An educator for nearly five decades, Joyce L. Stevos, PhD, feels she was destined to pursue the field. She always enjoyed studying, particularly history, and she found being in front of students to be relaxing and fun. Her first position in the industry was social studies department head in the Providence Public School District, after which she advanced within the district to roles like teacher, social studies supervisor, and director of program and staff development. Dr. Stevos remains with the school as the director of strategic planning and professional development to this day. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College. Her areas of expertise are cultural diversity, discourse analysis, and youth civic engagement.
One of the highlights of Dr. Stevos’ career was supervising social studies teachers. In that role, any change she made had a ripple effect throughout the district. Dr. Stevos is also proud of creating student programs that dealt with topics like conflict resolution. These programs have always done better than expected.
Outside of the classroom, Dr. Stevos spends much of her time using her knowledge to help out in her community. She is currently a trustee of the Rhode Island College Foundation, a board member of both the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame and the Heritage Harbor Foundation, and a member of the state of Rhode Island chapter of Alpha Omega. In the past, Dr. Stevos has served as a consultant in developing the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts Charter School, a member of the disciplinary literacy development team for the Institute for Learning, Learning Research & Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, an evaluator for the U.S. Department of Education’s Model Professional Development Awards, and a member of the board of trustees for the Providence Public Library. She was also part of the Teacher Conference Planning Committee for initiatives like “First Steps: An Exploration of African-American History in Rhode Island” and “Next Steps: A Place-Based Approach to Teaching African-American History in Rhode Island Classrooms.”
Dr. Stevos enhanced her professional standing by earning a Master of Education from Rhode Island College in 1997 and a PhD from the University of Rhode Island in 2005. She also became a certified teacher, principal, and superintendent in the state of Rhode Island. To help her stay on top of developments in her field, she joined prominent professional organizations like the National Council for Social Studies, the Social Studies Supervisors Association, and the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society.
As a testament to her success, Dr. Stevos has received a number of accolades over the years. She was notably honored with the Charles B. Willard Award from the Rhode Island College Alumni Association, the Living the Dream Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission, the All Kids Award from the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Classical High School. Other accolades include the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State Legacy Award, the Northern YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, the George T. Downing Award from the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, the Garter G. Woodson Book Award from the National Council for Social Studies, and the National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation.
When Dr. Stevos has free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and learning about her family’s history.