Key Personnel

Key Personnel

Staff Contact Information

Center Management

F. Joseph Merlino (Principal Investigator) is the President of The 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education, a non-profit, tax- exempt organization founded in 2007. He is the principal investigator for the IES-funded National Center for Cognition and Science Instruction. ;For the past 25 years Mr. Merlino has directed numerous NSF grants devoted to secondary mathematics and science improvements in curriculum, instruction and assessment. Mr. Merlino has managed the provision of approximately 170,000 hours of professional development in STEM to nearly 5,000 middle and high school math and science teachers. He has also consulted with more than 100 superintendents and curriculum directors in STEM involving over 200 schools.  He is presently also a co-director of a USAID project to establish STEM schools in Egypt. (610-368-7942, [email protected])

Gary Cooper (Project Director) is executive director of the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education and serves as the director of the Center’s management team, as well as being the administrative-level liaison for the Center. He has 29 years of experience as a school administrator including three Superintendent positions within the states of New York and Pennsylvania. He has been a manager of large ($70 million dollar) budgets and has had responsibility for overseeing over 1,000 employees. In addition to currently serving as a Co-PI of the Math and Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia. Dr. Cooper has held numerous leadership positions in a variety of organizations including Division Chair of The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Board President of the Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council, Board Chair of the Western New York Educational Service Council at the University of Buffalo and member of the Board of Directors of the Western New York Coalition of School Community Collaborations. He earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. (610-825-5644, ext. 229, [email protected])

Donna Cleland (Director of Professional Development) is the director of professional development for the Center was Assistant Director of Science for the Math Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia, and in that role developed all of its professional development offerings in science. She has been an adjunct professor for science methods courses, a reviewer for the state of Pennsylvania for the state science test items, and a writer of science assessment items for the PRAXIS tests. Most recently she helped to write the new Standards Aligned System in Science for the state of Pennsylvania. (215-828-9660, [email protected])

Bates Mandel (Assistant Director of Professional Development) is the coordinator of the content arm of the Center studies and assists in the development of assessment procedures, the collection of data, as well as analysis. He has over 35 years of experience in public education as a central office and school administrator, and a high school science and psychology teacher. Mr. Mandel is the former Chair of the National High School Psychology Association and a former National High School Teacher of the Year. He has reviewed National Science Education Standards, Project 2061 Benchmarks, Penna. Science Standards and helped write National High School Psychology Standards. As Assistant Director of Assessment for the School District of Philadelphia, he coordinated the District’s NAEP program and Valued Added Assessment System. He wrote and reviewed science items for the Pennsylvania Science assessment, reviewed NAEP Science items and was a member of the Pennsylvania Assessment Reports and Data Committee. Mr. Mandel is a Certified Professional Developer by the National Staff Development Council and has been an adjunct professor. (610-825-5644, ext. 233,[email protected])

Nancy Burns (Project Coordinator) serves as a connector to the districts and teachers involved in the Center. Ms. Burns has over 14 years of experience organizing professional development in mathematics and science for partner school districts and was responsible for the coordination of all summer professional development efforts. Ms. Burns also has over 10 years experience as a middle school teacher and school administrator in an urban school district,and has worked with two previous NSF funded grant projects. (610-825-5644, ext. 226, [email protected])

John Baker (Research Associate) shares responsibility for data collection and validation, communication between the management and analysis teams, analysis of participant attrition, and more. His research interests are in mathematics education and out-of-school time learning, and he has been trained in both qualitative and quantitative research methods.  Dr. Baker has a Ph.D. in Education the University of Pennsylvania in the Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum program. (610-825-5644, ext. 262, [email protected])

Deanna Daugherty (Coordinator of Data Services) is responsible for dissemination, collection, and data validation of various research tools amongst teachers and school district representatives. She also serves as the connector to school district representatives for various data requests. She comes to The Center from The Math Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia where, serving as the Data Coordinator, she was responsible for data compliance with The National Science Foundation and synthesizing reports for school districts. Furthermore, she brings with her over 16 years of operations, human resources and information technology management experience and served the Department of Defense as a Facility Security Officer. (610-825-5644, ext. 223, [email protected])

Cognitive Science Team

Christian Schunn (Co-PI) is a Senior Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center and a Professor of Psychology, Learning Sciences and Policy, and Intelligent Systems at the University of Pittsburgh. He directs a number of research projects in science, mathematics, and engineering education. This work includes studying expert engineering and science teams, building innovative technology-supported STEM curricula, and studying factors that influence student and teacher learning. He is also the current Executive Chair of the International Society for Design and Development in Education. Schunn received his B.S. in Psychology from McGill University and both his M.S. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Psychology. (412-624-8807, [email protected])

