Research Doctoral Student Directory
HGSE has made the difficult decision not to accept doctoral applications for fall 2021 enrollment. We are pausing admissions for our fully-funded doctoral programs in order to uphold our commitment to maintaining program quality and strong support for our current students. At this time, the next application cycle is expected to have a December 2021 application deadline for fall 2022 enrollment. Complete the Introduce Yourself form to stay informed about future enrollment in our doctoral programs.
The following is a directory of students currently enrolled in an Ed.D. or Ph.D. program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Note: This is an opt-in directory, and does not represent every student enrolled in the doctoral programs.
Doctoral Student Directory: Ed.L.D. Students | Ed.D. / Ph.D. Students
Interests: Literacy Development, Discussion-Based Learning, Teacher Training, The Minority Teacher Pipeline, Academic Language, Early Childhood, Adolescent LiteracyFrannie Abernethy's research focuses on language and literacy development, and mitigating barriers to high-quality language environments.
Interests: Biliteracy, Bilingualism, Race and Ethnicity, Immigrant Families, Language Minority Children, Socio-Emotional Development, Adult-Child InteractionsGladys Aguilar's research focuses on the bilingual, biliteracy, and socio-emotional development of language for minority children and the role parents, caregivers, and teachers have in shaping this development.
Interests: Measurement, Causal Inference, Program Evaluation, Equity, Fairness, PolicyLily An's research interests lie at the intersection of educational measurement and causal inference methods. Her research experience involves education policy and program evaluation to understand long-run student outcomes and testing policy.
Catherine Armstrong Asher
Interests: Causal Inference, Experimental Design, Treatment Effect Heterogeneity, Literacy, Behavioral ScienceCatherine Armstrong Asher is an applied quantitative methodologist. She conducts experiments and methodological research to study the treatment effect of heterogeneity in literacy and behavioral interventions, building knowledge of what works in education, for whom, and in what contexts.
Interests: Collaborative Professional Learning, Group Dynamics, Educational Theory Development, Institutional Forces, Pedagogical Change, Curriculum Reform, Stakeholder CollaborationNicholas Balisciano is a mixed-methods, interdisciplinary researcher. He studies group, organizational, and institutional factors that influence how educators and researchers generate, codify, and change pedagogical knowledge and practice in collaboration with each other and other stakeholders.
Interests: First-Generation College Students, Higher Education, Equity, Student Success, Culture, Sociology, Organizational ChangeBecca Bassett is a Ph.D. student who studies how colleges and universities can shift their priorities, practices, and power structures to better serve first-generation, low-income students. She also serves as the director of college Success for the Sunflower County Freedom Project and is an editor of the Harvard Educational Review.
Interests: Psychometrics, Policy, Heterogeneity, Causal InferenceMasha Bertling's focus is on advancing psychometric and statistical models to better inform educational policies and practices; and improving the measurement of learning outcomes and effect sizes to enable scientifically valid comparisons across countries and contexts.
Interests: Higher Education, History of Knowledge Production, History of Science, History Of 20th Century U.S., Data-Informed Higher Ed Decision-Making, Professionalization of EducationLucian Bessmer is a historian of education. He is particularly interested in the history of professional schools, the relationship between society, corporations, and the production of knowledge, and higher education governance.
Interests: Quality teaching Social-organizational psychology Low-income and minority students Immigrant and first-generation students Organizational EffectivenessTiffany Brown studies organizational and psychological dimensions of quality teaching in schools serving low-income and minority students. She also works as a Research Consultant for NYU's Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity & the Transformation of Schools.
Interests: Immigration, Motherhood, Family Engagement, PlaceSarah Bruhn studies how gender and place inform immigrants' experiences of belonging. Her dissertation examines the relationships between Latina immigrant mothers and their children's schools in the context of a Sanctuary City.
Interests: Refugee Education, International and Humanitarian Aid, Girls' Education, School-to-Work Transitions, Political Economy, Development Economics, Politics of EducationShelby Carvalho studies the political economy of education in low- and middle-income countries with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
Interests: Multimodal Learning Analytics, Educational Data MiningEdwin Chng is a Ph.D. student at Harvard. His research interest lies in the application of data analytics to education. He is interested in identifying data proxies within the classroom to capture the learning process so as to support evidence-based intervention strategies.
