Naomi Watkins, Ph.D. is an educational consultant, women's advocate, and community builder. A former middle school English teacher, Naomi has also worked as an instructional coach in Title I schools in Salt Lake City, as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah, and as an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of La Verne (Greater Los Angeles area). She specializes in teacher training, curriculum development, research, and consulting with school districts and schools to improve instruction and student outcomes. Her areas of expertise include literacy and language pedagogy, educating English language learners, culturally diverse children's literature, content-area/disciplinary literacy, and teacher education. She has been published in international journals such as The Reading Teacher, Journal of Children's Literature, TESOL Journal, and Middle School Journal, and has presented in state, national, and international venues. As part of her work, she is developing curriculum for Better Days 2020, a non-profit dedicated to popularizing Utah women's history, particularly focused on suffrage and voting rights anniversaries in the year 2020.
In June 2013, Naomi cofounded Aspiring Mormon Women, a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports and encourages Latter-day Saint women's professional and educational pursuits. Aspiring Mormon Women was born from her experiences pursuing higher education as a Mormon woman and her belief that women find empowerment in pursuing their personal goals when provided role models, connection, resources, and support. The organization provides capacity building, networking, and mentoring on an international scale through online content and in-person events to LDS women who are high school age, who are pursuing postsecondary education and training, who are working, or who desire to return to school or the workforce. Many women report that involvement with Aspiring Mormon Women has been the catalyst to seeking out and making changes in their educational and professional lives.
A native of Southern California, Naomi earned her B.A. in English Education from Brigham Young University, a M.Ed. in Language and Literacy from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a literacy emphasis from the University of Utah. She resides in Salt Lake City.