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Our Team

CASE Team

Other Staff and Affiliates

 
 

 

Deborah Hecht

Position: Interim Director
Phone: (212) 817-1834
dhecht@gc.cuny.edu

 

Deborah HechtDeborah Hecht, Ph.D. is the Interim Director and Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Advanced Study in Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is particularly interested in evaluation and development of educational programs and innovations, STEM education, service-learning, character education and charter schools. Dr. Hecht has been the lead evaluator on numerous NSF projects focusing on interconnected STEM learning and engineering pedagogy. She has also been locally and nationally involved in development and study of service-learning as an educational pedagogy and promoting character education in schools. In 1994 she was a co-founder of one of the first charter schools in NJ and has remained involved in the school since that time.
 

Current Research Projects:
Wise Guys and Gals (WGG)
Articulated Technological Education Pathways (ATEP)
Engineering for All (EfA)
Newark City of Learning Collaborative Evaluation (NCLC)

 

 

 

Melissa Gelin

Position: Administrative and Research Assistant

Phone: 212-817-1847
mgelin@gc.cuny.edu

 

 

Melissa Gelin is an Administrative and Research Assistant at the Center for Advanced Study in Education. She assists with all aspects of project and proposal development and evaluation, including report writing, literature reviews, data analysis, survey development, and data collection. She recently received her BA in Psychology magna cum laude from CUNY Queens College. Her research interests lie in social equity theory, racial-ethnic achievement gaps, and educational reform.

 

Current Research Projects:
Race to the Top (RttT)
Wise Guys and Gals (WGG)
Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC)
Virtual Enterprise (VE)

 

 

 

Holiday Han

Position: Research Programs Specialist
Phone: (212)-817-1818
hhan@gc.cuny.edu

 

Holiday Han is a Research Programs Specialist at CASE. Having received his BA in Film Studies and Productions from Hofstra University, he assists in the day-to-day Center operations including, coding of quantitative and qualitative data, and liaising between CASE, CUNY, the Research Foundation. Prior to working at CASE, Holiday assisted in bridging the financial gap of economically challenged students at the bursar department of Borough of Manhattan Community College.
 

Current Research Projects:
Wise Guys and Gals (WGG)
Association of College and University Educators (ACUE)

 

 

 

Ishwar Bridgelal

Position: Research Associate
Phone: (212-817-1818
ibridgelal@gc.cuny.edu

 

Ishwar joined CASE in October 2017 with a background in intergroup relations research, higher education administration, and assessment. He works with colleagues and stakeholders at all project stages to advance CASE's educational research agenda, from developing and analyzing surveys to transforming data to drafting grant and conference proposals and IRB protocols. Nurturing a fascination with students' inner lives, in particular the psychological, social, and environmental levers of academic and professional success, Ishwar will begin doctoral training in educational psychology in Fall 2018. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in higher education administration from Stony Brook University.
 

Current Research Projects:
Wise Guys and Gals (WGG)
Pathways to Achievement and Success (PAS) and Youth Leadership and Service Program (YLSP)/Newark City of Learning Collaborative(NCLC) My Brother's Keeper (MBK)/Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP)

 

 

 

 

Elaine Klein

Position: Co-Principal Investigator/Senior Advisor,  Bridges to Academic Success 

Phone: (212) 817-1823

eklein@gc.cuny.edu

 

Elaine KleinElaine C. Klein is Associate Professor of Linguistics Emerita at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY (GC,) where she is presently the Co-Principal Investigator and Senior Advisor to Bridges to Academic Success. Professor Klein received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the GC, with a specialization in second language acquisition. Having taught CUNY undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, second language acquisition, research methods, sociolinguistics, and English syntax, among other courses, she also specialized in preparing teachers for certification in the Teaching of English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). A former New York City elementary and high school teacher, Professor Klein has focused her research on second language development and, more recently, on studies of and interventions for immigrant students with special language and literacy needs.
 