Interests: Early Childhood, Parenting, Corporal Punishment, Exposure to Violence, Poverty, Causal Inference, Ecological EnvironmentJorge Cuartas' work focuses on the analysis of human development and parenting in contexts of adversity (i.e., poverty and violence), on the consequences of exposure to corporal punishment in early childhood, and on impact evaluation in low- and- middle-income-countries.
Interests: Literacy, Language Development, Bilingualism, Writing, Adolescence, English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL), Academic LanguageZiyun Deng studies language and literacy development in early adolescence by examining the linguistic characteristics of students' communication in school contexts. She also conducts user experience research on digital instruments designed for English language learners.
Interests: Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Settings, Quality Monitoring, Program Evaluation, Measurements
Marta Dormal's research focuses on early childhood development in low- and middle-income-countries, particularly on issues related to program quality measurement and improvement.
Brandon Neal Edwards
Interests: Religious Studies, Higher Education, Democracy, Politics, American Religion, CivicsA Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Brandon Edwards studies religion, democracy, and education. Specifically, his research examines how religious beliefs among conservative populations impact views of higher education and the resultant political outcomes.
Interests: Economics, Higher Education Policy, College Access, College Affordability, Labor Market Outcomes, Undocumented Students, ImmigrationJorge Encinas researches policies that affect postsecondary access and affordability, as well as the labor market outcomes of college through an economic lens. He focuses on how these policies affect underrepresented minorities and undocumented students.
Interests: Computational Social Science, Adolescent Development, Human Computer Interaction, Racial and Gender Identity, Machine Learning, Algorithmic BiasThe research of Avriel Epps-Darling explores how experiences of online discrimination and interactions with biased machine learning algorithms impact adolescents' identity development.
Tianyi (Diana) Feng
Interests: Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Multimodal Learning Analytics, Data Science, Instructor-Student Relationships, Peer Relationships, Remote Learning, Human-Computer InteractionDiana Feng's interests center on the development and assessment of instructor-student bonds and peer relationships in remote learning scenarios.
Interests: Policy Analysis, Program Evaluation, Prison Education, Higher Education, Equity, Race, EconomicsJanelle Fouche is a Ph.D. student at HGSE and a Wiener Ph.D. Scholar in Poverty & Justice in the Inequality & Social Policy Program at HKS. Her research interests lie at the intersection of education policy and the penal system, as she believes the two are inextricably linked to issues of race, inequality, and opportunity.
Martha C. Franco
Interests: Unaccompanied Minors, Adolescents, Immigration, Refugees, Central American Students, Transnational Ties, CitizenshipMartha C. Franco is a Ph.D. student. Her research focuses on how Central American unaccompanied minors are incorporated into U.S. public schools and the U.S. more broadly.
Interests: Social-Emotional Learning, Early Childhood, Ecological Influences, Developmental Science, Preschool, Education, PsychologyLily Fritz is interested in understanding the contextual factors that influence children's early social-emotional development, with a particular focus on the conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement of the emotional environments of early childhood education contexts.
Interests: Higher Education, Economics, Community Colleges, College Access, Career and Technical Education, Career ReadinessAlexis Gable's work lies at the intersection of economics and higher education, with a focus on college- and career-readiness, community colleges, and labor market outcomes. She is also interested in studying expectations around and barriers to college access.
Interests: Economics of Education, International Education, Education Policy, Education Finance, Early Childhood Education, Early Literacy,Charlie Gale is a Ph.D. candidate whose current research focuses on education finance, early literacy, and early childhood education. He previously worked as a research associate for FHI 360, supporting (quasi-)experimental evaluations of education programs in international settings.
Jeannette Garcia Coppersmith
Interests: Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Student Discourse, Curricular Reform, Beliefs, Equity, Urban EducationJeannette Garcia Coppersmith is a former public middle and high school mathematics teacher/leader interested in the intersection of mathematics education reform and equity.
