Trina Emler

Education Research
Primary office:
University of Kansas


Trina Emler is a graduate of the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies department at the University of Kansas. She serves as a researcher for the Center of Creativity and Entrepreneurship Education.  Emler’s research and work focuses on future-oriented pedagogies of education, targeting entrepreneurship, creativity, and personalized learning through curriculum and practice, technology, and the policies that impact lifelong learning.  She co-authored An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste (2019) with CCEE's Dr. Yong Zhao and peers Snethen and Ying.

She has also worked with the Department of German Studies, first through the Department of Undergraduate Research and successively through the awarding of a Course Transformation Grant from the Center for Teaching Excellence.  The work focused on course and curriculum redesign, integrating authentic research and communication skills into the German Studies Curriculum through a flipped content model. She was a recipient of KU’s Graduate Studies Summer Research Scholarship (2018) and the Global Education Deans Forum Fellowship (2019). She currently she currently extends her areas of expertise outside of KU as a program manager for curriculum and program development for YEE Education and program manager for online training and course development at META Environmental. 

From 2006-2016, Trina Emler was an educator in the private and public sectors of k-12 education in Lee County, Florida.  She taught at first the middle school level, teaching English language arts and Spanish before moving to all subject areas in the elementary classroom.  She is a three-time Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction and was the 2016 School District of Lee County Teacher of the Year for English Language Arts.


Ph.D., Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Kansas – 2020

M.A., Elementary Education, Florida Gulf Coast University – 2008

B.A., Foreign Languages, University of Central Florida – 2005