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Steering Committee


Andy Isaacs

UChicago STEM Education Director, Director of Everyday Mathematics Revisions

Andy Isaacs

UChicago STEM Education Director, Director of Everyday Mathematics Revisions

aisaacs@uchicago.edu

773-702-9639

Andy Isaacs received a BA in classical Greek from Northwestern University in 1974, an MST in elementary education from the University of Chicago in 1977, and a DA in mathematics (with concentrations in abstract algebra and theoretical computer science) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1994. From 1977 until 1985, Isaacs taught fourth and fifth grades in Chicago-area public schools. In 1985, he joined the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at UIC as a lecturer in mathematics education. Beginning in 1986, Isaacs worked on the NSF-funded Teaching Integrated Mathematics and Science Project (TIMS) at UIC, which was directed by Philip Wagreich and Howard Goldberg. In 1989 and 1990, he worked with Wagreich and David Page on UIC's Maneuvers with Mathematics Project, another NSF-funded curriculum development effort. From 1990 to 1995, he was a full time writer for Math Trailblazers, a comprehensive curriculum for grades K-5 based on TIMS and funded by NSF.

In 1995, Isaacs joined the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project to work on the Bridges to Classroom Mathematics Project, which was directed by Sheila Sconiers. Isaacs was an author on the second edition of Everyday Mathematics (© 2000 and 2001). Since the late 1990s, Isaacs has directed a series of teacher development projects funded by grants and contracts from the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Chicago Public Schools, and school districts across the nation. He has also led the development of all recent editions of Everyday Mathematics, including the third edition (© 2007), the California and Texas editions (© 2008), and the Common Core State Standards edition (© 2012). He is co-director of UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago and a Senior Research Associate in the University's Physical Sciences Division.

Jeanne Century

Director of Science Education, Outlier Research and Evaluation

Jeanne Century

Director of Science Education, Outlier Research and Evaluation

jcentury@uchicago.edu

773-702-2276

Prior to coming to the University of Chicago in 2005, Jeanne Century was a Senior Researcher at Education Development Center (EDC) in Waltham MA. Jeanne has a BA in general science from Brandeis, and a MEd and doctorate in science education curriculum and teaching from Boston University. During her 25-year career, Jeanne has developed science instructional materials for the elementary and middle school levels and has provided professional development, technical assistance and strategic planning for teachers and school, district, and state administrators. Her research has focused on the impact of inquiry science instruction, strategies for improving utilization of research and evaluation, sustainability of reform efforts, measurement of intervention fidelity and innovation implementation, STEM schools, and computer science education. Century served on the Education Policy and Department of Education Agency Review transition teams for the Obama-Biden administration where she was responsible for STEM education and education research and development issues. In 2010, she shared the National Association for Research in Science Teaching award for the most significant publication that year. Jeanne has served on numerous committees and advisory boards for work focused on improving STEM education.

Read Jeanne Century's biography on the Outlier Website.

Ellen Dairyko

Associate Director, Everyday Mathematics Development

Ellen Dairyko

Associate Director, Everyday Mathematics Development

edairyko@uchicago.edu

773-702-0387

Ellen Dairyko is a senior curriculum developer and Associate Director, Everyday Mathematics Fourth Edition at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She led the author teams that worked on Third Grade Everyday Mathematics for the third edition, Common Core State Standards edition, and the fourth edition. She was a writer on the Second Grade Everyday Mathematics fourth edition team. She also co-authored the Everyday Mathematics My Reference Book. Dairyko has developed and implemented professional development and provided coaching to support the implementation of Everyday Mathematics for teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators in Chicago and elsewhere. She taught in Kindergarten through eighth grade special education settings and in early childhood general education settings in Chicago public schools. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mundelein College.

Cheryl Moran

Senior Curriculum Developer

Cheryl Moran

Senior Curriculum Developer

cgmoran@uchicago.edu

773-702-0422

As a senior curriculum developer, Cheryl Moran is working on development of Everyday Mathematics. She is an author Grade 2 fourth edition, the Common Core State Standards edition and the third edition Everyday Mathematics and co-author of Everyday Mathematics My Reference Book. Cheryl was the team leader for the Grade 2 team for the third and fourth editions. She has also written after-school materials aligned to Everyday Mathematics, developed and implemented workshops for in-service teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators at both the local and national levels. She has coordinated in-school support for the Chicago Public Schools Restructuring Schools Support Project and supported mathematics instruction at several Chicago public schools. She is a senior leader of a NSF project to build a virtual learning community for elementary mathematics teachers. This project has resulted in a community of over 40,000 educators networking and reflecting on their practice in a digital space. She is also a staff member on an NSF-funded project to develop learning trajectories that support the integration of computer science content into elementary mathematics and an NSF-funded project to bring AP Computer Science Principles to students with learning disabilities and/or an ADHD. Cheryl has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master's degree in teaching from National College in Evanston, Illinois. She began her career with 8 years as an elementary school teacher in both public and private schools.

