Meet the Team

The Reach Every Reader Team

Reach Every Reader’s core team is comprised of literacy, early child development, cognition, technology, and product development experts from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, MIT’s Integrated Learning Initiative, and Florida State University. We collaborate with many other educators, families, researchers, and industry partners to create, test, and implement our work.

Leadership Team: Joe Blatt, Rhonda Bondie, Hugh Catts, Elizabeth City, Chris Dede, Jeff Dieffenbach, David Dockterman, Jon Fullerton, John Gabrieli, James Kim, Eric Klopfer, Yaacov Petscher, Amanda Taylor

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Akane Zusho

Professor

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Akane Zusho | Professor

Akane Zusho is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. Her award-winning research focuses on empowering students and teachers to transform the learning environment from one where only some students feel competent, think, and learn to one where all students feel competent, think, and build deep and flexible understandings. To that end, she has written extensively on the intersection of culture, achievement motivation and self-regulated learning (SRL), and has conducted numerous studies exploring the relation of cultural, cognitive, and motivational processes to learning. With Rhonda Bondie, she is a co-author of the textbook, Differentiated Instruction made Practical.

Alfatah Moore

Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

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Alfatah Moore | Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

Alfatah Moore is a Research Assistant in the READS Lab, a research-based collaborative initiative to identify and scale adaptive solutions for improving children’s literacy learning opportunities and outcomes. His interests include the science of reading, interventions for struggling readers, and instructional and pedagogical guidance for teachers. As a Ph.D. candidate, Alfatah focuses on the design of effective reading interventions for K-12 students. He has directly taught students as a reading clinician and has led LEA and district-wide initiatives to deliver interventions at scale.

Alicia Lane

Research Assistant

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Alicia Lane | Research Assistant

Alicia “AC” Lane is an engineer turned educator with 12+ years of experience expanding access to STEM careers. AC holds an M.A. in education from the University of Michigan and earned dual degrees in engineering from Spelman College and the University of Michigan. Her work in education has been in the Detroit Free Press, on American Black Journal, WAMU, and ed.TED.com.

Amanda Taylor

Associate Director, Reach Every Reader

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Amanda Taylor | Associate Director, Reach Every Reader

Amanda Taylor is Associate Director of Reach Every Reader where she oversees the day-to-day strategy and operations and is a member of the leadership team. Her professional experience includes more than 15 years at Harvard where she has held a wide-range of administrative roles including within faculty affairs, executive education, and degree program administration. Prior to Reach Every Reader, Amanda spent eight years with the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program at HGSE. There, she collaborated with the program’s founding faculty to create the systems, curricular experiences, and student support services for the then new program. She subsequently facilitated the development and execution of an alumni network strategy. Amanda has a master’s degree in management from the Harvard University School of Extension, a master’s degree in music from Indiana University, and bachelor’s degrees in English and music from Boston University.

Aminisha Ferdinand

Teaching Artist, KID smART

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Aminisha Ferdinand | Teaching Artist, KID smART

Annie Lewis

Senior Project Coordinator

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Annie Lewis | Senior Project Coordinator

Annie Lewis is a Senior Project Coordinator at Reach Every Reader where she contributes to communications management, administrative support, and event planning.  Before joining Reach Every Reader, Annie spent several years supporting college student development through international student programs, academic support programs, and higher education administration. From 2018-2019, she travelled 12 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East as a Bonderman Fellow to explore how the U.S. education system can better create student-centered programs that holistically meet the needs of learners. Annie holds a Master of Education degree in Human Development and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English from the University of Washington.

Brandon Hanks

Software Developer, MIT

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Brandon Hanks | Software Developer, MIT

Brandon Hanks is the lead developer for the Connected Learning Initiative at MIT. His development efforts focus on educational games and the technology to deliver them. Prior to joining MIT, built and managed development teams for a variety of start ups ranging from Android development to remote sensing. Brandon has bachelor degrees in math and physics, with a minor in chemistry.

Carmen Williams

Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

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Carmen Williams | Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

Carmen Williams is an educational leader and has served her community in the roles of teacher, principal and college professor.  She is guided by her values of equity, empathy, and excellence when supporting educators in providing quality learning environments.  One of Carmen’s greatest strengths is her ability to build and sustain collaborative teams, capable of achieving shared goals for equitable student outcomes.  Carmen is currently a Harvard Graduate School of Education doctoral candidate with a focus on leading for equity and excellence.

