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Education Policy
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Education Policy

In the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis

Alumni & Students > Our Alumni

Our Alumni

Education Policy program trains students for their careers as policy analysts, policy advocates, and educational researchers. As you read through our website and evaluate if this program is a good match for you, consider the perspectives of our current students and alumni.

David Braslow

David Braslow
Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A., 2011

Ed.D. Candidate at HGSE,
Research Assistant at National Center for Teacher Effectiveness

David is a third-year doctoral student in the Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice concentration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research interests include teacher evaluation and the use of observational measures in supporting teaching and learning. At NCTE, he is assisting with the design of the Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) instrument to assess elementary school math instruction, as well as interviewing teachers about changes in their practices under new evaluation systems. Prior to receiving his master's degree, David taught high school mathematics in New York City; after receiving his degree, he worked for the New York City Department of Education, assisting with the design of their new evaluation system.

Travis Bristol

Travis J. Bristol
Education Policy Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, Ph.D. 2014

Previous Colleges:A.B. in English from Amherst College, Amherst, MA
M.A. in Teaching English from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA Dr.

Travis J. Bristol, a former high school English teacher in New York City public schools and teacher educator with the Boston Teacher Residency program, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). His research interests focus on the intersection of race and gender in organizations. Travis’s most recent work includes consulting for The World Bank in Washington D.C. and Georgetown, Guyana; his projects included developing a male teacher recruitment campaign; surveying teachers, students, and principals to create a strategy to reduce teacher and student absenteeism; providing a needs assessment for the distant teacher training program; and, in line with Travis’s research interest, designing a curriculum for teachers on engaging boys in the classroom.

He holds an A.B. in English, with distinction, from Amherst College; an M.A. in the Teaching of English from Stanford University; a Ph.D. in Education Policy from Columbia University. Travis was recently awarded the Vice-President's Grant for Student Research in Diversity and the Provost Doctoral Dissertation Grant from Teachers College, the Minority Dissertation Fellowship from the American Educational Research Association, a Ford Dissertation Fellowship from the National Research Council of the National Academies and the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship from the National Academy of Education. 

He is a product of the New York City public school system.  

Christy Baker-Smith

Christy Baker-Smith
Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, Ed.M. 2010

Christine Baker-Smith is a  fourth year IES-PIRT Pre-doctoral Training Fellow and doctoral candidate in NYU Steinhardt's Sociology of Education program. She is interested in organizational sociology, adolescent student engagement/disengagement and delinquency and the intersections of the two topics. Her fellowship is at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. She previously worked as program manager for the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences M.A. program at Columbia University where she assisted in teaching methods and research courses as well as conducting research in these areas. Christine received her B.A. in Sociology from Whitman College, a Masters in Social Sciences of Education from Stanford University and an Ed.M. in Leadership, Policy and Politics from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Brett Cluff

Brett Cluff
Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A. 2013  

Senior Instructional Coach
New York City Department of Education, Office of Instructional Support  

As a whole, my office informs and cultivates the instructional vision of the DOE and helps make meaning of and translate policy into practice by providing professional learning and technical support. Specifically, my team and I support schools, networks, and other central offices in understanding and implementing the Citywide Instructional Expectations. This year, most of my work has involved helping teachers shift their practice to align with the Common Core learning standards and the new curricular options recommended by NYC and NY State. I love working in OIS! It allows me to combine my classroom experience here  in NYC with my policy studies at Teachers College. I have to have a solid breadth of understanding of the different policy initiatives at play in our 1,700 schools as well as depth of knowledge about the Common Core and the best ways to bring it to life in a classroom. No two days are the same - so far this school year I have worked on a webinar series for teacher team leaders, directly coached five high school math departments, led a workshop for 60 museum and nonprofit leaders, and attended a conference in Philadelphia on blended learning. There is never a dull moment. I often run into other EPSA graduates as well, so it is nice to know that we are a growing presence at Central. Before joining OIS as an instructional coach in 2011, I taught at a middle school in the South Bronx for five years. 

