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Educational Policy Studies News

School greeting 13 new faculty members at Welcome Back Bash Aug. 29

August 28, 2019

UW-Madison’s School of Education is celebrating the start of the 2019-20 academic year with its annual Welcome Back Bash event on Thursday, Aug. 29.

All faculty and staff from across the School are invited to the Education Building’s North Plaza from 12:30 to 2 p.m. for a tailgate-style lunch — including Babcock ice cream. The event is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet faculty and staff who are new to the School.

There will be a brief program, with remarks from Dean Diana Hess, beginning at 1 p.m. Hess will introduce new department chairs, faculty members, and School leadership. If it rains, the event will be moved inside to the Education Building’s Morgridge Commons.

The School is once again welcoming a large cohort of new faculty members, with 13 talented scholars joining the School of Education’s roster since the start of 2019 — with many of those arriving just in time for the start of the new academic year.

New faculty members are:

Brian Burt• Brian A. Burt, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis: Since 2014, Burt has served as an assistant professor at Iowa State University. His research, which has received major funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, examines policies and practices that influence students’ educational and workforce pathways. In particular, Burt looks to understand and improve the experiences of black men in STEM graduate programs. Burt was recently featured by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as a “2019 Emerging Scholar.” He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education in 2014.

Luis Columna• Luis Columna, associate professor, Department of Kinesiology: The native of Puerto Rico previously worked for eight years as a faculty member with Syracuse University’s Department of Exercise Science. An advocate for social justice and diversity, Columna’s work centers on improving physical activity opportunities for children with disabilities, particularly in Hispanic families. Columna has published two books and written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.  He developed the Fit Families Program, which brings together children with disabilities, their parents, college students, and in-service professionals from a range of fields. Columna earned his Ph.D. from Texas Women’s University in 2007.

Beth Fields• Beth Fields, assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology: Fields has spent the past two years conducting post-doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh. A widely published scholar, her research examines animal-assisted approaches for aging adults with chronic conditions, and systems and methods designed to improve person and family-centered geriatric care. Fields hopes to grow her interdisciplinary collaborations to help transform quality geriatric service delivery. Fields is an alumna of the UW–Madison School of Education, earning her undergraduate degree in rehabilitation psychology in 2012. She earned a master’s (2014) in occupational therapy and a Ph.D. (2017) in occupation and rehabilitation science from Colorado State University.

Mark H• Mark Hairston (Mark H.), assistant professor, Department of Theatre and Drama: Mark H. is a director, performer, and educator with a primary focus on American theater and theater of the African diaspora. He is particularly drawn to classic works, innovative literary adaptation, site-specific performance, and theater for community development. Mark H. has worked extensively as a theater professional with some of the nation’s leading artists and theater companies. He received his MFA in directing from Columbia University, his BFA in acting from Rutgers University, and was classically trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. 

 Duane Lee Holland Jr. • Duane Lee Holland, Jr., assistant professor, Dance Department: Holland previously served as an associate professor of dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. His professional background includes performing with some of the top hip-hop and modern dance choreographers in the world. Holland also has worked as the assistant artistic director of Rennie Harris Puremovement, the first theatrical hip-hop dance company in the U.S., and performed in the original cast of “The Lion King” on Broadway. Holland was a guest artist on campus with the Dance Department last October and holds a master of fine arts in choreography from Iowa University.

Kirchgasler Christopher• Christopher Kirchgasler, assistant professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction: Kirchgasler arrives on campus after spending two years as a faculty member with the University of Kansas’ Department of Curriculum and Teaching. His award-winning research examines the historical, ethnographic, and comparative qualities of schooling, particularly as they relate to notions of inclusion, equity, and justice. His work directs attention to how contemporary school reforms are “haunted” by colonial residues that define who and what are seen and acted on as the “problems” of individual and social development.

Kathryn Kirchgasler• Kathryn Kirchgasler, assistant professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction: Kirchgasler will be joining the department after two years as a faculty member with the University of Kansas’ Department of Curriculum and Teaching. She studies how science education carries cultural norms and racialized assumptions that undermine commitments to equality and justice. Her research examines dangers in seeking to include underrepresented groups today without considering how those approaches resemble strategies targeting immigrant and colonized groups over the past century. Her next project explores recent reforms that aim to promote health equity through redressing disparities in STEM education.

mollie mcquillian • Mollie McQuillan, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis: McQuillan comes to the School of Education after earning her Ph.D. this summer from Northwestern University’s Human Development and Social Policy Program. McQuillan received both a National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship (2017) and a Northwestern University Presidential Fellowship, which is Northwestern’s most prestigious and competitive fellowship for doctoral students, to complete her Ph.D. work. McQuillan's mixed-methods research examines the intersection of educational policy, organizational practices, and the health of gender-expansive students. She also has almost a decade of experience as a public school teacher.

Darcy Padilla• Darcy Padilla, assistant professor, Art Department: Padilla joins the School of Education as a faculty member after previously serving as a visiting instructor of photography with the Art Department for the past year. She is a highly regarded documentary photographer who has won multiple major photography awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a W. Eugene Smith grant. Padilla earned her master of fine arts degree from the University of California, Davis, and holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from San Francisco State University.

Diana Rodriguez-Gomez • Diana Rodríguez Gómez, assistant professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies: Rodríguez-Gómez will be joining the School of Education after serving since 2016 as an assistant professor at the Universidad de Los Andes, in her hometown of Bogotá, Colombia. Rodríguez-Gómez earned her doctorate in international educational development from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2016. Rodríguez-Gómez’s expertise explores the intersections of violence and education in Latin America, and her research includes forced migration, armed conflict, peacebuilding and education, and education in emergencies.

Diego Roman• Diego Román, assistant professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction: Román is an expert on bilingual/bicultural education who has worked as an assistant professor at Southern Methodist University since 2015. He holds a BS in agronomy from Zamorano University in Honduras, an MS in curriculum and instruction from UW–Whitewater, and an MS in biology, MA in linguistics and Ph.D. in educational linguistics, all from Stanford University. Prior to Stanford, he taught middle school science to emergent bilinguals and newcomer students, first in rural Wisconsin and then in San Francisco. Román’s research is located at the intersection of linguistics, science education, and environmental studies.

Jeremy Stoddard• Jeremy Stoddard, associate professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction: Stoddard, who earned a Ph.D. (2006) and master’s degree (2001) from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, returned to UW–Madison after spending more than a decade as a faculty member at William and Mary, where he chaired the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and was the founding director of the interdisciplinary program in educational studies. His research examines the role of media in teaching and learning history and democratic citizenship — with a particular focus on engaging with difficult or marginalized histories and contemporary controversial issues.

Beverly Trezek• Beverly Trezek, associate professor and the Morgridge Chair in Reading, Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education: Trezek returns to the School of Education after earning both her master’s (1997) and Ph.D. (2004) in special education from UW–Madison. Since 2005, she has worked as a faculty member with the Department of Counseling and Special Education in DePaul University’s College of Education. Trezek is a former special education teacher in the Madison schools and a widely published researcher whose work centers on reading and literacy development in deaf children. In 2017 she received the Excellence in Research Award from DePaul University’s College of Education.

The School is also welcoming several new leaders who have joined the School in the past year, including: LaVar Charleston, associate dean for diversity and inclusion; Kristen Hendrickson, chief financial officer; Earlise Ward, faculty director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service; Rebecca Dopart, the director of PLACE; Brenna Graham, the director of development for foundation relations; and Li-Ching Ho (Department of Curriculum and Instruction) and Adam Nelson (Department of Educational Policy Studies), co-directors of the School’s Global Engagement Office.

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