Meet our scholars!

The African American Library at the Gregory School partnered with Rice University's Center for Engaged Learning and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) to launch its Scholar-in-Residence program. CERCL was formerly known as Houston Enriches Rice Education and is now part of Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

CERCL is defined as a "curricular and research initiative that uses innovative research, engaged pedagogy and other approaches to promote and advance creative models and practices of leadership benefiting new generations of leaders" (Accessed from 

Founded by Dr. Anthony Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, CERCL works to strengthen connections between the university and the greater Houston community. Gregory School's Scholars-in-Residence program assists fellows whose research can benefit from extended access to Gregory School's archives and other HPL resources. For more information visit

Dr. Jesse Esparza          

The 2016 Gregory School Scholar in Residence fellows are Dr. Jesus Jesse Esparza and David Ponton, III.  Dr. Jesus Jesse Esparza is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Texas Southern University. He received his Ph.D. in 2008 in History from the University of Houston. His area of expertise is the history of Chicano/Latino education in the United States and is currently working on a manuscript entitled Race Schools: Latino, Asian, and Black Educational Autonomy and Activism in Texas, 1920-1980 that offers a comparative analysis of Latino, Asian, and African American-owned schools in Texas since the end of World War I through the post-civil rights era. 

David Ponton, III

David Ponton, III is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Rice University. He earned his BA in Religion from Princeton University, where he also received certification in African American Studies and secondary social studies education. His current research focuses on residential segregation, Cold War-era transformations of race and racism, and the criminalization of space in mid-twentieth century Houston. 

Billy Glasco Jr.
Lead Archivist, Gregory School


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