Student Board of the American Journal of Education

This is a forum of the American Journal of Education. It is a space for readers of the journal—researchers, students, and policy makers—to engage in dialogue on both of-the-moment issues and enduring themes in education from pre-K through university. The forum is led by a Student Board and is mentored by the journal’s senior editorial staff.

The members of the Student Board are:

Shefa AlHashmi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Leadership program at Penn State. Her research focuses on the skills needed for knowledge-based economy jobs and how to prepare students to be knowledge workers. After graduation, she plans to conduct research that supports governmental policies and decision making.

Jeremy Anderson is a PhD student in the Education Theory and Policy program at Penn State University. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh. Jeremy is a former high school social studies teacher whose interests include school consolidation, school district funding and equity, and technology in education.

Megan Austin is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology and the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity at the University of Notre Dame. She is interested in how school organization is shaped by education policy and what implications it has for students’ learning and educational attainment. Her research has examined how school choice policies influence school practices, and her dissertation focuses on how socioeconomic gaps in access and returns to academic preparation for college have changed over time.

Katie Bateman is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on Science Education at Penn State University. She is a former middle school science teacher and informal science educator, with specialization in urban education and holds a BS in Marine Science and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education. Her current research interests include Earth Science education, learning progression development, and how science curricular practices are impacted by educational policies tied to standardized testing and accountability measures. She is the Technical Chair for the AJE Forum.

Elizabeth Bell is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. Her subfield specializations include education policy and public administration as well as research methodology. Her research focusses on the politics of policies designed to improve college access, affordability and accountability. Her current research agenda centers on the politics of tuition-free community college policies as well as performance-based funding in higher education.

Jana Clinton is a graduate student in the dual title D.Ed degree program in Higher Education and Comparative International Education. She holds an M.Ed in Higher Education (Student Engagement focus) and B.A. in Spanish from Penn State University. She is currently working full-time as an Academic Adviser in Smeal College of Business and has previous experience in Global Programs and Residence Life at Penn State and St. Francis University. Her current research interests include international student engagement, K-20 global education curriculum development, academic integrity, and implementation of indigenous knowledge into the classroom.

Katie Crabtree is a Ph.D. student in the Philosophy of Education at Leeds Trinity University, University of Leeds. Her research attempts to re-imagine liberal arts university education and the meaning of being a student. She focuses on the philosophy of Jean-François Lyotard. Katie holds a M.A. in the Philosophy of Education from UCL Institute of Education, a M.Sc. in Higher Education from the University of Oxford, and a B.S. in Psychology from Grand Valley State University.

Susan Crandall Hart is a Ph.D. candidate in school psychology and Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists fellow at Penn State University. She holds a B.A. in policy studies from Syracuse University, M.S. in teaching from Pace University, and M.Ed. in school psychology from Penn State. She taught special education in Brooklyn, NY for 8 years. Her research interests include education equity, school discipline, and student behavioral health.

Seyma Dagistan-Terzi is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Theory and Policy Program at Penn State University. She earned two undergraduate degrees, one in Political Science from Bilkent University, the other in English language teaching, literature and culture from the Middle East Technical University and SUNY. She has a master’s degree in Psychology from the University of East London. She worked as a literary translator for a couple of publishing companies, and as an English teacher at the Bogazici University. Her current interests are in understanding and evaluating grassroots approaches to education. Specifically, Seyma is interested in understanding the extent to which students can contribute in education as street-level bureaucrats through dialogue and youth-adult partnerships and the role of educators in encouraging students’ contributions.

Samantha Deane is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cultural and Educational Policy Studies program at Loyola University Chicago and works as a post-secondary and career development specialist with teens in Chicago. Samantha holds a Masters of Arts in Humanities, with a specialization in Plato, from the University of Colorado Denver. She currently studies the Philosophy of Education and her research centers on theories of democratic education, pragmatism, and contemporary school gun violence. Her dissertation aims to make sense of the continued presence of rampage school shootings in liberal democracy.

Scott D. Farver is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education at Michigan State University. His research focuses on critical examinations of race, especially Whiteness, within teaching and teacher education. Scott taught 5th grade near the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines.

Sarah L. Hairston is a Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Previously, she taught theatre and public speaking for 16 years and holds an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. Her current research interests include educational policy, structural violence in education, student voice, and educational activism.

Adam Hocker is a PhD candidate in Education Leadership at Penn State and has been with the AJE Forum for three years.  In addition to being the current PR chair, Adam has been working on hosting and producing podcasts for the Forum.  Adam received a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Bloomsburg University and was a classroom teacher for four years before coming to Penn State.

Barbara Hou is an advanced doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the ethics of organizational leadership, contemporary challenges in higher education, and adult learning theories. Her dissertation examines how diversity and inclusion issues are connected to the financial model of private, selective liberal arts colleges. Based on this work, she has received an advance contract for a book tentatively entitled “Betrayed: How Economics Accounts for Unmet Expectations and Student Unrest on College Campuses”.

Daniel A. Lilly is a Ph.D. student in Social, Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Florida State University. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and History and an M.S. in Education Policy and Evaluation. He is an associate dean and philosophy teacher at a rural public high school. His current interests include philosophy of education, secular moral education, and the role of well-being and instruction in ethical theory at the secondary level.

