Carlie Tartakov

Before beginning her studies at UMass, Carlie taught primary school in Daly City, California. She then moved to Amherst and taught in Amherst-Pelham schools for 15 years. While teaching she enrolled in a Master’s program and went on to study International Education in the College of Education at UMass.


Upon completing her degrees at UMass she moved to Iowa where she enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Iowa State University and subsequently received her Ph.D. in 1995. Carlie joined the faculty at Iowa State University in 1986. As a faculty member her activities included teaching multicultural education, advising student organizations, and implementing workshops on equity and diversity in education. She also led the creation of the Kuumba Multicultural Experimental School and helped to facilitate international travel studies to India and South Africa. In 1996 she became the program director for Dialogues on Diversity and although she officially retired in 2002, she continued to direct the program until 2006.


Carlie has been the recipient of numerous university and community awards throughout her career as an educator and activist.  She received the Virgil Lagomarcino Award from Iowa State University for distinguished achievement in the field of education – for developing model programs that demonstrated the positive impact of anti-racist multicultural curriculum on school children. She was inducted into the Iowa African American Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2008, she was elected as an Iowa delegate to the democratic national convention. (Pictured with then candidate Obama at the convention.)


Throughout her career she has been the author of book chapters, articles, and newspaper guest editorials on ethnicity, multicultural education, cross cultural and interracial relationships.


In 2009 she returned to Amherst where in her own words she has been “a very active citizen.” Carlie is the co-host of the “Black in the Valley” segment on Bill Newman’s WHMP show. She sees the bi-monthly segment as a place to discuss the challenges facing African Americans and people of color, as well as their triumphs. Carlie is also an active member of the Amherst Democratic Committee and is one of the lead organizers for Amherst Neighbors, a new organization serving older Amherst residents. 


In 2020 she was honored as one of the Commonwealth Heroines by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.  The award celebrates women leaders who “Don’t always make the news, but they truly make a difference.”  In 2021 she and her husband were the recipients of the Jean Haggerty Award for Community Service in Amherst. [10-23]




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CIE Graduate