Chris Dede

Professor

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Chris Dede | Professor

Chris Dede’s fundamental interest is developing new types of educational systems to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. His research spans emerging technologies for learning, infusing technology into large-scale educational improvement initiatives, developing policies that support educational transformation, and providing leadership in educational innovation. He is currently conducting funded studies to develop and assess learning environments based on virtual worlds, augmented realities, transformed social interaction, and online teacher professional development. Chris is a leader in mobile learning initiatives and has developed a widely used Framework for scaling up educational innovations. From 2001 to 2004, he served as chair of the Learning & Teaching area at HGSE.

Cigdem Uz Bilgin

Researcher, MIT Education Arcade

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Cigdem Uz Bilgin | Researcher, MIT Education Arcade

Cigdem Uz Bilgin holds a master’s in Computer Education and Instructional Technology and a doctorate in Computer Education and Instructional Technology from Middle East Technical University. Cigdem has worked as a research assistant for nine years and she continues to work as a researcher for several projects in the Education Arcade/Scheller Teacher Education Program at MIT.  Her research focuses on using virtual environments and games for playful experiences for teachers and students.

Cody Diefenthaler

Manager of Interactive Development, FSU

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Cody Diefenthaler | Manager of Interactive Development, FSU

Cody Diefenthaler has spent over a decade exploring the intersection between interactive media and learning. As Manager of Interactive Development, Diefenthaler coordinates technical production and game activities for the Reach Every Reader Screener. When not designing software and games, Cody spends his time in Tallahassee, FL playing music, creating art, and having adventures big and small with his partner and two children.

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Colleen Desrosiers Laude

Administrative Assistant, MIT STEP Lab

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Colleen Desrosiers Laude | Administrative Assistant, MIT STEP Lab

Colleen joins the STEP lab as the Administrative Assistant, her responsibilities are to supervise equipment inventory, organize lab events, and manage the Director’s calendar. Prior to joining MIT she spent over nine years working at Harvard University. She holds a B.A. in English and Theater from Goucher College and earned a Professional Graduate Certificate in Learning Design and Technology through the Harvard Extension School in 2018.

David Dockterman

Lecturer on Education

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David Dockterman | Lecturer on Education

David (affectionately known as Dock), a lecturer at HGSE, brings his 35+ years of experience in developing and scaling commercial, evidence-based technology programs, to the Reach Every Reader effort. During his time at Tom Snyder Productions, a pioneering edtech company he helped found in the early 1980s, and then at Scholastic and HMH, Dock contributed to supplemental, intervention, and core programs, including MATH 180, READ 180 Universal, and Into Reading. He continues to consult with commercial and nonprofit educational organizations, while teaching courses in evidence-driven innovation and adaptive learning. He received his BA from Yale University and an Ed.D. from HGSE.

Douglas Mosher

Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

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Douglas Mosher | Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

Doug Mosher studies literacy interventions for elementary school students. He is particularly interested in vocabulary development for students in the early grades and whether strong vocabulary instruction can foster a love of language. Additionally, he is interested in the ways students acquire domain knowledge through reading and how students transfer this knowledge to other conceptual domains. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Doug worked for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools as a first-grade teacher.

Elizabeth City

Executive Director, Reach Every Reader

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Elizabeth City | Executive Director, Reach Every Reader

Liz City likes to collaborate with people with different ideas and backgrounds who seek to do something ambitious together for children, particularly for children least well-served by our current schools and systems. This has led her to start schools, launch a new doctoral program in education leadership (Ed.L.D.) at Harvard, and now to serve as executive director and lead principal investigator for Reach Every Reader. Liz started her career as a middle school and high school teacher, principal, and literacy coach, and her more recent work is focused on supporting adults, whether in graduate programs, executive education, or in the field. Her authored and co-authored publications include: Meeting Wise; Data Wise; Strategy in Action; Instructional Rounds in Education; Resourceful Leadership; and The Teacher’s Guide to Leading Student-Centered Discussions: Talking about Texts in the Classroom. Liz’s favorite book as a child was Anne of Green Gables, in part because her mother, like the title character, was from Canada and named “Anne-with-an-e.”

Eric Falke

Director of Applied Educational Neuroscience Initiative, MIT

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Eric Falke | Director of Applied Educational Neuroscience Initiative, MIT

A physician neuroscientist, Dr Falke leads an applied neuroscience initiative in the Gabrieli lab at MIT.  The initiative employs basic cognitive neuroscience research to improve academic outcomes, such as reading and math, in school-age children. A major focus is generating scalable multi-dimensional learning profiles to guide targeted instruction. As he has for nearly a decade,  Dr. Falke continues to serve as the Director of Targeted Interventions and Research at Carroll school, a school for children who struggle to learn reading in typical education environments.

