GSCO/BET Graduate Student Conference

Participant Biographies

Please see below for a list of participant biographies.

Keynote Panel Biographies

Charles Wilkes

Charles Wilkes is a Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Studies, Mathematics Education program. His work involves several strands of research including how do teachers build relationships with students through content and identifying teacher practices that disrupt normalized patterns of marginalization and oppression in mathematics classrooms. For his dissertation, he is focusing on how students construct and perform smartness in a non-traditional mathematics program.

Dr. Maren Oberman

Dr. Maren Oberman is a clinical assistant professor and the Director of the Educational Leadership and Policy MA program at the SOE. Oberman’s areas of expertise include: issues of equity & identity in education; leadership growth & development; teacher policy issues; coaching, mentoring & instructional leadership. In addition to designing and teaching leadership courses, Oberman has piloted a pairing of seminars for masters’ and doctoral students: Pursuing DIJE & Pedagogies of DIJE. Oberman’s research and practice has focused on increasing the status, respect, and value of teachers through preparation, meaningful professional development, and building leadership capacity. Her goal is to increase the quality and effectiveness of the U.S. K-12 educator force through reflective practice, inquiry-based improvement strategies, and personal leadership development. She is also deeply invested in promoting equity and justice in American education, through teaching, leadership, and community involvement.

Prior to joining the faculty at the School of Education, Oberman worked (in Massachusetts, Illinois, and California) as a K-12 teacher, an instructional coach, an administrator in schools and districts, and a teaching fellow at the graduate level. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership (EdLD) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, including a residency at the central office leadership level in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Through her work at LAUSD, Oberman completed her doctoral capstone, “Accountability, Coherence, and Improvement: Leadership Reflection and Growth in the Los Angeles Unified School District.” She is a certified Data Wise coach and she serves on the Advisory Board of the Data Wise Improvement Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Alistair Bomphray

Alistair Bomphray is a postdoctoral research fellow. He is the project manager for the School of Education's P-20 school partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District. His dissertation was on discussion-based teaching practices in secondary ELA classrooms. He has also written on assessment policy and culturally sustaining teaching practices, particularly the practice of listening. Previously, he taught high school English and Journalism in New York City and Hayward, California. He has also taught at U of M's New England Literature Program.

Dr. Maisha Winn

Dr. Winn is a Co-Director of the Transformative Justice in Education (TJE) Center. She is the Chancellor’s Leadership Professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. Her program of research examines the intersectionality of language, literacy and justice with attention to how to prepare teachers to “teach freedom” in spaces of confinement. Methodologically, Dr. Winn’s work spans disciplines including historical methods (archival work), ethnography, and action research. Her ethnography of a woman-focused theater company working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated girls, Girl Time: Literacy Justice and the School-to-Prison Pipeline (Teachers College Press, 2011), was groundbreaking as it led the movement in examining how girls—and Black girls in particular—were being criminalized in schools and in out-of-school spaces.

Dr. Winn also co-edited Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry with Youth and Communities (with Django Paris), which won the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Qualitative Research SIG’s Outstanding Book Award (2015). Dr. Winn has been a William T. Grant Distinguished Fellow and spent one year shadowing restorative justice practitioners at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and Impact Justice (both in Oakland, CA) and with the Racial Justice Program at the YWCA in Madison, WI. Dr. Winn was named an AERA Fellow in 2016. Learn more about Maisha T. Winn.


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Faculty Discussants Biographies

Dr. Chandra Alston is an assistant professor in Educational Studies and lead faculty in English Language Arts (ELA) for Secondary Teacher Education. She also works closely with the Joint PhD Program in English and Education. She received her PhD in curriculum and teacher education from Stanford University. As a former high school English teacher, Alston is interested in the ways we train and assess novice ELA teachers. Currently, Alston is engaged in research focused on developing deeper understandings of core pedagogies for teacher education and core practices for teaching across elementary and secondary ELA. She teaches in the undergraduate teacher certification program, as well as courses in teaching and teacher education and on writing research.

