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Learning Sciences PhD Students

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Umit Aslan
Looking for professional opportunities

Umit Aslan

Contact

UmitAslan2014@u.northwestern.edu
Website

Education

MSc, Bogazici University, 2014
BS, Bogazici University, 2010

Research Interests

Code-first learning environments; computational modeling; learning and thinking about complex systems; STEM education.

Nikki Barry (McDaid)
Looking for professional opportunities

Nikki Barry (McDaid)

Contact

nikkimcdaid2023@u.northwestern.edu

Education

MA in Teaching, Pacific University, 2016
BS in Sociology, Northeastern University, 2011

Research Interests

Nikki Barry (McDaid) (Shoshone-Bannock) is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. Her research interests are broadly focused on informal and formal learning environments at the intersection of land-based education and Indigenous resurgence. More specifically, she wants to understand the ways that youth in land-based learning environments recognize personhood of more-than-human animals and plants and whether or not the propensity to do so might be correlated with the ways youth engage in decision-making around social and environmental concerns. Nikki earned her M.A. in Teaching from Pacific University and her B.S. in Sociology from Northeastern University. She also has experience as a middle school and high school English and Musical Theatre teacher and has two children of her own.

Wade Berger
Looking for professional opportunities

Wade Berger

Contact

Website

Education

MS in Curriculum & Instruction, UW Madison
BS in Secondary Education, Indiana University-Bloomington

Research Interests

Wade works with informal educators -- those people who make after-school clubs, museums and summer camps so cool. He helps informal educators understand what makes learning happen in those out-of-school settings. In his research with community partners, he studies how these informal educators build the wealth of knowledge and expertise they bring to youth, and the ways that informal educators learn from and with each other in professional training. He has an M.S. from UW-Madison from the Games+Learning+Society Center, and started his career as a high school social studies teacher.

Gautam Bisht

Gautam Bisht

Education

BA in English Literature , Delhi University, 2012
MA in Film Studies, Ambedkar University, 2015
M Phil in Development Practice, Ambedkar University, 2018

Research Interests

My area of interest emerges from the educational initiatives I have undertaken as part of my organisation in the domain of language, literacy and culture. These initiatives comprise of two levels: (i) working directly with an indigenous youth collective in India on literacy, digital and teaching skills and (ii) working indirectly with children (6-12 age group) through community learning centers as facilitated by the youth collective mentioned above. With the youth my focus is on understanding the complex overlap of digital media, literacy and (counter) narratives. With the children my focus is on co-designing pedagogic spaces with community youth that are multilingual and culturally responsive. Broadly I am moved by anything that invokes critical pedagogy, integration of theory and practice, community based design, applied linguistics and philosophy of education.

Forrest Bruce

Forrest Bruce

Education

BS, Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2017

Research Interests

Indigenous knowledge systems, land- and water-based education.

Maddie Brucker

Maddie Brucker

Education

MEd, Cultural and Educational Policy Studies, Loyola University Chicago, 2013

Victoria C. Chávez

Victoria C. Chávez

Contact

Website

Education

M.A. Urban Education Policy
B.A. Computer Science and Hispanic Studies

Research Interests

Victoria’s research interests explore systemic issues within computer science education, centering the experiences of Black, Disabled, Indigenous, and Latine/x students. Most recently, their research has focused on teaching and learning accessibility as well as unpacking how ableism is codified in the policies, practices, and pedagogies used in college CS courses.

John (Yuehan) Chen

John (Yuehan) Chen

Contact

YuehanChen2023@u.northwestern.edu

Education

B. A. in Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Normal University, 2016

Research Interests

My research interest lies in the intersection of Learning Sciences and Human-Computer Interaction, with a focus on informal learning, mobile learning, scaling, and emergent social behavior and learning design from massive learning communities.

