Profiles

Amanda M. Bell
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Melissa Gresalfi
Email: amanda.m.bell@vanderbilt.edu
Research Interests: Amanda Bell received her B.S. degree in Computer Science from Tufts University. She’s interested in computer science education, computational thinking, and their connections to learning mathematics. Her work at Vanderbilt centers around middle school mathematics education, including studying video games for math learning and exploring the connections between women’s crafting practices (like knitting) and mathematics. Amanda’s research experiences include both in-school and out-of-school settings. While she hasn’t taught in a formal K-12 classroom, Amanda taught dance for 6 years prior to college and still loves dancing and assisting with dance classes whenever she can.

Sarah BurrissSarah Burriss
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Kevin Leander
Email: sarah.burriss@vanderbilt.edu
Research Interests:Sarah is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. She hails from Charleston, SC, where she was a public librarian before coming to Nashville. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and has a Master’s in Library and Information Science from University of South Carolina. Sarah is interested in learning that happens inside and outside of school–including in libraries–and how adolescents navigate the increasingly complex world of digital and networked information.

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Laura Carter-Stone
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Kevin Leander
Email: laura.j.carter-stone@vanderbilt.edu
Research Interests: Laura developed a commitment to culturally-sustaining instruction while teaching kindergarteners on the Pine Ridge Reservation. As a high school Spanish and Response-to-Intervention English teacher in her home state of Kentucky, she incorporated dramatic play, digital media, music, and storytelling into her language and literacy learning classroom. She recently earned her M.S. in Social and Philosophical Issues in Education from the University of Kentucky. Laura currently explores how the arts might create more engaging and equitable learning environments for culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents.

Kate Chapman
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Melissa Gresalfi
Email: katherine.l.chapman@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Kate Chapman is from Seattle, Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and received her M.Ed. from Vanderbilt. She is interested in working to build better bridges between formal and informal learning environments, which is an idea she started thinking about while tutoring, but really became personally attached to after leading field trips at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle. To begin, she is looking at issues of identity, creating resources for building disciplinary identity, and fostering the critical engagement and integration of academic values and broader community values.

zbZarabeth Davis
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Debbie Rowe
Email: zarabeth.davis@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Zarabeth Davis is a first year Ph.D. student in the Language, Literacy and Culture program at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She completed her undergraduate degree at Muhlenberg College and began her teaching career in rural Arkansas. She taught PreK-1st grade for 8 years in both urban and rural low-income communities and served in various leadership capacities including grade level chair and Reading First lab classroom instructor. For the past 7 years, Zarabeth has supported classrooms in various capacities through curriculum design, teacher coaching, and professional development primarily in the Memphis community. Her interests are in high-quality prek practices and ensuring our youngest learners get to engage in big thinking. Zarabeth is currently working with Debbie Rowe on the Early Literacy Partnership to support emergent writing practices within MNPS PreK classrooms.

nadav Nadav Ehrenfeld
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Ilana Horn
Email: nadav.ehrenfeld@vanderbilt.edu
Research Interests: Nadav is a second year PhD student and a research assistant on project SIGMa (Supporting Instructional Growth in Mathematics). He is studying what it means to support teachers in providing students with rich and equitable math learning experiences. Nadav taught math in pre-college and college programs, and served as a facilitator of collaborative teacher learning in southern Israel. He holds a BSc in Mathematics & Computer Science and an MSc in Mathematics (with focus on math education) from Ben Gurion University.

Caitlin Eley
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Robert Jimenez
Email: caitlin.eley@vanderbilt.edu
Research Interests: Caitlin Eley was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in English from Williams College, she began teaching, first as a Williams Teaching Fellow at the Pine Cobble School in Massachusetts, and then as a sixth grade English Language Arts teacher in Mission, Texas. She was voted Teacher of the Year for her campus for the 2012-2013 school year. Caitlin was introduced to culturally relevant pedagogy at a professional development session, and became passionate about how to incorporate the cultures of diverse learners into the classroom environment. Caitlin is interested in supporting emerging bilinguals by leveraging their unique linguistic and cultural strengths in the classroom.