Dr. Deborah Ball is the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, research professor at the Institute for Social Research, and director of TeachingWorks. She taught elementary school for over 15 years, and continues to teach mathematics to children every summer. Ball uses elementary mathematics as a critical context for investigating the challenges of helping children develop agency and understanding, and leveraging the power of teaching to disrupt racism, marginalization, and inequity.

Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Davis is a science educator and teacher educator at the University of Michigan. She is especially interested in beginning and experienced elementary teachers, teachers learning to engage in rigorous and consequential science teaching, and the roles of curriculum materials and practice-based teacher education in promoting teacher learning. Davis received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998, and received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at the White House in 2002.

Dr. Maisie L. Gholson is an assistant professor in Educational Studies who studies how children’s various identities and relational ties to mathematics, peers, and teachers create different developmental trajectories and learning opportunities within mathematics contexts. Maisie is a former high school mathematics teacher, and prior to that, a patent writer in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She is a U-M NCID member, STaR Fellow, and a recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in STEM Education. She received her PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and her BS in electrical engineering from Duke University.

Dr. Mark Hoover is a researcher in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. He studies mathematics teaching and teacher education. Acknowledging that American society is rooted in a violent colonial history that exterminated indigenous people, enslaved Africans, and patronized women, he conceptualizes public school mathematics teaching that disrupts default patterns of oppression and prepares students for civic participation.

Dr. Vilma Mesa is Associate Professor of Education and Faculty Associate at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at School of Education and Associate Professor of Mathematics, College of Literature Sciences, and Arts at the University of Michigan. She investigates the role that resources play in developing teaching expertise in undergraduate mathematics, specifically at community colleges and in inquiry-based learning classrooms. She is currently serving as Associate Editor for Educational Studies in Mathematics.

Dr. Mary Schleppegrell is a Professor in the Literacy, Language, and Culture unit. She is a linguist whose research focuses on the role of language in education, with special attention to challenges for bilingual students learning English as an additional language. She teaches courses on discourse analysis, language development, and systemic functional linguistics, and is currently partnering with Chauncey Monte-Sano on a study that is supporting middle school teachers to bring a focus on language to social studies inquiry teaching.


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Student Biographies

Cassandra Arroyo is a master’s student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Higher Education Management and Organizations. Prior to her master’s program, Cassandra graduated from UCLA with a degree in Economics and worked as a program representative for UCLA’s Graduate Programs in Bioscience. Her research explores higher education access disparities for underrepresented students with a special focus on financial aid allocations and student debt outcomes. Her current work explores the relationship between undergraduate student debt and graduate school attainment for first generation, low-income, and students of color.

Emanuele Bardelli is a doctoral candidate in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan and an IES predoctoral fellow. His research interests include teacher professional development, teacher learning, and instructional practices in mathematics education. Before beginning his PhD, Emanuele worked both as an instructional coach and as a middle and high school mathematics teacher in Los Angeles and Lodi, California for five years.

Andwatta Barnes is a second year PhD student in the Teaching and Teaching Education program at the University of Michigan. Her experiences prior to U-M involved elementary schools, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), English as a Second Language (ESL), and English literature instruction. She was also a pre-service teacher educator at universities in the Middle East. She has also been an assessment specialist for ESL teacher licensure and English language proficiency assessments. Andwatta has a BA in elementary education and an MEd in TESOL from Grand Valley State University. At present, her research interest involves examining issues surrounding racialized teacher identity across international teaching contexts.

Adam Bennion is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan specializing in Science Education. Prior to his doctoral program, Adam taught high school physics for seven years. His research explores the knowledge for teaching that preservice elementary teachers have with their science practices. He is interested in learning more about how preservice teachers make connections between how they learned science and how they plan to teach science. His current work follows a group of preservice elementary teachers from a science content course into their science methods course looking for ways that these preservice teachers develop their knowledge for teaching over time. Amber Bismack is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Educational Studies specializing in science education. Previously, Amber taught middle school science and worked in Penn State University’s science education department and supported their Elementary and Early Childhood program. Amber’s dissertation investigates (a) how novice elementary teachers develop their content knowledge for teaching science over time, (b) how their knowledge relates to their teaching practice, and (c) how learning opportunities support novice teachers’ knowledge development.

