Current Fellows

Profile photo: Asher

Asher, Michael (Psychology )
Research interests: Classroom interventions; Student motivation and interest; Self-regulated learning; STEM education; Mathematical cognition; Teacher training; Educational equity.

Bio: Michael graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University in 2013. Michael then joined Teach for America and earned a Masters degree in Special Education from Hunter College while teaching in the South Bronx in New York City. For four years Michael taught a mixture of high school math, computer science, and AP psychology before enrolling at UW-Madison.


Bartel, Anna (Psychology)Profile photo: Bartel
Research interests: Mathematical cognition; syntactic structure of algebraic word problems; use of graphics to facilitate or hinder comprehension of math problems; use of grounded and abstract representations in teaching statistics; education policy

Bio: Anna received her BA from California State University, Chico, graduating with honors in Psychology, and Child Development. She also earned her MA from California State University, Chico, graduating with distinction in Psychological Science. Prior to UW Madison, Anna worked at CSU Chico’s Child Development Lab, taught undergraduate statistics at CSU, Chico, and was a statistical analyst at a non-profit organization that provided support to adults with developmental disabilities.


Bier, Becca (Sociology)
Research interests:Access to early childhood education; social stratification; disparities in school readiness and academic achievement

Bio: Rebecca received her B.A. in Development Studies from UC Berkeley in 2015. Prior to coming to UW-Madison, she worked for a consulting organization in Lusaka, Zambia, where she conducted research on education programs across Sub-Saharan Africa. Before this, she worked for a K-12 math curriculum in Washington, D.C.


Brighouse Glueck, Maddy (Sociology)
Research interests: education, stratification, gender

Bio: Maddy majored in Sociology and Philosophy and the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2018. She then moved to the UK and became a secondary school English teacher near Birmingham through Teach First before coming to UW Madison.


Cooper Borkenhagen, Matthew (Psychology)Profile Photo: Cooper Borkenhagen
Research Interests: Language in reading, writing and mathematical cognition and performance, in both typically and atypically developing children.

Bio: Matt received a BA in Linguistics and Literature from UC Santa Cruz, an MA in Linguistics from San Francisco State University, and an MA in Education from San Jose State University. Prior to coming to the Department of Psychology at UW-Madison, he was an elementary school teacher in California, specializing in language and math instruction for children with learning differences such as dyslexia and dyscalculia.

Donovan, Andrea M. (Psychology)Profile Photo: Donovan
Research interests: Andrea is interested in cognitive development and mathematical learning in children. Her current research investigates the role of manipulatives in learning as well as children’s communication of knowledge.

Bio: Andrea earned her BA from University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with distinction in Psychology.


Gill, Erin (Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis)
Research interests: LGBTQ+ students’ wellbeing; education policy; rural schools; teacher professional development

Bio: Erin holds a B.S. in Visual Art Education with highest distinction from Indiana University Bloomington. Prior to graduate school, she taught high school art, led student and teacher mentoring programs, and served as a local teacher association leader at a rural school in Indiana.


Grondin, Matthew (Educational Psychology and Mechanical Engineering).
Research interests: Embodied learning in engineering education and application of theories  of transfer; specifically, the use of gesture and metaphor to ground conceptual understandings, and the application of embodied and activity system theories of transfer. Matthew is also interested in connecting his research to engineering-related industry.

Bio: Matthew holds a BS and MS is Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently in the process of obtaining a joint-degree between Educational Psychology-Learning Sciences and Mechanical Engineering for the prospect of bridging a predominately formalisms first field to the best that Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences research has to offer.


Herder, Tiffany (Educational Psychology)
Research Interests: Complex Thinking; STEM Learning; Game-Based Learning; Online Learning; Pedagogical Authoring; Learning Analytics

Bio: Tiffany Herder is a PhD student in the Learning Sciences area. Prior to attending UW Madison, she worked in curriculum and instructional design. Tiffany is a member of the Learning Representations and Technology Lab. She studies how students learn with visual representations within educational video games.


Hirschl, Noah (Sociology)Profile Photo: Hirschl
Research Interests: Educational attainment and stratification over the life course, socioeconomic inequality and childhood achievement, and higher education.