Shante Elliott

Shante Elliott

Education

MEd Cultural and Educational Policy Studies, Loyola University Chicago
BA English Language & Literature, Fayetteville State University
BA Communication, Fayetteville State University

Research Interests

Coping & Learning, Designing Digital Tools, Identity & Motivation

Kristin Fasiang

Kristin Fasiang

Contact

kristinfasiang2029@u.northwestern.edu

Education

BS in Mathematics, Secondary Education, Loyola University Chicago, 2023

Research Interests

Identity development in Computer Science. Design of accessible online learning environments.

Naomi Field

Naomi Field

Contact

naomifield2030@u.northwestern.edu
Website

Education

BA Biology and Studio Art, Occidental College, 2020

Research Interests

Naomi studies how art contributes to understanding science and how this understanding could improve the lives of diverse community members.

Alejandra Frausto Aceves

Alejandra Frausto Aceves

Contact

alejandrafrausto@u.northwestern.edu

Education

MEd in Educational Leadership with Distinction, DePaul University, 2014
BS in the Teaching of Chemistry, University of Illinois in Chicago, 2005

Research Interests

With 17 years in education, I have served in various roles, including teaching science and other content areas from 6th grade through adult students in an alternative setting, working as a curriculum coach and associate principal, and leading service learning for the third largest district in the U.S. My research examines transformative collective learning in K12 science education, teacher collectives, and interdisciplinary teams with school leaders. Within these contexts, I hope to continue to contribute to how we understand intergenerational & community-based co-constructions, imaginations, and praxis, as well as learning and pedagogies towards expansive and agentic present-futures.

Peri Ella Green

Peri Ella Green

Contact

peri@u.northwestern.edu

Education

Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, & Education (Harvard)
BBA in Business Technology (University of Miami)

Research Interests

Informal Learning, Cyberlearning

Mario Guerra

Mario Guerra

Maryam Hedayati

Maryam Hedayati

Education

BA, Carleton College, 2018
MA, Learning Sciences, 2020

Ayse Hunt

Ayse Hunt

Education

BS, Computer Science, University of Puget Sound, 2019
BA, Art History, University of Puget Sound, 2019

Research Interests

Computer Science Education, metacognitive practices, identity formation.

Kennen Hutchison

Kennen Hutchison

Contact

Website

Education

M.S. in Biomedical Reaearch
B.S. in Microbiology

Research Interests

Mis/Dis-information, adult cognition, acquisition of new knowledge

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones

Contact

Website

Education

BS, Computer Engineering, Villanova University
BS, Electrical Engineering, Villanova University

Research Interests

(Anti-)Blackness and Computing. Computer Science Education. Designing for Black Life. Social, Cultural, Historical Dimensions of Technology and Learning. Artificial Intelligence.

Jacob Kelter

Jacob Kelter

Contact

jacobkelter@u.northwestern.edu
Website

Education

BS, Complex Systems, Northwestern University, 2015

Research Interests

Complex systems education, computation in science education, Digital infrastructure for learning and learning sciences.

Khushbu Kshirsagar

Khushbu Kshirsagar

Contact

Website

Research Interests

Khushbu designs hands-on learning experiences at an intersection of engineering design, art and mathematics. She is particularly interested in building these experiences for informal public spaces such as museums, playgrounds and libraries. Her goal is to explore playful mediums of learning through mechanical movements, paper zines and puzzles, with the intention to take one away from the computer screen, and to enable accessibility in tinkering while learning.

Nicholas LaGrassa

Nicholas LaGrassa

Education

BA, Philosophy
BS, Computer Science

Research Interests

Educational Equity & Learning Environment Design

Sarah Larison

Sarah Larison

Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee

Contact

Website

Education

BA, Human Development in Context, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
BA, German, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University

Research Interests

Studying learning across spaces and generations; thinking about identity and belonging for refugee and immigrant youth. Action research, hands-on making, intergenerational learning, youth organizing.

