Faculty and Staff

Directors

Michael Feuer, Co-Director, is Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Feuer is the president of the National Academy of Education, and has research interests including the economics of education, international and comparative education, standardized testing and scientific research in education. Since coming to GW, he has been instrumental in designing and launching DC-EdCORE, the Educational Consortium for Research and Evaluation, which is a partnership with AIR, Mathematica, RAND, Policy Studies Associates and Quill Research, aimed at providing useful information to guide policy for D.C. Public Schools.

 

 

Gerald Feldman, Co-Director, is a Professor in the Department of Physics where he teaches introductory physics courses and has dedicated 11 years as the undergraduate advisor in physics. He has worked with physics majors who opted to pursue secondary school teaching based on their GW experience as lab teaching assistants and evening tutors. He is a co-principal investigator on an NSF S-STEM grant (2013-18) to provide scholarships for incoming students intending to pursue STEM careers. He was responsible for launching the active learning collaborative “studio style” pedagogy known as SCALE-UP at GW. He has extensive experience in STEM pedagogy and is active in physics education research at GW, nationally and internationally.

 

 

Larry Medsker, Associate Director, is a Research Professor of Physics and has been involved with D.C.-area colleges and high schools for more than 25 years. At GW, he works extensively with faculty and students on physics education research projects, two of which are funded by NSF WIDER and S-STEM grants. A grant from GW allowed him to implement a research-based one-credit course to integrate freshmen into the STEM environment and encourage them to become involved in undergraduate research. During his career, he has conducted projects with D.C. teachers and a nonprofit group called Joint Educational Facilities (JEF), located in the high needs Anacostia area of Washington. Together with a JEF colleague, he developed—and for 13 years sustained—the annual D.C. Computer Science Conference for high school students to present their computing projects in a professional setting. This experience accelerated his passion for working with underrepresented students to provide a great learning environment. Medsker is now channeling his knowledge and love for the District of Columbia into the GWTeach program.

 

Jonathon GroomsCo- Director, Dr. Grooms has a background in chemistry and physics education that includes several years as a physical science instructor with students across the K-12 continuum. Building from his classroom experiences, his research and scholarship centers on how teachers support their students’ engagement with the essential practices of science and engineering and how teachers’ conceptions of disciplinary practices of science influence classroom decisions regarding student instruction. Dr. Grooms is currently examining the role of scientific argumentation as an instructional emphasis and how such classroom contexts support students’ development of science proficiency. This work is strongly aligned with current standards movements such as the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts.

 


 Faculty

Alicia Bitler is a Master Teacher. She graduated from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania with a Master of Education, and two bachelors’ - Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Bachelor of Arts in humanities. Prior to joining GWTeach she taught high school chemistry and physical science in Montgomery County public schools in Maryland. She also spent several years in the county as a science, technology and engineering content specialist and several years as a staff development teacher. Currently, she is working toward a doctorate of Curriculum and Instruction at GW with her research focused on gender discrepancies in science. She is now teaching Step 1 and Step 2 classes and facilitating field experiences for GWTeach students.

 

Meghan Hollibaugh Baker is a Master Teacher for GWTeach. She studied at St. Lawrence University in NY where she earned a B.S. in Biology and minored in Education, allowing her to graduate with teacher certification, similar to the GWTeach program model. She was awarded a fellowship to complete her M.A. in General Education at St. Lawrence University, while co-teaching undergraduate education courses. She currently holds K-12 educator certifications in biology, general science, and building-level administration in NY and RI. Meghan has spent her teaching career in urban school districts focused on closing achievement gaps and creating equitable opportunities for all students. Prior to joining the GWTeach team, Meghan taught high school biology, where she served in various leadership roles, before becoming an assistant principal at the middle school level. She completed her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Johnson & Wales University in RI in 2015, with her research focused on the relationship between educational technology, student self-efficacy, and academic achievement. Meghan teaches Step 1, Step 2, and Classroom Interactions, and facilitates field experiences for GWTeach students.

Curtis Pyke is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy in Math Education at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. His role involves the development of math teachers through the Secondary Education M.Ed. He complements that work by helping experienced teachers become education researchers through the Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Program. He often collaborates with science education colleagues, math and science faculty, professional organizations and local schools, and has achieved national recognition for licensure programs, a master's-level curriculum for DC teachers, partnerships that provide tuition funding for teacher candidates and conducting major research in the curriculum materials field. Pyke became a teacher as an undergraduate through a program similar to GWTeach.