Nicolas Boileau is a PhD candidate in the Mathematics Education concentration of the Educational Studies program. Prior to entering the program, he worked as a secondary school mathematics teacher, in his hometown of Montréal, Canada. Through his research, he attempts to uncover the implicit norms that regulate the mathematical behavior of teachers and students in schools.

McKenzie Campbell is a Secondary Master of Arts and Certification student at the University of Michigan School of Education. McKenzie is interested in being a middle-level English educator because of her investment in creating lifelong readers. She came to education to enact the feminist principles she had studied academically as both a graduate and an undergraduate student. Her interests include social justice, trauma-informed education practices, self-care for teachers, and curriculum development.

Joselin Cisneros is a master’s student at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Higher Education with a concentration in Diversity and Social Justice. She is a Research Assistant at the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, focusing on higher education institutional access for undocumented students in the state of Michigan. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Prior to attending U-M, she worked in Chicago as a college counselor for four years at a non-profit organization supporting first-generation, low-income, and undocumented students. Throughout her journey, she has been an activist advocating for the educational advancement of undocumented students.

Rosalie DeFino is a doctoral student in Mathematics Education at the University of Michigan. Previously, Rosalie taught fifth grade in Chicago for five years. Her research explores the work of antiracism in day-to-day mathematics teaching. She is also interested in justice-oriented teacher education and investigating how novice teachers, especially White women, can develop strong mathematics teaching practices while simultaneously learning to interrogate their own role in reproducing or combating structural racism and other systemic injustices.

Barbara Diaz is an undergraduate senior studying International Studies at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. Currently, she is a Research Assistant at the National Forum of Higher Education for the Public Good at the School of Education studying policies within institutions of higher education towards DACA/undocumented students in the state of Michigan. She is interested in learning about the formation and implementation of such policy and the influence of student and community activism in creating equitable campus environments. From experience, she understands the importance of transparent policy, financial resources, and support needed for students to be successful. She hopes that this research can provide insight to guide DACA/undocumented students and their allies to navigate institutions of higher education and provide access to new opportunities as well as assist administrators in creating more supportive campuses.

Bayan Founas is an educator and artist currently studying at the University of Michigan’s School of Education studying Educational Leadership and Policy (Administration Certification). She founded and directs a high school poetry club at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, where she taught 9th-grade English for two years. In August 2018, she published her first book, Diary of a Daughter in Diaspora, which is a collection of her poems on diaspora, love, healing, and teaching.

Paulina Fraser is a doctoral student in Educational Studies at the School of Education. She received her MA Ed with a concentration in Equity and Social Justice at San Francisco State University. Her research focus is on the implementation of ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 classrooms in California. She is currently working on a YPAR project with Filipina/o American youth utilizing oral histories with family and community members to create alternative historical texts for high school classrooms.

Amy Fulton is a doctoral candidate at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Michigan and a Senior Research Associate at the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. Her research interests include organizational leadership in higher education, student learning, student movements, and what university leaders can do to improve their institutions and positively impact higher education in this country.

Yvonne Garcia is a first year PhD student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Prior to coming to the University of Michigan, she worked at California State University Fullerton the Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership conducting program evaluation. She is interested in academic identity development for students of color from a critical race and asset-based perspective. She is currently a graduate research assistant examining the experiences of transfer students at the University of Michigan.

Saba Gerami is a second-year PhD student in Mathematics Education at the University of Michigan. Saba has a BS and MS in mathematics and taught mathematics at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Allan Hancock College in California prior to attending Michigan. She is interested in teacher intellectual risk-taking in student-centered classrooms, mathematics instruction at community colleges, and professional development for college mathematics faculty. She is currently working on three NSF-funded projects concerned with quality of mathematics instruction as a Graduate Research Assistant.

