Jalessa Bryant is a third year doctoral student in the Multicultural Education area of the Curriculum and Instruction Department. She earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley focusing on Socio-Cultural Strategies for Child Development with a minor in Education in 2011. Jalessa joins the University of Wisconsin, Madison with several years of experience in schools and community-based spaces in California and Rhode Island where she served as an educator, administrator, and community organizer. She believes working side by side with communities is required for critical scholarly work and transformative qualitative research.
Jalessa research explores critical perspectives of learning in and through the arts, teacher learning, and black education.
Kortni Dubose is a second-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program in the Department of Educational Psychology. Previously, she received a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Kentucky. While in Kentucky, she worked as an after-school program assistant for two elementary schools. Kortni’s broad research interests are in the area of school-based mental health. Her research interests include the development and implementation of school-based interventions for students with internalizing symptoms. Additionally, she is interested in the impact of school climate efforts on the prevention of internalizing symptoms. Kortni is currently assisting with the Resilience Education Program project, an integrated Tier 2 intervention for students with internalizing concerns with Dr. Katie Eklund, Dr. Stephen Kilgus, and Dr. Andy Garbacz. Also, she is involved with the School Mental Health Collaborative (SMHC) at UW-Madison. This year, Kortni will work in the School Psychology Training Clinic (SPTC) and Student Assessment Services (SAS). She is from the Chicago suburbs, and loves to spend her free dancing, reading, and hanging out with family and friends.
Anna Kawennison Fetter is a fifth year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. Previously, she studied Psychology and Native American Studies at Dartmouth College, and received a Master's in Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University. At UW-Madison, Anna has enjoyed teaching undergraduate courses in Career Development and Theory and Practice of Interviewing. Anna plans to complete psychology externship at the Madison Veteran’s Hospital in the General Mental Health and PTSD Clinics, as well as serving as a Graduate Clinical Assistant at the Counseling Psychology Training Clinic. Anna is completing her dissertation study titled “Historical Loss and Native American College Students: Impacts on well-being and psychological distress and the role of cultural protective factors.” Anna is also currently working on a multidisciplinary team on an NSF-funded grant to study Historically Black-College and University (HBCU) student experiences with internships. Anna is a member of the Akwesásne Mohawk tribe from rural upstate New York, and loves spending time outside.
Gabrielle Orum Hernández is a third-year doctoral student in the Education Policy Studies program studying race, gender, and U.S. imperial nationalism in education policy. Prior to her tenure at UW-Madison, she served for nearly three years as a reporter covering law, technology, and U.S. Southern politics for the Fulton County Daily Report and Scalawag Magazine, and has been a youth worker with K-12 students in Los Angeles, Boston, and Madison. She previously completed a B.A. in Political Science and American Studes in 2012, and an M.A. in Educational Studies in 2014 at Tufts University.
Pauline is a third-year PhD student in the Human Development area of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Advised by Dr. Brad Brown, Pauline's research interest broadly focuses on adolescent identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Her current work focuses on 4 key aspects of identity development: 1) timing (when does identity develops), 2) content (what develops), 3) process (how does it develop), and its impact (how identity development affects adolescent health and well-being.
Pauline graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine where she double majored in Education Sciences and Social Policy and Public Service. Her research at UC Irvine has primarily focused on investigating effective pedagogy for teaching English and discipline-specific knowledge to diverse student learners. Following the work that she had already begun as an undergraduate, Pauline continues to be involved in research projects related to students’ college transition and experiences in higher education. Currently, she is the Study Director of the Belonging in College study in Dr. Brown’s Peer Relations Study Group. As a project assistant WIDA, she also has taken part in research projects that focus on English Learners from a range of age groups.
Adolescent development, college transition, community-engaged scholarship, identity development, underrepresented students
Emma Lazaroff is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Development program in the Department of Educational Psychology. Emma received her B.A. in Psychology from Quinnipiac University and was a lab manager at Boston College prior to pursuing her Ph.D. She is interested in how children use cognitive supports such as inquiry and analogy to learn about aspects of science and mathematics, as well as how they generalize this knowledge to increasingly complex concepts. In particular, her interests lie in determining how these concepts can be organized to help children most effectively learn and retain information. Emma is being advised by Dr. Haley Vlach.
Brianna is a doctoral student in the Department of Kinesiology studying exercise psychology under Dr. Kelli Koltyn. She obtained a BA in exercise science from St. Olaf College, a MS in physical education, sport and exercise science from Ball State University, and a MA in counseling from Ball State University. Her thesis work examined the influence of different self-regulatory strategies on arousal, anxiety, and performance in soccer players. During her time in the PhD program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has worked to understand the psychobiological responses to physical activity as well as translating a sedentary behavior intervention to older adults across Wisconsin.