Debbie Leslie

Senior Curriculum Developer, Early Childhood Specialist, Director of Science Companion Projects

Debbie Leslie

Senior Curriculum Developer, Early Childhood Specialist, Director of Science Companion Projects

daleslie@uchicago.edu

773-702-0444

Debbie Leslie is a senior curriculum developer, an early childhood specialist, and the Director of Science Companion Projects at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She provides professional development, coaching, and consultation to support the implementation of Everyday Mathematics and inquiry-based science curricula in the University of Chicago charter schools, the Chicago Public Schools, and elsewhere. She is also the Early Childhood Team Leader for the elementary component of UCSMP. In this capacity, she led the author team that developed the new version of Pre-Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics and the team that worked on the 3rd edition revisions for Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics. Leslie is also one of the authors of Science Companion, an inquiry-based elementary school science curriculum. At UChicago STEM Education, Leslie works on several projects that draw on her background in science and her interest in high-quality professional development in the areas of math, science, and early childhood education. Leslie taught Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade for 10 years in Connecticut and in the Chicago area. She has also done work for the Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University, the Field Museum, and the Rochelle Lee Fund in Chicago, Illinois, and has done presentations, consulting, and professional development for several other educational organizations. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics from Yale University and a Master's Degree in Teaching from the University of Chicago.

Michael Lach

Director, STEM Policy and Strategic Initiatives

Michael Lach

Director, STEM Policy and Strategic Initiatives

mlach@uchicago.edu

773-834-1775

Michael Lach is currently the Director of STEM Education and Strategic Initiatives at UChicago STEM Education and the Urban Education Institute of the University of Chicago. Previously, he was appointed by Secretary Arne Duncan to lead science and mathematics education efforts at the U. S. Department of Education. Mr. Lach began his professional career teaching high school biology and general science at Alceé Fortier Senior High School in New Orleans in 1990 as a charter member of Teach For America. After 3 years in Louisiana, he joined the national office of Teach For America as Director of Program Design, developing a portfolio based alternative-certification system that was adopted by several states. Returning to the science classroom in 1994 in New York City Public Schools, and then back to Chicago in 1995, he was named one of Radio Shack's Top 100 Technology Teachers, earned National Board Certification, and was named Illinois Physics Teacher of the Year. He has served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, advising Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) on science, technology and education issues. He was lead curriculum developer for the Investigations in Environmental Science curriculum developed at the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools at Northwestern University and published by It’s About Time, Inc. As an administrator with the Chicago Public Schools, he led the district’s instructional improvement efforts in science and mathematics in a variety of roles between 2003 and 2009, ultimately becoming Officer of Teaching and Learning overseeing curriculum and instruction in 600+ schools. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Carleton College, and master’s degrees from Columbia University and Northeastern Illinois University.

Denise Porter

Director of School Support Services

Denise Porter

Director of School Support Services

porterd@uchicago.edu

773-834-0060

Denise Porter is currently the Director of School Support Services at UChicago STEM Education. Denise started her work in education as a classroom teacher and a mathematics specialists. She has been working with the Everyday Mathematics curriculum since 1993 when she was hired as a Teacher in Residence. She was involved in the writing of the first edition of Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grade Everyday Mathematics. She has also worked on various state editions and most recently was the fifth grade team leader for the Common Core Edition.

Denise leads the School Support Services team in developing and providing professional development to administrators, teachers, and parents in a wide variety of school districts, regarding the best practices of Everyday Mathematics. Denise also provides coaching to support teachers with their implementation of Everyday Mathematics.

Denise has a Masters of Education degree from the University of Houston and a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University.

Administrative Staff


Meri Fohran

Human Resources and Financial Manager

Meri Fohran

Human Resources and Financial Manager

mbfohran@uchicago.edu

773-702-6202

Jose Fragoso

Project Assistant

Jose Fragoso

Project Assistant

jfragoso@uchicago.edu

773-702-2466

Regina Littleton

Department Administrator

Regina Littleton

Department Administrator

William Schmidt

Student Office Assistant

William Schmidt

Student Office Assistant

Margaret Sharkey

Web Application Manager and Designer

Margaret Sharkey

Web Application Manager and Designer

sharkeym@uchicago.edu

773-834-4077

Margaret leads the development of web applications and designs the information architecture, user interface, and visual design. She also designs the center's flyers, brochures, papers, and collaborates with the Tool Development and Research and Evaluation teams to realize their visions for UChicago STEM Education’s online work environments, such as the Everyday Mathematics website and the Virtual Learning Community. In addition, Margaret runs a math center for elementary-age children living at the SOS Children’s Village in Chicago. Before coming to Chicago, Margaret developed and managed web applications for AutoDesk, and taught high school math to at-risk students in San Francisco. She has a B.S. in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Michigan.

George Vythoulkas

Web Developer

George Vythoulkas

Web Developer

georgev@uchicago.edu

773-702-0442

Anna Saputera

Software Engineer

Anna Saputera

Software Engineer

saputera@uchicago.edu

773-702-0434

Anna joined UChicago STEM Education in 2012 and has been working on developing online data analysis software in the Digital Curriculum Group, including our Data Workshop project.

She is also a part of UChicago STEM Education Tech team working on various projects.

Prior to UChicago STEM Education, she worked as a software engineer and data interface analyst at software companies in Kansas City, Missouri, and Madison, Wisconsin. During her graduate study, she was a Calculus Teaching Assistant in the Mathematics Department at UW-Madison. She also had a summer internship in Minnesota Supercomputing Institute during her undergraduate career. Anna loves working on projects that combine mathematics and computer science.

Anna received her MA in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MSc in Computer Science from Purdue University and BSc in Computer Science, minor in Mathematics, from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. During her free time, she loves reading with her children, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends.

