University of Central Florida- MS Statistical Computing
University of Central Florida- BA History
Lance BrooksWest Chester University- M.S. Exercise Science
Southern Methodist University- BS Applied Physiology & Health Management
Research interest(s): Biomechanical basis of sprint acceleration performance as well as a masters thesis exploring the role of upper extremity motion in sprinting.
Current research fellowship: I am working on Project Intensity with Jill Allor and Stephanie Al Otaiba, developing reading curriculum for students with intellectual disabilities. My role with this grant is project coordinator.
Professional experience: Years of experience in the performance coaching realm at the collegiate and collegiate prep levels, as well as in the private sector. Through these avenues, Lance has connected with a variety of high-level talented athletes, serving as a consultant to Olympic gold medalist English Gardner, Nigel The Freeze Talton, and others.
Teachers College, Columbia University- MA Education Policy
Texas A&M University- BS Political Science
Research interest(s): I am interested in the impact of early childhood education (ECE) on lifelong learning and outcomes, as well as how ECE can play a part in minimizing racial inequities in the American education system.
Current research fellowship: I serve as the Executive Director of the Early Learning Alliance of Tarrant County, a cross-sector collaboration of organizations and individuals working to understand and address the needs of local families and children from before birth through age five.
Professional experience: I previously worked as a Research and Policy Associate at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley. CSCCE provides research and analysis on the preparation, working conditions, and compensation of the early care and education workforce.
Indiana University- MPA Policy Analysis
Indiana University - Bloomington BS Management
Research interest(s): Intersectionality, equity, and access issues amongst Black students and student-athletes at predominately white institutions (PWIs).
Current research fellowship: Mustang Fellowship: Recognizes Ph.D. students who show great promise for academic success and potential to enhance graduate program diversity at SMU.
Professional experience: Prior to SMU, Rashard played professional football for the Chicago Bears and worked in collegiate athletics as student-athlete development and support. He is currently working for Guild Education as a Student Success Coach.
Columbia University MBA Marketing
Columbia University BA Philosophy
Research interest(s): Applying the Theory of Constraints to Education, which requires diagnostic assessment that is as accurate, timely, and efficient, as possible.
Current Fellowship: I am on the NSF-funded STEM+C project that aims to use the Minecraft video game to teach middle-schoolers Computational Thinking. The big idea is to use the student engagement generated by successful commercial video games to promote student learning.
Professional experience: During a 25-year business career, I founded or led organizations in healthcare or staffing. These included a $73 million company with 10 offices worldwide, and culminated in being the CEO of a $150 million home health and hospice company with 2,000 team members in 91 locations nationwide serving 7,000 patients.
University of Texas - Permian Basin- MA Special Education
Pepperdine University- BA Liberal Arts
Research interest(s): Diversity, equity, and inclusion among K-12 schools, particularly private educational institutions.
Current Fellowship: Funded by the Moody Graduate Fellowship, Cheyenne works under the advisement of Dr. Meredith Richards in the department of Education Policy and Leadership.
Professional experience: Prior to SMU, Cheyenne worked as a teacher across various grade levels and subjects. She most recently served as the Resource Intervention Program Director at a private school in California where she taught and advocated for students with exceptional learning needs.
Jonathan HunnicuttFuller Theological Seminary Master of Divinity
Texas A&M University BS Sociology
Research interest(s): Bridging Learning Science and Computational Social Science via automated data collection, educator social networks, and mathematical models of complex contagion to understand how math teachers learn and spread good pedagogy.
Current research fellowship: Lead Graduate Research Assistant, supervising four undergraduates, for my co-Advisor Dr. Candace Walkington under the EXCEL grant. This embodied cognition research explores how AR/VR might help ELL students collaborate and learn geometry.
Assisted my co-Advisor Dr. Annie Wilhelm in adapting an inquiry-based math curriculum for the West Dallas STEM School.
Brooke IstasKansas State University MS Adult, Occupational, and Continuing Education
Southwestern College MS Leadership
Southwestern College BS Mathematics
Research interest(s): Based on adult learners' perception of mathematics. I am interested in adults' mathematical journey and their experiences with mathematics.
Current Fellowship: Personalizing Mathematics to Maximize Relevance and Skill for Tomorrow's STEM Workforce. National Science Foundation, Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), Award #1759195, Fall 2018 “ Spring 2021 Role: Graduate Research Assistant to Principal Investigator, Dr. Walkington.
Professional experience: Lead Mathematics Faculty. Instruction of learners both in a face-to-face and online environment at all levels of mathematics, advise learners in educational pathways and career objectives, implement training for part-time faculty, conduct bi-weekly meetings of the mathematics faculty. Facilitate discussion for informal professional development, recruit members to list, promote discussion, identify experts to serve as guest moderators for further professional development in the field, submit quarterly reports and participate in annual face-to-face meetings.