Nancy Koh


Nancy Koh
Education Leadership with Concentration in Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, Ph.D. 2012

The Director of Assessment and Accreditation
Boston College, Boston, MA

I received my Ph.D. degree in October 2012. I graduated from the the Leadership, Policy, and Politics program with academic and research interests in education policy, measurement, and evaluation. Through my courses and research experiences at Teachers College, I developed an understanding of the political, economic, and legal perspectives of US education policy issues. I was trained in assessment and evaluation design, methods, and theory.

Since the beginning of my studies, I worked closely with Professor Madhabi Chatterji as a research assistant at the Assessment and Evaluation Research Initiative (AERI) on national and international sponsored projects. I first served as a field researcher and assessment coach on a 2-year, National Science Foundation funded program that aims to support learners and improve achievement with a dynamic approach to diagnostic formative classroom assessment called, Proximal Assessment for Learner Diagnosis (PALD). This work was the focus of my dissertation. The purpose of the study was to validate the theoretical PALD model, using a mixed methods design.

Internationally, I have worked with the Global Education Leadership Foundation in New Delhi, India to provide technical services in curriculum-based assessment design as an AERI Research Fellow.  As a member of AERI and a student in the Leadership Policy and Politics program, I had the opportunity to engage in original research and fully explore my academic interests with the support of faculty and fellow peers with similar academic and professional interests.

Rachel Langlais

Rachel Langlais
Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University; M.A. 2012

Rachel is a 2012 graduate from the Teachers College EPSA program. She now works at TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) as Senior Program Manager on the Partnerships & Research team. In this role, she advises senior staff as they set annual goals for the organization. She also analyzes key data and produces progress reports to support the organization's Leadership Team and business development team.

Rachel uses the analysis, communication, and project management skills she gained from her time in EPSA on a regular basis to help TNTP staff effectively communicate the organization's most compelling proof points to current and potential district clients.

Jade Le


Jade Le
Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University; Ed.M. 2012.

Operations Manager
Character Lab, not-for-profit, NYC.

Jade Le is a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar and a 2012 Ed.M. alumna of the Leadership, Policy & Politics program at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She came to the program directly after completing her undergraduate studies at Harvard College where she majored in the Social & Cognitive Neuroscience track of Psychology (and dipped a bit into Economics theory).  She was very involved in the Leadership Institute at her alma mater which helped her land a job creating and running several leadership development programs for Columbia undergraduates while also maintaining full-time graduate student status during her tenure at Columbia.

During her first year in graduate school she was a Young People For Education Fellow where, along with some of her undocumented friends, she worked on goals of starting a non-profit to help minority immigrants transition to, through, and beyond the higher education system.  After her first year in graduate school she received APIASF/GMS Honors Recognition for earning straight A’s and an all-expense-paid invitation to attend the APIASF Higher Education Summit in Washington DC titled Advancing the Democratic Mission of Higher Education: The Relevance of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. As a Vietnam-born immigrant to the US, this was a great honor for her and her family.

While a second year master’s student, she served as Vice-President of the Society for Entrepreneurship & Education and completed her capstone fieldwork project in close partnership with the Children’s Aid Society.  Her capstone project strived to merge her interests in education policy and business management by investigating and strategizing methods to increase school-based health clinic (SBHC) user rates within a comprehensive education reform model.

With a much appreciated amount of support from those around her and a great amount of dedication, grit, and time management she completed the program early and was accepted into law school on a scholarship before graduation. However, she decided to defer her law school admission to help NYC recover from Hurricane Sandy. She served as a Financial & Management Consultant to the city and helped manage the allocation of $4.5B in FEMA public assistance funding to the 50 city agencies (including the NYDOE) throughout the five boroughs.

She recently transitioned to a strategy and operations role at an education start-up focused on character development where she is one of the first 5 employees; is excited to contribute to the development, growth, and success of the organization; and sees potential for a JD/MBA in the near future.  She is originally from California, welcomes infinite smiles and hugs, and LOVES meeting new people so feel free to come say hello anytime!

Joe Rogers, Jr.

Joe Rogers, Jr.
Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University; M.A. 2009

Joe Rogers, Jr. is
 the founder and facilitator of Total Equity Now (TEN), a community-based nonprofit organization that empowers Harlemites as active participants and decision makers in advancing educational excellence and equity by facilitating education information sharing, community organizing, youth civic leadership development, and community-based policy research. He also serves as a senior researcher with the Safeguarding Sound Basic Education Project of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University.