Jarrett Colby

Web Developer

Jarrett Colby

Web Developer

Jarrett joined UChicago STEM Education in September of 2006. He earned his Bachelor's from the University of Chicago in 2008. At UChicago STEM Education, Jarrett leads the technical implementation of web applications, sites, and iPad apps.

Tool Development


Carla Agard-Strickland

Digital Development Manager

Carla Agard-Strickland

Digital Development Manager

Carla came to UChicago STEM Education in 2011, after wrapping up her editorial work with the secondary component of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. She led the digital development team for Everyday Mathematics, adapting EM4 content for a digital platform and incorporating dynamic geometry and mathematics software into the curriculum. Her current portfolio includes consulting with various computer science curricular teams on suitable adaptations for implementation alongside mathematics curricula at the elementary level and for the AP CSP exam.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Carla spent several years teaching and developing mathematics curriculum at the primary, secondary, and tertiary level in Trinidad, as head instructor of The School of Mathematics. She is proud to bring an international perspective and Caribbean flavor to her work here at UChicago STEM Education.

Meg Bates

Curriculum Developer, Research and Evaluation Associate, and School Support Services Associate

Meg Bates

Curriculum Developer, Research and Evaluation Associate, and School Support Services Associate

megbates@uchicago.edu

773-702-2115

Dr. Meg Bates is an educational psychologist who works on developing and supporting educational innovations at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She is the Principal Investigator of a federally-funded project to build a virtual learning community for elementary mathematics teachers. This project has resulted in a community of over 18,000 educators networking and reflecting on their practice in a digital space. Bates also serves as a writer for Grades 1 and 4 of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum and works on a team developing integrated STEM projects for elementary-age students. She conducts professional development sessions for teachers on topics related to STEM education and is on the leadership committee of a team that is developing next-generation online professional development modules for elementary mathematics teachers. She is keenly interested in developing educational innovations that can better engage diverse students in STEM learning and can prepare teachers to educate students for the 21st century.

Bates came to UChicago STEM Education following the completion of a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Prior to joining UChicago STEM Education, she published studies about Chinese and U.S. elementary mathematics teaching and presented papers on the effects of classroom diversity on teaching and learning, cross-cultural differences in teaching, and classroom discourse. Bates holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in educational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in English secondary education from Millikin University. She is a former Spencer Dissertation Fellow and is certified to teach in the state of Illinois.

Sarah Burns

Senior Curriculum Developer

Sarah Burns

Senior Curriculum Developer

burnss@uchicago.edu

860-321-7366

Sarah Burns came to UChicago STEM Education from Connecticut, where she taught in the Farmington Public School system. She began by working as part of a program funded by the Illinois Board of Higher Education that provided support to teachers using Everyday Mathematics in Chicago Public Schools. Sarah was the sixth grade team leader for the Common Core State Standards edition of Everyday Mathematics and is currently serving as the Grade 5 Everyday Mathematics team leader. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master of science degree in elementary education, both from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ellen Dairyko

Associate Director, Everyday Mathematics Development

Ellen Dairyko

Associate Director, Everyday Mathematics Development

edairyko@uchicago.edu

773-702-0387

Ellen Dairyko is a senior curriculum developer and Associate Director, Everyday Mathematics Fourth Edition at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She led the author teams that worked on Third Grade Everyday Mathematics for the third edition, Common Core State Standards edition, and the fourth edition. She was a writer on the Second Grade Everyday Mathematics fourth edition team. She also co-authored the Everyday Mathematics My Reference Book. Dairyko has developed and implemented professional development and provided coaching to support the implementation of Everyday Mathematics for teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators in Chicago and elsewhere. She taught in Kindergarten through eighth grade special education settings and in early childhood general education settings in Chicago public schools. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mundelein College.

Jen Hellige

School Support Services Associate, Curriculum Developer

Jen Hellige

School Support Services Associate, Curriculum Developer

hellige@uchicago.edu

773-834-5214

Jen came to CEMSE following completion of a Master's Degree in Elementary Education at Northwestern University. While studying to become an elementary teacher, she became increasingly interested in mathematics and science instruction and how to make teachers feel more comfortable using inquiry in the classroom. At CEMSE, Jen participates in both Research and Evaluation projects as well as Tool Development for Science Companion. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Linguistics and Computer Science.

Debbie Leslie

Senior Curriculum Developer, Early Childhood Specialist, Director of Science Companion Projects

Debbie Leslie

Senior Curriculum Developer, Early Childhood Specialist, Director of Science Companion Projects

daleslie@uchicago.edu

773-702-0444

Debbie Leslie is a senior curriculum developer, an early childhood specialist, and the Director of Science Companion Projects at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She provides professional development, coaching, and consultation to support the implementation of Everyday Mathematics and inquiry-based science curricula in the University of Chicago charter schools, the Chicago Public Schools, and elsewhere. She is also the Early Childhood Team Leader for the elementary component of UCSMP. In this capacity, she led the author team that developed the new version of Pre-Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics and the team that worked on the 3rd edition revisions for Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics. Leslie is also one of the authors of Science Companion, an inquiry-based elementary school science curriculum. At UChicago STEM Education, Leslie works on several projects that draw on her background in science and her interest in high-quality professional development in the areas of math, science, and early childhood education. Leslie taught Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade for 10 years in Connecticut and in the Chicago area. She has also done work for the Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University, the Field Museum, and the Rochelle Lee Fund in Chicago, Illinois, and has done presentations, consulting, and professional development for several other educational organizations. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics from Yale University and a Master's Degree in Teaching from the University of Chicago.