The author of two books and numerous academic papers, Professor Klein has given presentations at national and international conferences in her field. She has also conducted professional development workshops to teachers and administrators of English language programs in Mexico, Cyprus and Viet Nam. The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) commissioned Dr. Klein and her colleague, Dr. Gita Martohardjono to study a growing, at-risk population of adolescent emergent bilinguals, students with interrupted/inconsistent formal education (SIFE). Part of this research culminated in the development of a series of SIFE diagnostics in several languages for use in NYC high schools. Another direct result of Dr. Klein’s work on SIFE was the development of an intervention called Bridges to Academic Success, which targets the skills needed for developing language, literacy and academic content knowledge among SIFE with limited literacy in their home languages. The Bridges project, with Dr. Klein as founder and Principal Investigator, now includes a special SIFE Curriculum, a Professional Development component for SIFE teachers and administrators, and a research initiative that focuses on Bridges outcomes. Bridges, funded by the NYCDOE, the New York Community Trust, and the NYS Department of Education (NYSED), is now operating in several high schools in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and West New York State. Dr. Klein served as the Bridges project’s Principal Investigator for the first six years and now serves as Co-PI/Project Advisor.

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success
 

 

 

Position: Principal Investigator/Project Director, Bridges to Academic Success 

Phone: 212-817-1831

lisaaus@bridges-sifeproject.com

lauslander@gc.cuny.edu

 

Lisa AuslanderLisa Auslander is the PI and Project Director for Bridges to Academic Success. She leads and support the daily management of professional learning, team operations and team development. She is a former teacher, coach and administrator who has worked in NYC schools and at the district level for over 15 years. She served a range of emergent bilingual students in an inclusion setting in the middle and high school levels in New York City schools. From there she moved on to support teachers in literacy practices and teacher teams in curriculum planning and the collaborative inquiry process. She has also worked to support principals around a variety of initiatives including the Quality Review accountability process and strategic action planning for school-wide improvement. Lisa received her Ph.. in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center with her dissertation around culturally and linguistically responsive instruction in an RtI framework, specifically focusing on teacher practice with emergent bilinguals in the secondary classroom.

Currrent Research Projects:

Bridges to Academic Success
Building Bridges: A Cross-Case Study of Teacher and Student Experiences of a Curriculum for Refugee and Immigrant Students with Interrupted Education

 

 

 

Annie Smith

Position: Co-Director of Curriculum and Professional Development

annie.brightminds@gmail.com

 

Alexandra W. Logue

Annie Smith is responsible for training and professional development of teachers involved in the Bridges project. Annie has an MA in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College and is director of Brightminds Educational Consulting, which she founded in 2008. Brightminds provides teacher training and coaching to teachers of emergent bilinguals focused on integrating language and content. She is also an adjunct professor for the Bard Master of Arts in Teaching program where she teaches a course in Literacy and the Adolescent Learner. Annie developed and ran the Refugee Youth Program for the International Rescue Committee more than 10 years ago. It was during that time, placing recent refugee youth in NYC schools, that she became aware of the specific needs of students with interrupted formal education (SIFE) and began to develop programs and curricula to support their productive participation in high school.

 

 

 

Suzanna McNamara

Position: Senior Instructional Coach, Bridges to Academic Success

suzanna@bridges-sifeprojet.com

 

Deborah Hecht

Suzanna McNamara is a Senior Instructional Coach who coaches and supports labsite teachers as well as develops and leads PD for Bridges to Academic Success. She worked closely with and advocated for SIFE and other students at Bronx International for eleven years, and was hired specifically to address the instructional needs of English language learners unable to access their content classes. She has worked with small groups of three students in a separate class with targeted language and literacy instruction, and has co-planned and team taught in larger content classes (Science, Social Studies, and Math). The NYCDOE supported a sabbatical semester for Ms. McNamara during Spring 2011 to begin development of the Bridges to Academic Success curriculum. The curriculum has continued since 2013, with funding from NYCDOE, NYCT, and NYSED.

 

 

 

Alexandra Logue

Position: Research Professor

Phone: 212-817-1847

alexandra.logue@cuny.edu

 

Alexandra W. LogueDr. Alexandra W. Logue is a Research Professor in CASE (the Center for Advanced Study in Education) of the Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY), with particular responsibility for research and scholarship concerning college student success. Please see her website at awlogue.com. Click here to read more.

