Meet the Author: Ellie Mae

Kenyatha V. “Ellie Mae” Loftis, Ph.D. is an educator, researcher, and writer. She studies the costs and benefits that accrue when learners and teachers are asked to leave their identities at the door upon entering the halls of academia. Dr. Loftis writes fiction as “Ellie Mae” to engage the public in academic discussions about education, identity, politics, and faith.

Dr. Loftis is co-founder of L.SMURPHE.F Enterprises, Ltd. Co. With its Local Scholars and Mentors Unifying Research and Practice to Harvest Excellence for the Future (L.SMURPHE.F) Institute, Solutions Division, and Productions Company, L.SMURPHE.F is a research consulting firm dedicated to connecting the in-school and out-of-school lives of youth.


Dr. Loftis is a 2002 graduate of Yale College. She earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan in 2010, and in 2012, she completed the REEP Business Fellowship for School Leaders (Business Certificate in Education Entrepreneurship) in the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.


Dr. Loftis is a native Galvestonian and currently lives in League City. Her first novel, The Secrets of Carter House, follows an ensemble of Houston/Galveston-area teachers and learners as the onset of Hurricane Ike begins to renegotiate the boundaries between their in-school and out-of-school lives.