Four of the 2023 Bouchet Society Inductees are Marsal School community members

February 24, 2023

Of the ten Rackham students who will be inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society this year, four of them are members of the Marsal School community:  Gabrielle Elizabeth Bernal, Laura-Ann Jacobs, Saraí Blanco Martinez, and Michole Washington. 


Named for the first African American doctoral recipient in the United States, the Bouchet Society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. The Bouchet Society is a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.

Gabrielle Elizabeth Bernal
Gabrielle Elizabeth Bernal is a candidate for a Ph.D. in educational studies focusing on teaching, teacher education, and mathematics education. Her research interests include questions of race, dis/ability, teaching, learning, mathematics, and social action. More specifically, her research explores the embodiment of indigenous and Latine teachers and students in the context of home, community, and school mathematics. Her work is interdisciplinary, pulling from disability justice, performance studies, and critical educational studies. As a former K-12 special education teacher and current teacher educator, her research, teaching, and service have been shaped and informed by her experiences. Gabrielle is a California State University Doctoral Incentive Program Fellow in the Department of Special Education in the College of Education at San José State University and has earned a Certificate in World Performance Studies (CWPS) during her time as a University of Michigan CWPS Fellow. She earned her bachelor of science in psychology from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, where she was a mentor and coach with justice-involved youth. She earned her M.Ed. from Notre Dame de Namur University while mentoring and supporting teacher interns full-time. Gabrielle believes in sharing a love for mathematics and community through her teaching, service, and research. Ultimately, Gabrielle aspires to be a teacher educator in California, working closely and collaborating with community experts, focusing on special education and mathematics education, to improve the schooling and preparation experience of students and teachers of color.

Laura-Ann Jacobs
Laura-Ann is a postdoctoral research fellow with the National Center for Institutional Diversity Stepping uP Against Racism and Xenophobia Project and the SOE’s dije Instructional Support and Professional Learning Specialist. Laura-Ann graduated in 2021 from the University of Michigan with a doctorate in educational studies with a specialization in literacy, language, and culture. In her time as a doctoral student, Laura-Ann co-founded Women of Color and the Academy, which is a group that brings together education scholars and practitioners to examine issues related to race, research, and representation while centering the voices and experiences of women of color. Prior to her doctoral program, Laura-Ann taught public high school English in South Carolina for six years. Laura-Ann grounds her work in the qualities of creativity, compassion, and connectedness, and her research pursues questions about how people learn about their identities, how they choose to share their stories, and how they make their mark on the world. Her research primarily focuses on preparing secondary English language arts teachers for antiracist pedagogical change for the purposes of disrupting educational inequity and creating spaces for students to explore and express themselves. Her current work centers around how people individually and collectively translate our stated commitments of justice into action for the purpose of social change.

Saraí Blanco Martinez
Saraí Blanco Martinez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology, and is also getting her master’s degree in social work, with a focus on community change. Prior to starting her graduate programs, she received her bachelor of arts, with a minor in social work, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Saraí grounds her research in practices of cultural strengths, love, joy, and healing to answer questions about how Latinx immigrant communities keep their heritage traditions and customs alive, how immigrant origin youth learn about their identities, and how youth learn from their families about what it means to be active agents of change advocating for the rights of their communities. Her research focuses on the ethnic-racial and sociopolitical socialization processes and how these contribute to the radical healing efforts of Latinx mixed-status immigrant families and communities. Saraí’s research has been published in the American Journal of Community Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development journals. In addition to being an academic, Saraí has always been an active and strong advocate for Latinx immigrant communities through her collaborations with the Center for New North Carolinians, Mexiquenses en Michigan, and the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Ultimately, Saraí aims to be a community-oriented scholar who incorporates critical and asset-based perspectives to disrupt systems of oppression and uplift and support the healing and transformative efforts of communities and scholars of color.

Michole Washington
Michole Washington is a candidate for the Ph.D. in educational studies with a concentration in mathematics education. Her research focuses on the design of extracurricular STEM activities for Black girls. Michole has been recognized as a Ford Foundation Fellow, STEM Success Summit Mathematician of the Year nominee, U-M Learning Levers 2021 Grand Prize recipient, a Georgia Institute of Technology 40 under 40 alumna, and a NASA Office of STEM Engagement Doctoral Intern. As well, she received a bachelor of science in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where in 2016 she graduated as the ninth Black woman to earn a B.S. in mathematics in the university’s 131 year history. She has also earned her master of science in mathematics from the University of Michigan while working on her Ph.D.. Michole believes in making STEM spaces equitable and comfortable for those who have been historically shut out. She is the founder and lead designer for her company, STEMulation, where her teams design culturally relevant STEM experiences, like escape rooms, for Black and Brown families. Ultimately, Michole aspires to continue working toward designing and improving Black girls’ out-of-school STEM experiences in a way she never got to experience as a former Black girl.