in a multicultural and multilingual world.

STAR Mentoring Program

The STAR (Scholars of color Transitioning into Academic Research institutions) program is a selective mentoring program for scholars of color who are beginning their careers as literacy researchers. The objectives of the STAR program are to:

  • Help instill a strong professional stance within scholars of color
  • Increase their knowledge of LRA’s rich history and traditions
  • Inspire them to continue its legacy of scholarship, leadership and service
  • Increase the pool of viable scholars of color mentored by LRA

STAR fellows and mentors participate in a post-conference retreat at each LRA annual conference, and in a spring writing retreat. Fellows also present at a guaranteed roundtable session at the conference in their first year, and a guaranteed alternative session in their second year.