Shaw University Department of Education

Chair: Dr. Paula Molten-Tolson

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Dr. Paula Moten-Tolson is the Chair of the Department of Education.  She was formerly Coordinator of the Graduate and Undergraduate Birth through Kindergarten Education Programs at Shaw University.  A former Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she has 30 years of experience in the field of early childhood development as a mental health provider, teacher, coordinator of services, executive director, consultant and policy associate in the public, private and non-profit sector.   She was formerly the director of the San Francisco Unified School District’s Early Child Development Program overseeing 41 child development centers.  She was also a three year Chair of a California county commission which allocated approximately 13 million annually for the health, education and well being of children birth through kindergarten.  Dr. Moten-Tolson received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; she received a Master’s Degree in Social Services from St. Louis University in Missouri and received a doctorate in Education from Nova University in Florida.  Dr. Moten-Tolson is an assistant professor and teaches graduate education B-K courses at Shaw University.   She has been the P.I. in several successfully implemented state and federal grants in the nonprofit sector including an Early Learning Opportunity Act (ELOA) grant.  She believes that every child can succeed in school and every child deserves the best resources available to enhance their learning experiences.


Professor Melvin E. Wallace

 Mr. Melvin E. Wallace teaches as a middle school teacher in the Wake County Public School System (Melvin is a veteran teacher of 19-years.). In addition to teaching in the area of autism, Mr. Wallace also serves as case manager for approximately 10-students. He has dedicated his life to the area of education and school educational leadership. Melvin holds several certifications in the state of North Carolina and they are as follows: Mentally Handicapped; Special Education: Adapted Curriculum; Special Education: General Curriculum; Special Education: English; Special Education: Math; Special Education: Science; Special Education: Social Studies; and Birth through Kindergarten. As a veteran teacher he has taught Middle School math and science; Middle School language arts and social studies; and curriculum assistance. Mr. Wallace is also very skilled at modifying lessons for diverse learners as well as developing and implementing behavior intervention plans (BIP). In addition, Mr. Wallace teaches as an adjunct professor in the area of early childhood education.

Currently, Mr. Wallace is pursuing a Doctorate of Education through Nova Southeastern University with emphasis in Special Education and Education Leadership. Mr. Wallace also holds a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instructions with emphasis in the area of Early Childhood Education from Shaw University. His undergraduate studies were done at Shaw University and Mississippi Valley State University; and as a result he is privileged with a Bachelor of Science in the area of Education and Speech Communication. As a leader in the area of education, he has been graced with an array of awards/recognitions that tend to highlight his abilities to promote structure and organization in a school environment. Mr. Wallace’s current discourse places a focus on the study of ‘challenging behaviors in the young learner’. In addition, Professor Wallace is pursuing a Doctorate of Education through Nova Southeastern University with emphasis in Special Education and Conflict Resolution.

He feels that professional schooling will always play a major part in his career make-up and endeavors. Melvin is also a loving husband of 27-years with one daughter, (Phyllis and Genesis). He is expected to complete his current discourse of study in approximately eighteen months.


Professor Linda Reynolds

Linda Reynolds is an instructor in the elementary education program. She joined Shaw University in spring 2006 as an adjunct instructor, and became a full-time instructor fall 2009.  Over her 33 years in education, Linda Reynolds has been a special education teacher, middle school guidance supervisor, assistant principal and principal in the Wake County Public School System before retiring in 2005.  She has a BS in Special Education and MS in Elementary Education from Southern Education State University, Masters in Counseling from North Carolina Central University and Masters Level Certification in Administration and Curriculum and Supervision from North Carolina State University.

Her professional interests are in the areas of struggling readers and learning management systems. She loves walking, reading and visiting with friends. She has one granddaughter.


Professor Lucy Wilson

Lucy Wilson has a lengthy career in early childhood education. She taught preschool in the public and private sector for over 18 years. She holds a B.A. degree in Sociology/Social Welfare from Saint Augustine's College, Raleigh, N.C., and a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. She also received her Child Development Associate training from Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C. and is currently working on a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in K-12 from Argosy University. She is the director of the Child Development Associate Program (CDA), as well as advisor, and portfolio developer. She holds a license from the state of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in Elementary Education (Grades K-6). She is an assistant professor and teaches undergraduate courses in elementary education. She was the project coordinator for the Teacher Education Project, which was a grant program that paid fifteen Head Start teachers to attend Shaw University and work on their Birth-Kindergarten degree.

Professor Wilson is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Black Child Institute, and the National Head Start Association. She volunteers with the Choanoke Area Development, Inc., Head Start of Wake County, Martin Community County Action, and she serves as a Board member for Telamon Corporation N.C. Regional Head Start Policy Council. Her area of research focuses on emergent literacy skills in young children. She believes that knowledge and preparation are powerful keys to create nurturing environments that can lead to effective teaching and a positive concrete learning experience for children.  


