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Education Policy Center

Education Policy Faculty Associates

MSU faculty members actively working in one of the three Education Policy Center focal areas – teacher quality, economics of education or urban education – are eligible to become EPC faculty associates.

Associates commit to contributing a piece of writing to be published on the EPC website each year, to participating in the informal review process of these submitted papers, and to attending Education Policy Center events.

In return, EPC faculty associates can apply for support, typically in the form of an Education Policy doctoral student as a research assistant, to develop an externally funded proposal or to work on a project in one of the focal areas.

The current EPC faculty associates are:

David Arsen
Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley
David Arsen is a professor of K-12 educational administration. He is an economist with specialization in public policy analysis. His current research focuses on school choice, school capital facilities, Michigan school finance, and the privatization of education services.
Kristi Bowman
J.D., M.A., Duke University
Kristi Bowman is a professor of law. She studies the dynamic relationship between law and society as seen in statutory and judge-made law regulating K-12 public schools. Her work has engaged students’ rights ranging from free speech and freedom of religion to racial and ethnic equality and, relatedly, the fiscal stability of school districts.
Terah Venzant Chambers
Ph.D., University of Illinois
Terah Venzant Chambers is an associate professor of K-12 administration. Her research includes education policy, social justice, urban education leadership and K-12 administration. Venzant Chambers has served in multiple editorial board member roles, and previously served as regional editor (North America) for the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.
Amita Chudgar
Ph.D., Stanford University
Amita Chudgar is an associate professor of educational administration and education policy. As an economist of education her long-term interest focus on ensuring that children and adults in resource-constrained environments have equal access to high-quality learning opportunities irrespective of their backgrounds.
Kristy Cooper
Ed.D., Harvard University
Kristy Cooper is an assistant professor of K-12 educational administration. Her research examines how school and district leaders systematically increase student engagement in classrooms—both to enhance student learning and increase high school graduation rates. Kristy also studies school improvement, dropout prevention, and the qualities of effective schools. Her prior work has included analyses of the use of data in elementary schools and the inner-workings of high-performing, urban charter schools.
Joshua Cowen
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Joshua Cowen's current research focuses on teacher quality, student and teacher mobility, program evaluation and education policy. His work has been published in multiple scholarly journals, and is a member of the Editorial Board at Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Cowen previously taught public policy at the University of Kentucky.
Alyssa Dunn
Ph.D., Emory University
Alyssa Hadley Dunn’s interests include urban teacher education and support and the sociocultural and political contexts of urban schools. She approaches her work with the understanding that education can represent spaces for creating a more liberatory world and that quality research critically examines the way that schools operate in just or unjust ways. She is exploring the relationship between teacher morale, empowerment, and neoliberal education reforms for preservice educators, veteran teachers in urban schools, and new teacher educators.
Robert Floden
Ph.D., Stanford University
Robert Floden is dean of the College of Education and a University Distinguished Professor of teacher education, measurement and quantitative methods, educational psychology, and educational policy. He is co-director of the Education Policy Center and co-director of a pre-doctoral training program in the economics of education. He has studied teacher education and other influences on teaching and learning, including work on the cultures of teaching, teacher development, the character and effects of teacher education and how policy is linked to classroom practice. His current research focuses on secondary school algebra teaching. He is a member of the National Academy of Education.
Kenneth Frank
Ph.D. University of Chicago
Kenneth Frank is a professor of measurement and quantitative methods. His substantive interests include the study of schools as organizations, how teachers influence one another to affect classroom practices and school decision-making, social networks, and the social context of learning. His substantive areas are linked to several methodological interests: social network analysis, hierarchical linear modeling, cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, log-linear and logit models, simultaneous equation models and time series models. His publications include new quantitative methods for representing relations among teachers and how those relations affect teachers' orientations to teaching, the characteristics of schools that affect teachers' orientations to teaching, and ways in which actors generate social capital from their social relations.
Sonya Gunnings-Moton
Ph.D. Michigan State University
Sonya Gunnings-Moton is assistant dean for student support services and recruitment and an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education. She has major responsibilities for program efforts fostering the recruitment and retention of under-represented groups to undergraduate and graduate programs, and providing leadership for many urban education initiatives, including the Urban Educators Cohort Program, the Urban Immersion Fellowship and the Urban Partnership Pre-College Program. She works extensively with schools in her published area of establishing Professional Learning Communities and facilitating effective school cultures.

Anne-Lise Halvorsen
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Anne-Lise Halvorsen is an assistant professor of teacher education specializing in social studies education. Her scholarship includes research on the history of education, social studies at the elementary level, curriculum policy, the integration of social studies and other subject areas, and early childhood education. Currently, she is doing work on the history of elementary social studies, the relationship between social studies instruction and student learning, and teacher knowledge and preparation in the social studies.

