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Dr. Abimbola Cole Kai-Lewis is a professor at Hofstra University and York College - City University of New York. She is a former New York City Teaching Fellow with both charter and public school teaching experience. Dr. Kai-Lewis served as an online facilitator for NYCDOE teacher training programs. She also contributed to citywide education teams and preliminary focus group sessions for the NYCDOE website WeTeachNYC. Dr. Kai-Lewis is a member of The Apollo's School Program Advisory Committee and The Metropolitan Museum’s Professional Learning Community. She completed her dissertation in the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research investigated the music of South African hip-hop collective Cashless Society. Dr. Kai-Lewis is currently conducting collaborative explorations of the music of emcee Chosan. She partners with him for hip-hop based teacher workshops. Dr. Kai-Lewis has shared her work at numerous national and international conferences. She has also featured articles in edited volumes and encyclopedias.


Doctor of Philosophy, Ethnomusicology 
University of California, Los Angeles 

Dissertation: “The Hard Cashless Society: Millennial Economics and Street Hop in Johannesburg”

Master of Science, Education

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus

Master of Arts, Ethnomusicology

University of California, Los Angeles

Bachelor of Arts, Music

Spelman College

International Baccalaureate Diploma

United Nations International School

Special Awards & Achievements

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Professional Learning Community

Community of teachers participating to transform their teaching practice using works of art as the catalyst for deeper student engagement

Apollo Theater School Programs Advisory Committee

A partnership between the Apollo Theater’s Education Department and teachers to evaluate school programming

Applied Ethnomusicology Section Travel Award

An award granted by the Applied Ethnomusicology Section of the Society of Ethnomusicology to support attendance at the Annual Meeting

New York City Writing Project Summer Invitational Leadership Institute

Community of writers engaged in teaching/learning based on Writing Project principles; Corresponding workshop that shares professional learning with others

Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

A post-service benefit earned by individuals who complete approved terms of national service in AmeriCorps programs.  The award is named after Eli Segal, a pioneer of national service and the first CEO of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

New York City Teaching Fellows Award

Fellowship working one-on-one with experienced coaches to get feedback to become a talented teacher, ready to make a profound difference for NYC’s students

J. William Fulbright Award

Recognition of individuals or organizations which have made extraordinary contributions toward bringing peoples, cultures, or nations to greater understanding of others

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