Amy Amy Voss Farris
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Pratim Sengupta (University of Calgary) & Rich Lehrer
Email: amy.farris@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Amy is a Learning Sciences Ph.D. candidate who thinks and writes about young people’s learning and development in STEM disciplines in and out of school settings. Her research concerns designing computer programming and modeling experiences in elementary classrooms. Formerly, she was a staffer at a science and technology museum in Birmingham, Alabama. Amy is also a licensed therapeutic foster parent and advocate of children’s rights and family reunification.

BretteBrette Garner
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Ilana Horn
Email: brette.garner@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Brette Garner received her B.A. degree in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught middle-school mathematics in Houston and then returned to UT for a master’s degree in math education. Her work at Vanderbilt centers on issues of mathematics teachers’ learning. She’s interested in how teachers a) learn to teach math for greater conceptual understanding, b) use data to inform their instruction, and c) work to reduce inequities in their classrooms and schools.

Sara GouldSara Gould
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Amanda Goodwin
Email: sara.a.gould@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Sara Gould is from Simsbury, CT. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Elon University and her M.Ed. in Urban and Minority Education from the University of Maryland. Sara taught for eight years in Washington, D.C. During the course of those years, she taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, but fell in love with and became passionate about 5th grade ELA. She served as the ELA department chair and grade level team lead for numerous years, which allowed her to gain experience in curriculum design, teacher training and leadership, and data analysis. Sara hopes to focus her work on practical, applicable strategies for classroom teachers.

Mariah Harmon
Mariah Harmon
Advisor: Ilana Horn
Email: mariah.harmon@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Mariah Harmon is a first year doctoral student at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She is originally from Decatur, Georgia and earned her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University (College of Arts and Science), and her Master’s in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi. Mariah started her career in education in Okolona, Mississippi as a middle school English/Language Arts Teacher. Most recently, she has served as an instructional coach in Indianapolis Public Schools. Her research interests are in teacher learning and understanding how teachers build inclusive and equitable classrooms.

Lara Jasien
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Ilana Horn
Email: lara.l.heiberger@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests:Lara Jasien is from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Her undergraduate degree is in Applied and Computational Mathematice from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. She worked as high school mathematics teacher for two years on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation as a Teach For America corps member. During this time, she came to realize that the sense of and experience of play that youth in school feel about mathematics with inquiry-based learning, and the sense of and experience of play that a teacher of mathematics might feel about her or his work are related: If teachers’ intellectual lives are systematically constrained through the organization of school-as-workplace, so is their ability to practice responsive and reflective teaching, and thus to develop ambitious teaching practices in the classroom. In response to this, she earned her Masters degree in Learning & Instruction in 2015 from Vanderbilt’s Department of Teaching and Learning under the advising of Dr. Rogers Hall. Her current research interests in her pre-doctoral studies are geared toward understanding of and designing for new possibilities for the relation between students’ play-in-the-classroom (i.e., inquiry) and teachers’ ongoing learning through playing-with-ideas together with their students and their colleagues. When thinking about design she attends to discursive, material, and organizational technologies, and the ways they are culturally normalized and appropriated, which mediate how we think about mathematics. She is interested in examining the effects of an epistemic stance in teaching that appreciates the reflexive nature of play- and inquiry-based pedagogies and a thriving intellectual life for teachers with their colleagues.

