Our Team


Prof. Alex J. Bowers

Alex J. Bowers is a Professor of Education Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he works to help school leaders use the data that they already collect in schools in more effective ways to help direct the limited resources of schools and districts to specific student needs. His research focuses on the intersection of effective school and district leadership, organization and HR, data driven decision making, student grades and test scores, student persistence and dropouts. His work also considers the influence of school finance, facilities, and technology on student achievement. Dr. Bowers studies these domains through the application of data science, and big data analytics, such as data visualization analytics, multilevel and growth mixture modeling, and cluster analysis heatmap data dashboards. He earned his Ph.D. in K12 Educational Administration from Michigan State University, and previous to teaching and education research, spent a decade as a cancer researcher in the biotechnology industry, with a M.S. in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, and a B.S. in Biochemistry. Dr. Bowers is the recipient of multiple awards, including being the first person to win both the AERA Emerging Scholar Award for Division A (Administration, Organization and Leadership), and the UCEA Jack A. Culbertson Award for outstanding early faculty research, both in 2012. He was named an Outstanding Reviewer of the Year for the journals American Educational Research Journal (2009), Educational Administration Quarterly (2012 & 2016) and the Journal of Educational Administration (2018). Dr. Bowers is a faculty advisor to the Harvard Strategic Data Project, is an Associate Editor of the journal Educational Administration Quarterly and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Educational Administration, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and is co-editor of volume 4 (2013) volume 5 (2014) and volume 6 (2015) of the Information Age Publishing book series International Research on School Leadership. He has served as Principal or co-Principal Investigator on over $1.5 million in externally funded research grant projects. In 2019, Dr. Bowers served as a Thomas J. Alexander Fellow at the OECD headquarters (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris, France.

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Yeonsoo Choi

Yeonsoo Choi is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her current research interests include the sociology of teaching and teachers’ identities, the sociology of elite education, globalization and education policy, critical policy analysis, and mixed method research. Yeonsoo is interested in understanding the impact of education policies on people’s behaviors and attitudes and hopes to utilize various methods to address these questions. Prior to joining Teachers College, she worked as a research assistant for education policy research projects funded by the Ministry of Education, South Korea, and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Education from Yonsei University, South Korea.

Eka Jeladze

Eka Jeladze is a Fulbright visiting scholar at ELDA group of Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include data use for the improvement of instructional practices and evidence-based decision-making at schools, as well as change management and development of smart digital learning ecosystems of schools. She earned Ph.D. in Information Society Technologies at Tallinn University, Estonia. Eka works as a program manager at National Assessment and Examination Center of Georgia, in Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia, overseeing the design and implementation of nation-wide e-assessment program for Georgian schools. At the same time, she has worked at several universities of Georgia as an invited lecturer and researcher, where she supervises MA students and teaches different courses on digital literacy, change management in technology-enhanced educational organizations, research methods in education. She has extensive experience of working in large-scale international projects focusing on technology-enhanced learning and change management.

Lidia Rossi

Lidia Rossi is a visiting doctoral student currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests encompass two main domains. Firstly, the application of statistical methods and Machine Learning algorithms to predict student performance and identify the determinants affecting academic outcomes. Secondly, she is passionate about exploring educational management and leadership through a rigorous quantitative approach, employing statistical models to precisely quantify their impact. Prior to her current role, she earned a Master of Science degree in Mathematical Engineering with a specialization in Statistical Learning at Politecnico di Milano. Additionally, now she is a Ph.D. student in Data Analytics and Decision Science at the same institution.


Zhen Xu

Zhen Xu is a master's student in Learning Analytics at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining TC, she earned an MA in curriculum and teaching pedagogy from Beijing Normal University and has been working on research on collaborative learning and performance assessment in STEM education. With great enthusiasm for understanding and optimizing learning and the environment in which it occurs through data science, Zhen joined TC in the summer of 2022 and looking forward to transforming this data into new insights that can benefit students, teachers, and administrators. 


Sarah Weeks

Sarah Weeks is a Ph.D. student in the Education Leadership program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Sarah’s interests include how teachers, students and school leaders use of student learning assessments and other data sources inform classroom and school improvement efforts.  She is particularly interested in the impact of increasing teacher and school leader capacity in the use of student-centered assessment, personalized learning and mastery-based learning practices on equity. Sarah is a Doctoral Research Fellow on the National Science Foundation funded project Building Community and Capacity for Data-Intensive Evidence-Based Decision Making in Schools and Districts.  Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Sarah spent 17 years working in public and independent schools in New York and New Jersey as a teacher, principal, district leader and consultant. She holds a BA in Architecture from Yale University, a MA in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from Stanford University, and a MSEd in Educational Administration and Supervision from Pace University/New Leaders for New Schools.

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ELDA Alumni

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