College of Education *
College of Education *

CSTE People

Center Faculty

Diane Jass Ketelhut

Director/Associate Professor
Improve student learning and engagement with science through increasing access, particularly in urban contexts, to scientific inquiry experiences and through raising self-efficacy in science. Use of virtual environments to deliver scientific inquiry curricula and science assessments to students in the classroom and at professional development to help teachers integrate scientific inquiry into curricula.

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Tamara Clegg

Assistant Professor
Developing technology to support life-relevant learning environments, participatory design with children.

Andrew Elby

Associate Professor
Study student and teacher epistemologies and their influence on how 'inquiry' plays out in the science classroom.

Daniel Levin

Clinical Assistant Professor
Responsive science teaching, formative assessment, socioscientific issues, and students' engagement in scientific practices.


J. Randy McGinnis

Professional science teacher classroom identity development; Equity; Climate Change Education.

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Stacy Pritchett



Research Faculty

Wayne Breslyn
 Ben Dreyfus
 Ayush Gupta
 Emily Hestness
 Phyllis Katz
 Gili Marbach-Ad
 Edward F. Redish
Chandra Turpen

Doctoral Students

Austin Beck

Austin Beck
Education: B. S in Economics with a Minor in Environmental Science from Brigham Young University.
Entered program in: 2014.
Experience: Taught high school government/environmental science and worked on a research team at an educational technology company.
Research Interests: supporting learning with technology, increasing access to education through the use of technology, and educational technology policy.

Virginia Byrne

Virginia Byrne
Education:B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign and M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Florida State University.
Entered program in: 2015.
Experience: Spent 3 years as the Student Life Coordinator for Leadership Development and Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) facilitating learning through curricular and co-curricular programs.
Research Interests: Adult learners; Technology that supports formal and informal learning on leadership and social justice topics.

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Kevin Calabro
Education: B. S in Aerospace Engineering and M.S in Civil Engineering (project management) from the University of Maryland.
Entered program in: 2013.
Experience: spent the last 8 years working as an instructor with the Keystone Program in the Clark School of Engineering and continues to work full-time for Keystone and serves as the program’s Associate Director.
Research Interests: interdisciplinary approaches to engineering curriculum and studying how organizational cultures change when adopting reform activities.

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Ashley Coon
Education: B. S in genetic engineering from Cedar Crest College and M.A in in Teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University from Notre Dame of Maryland University.
Entered program in: 2013.
Experience: spent two years as a research technician at Duke University, studying cardiac regeneration in zebrafish.  She taught high school biology at Hereford High School in Parkton, Maryland from 2006 to 2013.
Research Interests: scientific identity formation and undergraduate science education program recruitment.

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Xiaoyang Gong

Education: B.S. in Chemistry from Beijing Normal University, China.
Entered Program in: 2012
Experience: taught high school chemistry for one year in Taiyuan, China.
Research Interests: chemistry education, model construction and students’ self-efficacy development.

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Amy Green
Education: B. A in elementary education and M.A in science educationfrom the University of Maryland,
Entered program in: 2011.
Experience: taught elementary school in Montgomery county for nine years; served as program coordinator, grant manager, and an instructor for the M.Ed. Teacher Leadership, Special Studies in STEM Education degree program.
Research Interests: focus on ways that pedagogies can work to integrating personal and scientific identities, particularly in the context of integrated and transdisciplinary STEM education.

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Emily Hestness

Education: B.A. in Biology and Spanish at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Maryland.
Entered program in: 2012. 
Experience: currently teaches Elementary Science Methods and works as a research assistant on MADE CLEAR (Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research), an NSF-funded project.
Research Interests: learning and teaching of socioscientific issues related to environmental sustainability, particularly global climate change.


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Kelly Mills

Education: B. S in Biology and M.A in science education  from University of Maryland.
Entered program in: 2013. 
Experience: spent several years teaching public high school in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Research Interests: issues revolving around candidate support and validity of the edTPA and integration of technology in science classrooms.