Columbia University- MA Statistics
State University of New York at Stony Brook- BS Applied Math and Statistics
Research interest(s): Relationship between cultural differences and students' mathematical abilities, Mathematics Assessment, Math Difficulties
Current research fellowship: I am working on the SCALE project (U.S. Department of Education) with Dr. Leanne Ketterlin-Geller since August 2022. The SCALE project, led by SMU and joined by University of Texas at Austin and University of Missouri, is an intervention project using a supplemental math program, Fraction Face-Off!, to support students with math difficulties in different school districts in Texas and Missouri.
Professional experience: I worked as an HR manager at a large construction company in South Korea for 4 years. Some of the projects that I was part of involved building the infrastructure for electricity and water supply in African countries, and building oil sands plants in Canada for addressing energy shortage and environmental pollution problems. My role as an HR manager was to analyze 10,000 employees' worth of data and create solutions to improve their performance and contribution to the company.
Brenau University MBA Finance
University of Central Florida BSE Engineering
Research interest(s): Qualitative lens to examine the infrastructure of STEM education to understand foundational practices, cultures, and ways humans embed new, rigorous ways of learning that create equitable access for all students.
Current research fellowship: I've been assigned to the West Dallas STEM School beginning in Fall 2021.
Professional experience: First career: Management engineer and business consultant in the health care industry leading transformational project work, data analytics, innovative design, clinical resource and quality management, cost reduction, productivity systems, and automation studies. Second career: education: primary librarian, taught 3rd grade, 5th & 8th grade science, assistant principal, regional director for curriculum and assessments, and compliance officer.
Southern Methodist University- MBE Bilingual Education and Gifted and Talented
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey- BS Economics
Research interest(s): Successful implementation of Dual Language Immersion Programs, equity and social justice for multilingual/multi-dialect learners, socio-cultural competence, and critical linguistics.
Current Fellowship: I am currently working with Dr. Quentin Sedlacek in a project that analyzes Teacher's education in African American Languages and its impact on Science Teaching. I am also part of the West Dallas STEM School project designing inquiry driven curriculum and coaching educators that work with students classified as Emergent Bilinguals or speakers of other languages or dialects.
Professional experience: Bilingual/ESL Instructional Coach, Language Acquisition Specialist, Design/Coordination/Implementation of Dual Language Immersion Programs, Argument Driven Inquiry applied to Dual Language Programs, Parent Engagement Initiatives, Coppell ISD strategic design committee. Experience teaching PK, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade learners.
CalPoly San Luis Obispo MA Education - Counseling and Guidance
University of California Los Angeles BA Sociology
Research interest(s): Higher Education public policy and equity issues in education
Current research fellowship: Working with Dr. Sondra N. Barringer, Ph.D on research that explores various organizational and policy dynamics in higher education.
Professional experience: I have worked in colleges and universities, serving as an Academic Advisor then moving into managerial roles in Advising and Student Support. As Director of Academic Planning, I implemented student success initiatives for a large community college district in North Texas. I also served as an adjunct instructor, teaching student success strategies to community college students.
Bowling Green State University, Masters of Education Kinesiology
Research interest(s): Biomechanical basis of sport performance. Athletic metrics and their application to training programs. Biomechanical explanations of sex difference in sport performance.
Current research fellowship: This year in the Locomotor Performance Laboratory I have been working on projects related to vertical jumping movement and force application patterns, with Dr. Weyand and staff.
Professional experience: Prior to entering this program, I worked as a full-time strength and conditioning coach, and adjunct faculty member at BGSU in Ohio. I lead training for 7 of the 18 intercollegiate sports and assisted with intern mentorship. I also taught EXSC 2390, Applied Sport Science and supervised interns within the Exercise Science undergraduate program.
Southern Methodist University MBA Marketing
University of Texas at Austin BA Mathematics
Research interest(s): My research interests in STEM education is to study the design of informal learning environments situated within Black and brown girls' (grades 6-12) learning ecosystems. I am curious about the effects of various interventions that impact underrepresented and underserved girls' attitudes, confidence, interests, and choices in STEM career pathways in order to alleviate disparities associated with the intersectionality of race, gender, and socioeconomic status.
Current research fellowship: As a first year Graduate Research Assistant, I am working on the Mathfinder App project under Dr. Candace Walkington. This Innovations and Development Project will conduct research on a location-based mobile app for informal mathematics learning and is funded by the National Science Foundation AISL Advancement of Informal STEM Learning (DRL 2115393).