KH Kaitlin Herbert
Specialization: Development, Learning, & Diversity
Advisor: David Dickinson
Email: kaitlin.herbert@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Kaitlin Herbert is a first year doctoral candidate in the Development, Learning and Diversity program in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Prior to coming to Peabody, Kaitlin taught first grade at a charter network in Washington, D.C. Seeing the enormous variability in children’s academic achievement, even in the earliest years of schooling, pushed Kaitlin to pursue a Masters degree in Language and Literacy from the Harvard Graduation School of Education. Following graduation from the Masters program, she stayed on at Harvard GSE, working as the lead research assistant for an intervention study designed to increase parent’s gesture use in order to improve young children’s language development. Kaitlin hopes to continue this type of work at Peabody by examining the role of adult linguistic input in children’s language development. She is particularly interested in how certain types of linguistic input in the early childhood years (birth-5) help prepare children to be more or less successful upon formal school entry in Kindergarten.


Nick Kochmanski 
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Paul Cobb
Email: nicholas.m.kochmanski@vanderbilt.edu
More: Resume Nicholas Kochmanski_PhD
Research interests:Nicholas Kochmanski was born in Michigan and is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). He also has his Master’s in Public Policy from Vanderbilt University (Anchor Down!). Prior to receiving his MPP, he worked as a sixth grade math teacher in rural Arkansas. He has also worked as an instructional coach for teachers in the Metro Nashville Public School system. Nick is currently interested in teacher learning, instructional coaching, and developing measures to inform instructional improvement at scale. If you share these interests, reach out to him! He is always happy to swap ideas.

Tess Lantos
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Amanda Goodwin
Email: terese.a.lantos@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests:Tess Lantos is from Chicago. She earned her bachelor’s degree and teacher credential from Brown University. Soon after, she moved across the country to teach in Oakland, California. After teaching high school English in both public and charter schools, and working closely with her colleagues to create a school-wide reading culture, she decided to return to school to study these two things on a broader scale. Ultimately, she is motivated by the best way to teach secondary students to read (in all disciplines) and how to support teachers in learning and sustaining these practices within a system that often doesn’t prioritize their learning.

Jessica Lawson
Specialization: Development, Learning, & Diversity
Advisor: David Dickinson
Email: jessica.r.lawson@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Jessica Lawson is from the Atlanta, Georgia area. She earned both her B.Mus in Music Education and M.Ed in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. Jessica taught elementary music for six years and received her Gifted and ESOL endorsements. While working on her ESOL endorsement, she saw many similarities between instructional strategies used in music and language learning. The experience inspired her to pursue research that explores the cross-section of music, literacy, and language. Her current research focuses on the use of music to promote pre-literacy skills in early childhood classrooms.

Samantha Marshall
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Ilana Horn
Email: samantha.marshall@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests:Samantha Marshall is from Norman, Oklahoma. A first-generation college graduate, she earned her B.S.E. in mathematics from Oklahoma Christian University, and her M.A. in Curriculum & Teaching from Columbia University, with a concentration in mathematics. She has taught high school math in a variety of settings, from “failing” to “high-performing” schools, from Oklahoma to New York. Most recently she served as an instructional coach, crafting and leading professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers in Tennessee and Mississippi. She is now a research assistant on project SIGMa (Supporting Instructional Growth in Mathematics). Her interests center around issues of equity: classroom environments and tools that foster equitable mathematics learning, and how in-service and pre-service teachers’ supports become influential in their work. Twitter: @MarshallMath_er

janna Janna McClain
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez
Email: janna.mcclain@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Janna McClain is from Cowan, Tennessee. She earned her B.A. in German and initial teacher licensure from The University of the South at Sewanee and her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction/ESL endorsement from Middle Tennessee State University, where she became a teacher consultant with the Middle Tennessee Writing Project. She has taught middle school writing, high school German, and elementary English Learners. She is now a research assistant with Dr. Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez, collecting data on dual language learners’ conceptual vocabulary as a predictive indicator for reading comprehension.