After completing the Leadership, Policy and Politics Program in 2009, Joe served as director of policy and civic engagement with Education Voters of New York, a consultant to several New York City-based organizations, and co-chair of Manhattan Community Board 9's Youth, Education and Libraries Committee.

Rachel Rosen

Rachel Rosen
Education Leadership with Concentration in Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University , Ph.D. 2012

Postdoctoral Fellow at Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Before coming to TC, I worked as a researcher at a non-profit that conducts education research and evaluation.  It was through that work that I first became interested in issues of math and science teacher quality.  I loved research, and I decided to pursue a PhD when I realized that being able to develop and design my own studies would require me to have a doctorate. 

I chose a program in policy because I am primarily interested in the ways that specific policies shape the educational environment, particularly whether they are helping or hurting students, and how they can be manipulated to do the former rather than the latter.  In addition, policy was more interesting to me than a program in a pure discipline because I wanted to think about issues in a multi-disciplinary way.  Looking at the issues through the lens of just political science, or sociology, or economics felt too intellectually confining to me.  With the LPP program, I have had the flexibility to take coursework with professors in a variety of disciplines, both at TC and on the Columbia Main Campus, as well as to pursue fairly extensive quantitative training.  I have been able to use the tools I have acquired to develop research that is both analytically rigorous, and theoretically multifaceted. 

I was lucky enough to receive an AERA dissertation grant award to support my work, which uses quasi-experimental methods to investigate the efficacy of financial incentives for recruiting and retaining shortage field teachers. Once I finish my degree, I plan to continue pursuing research that is both intellectually challenging, and policy relevant.

My Ph.D. dissertation was titled "Shortage field incentives: Impacts on teacher retention and recruitment." and I defended in April 2012.

Jeffrey C. Sun

Jeffrey C. Sun
Joint Program in Education Leadership and Higher & Postsecondary Education
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.Phil. and Ph.D.  

Jeff is Professor of Higher Education and Assistant Department Chair of Leadership, Foundations, & Human Resource Education at the University of Louisville.  He is also a Visiting Scholar at The Ohio State University.    

Jeff teaches and researches in the areas of higher education law, leadership, and organizations. Prior to Louisville, Jeff taught for a decade in the Department of Educational Leadership and School of Law at the University of North Dakota.  Also, in the early 2000s, he taught at Teachers College and NYU.  

Jeff serves on the Board of Directors for the Education Law Association (ELA) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education. He also contributes to the field as a co-editor of ELA and NASPA’s Legal Links, an editorial board member for the Education Law & Policy Review, co-editor of the Law & Education Series for Information Age Publishing, and an executive board member for the Law & Education SIG of AERA.   

Jeff received a B.B.A and M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University, a J.D. from the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Teachers College.

Katrina Uhly

Katrina Uhly
Leadership, Policy and Politics Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A. 2005     

Katrina Uhly completed her M.A. in Educational Leadership: Leadership, Policy, and Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2005 after having received her A.B. in English literature and Spanish from Elmira College in 2004. As her LPP capstone project, she worked with the Citizens’ Committee for Children to help prepare a policy brief and interview instrument for their task force on “community-based alternatives-to-placement” in the New York City juvenile justice system.     

From 2005-2007, Katrina served as a budget/research assistant in the Dean’s Office at Teachers College, and she was a research fellow in the University of Minnesota’s College of Education & Human Development from 2007-2009. During this time, she co-authored the book Sustaining Our Spirits: Women leaders thriving for today and tomorrow (NASW 2008) with Darlyne Bailey, Kelly McNally Koney, Mary Ellen McNish, and Ruthmary Powers.                

Katrina is currently a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Northeastern University and an invited doctoral student at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations of l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po), Paris. Her research focuses on gender, globalization, and higher education, in particular in France and the United States. Her dissertation examines the strategies of diversification of the elite French institution of higher education, l’Ecole polytechnique and their implications to shape possibilities of meritocratic advancement and who can be considered “elite,” in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, nation, and class, both within and beyond France.