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National Center for Postsecondary Research Conference 2012
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Agenda

Presenters

Click on the names of the presenters below to read their bios.

Peter Adams

Peter Adams has taught at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) for more than 30 years. His responsibilities at CCBC have included coordinating the writing program, chairing the college’s committee on general education, and chairing the English Department. He currently directs the Accelerated Learning Program, an innovative program that has doubled the success rate for students placed in developmental writing at CCBC. His professional experience includes tenures with the editorial board of the Journal of Basic Writing and three years of service as chair of the Conference on Basic Writing.

Julie Alexander

Julie Alexander was named the interim vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the Division of Florida Colleges in December 2011. Previously, Alexander served as assistant administrator of the Statewide Course Numbering System, policy analyst in planning and institutional research at the Office of the Board of Governors, and bureau chief at the Division of Career and Adult Education. Alexander has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of North Texas and a master of education in instructional technology from the University of West Florida. She is working on her doctorate in higher education at Florida State University.

Thomas Bailey

Thomas Bailey is the George and Abby O'Neill Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also director of the Community College Research Center (CCRC), the National Center for Postsecondary Research, and the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment. Bailey established CCRC at Teachers College in 1996 with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and since 1992 has been director of the Institute on Education and the Economy at Teachers College. In June 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed him chair of the Committee on Measures of Student Success, which developed recommendations for community colleges to comply with completion rate disclosure requirements under the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

His articles have appeared in a wide variety of education, policy-oriented and academic journals, and he authored or co-authored several books on the employment and training of immigrants and the extent and effects of on-the-job training. His most recent book, co-edited with Vanessa Morest, is Defending the Community College Equity Agenda (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Other books include Working Knowledge: Work-Based Learning and Education Reform (Routledge, 2004), co-authored with Katherine Hughes and David Moore; Manufacturing Advantage (Cornell University Press, 2000), written with Eileen Appelbaum, Peter Berg, and Arne Kalleberg; and The Double Helix of Education and the Economy (IEE, 1992), co-authored with Sue Berryman.

Elaine Baker

Elaine DeLott Baker was the founder and co-director of Community College of Denver’s FastStart program, an accelerated approach to developmental education learning communities. Her expertise is in the design, implementation, and replication of programmatic innovations for low-skilled adults in multiple venues, including workplace education, welfare reform, adult education, college transition, career pathways, contextualization, and accelerated developmental education. Since her formal retirement from the Community College of Denver in 2008, Baker has remained involved in the institutionalization of the FastStart and in national efforts related to postsecondary education through her work as a consultant for foundations and grant-funded initiatives. She currently serves as acceleration specialist for the Colorado Energy and Training Consortia, a project of the Colorado Community College System. Baker is an alumna of Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Colorado at Denver.

Elisabeth Barnett

Elisabeth A. Barnett is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. She previously served as assistant director of the Office of Community College Research and Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Barnett’s research interests relate to high school to college transition, community colleges, access to college, workforce education, and institutional change. She has conducted or participated in research on summer bridge programs, middle and early college high schools, dual enrollment, Tech Prep, P-16 initiatives, career and technical education practices, and community college persistence. Barnett received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in educational organization and leadership in higher education with a focus on community college issues. 

Nicola Blake

Nicola Blake, an alumna of the City University of New York, completed her doctorate in medieval literature at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. Her research focuses on the role of narrators and narrative structure in medieval and modern literature. She specializes in dream theory and theories of memory and performance. Blake previously taught for more than 10 years at Rutgers University and the City College of New York. She served as director of the Samuel Rudin Academic Resource Center at City College, where she chaired and co-chaired various presidential initiatives on student success. Blake has received several awards for her service and scholarship, including one for service learning from the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. She has participated in national and local grants focused on high-impact practices to improve writing at the postsecondary level.

Angela Boatman

Angela Boatman is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and holds an MPP in public policy and an MA in higher education, both from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the evaluation of college access policies, particularly in the areas of postsecondary remediation and financial aid. Her past projects include an examination of the effects of remedial and developmental courses in Tennessee and a multi-cohort evaluation of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, both co-authored with Bridget Terry Long. Her dissertation focuses on a multi-institution evaluation of innovations in the delivery of remedial courses in Tennessee. Boatman previously worked at the State Higher Education Executive Officers, researching state tuition, fees, and financial aid policies. She has also served as a lecturer at Brown University, teaching courses on program evaluation and policy analysis, and as the former Acting Allston Burr Resident Dean of Eliot House at Harvard College, assisting and advising undergraduates in their progress toward graduation.

