Academic Bio

University of Washington,

B.A. Mathematics,

Philosophy Option

Harvard Graduate School of Education,

Ed. M.,

Technology, Innovation, and Education

Mentor: David Rose

The Open University,


Educational Technology

Supervisors: Bart Rienties,

Mark Fenton-O'Creevy,

Zdenek Zdrahal

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Postdoctoral Fellow in

Learning Engineering

Mentor: Justin Reich

Out of High School I started working professionally as a computer programmer. In 2003 I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree. I spent 3 years in night school at Bellevue Community College (Bellevue College), and transferred to University of Washington (UW) spending another 3 years completing an undergraduate degree while simultaneously working as a Technical Program Manager.  During my undergraduate degree I was working for Lexis Nexis Applied Discovery processing emails for most of the top 250 law firms on cases related to the financial crisis of 2008. This experience motivated me to pursue an academic career in education with the goal of making a positive societal impact.

On first visiting the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) I immediately saw the alignment between HGSE and my goals. While at HGSE I enrolled in David Rose's course Universal Design for Learning which became a transformative experience for me. While in the course David and I had a fantastic argument and we both believe we lost. I believe I lost the argument because I went to work for him at CAST for the next four years. He believes he lost because he gave me a job. My work at CAST focused on how design can consider human variability and when considering technological affordances related to emotion I found a focus for my dissertation work.

I first heard about the Open University from their contributions to the field of Learning Analytics. I then read the inclusive nature of their mission statement. Between the innovative research and inclusive aims the Open University, it was the ideal institution to do my PhD work. My thesis work focused on emotional measurement and emotional design as the field of Learning Analytics calls out the intertwined nature of design and measurement. In my thesis I made novel contributions to both emotional measurement and emotional design in the context online collaborative learning.

Most recently I have been working as a Postdoctoral Associate in Learning Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Teaching Systems Lab. Within this lab I have continued to explore emotional measures, but have shifted to the context of teacher education by explores how to help teachers become more equitable.

The overall arch of my academic training has sought to build on my analytic ability to provide societal benefits that focus on issues of equity. The approach that I take in this work examines the intersection of emotion and cognition through measurement and design that centers the lived experience of students. My academic preparation has put me in a great position to have a positive societal impact through innovative educational technologies that push the boundaries of measurement and design.