Eric Klopfer

Professor

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Eric Klopfer | Professor

Eric Klopfer is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT.  Eric’s research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building deep understanding, primarily focusing on K-12 students and teachers. The games that he works on explore ways that new and ubiquitous technologies can address learning challenges, ranging from mobile and web-delivered game platforms to virtual and augmented reality. He is the co-author of the books “Adventures in Modeling,” “The More We Know,” and “Resonant Games,” as well as author of “Augmented Learning.” His lab has produced software that includes several lines of mobile biology games, the Massively Multiplayer game, and The Radix Endeavor, as well as platforms such as StarLogo Nova for modeling complex systems, and Taleblazer for creating augmented realities.  Eric is also the co-founder and past President of the non-profit Learning Games Network (www.learninggamesnetwork.org).

Ethan Scherer

Senior Researcher, READS Lab

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Ethan Scherer | Senior Researcher, READS Lab

Ethan Scherer is a senior researcher with the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) and the READS Lab.  He leads the analytic design and execution for the MORE RCT and the Boston Charter Research Collaborative. As part of his work with CEPR, he also led the analytic design and execution for the Proving Ground project.  Prior to joining CEPR, Ethan completed a Ph.D. in policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and worked on projects related to district reform, teacher effectiveness, and out-of-school time at RAND. Ethan holds an M.P.P in public policy from UCLA and B.A. in economics from Wesleyan University.

Fanwen Zhang

Research Assistant

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Fanwen Zhang | Research Assistant

Fanwen Zhang is a research assistant at READS Lab at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before this position, she was a Master’s student in the Prevention Science and Practice program (research strand) at HGSE. Fanwen holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Rehabilitation and Human Services, from Penn State University.

Grace Lin

Learning Scientist and Assessment Designer

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Grace Lin | Learning Scientist and Assessment Designer

Grace Lin is a learning scientist and assessment designer at MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program | The Education Arcade who is particularly interested in measurement and playful assessments for and of learning. In addition to her assessment work, her research focuses on the intersection between technology and cognition, especially language and literacy. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from UC Irvine, Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a BA in Psychology from New York University.

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Halie Olson

Ph.D. Candidate and Reasearch Assistant

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Halie Olson | Ph.D. Candidate and Reasearch Assistant

Halie Olson is a PhD candidate in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT. She uses neuroimaging methods such as fMRI to study language and literacy development in children. Halie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology from Harvard College.

Hong Yin

Data Manager, Center for Education Policy Research

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Hong Yin | Data Manager, Center for Education Policy Research

Hong Yin is the director of data administration at CEPR, overseeing CEPR’s core data management functions and the ongoing development and maintenance of the data infrastructure that serves as the foundation for CEPR’s research projects. Before joining CEPR, Hong worked as a research associate at Harvard University, focusing on analysis and management of neuroimaging and neuropsychological data. Prior to Harvard University, Hong worked as data architect of the Clinical Data Warehouse at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Additionally, Hong has extensive industrial experience in data management and database development, supporting business, and R&D related decision-making. Hong holds a Ph.D. in biophysics from Brandeis University.

Hugh Catts

Professor

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Hugh Catts | Professor

Hugh Catts leads the development for the reading/language portion of the Reach Every Reader assessment. Hugh’s research interests include the early identification and prevention of language-based reading disabilities. He is currently involved in two longitudinal investigations related to early identification. With Reach Every Reader, he and his co-investigators are developing and evaluating a multivariate longitudinal assessment designed to screen for dyslexia and other language and literacy difficulties. In another project, he is working with colleagues in the Psychology Department to identify and follow approximately 250 toddlers with a family history of dyslexia and/or language impairment. This project, funded by the NIH as part of the Florida Learning Disabilities Research Center, uses child, familial, and environmental data to model the co-development of language and pre-literacy skills and their relationship to the emergence of early reading achievement.  In addition to these projects, he continues to work with colleagues and students on projects related to reading comprehension development and disorders.

Hyeryoung Rhee

Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

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Hyeryoung Rhee | Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

Hyeryoung is a current Ed.M. student in the Human Development and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Prior to coming to HGSE, she was a high school history teacher and class dean at the Taipei American School, where she enjoyed working with students and supporting their holistic growth both in and out of class. Hyeryoung holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Princeton University.

Ilana Schoenfeld

Learning Designer and Researcher, MIT Education Arcade

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Ilana Schoenfeld | Learning Designer and Researcher, MIT Education Arcade

Ilana Schoenfeld is a learning designer and researcher with a passion for developing educational experiences and tools at the intersection of digital and physical spaces. Over the course of her career, she has worked as an education researcher, curriculum and course developer, executive science editor, distance-learning program evaluator, and museum exhibit developer. Ilana holds a master’s in environmental science/social ecology from Yale University and a BA in Latin American history from Brandeis University.