Ed Bowling

Roy Edward (Ed) Bowling is the managing partner director for Completion by Design in North Carolina at Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) in Jamestown. Bowling held a senior management position at a large bank before joining GTCC in 2006. He was an adjunct and instructor at GTCC, where he co-developed two developmental education learning communities and piloted web-enhanced developmental reading courses. In 2010, he became the Developmental Education Initiative grant coordinator, overseeing the scaling of three core programs and two smaller projects under that grant. He received the Claire Hunter Award for Excellence in Developmental Education in 2007. Bowling earned a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Thomas Brock

Tom Brock, director of MDRC’s Young Adults and Postsecondary Education Policy Area, leads MDRC’s work in higher education, which is principally focused on finding ways to increase academic achievement and persistence among low-income students attending community colleges and less selective four-year universities. Current projects include Opening Doors, an evaluation of curricular reforms, enhanced student services, and scholarship programs at six community colleges across the United States; Achieving the Dream, a national initiative sponsored by Lumina Foundation for Education to help community colleges make better use of data to improve instruction and services; and the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration, a study of the effect of financial incentives tied to enrollment and academic performance criteria. Other projects include the National Learning Communities Demonstration, a study of how linking developmental education classes with standard college courses or “student success” courses affects student outcomes; and an evaluation of a Texas summer “bridge” program that provides remedial instruction and support to recent high school graduates before they begin college. 

Irma Camacho

Irma Camacho is director of student success at El Paso Community College and serves as the administrative liaison for the Developmental Education Council and the Developmental Education Standing Committees. She oversees the Project Dream summer bridge program; PREP, a placement test preparation program; and tutorial services. Currently, Camacho directs the Developmental Education Demonstration Project, which is funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Camacho was a principal developer of the college’s student success course, which she taught for several years. Prior to that, Camacho served as a counselor for 12 years. She is a proud alumna of the Kellogg Institute on Developmental Education.

Kevin Carey

Kevin Carey is the New America Foundation's education policy director. He previously served as policy director at Education Sector. Carey has published articles in magazines including The New Republic, Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, Democracy, and Newsweek. He writes a monthly column for the Chronicle of Higher Education and serves as guest editor of the annual Washington Monthly college guide. His writing was anthologized in Best American Legal Writing 2009, and he received an Education Writers Association award for commentary in 2010. Carey’s research includes higher education reform, improving college graduation rates, college rankings, community colleges, and the federal No Child Left Behind Act. He regularly contributes to Education Sector’s The Quick and the ED blog and to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Brainstorm blog, and he provides expert commentary for media outlets including CNN, C-SPAN, and NPR. He also teaches education policy at Johns Hopkins University. Carey holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Binghamton University and a master of public administration from Ohio State University.

Kathleen Cleary

Kathleen Colligan Cleary, PhD, is the associate provost for student success at Sinclair Community College and the project director for the Ohio cadre of Completion by Design. As dean of liberal arts, communication, and social sciences, she served as the project director for the Developmental Education Initiative and for Global Skills for College Completion and served on the core teams of Communities Learning in Partnership and Achieving the Dream. Prior to her work as a college administrator, Cleary was an actor and director for professional, college, and community theatres and appeared on screen at film festivals throughout the country.

Stuart Cochran

Stuart Cochran, deputy to the director of the New Community College Initiative (NCC), is involved in day-to-day issues with college leadership and the planning and implementation team, particularly surrounding strategic planning, accreditation, and institutional improvement. With the original planning team and the project director, he was primarily responsible for the extensive documentation that was needed for approval by the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Board of Trustees and the New York State Regents. Prior to joining the NCC, he served as director of research and evaluation for CUNY Collaborative Programs in the Office of Academic Affairs, where he conducted research on academic programs including College Now, Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP, and CUNY Prep. Cochran joined Collaborative Programs in 2000 as a co-director of Looking Both Ways, a professional development project for Department of Education and CUNY teachers of writing. He earned his master’s and PhD at the CUNY Graduate School in English and American studies and taught for ten years at Queens College before joining Collaborative Programs.