Interests: Philosophy of Education, Educational Justice, Decision-Making, Ethics, Case Study Method, Non-Ideal Theory, Teaching PracticeTatiana Geron's research intersects political theory, philosophy of education, and teaching practice to examine ethical decision-making in education and the classroom as non-ideal space. Prior to the doctoral program, she taught middle-school English and social studies in Boston and New York.
Interests: Literacy, Digital Media, Language, Equity, Early ChildhoodRosa Guzman is a third-year Ph.D. student whose research interests lie in the intersection between language, literacy, and technology. She is interested in how technology is shaping children's literacy and language development and ultimately find tools that can help children be better prepared for kindergarten.
Interests: Race and Equity, Law, Education, and Society, Implicit Bias, Institutional Theory, Socio-Legal StudiesRebecca Horwitz-Willis' research takes a socio-legal and institutional approach to analyzing racial equity in schools. Specifically, she is interested in the relationship between macro-level social structures and individual perceptions of school quality and belonging in schools.
Interests: Sociology of Education, Organizational Change and Persistence, Teaching and LearningJames Jack explores the sociology of education with a current interest in how organizations and individuals organize teaching and learning and how historical/biographical, social, and material processes reproduce and transform those practices.
Interests: Ethnography, Civic Education, Moral Education, Anthropology, Peer Culture, Student Government, ChinaLiu Jiang's research focuses on practices of peer governance in Chinese classrooms. As an ethnographer, she is interested in understanding how Chinese youth negotiate their civic roles as well as ethical judgment through these everyday practices.
Interests: Arts Education, Youth Culture, Ethnography, Minoritized Youth, Civic ParticipationRaquel Jimenez is a Ford Foundation Fellow studying young artists and the creative learning communities that support them. Her dissertation uses ethnographic methods to explore how young people make sense of their social worlds through the arts in sanctuary cities.
Interests: Policy, Measurement, Organizational Structures, Secondary Schools, Data UseThomas Kelley-Kemple focuses on examining school level determinants of policy implementation and effectiveness. He is primarily interested in understanding how schools use data to improve and support student success.
Interests: Education Policy, Economics of Education, Higher Education Policy, Labor EconomicsSalman Khan seeks to investigate the challenges that disadvantaged (typically low-income, first generation, and minority) students face as they progress through their educational pathways into the labor market.
Kate Klenk Larned
Interests: Policy Analysis, School Reform, Economics, School Context and Culture, Social Emotional Learning, MeasurementKate Klenk Larned's research interests include education policy analysis and the economics of education, with a focus on K-12 organizational effectiveness and the use and measurement of non-tested skills and outcomes.
Interests: Policy, Statistics, Measurement, Fairness, STEM Education, Statistics Education, EquityEmma Klugman's work advocates for thoughtful, fair, and responsible uses of data in education, bringing together statistics, data science, and educational measurement with policy applications.
Interests: Economics of Education, Teacher Quality, Labor Economics, Equity, Program Evaluation, Quantitative Methods, Causal InferenceMary Laski is a Ph.D. student and Partnering in Education Research (PIER) fellow. She studies education policy and the economics of education, with a focus on teacher effectiveness and development.
Interests: Curriculum, Power, Critical Consciousness/Imagination, Whiteness, Civics, Moral Development, History EducationKailah Lee is interested in how (in)visibility of power in curricular narratives of US nation-building influences White/Euro-American students' evaluations of harm, fairness, personal responsibility, & possibility in society.
Ka Ya Lee
Interests: Philosophy of Education, Educational Justice, Measurement, Capability Approach, Political Philosophy, Ethics, Moral PhilosophyKa Ya Lee's research interests lie in educational justice. More specifically, she is interested in the demands of justice in educational measurement and the application of the Capability Approach/Theory in education.
Interests: Program Evaluation, Policy Evaluation, Teacher Quality, Economics, School Improvement, Achievement Gap, EquityMatthew Lenard studies program and policy impacts at the K-12 and postsecondary levels. His recent projects have explored the effects of comprehensive school reform, career and technical education, and gifted education interventions.
