The 2020–2021 AEP Scholarship Cohort

The American Educator Panels (AEP) Scholarship aims to promote AEP data use among a diverse group of scholars. The 2020-2021 cohort were the first to receive scholarships. Learn more about this group of graduate students and early-career researchers.

AEP Scholars

Meril Antony

Meril Antony

Ph.D. Candidate, Rutgers University-Newark

Meril Antony is a doctoral candidate at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark. Her research focuses on co-production theory, the problem of co-production barriers or facilitators in a schooling context, and its social equity implications. Her research seeks to provide greater interlinkage between education as a public service to public management frameworks.

Using the AEP COVID-19 teacher survey, her research addresses the effect of different types of school administration support on teachers' preparedness in completing the curriculum in a remote-learning environment. The research also addresses the role of teacher burnout faced during the pandemic and how it may moderate the positive effect of school administration support on teacher outcomes.

Allison Macey Banzon

Allison Macey Banzon

Graduate Student and Research Assistant, Education Ph.D. - Learning Science Track, University of Central Florida

Allison Macey Banzon is a graduate student studying learning sciences at the University of Central Florida who also teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Valencia College.

Her scholarship-funded research sought to investigate the relationship between teachers’ use (or lack thereof) of synchronous meetings and their reported student outcomes during mandated COVID-19-school-closure-related online learning. Utilizing AEP's 2020 Fall ATP COVID-19 Teacher Response Survey, the absence of synchronous offerings was found to be significantly associated with the lowest-reported rates of student or family contact, curriculum coverage, and weekly student participation. These findings highlight the importance of live meetings between teachers and students during emergency online learning.

Amaris Benavidez

Amaris Benavidez

Education Graduate Fellow, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

Amaris Benavidez is a first-generation college graduate and a recent graduate of Boston College’s Higher Education program. During her time in graduate school, her work and research focused on pertinent issues of equity and success across the P–16 education pipeline. She is currently the education graduate fellow with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where she will continue her work in education policy within the United States Congress.

Benavidez's research focused on state P–16 educational alignment and its impact on student success at the state level. The research specifically analyzed college access, retention and graduation rates across states with varying degrees of postsecondary preparation at the high school level. The findings indicated that there needs to be a significant increase of national-, state-, and district-level research to better understand the current state of P–16 coordination and its long-term impact on student success.

Ikhee Cho

Ikhee Cho

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Missouri

Ikhee Cho’s research interests are education policy, bureaucracy, and program evaluation. Prior to studying in the Ph.D. program at the University of Missouri, he earned an MPA from Seoul National University. He also worked as a visiting researcher at the Korean Research Institute of Local Administration in the Republic of Korea.

His AEP research study finds that teachers who are less supported from their principals are trying to pursue alternative ways to teach their students in non-academic areas. However, they are more likely to get in-person help from other teachers than online materials when they are in cooperative collegial relationships.

Ayse Cobanoglu, Ph.D.

Ayse Cobanoglu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University

Ayse Cobanoglu, Ph.D. recently graduated with a Ph.D. in educational psychology and quantitative methods from the University at Buffalo (UB). Prior to beginning her doctoral studies in the United States, Cobanoglu earned an M.A. in educational administration and a Ph.D. candidacy in the early childhood program from Marmara University, Istanbul. At UB, she has served as a teaching and research assistant on several projects. Cobanoglu is broadly interested in educational inequalities and ways to reduce achievement gaps. Her research interests include early achievement gaps, self-regulatory skills, and parenting. Using large-scale databases and quantitative methods, including structural equation modeling and multilevel modeling, she has written and presented posters and papers in several conferences (AERA, APA, SRCD, AEFP). In fall 2021, she will begin her postdoctoral research position in the Yale Child Study Center.

The AEP Scholarship has been used to examine the relationship between U.S. teachers' concerns under the circumstances of the global pandemic and their level of need for additional support from school and district leaders at the beginning of the 2020–2021 school year. Additionally the impact of school characteristics were investigated to better understand discrepancies in school level and address educational inequalities in future practices.

Kathryn Coleman

Kathryn Coleman

Graduate Assistant/Student, Saint Louis University

Kathryn Coleman taught high school biology as a Teach For America corps member in St. Louis for four years before becoming a full-time doctoral student at St. Louis University in education policy and equity.