Jackie E. Relyea

Assistant Professor, NC State University, College of Education

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Jackie E. Relyea | Assistant Professor, NC State University, College of Education

Jackie E. Relyea served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the READS Lab at Harvard. Her research focuses on academic language and literacy development of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Her current research involves investigating a classroom-based intervention model that emphasizes the integration of literacy instruction in content-area subjects to develop language-minority students’ domain-specific knowledge, academic language and literacy, and higher-order thinking skills. Prior to joining to the READS lab, she held research positions at various research institutions, including UNC-Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, MetaMetrics Inc., and the University of Houston. She is currently an assistant professor of literacy education at North Carolina State University.

James S. Kim

Professor

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James S. Kim | Professor

Jimmy Kim studies the effectiveness of literacy reforms and interventions in improving student outcomes. He leads the the READS Lab (Research Enhances Adaptations Designed for Scale in Literacy), a research-based collaborative initiative to identify and scale adaptive solutions for improving children’s literacy learning opportunities and outcomes. He is an expert in conducting randomized field trials to evaluate, improve, and scale evidence-based literacy reforms. He is the principal investigator of an Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) validation study to evaluate READS for Summer Learning, a low-cost and large-scale summer reading intervention for improving reading comprehension outcomes in high-poverty elementary schools. He has also led experimental studies of several widely used teacher professional development interventions for improving reading and writing outcomes in the elementary and secondary grades, including the Pathway Project, Teacher Study Groups, and the Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention. He serves on the editorial boards of Reading Research Quarterly and the Journal of Educational Psychology and was the program chair for the 2014 annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Jamie Quinn

Research Faculty

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Jamie Quinn | Research Faculty

Jamie Quinn earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in August of 2016 at Florida State University. After completing a one-year postdoctoral fellowship position at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin, Jamie joined the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) as a postdoctoral research scholar in fall of 2017, and accepted a research faculty position in the spring of 2018. Jamie is a methodologist and budding psychometrician on the Reach Every Reader project.

Jazmine Benoit

Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

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Jazmine Benoit | Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

Jazmine Benoit is a current Ed.M. candidate in the Leaning Design, Innovation, and Technology program at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Before attending HGSE, Jazmine was a fellow with Future Leaders in Action creating and implementing program design in the South Bronx. Jazmine has over 7 years of experience working for youth education nonprofit programs serving the Bronx population. Jazmine holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and childhood education with bilingual extension from Lehman College.

Jeff Dieffenbach

Associate Director, MIT Integrated Learning Initiative

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Jeff Dieffenbach | Associate Director, MIT Integrated Learning Initiative

Jeff Dieffenbach is the Associate Director of the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative, which funds, connects, and shares research on effective human learning across birth-preK, pK-12, higher education, and workforce learning. Previously, Jeff has served in senior product management, business development, sales, and marketing roles across a range of education companies. In addition, Jeff served for ten years as an elected school board member in a suburban town west of Boston. Jeff has master’s degrees in Technology and Policy and in Materials Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jesse Dalton

Data Management Specialist, Center for Education Policy Research

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Jesse Dalton | Data Management Specialist, Center for Education Policy Research

Jesse Dalton is a data management specialist at CEPR. Previously, he worked as a research analyst at the Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy, where he managed data and ran analyses across multiple projects. His work included creating and cleaning physician group data to measure the effectiveness of accountable care organizations, defining hospice chains to examine the expansion of the for-profit hospice sector, and analyzing the effects of mergers and acquisitions on patient experiences at acquired hospitals. He graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in economics and international relations and a M.A. in economics.

Joanna Christodoulou

Associate Professor

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Joanna Christodoulou | Associate Professor

Joanna Christodoulou is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist who studies reading development and difficulties. She is Associate Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA, as well as Research Associate at MIT with the Gabrieli Lab, and adjunct faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Joanna works at the intersection of education and neuroscience. Her research focuses on the brain and behavior correlates of reading, as well as intervention approaches for struggling learners. Her research has been supported by organizations including the Spencer Foundation; the Fulbright Foundation; the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative at Harvard; the National Science Foundation; and the National Institutes of Health. She has worked directly with children delivering reading instruction, taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has led professional development workshops for educators and parents internationally. She earned an MA in applied child development from Tufts University, an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and an Ed.D. from HGSE.

Joe Blatt

Senior Lecturer on Education

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Joe Blatt | Senior Lecturer on Education

Joe Blatt is interested in the effects of media content and technology on development, learning, and civic behavior. As principal investigator for Reach Every Reader’s pre-K home and family engagement strand, Joe is overseeing the development of apps that parents and young children can use together to support the foundations of early literacy.