Scott A. Imberman
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Scott A. Imberman is an associate professor of economics and education. He is an economist who specializes in the economics of education and education policy. His research focuses on issues in domestic education and has recently studied charter schools, classroom peer-effects, accountability, bilingual education, gifted education, in-school breakfast and school uniforms. Currently he is researching teacher incentive pay, the labor market returns to higher education, and economic determinants and implications of autism. He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the board of directors for the Association for Education Finance and Policy.
Rebecca Jacobsen
Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Rebecca Jacobsen is an associate professor of teacher education and associate director of the Education Policy Center. Her background is in politics and education where she has focused on public opinion and its impact on education policy. She has also written about the politics of charter schools and the achievement gap. Her current work is on accountability policies.
Spyros Konstantopoulos
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Spyros Konstantopoulos is an associate professor and program coordinator of measurement and quantitative methods. His methodological work involves applications of multilevel models in the design of experimental or non-experimental studies and focuses on power analysis in designs with complicated nested structures. His substantive work encompasses research on the effects of educational interventions such as class size, school and teacher effects, and the social distribution of academic achievement.
Kimberly Maier
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Kimberly Maier is an associate professor of measurement and quantitative methods who is interested in the development of statistical models for complex data structures. Her current research focuses on the application of multilevel item response theory to educational achievement measures and attitudinal surveys. Other areas of interest include Bayesian data analysis methods for educational research, the study of family impacts on adolescent achievement and aspirations, adolescent motivation in science and mathematics education, and the application of multilevel models to policy research.
Patricia Marin
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Patricia Marin is an assistant professor of higher, adult, and lifelong education. Her research interests focus on higher education policy and issues of inclusion and equity for underrepresented students. In particular, her work examines issues of diversity, affirmative action, and college access. In her current work, Marin is studying the changing nature of Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Madeline Mavrogordato
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Madeline Mavrogordato is an assistant professor of K-12 educational administration. Her research centers on issues surrounding school reform and improvement for disadvantaged student populations. She utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate how the social context of education, implementation of educational policies, and school leadership shape educational outcomes for underserved students, particularly immigrants and English language learners. In her current work, Madeline is investigating the process by which English language learners are reclassified as English proficient, strategies that schools employ to engage immigrant parents in schools, and the social and policy implications of school choice for students and families.

Lynn Paine
Ph.D., Stanford University
Lynn Paine is a professor of teacher education, and an adjunct professor of sociology and women’s studies. Her work focuses on comparative and international education and the sociology of education, with an emphasis on the relationship between educational policy and practice, the links between education and social change, and issues of inequality and diversity. Much of her work has involved the comparative study of teachers, teaching, and teacher education, supported by research in China, the United States and England.
Sarah Reckhow

Sarah Reckhow
Ph.D., University of California- Berkeley
Sarah Reckhow is an assistant professor in the department of political science. Her interests include education policy, urban education reform, nonprofits and philanthropy, and racial and ethnic politics. Reckhow's work on urban schools has focused on policy reforms in New York City, Los Angeles, and Oakland. She has written about the role of major foundations, such as the Gates Foundation, in urban school reform.

Michael Sedlak
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Michael Sedlak is a professor of the history of education and associate dean for academic affairs. He also coordinates the Educational Policy Ph.D. program. His scholarly work has focused on the evolution of youth policy in education, social welfare, and delinquency prevention and remediation programs; high school reform; and the history of professions and professional education. He just completed a history of teacher certification in the United States.
William Schmidt
Ph.D., University of Chicago
William Schmidt is a University Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Education Policy Center. He holds faculty appointments in measurement and quantitative methods and the Department of Statistics. His current writing and research concerns issues of academic content in K- 12 schooling, teacher preparation and the effects of curriculum on academic achievement. He is also concerned with educational policy related to mathematics, science and testing in general. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Barbara Schneider
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Barbara Schneider is the John A. Hannah Chair and Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Department of Sociology at MSU. She is the principal investigator of the College Ambition Program (CAP), a study that tests a model for promoting a STEM college-going culture in two high schools that encourages adolescents to pursue STEM majors in college and occupations in these fields. She worked for 18 years at University of Chicago, holding positions as a professor in Sociology and Human Development and senior researcher at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). She remains a senior fellow at NORC, where she is the principal investigator of the Center for Advancing Research and Communication in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. She uses a sociological lens to understand societal conditions and interpersonal interactions that create norms and values that enhance human and social capital. Her research focuses on how the social contexts of schools and families influence the academic and social well being of adolescents as they move into adulthood. Professor Schneider has published 15 books and over 100 articles and reports on family, social context of schooling, and sociology of knowledge. She recently was the editor of Sociology of Education.
Bethany Wilinski
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bethany Wilinski joins the faculty at MSU in January 2015. She is interested in domestic and international early childhood education policy. Her research focuses on how teachers make sense of and implement early childhood policies and how policy shapes families’ access to early childhood programs. Her international work is based in Tanzania, where she is involved in research, curriculum development, and teacher training projects for Michigan State University’s Tanzania Partnership Program.
John Yun
Ed.D., Harvard University
John T Yun has areas of expertise in diverse learners and educational equity, educational policy, assessment, and measurement and evaluation. His research focuses on issues of equity in education, specifically patterns of school segregation; the effect of poverty and opportunity on educational outcomes; the educative/counter-educative impacts of high- stakes testing; and the power of evaluation to impact policy and practice.