 

 

                            SuJin Choi is a Master Teacher for GWTeach.  She studied at...


 

Staff

 Headshot of Zach Pekor Zach Pekor is a Senior Program Associate for the GWTeach Program.  His role involves student advising, program coordination, developing new academic partnerships within The George Washington University.  Zach has earned a Bachelor's in Environmental Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University, a Master's in Biology from Depaul University, and a Graduate Certificate in the Non-Profit Sector from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Before he started at GW, Zach managed a federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant where we ran a STEM-based after school and summer program for first through fourth graders.  

 

Affiliated Faculty

Sharon Lynch is a Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy in Science Education. Prior to joining the faculty at GW, she taught high school biology, chemistry and environmental education in addition to middle school physical science. She came to GW in 1990, and since that time has worked with science teachers in the M.Ed. Program in Secondary Education, and science education graduate students in the Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction. Over time, the science teacher education program has developed a series of partnerships with public school systems in D.C., Maryland and Virginia—always requiring strong subject matter backgrounds from our students and providing them with substantial internships in public school classrooms, including two-semester internships. Student teachers completing these partnership programs are well-prepared to teach in their disciplines, have a strong understanding of science teaching and learning and a wealth of experience in secondary science classrooms. Recently, Lynch completed a two-year rotation at NSF as a program director. In her current research on inclusive STEM schools, she has seen first-hand how the UTeach program prepares teachers for project-based learning in Texas schools.

LaKeisha McClary is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. At GWTeach, she is interested in research-based instructional strategies (RBIS) like problem-based learning and collaborating across disciplines with other faculty to develop new and better strategies for educating students in introductory-level science and mathematics courses. As a chemistry education researcher, she understands the challenges of integrating educational research into courses. She partners with multiple GW departments and with District of Columbia Public School teachers to develop strategies for success. By modeling quality, research-based instruction in actual college chemistry courses and allowing students to contribute to the sustainability of the instruction, she sees GWTeach as a way to transform students, faculty, administrative units and the communities where they live, work and play.

Tiffany-Rose Sikorski is a Visiting Assistant Professor in secondary science education. She is a licensed physics educator who has taught in public and charter high schools, in afterschool and museum settings, and in university-based teacher preparation programs. Her pedagogy courses aim to empower future teachers to create meaningful science learning experiences for their students—experiences that build on students’ vast capabilities for making sense of the natural world and that sustain their interest over time. Sikorski’s research explores how learners of all ages think, reason and talk about science. She specializes in analyzing “coherence seeking”—that is, learners’ collaborative efforts to build relationships between ideas and identify/reconcile inconsistencies. Her current work continues to expand the coherence seeking framework in order to inform the design of assessments, curriculum and learning progressions aimed at supporting scientific inquiry and the disciplinary practices of science. She is a co-principal investigator on the research projects: Building Capacity for Disciplinary Experts in Math and Science Teaching (National Science Foundation), The GW Learning Assistant Program (GW Columbian College of Arts and Sciences) and Engaging Youth in the Art of Science Conversation.

Dan Ullman is a Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. He served in 2006-2007 as the AAAS Congressional Fellow funded by the American Mathematical Society. During that year, he worked for the House Committee on Science and Technology, more specifically for their Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, focusing on math and science education policy at NSF. The critical shortage of well-prepared math and science teachers across the US became a central tenet of his work there, and his subcommittee set in motion a number of efforts to address this in the America Competes Act of 2007. Returning to GW, he became the PI of a Math Science Partnership, working on professional development of middle school math teachers in the District of Columbia. In association with that project, he visited many teachers and many schools across the District and saw first-hand what good teachers do and what bad teachers are unable to do. At the same time, he launched the D.C. Math Circle, through which he worked directly with groups of D.C. middle school students to introduce them to creative thinking and exploration of mathematics problems. For decades, our country has not done a good job of producing teachers who know math and science and also know how students learn math and science. His goal with regard to GWTeach is to be part of the national effort to turn this around—to train, motivate and mentor our brightest STEM students to enter the teaching profession.