Joe’s expertise in children’s media has led to consulting and advising relationships with many major production companies, including Sesame Workshop, WGBH, Walden Media, PBS Kids, and Pokemon. Before serving as executive producer of Scientific American Frontiers, the PBS magazine series starring Alan Alda, Joe made documentaries for the NOVA science series. He also created the BreakThrough television series to profile contemporary African American, Latino, and Native American scientists and engineers.

Johanna Tvedt

READS Lab Project Manager

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Johanna Tvedt | READS Lab Project Manager

Johanna Tvedt came to the READS Lab from Harvard’s Project Zero, where she worked as a Research Assistant on a national study of how different groups think about the goals of college. Her primary focus is issues of social mobility and equity in the field of education, and she has previously coordinated an educational program for immigrant women at the MiRA Centre in Norway, and worked as a teacher and coordinator of a study abroad program in San Francisco. She holds an M.A. in International Studies from the University of San Francisco.

John Gabrieli

Professor

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John Gabrieli | Professor

John Gabrieli has faculty appointments in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT. He is Director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute and a Principal Investigator in that Institute. He also has appointments in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

John Richards

Lecturer on Education

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John Richards | Lecturer on Education

John Richards is a senior executive in education, technology and media with extensive experience in business development and strategic planning. He is an internationally recognized leader in merging media and technology with educational needs, and has designed and published award-winning educational materials in mathematics, science, and social studies. He is currently President of Consulting Services for Education (CS4Ed), which provides strategic planning and product development for such clients as Discovery Education, AGS Publishing, PBS TeacherLine, and WGBH Teacher Domain. Previously, he was President of the JASON Foundation for Education, and Senior Vice President and General Manager of Turner Learning, Inc., the education arm of Turner Broadcasting. Richards received his doctorate in Philosophy at SUNY Buffalo in 1971, and conducted post-doctoral research at SUNY in Mathematics in 1972.

Jon Fullerton

Executive Director, Center for Education Policy Research

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Jon Fullerton | Executive Director, Center for Education Policy Research

Jon Fullerton is the executive director of CEPR. Jon has extensive experience working with policymakers and executives in designing and implementing organizational change and improvements. Before coming to Harvard, Jon served as the Board of Education’s director of budget and financial policy for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In this capacity, he provided independent evaluations of district reforms and helped to ensure that the district’s budget was aligned with board priorities. From 2002 to 2005 he was vice-president of strategy, evaluation, research, and policy at the Urban Education Partnership in Los Angeles, where he worked with policymakers to ensure that they focused on high impact educational strategies. Jon previously worked for five years at McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant. He has a PhD in government and an A.B. in social studies, both from Harvard.

Jonny Adler

Research Assistant

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Jonny Adler | Research Assistant

Jonny Adler is a social studies and humanities educator from New York City. After graduating with his Ed.M from HGSE in 2020, Jonny taught middle schoolers in the northeast Bronx for three years. Jonny is looking forward to learning more about teaching and learning—as well as research methods and processes—at Reach Every Reader.

Josh Gilbert

Senior Researcher, READS Lab

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Josh Gilbert | Senior Researcher, READS Lab

Josh Gilbert received his Bachelor of Music degree at New England Conservatory and completed his Master of Education degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in its Arts in Education program in 2017.  Josh’s research experience includes work with the Center for Music and the Arts in Education, Harvard Project Zero, and Harvard’s READS Lab. Josh’s academic publications have appeared in Arts Education Policy Review, and most recently, a chapter in Music Learning as Youth Development co-authored with Dr. Lawrence Scripp. Currently, Josh is working with Dr. Scripp on a comprehensive early-childhood music curriculum for MindChamps PreSchools in Southeast Asia.

Julia Rowley

Research Assistant

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Julia Rowley | Research Assistant

Julia Rowley is a middle school English Language Arts teacher in Boston. Julia also facilitates a graduate course at BU centered on teaching classic and contemporary texts. She received her Ed. M. from the Language and Literacy Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2021 while working with the AERID lab on the Identity Project and its corresponding PD curriculum, E4. Before attending HGSE, Julia received her undergraduate degree from Boston University in English Education and minored in Linguistics, where she completed an honors thesis on diversifying literary curriculums in US schools.

Karolina Wade

Speech Language Pathologist, Psychoeducational Evaluator

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Karolina Wade | Speech Language Pathologist, Psychoeducational Evaluator

Karolina Wade is the psychoeducational evaluator in the Gabrieli Lab at MIT. She oversees the educational assessment aspect of various literacy studies in the lab in addition to maintaining a database, organizing and helping to analyze data, as well as community outreach and recruitment. Karolina received her master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Boston University and worked with children in the clinic setting for several years prior to joining the Gabrieli Lab. Karolina’s interest in literacy has also led her to pursue further training in this area as she is currently completing the Literacy and Language Program at MGH Institute of Health Professions.