Rebecca Maxcy

Senior Curriculum Developer

Rebecca Maxcy

Senior Curriculum Developer

rmaxcy@uchicago.edu

773-702-0386

Rebecca W. Maxcy is a senior curriculum developer at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She is one of the authors of the CCSS edition of Grade 4 Everyday Mathematics. She worked as a teacher in residence on the Grade 4 Everyday Mathematics third edition and on various state specific editions. Currently, Maxcy is planning future development of Everyday Mathematics. She taught elementary school in Chicago public schools, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and Poland Springs, Maine. Maxcy trained resident teachers at the Chicago Academy, in addition to being adjunct faculty at National Louis University. Maxcy earned a master’s in elementary education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a bachelor of arts degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Cheryl Moran

Senior Curriculum Developer

Cheryl Moran

Senior Curriculum Developer

cgmoran@uchicago.edu

773-702-0422

As a senior curriculum developer, Cheryl Moran is working on development of Everyday Mathematics. She is an author Grade 2 fourth edition, the Common Core State Standards edition and the third edition Everyday Mathematics and co-author of Everyday Mathematics My Reference Book. Cheryl was the team leader for the Grade 2 team for the third and fourth editions. She has also written after-school materials aligned to Everyday Mathematics, developed and implemented workshops for in-service teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators at both the local and national levels. She has coordinated in-school support for the Chicago Public Schools Restructuring Schools Support Project and supported mathematics instruction at several Chicago public schools. She is a senior leader of a NSF project to build a virtual learning community for elementary mathematics teachers. This project has resulted in a community of over 40,000 educators networking and reflecting on their practice in a digital space. She is also a staff member on an NSF-funded project to develop learning trajectories that support the integration of computer science content into elementary mathematics and an NSF-funded project to bring AP Computer Science Principles to students with learning disabilities and/or an ADHD. Cheryl has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master's degree in teaching from National College in Evanston, Illinois. She began her career with 8 years as an elementary school teacher in both public and private schools.

Elizabeth Olin

Editorial Assistant

Elizabeth Olin

Editorial Assistant

Don Reneau

Editor

Don Reneau

Editor

reneau@uchicago.edu

773-702-2597

Katie Rich

Curriculum Developer

Katie Rich

Curriculum Developer

kmrich@uchicago.edu

773-834-0394

Katie came to UChicago STEM Education in 2009, after working for two years as an editor of the materials for the secondary component of UCSMP. During that time, she served as lead editor on the Advanced Algebra book and also assisted in editing other books and creating extra practice and assessment materials for the program.

Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Katie earned a BA in mathematics from Western Michigan University (2005) and an MA in learning sciences from Northwestern University (2007). Between her undergraduate and graduate work, she also spent a year working as an editor for the commercial publisher of Everyday Mathematics.

At UChicago STEM Education, Katie was a member of the planning and writing teams for the fourth edition of Grades 1, 2, and 5 of Everyday Mathematics. She is currently the lead content developer for UChicago STEM Education Number Stories project, an exploration of how technology can be used to best enhance mathematics teaching and learning. She is also a staff member on an NSF-funded project to develop learning trajectories that support the integration of computer science content into elementary mathematics.

Loren Santow

Editor

Loren Santow

Editor

lsantow@uchicago.edu

773-702-5822

Between 2012 and 2015 Loren was an editor on Everyday Mathematics, first with the early childhood team and later Grade 5. Since 2015 Loren has worked on the seven UCSMP Grades 6–12 textbooks, helping prepare them for their first reprinting since 2009 and currently working on their conversion to e-books.

Loren joined UChicago STEM Education’s predecessor, the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education, in 2012 after earning his BA/Teaching of History from the University of Illinois at Chicago in along with Secondary Education certification and endorsements in social science, history, and middle school teaching.

Prior to joining The University of Chicago, Loren was a professional assignment photographer for clients such as Abbott Diagnostics, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, US Oncology, Erikson Institute, National Geographic World, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Chicago Magazine, and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University Law School. Loren was staff photographer for Chicago Lawyer and contract photographer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry, Sulzer Regional Library, and the Water Tower Gallery and published in twenty countries.

Liesje Spaepen

Curriculum Developer

Liesje Spaepen

Curriculum Developer

liesje@uchicago.edu

773-702-3569

Zalman Usiskin

Director of UCSMP

Zalman Usiskin

Director of UCSMP

Research and Evaluation


Akua Nkansah-Amankra

Research Assistant

Akua Nkansah-Amankra

Research Assistant

Akua joined the Outlier team in January 2016 as a Research Assistant after graduating from University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences. She is excited to be working on the Code.org evaluation project, the Civic Leadership Academy evaluation project, and the NSF-funded Wolcott Study (Bringing AP Computer Science Principles to Students with Learning Differences, NSF Award #1542963). Prior to coming to Outlier, Akua was a peer health educator with Peer Health Exchange, co-president of the College’s minority pre-medicine RSO, and a member of the International Student Advisory Board. She currently considering graduate work in statistics, research methodology, public health, or data analysis.

Read Akua Nkansah-Amankra's biography on the Outlier Website.