Maggie O’Connell Hanna is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Literacy, Language, and Culture. Prior to her doctoral program, Maggie taught in elementary school in Michigan and Texas for eight years. Her research is grounded in home-community-school connections with a focus on family literacy and English Learners. Her current research projects include exploring the culturally and linguistically responsive engagement practices of a neighborhood community center in Detroit, and partnering with them to develop a bilingual literacy workshop for K-3 English Learners and their parents.

Rae Charles Harge began her career as professional dance artist but has since gone on to become an educational leader as Dance Instructor and Board Member at PiM Arts High School in Eden Prairie, MN. Currently, she is fulfilling her passions for the arts, educational reform, and social justice as she pursues a Master’s of Educational Leadership & Policy at the University of Michigan.

Asya Harrison is a fifth-year doctoral candidate and National Science Foundation Fellow in the Combined Program of Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research explores three main questions: a) how do African American youth’s race-related school experiences influence their racial identity development, b) how does social hierarchy shape the racialized messages parents tell their children, and c) how do the spaces African American families occupy shape the conversations they have about race? Her current research projects examine two aspects of parenting. The first aspect is related to African American parental involvement in schools and the second aspect is related to how African American parental racial socialization changes as adolescents transition from middle to high school.

Mina Hernandez Garcia is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Literacy, Language, and Culture. Her research interests are translanguaging pedagogies that highlight the importance and benefits of building on the students’ first language as they develop language and literacy for academic contexts in English. Her current work explores how a teacher leverages newcomer emergent bilinguals’ home language so that these students can participate in middle-school social studies mainstream classrooms.

Carolyn Hetrick is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education, concentrating in Foundations and Policy. Before joining the SOE, Carolyn taught high school Spanish and led a boarding program at a tuition-free high school for students who would be first-generation college students. Carolyn’s research focuses on the interactions between pedagogies and practices of radical love and structural racism and inequity.

KeAndra Hollis is a master’s student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in educational leadership and policy. Her passion and research lies within understanding the relationship between education and incarceration and effective ways to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline. Prior to her master’s program, KeAndra completed a one year fellowship in Pittsburgh, PA where she performed research and evaluation for community-based schools and engaged young adults in criminal justice reform. KeAndra holds a BA in Economics from Spelman College and is a native of Detroit, MI.

Mike Ion is a doctoral student here in the School of Education specializing in Mathematics Education. Prior to his doctoral program, Mike was a lecturer in the mathematics department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. His research explores the nature of the university geometry course and its role in the training of pre-service high school mathematics teachers. He is currently interested in using natural language processing techniques to analyze mathematics teachers’ discourse.

Ashley Jackson is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Science Education. Ashley’s research explores the intersections between Black girlhood, science identity, and how Black girls come to see themselves as members of science learning communities. She is interested in expanding the construct of science identity to include the ways in which Black girls use their agency to disrupt white patriarchal epistemologies of science.

Laura-Ann Jacobs is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Literacy, Language, and Culture. Prior to her doctoral program, Laura-Ann taught public high school English in South Carolina for six years. Her research explores education beyond the context of schools and literacy beyond traditional understandings of texts. She is interested in how people learn about their identities and in how they make their mark on the world. Her current work explores how researchers and teachers investigate their own identities for the purpose of considering how they can create space for students to explore and express themselves in classroom contexts.

L. Joy Johnson is a doctoral candidate in EducationalStudies at the University of Michigan, focusing on education policy and math teaching. In particular, she studies access to high-quality mathematics teaching and how policy can promote equity in mathematics instruction. As a Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) at U-M, Joy led the data analysis for the MI GEAR UP evaluation and is the program design coordinator for the Dow Innovation Teacher Fellowship. Prior to her time at U-M, she taught middle school math and English language arts in the Bronx and worked as a research associate at Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Amanda Ketner is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Quantitative Research Methods. She is also receiving an MA in Statistics and is an IES Predoctoral Fellow in Causal Inference in Education Policy Research through the Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to her doctoral program, Amanda received her MEd in International Education Policy and Management from Vanderbilt University, where she focused on education in Latin America. Amanda began her career by teaching high school math in North Carolina for four years. Her current work focuses on using quantitative methods to study early childhood education initiatives in the United States and Latin America.