Professor Rosalie N. Parrish

Rosalie N. Parrish holds a Ph.D. in Specialized Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her teaching and research interests include families of children who have special needs, inclusion of children who have special needs in educational and community settings, the social and emotional development of young children, and teacher preparation. She has served in inclusive pre-k classroom settings as student teacher, intern, and supervisor, including work that specifically supported pre-k teachers in including children with disabilities and children who were culturally and linguistically diverse. She has worked at the FPG Child Development Institute as a Research Associate, the Institute for Family-Centered Care in Bethesda, MD as an Information Specialist, and as Program Coordinator and Instructor for the Auditory Oral/Birth-Kindergarten program at UNCG. She is currently serving as Program Coordinator for the Undergraduate and Graduate Birth-Kindergarten programs at Shaw University. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood and serves on the Human Rights Committee for The Arc of Orange County in North Carolina.


Professor Juanita Linton

Professor Juanita Linton serves as the Director for Shaw University Center for Early Childhood Education, Development and Research. The program collaborates with various programs to ensure services are provided to children of low income families. She is currently a doctoral student at Argosy University, with a concentration in Instructional Leadership. Professor Linton studied at Shaw University and received a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction (2005) with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (1995) in Liberal. She was awarded her National Child Development Credentials (CDA) in 1992, from the National Council in Washington, DC. Professor Linton has 28 years of experience working with children in early education in the public and private sector. She was the Education/Staff Development Specialist for Martin County Community Action, Inc. Head Start Program overseeing 8 child development centers that provided high quality services to children of families with disadvantages. Professor Linton serves as a consultant for child care centers that are seeking star rating licenses and provide training to teachers and parents on child development issues. Professor Linton’s profession extends to the mental health arena advocating for individuals with developmentally delay and mental illness. She serves as a Qualified Professional for Pitt County Mental Health.

Professor Linton area of research interest is the effect of males/fathers involvement in children’s development. Her theoretical belief is based on the philosopher of Lev Vygotsky, cultivating the minds of children through interaction and support.


Ms. Linda Stephens, Administrative Assistant to the Department Chair


Mrs. Stephens serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Chair of the Department of Education. She attended Saint Augustine’s College where her major was Sociology and Social Welfare.  She later attended Wake Technical Community College where she received her Certificate in Computer Skills I & II, and Professional Workplace Skills. Before coming to Shaw University, she was the Assistant Coordinator for Residence Life at Duke University.   She has numerous outside interests, but most enjoys working in her Church where she servers on the Ushers Ministry and is a Youth Advisor in the children’s ministry.  Currently, she is in the process of obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Management.


Professor Allyson Alimamy Sesay

Dr. Allyson Alimamy Sesay is Full Professor of Education and Coordinator of Academic Advising and Volunteer Service in the Department of Education. He was trained as a secondary school teacher at Milton Margai Teachers College in Sierra Leone. He received a BS in Agricultural Economics from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, and a M.Ed. in Foundations of Education/Comparative and International education from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. In 1981 Dr. Sesay earned the PhD degree in Educational Policy Analysis with a cognate area in Vocational and Technical Education from The University of Illinois. In addition to his work as a secondary school science, mathematics, and English literature teacher, Dr. Sesay has acquired a wealth of teaching, research, administrative, and community service experiences in the United States and abroad in the area of teacher education over the past 26 years. He has worked in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and at a number of universities in the United States, including the University of Maine at Farmington, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Howard University in Washington, DC, and currently at Shaw University.  He has designed and taught a variety of courses including educational policy, educational psychology, foundations of education, economics of education, test and measurement, educational research, methods of teaching, multidisciplinary studies, and multicultural education. He teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Sesay has been honored on four occasions in Who is Who Among America’s Teachers. He has served in a number of administrative capacities including department chair at Shaw and abroad. His research interests include international comparisons of young children’s worldviews as a foundation for preparing them for effective future leaders, educational policy evaluation (impact analysis), and multicultural issues, particularly those pertaining to gender equity in education. Dr. Sesay has presented the results of his research studies at professional conferences and published in scholarly journals in the United States and abroad.  Dr. Sesay’s work is firmly grounded in an eclectic philosophy of education that is rooted in the internal locus-of-control principle which holds that “truth and goodness belong to all persons no matter what their station” (Johnson, et. al, 2005).  Central to this philosophy, therefore, is his unwavering belief that all children have a capacity to learn and succeed, given the opportunity and a caring and nurturing environment.   


Professor Joyce Richardson, Project Manager and Assistant Professor

She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Shaw University in Elementary Education and the Master of Arts Degree from East Carolina University in Elementary Education. In addition, she also received the Educational Specialist Degree from East Carolina University in Public School Administration. She is certified in Curriculum and Instruction.

Professor Richardson taught elementary school for 18 years and served as a school administrator for 14 years with the Johnston County Schools. She has served as an Assistant Professor and as the Coordinator of Education Field Experiences at Shaw University since 2000.

Professor Richardson the project manager for the Shaw University Academic Enrichment Academy. The Academic Enrichment Academy provides after school tutorials for school systems across the state of North Carolina.