The MESA community provides many opportunities for students and faculty to get to know each other in and out of the classroom.

The MESA community provides many opportunities for students and faculty to get to know each other in and out of the classroom.


Check out our MESA Spring 2019 Newsletter, with information on the latest events, achievements, and research within the department.

Meet a Sampling of our 2018-2019 Students

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Charlotte Aldrich, 2nd Year MEd

I have been working at the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Center since last fall, and work there full time over the summer.  Working on creating the content for the 2021 assessment has been a unique experience, and constantly links back to my coursework!


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Pablo Bendiksen, 2nd Year MS

 I’m a Statistics and Psychometrics assistant in a collaborative Early Education Research and Development laboratory. Duties include construction of survey instruments with subsequent validity analyses, inferential and causal analyses of science-construct related outcomes, and community outreach.

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Gulsah Gurkan, 4th Year PhD

I currently work as a research assistant with two MESA professors, Dr. Braun and Dr. O’Dwyer.  With Dr. Braun, we are working on several projects with different focuses such as persistence and incremental value-added of impacts of educational interventions, the impact of the college experience on students’ development of a sense of life’s meaning and purpose, and critical thinking assessment. With Dr. O’ Dwyer we are working on the impact of the Transition to Algebra, a year-long course, by using a quasi-experimental pre-post  research design, combined with propensity score analysis. My responsibilities for both of the projects mostly include performing quantitative data analyses and literature review.

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Larry Kaplan, 2nd Year MEd

I’m assisting Dr. Brown with a new learning sciences initiative he is directing and continuing to work on his joint study with Dr. Miele on the effect of progress maps on fixed vs. growth mind sets.  I'm also assisting Dr. Russell with his MCAS alignment study for the state of Mass. Dept. of Ed.


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Romita Mitra, 4th Year PhD

I work in the evaluation team at City Connects, working primarily on implementation fidelity, conducting process evaluations and connecting them with outcomes.

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Sebastian Moncaleano, 3rd Year PhD

Most of my time in MESA I have worked with Dr. Russell in projects related to technology and assessment. We just finalized a year-long project in which we assessed the impact of a special science curriculum for third graders by developing an online test. We also have researched and written papers on the role of technology-enhanced items in current assessment programs as well as the historic trend of efficiency that has motivated automatic scoring through the last century.

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Laura Perrigo, 3rd Year MEd

Throughout my time in the MESA program, I have worked in the BC Career Center as an Assistant Director for Career Engagement.  In my role, I have had the opportunity to teach colleagues best practices around assessment, conduct larger-scale assessments for our office, and serve on the student affairs divisional assessment committee.

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Matias Placencio, 2nd Year PhD

I assist two professors.  With Dr. Ludlow, our research involves describing and characterizing the network change within the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) initiative at Boston College. 

With Dr. Martin Scanlan (ELHE Department), our project analyzes resources and strategies for schools serving migrants and refugees in the Valencian Community of Spain, Using Social Network Analysis methods and also mapping tools like GIS software, we aim to identify the resources that these schools have available in the neighborhood and the contacts/information flows that contribute to the work they do with culturally and linguistically diverse students.

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Clara Shim, 1st Year PhD

I am working as a graduate assistant for Dr. O'Dywer and for Urban Catholic Teacher Corps. Although I still have a lot to learn as I am just starting both assistantships, I am excited to analyze student data on assessment outcomes to inform stakeholders. For UCTC, I am working on the research team for a Teacher Effectiveness Program.


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Yiru Song, 2nd Year MS

I'm currently working as a graduate assistant for Dr Li, researching topics within Psychometric and multivariate statistics.


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Mark Thiele, 1st Year MS

I recently started working in Graduate Admissions for BC’s business school. Some of my main responsibilities include supporting the Admissions team in the recruitment and evaluation of prospective students, and benchmarking programs.


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Kaitlyn Tuthill, 5th Year PhD

My first four years in the program I had assistantships with the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment (IRPA) as well as with various faculty in the Lynch School (1 year with Dr. Braun, 3 years with Dr. Cho from ELHE). At IRPA, my two supervisors were MESA PhD Alumnae!  I am now employed full time as the Director of Assessment and Accreditation at LSOE.

Student Awards

Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Awards

The Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Awards program was established to underscore and reinforce the importance of the pursuit of teaching excellence of graduate Teaching Fellows and Teaching Assistants.

2019 Recipient: Sebastian Moncaleano

George Madaus Graduate Student Research Award

The George Madaus Graduate Student Research award honors a founder of the Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment department (formerly the Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation department) and a major figure in educational assessment and evaluation. It is awarded annually to a current graduate student in recognition of outstanding research that contributes to one or more of the following topical areas: advancing the technical quality of educational and psychological assessments; enhancing the methodology and practice of program evaluation; or contributing to a deeper understanding of consequential validity, particularly through reducing the negative impact of test use on students, teachers and society-at-large.  

2019 Recipient: Dr. Jing Jiang