Chikyi Lau is a master’s student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Teaching and Learning. Her research explores educational difference in school systems between schools in Asia and the United States. She is interested in how the relationship between teachers and students, and teachers and schools may influence students’ academic achievement. Her current work explores teachers’ perspectives on Hong Kong NSSC reform, what challenges the teachers may face because of the reform, and how schools and government need to support teachers’ work.

Seanna Leath is a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow in the Combined Program for Education and Psychology. Her research uses an interdisciplinary approach to address issues related to Black girls’ and women’s learning and development in the context of schools, families, and communities. She centers how race and gender identity beliefs serve as cultural assets to protect against the effects of discrimination on adjustment outcomes.

Claudine Margolis is a doctoral student in Educational Studies: Math Education at the University of Michigan where she works in the GRIP Lab (Geometry Reasoning and Instructional Practices). Claudine has five years of experience teaching mathematics to middle and high school students in Massachusetts. In addition to her work at the K-12 level, Claudine has designed and facilitated professional development experiences for math teachers who work in hospital settings and workshops for K-16 math educators. Her work is focused on the impact of visual representations on student learning in math classes as well as the mathematical knowledge for teaching that is necessary to leverage those representations.

John-Carlos Marino is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in elementary science and history education. Prior to his doctoral program, John-Carlos taught 4th and 6th grades in Center City Philadelphia. His research examines how students reason, use evidence, and construct arguments across disciplinary lines. His dissertation examines how 3rd grade students think about evidence and the disciplines of science and history, and how they use evidence in those subjects to construct arguments.

Channing Mathews is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan School of Education in the Combined Program of Education and Psychology. Prior to her doctoral work, Channing worked as a secondary teacher and college counselor in both the Dominican Republic and in the Democratic Republic of Congo for five years. Her research focuses on how Black youth’s understandings of what it means to be Black overlaps with the ways that they understand and potentially challenge racialized social inequalities, particularly within school contexts. Sasha Mejia is a master’s student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Program Evaluation and Improvement Research. Prior to her master’s program, Sasha taught public high school Social Studies for five years. She currently holds an MA Ed in Secondary Education from Eastern New Mexico University. Her research explores the impact of resilience promoting factors on cognitive development in adolescents labeled “at-risk” in public schools. Sasha holds experience in using qualitative and quantitative methods within her research practice.

Sasha Mejia is a master’s student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Program Evaluation and Improvement Research. Prior to her master’s program, Sasha taught public high school Social Studies for five years. She currently holds an MA Ed in Secondary Education from Eastern New Mexico University. Her research explores the impact of resilience promoting factors on cognitive development in adolescents labeled “at-risk” in public schools. Sasha holds experience in using qualitative and quantitative methods within her research practice.

Parker Miles is a first-year doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Education Studies. Before coming to Ann Arbor, Parker taught at high school English in Virginia and designed curricula for Arlington National Cemetery and NASA Headquarters. His personal research explores youth identity development and the consumption of news. He is also currently working with a research team investigating how teachers and parents are prepared to attend to issues of race in primary schools.

María Militzer is a PhD student in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Built upon her experience as a Mexican immigrant, María’s research addresses the influence of socioeconomic inequities in health outcomes among Latinx immigrants and their families in the United States. Her research examines psychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors influencing physical activity patterns of pregnant women of Mexican origin in economically-deprived neighborhoods in Detroit, MI. María’s additional areas of research include the socioeconomic and linguistic barriers that limited-English speaking immigrants face when accessing healthcare, educational, social, and legal services in the US, which leads to synergistic and negative effects on their health outcomes.

