Who We Are

Chris Janson, Ph.D.


 Dr. Janson

Christopher Janson, PhD is an associate professor and the Director of the University of North Florida’s Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP). Chris has authored over 20 journal articles and book chapters on topics related to educator preparation, community-engaged practices, and the role academics can play as activists.

A considerable portion of Chris’s research focuses on the systematic study of subjectivity through an approach called, Q Methodology. More recently, he and a colleague have used Q Methodology as the foundation for a participatory process called InQuiry, which is designed to assess, understand, and empower collective agency in organizations and communities. A common thread to Chris’s scholarship that he brings to the CUEP is a commitment toward advocating with, rather than for those in historically underserved communities, while also learning how to create, use, and sustain approaches to school-community partnerships in which schools and universities learn and grow from the wisdom and knowledge of the students, families and caregivers, and residents within the communities themselves. 

In addition to his work through the University of North Florida and the CUEP, Chris works alongside national and local community educators, scholars, and organizers in order to develop democratic processes with community members to develop and facilitate Community Learning Exchanges (CLEs) – inter-organizational, multicultural, and multi-generational convenings designed to strengthen the social and political fabric of communities through individual and collective strengths, gifts, and assets. Last year, Chris co-authored a book on this CLE approach titled, Reframing Community Partnerships in Education: Uniting the Power of Place and Wisdom of People.




(904) 620-1520




Lauren Gibbs, Ed.D




Lauren Gibbs. Ed.D., is the Associate Director for Research Programs and Services for the Center for Urban Education and Policy. Lauren has worked intensively with high-poverty schools across the state in order to develop systems and structures within schools that allow all children to succeed. Lauren has engaged in extensive research around coaching, job-embedded professional development, and instructional leadership and has published and presented her research in education journals and at multiple conferences around the country. Before working at UNF Lauren worked at University of Florida’s Lastinger Center for Learning. She was a district coordinator, lead designer, and facilitator of teacher and principal professional development. Prior to working at UF, Lauren was a classroom teacher at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, Florida. Lauren holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida. Lauren is a long-time resident of Duval County. She lives with her husband and two sons in the Riverside/Avondale area.



Associate Director

(904) 620-5760





John White, Ph.D. 



John W. White, Ph. D., is Associate Professor of secondary English methods, literacy/reading, and the foundations of education at the University of North Florida. He is also the faculty lead related to educational policy at UNF’s Center for Urban Education and Policy. John has two primary strands of research that overlap in myriad ways. First, he examines ways to broaden “what counts” as legitimate literature, language, and writing in the English Language Arts (ELA) classrooms. He posits that to reach and engage today’s secondary students in the ELA curricula, educators must begin to embrace new conceptions of literacy and must increasingly make use of young adult literature and graphic novels, integrate popular culture into the curriculum, encourage students to use modern technology and creativity to demonstrate learning, and teach and encourage critical literacy. His other research focus is on language uses (discourse processes) and their connections to power, to cognition/identity, to social justice, and to access to and success in formal academic settings such as schools. Research suggests that teachers (and especially English teachers) tend to authorize one form of discourse—academic discourse—over all other equally valid ways of knowing, speaking, and thinking. Rather than being the 'grammar police,' ELA teachers should instead demonstrate the value and beauty inherent in discourses and help students code switch or code mesh between discourses depending upon their contexts. John’s teaching includes undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of secondary school English methods, reading methods, the foundations of education, educational policy, and overseeing interns/student teachers. Prior to coming to UNF, John taught public high school at an inner-city school in Denver and spent a year directing a literacy program at an Elementary school in Colorado.



Policy and Research Coordinator

(904) 620-1244






Rudy Jamison Jr., Ed.D 



Rudy F. Jamison Jr., Ed.D., is a native of Jacksonville, FL and currently serves a Community Initiatives Coordinator for the Center for Urban Education and Policy as well as Visiting Instructor in the Department of Leadership, School Counseling, and Sport Management. Rudy has a B.S. in Biology from Florida A&M University, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from University of North Florida, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a focus on developmental relationships. Rudy is a firm believer in intellectual ownership and on-demand execution; performance because of who you are, not because of what you have been told to do. Rudy’s diverse professional experience includes K-12 education in instructional and administrative capacities, as well as sales, training, and leadership in pharmaceuticals, marketing, and telecommunications. Rudy doctoral research agenda centers on developmental relationships that help individuals and organizations navigate and negotiate routes to personal and organizational advancement. Rudy’s comprehensive understanding of education and corporate America has inspired a conceptual model of developmental networks that is supported by theoretical frameworks and grounded in empirically examined evidence.


Community Initiatives Coordinator
(904) 620-1747


Brooke Cobbin, M.ED 

 B Cobbin

Brooke A. Cobbin, M. Ed.,is the Assistant Director of the Educator Preparation Institute. She has devoted her career to creating the best possible learning environments for this generation of students and educators. Prior to joining UNF, Cobbin served as an Assistant Principal in Duval County Public Schools. In this role, she focused on teacher leadership and school improvement. Cobbin joined the public education field in 2007 after completing the University of Florida Lastinger Center’s urban apprenticeship program in Duval County’s most high-needs schools. She currently serves in the Florida Air National Guard in Jacksonville. Cobbin holds a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida and Bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology from The Ohio State University. She is pursuing her Doctoral degree in educational leadership with an emphasis on urban educator preparation at the University of North Florida. She enjoys reading urban education research, traveling and spending time with family.



Educator and Preparation Institute  Assistant Director

(904) 620-1823





Wanda LaStrapes, Ph.D. and Christine White, M.ED


Dr. Lastrapes and Chris White


Christine M. White, M. Ed., (Pictured on Left) has worked as an educator for and in collaboration with Duval County’s urban schools for over 20 years. Her experiences include serving as a teacher and administrator, being an adjunct and full-time instructor for the University of North Florida and working as a facilitator, instructor and team leader in Duval county for the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center for Learning. During her time at UNF and UF she gained extensive experience preparing and supervising preservice teachers. Chris’s areas of expertise include classroom management, instructional coaching, preservice teacher preparation and inquiry. Currently, Chris serves as the Director for the Jacksonville Teacher Residency (JTR). The goal of JTR is to recruit, prepare and retain teachers with STEM backgrounds that will serve as mathematics and science teachers in Duval County’s high-need schools. Roles and responsibilities in this position involve: working in close partnership with the University of North Florida to develop curriculum, impact goals and assessment systems; the recruitment of residents, site schools and mentors; and coordinating and monitoring the overall progress of the program. Chris obtained her doctorate of education from the University of Florida and completed her dissertation research on “Understanding how urban resident teachers develop as culturally responsive classroom managers”. Her greatest goal in serving as an advocate and partner in urban schools is to provide the support necessary teachers and students need to realize their greatest potential and help create equitable environments for all.  



 University Program Director

Jacksonville Teacher Residency

Building 57/3708

(904) 620-1621






Tiffany King, M.ED




Tiffany G. King, M.Ed., is the office manager of the Center for Urban Education and Policy. She possesses nearly two decades of experience in administrative support in the education sector. At CUEP, Tiffany is responsible for collaborating with directors and coordinators to implement initiatives related to CUEP. Prior to moving to Jacksonville, Tiffany worked as a financial aid counselor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Tiffany earned a Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from City College of New York and earned a Master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Florida.



Coordinator of Events and Planning

(904) 620-1935