Alexis McBride Alexis McBride
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Robert Jiménez
Email: alexis.mcbride@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests:
Alexis McBride was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She majored in Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania and studied abroad at the Universidad de Alicante in Spain. After completing her B.A., she relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, earning her M.A. in Hispanic Studies at Boston College. She later taught a variety of language and literature courses as a lecturer at Boston College and at Salem State University. Now at Vanderbilt University, Alexis views her research as an extension of her experience with teaching Spanish heritage language learners, combined with her background in second language acquisition. Currently, Alexis is working with Professors Amanda Goodwin and Bob Jiménez as an Editorial Assistant for Reading Research Quarterly. In addition to her work at Peabody College, Alexis has also served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching, where she continues to facilitate the graduate student Certificate in Humanities Teaching and Learning (CHTL).

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Heather Meston
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Emily Phillips Galloway
Email: heather.meston@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: While working as an English and Social Studies teacher in Nashville middle schools, Heather discovered an interest in the role that equitable access to academic language plays in the development of classroom culture, student engagement, and educational success. Prior to becoming a teacher, she received her M.Ed. at Vanderbilt University and her B.S. in Psychology at Yale University. Heather will be working with Dr. Emily Phillips Galloway to study the ways in which teacher understandings of academic language instruction affect student writing outcomes.

Isaac Nichols
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Corey Brady
Email: isaac.t.nichols@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Isaac Nichols was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. After getting his B.A. in Mathematics at the University of Kansas, he came to work with Dr. Melissa Gresalfi to explore the intersection of Mathematics and culture, in and out of the classroom. Not only is culture shaped by mathematics, but also mathematics continues to be shaped by culture. Isaac is excited to investigate these phenomena in students’ group problem solving in differing contexts and cultures.

Min OhMin Oh
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez
Email: min.hyun.oh@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Min is a second-year doctoral student at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody School of Education. She holds an Ed.M. in Language and Literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Mercer University as a Stamps Family Charitable Foundation Scholar. As a former English Language Learner, Min is interested in supporting linguistically diverse learners’ language and literacy development and exploring various components that contribute to the process. Prior to Vanderbilt, Min engaged in research projects at Harvard focused on language development of young and adolescent language learners, from observing parent-child interactions in bilingual families to analyzing adolescent English learners’ academic writing. She continues this line of research at Vanderbilt with Drs. Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez and Emily Phillips-Galloway, to further engage in language and literacy development research focused on linguistically diverse learners. Currently, Min’s work focuses on investigating the link between teachers’ knowledge of vocabulary/beliefs of language development and elementary students’ English language and literacy outcomes. Additionally, she examines adolescents’ science expository text summaries, to explore students’ receptive and expressive understanding of scientific texts.

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 9.35.09 AMAshlyn Pierson
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Doug Clark
Email: ashlyn.pierson@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Ashlyn is a third year student in the Teaching and Learning Department. Her research is focused on supporting science learning with modeling and computational thinking. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Ashlyn taught high school math and middle school science in Metro Nashville Public Schools. She is currently working on a project that integrates computational modeling with an NGSS-centered 5th grade science curriculum designed to support emerging bilingual students.

Laura Piestrzynski
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Debbie Rowe
Email: laura.e.piestrzynski@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Laura Piestrzynski is a fourth year doctoral student in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Her current interests are in early childhood teacher development, emergent literacy, and the nature of the reading-writing relationship during preschool and kindergarten. Prior to coming to Peabody, Laura taught kindergarten for 2 Years in the Saint Louis Public School District. This experience encouraged Laura to pursue a Masters degree in Language and Literacy in order to build even stronger foundations in literacy for her students. After completing the Masters program, Laura taught kindergarten and preschool in the Chicago Public School District for 10 years.

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Emma Reimers
Specialization: Learning Sciences and Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Corey Brady & Kevin Leander
Email: emma.d.reimers@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Emma Reimers is a doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, working alongside advisors Kevin Leander and Corey Brady. Her research interests lie in excavating the stratified narratives of place in order to better understand the ways in which we learn to build, alter, and move within storied spaces. She aims to study spatial learning and narrative in the context of public space, combining methods that draw together storytelling and digital representation. Emma has worked at the Nashville Civic Design Center, researching the intersection of the built environment and public health, and at Tirzah International, as Creative Communications director for the global women’s nonprofit. Additionally, she is a writer, musician, and graphic designer. Emma holds a bachelor’s degree in English Creative Writing and Space and the Human Condition from Vanderbilt.

