OCCRL Staff and Affiliates

Naomi Simmons-Thorne




Office of Community College Research and Leadership
Children's Research Center
51 Gerty Drive, Room 117
Champaign, IL 61820

Naomi Simmons-Thorne

Research Assistant

Naomi Simmons-Thorne (she/her) is currently a doctoral student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she studies in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, with an emphasis on philosophy of education.

Naomi is also a fellow of the Graduate College at Illinois. She has held similar distinctions with the Research Institute for Scholars of Equity at North Carolina Central University,  the Rutgers Graduate School of Education's Center for Minority Serving Institutions, as well as joint appointments with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and Southern Education Foundation Leadership Initiative.


  • Ph.D., Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • M.T., English Education, University of South Carolina
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of South Carolina
  • B.S., Sociology, University of South carolina
  • A.A., Associate of Liberal Arts, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
  • A.S., Associate of Science, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College