Professional experience: I am an experienced educator and international girls in STEM advocate with more than 20 years of mathematics education experience. I am the founder and Executive Director of The GEMS Camp (Girls interested in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science), a 501(c)3 based in Dallas, TX. My experience includes mathematics classroom teaching in diverse settings such as public, public charter, and international schools, curriculum writing, and marketing and consulting in edTech. I hold a BA in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin.
Texas A&M University M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction
Texas A&M University BS Interdisciplinary Studies
Research interest(s): Writing curriculum and instruction for pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as broader interests in strengthening teacher preparation and professional development practices.
Current Fellowship: I currently work with Dr. Amy Rouse on a variety of projects supporting writing instruction in K-12 schools, including research on writing strategies in STEM fields, writing for special populations, and implementation of writing instruction for teachers.
Professional experience: Prior to this program, I was a middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher for four years. During that time, I also served as a mentor teacher and helped to develop curriculum for the district.
Southern Methodist University, Master of Education in Educational Leadership
University of Texas at Arlington, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
Research interest(s): Early childhood mathematics education. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how early childhood educators teach spatial reasoning through mathematics and maximize students' opportunities to learn spatial reasoning by focusing on teacher learning and situative contexts.
Current research fellowship: I work with Dr. Annie Wilhelm on the McDonnell Foundation-funded Understanding How Elementary Teachers Take Up Discussion Practices to Promote Disciplinary Learning and Equity project, which aims to support teachers' learning about and use of classroom discourse. We consider responsiveness in research-practice partnerships when developing relationships with schools to support teacher learning and practice. I have also contributed to the NSF-funded Measuring Early Mathematical Skills project with Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller by developing and implementing spatial reasoning cognitive interview protocols with K-2 students, and using qualitative analysis to support the empirical recovery of the underlying learning progression.
Professional experience: I served the Dallas Independent School District as a special education teacher, assistant principal, and interim principal between 2010 and 2019. I also worked in the private industry as a regional sales manager for two education technology start-ups, facilitating the implementation of assessment services and paperless document management systems.
Sunil PrajapatiUniversity of Texas at Austin MS Mechanical Engineering
University of Texas at Austin BS Mechanical Engineering
University of Houston M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction
Chadron State College BS Mathematics
Research interest(s): My research interest is in culturally responsive teaching and funds of knowledge for students of color in mathematics. Tiffini's research focuses on the examination and development of tools for teachers to enact practices that attend to student backgrounds.
Current research fellowship: Currently a graduate research assistant for the Validation of the Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (VEAR-MI) project with Dr. Annie Wilhelm. This NSF project's primary goal is validating the EAR-MI, a new measure created to capture a series of practices targeted to support historically marginalized students in gaining access to and equitable inclusion in rigorous mathematical activities.
Professional experience: Includes teaching College Algebra, AP Calculus, and Pre-AP Precalculus for Dallas/Fort Worth area high schools, Tarrant County College, North Central Texas College, and Texas Wesleyan University as well as being a Teaching Assistant for Southern Methodist University in Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Dayna Russell Freudenthal
Mount Saint Joseph's University MA Reading Science
Wellesley College BA Psychology & American Studies
Missouri State University MS Elementary Education
Texas A&M University BS Agricultural Economics
Research interest(s): My research interests integrate three topics: a) inquiry, b) food systems and food justice, and c) data modeling.
Current research fellowship: I am working on the WalkSTEM project with Dr. Candace Walkington and Dr. Tony Petrosino, West Dallas STEM School science curriculum with Dr. Jeanna Weiselmann, and the UTeach and NYC DOE CS4ALL Research Practice Partnership with Dr. Petrosino and his colleagues at the University of Texas
Professional experience: Previously worked in management within the processed food manufacturing sector, sales and insurance in the car rental industry, and was an agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor.
Southern Methodist University M.Ed. Literacy
Vanderbilt University BS Elementary Education and Child Studies
Research interest(s): I am is interested in reading education and advocacy for students with learning disabilities and how to ensure instruction on the Science of the English language is available to everyone.
Current Fellowship: I work with Dr. Jill Allor and Dr. Stephanie Al Otaiba on Project Intensity, a research project aimed at assessing the efficacy of Friends on the Block (an intensive literacy intervention) for use with students diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities and other low incidence disabilities. The mission of the project is to make literacy accessible to all children- and to have fun while learning!
Professional experience: Prior to beginning at SMU, Charlotte worked as an Academic Language Therapist in Dallas ISD teaching children with dyslexia fundamental literacy skills. She also had the opportunity to serve the Dallas community in multiple academic interventionist roles since graduating from Vanderbilt in 2016.