Celestne Nakeli
Education: B.S in Physics with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Buea, Cameroon, M.A in Science Education from McDaniel College, Westminster, Maryland.
Entered program in: 2012.
Experience: spent four years as a High school physics/math teacher, 3 years in Banking/microfinance, other experiences in Christian/Youth ministry.
Research Interests:cultural border crossing in science, the interaction between Fundamental Christian beliefs and scientific explanations.

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Daniel Pauw
Education: B.S. in science from Gonzaga University and M.S. in in cell and molecular biology from University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Entered ischool program in: 2013.

Experience: taught biology labs at the undergraduate level at Gonzaga University.
Research Interests: issues of how to make science approachable and meaningful for everyone using HCI as a lens.

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Gina Quan

Education: B.S in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Entered the Physics department in: 2012.
Research Interests: Physics Education, Community and Identity Development, and Engineering Education.

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Stephen Secules
Education: Bachelor of Arts and Engineering from Dartmouth College and Master of Science in Architectural Acoustics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Entered program in: 2013.
Experience: worked for 5 years in acoustical engineering consulting, in London and San Francisco, helping to design buildings for sound concerns. He is course coordinator for the undergraduate introductory course ENES 100 and works on a NSF funded project to study an introductory computer science course for electrical engineers.
Research Interests: learning and teaching of socioscientific issues related to environmental sustainability, particularly global climate change.

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Katherine Shirey
Education: B.S. in Physics and Sculpture and M.A in secondary science education from the University of Virginia.
Entered M.Ed. Program: 2013
Experience: spent five years teaching Physics at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA during which she participated as a teacher liaison to the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole.
Research Interests: the ways that creativity relates to learning in physics instruction.

Natalie Harr Ylizarde

Natalie Harr Ylizarde
Education: B.S. in Early Childhood Education, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (2004) and M.A.T. in Biological Sciences from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (2009).
Entered M.Ed. Program: 2015
Experience: Taught kindergarten and 1st grade for nine years at Crestwood Local Schools, Mantua, Ohio. Served six weeks on an NSF-funded polar research team in Palmer Station, Antarctica. Served two consecutive fellowships as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Research Interests: STEM early learning, teacher professional development in science education, and climate change education.


Master Students

Emily Freeland

Emily Freeland
Education: Education: B.S. In Marine Science (biology track) with a minor in Coastal Management from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.
Entered program in: 2015.
Experience: AmeriCorps volunteer with City Year Orlando, working with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to get them back on grade level in reading and math. 4 year member of the Eckerd College Search and Rescue team where I had the opportunity to instruct technical maritime search and rescue skills, became a certified boat handling instructor, and instructed / worked with children in the summer water sports camp. Volunteered at a local aquarium as a touch tank educator and helped guests to handle different species of marine organisms.
Research Interests: Informal environmental / marine science education, climate change education.

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Hannah Jardine
Education: B. S in Biochemistry and a minor in Spanish from the University of Maryland.
Entered program in: 2014.
Experience: spent 3 years teaching Chemistry and AP Chemistry at Parkdale High School in PG County Maryland. She is currently working with the Integrated Life Sciences (ILS) Living Learning Honors Program conducting ethnographic research both in and outside of the classroom
Research Interests: how the ILS experience and participation in the ILS courses centered around group active engagement exercises are changing student attitudes towards learning and helping students develop skills such as reasoning, critical thinking, and collaboration.

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Robert Mitchell
Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland.
Entered M.Ed. Program: 2012
Experience: Spent seven years teaching students with autism for Prince George's County Public School. Two years teaching math special education for Montgomery County Public School.
Research Interests: Outdoor environmental education.

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Ben Pilgrim
Education: Physiology & Neurobiology from University of Connecticut '09
Entered M.Ed. Program in: Fall 2013
Experience: he curreltly is the classroom teacher in Laurel HS, Laurel, MD
Research Interests: Developmental psychology, critical pedagogies, and scientific inquiry

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Katy Wellington
Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland
Entered M.Ed. Program: 2013
Experience: I spent a year as a teacher intern in a 2nd grade classroom, I designed and conducted the 2014 UM Teaching for Environmental Literacy Workshop for prospective teachers, and I work for Randy McGinnis on MADE CLEAR.
Research Interests: Climate change education and pre-service teachers perceived readiness to integrate environmental topics into their classrooms.