Lorraine A. Jones is a graduate student studying Higher Education with a dual degree in Comparative International Education. Her undergraduate degree is in Human Development and Family Studies. She has an extensive background in working with and advocating for underrepresented youth and families. Her research interests are in education equity and retention for first generation college students and diversity.

Natasha Mansur  is a dual title Ph.D. candidate in Education Theory and Policy and Comparative and International Education. She holds a Masters degree in International Education Development from Columbia University, and a Masters degree in English Literature from Hunter College, CUNY. Her research interests include child labor, education and labor policies, access and equity in schooling, and corruption in education.

Jonathan (JD) McCausland is a PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Science Education at Penn State University. He is a former high school science teacher who served New York City’s “overage and under-credited” population and holds an M.Ed. from Brooklyn College. His current research interests surround preservice teacher education as well as understanding the experiences and policies affecting the success of “overage and under-credited” students and their teachers.

Kelly McGurgan is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Supervision at Penn State University. She is currently a second grade teacher in a rural Pennsylvania public school.  In the past seventeen years she has worked with primary, intermediate, and K-12 gifted and advanced students.  She also has facilitated online Masters’ courses for students working to earn their Reading Specialist certifications in Pennsylvania.  Kelly’s current interests include video self-analysis as professional development, online education, teacher evaluations, and teaching strategies.

Rachel Montgomery is a managing editor for the American Journal of Education. She is a PhD candidate in the Higher Education program at Penn State University. Her research focuses on leadership and governance in higher education, with additional interest in institutional research and strategic management practices. Her dissertation explores administrative co-leadership roles occurring in professional education contexts. Rachel holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from Lynchburg College, and worked previously as a student affairs professional before coming to Penn State.

Raquel Muñiz is currently pursuing a joint doctorate and law degree. She is a rising 2L at Penn State Law School while entering the second year of the doctoral program at Penn State’s College of Education. Her research agenda relates to the intended and unintended consequences of education policies on maltreated and other vulnerable youth in our school systems.  She is interested in exploring how shifts in current practices might propel underrepresented populations into safer and more successful futures. Upon graduation, she intends to become a child advocate to improve the life chances of vulnerable youth and derail the school-to-prison pipeline.

Mary Neville is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education at Michigan State University. She is a former middle and high school English teacher, and her current research interests include secondary English curricula focused on social and racial justice. She is also interested in the culturally sustaining curricular possibilities offered by multicultural literature that includes themes of race, class, language, gender, sexuality, ability, and mental health in secondary English and teacher preparation classrooms.

Andrew Pendola is a PhD candidate (ABD) in the Education Theory and Policy Program at Penn State University. He holds a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is a former middle school social studies teacher. His research focuses on ways in which institutional and policy environments influence educator career behaviors. Specifically, using longitudinal and time-series estimators to gauge social, organizational, and historical influences affecting equity in teacher and principal labor markets.

Logan Rutten is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Supervision at Penn State University. A classicist and musician, he has taught grades K-12 in public, charter, and cyber schools. He has also worked as an assessment coordinator for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Logan’s current research interests include supervision as a form of inquiry, instructional coaching, teacher evaluation systems, and charter school finance. He earned a B.A. at Concordia College and the M.Ed. from Penn State.

Yahya Shamekhi is a PhD student in Higher Education at Penn State University. His areas of interest include economics and financing in higher education, financial inequality, and research policy. He is currently working on financial inequalities across higher education institutions, distribution of financial resources based on family and background characteristics, and international research collaborations. Yahya holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Tehran, and BS of Industrial Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.

Hansol Woo is a Ph.D. student in the dual title Educational Leadership Program and Comparative International Education at Pennsylvania State University. Previously, he received a Masters of Education in Educational Administration at Seoul National University, he was a research associate at Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI). In addition, Hansol worked as associate manager in charge of training programs for school leaders at National Academy for Educational Administrators (NAEA) in South Korea. His current research interests include teacher quality and policy in international context, and teacher professional development with technological innovation.

Shulong Yan is a Ph.D Candidate in Instructional Performance Systems. She is certified in childhood education and bilingual education. Her interests include Design Based Research method, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), and Design Thinking. She has been designing and managing an after school club for two years with her advisor Dr. Marcela Borge and colleagues. Her dissertation is focusing on understanding group’s productive failure management in collaborative design context.

Sarah Zipf is a PhD student in Higher Education at the Pennsylvania State University. Sarah’s professional experience as a financial aid administrator shaped her research interests in adult students, financial aid, and distance education. She currently works as a graduate assistant for the division of Outreach & Online Education in compliance and reporting, working with state authorization regulation.


Supporting members of the American Journal of Education editorial team:

Mindy Kornhaber, Student Board Advisor

Gerald LeTendre, Editor

Dana Mitra, Editor

David Gamson, Book Review Editor


Alumni  of the Student Board are:

Jason A. Engerman
Nnenna Ogbu
Pauli Badenhorst

Aubree Webb
Jing Liu
Emily Hodge
Stormy Stark
Anne Frank-Webb
Nikolaus Barkauskas
Leslie Cano
Alex Collopy
Joseph Levitan

Kathryn Fishman-Weaver
Kayla Johnson
Bryan Mann

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