Contact Us

For questions or to schedule an in-person, online, or hybrid professional development program for your organization or state, please contact:

Dr. Cheryl Ayers, Founder & Director
Economic Empowerment Project

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Curriculum Vitae

About Cheryl Ayers, Ph.D.

Starting her career as a Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school teacher and cooperative education coordinator, Dr. Cheryl Ayers has more than 20 years of experience in creating and delivering customized professional development programs, undergraduate/graduate university courses, curricula, and certification examinations in economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship education for K-12 pre/in-service teachers, adult educators, adult service providers, workforce development practitioners, and other like-minded professionals from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.  Her research and scholarship focus on teaching economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship in an accessible and multidisciplinary way that empowers individuals for more productive and fulfilling lives and careers with an emphasis on economic reasoning skills and tools used to make more informed decisions.  

Dr. Ayers is passionate about providing retroactive opportunities for disenfranchised, marginalized, and underserved adults with limited education and income who did not have the opportunity to learn about economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship in school or at home.  Her vision is to be a part of the solution in reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth, and empowering all members of society with a more prosperous future. 

She recently published the first research-based theory of effective economics instruction at the secondary level and is the national 2023 NAEE Economic Pedagogy Scholar Award winner.  She earned a B.S. in Career and Technical Education (Marketing/Adult Education) from Virginia Tech, M.B.A. from the University of Lynchburg, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/Teacher Education and Development (Economic Education) from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.  Dr. Ayers also currently serves as the director of the Center for Economic Education at Virginia Tech, director of the Virginia Personal Finance Teacher Fellowship Program, and project manager for the COABE and AARP Foundation's Work for Yourself @50+ program.