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Stephanie Anne Shelton

Associate Professor of Qualitative Research


  • Qualitative research


  • interview- and focus group-based qualitative research
  • queer and feminist theories into examinations of secondary education


  • Ph.D., The University of Georgia, Language and Literacy Education
  • M.A.T., Georgia College and State University, English Education
  • M.A., Georgia College and State University, English
  • B.A., Mercer University, English


  • 2023 Divergent Award for Excellence in Literacy Advocacy (Initiative for Literacy in a Digital Age)
  • 2022 Choice Book Award: Outstanding Academic Title: Encyclopedia of Queer Studies in Education (Association of College & Research Libraries; American Library Association)
  • 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Faculty Award (The University of Alabama)
  • 2022 Nellie Rose McCrory Teaching Excellence Award (The University of Alabama)
  • 2021 National Council of Teachers of English LGBTQ+ Advocacy and Leadership Award
  • 2020 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division D Early Career Award in Measurement and Research Methodology
  • 2020 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division D Service Recognition Certificate (Chair of Div. D Equity and Inclusion Committee, 2018-2020)
  • 2018 Rewey Belle Inglis Award (Gender and Literacy Assembly; National Council of Teachers of English)
  • 2018 University of Alabama Research First Award for Externally Funded Research (Research First Program; Vice President of Research and Economic Development; University of Alabama)


Dr. Shelton was a first-generation college student who finished her Ph.D. at The University of Georgia in May 2016, where she also earned graduate certificates in Qualitative Research and Women’s Studies.  While at UGA, she taught courses in the Institute for Women’s Studies and the Language and Literacy Education Department, including courses emphasizing feminist research methods and field-based teacher education. Prior to UGA, Dr. Shelton taught secondary English Language Arts and Classical Latin at Washington County High School in Sandersville, GA.   Dr. Shelton currently evaluates programmatic efficacy, curriculum, and instruction for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement’s Governor’s Honors Program. 

​Dr. Shelton’s research is interview- and focus group-based and often incorporates queer and feminist theories into examinations of secondary education.  Previous studies have considered early-career high school teachers’ efforts to construct public identities as LGBTQ+ allies and the intersections of sexuality, gender, race, and socioeconomic class in teachers’ and students’ classroom experiences.  Current research projects include considering teachers’ understandings of LGBTQ+ ally identity and ally work in sociopolitically conservative school spaces, researchers’ reflexivity through interview transcription practices, focus group participants’ verbalized membership affiliations, and pedagogical approaches in qualitative methodology courses. 

Dr. Shelton’s publications have appeared in a range of journals, including the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Qualitative Inquiry, Qualitative Research Journal, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Teaching and Teacher Education, Sex Education, and Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, in addition to a variety of book chapters.  Additionally, Dr. Shelton has published four books: Feminism and Intersectionality in Academia: Women’s Narratives and Experiences in Higher Education (2018; reprinted in 2020), Narratives of Hope and Grief in Higher Education (2020),  Humanizing Grief in Higher Education: Narratives of Allyship and Hope (2021), and Encyclopedia of Queer Studies in Education​ (2022), and has several other book projects that are in progress. 

At The University of Alabama, Dr. Shelton is the Coordinator of the Educational Research Program and a faculty senator. Nationally, Dr. Shelton serves as the Chair of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)’s Genders and Sexualities Equality Assembly (GSEA), is an Acquisition Editor for the Brill book series Queer Studies in Education, and is the Column Editor for English Journal’s “Intersectional LGBTQIA+ Identities.” Previously, she has served as Program Co-Chair both for AERA Division D’s Section 3: Qualitative Research and for the AERA Queer Studies SIG, Treasurer for the AERA Arts-based Research SIG, the Chair of the AERA Division D Committee on Equity and Inclusion, Secretary/Treasurer of the AERA Queer Studies SIG, Vice Chair of the National Council of Teachers of English’s Genders and Sexualities Equality Alliance, Co-Chair of the Literacy Research Association’s Gender and Sexualities ICG, and Membership Co-Chair for the AERA Queer Studies SIG.