The main focus of Coleman’s scholarship was to investigate the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teacher retention.

Avery M. D. Davis

Avery M. D. Davis

Ph.D. Student in Education, Johns Hopkins University

Avery M. D. Davis is a research assistant in the Institute of Education Sciences/National Center for Education Statistics restricted data lab. His work centers around higher education reform, particularly how innovative postsecondary organizations connect with secondary schools and society (e.g. the economy of work). Previously, Davis worked as a brand ambassador for Disney Dreamers Academy, a gifted education mentor at Purdue University, a higher education administrator at Concordia College New York, and a contact tracer for New York State during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the proud product of public, private, and charter school systems.

For his AEP research project, he employed the American Teacher Panel (from the Learn Together Surveys) to analyze teacher perceptions of their high schools’ college and career readiness programs/interventions in terms of setting standards and assessing students.

Camilla Mutoni Griffiths

Camilla Mutoni Griffiths

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Stanford SPARQ, Stanford University

Camilla Griffiths is postdoctoral scholar who studies the role of race in K–12 educational contexts. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Stanford University in 2021. Her work interrogates how teachers' psychological states influence their perceptions of, relationships with, and instruction of students of color.

The goal of her scholarship-funded research was to assess the well-being—as measured by self-reported job satisfaction—of teachers of color and White teachers across diverse school contexts.

Francesca Henderson

Francesca Henderson

Graduate Student, University of Maryland

Francesca Henderson is a graduate student in math education at the University of Maryland. Before pursuing her doctoral degree, Henderson served as a teacher and vice principal in Southern California. She worked on initiatives to improve equitable outcomes for students with regard to math scores, attendance, and school discipline. Her passion for racial justice has always been a part of her professional and personal endeavors. Thus in her doctoral studies, her research interests marry social justice with education policy and administration.

Her scholarship-funded research focused on the relationship between professional development in math and identifying characteristics of school leaders. She performed an ordinal logistic regression to test the likelihood that a teacher would receive professional development in math at least once per month.

Emily A. Jackson-Osagie, Ph.D.

Emily A. Jackson-Osagie, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Southern University and A&M College

Emily A. Jackson-Osagie, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Southern University and A&M College where she teachers undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary and secondary science methods. Her research is focused on increasing both preservice and in-service STEM teachers' of color science self-efficacy while using culturally sustaining pedagogy and action research instructional strategies.

The main focus of her scholarship-funded research was to analyze the relationship between teacher demographics and the time spent to learn how to make instructional materials culturally relevant. The findings from the study have relevant implications for educational practice, curriculum, and policy, especially for STEM teachers. Being that there was statistically significant links between teacher characteristics (race/ethnicity and subject taught) and culturally relevant teaching, this has implications to enhance science curricular materials to include culturally relevant teaching practices, especially for teachers that are less likely to engage in culturally relevant teaching.

Adam Kho

Adam Kho

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California

Adam Kho is an assistant professor of education policy and leadership at the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education. His research focuses on K–12 school reform, including school turnaround, schools of choice, and other education policies affecting traditionally underserved students.

His AEP scholarship research will focus on school priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lam D. Pham

Lam D. Pham

Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University

Lam D. Pham is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in K–12 Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Vanderbilt University, specializing in quantitative methods. A first-generation Vietnamese immigrant, Pham grew up attending schools serving low-income and minority race students. These firsthand experiences shape his research, which investigates how personnel policies (e.g., compensation, professional learning, performance evaluation) affect students in low-performing schools. In particular, he examines policies aimed at building and maintaining an equitable distribution of diverse and effective teachers and principals in chronically low-performing schools. Before his doctoral studies, Pham worked as a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam, taught math in a turnaround high school in Oklahoma City, and served as an instructional coach for Oklahoma City Public Schools. He received a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard University.

His scholarship-funded research examines teachers’ reported need for support and access to professional development (PD) on remote instruction in the nation’s lowest-performing schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, he examined whether increased district spending improves teacher experiences in these low-performing schools. Considering teacher experiences in the lowest-performing schools is important because research has shown that turbulent economic conditions disproportionately harm low-performing schools that often serve more low-income students and students of color. He finds that teachers in low-performing schools reported more need for support and less access to PD. However, higher district spending was associated with improved teacher experiences. These results support policies that target federal stimulus funds toward the lowest-performing schools that will likely suffer the most from the pandemic.