Meg Bates

Curriculum Developer, Research and Evaluation Associate, and School Support Services Associate

Meg Bates

Curriculum Developer, Research and Evaluation Associate, and School Support Services Associate

megbates@uchicago.edu

773-702-2115

Dr. Meg Bates is an educational psychologist who works on developing and supporting educational innovations at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She is the Principal Investigator of a federally-funded project to build a virtual learning community for elementary mathematics teachers. This project has resulted in a community of over 18,000 educators networking and reflecting on their practice in a digital space. Bates also serves as a writer for Grades 1 and 4 of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum and works on a team developing integrated STEM projects for elementary-age students. She conducts professional development sessions for teachers on topics related to STEM education and is on the leadership committee of a team that is developing next-generation online professional development modules for elementary mathematics teachers. She is keenly interested in developing educational innovations that can better engage diverse students in STEM learning and can prepare teachers to educate students for the 21st century.

Bates came to UChicago STEM Education following the completion of a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Prior to joining UChicago STEM Education, she published studies about Chinese and U.S. elementary mathematics teaching and presented papers on the effects of classroom diversity on teaching and learning, cross-cultural differences in teaching, and classroom discourse. Bates holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in educational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in English secondary education from Millikin University. She is a former Spencer Dissertation Fellow and is certified to teach in the state of Illinois.

Courtney Blackwell

Research Evaluation Associate

Courtney Blackwell

Research Evaluation Associate

Courtney joined the Outlier team in July 2015 and is currently working on the S3 project and the Code.org evaluation project. She has a background in quantitative research methods and educational technology, and her graduate work focused on teachers’ technology use in early childhood education and the effect of tablet computers on kindergarten achievement. Courtney has experience consulting with large school districts and state departments, developing teacher guides and curricula for STEM and computer science apps, and interning at the Center for Children and Technology at the Education Development Center. She received her PhD in Media, Technology, Society from Northwestern University and holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Theatre and English from Northwestern University.

Amy Cassata

Senior Researcher

Amy Cassata

Senior Researcher

acassata@uchicago.edu

773-834-2371

Amy leads Outlier’s ongoing work focused on understanding and measuring the use of educational innovations and exploring the contexts that support or inhibit implementation and spread of practices to new users. She has played an integral role in the development of Outlier’s conceptual framework and instruments for measuring implementation of mathematics and science instructional materials programs. This work has been supported in her project leadership on three related research studies funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences. Amy currently oversees efforts to work with other researchers to adapt and customize Outlier’s implementation measurement instruments to meet their project needs.

Trained as a mixed methodologist, Amy received a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Human Development in Educational Contexts at the University of Rochester and completed an IES-funded postdoctoral fellowship in experimental education research methods at Vanderbilt University. Prior to graduate work in research, Amy worked as a school psychologist in Texas and New York State.

Read Amy Cassata's biography on the Outlier Website.

Jeanne Century

Director of Science Education, Outlier Research and Evaluation

Jeanne Century

Director of Science Education, Outlier Research and Evaluation

jcentury@uchicago.edu

773-702-2276

Prior to coming to the University of Chicago in 2005, Jeanne Century was a Senior Researcher at Education Development Center (EDC) in Waltham MA. Jeanne has a BA in general science from Brandeis, and a MEd and doctorate in science education curriculum and teaching from Boston University. During her 25-year career, Jeanne has developed science instructional materials for the elementary and middle school levels and has provided professional development, technical assistance and strategic planning for teachers and school, district, and state administrators. Her research has focused on the impact of inquiry science instruction, strategies for improving utilization of research and evaluation, sustainability of reform efforts, measurement of intervention fidelity and innovation implementation, STEM schools, and computer science education. Century served on the Education Policy and Department of Education Agency Review transition teams for the Obama-Biden administration where she was responsible for STEM education and education research and development issues. In 2010, she shared the National Association for Research in Science Teaching award for the most significant publication that year. Jeanne has served on numerous committees and advisory boards for work focused on improving STEM education.

Read Jeanne Century's biography on the Outlier Website.

Diana Franklin

Director of Computer Science Education

Diana Franklin

Director of Computer Science Education

Sandra Holt

Outlier Researcher

Sandra Holt

Outlier Researcher

holtsand@uchicago.edu

773-702-4022

Sandra joined Outlier in February 2013. Sandra’s experience includes working on a wide range of research and evaluation projects. Prior to joining Outlier, Sandra worked as an Assistant Program Evaluator at the Curtis Center Program Evaluation Group (CCPEG) within the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. At CCPEG, Sandra helped in designing and implementing program evaluations and needs assessments. Sandra’s experience spans a wide range of topics from identifying the assets and needs of substance abuse treatment providers in the city of Detroit, to researching and piloting methods for improving Michigan’s child support enforcement, to recruiting and retaining minority students in higher education programming.

Prior to graduate school, Sandra completed a term of service as an AmeriCorps member with Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness. Sandra worked as a counselor for homeless and runaway youth and women who were victims of domestic violence/sexual assault. Sandra earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Michigan and a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University.