 

Current Research Projects:
Evaluating the Impact of the CUNY Start Program for Remedial Student, Mainstreaming Remedial Mathematics Students in Introductory Statistics

 

 

 

 

Bert Flugman

Position: Senior Principal Investigator

Phone: (212) 817-1825

bflugman@gc.cuny.edu

 

Bert Flugman is a Senior Research Fellow and a member of the Ph.D. Program in Education Psychology at the Graduate Center, of the City University of New York. Previously he served as Director of CASE. In his capacity as Director of CASE, he supervised the development and implementation of over 200 externally sponsored research and development projects. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

 

Bruce Homer

Position: Associate Professor of Psychology

Phone: (212) 817-8298

BHomer@gc.cuny.edu

 

Dr. Homer is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the Learning, Development and Instruction subprogram. He is the director of the Child Interactive Learning and Development (CHILD) Lab at the Graduate Center. He is also training director for the Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Research Training program at the Graduate Center (IPoRT). His research examines how children acquire and use "cultural tools" to store and transmit knowledge (e.g., language, literacy, and information technologies), and how these tools transform developmental and learning processes. Of particular interest is how development and learning affect the ways in which mental representations are formed. Dr. Homer has a number of currently active lines of research that are briefly outlined below. Click here to read more.

 
 

 

Daniel Douglas

Position: Research Analyst

Phone: (212) 817-1844

ddouglas@gc.cuny.edu

 

Daniel Douglas is a Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY. His dissertation research is exploring teacher evaluation policy. He is co-author (with Prof. Paul Attewell) of a paper titled "Of the bridge and the troll underneath: Summer Bridge programs and degree completion," currently under review at the American Journal of Education. He has also published papers on migration from the Middle East and the economic recession.

 

Current Research Projects:
The Role of Academic Momentum in Retention and Degree Completion (Gates Foundation)

 

 

Dahlia Kaufman

Position: Consultant
​Phone: (212) 817-1832
dkaufman@gc.cuny.edu

 

Dahlia KaufmanDahlia Kaufman is a Consultant at CASE experienced in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She received her PhD in Educational Psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center, with a specialization in School Psychology. She has worked on numerous educational program evaluations as part of her work at CASE, particularly in the areas of K-12 educational reform, Common Core implementation, higher education, entrepreneurial education, STEM, service learning, and character education. She has extensive experience with program design, grant development, curriculum development projects, and managing large statewide programs. Dr. Kaufman has worked on projects funded by NSF, NYSED, LSA, among others. She is also a former high school teacher of English and a certified school psychologist with extensive experience working directly with parents, teachers, and students.

  

 

 

 

Elizabeth Pratt

Position: Fiscal Manager, Bridges to Academic Success

elizabeth@bridges-sifeproject.com

 

Elizabeth Pratt

Elizabeth Pratt is responsible for fiscal management and operations as well as administrative oversight for Bridges to Academic Success. Elizabeth received her PhD in Linguistics from the City University of New York, specializing in bilingual sentence processing and development. Her recent research has concentrated on processing and comprehension in first and second language reading, with the goal of integrating linguistic theory and research within frameworks of general cognitive processing. Aligned with this research program is the parallel development and testing of pedagogical strategies and interventions for speakers and learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds and profiles.

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success

 

 

Francesca Teora

Position: Program Assistant, Bridges to Academic Success  

Phone: (212) 817-1833

fteora@gc.cuny.eduadmin@bridges-sifeproject.com

 

Fran TeoraFrancesca Teora is the Program Assistant for Bridges to Academic Success. She is responsible for all administrative tasks related to professional development sessions, communicating between Bridges team members, schools, and other stakeholders, and supporting curriculum development and dissemination. Past experience includes several years as a Research Assistant at the Center for Advanced Study in Education (CASE). She is also currently a graduate assistant at the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at the Graduate Center. She is in the midst of her doctoral studies in Educational Psychology at the Graduate Center, with a concentration in Quantitative Measures. She received her BA in Psychology from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. Her current projects at CASE focus on qualitative and quantitative educational evaluation of STEM programs throughout the country.