Nikki Edgecombe

Nikki Edgecombe is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her current portfolio of work includes research on accelerating developmental education, teaching and learning, student support services, online courses, and college readiness programs. Edgecombe joined CCRC from private industry, where she was a research analyst responsible for assessing the financial and organizational performance of publicly traded companies and evaluating the effects of federal and state policy on strategy and execution. Edgecombe studied teacher learning and school-based professional development at the Urban Education Institute and Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. She holds a PhD in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in urban studies–economics from Columbia University.

Greta Harris-Hardland

Greta Harris-Hardland has been teaching mathematics since 1991 on the Northeast campus of Tarrant County College, which, with five campuses and more than 50,000 students, is one of the ten largest two-year colleges in Texas. During her tenure at Tarrant County College, Harris-Hardland has served as department chair and then grant coordinator. Most recently, she has been working on the Mod Math program as coordinator. This program, which provides an alternative mode of delivering developmental math, began in 2008. As it grew in popularity, it was studied as part of a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Katie Hern

Katie Hern, EdD, is an English instructor at Chabot College and has conducted extensive research into her department’s longstanding accelerated developmental course. Along with Myra Snell, Hern leads the California Acceleration Project, which provides support to faculty from the state’s 112 community colleges as they redesign their English and math curricula to increase student completion. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, KQED public radio, and Inside Higher Education, along with national reform organizations Complete College America, Getting Past Go, and the Developmental Education Initiative. Hern is lead author of the widely circulated article “Exponential Attrition and the Promise of Acceleration in Developmental English and Math” (June/July 2010, Perspectives, RP Group). Her article about the spread of accelerated models of English and math across California is featured in the May/June issue of Change magazine. She has been teaching for twenty years.

Diane Hollems

Diane Hollems, PhD, received her doctoral degree from Louisiana State University in communication theory in 1998. She became an administrator at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in 1999 and as dean of educational programs developed the SBCC dual enrollment program, which now has more than 100 college sections taught at local high schools. She is currently directing the new Get Focused... Stay Focused! Initiative, which involves a dual enrollment course in career and life planning for all local ninth graders as well as follow up modules for 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. Hollems is also the SBCC dean for the Business Division and the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Katherine Hughes

Katherine Hughes is the assistant director for work and education reform research at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Since joining CCRC in 1995, Hughes has led and conducted research on the transition from high school to college and careers, including projects addressing secondary–postsecondary partnerships, dual enrollment, state policies that facilitate transitions and pathways, incoming community college student assessment and placement, student retention, work-based learning, and high school career academies. She holds a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University.

Shanna Jaggars

Shanna Smith Jaggars is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her doctorate in human development and family science in 2002 from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining CCRC, she ran the statistical consulting unit at the University of Texas at Austin, where she collaborated on studies involving information technology usage in the postsecondary setting, the mental and physical health of college students, and a range of other topics. Currently, Jaggars is involved in studies analyzing online course enrollment and performance; developmental education pedagogy, programming, and policy; and institutional structure. With Davis Jenkins, she manages a suite of studies funded under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on community college student success in Virginia, Washington, New York, and Colorado. In partnership with MDRC, she leads the quantitative portion of the evaluation of Achieving the Dream’s Developmental Education Initiative. With funding from the Kresge Foundation, she is working with Macomb Community College to test the effectiveness of institutional changes in policy and process.

Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik is editor and one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs, and other features. Jaschik, a leading voice on higher education issues, is quoted regularly in publications nationwide and has written articles on colleges for publications such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and Salon. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Jaschik served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999 to 2003, Jaschik was editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Jaschik grew up in Rochester, New York, and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

Davis Jenkins

Davis Jenkins is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. Jenkins works with college leaders and policymakers across the country to identify strategies for improving community college student outcomes and institutional performance. His recent publications include Redesigning Community Colleges for Completion: Lessons from Research on High-Performance Organizations and Get With the Program: Strategies for Accelerating Community College Students’ Entry into and Completion of Programs of Study.