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Jackson Reimers
Specialization: Learning Sciences and Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Corey Brady
Email: jackson.e.reimers@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Jackson is a doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, focusing on Learning Sciences and Learning Environment Design. He is advised by Corey Brady and is a member of Brady’s CROWD Lab. Jackson originally came to Vanderbilt from his native Southern California to study engineering and education at Vanderbilt as an undergraduate, after which he taught physics and engineering at a public high school in suburban Tennessee for three years. His research interests include computational thinking and multimodal modeling as means of enhancing collaborative, equitable, and playful learning environments.

David Sabey
Specialization: Learning Sciences and Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Kevin Leander
Email: david.b.sabey@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Although David Sabey occasionally writes about himself in the third person, he is not considered particularly strange by most people. (Some would say that what makes him weird is that he seems to enjoy apparently endless amounts of schooling.) David’s current interests have to do with literacy and identity processes over time and across space. In brief, he wonders, What is the difference between someone who knows how to write, and someone who seeks out opportunities to write? What is the difference between someone capable of writing, and a writer? He is interested in theory-building related to these questions, and to developing pedagogical approaches that contribute to the development of writerly identities.

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Katherine Schneeberger McGugan
Specialization: Mathematics and Science Education
Advisor: Ilana Horn
Email: katherine.e.schneeberger@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Katherine started exploring the intersection of curriculum design and professional development as a middle school Math Coach in the Boston area. Prior to her role as a coach, she received her M.A.T. from Boston Univeristy before becoming a 7th grade math intervention teacher. She is currently a research assistant for Dr. Ilana Horn’s Project SIGMa. Her research interests include how to create sustainable curricula in STEM fields that address issues of inequity in gender, race, and socio-economic status, and models for professonal development that combat teacher retention and student achievement problems in high-needs districts.

Lauren VLauren Vogelstein
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Rogers Hall and Corey Brady
Email: lauren.e.vogelstein@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Lauren is a Learning Sciences doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning in Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, advised by Rogers Hall and Corey Brady. She is a member of the Space, Learning and Mobility Lab. Lauren began dancing at a young age as she also became enamored with counting, organizing, and pattern making. Her love of the art form as well as mathematics brought her to New York where received her a BFA in dance and a BS in mathematics from The Ailey School and Fordham University. She then went on to work at the National Museum of Mathematics, where she worked as an educator and developed a movement based mathematics curriculum. She then went on to earn her Masters in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. Her current research at Vanderbilt explores bridging dance and mathematics by developing tools and techniques to allow children, as well as adults, to use their bodies as tools for ensemble-based mathematical thinking and learning. She is also interested in problematizing how mathematics is defined, who has the power to define it, and who is understood as succeeding in its practices.

Devin White
Specialization: Development, Learning, and Diversity
Advisor: Ebony McGee
Email: devin.t.white@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Devin is currently a Doctoral Student at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College in the Department of Teaching and Learning. In 2016, Devin earned a M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from Peabody College’s Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations. In 2014, Devin earned a B.A. in English & Philosophy from Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences. He has years of experience in Student Affairs and Higher Education as a Program Coordinator for the Mayfield Lodges Living Learning Community, a Senior Manager of Cornell Conference Services, and a Student Assistant of Alice Cook House Residential College. His academic interests include Technology, Students of Color, and Low Income Students all viewed with a critical race lens. Devin hails from Oakland, California home to the Black Panthers, Huey P Newton, and the Hyphy Movement. He enjoys technology, particularly video games and computers, listens to hip hop, rap, metal, and many other genres. He dabbles in trying, poorly, to play guitar, and one of his favorite movies is Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles. Devin dreams of being a tenured Professor and having fairly great job stability. A satisfying moment is looking forward to is seeing his nephew, who studies Psychology at Tennessee State University, walk the graduation stage. Devin currently with the Explorations Into Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative (EDEFI). He hopes EDEFI’s work will transform the face of Higher Education and give way for more and more Black and Brown faces to call themselves Doctor, Lawyer, and Professor.