Bio: Noah studied Development Sociology at Cornell University and graduated with a B.S. in 2014. His research before coming to UW-Madison has focused on US post-secondary educational inequality as well as international development issues in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Jay, Tory (Psychology)
Research Interests: Mathematical cognition; children's understanding of fractions and algebra

Bio: Tory received their BS from University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with distinction in Psychology and Neurobiology. Tory also earned their MS in Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Kim-Michel, HeeJin (Social Work)Profile Photo: Kim-Michel
Research Interests: Health and education outcomes of the child protective services (CPS) population, trauma-informed care, and social welfare policy.

Bio: HeeJin served as a technical lead and data analyst at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) since August 2015. Her projects included analytics of re-referrals, examining outcomes of Wisconsin's out-of-home care (OHC) population, and improving services for children with disabilities. Prior to joining DCF, HeeJin was an Associate Researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research where she joined in 2011 after receiving both her BA in Education (2010) and MA in Urban Education Policy (2011) from Brown University.


Latham, Alex (Educational Psychology)

Research Interests: Academic skill assessment and intervention; Statistical judgment; Machine learning; STEM education; Single case research design, Equity in tiered support systems

Bio: Alex received a B.A. in Psychology with Honors from UW - Madison in 2020 and is currently a second-year student in the School Psychology program.


Lor, Na (Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis)
Research Interests: Higher education attainment among non-dominant students, retention, attrition, culture, identity, culturally relevant pedagogy in higher education, ethnic studies, community based learning, community based research.

Bio: Na holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Educational Policy and a MS in Global Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Prior to graduate school, she led international service learning trips for youth in rural Ecuador and she taught elementary English in South Korea. Na is also a Research Associate with the Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory.


Marifian, Elise (Economics)Profile Photo: Marifian
Research Interests: Issues of educational inequality and education of disadvantaged students, particularly at the early childhood, elementary, and secondary levels, market for education under privatization and public school choice regimes; Teacher quality, incentives, and labor markets; The political economy of school administrations (superintendents, principals, and school boards); Peer effects, neighborhood effects, and diversity in education; and gendered and racial dimensions of U.S. student educational paths in STEM.

Bio: Elise is interested in economic research related to human capital accumulation, including education, poverty, and inequality. Her fields of interest are labor economics, public economics, industrial organization, market design, and econometrics. Before arriving at UW-Madison, Ms. Marifian earned a Master's of Arts in economics and education from Columbia University. Prior to this, she worked as an economic research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Economics and Spanish.


Menendez, David (Psychology)Profile Photo: Menendez
Research Interests: Science education, biological knowledge, learning and cognitive development, visual representations.

Bio: David received AA from Miami Dade College, and a BA with honors in Psychology from UW-Madison.


Porter, Tiaira (Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis)
Research Interests: STEM graduate student success, identity development, motivation, historically underserved student retention, educational equity, higher education.

Bio: Tiaira earned her BS in Physiology and Chemistry from Northern Michigan University, and a MS in Neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Prior to joining the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, she gained experience in pre-college summer bridge programs for historically underserved students, taught Anatomy and Physiology courses at a local community college, and has worked to improve STEM transfer student transition success for over four years.


Premo, Elizabeth (School of Social Work)Profile Photo: Premo
Research Interests: Impact of poverty on child development and family well-being; disparities in school readiness; early childhood education; evaluation of social policies and programs

Bio: Liz graduated with distinction from UW-Madison in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychology and a certificate in Education & Educational Services. Prior to graduate school, Liz was a research coordinator for a grant investigating language development in toddlers. Additionally, she has extensive experience volunteering in Head Start programs and elementary schools.


Swerbenski, Kat (Psychology)
Research Interests: intergroup dynamics; cross-race friendships; school belonging; academic success; student well-being; intervention research

Bio: Kat received her B.A. with honors in Psychology from Miami University.


Viegut, Alexandria (Educational Psychology)
Research Interests: Mathematical learning and teaching, especially of fractions, ratio, and proportion.

Bio: Alex holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, and earned her M.S. in Educational Psychology at UW-Madison in 2019. She enjoys teaching undergraduate classes in developmental psychology and introductory statistics workshops.


Wertz, Jacob (Sociology)Profile Photo: Wertz
Research Interests: Measuring Educational Outcomes; K-12 School Reform Movements; School Quality; Inequality

Bio: Jacob holds a BS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Prior to graduate school, he created a teaching fellowship program in Chicago and founded a charter middle school in Southeast Los Angeles.