Martha Kanter

Martha J. Kanter was nominated by President Barack Obama on April 29, 2009 to be the under secretary of education and was confirmed by the Senate on June 19, 2009. Kanter reports to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and oversees policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult and career-technical education, federal student aid, and five White House Initiatives on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. To spur education, economic growth and social prosperity, Kanter is charged with planning and policy responsibilities to implement President Obama's goal for the U.S. to have "the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world by 2020" as measured by the proportion of college graduates over the next decade. Under Secretary Kanter and her team are keenly focused on improving college access, affordability, quality, and completion to implement President Obama's American Graduation Initiative.

In her first two years as under secretary, the successful implementation of the Direct Student Loan program resulted in a 50-percent increase in college enrollment, growing from 6 to 9 million students today who are Pell Grant recipients. Kanter and her team are working closely with postsecondary partners from across the nation to boost American innovation and competitiveness with an ambitious college completion agenda, teacher quality reforms, adult education program improvements, modernization of career-technical education, and a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor that has announced the first $500 million of a $2 billion federal investment to increase quality, graduation, and employment opportunities for community college students.


From 2003 to 2009, Kanter served as chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation, serving more than 45,000 students with a total budget of approximately $400 million. She is the first community college leader to serve in the under secretary position. In 1977, after serving as an alternative high school teacher in Massachusetts and New York, she established the first program for students with learning disabilities at San Jose City College (Calif.). She then served as a director, dean and subsequently vice chancellor for policy and research for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office in Sacramento. In 1990, she returned to San Jose City College as vice president of instruction and student services until she was named president of De Anza College in 1993, serving in this position for a decade until her appointment as chancellor.


Kanter has been recognized for her work numerous times, including being named Woman of the Year by the 24th Assembly District, Woman of Achievement by San Jose Mercury News and the Women's Fund, and Woman of the Year for Santa Clara County by the American Association of University Women. In 2003, she received the Excellence in Education award from the National Organization for Women's California Chapter. In 2006, she was honored for diversity and community leadership by the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women, and in 2007, the American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley honored her with the John W. Gardner Leadership Award. In 2008, Kanter received the Citizen of the Year award from the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, Notre Dame High School in Silicon Valley honored her with the "Woman of Impact" award and, in 2010, Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay nominated her for the Business Hall of Fame. In 2011, Kanter was appointed to the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a federal advisory committee to the Department of State that supports worldwide humanitarian development and values by coordinating efforts and delivering expert advice on issues of education, science, communications and culture.


Under Secretary Kanter holds a doctorate in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco. Her dissertation addressed demographic, institutional, and assessment factors affecting access to higher education for underrepresented students in California's community colleges. In 1994, she opened the first Advanced Technology Center in California's community college system and promoted local and state policies to advance Foothill-De Anza's legacy of excellence and opportunity for California's expanding and increasingly diverse student population. She received her master's degree in education with a concentration in clinical psychology and public practice from Harvard University, and a bachelor's degree in sociology from Brandeis University. Kanter holds honorary degrees from Palo Alto University, Chatham University, Lakes Region Community College, Moraine Valley Community College and the Alamo Colleges

Suzanne Korey

Suzanne Korey works at City College of San Francisco overseeing the dual enrollment program with San Francisco Unified School District. Prior to this assignment, she managed workforce and economic development grants, overseeing career ladder programs for the incumbent workforce. Korey has a master’s degree in industrial education from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to her work in economic development, Korey served as faculty and department chair of the Graphic Communications Department at City College, teaching offset printing, bindery, and prepress. She has worked as dean of the School of Liberal Arts and dean of Contract Education. 

Donna Linderman

Donna Linderman is the university executive director of the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP). Under her leadership, ASAP has become one of CUNY’s most successful programs, substantially raising graduation rates for low-income community college students. She is currently overseeing a major expansion of ASAP at all six CUNY community colleges. Before leading ASAP, Linderman directed the CUNY Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP, a federally funded consortium project that partnered high-needs public schools with CUNY colleges. 

Bridget Terry Long

An economist specializing in education, Bridget Terry Long studies the transition from high school to higher education and beyond. Her work focuses on college access and choice, factors that influence student outcomes, and the behavior of postsecondary institutions. Past projects examine the effects of financial aid programs, the impact of postsecondary remediation on degree completion, and the influence of class size and faculty characteristics on student persistence. Current projects include an aid simplification experiment, analysis of the growing gender gap in college enrollment, examination of institutional admissions policies, and continued research on the impact of financial aid.