Interests: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, History of Science, Political Theory, Philosophy of Social Science, Metaphilosophy, Research MethodologyZachary Lim examines how research as an institution meets the epistemic demands of society as well as the role research training programs play in its successes and failures. His work draws mainly from epistemology, the history and philosophy of science, and political theory.
Interests: Teacher Education, Professional Development, Teacher Labor Markets, Teachers' Lives, Causal Inference, Quantitative Methods, Policy EvaluationZid Mancenido's research focuses on how school systems can recruit, train, and retain excellent teachers. He is currently working on a policy paper investigating how to recruit more high-achieving college graduates into teaching; and a critical review of what works in teacher preparation.
Interests: Youth/Critical Participatory Action Research (YPAR/CPAR), Emancipatory Inquiry, University-Community Partnerships, Family and Community Engagement, Arts-Based Research, Critical ConsciousnessHania Marien partners with young people in arts-based youth participatory action research (YPAR) projects. She is committed to building university-community partnerships and exploring emancipatory research methods with her research partners.
Interests: Race, Equity, Middle School to College Pipeline, Intersectionality, College Access, Youth Leadership, ActivismParastoo Massoumi is interested in studying the systemic inequities impacting communities of color and their intersectional identities (ie: gender, class, ability, citizenship status, sexual orientation, etc.) within the middle school to college pipeline.
Interests: Curiosity, Cognitive Development, Affective Development, Self-Regulation, Emotions, Executive Function, Information-ProcessingMichael McGarrah is a Ph.D. student studying the intersections of cognitive and affective development across early childhood and adolescence. Currently, he is conducting research on what makes people curious, how curiosity develops over time, and how it impacts learning.
Interests: Educational Technology, Learning Sciences, Virtual Reality, Immersive LearningEileen McGivney researches the potentials and challenges of learning with immersive technologies, such as virtual reality, particularly for young people of diverse identities and cultural backgrounds.
Interests: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Adult Learning and Development, Race, Culture, Equity, EducationEmily Meland's research aims to bridge silos between social and emotional learning (SEL) and culturally sustaining, asset-based pedagogies. Her work centers on building adult capacities and supporting culturally responsive, developmental interactions between educators and students.
Interests: Developmental Psychology, Social and Moral Development, Meta-Cognitive Development, Empathy, Intellectual Humility, Socialization, Educational InterventionsMichał Miąskiewic studies how children and adolescents come to understand and (sometimes) care for others, and how they acquire and (sometimes) learn to overcome confirmation bias in thinking, with implications for how parents and schools can teach moral and intellectual virtue.
Interests: Vocabulary Development, Literacy, Academic Language, Pedagogy, Literacy Interventions, Reading Comprehension, Classroom DiscourseDoug Mosher studies vocabulary development in students in the early education and how content literacy interventions impact teacher-language use. He also studies how students build domain knowledge through reading and how they transfer new knowledge to other conceptual domains.
Interests: Mathematics, Education, Curriculum, Teacher Training, Equity, Abstract Algebra, Number TheoryChris Norris-LeBlanc is interested in bringing heuristics, concepts, and skills from University mathematics into high schools through curricular innovation and teacher training. He hopes to use these as tools to make mathematics education more impactful and equitable.
Interests: Education Reform, Philanthropy, School Governance, Political Epistemology, Social Movements, Qualitative MethodsAbigail Orrick studies the sociological dimensions of community organizing, philanthropy, and education policy. Specifically, she explores how communities navigate uncertainty in education or politically divisive reforms, as well as how race, trust, and memory shape policymaking.
Interests: Children's Literature, Developmental Psychology, Intellectual Development, Moral Development, Social-Emotional Learning, Literary TheoryMG Prezioso's research lies at the intersection of psychology and literature. Specifically, she is interested in the process of children's narrative absorption, as well as how literature contributes to students' moral development and identity formation.
Interests: Citizenship, Elitism, International EducationFocusing on elite groups in India, Swati Puri studies how educational practices serve sites for constructing meanings of social status and citizenship. Prior to HGSE, she worked for eight years across nonprofit, international development, and research organizations in India.
