Welcoming Messages from Chair & Chair Elect
Welcoming Messages from Chair & Chair Elect

AERA Graduate Student Council Chair Welcome Letter, 2022-2023

Theme: Building, Bonding, and Growing

Andii Layton

Andrea 'Andii' Layton | Chair

Andrea “Andii” Layton is a second-year doctoral student in education leadership at Michigan State University (MSU). Her research interests include creating racial and educational equity, student empowerment, and anti-Blackness and anti CRT preparation and training for pre-service teachers. As AERA-GSC Chair, Andii plans to build a community across the GSC and provide resources that will support students academically and professionally to become leaders in the field of education and social change for the betterment of all.

Dear AERA and Graduate Student Family,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Graduate Student Council (GSC). The GSC is a representative body within AERA charged with the task to advocate for graduate students and support them for the next stages in their career.  

These are turbulent times, and we need to lean on each other like never before. All of us are faced with societal grief that has caused us to reflect and reevaluate our position in society and beyond. Student-loan debt, COVID-19 and the expansion of the achievement gap, racial oppression, domestic terrorism, inflation, and gun violence are some of the tragedies plaguing this nation.

As graduate students we are expected to be bright eyed and bushy tailed about what’s possible, but an unfortunate reality is that these days innovation and hopefulness can be bleak. There is an African proverb that I often reflect on, “the sun does not forget a village because it is small.” I appreciate this proverb because it is easy for graduate students to feel small, inept, alone, vulnerable, and so on, but this year my plan is for GSC to be the sun that shines on the small villages that make up our Graduate Student Council.

Together we will focus on the theme “Building, Bonding, and Growing” to support each other and provide resources to assist you in your academic journey. As Chair my goal is to create systems that will support graduate student members to achieve their academic, professional, and community goals. This year the GSC plans to offer opportunities through programming, social events, and informational sessions on trending topics, career training, and special interest.

I believe this is a time for us to be bold in our desire to make education better and more accessible for all students. As an emerging scholar, and as someone who has worked in the field of education for over a decade in various capacities, I am ready and willing to do the work to support my colleagues in the GSC and beyond, but I can’t do it alone. It is critical for all of us to be committed to the charge of making our academic journey brighter and better. As your 2022-2023 Chair, I plan to bring bold vision, energy, and action to this role because together, we are AERA.

With gratitude,
Andii Layton


A Message from the Chair-elect

Coming Soon.