Dr. James has worked in education for two decades, often using community-based resources to aid educational activities and develop programs for high risk youth. She also designed and has been the primary facilitator for the Web Based Professional Development Project, sponsored by the National Center for School Engagement. Participants in this project are school administrators, teachers and community members using participatory action research as professional development to study and develop programs for students experiencing homelessness and high mobility. She completed her doctoral work at Teachers College, Columbia University in educational leadership.
Dr. James recently finished a textbook: Participatory Action Research: Data Driven Decision Making for School Leadership for Sage Publications. While her work has been featured in numerous journals and she speaks internationally on the subject of educational disadvantage, her favorite award to date is the Faculty Excellence award from JIU which she earned in the spring of 2006.