Interests: Migration, displacement, refugee education, language of instruction policies and practices, multilingual learning, Africa and African diasporaCelia Reddick's research explores the intersection of language, migration, and education. Her dissertation focuses in particular on the relationship between the languages used in schools and communities and refugee children's learning, identity-development, and sense of belonging in urban settings in East Africa.
SARAH A. RENDON GARCIA
Interests: Undocumented Immigrants, Latino Families, Caregiver-Child Relationships, Social Emotional Learning, Developmental PsychologySarah Rendon Garcia is a fourth-year doctoral student in education, with a concentration in HDLT. Her research focuses on the well-being and social emotional learning of Latino families impacted by immigration status.
Megan Satterthwaite Freiman
Interests: Ethnic-Racial Identity, Adolescent Development, Equity, Whiteness, Ethnic-Racial Socialization
Megan Satterthwaite Freiman in interested in studying how White adolescents develop their ethnic-racial identity within the sociohistorical context of the United States and how parents and educators can support white youth in building antiracist identities.
So Yeon Shin
Interests: Early Language Development, Home Language Environment, Developmental Psychology, Literacy Development, Bilingual Development, Early ChildhoodSo Yeon Shin is interested in understanding how the early experiences of young children inform their language and cognitive development, with a particular focus on the role that parents play in shaping such experiences prior to formal schooling.
Allison Mee StevensBased on Allison Mee Stevens' connections to both extremely conservative and liberal areas, her work compares politically divergent approaches to preventing school shootings. Through understanding and emphasizing moral commonalities, she hopes to develop a pragmatic framework to keep students safe in school.
Interests: Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, School Readiness, Executive Functions, Language Development, Early AdversityEileen Sullivan researches how early experiences impact children’s cognition. She employs behavioral and neuroimaging methods to study how risk and protective factors relate to the brain and behavioral development of children in the U.S. and internationally.
Interests: Learning Analytics, Instructional Design, Big Data in Education, Multimodal Learning Analytics, Programming EducationGahyun Sung is a Ph.D. student interested in using sensor data in learning analytics and discovering how the results of learning analytics could best be interpreted and disseminated to students and teachers.
Interests: Bilingualism, Language Development, Literacy, Early Childhood, Parent Beliefs, Home Language Environment, Language AttitudesSarah Surrain is a Ph.D. student in education. She studies the language and literacy development of children from diverse linguistic backgrounds, with an interest in the role of parental beliefs and home language practices on bilingual development in early childhood.
Interests: Developmental Psychology, Language Development, Cognitive Development, Psycholinguistics , Early Childhood, Early SocializationRan Wei is interested in how children's development is profoundly shaped by their interaction with the social world. Wei's research explores how caregivers' beliefs shape the way in which they communicate with their children and how parental input influences children's language and cognitive development.
Interests: Language and Literacy Development, Early Childhood, Adult-Child Interaction, Socio-Cognitive Development, Motivation, BilingualismZhongyu Wei’s research focuses on language and literacy development of children from diverse cultural backgrounds. She is particularly interested in the role of adult-child interactions in shaping children’s literacy and socio-cognitive development.
Interests: Early Childhood Development, Social Policy, Early Childhood Education, Attendance, ContextsWendy Wei is interested in understanding how contextual factors can promote children’s access to high-quality early educational experiences and their developmental outcomes, as well as examining the predictors and consequences of early school attendance.
Interests: Literacy, Social-Emotional Skills, Measurement, Evaluation, Policy, Elementary, PsychometricsBenjamin West's research aims to improve our ability to measure literacy and social-emotional skill development among early learners. He also studies the effects of policies and programs that teach these skills in elementary schools.
Andrew An Westover
Interests: Ethics, Philosophy of Education, Gender, Sexuality, Religious Studies, Arts Education, ForgivenessAndrew Westover is an ethicist who focuses on education. Westover's interdisciplinary work draws from moral philosophy, creative practices, queer theory, and practical ethics. Their dissertation focuses on teacher/student conflict and the possibilities of forgiveness.
Interests: Policy , International Development , Program Evaluation , Economics, Developing CountriesFei Yuan‘s research focuses on identifying effective interventions to improve student learning in low- and middle-income countries. She is also interested in providing robust evidence to answer policy-relevant questions.