Shana E. Rochester

Shana E. Rochester

Research Associate, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. Shana E. Rochester is a research associate in the Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities at University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she conducts early childhood studies and provides professional development for Sherman Center partners. Her scholarship explores how educational contexts (i.e., early childhood classrooms, family-based programs in partnership with elementary schools, museums) affect children’s development. She is particularly interested in how children’s cultural knowledge and out-of-school experiences can be leveraged in ways that improve their learning, and her work considers the role of family members and/or trained educators in shaping children’s academic and social development. Rochester earned her P.h.D. in education and psychology from the University of Michigan, where she was a Ford Foundation Predoctoral fellow, her M.A. in educational studies from University of Michigan, and her B.A. in psychology from Spelman College.

Her AEP scholarship project focused on understanding how principals’ reports of providing non-instructional investments to P–12 children and families (e.g., subsidized meals, mental health supports) both (1) varied by school-level characteristics (e.g., school urbanicity) and (2) changed over time between initial COVID-19 school closures and the start of the 2020–2021 school year. The project sought to identify how school leaders adopted a comprehensive approach to students' development that addressed their physical and mental wellness alongside their efforts to support students academically.

Luis A. Rodriguez

Luis A. Rodriguez

Assistant Professor of Education Leadership and Policy Studies, New York University

Luis A. Rodriguez is an assistant professor of education leadership and policy studies in the Department of Administration, Leadership, and Technology at New York University. Rodriguez's research applies interdisciplinary perspectives to examine how school organizational conditions, education reform, and broader socio-political factors affect the K-12 teacher workforce and its ability to generate positive outcomes for students.

Rodriguez's AEP project examined teacher, school, and neighborhood predictors of school-family relationships pre- and post-COVID-19.

Dr. Alexandra Shelton

Dr. Alexandra Shelton

Assistant Professor of Special Education, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Alexandra Shelton is an assistant professor of special education at Johns Hopkins University School of Education. She is also a former faculty specialist of special education in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland. Shelton’s work focuses on improving literacy instruction and intervention for secondary students with reading difficulties and disabilities via intensive intervention and teacher professional development and coaching.

Shelton conducted a secondary analysis of data from the 2019 Learn Together Survey to determine the extent to which secondary teachers’ perceived knowledge and confidence regarding supporting students with disabilities vary by factors related to the support they receive from their schools.

Jose Eos Trinidad

Jose Eos Trinidad

Ph.D. Student, Departments of Sociology and Comparative Human Development, The University of Chicago

Jose Eos Trinidad is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in sociology and comparative human development at the University of Chicago. His research brings together insights from organizational sociology, educational policy, and quantitative methods. Substantively, he investigates how schools organize data and how data organize schools—with broader theoretical applications to public institutions and private organizations. His research has been published in more than 20 journals including Social Science and Medicine, International Journal of Educational Development, and Studies in Educational Evaluation. He is the author of two books on research methods, one of which won the Philippine National Book Award. Originally from the Philippines, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University, and Master’s degree in social sciences at the University of Chicago.

His RAND scholarship research focuses on the organizational interventions of schools during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Katherine B. Vasquez

Katherine B. Vasquez

Doctoral Student, University of Minnesota

Katherine Vasquez is a doctoral student in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Prior to her graduate studies, Vasquez worked with under-served student populations focusing on higher education access and attainment equity. Her research focus is on experiences and trajectories of at-risk and marginalized student populations, examining barriers to social mobility and creating equitable educational environments.

The main focus of her scholarship-funded research was the factors that influence college and career preparation activities for secondary teachers.

Richard O. Welsh, Ph.D.

Richard O. Welsh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Richard O. Welsh’s areas of expertise include the economics of education and K–12 education policy analysis. He studies the efficacy, equity, and political dimensions of education reform in urban school districts, with a particular emphasis on school choice policies, student mobility, and school discipline.

The main focus of his scholarship-funded research was the school and neighborhood attributes that predict teachers’ SEL preparedness and the prioritization and support of SEL in schools.