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success

 

 

Jay Verkuilen

Position: Senior Research Fellow

Phone: (212) 817-8286

jverkuilen@gc.cuny.edu

 

Jay Verkuilen is a faculty member in the Ph.D. Program in Educational Psychology and a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Advanced Study in Education. He has a Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2007), where he was an NIH Pre-doctoral Fellow. He teaches psychological measurement and statistics. He has published articles in journals such as the Journal of Mathematical Psychology, Psychological Methods, Applied Psychological Measurement, and the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, as well as applied research in areas such as education and health measurement, cognitive neuroscience, and clinical psychology.

 

Current Research Projects:
Study One of BES Cut Score: NCEE Validating Study

 

 

 

Kelly Feeney Flanagan

Position: Project Co-Director

Phone: (212) 817-1561

kfeeney@gc.cuny.edu

 

Kelly Feeney FlanaganKelly Feeney has served as the project director for the CUNY GK12 Science Now project, completed in June 2013. Kelly has been a classroom teacher for seven years, teaching Earth and Environmental Science at Astor Collegiate Academy in the Bronx. She received her Masters of Education in Secondary Science from Lehman College in 2007, and took a leave of absence from teaching in 2011 to begin her doctoral studies. She is currently working on her Ed.D. in science education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has also served as the University Supervisor at Teachers College, mentoring pre-service science teachers, as a science consultant for a private elementary school in New York, and currently, as an after school teacher for an elementary science and engineering class.

 

Current Research Projects:
CUNY Science Now GK12 Fellows Program (www.cunygk12.net)

 

 

 

Laura Saxman

Position: Project Director

Phone: (212)817-1822

LSaxman@gc.cuny.edu

 

Laura SaxmanDr. Saxman is a Project Director at CASE where she has worked since 2002. Dr. Saxman received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY, with a dual specialization in Quantitative Research Methods and Learning. She received her B.S. from Cornell University in Economics. She is currently Project Director of the evaluation of MSPinNYC2, a program that restructures high school STEM courses by incorporating peer tutors and student-centered pedagogy. The program extends and deepens a promising program called the Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom (PERC). Dr. Saxman has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods, child development, educational psychology and statistics. Her previous research includes work on science teacher preparation and peer victimization.

 

Current Research Projects:
MSPinNYC2

 

 

 

Maggie Beiting-Parrish

Position: Research Assistant, Bridges to Academic Success

maggie@bridges-sifeproject.com

 

Maggie_Beiting-Parrish

Maggie Beiting-Parrish is the research assistant for the Bridges to Academic Success fieldwork and program evaluation. She is responsible for the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data for research projects. Maggie has master’s degrees in psychology and education and is currently working on her PhD in Educational Psychology with a focus on supporting special populations in mathematics. She was a middle school math teacher for three years for grades 6 and 7 for a Title 1 school in New York’s Lower East Side, which is where she first became interested in working with English Language Learners. Maggie enjoys long walks with her dog and her husband. She also is proficient in Spanish.

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success

 

 

 

Mireia Emilia Rothman-Simon

Position: Instructional Coach and Professional Developer, Bridges to Academic Success

mireia@bridges-sifeproject.com

 

Mireia_Rothman-Simon

Mireia is an Instructional Coach and Professional Developer for Bridges to Academic Success. Trilingual in Spanish, English and Catalan, and born in Barcelona, she spent a decade teaching social studies to English language learners in public high schools in New York City, Massachusetts, and Catalonia. While teaching in high schools, she worked in very diverse classrooms with students from more than 30 countries and developed interdisciplinary curriculum that fostered multicultural understanding, while helping students reach their academic potential and learn a new language. Her curriculum for newcomers to gain familiarity with their new home in the United States while simultaneously learning English and social studies was recognized by the English Teachers Association of Catalonia. Along with her years of teaching, she is bringing experience coaching teachers to develop documentary and video projects with the Educational Video Center, as well as developing content for higher education books at Pearson Education. Most recently, Mireia took a few years away from teaching to work in the field of international relations at the Government of Catalonia in New York. Mireia holds Masters Degrees in Education and Political Science and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success

 

 

 

Nicole Lorenzetti

Position: Research Assistant

Phone: (212)817-1835

nlorenzetti@gc.cuny.edu

 

Nicole L. Lorenzetti is a doctoral student in the Learning, Development, and Instruction focus of the Educational Psychology program at The Graduate Center of CUNY. Her research focus is culturally responsive teacher education.

