Forum Fellows

Forum Faculty Fellow

  • Chris Lubienski, 
    Ph.D.

    Director, Associate Professor
    Forum on the Future of Public Education

    Chris Lubienski, Ph.D., Director of the Forum for the Future for Public Education, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois.  His research centers on public and private interests in education, including the use of market mechanisms such as choice and competition to improve schooling, especially for disadvantaged children. His work examines reforms and movements such as vouchers, charter schools, tuition tax credits, and home schooling that seek to decentralize and deregulate educational governance. He focuses on outcomes anticipated by reformers in areas such as increased innovation and higher levels of achievement, exploring the frequent disconnect between research findings and policy advocacy. He is currently investigating the organizational behavior of schools and districts in local education markets in metropolitan areas.

  • Adrienne Dixson, 
    Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
    Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Adrienne Dixson, Ph.D.,  is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Her research interests focus on how issues of race, class and gender intersect and impact educational equity in urban schooling contexts. Her research is located within two theoretical frameworks: Critical Race Theory and Black feminist theories. Most recently, she is interested in how educational equity is mediated by school reform policies in the urban south.

  • Anjale D. Welton, 
    Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor
    Education, Policy, Organization, and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Anjalé D.Welton is an assistant professor in Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Welton examines how opportunity structures in secondary school settings shape connections students of color make to educational resources and matriculate to college. Other research areas include the politics of equity as it pertains to race and diversity in school reform and improvement. Her professional experiences include coordinator of a leadership and empowerment program for urban youth, a facilitator of an urban education teacher preparation program, and a teacher in large urban districts. She is also committed to providing professional development for educational leaders on issues of equity and diversity.

  • Bekisizwe Ndimande, 
    Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor Associate
    Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Bekisizwe Ndimande, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor Associate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His research interest include the politics of curriculum and examining the policies and practices in post-apartheid desegregated public schools and the implications of school "choice" for marginalized communities in South Africa.

  • Charisse Gulosino, 
    Ph.D.


  • Christopher Tienken, 
    Ed.D.

    Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy
    Seton Hall University

    Christopher Tienken, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy at Seton Hall University. Tienken's research interests include school reform issues such as Neo-liberal influences in education policy-making, the influence of curriculum design and development on student achievement, and the use of high-stakes standardized tests as decision-making tools to determine school quality and student learning. He was awarded the Kappa Delta Pi Truman Kelley Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2013 and received the National Staff Development Council award for Best Research in 2008. His new book, with co-author Don Orlich is titled, The School Reform Landscape : Fraud, Myth, and Lies. Tienken has ongoing research collaborations with colleagues at the Universita` degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome, (University of Rome) Italy, the University of Catania, Sicily, and he was named as a visiting scholar at both universities.

  • Elizabeth DeBray, 
    Ed.D.

    Associate Professor
    Department of Lifelong Education, Administration & Policy in the College of Education, University of Georgia

    Elizabeth DeBray is an associate professor in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration& Policy in the College of Education, University of Georgia. She received her Ed.D. from Harvard University. Her research interests are the politics of federal education policy, policy implementation, and interest group politics.  She is a co-Principal Investigator, with Chris Lubienski and Janelle Scott, of a major grant from the WT Grant Foundation to investigate the role of intermediary organizations in disseminating research on charter schools and teacher pay-for-performance to policymakers.

  • Erica Frankenberg, 
    Ed.D.

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University

    Erica Frankenberg, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality in K-12 schools, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies.  She received her Ed.D. from Harvard University. She is co-author or co-editor of several recent books, including Educational delusions? Why choice can deepen inequality and how to make it fair (with Gary Orfield, University of California Press, 2013), The resegregation of suburban schools: A hidden crisis in American education (with Gary Orfield, Harvard Education Press, 2012), and Integrating schools in a changing society: New policies and legal options for a multiracial generation (with Elizabeth DeBray, University of North Carolina Press, 2011).  Prior to joining the Penn State faculty, she was the Research and Policy Director for the Initiative on School Integration at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.

  • Janelle Scott, 
    Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
    University of California at Berkeley, Graduate School of Education and African American Studies Department

    Janelle Scott, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education and African American Studies Department.  She earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of California at Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to earning her doctorate, she taught elementary school in Oakland, California. Her research centers on three related policy strands: the racial politics of public education, the politics of school choice, marketization, and privatization, and the role of elite and community-based advocacy in shaping public education. She received a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, during which she examined venture philanthropy and choice policy. She the editor of School choice and diversity: What the evidence says. She is currently examining the emerging role of intermediary organizations in research production, promotion, and utilization in a study funded by the William T. Grant Foundation with Co-Principal Investigators Christopher Lubienski and Elizabeth DeBray.