Long received her PhD and MA from the Harvard University Department of Economics and her AB from Princeton University. She is a faculty research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research affiliate of the National Center for Postsecondary Research. She has also served as a visiting scholar with the New England Public Policy Center at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank. She received the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and has been awarded numerous research grants from organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Science Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education, and the Ford Foundation. In July 2005, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured her as one of the "New Voices" in higher education, and in 2008, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators awarded her the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for excellence in research and published works on student financial assistance.

David Longanecker

David A. Longanecker has served as the president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in Boulder, Colorado, since 1999. WICHE is a regional compact between 15 Western states created to assure access and excellence in higher education through collaboration and resource sharing among the higher education systems of the West. Previously, Longanecker served for six years as the assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, and prior to that he was the state higher education executive officer in Colorado and Minnesota. He was also the principal analyst for higher education for the Congressional Budget Office. He holds an EdD from Stanford University, an MA in student personnel work from George Washington University, and a BA in sociology from Washington State University.

Terri Manning

Terri Manning, EdD, is the associate vice president for institutional research and assistant to the executive vice president at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC). She also serves as the director of the Center for Applied Research. She received her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in health behavior from Oklahoma State University in 1990 and has been at CPCC since 1998. She is a program evaluator, has been president of the North Carolina Community College Planning and Research Organization, was the first executive director for the American Academy of Health Behavior (a national organization for researchers in the health field), and is a national speaker on the millennial generation. She is a data facilitator for eight colleges through the Achieving the Dream national initiative. She has done institutional effectiveness consulting with multiple colleges and serves on visiting teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She sponsors an annual summer Institute on Best Practices in Institutional Effectiveness.

Hank Martel

After earning his MS in mathematics from Colorado State University, Hank Martel began his career in education as a math instructor at a South Florida high school. His postsecondary education career began soon thereafter when he joined the mathematics faculty at Broward College. He subsequently earned his doctorate degree in higher education from Nova Southeastern University while advancing to increasingly responsible positions including math program coordinator, Math and Science Department chair, and dean of Academic Affairs. He has actively participated in the development and implementation of Broward College’s innovative Math Redesign initiative, which recently received the attention of a national educational research organization. 

Kay McClenney

Kay McClenney is director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement and a faculty member in the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) at the University of Texas at Austin. The center conducts the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and the Survey of Entering Student Engagement and has surveyed nearly two million community college students at more than 800 colleges in 50 states. McClenney also directs the center’s Initiative on Student Success, a long-term student focus group research initiative supported by the MetLife Foundation and Houston Endowment. Also within the CCLP, she is senior consultant to the University of Texas/CCLP work on the national Achieving the Dream initiative and co-director of Student Success BY THE NUMBERS, funded by the Greater Texas Foundation. She was co-director of the California Leadership Alliance for Student Success and of the national Bridges to Opportunity initiative. She previously served for 10 years as vice president and chief operating officer of the Education Commission of the States. 

Donna McKusick

Donna McKusick, dean for developmental education and special academic programs at the Community College of Baltimore County, has served community colleges for more than thirty years in both instructional and administrative capacities. In her current position, she coordinates developmental education, academic support, learning communities, honors, and the libraries. She has degrees in English, reading, and education, including a doctorate from University of Maryland in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on academic literacy. She has also received a certification in developmental education from the Kellogg Institute at Appalachian State University. 

Lucy Michal

Lucy Michal is a mathematics professor at El Paso Community College (EPCC). In addition to serving as coordinator of mathematics for the Rio Grande Campus, she leads the college’s Faculty Data and Research Team and serves on the Student Success Core Team, the Developmental Education Initiative, and the Completion by Design Strategy Team. She was recently appointed to the Texas State Leadership Developmental Education Committee convened by the Texas Association of Community Colleges. As part of EPCC’s Statway team, Michal supports the faculty as a faculty co-facilitator and serves as an institutional researcher.