 

Current Research Projects:
Articulated Technological Education Pathways (ATEP)
Engineering for All (EfA)
Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom (PERC)

 

 

 

Paul Attewell

Position: Principal Investigator

Phone: (212)817-8778

pattewell@gc.cuny.edu

 

Paul AttewellPaul Attewell is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. Professor Attewell has published a number of influential articles, based on analyses of longitudinal student datasets, and holds a restricted data license from the National Center for Education Statistics that provides access to a huge database of student transcript data. He is the co-author of Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations? (Sage Publications, 2009), which earned the Grawemeyer Award in Education and AERA’s outstanding book award. Most recently, he has received a National Science Foundation Grant to build an inter-disciplinary research community to prototype computationally-intensive analyses of large-scale educational datasets.

 

Current Research Projects:
The Role of Academic Momentum in Retention and Degree Completion (Gates Foundation)
Building an inter-disciplinary research community to prototype computationally-intensive analyses of large-scale educational datasets (NSF)

 

 

 

Rachel Smucker

Position: Project Manager, Bridges to Academic Success

rachel@bridges-sifeproject.com

 

Rachel Smucker

Rachel Smucker is the Project Manager for Bridges to Academic Success. She is responsible for curriculum production, data and asset management, scheduling, and project work flow. Outside of Bridges, Rachel works as a freelance writer and editor specializing in English language learning and education. Past experience includes working as an editor at Oxford University Press and teaching English. Rachel has a working proficiency in French.

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success

 

 

 

Sarah Digby

Position: Content Developer, Bridges to Academic Success

sarah@bridges-sifeproject.com
 

Sarah Digby

Sarah Digby is the Content Developer for Bridges. For the last six years, she has worked closely with SIFE in a number of settings: from a federal emergency shelter for unaccompanied children at the Texas/Mexico border to an Internationals Public High School in the Bronx. Sarah spent five years developing a foundational Spanish literacy curriculum for Spanish-speaking SIFE with little or no Spanish literacy. She also conducted a 4.5-year longitudinal research study on the Spanish literacy growth of Latino SIFE as part of her Master’s degree from Columbia University in International Education Development. Prior to working with SIFE, Sarah taught at a community-based school in Honduras and remains involved in Honduras as a teacher-trainer. She also regularly guest-lectures at Columbia University on her research on the native-language literacy needs of SIFE. Sarah is bilingual in Spanish and English, conversational in French, and has limited proficiency in Portuguese. In her spare time, she enjoys home-improvement projects and spending time with her friends. She is also a diehard fan of the San Antonio Spurs.

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success

 

 

 

Stephanie Kakadelis

Position: Webmaster, Bridges to Academic Success

stephanie@bridges-sifeproject.com

 

 

Stephanie Kakadelis

 

Stephanie is responsible for maintaining and uploading content to the Bridges to Academic Success website. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Linguistics, which focuses on the phonetics of underdocumented languages spoken in Australia and North America.
 

 

 

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success

 

 

 

 

Virginia Skrelja

Position: Senior Instructional Coach, Bridges to Academic Success

virginia@bridges-sifeproject.com

Virginia Skrelja

Virginia Skrelja is a Senior Instructional Coach who coaches and supports labsite teachers as well as develops and leads PD for Bridges to Academic Success. After graduating with a BA in English from Columbia College, Virginia edited books for young readers until she decided her passion for reading would better serve a classroom of young learners. She completed her MA in Teaching of English at Teachers College. Having grown up in a multilingual home, she was drawn to the challenges and joys of teaching ELLs and SIFE. She taught at Bronx International High School for many rewarding years before joining the Bridges team.

 

Current Research Projects:
Bridges to Academic Success