  • Jennifer A. Delaney, 
    Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Jennifer A. Delaney, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in higher education finance and policy; particularly state funding of higher education. Her research has been highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, CQ Researcher, Inside Higher Education, and other media outlets. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2007.

  • Joseph P. Robinson, 
    Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Quantitative and Evaluative Research Methodologies
    Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Joseph P. Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Quantitative and Evaluative Research Methodologies in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in Economics of Education from Stanford University. His research focuses on the use of novel and rigorous methods to study equity and policy, particularly concerning sexual minorities, women, and language minorities. He has received funding for his research from the Spencer Foundation, the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), the AERA Grants Board, and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). His research has been published in Educational Researcher, the American Educational Research JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, among other journals. Dr. Robinson teaches several courses on statistics and research design, including a course on quasi-experimental design and causal inference.

  • Laurence Parker, 
    Ph.D.

    Professor
    Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at University of Utah

    Laurence Parker, Ph.D, is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah and is the Director of Graduate Studies for his Department. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of critical race theory and educational policy, the politics of education, and leadership for social justice issues. His most recent work focuses on school leaders pursuit of social justice in schools and resistance from teachers and community members.

  • Patricia Burch, 
    Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
    Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

    Patricia Burch is committed to improving quality and equitable access in public education. The focus of her current research is how the policies and practices of various sectors, in particular business and education, intersect in low-income communities. As an educator, parent and citizen, Burch is interested in building an informed and respectful dialogue to counter commercialism of public schools. Her most recent book, Hidden Markets, examined for-profit involvement in the design and delivery of instruction in era of high stakes accountability. Burch is an associate professor in education policy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

  • Yongmei Ni, 
    Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Educational Leadership & Policy, University of Utah

    Yongmei Ni, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. Her research interests focus on school choice, economics of education, and quantitative research methods. She has examined the effects of school choice policies on racial segregation and social stratification, as well as the impact of charter schools on student achievement in both charter schools and traditional public schools. She also studied how school choice affects student achievement through influencing resource allocation, teacher working conditions, and principal turnover.  As a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Ni is currently investigating teacher commitment in charter schools. She has published articles in journals such as Economics of Education Review, Teachers College Record, Educational Administration Quarterly, and Educational Policy. She holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy and a Master's degree in Economics from Michigan State University.

Forum Fellow

  • Tiffany Puckett, 
    J.D.

    Associate Director
    Forum on the Future of Public Education

    Tiffany Puckett is the Associate Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education. She is a Ph.D. student in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in education law, school finance, policy development, implementation and compliance.  She is a 2013-2014 Richard E. and Ann M. O'Leary Fellow. Prior to graduate studies, Tiffany was an attorney for DC Public Schools and Baltimore City Public Schools.  She has a B.S in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and a J.D. and Ed.M. in Education Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Jameson Brewer, 
    M.S.

    Associate Director
    Forum on the Future of Public Education

    Jameson Brewer is the Associate Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education. He is a Ph.D. student in Educational Policy Studies where he studies Teach For America (TFA) and other neoliberal movements in public education. He is a 2013-2014 Richard E. and Ann M. O'Leary Fellow.  Prior to his studies, Jameson, a traditionally trained educator, taught for Teach For America in Atlanta Public Schools, where he witnessed the impact of neoliberal ideology first hand.  He earned a B.S.Ed. in Secondary Education from Valdosta State University and a M.S. in Social Foundations of Education from Georgia State University.

  • Matthew Linick, 
    Ph.D.

    Forum Fellow

    Matthew Linick was a 2012-2013 Richard E. and Ann M. O'Leary Fellow and 2012 Graduate Student Fellow at the David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration and Policy.  He completed his Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  His research interests are in the second-level effects of market-based education reforms on district-run public schools.  Prior to graduate studies, Matthew taught high school reading and English. He holds a B.A. in English Education and a M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • Paul S. Myers, 


  • Steven L. Nelson, 


  • Collin Ruud, 
    Ph.D.

    Research Specialist
    Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Collin Ruud is a research specialist at the Office of Community College Research and Leadership. He received his Ph.D. and M.Ed. in Higher Education at the University of Illinois, and has also studied at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Collin's research interests include college student development, student affairs, high school to postsecondary transitions, and technology in higher education. His dissertation examined the relationship between online technology use and perceptions of social support.

