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Sharla Berry

Assistant Professor


Phone: 916.340.6098


Ph.D., Urban Education Policy, University of Southern California, 2017

Master of Science, Elementary Loyola Marymount University, 2011

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, 2011

Bachelor of Arts, History,Loyola Marymount University, 2009

My teaching practice is informed by self-reflection, critical inquiry and praxis. I encourage students to think deeply about their roles as educational change agents. I support students in using critical theoretical perspectives to consider diverse perspectives on educational leadership. I ask students to use their knowledge to generate "real world" solutions to pressing educational problems. In helping link theory to practice, I help support students in becoming engaged citizens and educational leaders. 

My research explores educational innovations in K-20 education. My current work considers the ways in which online students create community. Using qualitative methods, I examine the ways in which faculty, staff and students use technology including virtual classrooms and social media apps to help foster connection in online programs. In previous research I have explored the ways in which mobile apps and other technology can support college access for first-generation students of color. 

  • EDUC 372 Program and Organization Evaluation
  • EDUC 367 Cultural Diversity and Educational Administration 


  • USC Center for Excellence in Teaching Fellowship (2016)           
  • Humanities Arts Science and Technology Collaborative (HASTAC) Fellowship (2015)
  • USC Annenberg Summer Institute on Diversity in Media Fellowship (2014)     
  • USC Dean's Fellowship in Urban Education Policy (2013-2017)  
  • USC Office of the Provost/ National Science Foundation Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Program Fellow (2013)
  • Americorps Teacher Education for A Multicultural Society (TEAMS) (2010-2011)        


  • Berry, S. (2016). Creating Community in Online Graduate Programs: Innovations that Impact Students' Experiences. Association for the Study of Higher Education. Columbus, OH.
  • Berry, S. (2016). Teaching and Learning in Online Spaces: Instructor Practices that Support the Formation of Virtual Community. Association for the Study of Higher Education. Columbus, OH.
  • Berry, S. (2016). Constructing Community in Online Programs: A Digital Case Study. Humanities, Arts, Sciences and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC). Tempe, AZ.
  • Berry, S. (2016). Community Building in Online Doctoral Programs: A Case Study. American Educational Research Association.  Washington, D.C.
  • Berry, S., Sundt M., (2016).  Analyzing the Role of the Co-Curriculum in Building Online Doctoral Students' Sense of Community. NASPA, Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education. Indianapolis, IN.
  • Berry, S. (2016). Designing Engaging Online Learning Environments for Graduate Students: Creating Online Community. NASPA, Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education, Techne. Washington D.C.  
  • Berry, S. (2016). Creating a Digital Hub for College Access. Digital Media and Learning. Los Angeles, CA.  
  • Berry, S. (2016). Community Building in Online Learning Doctoral Programs: A Social Network Analysis. Harvard Graduate School of Education. Cambridge, MA.  
  • Berry, S. (2015). Economic Narratives of Computer Coding Organizations: A Critical Analysis of the Coding Movement. Humanities, Arts, Sciences and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC). Detroit, MI. 
  • Tynes, B., Hiss, S., Berry, S. (2015). Using Mixed Methods to Study the Implementation of the Common Core Technology Project. American Educational Research Association. Chicago, Ill.
  • Tynes, B., Berry, S. (2015). Mobile Devices in Blended Classrooms and Social-Emotional Outcomes for Adolescents of Color. Society for Research on Child Development. Philadelphia, PA.  
  • Berry, S., Monterosa, V., Perez, C. (2014) Connecting the Community: Lessons in Designing a Mobile App to Bridge the College Access Gap. Digital Media and Learning. Boston, MA.  

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Berry, S. (Forthcoming). "Building Community in Online Graduate Classrooms: Instructor Practices that Support Community". Online Learning Journal.
  • Berry, S.  (Forthcoming). "Student Support Networks in Online Doctoral Programs: Exploring Nested Communities." International Journal of Doctoral Studies. 


  • Berry, S. (2013). Degree for Free: How to Save Time and Money on Your College Education. Amazon Digital Services. 

Book Chapters

  • Tynes, B., & Berry, S. (2014). Online Learning. Encyclopedia of Education, Economics & Finance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Sundt, M., Berry, S., Ortiz, A. (Forthcoming). Using Data to Support Online Student Communities. New Directions for Student Services. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.  


  • Berry, S. (2017). Success Strategies in Online Programs. Presented at the USC Rossier Governance Committee Meeting.
  • Berry, S. (2016). Academic and Economic Empowerment. Presented at the Freshman Seminar, Mount Saint Mary's University.  
  • Berry, S. (2015). Navigating Higher Education. Presented at the W(r)ites of Passage Undergraduate Seminar, University of Southern California
  • Berry, S. (2015). Success Strategies for African American Students. Presented at the Learning Community, Loyola Marymount University.  



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