Christine Massey (Co-PI) is the Director of Research and Education at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of PENNlincs. She has directed a number of major collaborative research and development projects that combine research investigating students’ learning and conceptual development in science and math with the development and evaluation of new curriculum materials, learning technology, and educational programs for students and teachers. She is a member of the cognitive science team for the national IES Research and Development Center for Cognition and Science Instruction. She was a member of the Study Committee for the NRC study “Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century skills,” and was a participant and presenter for several NRC workshops. Dr. Massey received her B.A. from Wellesley College in psychology and English and received her Ph.D. in psychology with a specialization in cognitive development from Penn. Dr. Massey is an Eisenhower Fellow and also been a fellow in the Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program. (215-573-6293, [email protected])

Nora S. Newcombe  (Co-PI) is Professor of Psychology and James H. Glackin Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Temple University. Her Ph.D. is from Harvard University. Her research focuses on spatial cognition and development, as well as the development of autobiographical and episodic memory. Dr. Newcombe is the author of numerous chapters, articles, and books, including Making Space with Janellen Huttenlocher. Her work has been recognized by several awards, including the George A. Miller Award and the G. Stanley Hall Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of Experimental Psychologists. She has served as Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and Associate Editor of Psychological Bulletin, as well as on many grant panels and advisory boards. She is currently principal investigator of the NSF-funded Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center. (215-204-6944, [email protected])

Jennifer Cromley (Co-PI) is an Associate Professor in the Psychological, Organizational & Leadership Studies Department at Temple University. She holds a 2005 Ph.D. in Human Development with a specialization in Educational Psychology and a Certificate in Educational Measurement & Statistics from the University of Maryland College Park. She received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Her research focuses on cognitive and motivational predictors of STEM achievement and retention, as well as predictors of reading comprehension. She has conducted classroom-based intervention and basic processes research, longitudinal, and multi-method studies. She has developed numerous assessments and has used a range of statistical methods in published research. She teaches introductory and intermediate statistics and growth curve modeling. She sits on the editorial boards of several prominent journals in psychology and has served on review panels for NSF and IES. (215-204-8094, [email protected])

Research Team

Andy Porter (Co-PI) is Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and the George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education. He was the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy and director of the Learning Sciences Institute at Vanderbilt University. He has published widely on education policy, student assessment, education indicators, research on teaching, and principal assessment. Currently, he is a co-principal investigator of two IES-funded projects: the 21st Century Research and Development Center on Cognition and Science Education, and Perceptual Learning Technology in Mathematics Education, Efficacy and Replication. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education, Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies, and past president of AERA. (215-898-7014, [email protected])

Robert Boruch is University Trustee Chair Professor, Graduate School of Education and the Statistics Department, Wharton School; Co-Director, Center for Research and Evaluation of Social Policy (CRESP); Co-Director, Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Program (PREM). He has served on the Board of Trustees for the W. T. Grant Foundation and the Board of Directors for the American Institutes for Research. He also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Science Foundations Education and Human Resources Division. He has served on advisory committees for the U.S. Department of Education, Government Accountability Office, National Center for Educational Statistics, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies. He is also on the advisory boards for the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy and the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness and serves on the editorial board of Evaluation Review and other journals. (215-898-0409, [email protected])

Laura Desimone is an Associate Professor in the Education Policy Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, co-director of Penn GSE’s IES pre-doctoral fellows training program, and director of Penn GSE’s postdoctoral fellows program. She studies how state, district, and school-level policy can better promote changes in teaching that lead to improved student achievement and to closing the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Her research covers three main areas: policy effects on teaching and learning, policy implementation, and the improvement of methods for studying policy effects and implementation. She studies all levels of the system and focuses on three policy areas: standards-based reform, comprehensive school reform, and teacher professional development. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including American Education Research Journal, Educational Researcher, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and has been supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. She earned a B.A. in American Studies from Wesleyan University, MPA with a concentration in Education Policy from American University, and Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (615-400-2276, [email protected])

Outreach Team

Keith M. Kershner  (Co-PI), Research for Better Schools (RBS) Executive Director, has overall responsibility for developing and managing this education research and development organization, which was founded in 1966. He leads RBS in its working project design, international studies, and communications efforts. He previously directed the Mid-Atlantic Eisenhower Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education, the RBS research and development group, and the RBS evaluation services group. (215-568-6150, ext. 279, [email protected])

Eric Kucharik, Research for Better Schools (RBS), Research Associate, has responsibility for maintaining the Center website and other outreach media. He provides external evaluation services and technological supports to several federally and state funded projects currently being evaluated by RBS. (215-568-6150, ext. 329, [email protected])