Our Staff
To contact a staff member, please email mdequity@umd.edu or go to our Contact Us page.


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Gail Sunderman
Gail Sunderman is Director of the Maryland Equity Project and Senior Research Scientist in the College of Education. Her current research interests include the role of the state in education and the impact of policy on the educational opportunities of low income and minority students. Prior to joining University of Maryland, she directed the Mid-Atlantic Equity Center at The George Washington University where she spearheaded the development of the Equity Planning Tool, a research-based instrument designed to assist districts to assess equity. At the Harvard Civil Rights Project (CRP), she was lead researcher on a five-year study examining the implementation of No Child Left Behind and how this legislation influenced educational change in states and school districts. Dr. Sunderman has served as expert consultant on educational disparities for the U.S. Department of Justice and other organizations. She is a former Fulbright scholar to Afghanistan and received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.


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Robert Croninger
Robert G. Croninger is the Research Associate for the Maryland Equity Project. He is the associate chair in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership in the College of Education and an adjunct associate professor in the Joint Program on Survey Methods at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Croninger teaches courses in education policy and quantitative methods, including courses in mixed methods and multilevel modeling. Prior to taking a position at the University of Maryland, Dr. Croninger was an associate director for the Programs for Educational Opportunity at the University of Michigan, where he worked with school districts and communities to implement desegregation plans and to address race-, gender-, and language-based inequities in schools. His current research focuses on the challenges of studying teaching and identifying instructional practices that affect learning, particularly for students who have been historically disadvantaged in elementary and secondary schools. His latest publications include “Equitable Public Education: Getting Lost in the Shuffle” with Kathleen Hoyer in Charting Reform, Achieving Equity in a Diverse Society, edited by Gail Sunderman, and a special issue of Teachers College Record, entitled “Researching quality in teaching: Enduring and emerging challenges” edited with Linda Valli and Marilyn Chambliss.


Angélica Montoya Ávila
Angélica Montoya Ávila is a research assistant with the Maryland Equity Project and a first year doctoral student in Language, Literacy, and Social Inquiry in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership. She attended the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNC), where she earned a B.A. in English and a M.A. in linguistics. While at UNC, she taught English as a foreign language to undergraduate students and conducted researched on language policy and academic literacies. Her current research explores how bilingual and multilingual youth learn literacies and how those learning processes are enjoined by schooling and policy.


Alex Gabriel

Alex Gabriel
Alex Gabriel is a research assistant with the Maryland Equity Project and a second year master’s student in the School of Public Policy. Previously, he has taught high school English in Chicago Public Schools and undergraduate courses on philanthropy and social innovation at the University of Maryland. Alex specializes in qualitative methods and as program evaluator for the Aspen Institute, he designs tools and experiments to evaluate social policy programs. Alex holds dual degrees in Economics and Rhetoric from DePaul University. His research interests include school choice, school governance models, and social capital.



Erin Janulis

Erin Janulis
Erin Janulis is a research assistant with the Maryland Equity Project and a first year doctoral student in the Education Policy Studies Program in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership. Prior to joining the Equity Project she spent five years teaching middle and high school English and social studies in high poverty schools throughout Colorado. Her research interests include: teacher retention, public perceptions of education research and policy, and how research findings are communicated to stakeholders. Erin received her B.A. in English and political science and M.A. in communication from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.


Jeremy Waldron

Jeremy Waldron
Jeremy Waldron is a master's of public policy candidate in the field of international economics, security, and development as well as a MBA candidate with the Smith School of Business. Previous to working for the Maryland Equity Project, he worked as a consultant for the American Institutes for Research, an education-focused non-profit. In 2013, he interned at the Brookings Institution's Governance Studies program under E.J. Dionne and William Galston. While getting his undergraduate degree in psychology, music, and political science from Tulane University, Jeremy volunteered and taught classes at Lusher Charter School and Warren Easton high school.



Interns

David Casalaspi

David Casalaspi
David Casalaspi is an intern with the Maryland Equity Project and a third-year doctoral student in Michigan State University’s Educational Policy Program. Before beginning his graduate studies, David attended the University of Virginia, where he received his B.A. in History and spent his senior year completing a significant thesis on cheating scandals and the rise of federal accountability policy between 1989 and 2002. Additionally, while at UVA, David designed and taught a two-credit seminar for undergraduates on the political history of the American education system and also received some practical experience with policymaking through work with the City Council of Charlottesville, VA. His current research analyzes education issues through a multidisciplinary lens combining insights from political science, history, and education philosophy.