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Holland White
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Robert Jimenez
Email: holland.l.white@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Holland began her teaching career in the world of freshman composition and community college tutoring, which led her to pursue a deeper understanding of the pedagogies surrounding literacy practices. After completing an M.Ed. in Language and Literacy in the Urban Teach program at the University of Texas at Austin, she taught 9th, 10th, and 11th grade ELA at a Title I school in Austin, Texas, utilizing writing and reading workshop practices. She is interested in the assets that multilingual students bring to literacy practices and how student-centered approaches to reading and writing support multilingual students’ identities in and out of the classroom.

fai

Fai Wisittanawat
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Melissa Gresalfi
Email: panchompoo.wisittanawat@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Panchompoo (Fai) Wisittanawat is a doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University. She has a B.A. in Physics and Educational Studies from Swarthmore College, PA. Fai is interested in understanding disciplinary practices of mathematics and science and designing classroom environments that support students’ engagement with those practices in ways that are meaningful to them. Fai plays traditional Thai and Balinese music, and has helped teach children to play those musics in and out of school.

Megan WMegan Wongkamalasai
Specialization: Math & Science Education
Advisor: Rich Lehrer
Email: megan.j.wongkamalasai@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Megan Wongkamalasai is a fourth year doctoral student and advisee of Rich Lehrer studying early childhood mathematics education. Her dissertation research focuses on studying the development of young children’s foundational understandings of the mathematics of space. In particular she is interested in how different spatial design contexts can be leveraged to broaden senses of what constitutes productive contexts for classroom mathematical activity while supporting the positioning of a variety of student dispositions and identities as having mathematical epistemic afforances.


Alumni

Elizabeth Hadley
Specialization: Development, Learning, & Diversity
Advisor: David Dickinson
Email: elizabeth.b.hadley@Vanderbilt.Edu
Research interests: language and literacy development in early childhood, emergent literacy, the contribution of early oral language skills to reading comprehension, vocabulary interventions, book-reading and play in early childhood classrooms, depth of vocabulary knowledge, vocabulary assessment

Amy B. Holmes
Specialization: Development, Learning, and Diversity
Advisor: Rich Lehrer
Email: amy.b.holmes@vanderbilt.edu
Curriculum Vitae: Amy Holmes-01.24.15ABH-CV
Research Interests: design-based research, diversity and equity in STEM education, teacher education

Jennifer Kahn 
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Rogers Hall
Email: jennifer.kahn@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests:As a member of the Space, Learning and Mobility Lab (SLaM Lab), Jennifer studies include how designed environments and new technologies support (or impede) learning from an interdisciplinary perspective and how youth learning develops through relationships to place and space. I am currently pursuing research into storytelling practices with statistical and mathematical models of big data commonly found in the public media. I am investigating how these practices, along with access to open data and interactive digital visualization tools, can encourage youth to engage critically with big data models and to draw relationships across scales—between their personal, local experiences and larger social, economic, and historical issues.

maryMary Miller
Specialization: Language, Literacy, & Culture
Advisor: Debbie Rowe
Email: mary.e.miller@Vanderbilt.Edu
Research interests: Mary Miller studies how digital technologies, such as tablets and digital cameras, can mediate new directions for home to school relationships. Before moving to Nashville to pursue her doctoral degree, she worked at a nonprofit mentoring program in St. Louis with children, families, and schools. Mary is especially interested in supporting emergent bilinguals in early childhood and elementary school settings in using their heritage languages as a resource for literacy development. Her research integrates children’s out of school networks of relationships, experiences, learning, literacy practices, interests, and cultural knowledge as part of classroom literacy.