Janet Quint

Janet Quint, senior associate in MDRC’s K-12 Education Policy Area, has led or participated in a number of mixed-methods studies of education reform initiatives in community colleges and K-12 schools. She currently heads an evaluation of the Developmental Education Initiative and serves as research manager for an evaluation of efforts to scale up First Things First, a reading-focused whole-school reform model. Previously, she led a team examining the implementation of small high schools in New York City that were established with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She was project manager for MDRC’s Scaling Up First Things First evaluation and is the author of a report synthesizing the findings of that study and of two other MDRC evaluations of high school reform initiatives. Previously, she played major roles in the organization’s evaluations of programs for welfare recipients and young mothers. A graduate of Harvard University, she received a master of arts in teaching from the University of Chicago and a PhD in sociology from the City University of New York.

Becky Rodriguez

Becky Rodriguez is the director for the Office of Intercultural Services at Texas Woman’s University. She holds a master of education in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University and a bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Texas. She has also completed Texas teaching and principal certifications. For more than 16 years, Rodriguez has been assisting students and their families in the transition to college. She currently directs the Office of Intercultural Services, where she leads various programs and mentorship grants in developing and enhancing leadership skills, diversity, and cultural awareness, and she assists first-generation college students with college readiness and access. She has been with Texas Woman’s University since 2001 and leads the university’s Office of Intercultural Services efforts in writing more than $1,000,000 in external funding from local, state, and federal sources.

Judith Scott-Clayton

Judith Scott-Clayton is an assistant professor of economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she teaches courses on labor economics and quantitative methods for causal inference. She is also a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her primary areas of study are labor economics and higher education policy, with a particular focus on financial aid, student employment, and programmatic barriers to persistence and completion at the nonselective public two- and four-year institutions that enroll the majority of undergraduates. Scott-Clayton is an active participant in policy working groups at the state and federal levels and a regular contributor to the New York Times Economix blog, where she focuses on current topics in education. 

Sue Scrivener

Sue Scrivener, senior associate in MDRC’s Young Adults and Postsecondary Education Policy Area, has worked in a variety of areas at MDRC, including quantitative and qualitative research and site development. She focuses primarily on project management and implementation research for MDRC’s postsecondary education studies. She serves as the project director for MDRC’s evaluation of the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, which aims to help students earn an associate degree relatively quickly. She is also the project manager for an evaluation of the Gates Foundation’s Completion by Design initiative, which aims to help colleges provide a well-structured, well-supported pathway from entry to degree completion. Earlier in her tenure at MDRC, Scrivener worked on welfare and employment studies. She has coauthored several research reports and a how-to guide on increasing participation in welfare-to-work programs. Scrivener received a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota. 

Jane Serbousek

Jane Serbousek has taught both credit and developmental mathematics course at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) for more than 25 years. She has served as the NOVA Achieving the Dream director, Achieving the Dream learning communities coordinator, and a member of the Achieving the Dream core team. She represented the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) in Achieve Incorporated’s American Diploma Project and chaired the curriculum team and the developmental math implementation support team for the VCCS developmental math redesign.

Rachel Singer

Rachel Singer is the vice president for community college relations and applied research at Achieving the Dream, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for working with Achieving the Dream college presidents and CEOs to promote the adoption of evidence-based reforms to improve effectiveness, particularly in the area of developmental education. She also plays a vital role in the strategic design and direction of Achieving the Dream’s knowledge development work, incorporating cutting-edge research into all policies and practices, and she directs work with the most successful Achieving the Dream institutions. In consultation with investors and staff, she is responsible for designing and overseeing a re-granting program to ensure the creation, implementation, and scaling of successful innovations throughout the national Achieving the Dream network. Prior to joining Achieving the Dream, Singer was the director of academic affairs at Kingsborough Community College, where she served for more than 25 years. 

Myra Snell

Myra Snell is a professor of mathematics at Los Medanos College, where she has taught courses ranging from arithmetic to calculus and statistics for 20 years. At Los Medanos, Snell has directed the developmental education program and the Teaching and Learning Project. In both roles, she worked with faculty to assess learning outcomes and to use the results to improve learning experiences for students. She was a coach for the Faculty Inquiry Network, a basic skills initiative in California community colleges that used classroom-based research projects as a catalyst for redesigning basic skills instruction. She worked with Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative in statistics and consulted with the Carnegie Foundation on their Statway project. Related to Statway, she designed and teaches a two-semester sequence at Los Medanos that takes all students, regardless of math placement, through transfer-level statistics. She is currently a math coach for the California Acceleration Project. In this role, she works with community college math departments to reduce the length of the remedial math sequence and redesign curricula and pedagogy to accelerate student learning.

