Alumni Profiles

Alumni Career Descriptions

The following career descriptions represent a selection of MESA graduates from 1990 to 2014 (in order of most recent graduation year).

Sean Tan, M.Ed 2014
Senior Research Analyst
Ministry of Education, Singapore

Sean is currently involved in the conduct of international benchmarking studies, in addition to carrying out selected local research and evaluation studies that inform educational policy and practice.

Julia Casasanto-Ferro, M.Ed. 2014
American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Waltham, MA

Julia conducts education research, primarily focused on special education practice and policy, consisting of state and local school program evaluations utilizing mixed methodologies. She also serves on a technical assistance team that helps to build state and district level capacity to implement proven models of Response to interventions (RTI) and coordinates the identification, vetting, and dissemination of information about academic and behavioral interventions and progress monitoring tools.

Kara Smith, Ph.D. 2011
Director of Efficacy Analytics and Studies

Kara undertakes research and analysis projects on large data sets to address questions associated with College Board assessments and educational initiatives.  She conducts applied measurement projects related to state and College Board assessment programs.  She designs and conducts program evaluations that involve multilevel and/or causal modeling, experimental, and quasi-experimental methodologies. She also designs and conducts applied research projects that involve educational initiatives to evaluate their impact and inform local, state and federal policies.

Mac Cannady, Ph.D. 2011
Director of Quantitative Studies 
Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

Mac provides research design and statistical analysis expertise to several projects within the Lawrence Hall of Science. His work aims to improve the internal validity and enhance the rigor and effectiveness of quantitative research and evaluation projects. Currently, he investigates pathways and barriers to STEM careers, analyzes the effectiveness of professional development programs, and reviews research on teacher education.

Nina Zockoff, M.Ed. 2011
Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy
Boston, MA

Nina assists in the design and execution of research projects in public education policy.  This role supports the Rennie Center’s goal to develop effective education policy through examination of evidence, thoughtful discourse and informed action.  Her work contributes to all phases of the design and execution of qualitative and quantitative research projects, including: development of data collection instruments, sample selection, primary and secondary data collection, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, and written reports.

Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Ph.D. 2010
Interim President
Massachusetts Bay Community College
Wellesley, MA

Yves is responsible for all traditional reporting functions of the institutional research office. In addition, she also supports faculty and staff in designing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing the achievement of college-wide goals. She is also responsible for developing and managing research efforts to integrate best practices of teaching, learning, and assessment to enhance learner success. She collaborates with the College’s leadership to make recommendations regarding workforce needs, industry trends, and training programs.

Lisa O’Leary Shuler, Ph.D. 2010
Associate Director for Assessment and Evaluation
Teaching & Learning Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

Lisa works with faculty and departments to design and conduct qualitative and quantitative studies aimed at assessing and evaluating various on-going educational efforts at MIT, including initiatives focusing on interdisciplinary education, problem-based learning, and undergraduate research opportunities.

Kevin O'Neil, M.Ed. 2010
8th grade math teacher at Democracy Prep Endurance
Blue Engine
New York City

Kevin works in a high need public school alongside an official lead teacher to increase the rigor of every class for every student by lowering the student to teacher ratio and supporting students in small groups. I collect and analyze academic, behavioral, and other qualitative data to inform decisions regarding what to teach/reteach and how best to group students. In addition to academics, I support students in becoming self-regulated learners who take ownership of their own education.

Ebru Erberber, Ph.D. 2009
Senior Researcher
American Institutes for Research (AIR)
International Development Division (IDD)
Washington, D.C.

Ebru is currently involved in projects in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Her roles and responsibilities in international projects include providing operational and technical assistance, mostly for the ministries of education, in the areas of educational standards, assessment, and evaluation. Specifically, the tasks that she takes part in involve designing research strategies for measuring the effectiveness of project interventions; employing quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify linkages between the two; development and implementation of student achievement assessments that are aligned with the country specific content standards in reading, math, science, and social studies; providing trainings on item development and scoring procedures for test developers; conducting workshops for test administrators on test administration procedures, and providing support on analyzing data and reporting.