Heather King

Researcher

Heather King

Researcher

hking@uchicago.edu

773-702-4282

Heather came to Outlier Research Evaluation after completing her Ph.D. in Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago in 2012. Since joining Outlier, Heather has contributed to a number of research and evaluation projects in the areas of STEM and computer science (CS) education. These projects include Building an Operating System for Computer Science Education (OS4CS) study, the first to examine CS professional development and CS teacher capacity across the United States; the Barriers and Supports to Implementing Computer Science (BASICS) project, which aims to create tools and resources for the CS education community; and the external evaluation of the Code.org K12 programs, which Heather leads. Heather also co-founded the STEM Bridge Network, an emerging group of scientists that work in education, and who are committed to making education career paths accessible and transparent to early-career scientists.

Read Heather King's biography on the Outlier Website.

Melanie LaForce

Outlier Associate Director and Lead Researcher

Melanie LaForce

Outlier Associate Director and Lead Researcher

laforce@uchicago.edu

773-702-0445

Melanie joined the Outlier team in July 2011 and works on a range of research and evaluation projects. She currently is PI on S3 (The STEM School Study, a National Science Foundation-supported study of inclusive STEM high schools) as well as several evaluation projects. Prior to joining Outlier, Melanie worked as a quantitative researcher at the Chicago Postsecondary Transition Project, a joint project between the Consortium on Chicago School Research and The School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She has also previously worked as a research analyst at Chicago Public Schools in both the Office of Math and Science and the Department of Postsecondary Education. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Loyola University and holds a BA from Ohio University.

Read Melanie LaForce's biography on the Outlier Website.

Liz Lehman

Associate Director, Science Companion Projects

Liz Lehman

Associate Director, Science Companion Projects

emlehman@uchicago.edu

773-834-8911

Liz Lehman joined UChicago STEM Education in February 2009 and works with the Direct Services, Tool Development, and Research and Evaluation teams. Liz brings much science content expertise with her, having earned a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in 2006 from Indiana University and a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2000. Liz was previously with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, where she conducted many professional development programs for K-12 teachers and informal educators in Phoenix, AZ. In the Education Department at the Desert Botanical Garden, Liz educated K-8 students and teachers, and developed and taught Botany and other courses to volunteer docents.

Stephanie Loo

Research Assistant

Stephanie Loo

Research Assistant

sjloo@uchicago.edu

773-834-2778

Stephanie Loo joined Outlier as a research assistant in March 2016. She received her BA in Psychology and English and a certificate in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is currently working on a number of projects including the Amplify arts organizations evaluation project, the Broward County STEM+C research project, the Hive Chicago strategic planning project, and the Lincoln Park Zoo program evaluation project.

As an undergraduate, Stephanie worked in a learning and transfer research lab and completed an honors psychology thesis on the link between word sounds and object properties. Stephanie has also participated in research on urban transportation, wildlife resource management, and the toxicity of household cleaning products.

Read Stephanie Loo's biography on the Outlier Website.

Gudelia Lopez

Director of Special School Policy Initiatives

Gudelia Lopez

Director of Special School Policy Initiatives

glopez@uchicago.edu

(773)702-3577

Gudelia López is the Director of Special School Policy Initiatives at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago where she is currently leading a research study delaying acceleration in mathematics education. Prior to joining UChicago STEM Education, she was the Senior Program Officer in Education at The Chicago Community Trust overseeing grantmaking to improve the quality of education, particularly in mathematics and science. Ms. Lopez served as the Assistant Director of Research in the Department of Postsecondary Education and Student Development at Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where she developed the infrastructure for collecting and analyzing college enrollment and retention of CPS graduates as well as indicators on college planning and enrollment. She also served as a policy and research analyst in the Departments of Planning and Development and Research and Evaluation at the Chicago Public Schools. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Princeton University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. After completing her masters, Ms. Lopez worked on the Local School Council Project and the Annenberg Study at the Consortium on Chicago School Research, an independent non-profit education research organization. Her work at the Consortium and her volunteer work with Chicago high school students at the DePaul STEP program led to the pursuit of a Ph.D. in Education. Ms. López received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. The topic of her dissertation was the transition from high school to college for Latino youth. Her research interests are college access and success, teaching and learning, and education policy.

Elizabeth Noble

Outlier Research and Evaluation Associate

Elizabeth Noble

Outlier Research and Evaluation Associate

enoble@uchicago.edu

773-702-3886

Liz joined the Outlier team in November 2012 with a variety of experience as both a researcher and an educator. She currently serves as Co-Principal Investigator on Outlier’s S3 project. Prior to coming to Outlier, Liz worked as a Research Assistant on the NSF-funded Life on Earth project at Northwestern University, and with the Chicago Children's Museum on an exploratory study of the Museum's early learning-focused Pritzker Playspace. Her graduate work focused on young children’s learning and interactions in both formal and informal settings. Liz is also a trained Montessori teacher, and taught in three to six year-old classrooms for several years. Liz has her MA in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University and a BA in Psychology from Denison University.

Read Liz Noble's biography on the Outlier Website.

MaryBeth Talbot

Research Evaluation Associate

MaryBeth Talbot

Research Evaluation Associate

Mary “MaryBeth” Talbot joined the Outlier team in June 2015 as a Research and Evaluation Associate. Currently, MaryBeth is working on the NSF CS10K study (The BASICS study) and on the evaluation of Magnetar Youth Investment Academy, a program aimed to increase financial literacy in 9-12th grade students.