Jacques Pierre Lesure is a scholar-advocate and first-year doctoral student in the Educational Policy Studies program from Dekalb County, Georgia studying topics of race, gender, and leadership. Previously, Jacques completed his B.A at Occidental College, where he designed an interdisciplinary major entitled Resistive Education in Theory, Research, and Policy. Focusing on higher education, Jacques’ current research project explores how policy initiatives and the sociology of knowledge impact the type of projects Black men become operationalized through on college campuses. In addition to his studies, Jacques is a discussion facilitator for the Mobilizing Youth Voices project here at UW-Madison. He is also the founder of Navigate College Now, a non-profit consulting company that partners with youth organizations with college access components to ensure all students maximize available campus resources. He serves on the Board of Directors for two non-profits dedicated to youth development. Jacques is currently being advised by Dr. Bianca Baldridge.
Charnell Chasten Long is a Ph.D. Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary research interests are in the history of Black education and STEM. Her previous work experience as a Chemist, Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Intern, and high school science teacher informs her research. Long’s research critically examines how marginalized students navigated and negotiated space in the scientific sphere during the early 20th century. Her dissertation examines how Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society, an organization founded in 1923, created space for aspiring Black scientists. She has received travel awards to present her work at the 2018 Society for the History of Technology Conference, 2020 National Association of Research on Science Teaching (NARST) Conference, and 2020 Science History Institute Conference.
Zoua Lor is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. She is the daughter of two refugees, the third of nine children to obtain a bachelor’s degree, and the first in her family to pursue a PhD. Prior to her doctoral studies, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Statistics Concentration from St. Olaf College. Zoua’s research broadly focuses on the intersection of well-being, cultural identity, and student development. She is a member of the Work and Wellness Lab led by her advisor, Dr. Mindi N. Thompson, and is involved in a mixed-methods study on collegiate and mental health outcomes of underrepresented clients led by Dr. Nickolas D. Frost. Zoua will complete her foundational practicum at Mendota Mental Health Institute. Her professional interests are to join academia, contribute to student support programs, and practice professional psychology. In her free time, she likes to listen to crime podcasts and watch children’s movies.
Laura Andrea Prieto is a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin Madison and a proud WCER fellow. Her research focus is adapted physical activity and dance for people with disabilities, specifically for older adults with disabilities. She has taught and worked with adults and children with disabilities in community centers, schools, and dance studios to promote active lifestyles through movement. Currently, Laura works with Dr. Luis Columna designing and implementing physical activity interventions for children with autism and their families through the Fit Families program.
Robby Quintana is a first year PhD student in the Human Development Area of Educational Psychology. Robby graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College where he earned a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, Robby worked at an alternative school, where he served as a teaching assistant in a classroom for children with emotional/behavior difficulties. He also worked a Behavioral Technician at Wisconsin’s Early Autism Program and as a math tutor for Schools of Hope in the MMSD school district. Robby is interested in how the development of specific cognitive abilities influence intermediate and advanced mathematical competencies. He hopes this research will contribute towards interventions that may help at-risk children succeed in their formal mathematics. In his downtime, he likes to spend his time managing his clothing business, taking long walks in areas with vegetation, and watching and playing sports.
Khadejah Ray is a fourth year doctoral student in the Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis department at UW-Madison and is advised by Professor Winkle-Wagner. She is originally from Pasadena, California. Her research interest include: Black feminist and critical race theories, graduate student socialization, and the experiences of Black women and underrepresented students in higher education.
Amy Smith is a second year PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction – Digital Media advised by Erica Halverson. Amy is a former elementary educator as she taught 4K and later served as a K-5 technology teacher. Amys’ research is focused on the equitable use of educational technologies, family and school relationships, and the integration of informal learning environments within formal school environments at the elementary level. Her dissertation is based around the transition to online learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on elementary educators and families.
Claudia M. Triana is a doctoral student in education policy studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A scholar of comparative and international education, her research focuses on the inequities of immigration and education policies, displacement, and resistance.
Prior to starting graduate school, Triana worked for the New York City Department of Education, leading program evaluations employing mixed-methods and using data science to narrow educational debts. She is a current member of the Scholars Strategy Network, developing briefs supporting advocating for policy change.
LaShawn Faith Washington is a first-generation college graduate and a second-year Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A Dallas, Texas native, LaShawn is a two-time graduate of The University of Texas-Austin receiving an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction - Cultural Studies in Education, and a B.A. in Government (Honors). Her study of interest includes the intersectional identity development of African-American women in higher education through holistic co-curricular programming, and international educational experiences via study abroad. LaShawn was selected to present at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), The National Association for Student Affairs Professionals (NASPA), and The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE). Additionally, LaShawn is a Posse Mentor for the Chicago Posse Cohort (2020-2022), a Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER) Fellow, and her most recent publication was featured in the 2nd ed. of Diversity and inclusion on Campus: Supporting racially and ethnically underrepresented students (Winkle-Wagner & Locks, 2019).