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs- Master of Science in Biology
Southern Methodist University- BA Psychology and BS Applied Physiology and Health Management
Research interest(s): Alterations to cardiovascular control in females with multiple sclerosis at rest and during stress.
Current research fellowship: I work under advisement of Scott L. Davis, PhD in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory. I am funded by a Fairess Simmons Graduate Fellowship, a University PhD Fellowship and a graduate teaching assistantship in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.
Professional experience: Prior to entering this program, I completed a Master's of Science in Biology at University of Colorado- Colorado Springs where I worked as a graduate teaching and research assistant. My thesis research investigated the effects of skin temperature on the ability to tolerate blood loss in individuals who had previously been exercising in hot environments.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities MA Educational Psychology, Learning and Cognition
National Central University- BA Business Administration/Finance
Research interest(s): Computational Thinking, Game-Based Learning, and Mathematic Thinking. Exploring the learning effects of fostering computational thinking (CT) within game-based learning environments and how CT skills benefit students in the STEM fields.
Professional experience: I had been a math teacher for over ten years in the after-school program. My expertise is in solving students' learning difficulties in math. While studying in the master's program, I developed research skills, including designing and conducting experiments in middle school classrooms, data coding, and analysis skills.
University of Electro ME Software Design
Senshu University BA Information Management
Research interest(s): My research interest includes online learning, automated measurement, and data analysis of assessment. My current research focuses on the automated measurement of oral reading fluency with prosodic features using deep learning.
Current research fellowship: I am a third-year Ph.D. student and research assistant. I am working on different research projects with different researchers who come from different institutions. According to the project, I am using both R language and Python language in my research. I am enjoying my research, especially cooperating with the other researchers.
Professional experience: I have worked both in Japan and China as a software design manager and a professional developer of software systems. I have nearly 20 years of career in the field of business software development and gained extensive knowledge and experience in relative areas.
Southern Methodist University M.Ed. Education in Math/STEM
University of Texas at Austin BA Economics
Research interest(s): The effects of technology, specifically virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), game-based learning, and embodied learning (such as video games and motion-based projects), on student learning and comprehension in Math and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Current Fellowship: I am working with Dr. Candace Walkington on the development of a math education video game, a geometry motion study, an algebra study in secondary school, and work with Oculus 2 VR Goggles. We are working on the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data with a focus on students' understanding of 2-dimensional versus 3-dimensional shapes, geometric concepts like area and volume, and the ability to create motions that correspond with the learned figures and concepts. These are then digitalized and put into the computer gaming system being developed. We aim to understand and develop the relationship between technology and student learning in Math and STEM.
Professional experience: I served through a partnership with Teach For America in the Dallas Independent School District as a Middle School Math and Coding Teacher. I also served as a Pre-Calculus Teacher for Southern Methodist University's (SMU's) summer school program, Upward Bound. Prior to that, I worked for Ernst & Young and Vail Resorts. I am now a Graduate Research Assistant at SMU and a full-time Ph.D. student.
Ann Marie Wernick
University of Notre Dame, Master of Education
University of Notre Dame, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Research interest(s): Practice-based teacher education, teacher induction, coaching models, teaching quality, teacher evaluation systems, and mixed-reality simulations.
Current research fellowship: I currently work with Dr. Paige Ware on Project CONNECT: Creating the Ongoing Network Needed to Engage Communities and Teachers (Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition). I engage with the project as a protocol developer, data collector, and data analyst. Additionally, I collaborate in development of online modules and pre-/post-testing measures using mixed reality simulation and reflection.
Professional experience: Prior to entering this program, I served as a classroom teacher and instructional coach for seven years. During that time, I taught middle school English Language Arts and History. I also worked as a coach for pre-service teachers and a curriculum writer.
University of Florida M.Ed. Reading Education
Brigham Young University BS Special Education
Research interest(s): Experience in teaching both elementary and secondary students with learning difficulties in Palestine led me to explore policies and interventions that revolve around home literacy practices of refugee families. Thus, my primary research interest is on using dialogic reading interventions to support students who experienced childhood trauma.
Current Fellowship: I am currently working with Dr. Al Otaiba and the team on Project GROW, a dialogic reading intervention. Alongside my colleagues, my role as a graduate research assistant entails developing scripted lesson plans with extended types of questions, in addition to synthesizing bodies of literature around literacy interventions for students who experience difficulties learning to read.
Professional experience: Prior to entering this program, I worked as a research assistant, co-taught three undergraduate classes (e.g., Multicultural Education in Special Education), and was a special education teacher for students with learning disabilities.