Christina Morton is a doctoral candidate in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Her research interests concern the persistence of underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, along with the cultural resources they possess to help them succeed and thrive, such as spirituality.

Dana Nickson is a doctoral candidate in Educational Studies with a concentration in Foundations of Education and Policy. Her research explores how the history and perception of suburban places shapes Black families and student school choice decision-making in the Detroit metro region. Dana’s desire to obtain a PhD and work in the professoriate stem from her love for working with and learning from youth in schools.

Amel Omari is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. Prior to her doctoral program, Amel conducted bench science in regenerative medicine, and earned her Master’s in Public Health. Broadly, her work is interested in understanding the impacts of racism on the body. Her dissertation research asks how racism constrainsthe health benefits of citizenship for migrants from Africa to France. Methodologically, Amel is interested in how the utility of quantitative analysis can be maximized by incorporating historical and social understandings of race. Understanding the contributions of racialization and migration to the health of migrants is critical to informing migration policies to promote health and health equity.

Priscila Papias is part of the School of Education Educational Studies Program specializing in Teaching and Learning. Her professional and academic career have centered around environmental education with an emphasis on engaging student learning by exploring urban-nature relationships. Her interests also include urban sustainability, bilingual environmental education, and digital storytelling.

Naivedya Parakkal is a doctoral student at U-M SOE specializing in Educational Foundations and Policy. In her research, she explores how legacies of imperialism are shaping the educational experiences of young people in the global South, and how they are navigating the process of (un)learning indigenous epistemologies in order to accommodate, resist, and transform hegemonic discourses around development, globalization, modernity, and education. In the context of the climate crisis, she also explores what the renewed recognition of the value of non-human agencies and indigenous ways of knowing mean for various educational stakeholders.

Ebony Perouse-Harvey is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan School of Education. Her main research interest centers around the creation of professional development that supports both special and general educators in recognizing the impact of the intersectionalities of race, class, gender, and disability in their classrooms and case management practices by interrogating bias, and engaging in equitable practices during the referral, support, and transition phases of the special education process. Her research interests also include the following: (1) the historical development of Special Education, (2) the professional development of special and general educators in the areas of IEP development, legal knowledge, and student advocacy, and (3) the instructional needs of students with disabilities within special class and inclusive environments.

Christine Quince is a second-year PhD student in the Educational Studies department with a focus on Teaching and Teacher Education. Her research interests include how to use the (counter) stories of Black children as a resource to inform the emerging practice of preservice teachers. Christine holds both a BA in Elementary Education and an MA in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan.

Kimberly C. Ransom is a doctoral candidate specializing in Educational Foundations and Policy. Kimberly draws upon qualitative research methods with interests in ethnohistory, oral history, and critical methodologies. Her broad research interests include the social construction of Black childhood in and around de jure segregated schools. Currently, Kimberly is researching the oral histories and material objects of once-children who attended Rosenwald Schools in Pickens County, Alabama (1930-1965). Prior to doctoral studies, Kimberly was the founding director of the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program.

Darrius Robinson is a doctoral student and a Rackham Merit Fellow in the University of Michigan School of Education Educational Studies program with a specialization in mathematics education. An experienced mathematics teacher and coach, his work focuses on the relation between mathematics instruction and the developing mathematics identities of students and teachers. His current work explores the sense students make of instructional reform efforts in light of their previous experience in mathematics classrooms and how that sense-making mediates their participation in reform-oriented practices.

Jenny Sawada is a doctoral candidate in Literacy, Language, and Culture. Originally from an Arizona border town, her work is influenced by border and immigration issues, as well as the present sociopolitical context for Latinx communities; she focuses on youth activism and draws on critical race and liberatory education frameworks.