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Katharine Sadowski

Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

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Katharine Sadowski | Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

Katharine Sadowski is a PhD student in Policy Analysis and Management concentrating in economics with a minor in data science. Her research focus is broadly the economics of education and education interventions. She is interested in using NLP and ML to improve educational experiences for students and teachers. Specific research studies have focused on early childhood education policies, teacher preparation programs, school climate, and online learning.

Mary Burkauser

Senior Researcher, READS Lab

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Mary Burkauser | Senior Researcher, READS Lab

Mary Burkhauser studies how teachers experience and participate with literacy reform efforts. She is particularly interested in the relationship between teachers’ implementation experiences with literacy reform efforts and the scalability of these reforms. Before coming to Harvard, Mary was a middle-school English teacher in New York City and a research analyst at Child Trends. Mary earned her B.A. from Cornell University, her M.S.T. from Pace University and Ph.D. from Harvard.

Melissa Kain

Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

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Melissa Kain | Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

Melissa Kain is an Ed.M. candidate in the Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology (LDIT) program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). She is interested in making education accessible and engaging for all learners through the use of media and technology. Prior to attending HGSE, Melissa received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University in mathematics and Spanish, worked as a strategy & analytics consultant, and taught U.S. civics and English to adults who were preparing to take the U.S. citizenship test.  

Meredith Rowe

Professor

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Meredith Rowe | Professor

Meredith Rowe is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). She leads a research program on understanding the role of parent and family factors in children’s early language and literacy development. She is particularly interested in uncovering how variations in children’s early communicative environments contribute to language development and in applying this knowledge to the development of intervention strategies for low-income families. For the past 10 years, her work has been funded by grants from the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her work is published widely in top journals in education and psychology, including Science, Child Development, Developmental Science, and Developmental Psychology.

Meredith Thompson

Research Scientist and Lecturer, Teaching Systems Lab

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Meredith Thompson | Research Scientist and Lecturer, Teaching Systems Lab

Thompson draws upon her background in science education and outreach as a research scientist and lecturer for the Teaching Systems Lab at MIT. Her research interests are in teacher preparation using simulations, STEM educational games, and using virtual and simulated environments for learning STEM topics. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Cornell, a masters in science and engineering education from Tufts, and a doctorate in science education from Boston University. She is an instructor in the Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP). Her research interest is in using technology to help expand how and what we learn. She works in creating and implementing simulations to help preservice and inservice teachers learn key skills in teaching. Thompson uses those games and simulations when she teaches the STEP course: “Understanding and Evaluating Education.”  She has also done work collaborative learning environments in Virtual Reality, using multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) in learning ecology, and in how AI powered apps that can enrich parent and child learning strategies. She is the coauthor of Envisioning Virtual Reality: A toolkit for implementing VR in Education.

Myrtha Ortiz Villar

Research Assistant

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Myrtha Ortiz Villar | Research Assistant

Myrtha Ortiz Villar is a recent graduate of the Leadership, Organization, and Entrepreneurship program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). As a first-generation Latina, Myrtha’s research interests live at the intersection of education access and the navigational experience of immigrant populations in the United States. Before joining Harvard, Myrtha worked across California’s K-16 schools, working with and for Spanish-speaking families and first-generation students. She holds a B.A. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ola Ozernov-Palchik

Lecturer on Education

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Ola Ozernov-Palchik | Lecturer on Education

Ola Ozernov-Palchik, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral associate at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying reading development and dyslexia. Ola applies neurocognitive methods to investigating individual differences in dyslexia in emerging readers. She is interested in the interplay between children and their environment in shaping the development of reading skills. The reciprocity between research and real-world practices is an important goal of her work.

Olivia Barbieri

Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

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Olivia Barbieri | Master's Candidate and Research Assistant

Olivia Barbieri is a current Ed.M student in the Language and Literacy Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is interested in overall language and literacy development among students, and has a particular interest in bilingual learners and adolescent populations. Before attending HGSE, Olivia received her undergraduate degree from Boston College in Secondary Education and Hispanic Studies, student-taught in high school Spanish classrooms in Massachusetts, and taught English in Spain.

