Starting her career as a Career and Technical Education 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 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 productive and prosperous lives, careers, and democratic citizenship participation, with an emphasis on economic reasoning skills and tools used to make more informed decisions. She recently published the first practice-based theory of effective economics instruction at the secondary level and is the 2023 NAEE Economic Pedagogy Scholar Award national 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 in Economic Education from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Dr. Ayers has worked for the Virginia Council on Economic Education for 23 years and currently serves as the co-director of the Center for Economic Education at Virginia Tech, director of the Virginia Personal Finance Teacher Fellowship Program, and founder and director of the Economic Empowerment Project.