  • M. Allison Witt, 
    Ph.D.

    Research Specialist
    OCCRL

    M. Allison Witt, Ph.D., is a Research Specialist at OCCRL, where she is currently working on the Transformative Change initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina, and the Joyce Foundation. She is also working on the Illinois Collaborative for Education Policy Research, a group aimed at linking state agency leaders, researchers and other stakeholders in research to improve P-20 education. She is a former Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education where she contributed to State policy related to higher education completion initiatives, including dual credit programs and developmental education reform. Her research focuses upon the intersection of local, national, and international education policies by exploring issues of cooperation, agency, and access within the higher education sector.

  • Daniel Collier, 
    M.A.


    Daniel A. Collier is a current PhD student at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in the Education Organization and Leadership program.  Daniel specializes in Higher Education research where through an evaluative research specialization he focuses on how policies and politics affect higher education.  Currently, Daniel is a research assistant in the Illinois Leadership Laboratory through the Agriculture Education Department and a strategic tutor for the Irwin Academic Center.   Daniel's current research initiatives include investigating the effects that short-term and long term leadership education experiences have on students, exploring the interaction between the Division I NCAA students and Big 10 institutions, and examining various outcomes and affects that international students have on the U.S. higher education system.

  • Jason L. Taylor, 
    Ph.D.

    Post Doctoral Research Associate
    Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Jason L. Taylor is a post doctoral research associate with the Office of Community College Research and Leadership. His research and evaluation interests broadly include how programs and policies influence students' access to and success in higher education, particularly in community colleges. Specific areas of interest include college readiness, dual credit, developmental education, transfer students, access and equity, and adult bridge programs. Jason's dissertation used a quasi-experimental method to examine the impact of dual credit participation on college enrollment, college completion, and time to degree in Illinois. He received his M.S. in higher education from the University of Illinois and his B.S. in music from Illinois State University.

  • Joel Malin, 
    M.A.

    Director of Personnel Services and Director of World Languages
    Lake Forest School District 67

    Joel Malin is a Ph.D. student in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. His research interests include: educational policy analysis; expert opinion and decision-making; school funding equity; and assessment. He is currently the Director ofPersonnel Services and Director of World Languages at Lake Forest School District 67. Joel received a M.A. in Educational Psychology and an Ed.S. in School Psychology from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He also received a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Roosevelt University and a B.S. in Psychology from University of Wisconsin, Madison.

  • Nora Gannon-Slater, 
    M.Ed

    Doctoral Candidate
    Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Nora Gannon-Slater, a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology (QUERIES division), studies educational evaluation, assessment and, accountability. Her current work includes research assistant for the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Research (CREA) and evaluator for the Education Justice Project (www.educationjusticeproject.net).  Nora's professional experience also includes independent consultant work in research and evaluation, research analyst for the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and, evaluator for the Illinois Assessment Consequences Evaluation (IACE).  Nora's dissertation is investigating high school science teachers' instructional decision-making and examining how evidence-based decision-making should be addressed in teacher preparation.

  • Peter Weitzel, 
    M.Ed

    Doctoral Student
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Peter Weitzel is a Research Manager at the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield and a Ph.D. student in education policy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His primary research interests include issues of school choice, educational politics, and urban educational governance.  He is co-editor of The Charter School Experiment, a 2010 book on 20 years of charter school research, with Dr. Chris Lubienski.  His research has appeared in Educational Policy, the American Journal of Education, and a number of other professional journals and meetings.  Peter received a B.A. in Secondary Education and English from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001 and a Master’s in Educational Organization and Leadership in 2008. Prior to graduate studies, he was the director of an AmeriCorps program that provided tutoring, character education, service learning, and a range of other services to students in high needs communities in South Carolina.

  • Priya Goel, 
    M.S.

    Doctoral Student
    Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Priya Goel is a joint Ph.D.-MBA student.  Her Ph.D. focus is in education administration; and her MBA foci are entrepreneurship and general management. Priya's research interests include identity in P-12 leadership, globalization and curriculum, and parent engagement in school policy. Priya earned a M.S. in Education Organization & Leadership from UIUC and a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Sociology from DePaul University. Prior to her work at UIUC, Priya was involved in P-12 teaching and leadership for eight years in Chicago, New Delhi and Shanghai.