Paola Uccelli

Professor

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Paola Uccelli | Professor

Paola Uccelli is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. With a background in linguistics, she studies socio-cultural and individual differences in language and literacy development throughout the school years. Her research focuses on how different language skills (at the lexical, grammatical, and discourse levels) interact with each other to either promote or hinder advances in language expression and comprehension in monolingual and bilingual students. Paola’s current projects focus on describing individual trajectories of school-relevant language development; on the design and validation of a research instrument to assess school-relevant language skills in elementary and middle school students; and on understanding how monolingual and multilingual speakers and writers learn to use a variety of discourse structures flexibly and effectively for diverse communicative and learning purposes. Paola studied linguistics at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and subsequently earned her doctoral degree in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Being a native of Peru, she is particularly interested in Latin America where she collaborates with local researchers and often participates in research conferences and workshops.

Patrick Rich

Strategic Data Fellow

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Patrick Rich | Strategic Data Fellow

Patrick Rich is a Data Fellow located at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools where he serves as a liaison to the MORE RCT and the lead research analyst for the Office of Academics and Office of Accountability. He is interested in language and literacy development,  and has undertaken longitudinal studies of students’ development. He has engaged with stakeholders about research and analysis findings in two urban districts, and has taught domestically and internationally. His graduate work is in economics and also society, technology, and science studies (M.Sc, Lund University in Sweden), with an B.Sc in industrial and operations research engineering (University of Michigan).

Rebecca Marks

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Rebecca Marks | Postdoctoral Fellow

Rebecca Marks is a postdoctoral researcher at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the MGH Institute of Health Professions. She studies language and literacy development, with a particular focus on bilingual children and children with dyslexia. Her work lies at the intersection of developmental psychology, education, and cognitive neuroscience, where she uses behavioral and neurocognitive approaches to examine how language development lays the foundation for successful reading in linguistically diverse learners. Rebecca holds a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Education & Psychology from the University of Michigan.

Rhonda Bondie

Lecturer on Education

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Rhonda Bondie | Lecturer on Education

Rhonda Bondie is lecturer on education in several programs including the Harvard Teacher Fellows (HTF) program. Throughout her career, she has focused on ensuring all learners are valued, engaged, and stretched in inclusive classrooms. Rhonda began teaching as an artist-in-residence and then spent over 20 years in urban public schools as both a special and general educator. Bondie is the faculty chair for Programs in Professional Education’s online course Differentiated Instruction Made Practical. The course is based-on the teacher-decision making framework, All Learners Learning Every Day collaboratively developed with Akane Zusho. Bondie has been a faculty member of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero Classroom since 2006 and the Future of Learning Institute since its inception. She designed the online course, Differentiating Instruction for English Language Learners, for HGSE Programs in Professional Education WideWorld. She maintains her roots in the arts through chairing the working education board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Bondie maintains these websites for teachers, all-ed.org and projectreachonline.org.

Rosa Guzman

Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

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Rosa Guzman | Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

Rosa Guzman’s  research interests lie at the intersection between language, literacy, and technology. The presence of technology in children’s lives continues to grow and yet we know little as to how it impacts children’s development at home and at school. She seeks to understand how technology, such as e-readers, is shaping children’s literacy and language development. This research will help parents and practitioners make better decisions regarding how, when, and where to use technological devices especially in disadvantaged communities. Rosa’s ultimate goal is to find tools that can help children be better prepared for grade school and close the various educational gaps found in the U.S. today. Prior to graduate school, Rosa worked as a lab manager and research assistant at the Harvard Lab for Developmental studies. She conducted several studies that explored the training of children’s intuitive numerical and spatial abilities, with the goal of creating fun games that could help children mathematical abilities in underserved communities. She has also worked on projects that focused on understanding the role of bilingualism in children’s executive function and social skills.

Ruth Newhouse

Staff Assistant

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Ruth Newhouse | Staff Assistant

Ruth Newhouse studies literacy interventions, specifically for students who are learning English as an additional language. She is very interested in work that combines community and family outreach with school-time instruction. Prior to working on the READS lab team, she received her M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She previously taught high-school math in Watsonville, CA. Also, she has experience working in elementary schools, both as a teacher and out-of-school time coordinator.

Sarah O’Dell

Project Coordinator, FSU

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Sarah O’Dell | Project Coordinator, FSU

Sarah O’Dell manages project operations for the Reach Every Reader screener including school recruitment, staff recruitment and training, data collection, and reporting. Sarah received an MSW in Clinical Social Work with an additional graduate certificate in Cultural Competency in Disaster Recover from Florida State University in 2007. She has since worked at the Florida Center for Reading Research in a variety of roles across projects, and most recently at the FSU College of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine studying women’s mental health and child welfare.

