Amanda Winkelsas is originally from Buffalo and began her education in the Buffalo Public Schools. Later, she earned a BA in secondary English education from Canisius College, an MSED from Fordham University, and a PhD in urban education from the CUNY Graduate Center. Winkelsas worked in the New York City public schools for nearly 10 years, where she taught English in grades 7-12 and served as a literacy coach. Upon returning to Buffalo, she worked in education technology before transitioning fully to higher education. Her research interests have focused on educational equity, diversity in the teaching force, and preparing teachers to work with historically underserved student populations.
Nooshin Shafaei earned a BA and MA in English language and literature at Shahid Beheshti University and Kharazmi University, respectively. She began her career in education as a childhood and early childhood English language instructor in Tehran, Iran. Shafaei attended UB and earned a general education EdM with a concentration in comparative and global education in 2016. During her graduate studies, she worked as a graduate assistant in NYGEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. After completing her degree program, Shafaei worked as a family services coordinator at EPIC (Every Person Influences Children).