Prior to working with Outlier, MaryBeth worked as a senior research analyst at the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. While at CREDO, MaryBeth served as the lead analyst on the Ohio Charter School Study assessing education outcomes of charter school and traditional public school students in the state of Ohio. Additionally, she worked as a Research Coordinator at the Center for Science and Math Education (CSME) at Loyola University Chicago evaluating professional development programs for math and science teachers in Chicago. MaryBeth received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. In addition to her interest in K-12 education, MaryBeth has research interest in gender, race, and HIV-related stigma.

Denisse Thompson

Director of Evaluation

Denisse Thompson

Director of Evaluation

Sarah Wille

Outlier Senior Researcher

Sarah Wille

Outlier Senior Researcher

Sarah leads Outlier’s computer science education research efforts. She is currently the Principal Investigator of two National Science Foundation (NSF) research awards to Outlier that aim to increase high school computer science education opportunities for students. The first is a broadening participation study (Bringing AP Computer Science Principles to Students with Learning Differences, award # 1542963) that aims to expand participation in computer science by making CSP more accessible for students with learning differences (students with learning disabilities and related attention disorders). The second is a study (The BASICS study, award # 1339256) that involves systematically measuring implementation of Exploring Computer Science (ECS) instructional materials and the key supports and barriers to implementation, and refining our study instruments to share with the CS education community. Sarah has worked with Outlier since 2010 on a range of research and evaluation projects focused on increasing and improving STEM+C education. Prior to Outlier, she worked in the Education Department of the Field Museum, leading teacher PD and collaborating with Math Science Education faculty at the Illinois Institute of Technology in instructional materials development and training for HS science teachers. Her work has always focused on helping bridge research and practice. Sarah received her PhD and MA in Anthropology from Indiana University, and has conducted archaeological research in Belize, Egypt, and in the U.S.

Read Sarah Wille's biography on the Outlier Website.

School Support Services


Abner Bardeguez

Teacher in Residence

Abner Bardeguez

Teacher in Residence

Jorge Abner Bardeguez-Delgado began his career as a middle grades math bilingual teacher in Cicero, Illinois where he taught for twelve years in its bilingual program. During that time, he received the Jaime Escalante Award from the Festival Latino del Libro y la Familia, and served as Mathematics Teacher Leader, contributing to the West Cook Mathematics Initiative. Abner joined UChicago STEM Education as Teacher-In-Residence in 2013 to form part of the Grade 6 author team as one of its lead contributors on the fourth edition of Everyday Mathematics.

Abner is currently a member of UChicago STEM Education School Support Services team. He serves as a coach for the Big Shoulders Fund Mathematics Initiative, supporting teachers in the implementation of Everyday Mathematics. He also develops and provides professional development for teachers, teacher leaders, administrators and parents. Abner holds bachelor’s degrees from Oklahoma State University, and master’s degrees from Indiana University and Northern Illinois University.

Meg Bates

Curriculum Developer, Research and Evaluation Associate, and School Support Services Associate

Meg Bates

Curriculum Developer, Research and Evaluation Associate, and School Support Services Associate

megbates@uchicago.edu

773-702-2115

Dr. Meg Bates is an educational psychologist who works on developing and supporting educational innovations at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She is the Principal Investigator of a federally-funded project to build a virtual learning community for elementary mathematics teachers. This project has resulted in a community of over 18,000 educators networking and reflecting on their practice in a digital space. Bates also serves as a writer for Grades 1 and 4 of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum and works on a team developing integrated STEM projects for elementary-age students. She conducts professional development sessions for teachers on topics related to STEM education and is on the leadership committee of a team that is developing next-generation online professional development modules for elementary mathematics teachers. She is keenly interested in developing educational innovations that can better engage diverse students in STEM learning and can prepare teachers to educate students for the 21st century.

Bates came to UChicago STEM Education following the completion of a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Prior to joining UChicago STEM Education, she published studies about Chinese and U.S. elementary mathematics teaching and presented papers on the effects of classroom diversity on teaching and learning, cross-cultural differences in teaching, and classroom discourse. Bates holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in educational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in English secondary education from Millikin University. She is a former Spencer Dissertation Fellow and is certified to teach in the state of Illinois.

Camille Bourisaw

Teacher in Residence

Camille Bourisaw

Teacher in Residence

cbourisaw@uchicago.edu

773-834-8892

Jean Capper

Teacher in Residence

Jean Capper

Teacher in Residence

jcapper@uchicago.edu

773-834-0398

Katie Flores

Teacher in Residence

Katie Flores

Teacher in Residence

kflores@uchicago.edu

773-834-6748

Katie Flores is a Teacher in Residence at UChicago STEM Education. She coaches early childhood teachers of Everyday Mathematics, facilitates professional development, and researches the ways early childhood teachers use mathematics curricular materials. Katie has also served as a writer for Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics 4.

Katie joined UChicago STEM Education after teaching Kindergarten in Chicago Public Schools for seven years. During her time as a teacher, she facilitated district-wide professional development on emergent literacy, family engagement, and effective implementation of Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics. In 2007, she led a team of teachers on a trip to Ghana, where they collected resources to facilitate an appreciation of their students’ ethnic and cultural heritage. In her role as a Teach Plus policy fellow, Katie collaborated with local, state, and national policymakers to help improve educational outcomes for urban children. Katie holds a BA in Spanish from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MAT in Elementary Education from National-Louis University.