Anna Shapiro is a doctoral candidate in Educational Policy, Leadership, and Innovation at the University of Michigan School of Education and an IES predoctoral fellow in causal inference in education policy research. Her research interests include early childhood policies and programs, special education policies that impact young children, issues in special education measurement, and the effects of early intervention for children with—or at risk for—developing disabilities. She holds a BA in French and Educational Studies from Emory University and an AM in Urban Education Policy from Brown University. Before coming to Michigan, she worked as a data coordinator at the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).

Katie Shoemaker is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Higher Education program at the School of Education. Her research focuses on the intercultural outcomes of study abroad programs in higher education. More broadly, she is interested in researching experiential learning, a category that describes her work on study abroad, as well as her work on the experiences of law school students’ participation in clinic programs, which she will be presenting today. In addition to this work, Katie is also a member of Dr. Lisa Lattuca’s research team, where she has worked on qualitative and quantitative projects on undergraduate engineering education.

Mollee Shultz is a doctoral student in the mathematics education program. She received her master’s in math from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and taught developmental math in California community colleges. Her current research interests include the use of inquiry-oriented learning in undergraduate mathematics courses and what social and individual factors play a role in choosing to use them or not.

Jarell Skinner-Roy is pursuing his master’s degree in Higher Education at the University of Michigan. He is generally interested in issues of access, persistence, and graduation for Students of Color. Jarell is a Research Fellow at the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and an Intern at the Office of Student Affairs in the School of Education. Prior to attending Michigan, Jarell worked at an education nonprofit in Minnesota, served on a couple nonprofit boards, and taught English in Benin.

Taylor M. Smith is a master’s student at the University of Michigan School of Education specializing in Educational Leadership and Policy. Prior to her master’s program, Taylor was a student at Spelman College where she was a student teacher for three years; she also received a BA in Political Science. She is particularly interested in studying the policies that surround urban schools and their districts, as well as how technology impacts a student’s learning experiences inside of the classroom setting.

AC Webre is a doctoral student in Teaching and Teacher Education. She is a former middle school Social Studies and ESL teacher and taught in Germany, Virginia, and Maryland before beginning her PhD. AC is interested in how teacher education prepares content area teachers to work with language learners and language complexity. In addition, she is interested in international and comparative education research and what we can learn from contexts outside the United States.

Juliya Wicklund is a master’s student at the University of Michigan School of Education. Prior to her program, Juliya taught high school English for five years, and, after stepping away from teaching full-time to start her family, taught upper school writing in California for three summers. Outside of languages and literatures, another interest is how food and sustainability education impacts students’ learning, self-perceptions and health, connections with peers and school, and sense of ecological responsibility.

Naomi Mae Wilson is a 4th year doctoral candidate in the Educational Studies/Foundations and Policy program. Before coming to U-M, Mae’s prior experiences in community organizing, non-traditional teaching, and politics in CA and NY has guided her current research interests. Her research is centered in Black activism, education, and democratic participation in urban cities. More specifically, she looks at the role of repression in Black urban schooling and its connections to schools, communities and educational policy arenas.

Crystal Wise is a doctoral candidate in the Literacy, Language, and Culture program in Educational Studies. Her dissertation focuses on early vocabulary instruction and assessment. She is also earning a graduate certificate from the Department of African American Studies, where she combines her research interests in language and the literacy practices of African Americans to study the life, legacy, and lyrics of the musician Prince Rogers Nelson.

Yutong Wu is a master’s student at the University of Michigan, School of Education, specializing in Educational Studies. Prior to her master’s program, Yutong taught French at a middle school in Beijing, and interned as an English teacher there. She is interested in exploring discrepancies between policy and practice of in-service teacher education in China, and helping teachers in China become professionals. She is currently working on a narrative inquiry on the evolvement of English teachers’ professional identity in Chinese middle schools.

Xiaoyang Ye is a PhD candidate studying the economics of education at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on improving policies, schools, and individual behaviors in K-12 and higher education to reduce poverty and inequality. He is a recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, AEFP New Scholar Award, and Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship. He received his BA in economics and MA in the economics of education from Peking University.


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