Darnell Leatherwood is currently a lecturer at the University of Chicago and is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University. He also serves as a Young Scholar on The Journal of Negro Education Editorial/Advisory Board out of Howard University in Washington DC, Faculty Affiliate at the University of Michigan Center for Equitable Family and Community Well-Being, Board Member on the Matteson School District 162 Board of Education, founder of the Black Male Educators Alliance of Illinois (BMEAIllinois), and Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation funded project entitled Promoting Equity and Research Using Adaptive Testing to Support Individualized Instruction at Scale. He is a recipient of the 2023 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Research Development Award.
Darnell recently served as Visiting Faculty at Saint Louis University and Senior Quantitative Research Fellow at the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University. He is a former National Science Foundation Fellow in Advance Quantitative Research Methods at the University of Chicago/Michigan State University, Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences Fellow, Illinois Board of Higher Education Fellow, and Expert Mentor for the IVenture Accelerator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign .
Darnell holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy and Social Welfare, Certificate in Education Sciences, and M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago; he holds a B.S. in Management (concentration: Entrepreneurship) and Business Process Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Chad Lyles is currently pursuing advanced certifications in the field of information technology. As an operative in one of his fields of interest, he is a technology analyst lead at School Sisters Notre Dame and information technology technician at the Saint Louis Zoo. He also works as a staffed mathematics tutor at Harris Stowe State University. He holds the ambition to gain public office, ideally in an educational capacity.
Chad is motivated by his passion to establish STEAM hubs and likewise professional opportunities in underserved communities . His interests include developing comprehensive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) matriculation education and job-readiness programs for underserved youth and cross-training adults by way of making available sustainable knowledge/training hubs in various community hot-spots – high volume areas.
Such programs provide opportunities to become industrially knowledgeable in various foundations of programming languages for various age scopes and to become professionally certified in various information technology practices through facilitation and workshops.
A final note, in 2016, Chad co-founded Leatherwood & Lyles, L.L.C., a social entrepreneurial business dedicated to developing underserved communities through home-ownership and gainful employment. He completed a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a B.A. in African-American Studies while also minoring in Theology.at Saint Louis University.