Jen Hellige

School Support Services Associate, Curriculum Developer

Jen Hellige

School Support Services Associate, Curriculum Developer

hellige@uchicago.edu

773-834-5214

Jen came to CEMSE following completion of a Master's Degree in Elementary Education at Northwestern University. While studying to become an elementary teacher, she became increasingly interested in mathematics and science instruction and how to make teachers feel more comfortable using inquiry in the classroom. At CEMSE, Jen participates in both Research and Evaluation projects as well as Tool Development for Science Companion. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Linguistics and Computer Science.

Liz Lehman

Associate Director, Science Companion Projects

Liz Lehman

Associate Director, Science Companion Projects

emlehman@uchicago.edu

773-834-8911

Liz Lehman joined UChicago STEM Education in February 2009 and works with the Direct Services, Tool Development, and Research and Evaluation teams. Liz brings much science content expertise with her, having earned a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in 2006 from Indiana University and a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2000. Liz was previously with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, where she conducted many professional development programs for K-12 teachers and informal educators in Phoenix, AZ. In the Education Department at the Desert Botanical Garden, Liz educated K-8 students and teachers, and developed and taught Botany and other courses to volunteer docents.

Debbie Leslie

Senior Curriculum Developer, Early Childhood Specialist, Director of Science Companion Projects

Debbie Leslie

Senior Curriculum Developer, Early Childhood Specialist, Director of Science Companion Projects

daleslie@uchicago.edu

773-702-0444

Debbie Leslie is a senior curriculum developer, an early childhood specialist, and the Director of Science Companion Projects at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago. She provides professional development, coaching, and consultation to support the implementation of Everyday Mathematics and inquiry-based science curricula in the University of Chicago charter schools, the Chicago Public Schools, and elsewhere. She is also the Early Childhood Team Leader for the elementary component of UCSMP. In this capacity, she led the author team that developed the new version of Pre-Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics and the team that worked on the 3rd edition revisions for Kindergarten Everyday Mathematics. Leslie is also one of the authors of Science Companion, an inquiry-based elementary school science curriculum. At UChicago STEM Education, Leslie works on several projects that draw on her background in science and her interest in high-quality professional development in the areas of math, science, and early childhood education. Leslie taught Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade for 10 years in Connecticut and in the Chicago area. She has also done work for the Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University, the Field Museum, and the Rochelle Lee Fund in Chicago, Illinois, and has done presentations, consulting, and professional development for several other educational organizations. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics from Yale University and a Master's Degree in Teaching from the University of Chicago.

Jeanne Di Domenico

Teacher in Residence

Jeanne Di Domenico

Teacher in Residence

millsjg@uchicago.edu

773-702-1535

Jeanne Di Domenico is a Teacher in Residence at UChicago STEM Education. She facilitates professional development and provides coaching to support elementary school teachers in science, math, and engineering instruction. She is an Elementary Science Methods instructor for the UChicago Urban Teacher Education Program, and has served as a writer for Everyday Mathematics 4. Jeanne joined UChicago STEM Education in 2013 after 12 years of teaching in Chicago elementary schools, most recently as a Science Lab teacher for Kindergarten through 5th grade students. She holds a BA in Mathematics from Carleton College and a MS in Elementary Education from Northwestern University.

Denise Porter

Director of School Support Services

Denise Porter

Director of School Support Services

porterd@uchicago.edu

773-834-0060

Denise Porter is currently the Director of School Support Services at UChicago STEM Education. Denise started her work in education as a classroom teacher and a mathematics specialists. She has been working with the Everyday Mathematics curriculum since 1993 when she was hired as a Teacher in Residence. She was involved in the writing of the first edition of Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grade Everyday Mathematics. She has also worked on various state editions and most recently was the fifth grade team leader for the Common Core Edition.

Denise leads the School Support Services team in developing and providing professional development to administrators, teachers, and parents in a wide variety of school districts, regarding the best practices of Everyday Mathematics. Denise also provides coaching to support teachers with their implementation of Everyday Mathematics.

Denise has a Masters of Education degree from the University of Houston and a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University.

Alison Whittington

Associate Director, School Support Services

Alison Whittington

Associate Director, School Support Services

Alison Whittington is a member of UChicago STEM Education School Support Services team and works to develop and provide professional development to schools and districts. She joined UChicago STEM Education with more than ten years experience as a bilingual teacher, mathematics specialist, and district mathematics facilitator with Chicago Public Schools (CPS). She has provided mathematics professional development to teachers, parents, and administrators in a variety of contexts. Alison was a teacher on loan at UChicago STEM Education in 2006-2007, working with the CPS Restructuring Schools Project. Alison holds an EdD in educational leadership from National-Louis University, an MEd in instructional leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BA in mathematics and elementary education from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Amanda Zimolzak

School Support Associate

Amanda Zimolzak

School Support Associate

azimolzak@uchicago.edu

773-516-4295

Amanda Zimolzak has been a member of the UChicago STEM Education School Support Services team since 2011. Amanda works to develop and facilitate professional development. She also works as a school mathematics coach of prekindergarten through sixth grade teachers, as well as a project manager. Prior to joining the UChicago STEM Education team, Amanda taught elementary grades 3-5 for 11 years, worked as her school’s math lead teacher, and as a facilitator of Everyday Mathematics professional development for new and experienced users in Chicago Public Schools. Amanda holds a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan, a Maters of Arts in Special Education/Learning Behavior Specialist degree from Northeastern Illinois University, and a Middle Grades Math Endorsement from the Boeing Scholars Program at Loyola University.