Scot Osterweil

Creative Director, MIT Education Arcade

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Scot Osterweil | Creative Director, MIT Education Arcade

Scot Osterweil is Creative Director of the Education Arcade and the Game Lab in the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program. He has designed games in both academic and commercial environments.  Designs include the Zoombinis series (math and logic), Vanished: The MIT/Smithsonian Game (environmental science), Labyrinth (math), Kids Survey Network (data and statistics), Caduceus (medicine), and iCue (history).  He is a founder and Creative Director of Learning Games Network (www.learninggamesnetwork.org) where he led the Gates Foundation’s Language Learning Initiative (ESL), and where he designed Quandary, named Game of the Year at the 2013 Games for Change festival. He co-authored the book Resonant Games (MIT Press) and serves as the play consultant on the Amazon TV series Tumbleleaf.

Sean Glazebrook

Teaching Artist, KID smART

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Sean Glazebrook | Teaching Artist, KID smART

Steve Nelson

Program Manager, MIT Integrated Learning Initiative

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Steve Nelson | Program Manager, MIT Integrated Learning Initiative

Steve Nelson, Program Manager for the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative, is passionate about education and learning, having spent the last few years working to improve workplace learning in the corporate world, he is now focused on helping find research solutions to solve education issues from pK-12 to higher education to workplace learning. Steve works with research partners on the campus of MIT to facilitate transformational learning objectives and create educational best practices.

Steven Meisler

Ph.D. Candidate and Research Assistant

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Steven Meisler | Ph.D. Candidate and Research Assistant

Steven is a PhD student in the Harvard-MIT Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology. He works in Dr. John Gabrieli’s lab at MIT employing multimodal MRI techniques to study the relationship between brain structure and function, focusing on language and child development as models. Steven holds a BSE and MSE in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Kelley-Kemple

Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

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Thomas Kelley-Kemple | Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant

Thomas Kelley-Kemple focuses on examining school level determinants of policy implementation and effectiveness. He is primarily interested in understanding how schools use data to improve and support student success.

Vishesh Kumar

Developer; Learning Designer and Researcher

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Vishesh Kumar | Developer; Learning Designer and Researcher

Vishesh Kumar is a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the department of Curriculum & Instruction (with a focus in Design, Informal and Creative Education). He works in the Reach Every Reader as a developer, helping design and create mobile implementations of assisted reading applications for the Reach Every Reader. In his other work, Vishesh works with a variety of informal learning environments like museums, libraries, makerspaces, and games in classrooms, and is particularly interested in how to design to foster and support people engaging and learning collaboratively in a variety of ways. Prior to his doctoral pursuit, Vishesh has a Bachelor’s in Design from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.

Xochitl Arechiga

Technical Associate

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Xochitl Arechiga | Technical Associate

Xochitl Arechiga is a Technical Associate at the Gabrieli Lab where she oversees data collection for two projects. Prior to Reach Every Reader, Xochitl spent her time obtaining her Masters in the Mind, Brain and Education Program at HGSE. There, Xochitl focused on bilingualism and took courses focused on brain development and how executive function varies in bilingual individuals. Further, while at HGSE, she worked closely with Joanna Christodoulou to observe how summer intervention studies affect the summer slump in struggling readers. Her main areas of focus are bilingualism, socioeconomic status, and identity development. Xochitl has her Bachelor’s Degree from Pomona College in Neuroscience.

 

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Yaacov Petscher

Associate Professor

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Yaacov Petscher | Associate Professor

Yaacov Petscher leads the conceptual development of the screener, the psychometric and CAT development, and the biopsychosocial content for the Reach Every Reader assessment. His research interests are the study of individual differences in reading and language skills, and has over 150 publications in the domains of literacy, psychometrics, and applied research methods; he has been a PI or co-PI on 30 state or federally funded grants and contracts. He has served as a lead developer and psychometrician of four, large scale computer-adaptive tests of reading and language skills, and has worked as the principal methodologist for several multi-site randomized controlled trials. He presently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, and Annals of Dyslexia and is an associate editor for Elementary School Journal and Journal of Learning Disabilities. His work has been recognized with state, national and international research awards from the International Literacy Association, the American Educational Research Association, the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, and the Florida Educational Research Association. More recently, his applied work is focused on technology innovation resulted in multiple co-invented patents and copyrights, with his technologies recognized by awards from the International Society for Technology in Education, Tech and Learning Magazine, and a Florida State University Innovator Award.

Zhongyu Wei

Ph.D. Candidate and Research Assistant

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Zhongyu Wei | Ph.D. Candidate and Research Assistant

Zhongyu Wei is a doctoral student in the Human Development, Learning and Teaching program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She’s interested in children’s language and literacy development in early and middle childhood and the role of adult-child interactions. As a Research Assistant at the READS Lab and the PreK-K Home and Family Engagement project, she studies the dynamics of teacher-student and parent-child interactions. Zhongyu holds an Ed.M. from Harvard and a B.A. from Tsinghua University.