Christy M. Byrd PhD

Christy M. Byrd

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Programs
Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences
North Carolina State University
Google Scholar Profile

The best way to get in touch with me is to book an appointment.


My work has multiple threads, all aimed at empowering young people and fostering inclusive environments. My primary research examines how students make sense of race and culture in their school environments and shows that inclusive educational environments can bolster motivation, a sense of belonging, and academic success. I’m working toward how students develop their knowledge and motivation for addressing systemic inequalities in society through informal and formal learning experiences. A newer interest of mine lies in supporting students of color as they integrate their academic and racial identities in STEM fields.

In my outreach, I help young people tell stories that raise awareness and inspire positive change in their communities through initiatives like #PassTheMicYouth, PassTheMic Camp, and TEDxYouth@Chavis Way. My efforts extend to organizing civic education events such as Dining with Democracy, which are designed to cultivate productive dialogue across diverse perspectives and encourage constructive engagement in democratic processes. Additionally, through a STEM curriculum called Escape Room Camp, I apply socioemotional learning principles to teach game design to middle and high school students and encourage kids to be welcoming and socially responsible gamers.

I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Agnes Scott College and a PhD in education and psychology from the University of Michigan. I was also a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Michigan State University. For fun, I play, run, and do research on escape rooms.

I am accepting master’s and PhD students in educational psychology for Fall 2025. Successful applicants will have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology and independent research experience. I am also accepting PhD students in educational equity, where applicants should have a solid foundational knowledge in issues of diversity, privilege, and oppression and an interest in examining these issues through academic research.