Yinmiao Li

Yinmiao Li

Contact

Website

Education

Master of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Sciences

Charles Logan

Charles Logan

Education

Master of Arts in Educational Technology, Michigan State University, 2018
Master of Fine Arts, Fiction, Brooklyn College, 2012
Bachelor of Arts, English and Secondary Teacher Education, Middlebury College, 2006

Research Interests

My research interests include how educators and students develop and practice critical digital pedagogies and literacies; resist, refuse, and revise educational technology imaginaries; and design learning experiences to support educational dignity.

Alex Lotsos

Alex Lotsos

Contact

alexandroslotsos2026@u.northwestern.edu
Website

Education

B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy, Minor in Computer Science, Boston University
M.S. in Integrated Digital Media, New York University

Research Interests

HCI and interaction design education, as well as the design of (sometimes playful) learning environments

Jessica Marshall

Jessica Marshall

Contact

jmarshall@u.northwestern.edu

Education

BS in Sociology, Modified with Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Dartmouth College
MSEd in Special Education, City College of New York (CUNY)

Research Interests

Civics and Social Studies Education, Learning toward Justice and Transformation, Participatory research methods

Natalie Melo

Natalie Melo

Kritphong Mongkhonvanit

Kritphong Mongkhonvanit

Contact

Website

Education

MA in Learning, Design and Technology, Stanford University
BS in Computer Science, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Research Interests

Computer science education, tangible user interfaces, and programming languages.

Shai Moore

Shai Moore

Contact

Website

Education

BS in Packaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2017

Research Interests

STEM education; out-of-school time (OST); informal education; learning ecosystems; maker spaces; ethical pedagogies; culturally relevant pedagogies

Arturo Munoz

Arturo Munoz

Education

BA, Educational Studies and Psychology, Tufts University, 2017

Vien Nguyen

Vien Nguyen

Education

Masters of Education, Temple University, 2016
Bachelors of Science in Mathematics, Stanford University, 2014

Research Interests

Complex learning; distributed & embodied cognition; learning analytics; multi-modal data; social learning; 21st century skills; interest-driven learning.

Miguel Angel Ovies-Bocanegra

Miguel Angel Ovies-Bocanegra

Contact

movies@u.northwestern.edu

Education

Masters of Art Education - Educational Psychology
Masters of Public Administration - State and Local Government, Student Services in Higher Education
Bachelors of Arts - Physical Education and Human Development
Bachelors of Arts - History

Research Interests

Educational Assessment, Pedagogy, Cognition, Land & Place-Based Education, Critical Gender Studies in Education, Urban & Rural Education

Alexis Papak

Alexis Papak

Christina Pei

Christina Pei

Education

BA, Economics, University of Chicago, 2006

Research Interests

I am interested in constructionist learning environments that provide equitable opportunities for STEM learning. In particular, how making practices in multiple cultural settings can be leveraged to design spaces and projects that represent and value diverse backgrounds. Additionally, I view mathematics as a (under-appreciated) culture of making, and am interested in designing and implementing math microworlds that support learners in their construction of math concepts.

Katarzyna (Kasia) Pomian Bogdanov

Katarzyna (Kasia) Pomian Bogdanov

Education

M.Ed., Secondary Education Physics, DePaul University, 2019
M.S., Physics, DePaul University, 2018
B.A., Spanish Language and Literature, Loyola University Chicago, 2016
B.S., Physics, Loyola University Chicago, 2016

Research Interests

I am interested in reimagining science education. In particular, I am interested in designing science high school curriculums that create equitable opportunities for all students to pursue science in ways that are authentic to individuals and the discipline. I am currently working with an Open Science Education design team consisting of teachers and designers. I am studying the tensions that arise during this process; particularly, tensions at the intersections of science education, gender, and race. I am also working on understating the roles of silliness in the classroom, specifically when silliness is used during on-task discourse within the classroom. In the past I have studied acoustical instruments, and how they can be used in the classroom to stimulate students’ interests and understanding of string theory. I have used Social Network Analysis to better understand interactions within science classrooms. I have also worked at Argonne National Laboratory on a team in pursuit of understanding dark energy through the study of Type 1A Supernovae.