Wei Tao, Ph.D. 2008
Principal Psychometrician
Measurement Research Dept
ACT Inc.
Iowa City, IA

Wei conducts psychometric and statistical research on the ACT test and other state assessment programs, i.e., calibrating new test items, equating scores from different forms, creating and validating scales. She also supports statewide testing programs by providing interpretation on test results and investigating issues concerned by state testing officials. The projects she has participated in include a study comparing different methods in generating domain scores, a study investigating whether allowing accommodations to English Language Learners (ELL) improves their scores, and writing SAS codes to check consistency of a state testing data.

Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D. 2007
Chief Executive Officer
BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)
Boston, MA

Tiffany began with BELL in 1998 and as former Chief Operating Officer, Field Operations, led all program development, service delivery, assessment and evaluation activities, and policy-related initiatives. Through her leadership, BELL's programs and evaluation methods have been nationally recognized as best practices in out-of-school time programming (OST), and she is regarded as an authority on OST learning, measurement, and evaluation. Tiffany is a recipient of Boston College's Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award and served as an instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Educational Research, Evaluation and Measurement, both from Boston College.  As of 6/8/2009

Lisa Famularo, Ph.D. 2007
Director, Innovation Lab
Measured Progress
Newton, MA

Lisa is responsible for overseeing and managing all research and development conducted within the Innovation Lab, and providing leadership and decision making for setting priorities, research design, analytic methods, and dissemination of findings.

Carolyn Grim Fidelman, Ph.D. 2007 Education Statistician
Early Childhood, International and Crosscutting Studies (ECICS) Division
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Washington, D.C.

Carolyn, a new Research Scientist in the Early Childhood, International and Crosscutting Studies (ECICS) Division of NCES, provides technical advice on the studies in the areas of cognitive assessments, multilingual data collection issues, and statistical approaches to data analysis. Her expertise in the areas of applied linguistics, measurement and statistical research methods, and psychometric analyses will be invaluable in the development of the ECLS-K:  2011.

Jing Miao, Ph.D. 2005
Senior Psychometrician
Educational Testing Service
Greater Chicago Area

Jing is currently at Educational Testing Service as a senior psychometrician, working on two College Board testing programs, AP & CLEP. The two programs use different models and follow different operation cycles: AP is paper-and-pencil based, uses Classical Test Theory and tests once a year; while the CLEP is computer-based, pre-equated using the Rasch model and tests year-round. Her BC education prepared her by giving her a foundation in psychometrics, from which she can further her knowledge.  

Craig Hoyle, M.Ed. 1994. Ph.D. 2004
Senior Research Associate
Regional Educational Laboratory for the Northeast and Islands
Educational Development Center
Newton, MA

Craig has worked for CSTEEP, TIMSS and most recently as research support in the Dean's Office for the Lynch School. In his current work at Educational Development Center in Newton MA, Craig works as a senior research associate for the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Northeast and Islands. 

Julie A. Miles, Ph.D. 2004 
Vice President of Measurement Services
Iowa City, IA    

Julie is responsible for delivery of full-range of content development, test development, project-management, publishing, and psychometric support on national- and state-level assessment programs that are predominantly online, high-stakes, computer-adaptive or involve technology-enhanced or “innovative” items.  She oversees and participates in company-wide process initiatives affecting dozens of projects including management of 180 staff comprised of content specialists, test development managers, program managers, digital composition specialists, artists, and designers working on multiple state-level projects (including VA, NY, DC, NJ and GA) as well as consortia-based or national-level projects (including SBAC, PARCC, GED, and Readistep).  She develops and implements quality processes for the delivery of test and measurement related services within and across Pearson locations.  She also provides solutions for proposal responses, contract costing and financial planning for test and measurement functional areas.  Additionally, she promotes the professional development of her staff and provides training to other functional areas on the role of Measurement Services staff within an assessment environment. 

Maria-Jose Ramirez, Ph.D. 2004
Education Specialist
Human Development Network
The World Bank Group
Washington, D.C.

