Dr. Benita Brooks

Benita R. Brooks

Assistant Professor

(936) 294-1138


TEC 248


Google Scholar

Benita Brooks photo

  • University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2009, Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in literacy education
  • Murray State University, Murray Kentucky, 1999, M.A. in English with a concentration in English Education
  • Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1996, B.A. in English

Areas of Expertise

My research interest includes creating telecollaborative or online intercultural exchanges (OIE) for middle level preservice teachers to develop cross-cultural knowledge and global perspectives. My research interest also includes embedding critical service learning projects in middle level coursework to cultivate culturally sustaining practices in preservice teachers.


Dr. Benita R. Brooks is the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for the College of Education and an Associate Professor of Literacy at Sam Houston State University. She is the 2020 recipient of the College of Education Inclusion Award. Under her leadership, 68 teacher candidates completed the first Diversity Certificate Program in April 2020. She is the co-faculty advisor for the DEI Student Advisory Board in the College of Education. Recently, she expanded the DEI certificate program by co-founding the DEEDS (Diversity Engagement, Engagement, Development, & Support) Institute with the Director of Diversity in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. DEEDS Institute offers 27 hours of workshops for faculty and staff and 25 hours for graduate students in the College of Education and the College of Criminal Justice.  She was the director of the Huntsville Immersion Partnership (HIP) After-school Academic Program. She received a $47,000 grant from the Powell Foundation to support HIP for two consecutive years, which totaled $94,000. Her research focuses on teacher candidates developing cross-cultural knowledge and global perspectives through telecollaborative exchanges and diversity certificate programs. She can be reached at bxd019@shsu.edu.

Selected Articles

Brooks, B.R., Ates, B., & Nerren, J.W. (under review). Cultivating a university-community partnership through an innovative after-school academic program. The Texas Forum of Teacher Education.

Book Chapter

Brooks, B.R., Pittman, R., Coyne, J., Hollas, T., & Lane, M. (in press). Diversity, equity, and inclusion matter: Preparing teacher candidates to become activist educators. In J. Ruan, A. Hersi and G. Martinez-Alba (Eds.), Antiracist teacher education: Theory and practice. Association for Teacher Educators.

Manuscripts in Progress

Brooks, B.R., Ates, B. (in preparation). Banned books in K-12 classrooms: Weaponization of children and young adult literature. In L. Herrera & K. Bryan (Eds.), Weaponizing language: Elevating global voices. De Gruyter Mouton.

Brooks, B.R., Berg, H., Nerren, J.W., & Skidmore, S. (in preparation). Culturally responsive teaching in teacher preparation.

Pagels, J. & Brooks, B.R. (in preparation). The impact of participating in a diversity certificate program on teacher candidates.

Peer-Reviewed International Professional Presentations

Brooks, B.R., Ransaw, T., & Berg, H. (2021, March). Teacher preparation matters. Using personal equity audits to build capacity for local and global change in K-12 and higher education classrooms. Paper presented at the annual Universality of Global Education Virtual Conference.

Invited Keynote Addresses

Brooks, B.R. (2021, August 5). Re-imagining diversity to make equity and inclusion tangible and obtainable. Sam Houston State University. Texas Academic Leadership Academy (TALA), The Woodlands, Texas.

Invited Academic Workshops

Brooks, B.R. (2021, July 20). Developing cultural proficient practices in a K-12 school district. Huntsville Independent School District’s implicit racist and disabilities bias training for administration.

Brooks, B.R. (2021, July 19). Developing cultural proficient practices in a K-12 charter school. Sam Houston State University Charter Schools.

Brooks, B.R. (2021, March 22). Examining hierarchical microaggressions at the departmental level [Webinar]. Sam Houston State University. Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Brooks, B.R. (2021, February 10). Creating an inclusive environment at the departmental level [Webinar]. Sam Houston State University. Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Berg, H. & Brooks, B.R. (2021, January 26). Culturally responsive assessment [Webinar]. US Prep.

Peer Reviewed Regional, State, and Local Peer-Reviewed Presentations

(underlined represents student contributions)

Brooks, B.R. & Jackson, C. (2021, February). A student advisory board for diversity, equity and inclusion: “Speaking up and speaking out for social justice, Workshop presented at the 17th Annual Diversity Leadership Conference, Huntsville, Texas.

IRB's Submitted

Brooks, B.R. (P.I.). Examining the College of Education’s diversity initiatives, Protocol number 2020-316. Exempt from IRB Review, Approved, February 2021.

Brooks, B.R. (P.I), Ates, B. & Coyne, J. Preservice teachers becoming classroom-ready community teachers in an after-school program, Protocol number 2019-265. Sam Houston State University. Exempt from IRB Review, Approved, September 2019, Renewed, January 2021.

Selected Publications

(underlined represents student contributions)

Brooks, B.R., Ates, B., & Nerren, J.W. (under review). Cultivating a university-community partnership through an innovative after-school academic program. The Texas Forum of Teacher Education.

Brooks, B.R. (in press). Foreword. In T. Ransaw and R. Majors (Ed.), Curricular and Non-Curricular Perspectives for Closing Achievement Gaps for Students of Color. East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Press.

Brooks, B. R. (in press). American and South African prospective teachers developing intercultural knowledge and competencies in a telecollaborative exchange. Journal of TESOL and Learning.

Jones, B.E., Bustamante, R.M., Gray, P., & Brooks, B. (in press). Exploring cultural responsiveness among White school principals in rural schools with high performing African American Readers. Journal of School Leadership.

Brooks, B.R., Votteler, N.K., Erasmus, M., & Price, D. (2019). Broadening horizons: American and South African teacher candidates engage in an ABCs intercultural telecollaborative exchange. In M. Mokoena, L.M. Hove, & N. Diko (Eds.), Dynamics in Research Based Teacher Education. Potchefstroom, South Africa: Ivyline Academic Book Publishers.

Brooks, B.R. (2017). Mathematics preservice teachers are literacy educators too: Learning how to administer and use data from the Texas Middle School Fluency Assessment to plan instruction. Texas Journal of Literacy Education (5), 2, 175-184.

Brooks, B. R., Ates, B., Berg, H., & Cox, D. (2017). Preparing teacher candidates to become culturally responsive and competent educators: Recommendations for literacy teacher educators. In R.D. Johnson, J.J. Araujo, & N. Cossa (Eds), Literacy: The Critical Role of Teacher Knowledge, The 39th Yearbook: Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (pp. 27-43): ALER.

Brooks, B.R., Miller, M., & Votteler, N.K. (2016). A recipe for an almost disaster: Families writing and sharing stories around a kitchen table. Florida Reading Journal, (51) 2, 28-35.

Brooks, B., Myers, N., & Stoll, A. (2016). The California reading and literature project: Helping teachers raise the academic language and literacy levels of California’s K-5 student population. Journal of 21st Century Education, (1) 1, 1-23.

Brooks, B.R., Bennett, B., Brangers, K., Pursley, K., Doak, L., & Peters, T. (2015). Preservice teachers developing cultural competency: “We are more connected than we think.” Global Education Journal, (3) 3, 131-147.