Sascha Mowrey
Specialization: Development, Learning, and Diversity
Advisor: Dale Farran
Email: sascha.mowrey@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests:Sascha Mowrey was raised in Sunnyvale, California. She received her B.A in Human Development and Linguistics from UC San Diego and her M.A.T. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Prior to moving to Nashville, she taught elementary school in California and North Carolina for eight years. Sascha’s research interests are concentrated around teacher development and the social organization of schools including professional culture, school community, teachers’ social networks, new teacher induction and socialization, educational coherence and planning across grade levels, and the roles of teaching assistants in early childhood education. She hopes to combine these interests with her passion for early childhood and elementary teacher education.

Alvin Pearman
Specialization: Development, Learning, & Diversity
Advisor: Dale Farran
Email: a.pearman@Vanderbilt.Edu
Research interests: A National Institute of Health Pre doctoral Fellow, Alvin Pearman studies urban schooling, social inequality, and neighborhood effects. His current research on education examines the impact of city-wide income inequality on schooling outcomes, the influence of neighborhood gentrification on disciplinary patterns in schools, and the role of neighborhood environments in shaping the efficacy of preschool interventions. Other projects examine the effects of neighborhood poverty on the mathematical trajectories of Black children, as well as descriptive analyses of the social and economic contexts in which urban schools are located nationwide. Throughout his research, Alvin combines quasi-experimental research with careful attention to how “big data,” including geo-coded crime statistics and business pattern information, might open new sites of inquiry in the field of education and shed new light on how the spatial dimension of social stratification figures into schooling-related processes for children and adolescents.

Dan Reynolds 
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Amanda Goodwin
Email: dan.reynolds@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests:Dan Reynolds grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. After undergrad at Notre Dame, he earned his Master’s from there as well while teaching high school English in Baton Rouge, LA and went on to teach English and serve as Dean of Discipline at another school in Austin, Texas. These teaching experiences inspired him to pursue graduate school at Peabody, where he is interested in methods of reading instruction for middle and high schoolers. His work focuses on understanding interactional reading scaffolding (i.e., what happens when an expert reader helps a novice reader along), especially for increasingly complex and difficult texts. He is also interested in English teachers’ preparation for responsive, ambitious teaching.

Elizabeth Self
Specialization: Language, Literacy, and Culture
Advisor: Ilana S. Horn
Email: elizabeth.self@vanderbilt.edu
Curriculum Vitae: SelfE_CV
Research interests: clinical simulations, cultural diversity, teacher education, design-based research

 

ben Ben Shapiro
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Rogers Hall
Research interests: Ben Rydal Shapiro is completing his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences as a member of the Space, Learning & Mobility Lab at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. His research and design integrates approaches from the learning sciences, information visualization and architecture to study how people engage and learn in relation to the physical environment and to design new types of learning/information environments and experiences. Ben previously studied architecture and is committed to collaborating with others across the fields of education and design. People and ideas that inspire him include: the Processing Foundation, Guy Kopsombut, the Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education, Design for America and LEaRN. He is originally from California and received his B.A. in Architectural Studies from Middlebury College and M.Ed. from Vanderbilt where he helped build collaborations with the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Melbourne in Australia and co-founded Vanderbilt’s Design for America Studio. Personal Website: https://benrydal.com

 

Grant Van Eaton
Specialization: Learning Sciences & Learning Environment Design
Advisor: Doug Clark
Email: grant.vaneaton@vanderbilt.edu
Research interests: Grant is a doctoral student in the learning sciences and quantitative methods in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. His research interests focus on teacher learning and professional development, especially with regard to the design and validation of formative measures of teacher growth and development. He previously taught high school biology and middle school reading in Washington, DC while serving as science department chair and team leader, and is actively involved in new teacher training and development with Teach For America. He also works with Vanderbilt’s Center for Science Outreach in the training and professional development of STEM teachers in the United Arab Emirates. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a MAT from American University.