Cecilia Speroni

Cecilia Speroni is a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research and a research affiliate at the National Center for Postsecondary Research. She holds a PhD in economics and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her doctoral dissertation examined the role of high school acceleration mechanisms as determinants of student success, extended regression-discontinuity methods to evaluate the causal effect of dual enrollment programs, and assessed the predictive power of subjective and objective evaluations of teacher effectiveness at raising students’ test scores. Prior to joining Mathematica, Speroni worked at the American Institutes for Research and at the Community College Research Center, where she was involved in various large-scale quantitative policy studies on topics ranging from the elimination of bilingual education in California to the shortening of developmental education course sequences in community colleges. 

Karen Stout

Karen A. Stout has served as president of Montgomery County Community College, a multi-campus college in suburban Philadelphia, since 2001. Under her leadership, the college has received national recognition for its work in student success as an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The college has also consecutively ranked among top community colleges in the country for its use of technology by the Center for Digital Education. Additionally, the college has been named to the President’s National Honor Roll for Community Service for five consecutive years, has been designated as a military friendly institution by G.I. Jobs for four consecutive years, and has earned national recognition from Second Nature for its work in climate leadership. Stout holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware. 

Mary Visher

Mary Visher joined MDRC as a senior associate in 2007, bringing two decades of experience in public policy research in education (K-12 as well as postsecondary), workforce development, adult education, and welfare. At MDRC, Visher leads several projects in the Young Adults and Postsecondary Education and K-12 Education policy areas, with a special focus on the intersection between education and workforce development. She currently serves as the project director for the Learning Communities Demonstration, a six-site experiment testing the impact of learning communities on student outcomes. In the K-12 area, she leads a project to develop and pilot a program of curricula and activities in 18 high schools to offer students quality work-based learning and college awareness experiences. Visher holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

Heather Wathington

Heather Wathington is an assistant professor of education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Her scholarship focuses on the academic achievement of low-income students and students of color in higher education, with a specific focus on understanding the educational contexts, levers, and practices that promote academic success for these students. Wathington’s research examines college access, matriculation, and persistence into higher education as well as postgraduate study and research training. Prior to her appointment at the University of Virginia, Wathington served as senior research officer at Lumina Foundation for Education and as director of programs in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC. Wathington is an honors graduate of Wellesley College and earned a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. She has her doctorate from the University of Michigan in higher and postsecondary education.

Michael Weiss

Michael Weiss, research associate in MDRC’s Young Adults and Postsecondary Education Policy Area, is the lead impact analyst on several random assignment evaluation projects, including the multisite Learning Communities Demonstration and the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs evaluation. He is the co-principal investigator on an Institute of Education Sciences–funded study of the long-term effects of two of MDRC’s Opening Doors programs (learning communities and a student success course). Weiss formerly worked as a data analyst at the Educational Testing Services, where he analyzed student assessment data for the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. Weiss received his PhD from the Policy, Measurement, and Evaluation Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. 

Evan Weissman

Evan Weissman is an associate in MDRC’s Young Adults and Postsecondary Education department. His current work focuses on ways to improve college access, persistence, and success for low-income and underprepared students. Weissman currently has key roles in the Learning Communities Demonstration, a multisite evaluation of the effects of linking and contextualizing developmental education with other courses; the Texas Developmental Summer Bridge Study, which is testing the impacts of short, intensive summer programs on students’ need for remedial education; and Aid Like a Paycheck, which seeks to improve financial aid delivery and information with the goal of increasing student persistence and success. 

Susan Wood

Susan S. Wood is vice chancellor for academic services and research for the Virginia Community College System. Wood serves as the chief academic officer for Virginia’s system of 23 community colleges, which serve more than 400,000 students annually in credit and noncredit courses. She provides leadership in educational policy, educational programs, financial aid, instructional technology, electronic learning resources, professional development, student services, and institutional research, reporting, and effectiveness. She oversees a number of the system’s reengineering initiatives, including developmental education redesign, development of a decision support system, and two automated system-level student services innovations.