Ashley Quiterio

Ashley Quiterio

Contact

Website

Education

BA, Data Science

Research Interests

Data literacies, informal education, culturally relevant pedagogies.

Alisa (Ally) Reith

Alisa (Ally) Reith

Education

BA, Bennington College, 2013

Cameron Roberts

Cameron Roberts

Contact

cameronroberts2020@u.northwestern.edu
Website

Education

B.A. in Computer Science and a B.Mus. in Saxophone Performance, Northwestern University
M.M. in Saxophone Performance, Chicago College of Performing Arts

Research Interests

Cameron is interested in how the collision of music and computing can reimagine a learner’s relationship with both domains as well as open up new opportunities for creative self-expression. He is an active performer of contemporary and experimental music across Chicagoland.

Leslie Russell

Leslie Russell

Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Education

BS, Computer Science, Northwestern University, 2018
MS, Computer Science, Northwestern University, 2020

Research Interests

Exploring the intersections of technology, sports, & learning, examining & designing multimodal learning environments, computational/AI methods, computing & culture, and games.

Taylor Topham

Taylor Topham

Contact

taylortopham@u.northwestern.edu

Education

MS in Sociology, Brigham Young University, 2022
BA in English, Brigham Young University, 2019

Research Interests

I am interested in how teachers learn to teach in teacher education, professional, and other settings. I am also interested in exploring the network of organizations, institutions, and resources that support teachers' learning.

Caryn Tran

Caryn Tran

Contact

caryn.tran@u.northwestern.edu

Education

M.S. Computer Science
B.A. Computer Science from UC Berkeley

Research Interests

K-8 Computer Science Education, Collaborative Learning, Visual Programming Lanugages

Dustin Tran

Dustin Tran

Adia Wallace

Adia Wallace

Contact

Website

Education

EdM in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education
BA in Philosophy from Xavier University of Louisiana

Research Interests

Design of accessible online learning environments.

Melanie West

Melanie West

Education

MPS Interactive Telecommunications, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
BS Music & Electrical Engineering, Rutgers University

Research Interests

Dignity-affirming pedagogy and the intersubjectivity of music.

Corey Winchester

Corey Winchester

Contact

winchester@u.northwestern.edu
Website

Education

MA - Learning Sciences (2020), Northwestern University
MEd - Cultural and Educational Policy Studies (2013), Loyola University Chicago
BS - Education and Social Policy (2010), Northwestern University

Research Interests

Grounded in my work as a high school History educator, my research interests include exploring the design, creation, and embodied pedagogical practices of humanizing learning environments with a focus on how enactments of just relations, attunement to identity, and culture impact learning. Currently, my work is concerned with four main areas: (1) understanding intersections of youth identity and leadership development towards social changemaking (2) preparation, education & continued learning for K-12 educators and youth development providers, (3) co-design of learning environments and (4) intergenerational learning in K-12 settings and youth development programs.

Sierra Yi

Sierra Yi

Contact

sierrayi@u.northwestern.edu

Education

Master of Philosophy in History, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2020
BA in History, Lanzhou University, 2018

Research Interests

I am currently interested in memory, self-knowledge, and history education. Specifically, I am interested in the stories people tell about the past, the mutual shaping between individual memory and self-knowledge, how the mutual shaping is situated in different learning environments, and the interaction between individual memory and collective memory. As a former history major who struggled with memorizing historical facts, I also expect to learn how historical inquiry skills can be applied to daily routines, as well as reconsider the parameters of history learning.

Lexie Zhao

Lexie Zhao

Contact

xinyuezhao2020@u.northwestern.edu

Education

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern, 2020

Research Interests

I'm interested in the intersection of playful learning, learner agency, and equitable participation, especially in informal learning environemnts such as museums, and afterschool clubs. Key words of my research may include: co-design emerging technology with children, museum exhibits design, interaction analysis, and ethnography.