(Re)introducing the Educational Transformation Team
- January 26, 2016
- Martin Kurzweil
The new year brings a new member—our fifth—to Ithaka S+R’s Educational Transformation team. It seems like a good opportunity to (re)introduce our program’s staff, which includes three new members since July 2015.
In addition to me, the director of the program, we have two senior researchers and two analysts. Our team brings together a diverse and complementary set of skills and backgrounds, enabling us to take on a range of project work focused on research, policy, and practice in education.
Senior Researcher Rayane Alamuddin joined us in September 2015 from Northwestern University, where she earned her PhD in Human Development and Social Policy. An expert in both statistical analysis and qualitative research methodologies, Rayane focuses on the program’s assessment and evaluation work. One of her major current projects is a randomized trial of a sophisticated intrusive advising intervention at Georgia State University and ten other large, public, research universities, funded by a Department of Education First in the World grant. Rayane’s prior research experience in the US includes examining the postsecondary educational experiences and outcomes of low-income mothers who participated in a two-generation workforce development program. A native of Lebanon, Rayane earned her bachelor’s and master’s in psychology from the American University of Beirut. She also taught undergraduate university courses and worked on various post-war educational and mental health NGO initiatives in Lebanon.
Analyst Jessie Brown joined Ithaka S+R in August 2014, and transitioned to the Educational Transformation program when it launched in January 2015. Jessie grew up in the Bay Area, earning her bachelor’s degree in American Studies and a master’s in urban and architectural history from the University of California – Berkeley. Before coming to Ithaka S+R, Jessie worked on the business side of a software company in San Francisco. Among other things, Jessie coordinates—and is a frequent author of—the program’s case studies. In addition to case studies, her Ithaka S+R publications include a popular 2015 overview of adaptive learning providers.
Senior Researcher Liz Davidson is the most recent addition to the team, having joined the organization in January 2016. With broad and deep experience in education research, consulting, and government and non-profit management, Liz primarily focuses on our strategic guidance work, helping our institutional partners design and implement evidence-based practices to promote student success. She is a PhD candidate in the economics of education at Columbia’s Teachers College, where her dissertation focuses on federal accountability policy. Liz has worked as a classroom teacher in Philadelphia; as an official at the New York City Department of Education, where she was a key leader of efforts to design and implement a new teacher evaluation process; and as an independent consultant, including for Ithaka S+R. She also co-founded a non-profit, ScriptEd, which teaches computer programming to students in 30 New York City high schools. A native of Mississippi, Liz earned her bachelor’s from the University of Georgia and a master’s in urban education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Last (but only alphabetically) is Analyst Daniel Rossman, who joined Ithaka S+R in August 2015. Reflecting a powerful skill set and great attention to detail, Daniel provides quantitative analytical support across many of our projects. Daniel joins us from Georgetown, where he earned a master’s in public policy and conducted research on racial segregation in New York City public schools. He has previously worked for a New York State Assemblyman and various non-profits. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Daniel earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY – Binghamton.
In addition to their diverse skills, each of our team members brings a unique perspective to bear on his or her work. To get a sense of those perspectives, visit or subscribe to the Educational Transformation section of the Ithaka S+R blog, to which we all contribute on a regular basis.
Between the now-fully staffed Educational Transformation program and the Libraries and Scholarly Communications program, Ithaka S+R produces research and provides consulting and assessment services that offer critical insights on the research and educational work of colleges and universities, libraries, publishers, foundations, government, and cultural institutions. I invite readers to get to know our team, our work, and our publications better by visiting our website or signing up for our mailing list.