About Dr. Sonia James-Wilson

Dr. Sonia James-Wilson established Catalyst Research & Development in 2008 after working for twenty-two years in the field of urban education. Her experiences include service as a classroom teacher, program administrator, college and university professor, professional development provider, program developer, executive coach to school principals, and educational researcher.

Dr. James-Wilson holds a doctorate degree from the University of Toronto with a concentration in Educational Administration. She has also earned two master?s degrees, one in Educational Administration and the other in Elementary Education. She is permanently certified to teach grades 1 to 6 in New York State, and is also certified in School Administration and Supervision. Dr. James-Wilson has taught in universities and colleges since 1994, and has published works related to educational equity and social justice, teacher leadership and urban teacher education. Dr. James-Wilson served as an assistant professor of education at the University of Rochester from 1998-2009, and is the founding director of their Urban Teaching and Leadership (UTL) Program, which she launched in 2005.


Ph. D.
University of Toronto - 2003
Theory & Policy Studies in Education (Concentration in Educational Administration) Dissertation title: Towards a knowledge base for the preparation of urban and inner-city teachers: A social justice approach

City University of New York - Baruch College - 1995
Educational Administration and Supervision

City University of New York - Brooklyn College - 1993
Elementary Education

City University of New York - Hunter College - 1988
Elementary Education

Ontario Teacher's Letter of Eligibility
Primary/Junior Divisions (Kindergarten to Grade 6)

New York State Permanent Teacher Certification
Nursery, Kindergarten, Grades 1-6


  • Seven years of classroom teaching in New York City and Toronto (Canada)
  • Sixteen years of teaching in college and university Schools of Education
  • Directorship of seven educational programs, including:
    • Urban Teachers for Tomorrow, Roberts Wesleyan College
    • Urban Education Center for Leadership and Professional Development, St. John Fisher College
    • Urban Teaching and Leadership Program, University of Rochester
    • Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (Interim), Nazareth College
    • Early Childhood Program - YMCA of Greater New York
    • Ontario Arts Education Institute, Non-Profit Organization
    • Canadian Council for Inner City Education, Non-Profit Organization
  • Nine educational publications, including one co-authored book
  • Presentations of research and writing at over 80 national and international educational conferences in countries including Canada, Turkey, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
  • Service as a Board member of six organizations including the Center for Youth Services (Rochester, New York), Covenant House (Toronto, Canada), Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education (SUNY Geneseo) and the Monroe Family YMCA (Rochester, New York)