Maria-Jose is working on a conceptual framework and survey on the characteristics and quality of educational assessment systems around the world. They are defining assessment systems as encompassing not just large-scale assessments/surveys, but also examinations and classroom assessment.  They are defining system quality as encompassing enabling environment (assessment policies, institutions, human/fiscal resources), system alignment (alignment of assessment with curriculum, textbooks, teacher training, etc.), and technical quality (assessment design, administration, analysis, use) issues.  She'll be writing a Case Study on Chile and supporting other developing countries in strengthening their assessment systems. Her work builds a lot on her ERME training. It also builds on her professional experience working for the Assessment office in the Ministry of Education in Chile.

Susan Gracia, Ph.D. 2001
Assistant Teaching Professor
Northeastern University
Boston, MA

Susan M. Gracia is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Graduate Education programs. Dr. Gracia’s research and teaching focus on the areas of K–12 and higher education assessment, research methods and design, curriculum and program evaluation, language learning, and educational leadership. She also serves as a consultant on research, assessment, and evaluation projects for numerous schools, school districts, and universities in the United States and Peru. 

Steve Stemler, Ph.D. 2001
Associate Professor
Wesleyan University 
Middletown, CT

Steve primary research interest is in developing psychometrically sound instruments that measure educationally relevant goals that extend beyond those typically assessed by conventional tests (e.g., wisdom, creativity, intercultural literacy, social intelligence, citizenship). He teaches intro psych as well as introductory and advanced courses on psychological measurement, statistics, and conflict resolution.

Marguerite Clarke, Ph.D. 2000
Senior Education Specialist
World Bank Group 
Washington, DC.

Marguerite works as a Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank Group in Washington, DC. She leads the Bank's efforts to help low-income countries put in place systems for assessing student learning, be those large-scale assessment exercises or more classroom- and teacher-based efforts. The work includes conducting research on assessment issues as well as working in Bank client countries around the world such as Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Kosovo, Lao and Mongolia. Current projects include helping countries to develop their own instruments for assessing early reading skills and creating tools and programs to help countries review and improve the quality, utility and sustainability of their overall assessment systems.

Jessica Greene, Ph.D. 1999
Director of Institutional Research
Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment
Boston College 
Chestnut Hill, MA

Jessica, PhD earned her bachelor's degree in Economics from Holy Cross (1989), her Master's in Management Research from the University of Southern California (1991), and her ERME PhD from BC in 1999. After working at the Lynch School for close to seven years as the School's Data Manager, she now serves as the Director of Institutional Research at BC, a division which manages all University-related data for institutional planning, policy formation, and decision-making. 

Ismael Carreras, M.Ed. 1994, Ph.D. 1998
Senior Vice President of Research
Maguire Associates 
Cambridge, MA

Ismael currently serves as Senior Vice President for Research at Maguire Associates, a research-based consulting firm that serves educational institutions through enrollment management services. He relies on a mixture of methodologies gained through the ERME program to help clients with their key decisions, such as survey research, secondary data, and qualitative research. Ismael directs the overall Maguire Associates research portfolio, working across the board in leadership, management, client services, and sales.  Prior to joining Maguire Associates, he was a Senior Research Director and Leader at Quintiles Market Intelligence (formerly Eidetics), where he was instrumental in establishing and refining many quantitative methodologies. Ismael was the 2011 co-winner of the American Marketing Association’s David K. Hardin Award for Best Paper in Marketing Research  magazine titled, “How informative is your segmentation?  A simple new metric shows surprising results."

Sonia Sheffield, Ph.D. 1997
Senior Consultant
Sheffield Research and Evaluation

Sonia works as a freelance consultant for market research firms, private corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies, developing research methodologies and analytic strategies to inform their decision-making.  Her specialties are research instrument design, advanced statistical analysis, and preparation of impactful reports and presentations.  Types of projects she works on include competitive market positioning, brand and communications tracking, market segmentation, pricing and packaging, customer experience and loyalty, new product development, ad/message testing, outcome assessment, and program evaluation.

Sue Leibowitz, Ph.D. 1990
Senior Research Manager and Statistician
University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute
Hadley, MA

Sue, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Manager and Statistician. She has many years of experience as a researcher and evaluator in the areas of education and human services and as a teacher of statistics and evaluation. Dr. Leibowitz has worked with federally funded multi-site national research and evaluation projects and numerous community-based projects. She has extensive experience developing research protocol, creating and administering surveys, and conducting statistical analyses of large, complex data sets.