Graphic of several new faculty members.CEHD is welcoming several new faculty members to the college. Photo credit: Photos courtesy of individual faculty members

Welcome, new faculty!

CEHD is pleased to announce several new faculty members joining the college

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Annette Beauchamp

Annette Beauchamp is an assistant professor in literacy education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She holds a BS in public policy and management from the University of Southern California; an EdM in education from Harvard University; an MA in English from the University of California, Irvine; and a PhD in English and education from the University of Michigan with graduate certificates in environmental justice, Latina/o studies, and world performance studies.

Her research interests include interdisciplinary studies in literature and the environment, ethnic studies, migrant education, and curriculum studies. Beauchamp’s work aims to foster inclusive environmental, cultural, and historical literacy.

“Environmental injustice affecting BIPOC communities, particularly children, contributes to health disparities, social inequities, climate change, and impacts schooling,” Beauchamp notes. “Hence the need for expanding conceptualizations of environmental education and offering opportunities for students across programs to engage with ethnic studies, including BIPOC and multilingual storytelling.”

Fun fact: What are you reading?

I am reading Family of Fallen Leaves: Stories of Agent Orange by Vietnamese Writers, a collection edited by Charles Waugh and Huy Lien.

Betsy Maloney Leaf

Betsy Maloney Leaf is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She holds a BA in dance and English from Gustavus Adolphus College, an MFA in dance performance and choreography from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in curriculum and instruction from the U of M. She also holds a Minnesota K-12 teaching license in dance and theater. Maloney Leaf’s research examines the intersection between dance education, culturally relevant pedagogy, and educational policy. She also focuses on social justice in education. She serves on the editorial board for Dance Education in Practice and is a member of the National Dance Education Organization’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) work group. 

“Much of my current research examines the experience of pre-service arts educators and the ways in which they take on anti-oppressive commitments in arts education,” she says. “I mostly use an arts-based approach to research that includes both movement and creative writing.”

Maloney Leaf says she is interested in this research trajectory because the field of arts education research, particularly in theater and dance, is underdeveloped. “Most states have some type of standards or requirement for K-12 students to experience art in schools, so having critical research to inform pedagogical and curricular choices in K-12 settings remains vital,” she says.

Fun fact: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Keep showing up. 

Ranza Veltri Torres 

Ranza Veltri Torres is an assistant professor in mathematics education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She holds a BS in mathematics, an MA in teaching from the University of San Francisco, and a PhD in curriculum and instruction: mathematics education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses broadly on the gatekeeper status of math, turning to student narratives as a window to how mathematics identity is shaped throughout children’s schooling experiences.

“My research centers student narrativizations and lived experiences around math in response to a call to rehumanize mathematics and research in mathematics education,” she says. “Broadly, my research explores the question, ‘How can we center the voices and experiences of learners as a means to fostering inclusive, equitable, and supportive math learning environments in the elementary classroom, particularly for racially minoritized students?’”

Veltri Torres’ research lies at the intersection of two areas: 1) early algebra learning experiences in grades K-6, and 2) the gatekeeper status held by mathematics coursework and the disproportionate filtration of racially minoritized students out of both STEM and non-STEM pathways starting in the elementary school years. 

“As a former K-12 math teacher, I have seen firsthand how experience learning and doing math can function to both humanize and dehumanize students,” Veltri Torres says. “I was born and raised on the Pacific island of Guam and I have experiences that make clear to me some of the power divisions we have within schooling in the U.S. and particularly within mathematics.”

Veltri Torres became aware of how important a student’s social experience and life narrative were in their mathematics identity development. “My own past experiences as a math teacher for nine years in four very different and diverse U.S. cities led me to wonder how my students had developed such different self-perceptions and attitudes about mathematics and about themselves as learners,” she says. “How did they come to learn who they were as mathematics learners and doers, and how did race, culture, socialization, and identity play a part in these self-perceptions about math? My research explores these questions.”

Fun fact: What do you do in your downtime?

In my downtime, I have a highly energetic four-year old who keeps me very busy! I also enjoy finding new swimming spots and hiking. I love food and trying new restaurants (my favorite food is Burmese food, and my fave restaurant is Burma Superstar in San Francisco). I also enjoy doing a lot of DIY home improvement projects—I even taught myself how to do some basic plumbing.

Department of Educational Psychology

Sam Choo

Sam Choo is an assistant professor in the special education program in the Department of Educational Psychology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Daegu University in South Korea, a master’s degree in special education from the University of Kansas, and a doctoral degree in special education technology from the University of Kentucky. Before joining the University of Minnesota, Choo was a research faculty at the Center on Teaching and Learning (CTL) at the University of Oregon and a senior learning scientist at Amplify Education. His research interests include learning disabilities in math, assistive and instructional technology, educational games, math assessment and curriculum development, iterative development, and efficacy trials.

“My research interests lie primarily in technology-based math interventions,” he says. “Within the area, I am particularly interested in leveraging gaming and multimedia technology for improving early math and problem-solving skills of students with or at risk for learning disabilities in math.”

Choo previously took part in federally funded research projects developing educational games for students with or at risk for learning disabilities in math. He is currently working to incorporate a multimedia-based contextualized math intervention with 3D printing technology for improving the mathematical problem-solving skills of low-achieving students.  

“When I was a teacher, many of my students complained about learning and doing math. They felt as if math is just a pile of numbers and symbols and too disconnected from the real world,” he says. 

While Choo struggled to engage his students in math, he was fortunate to participate in a federally funded research project to teach math in an innovative way using technology called Enhanced Anchored Instruction (EAI). 

“Soon after teaching with the EAI curriculum, I noticed that my students were much more motivated and engaged than they had been,” he says. “In fact, they looked like they were actually enjoying math. After having the firsthand experience to implement the entire math intervention over the course of a school year, I decided to study how technology-based math interventions can help low-achieving, disengaged, and unmotivated students in learning and doing math.”

Fun fact: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Read one article a day.

 Betsy Maloney Leaf, Ranza Veltri Torres, Sam Choo
Betsy Maloney Leaf, Ranza Veltri Torres, and Sam Choo

Anne Foegen 

Anne Foegen is a professor and chair of the Department of Educational Psychology. She holds a BS in mathematics teaching from Winona State University, an MA in education from The Ohio State University, and a PhD in educational psychology with an emphasis in special education from the University of Minnesota. She was most currently a professor in special education in the School of Education at Iowa State University. As chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, among many responsibilities, she will have oversight of general department functioning, uphold policies, set priorities in support of department strategic initiatives, oversee department meetings and the department budget, and guide the leadership team to pursue goals spanning from the program areas to the University system, with the support and collaboration of students, staff, and faculty.

“I am very impressed with the strength of the Educational Psychology Department and the CEHD leaders I’ve interacted with during this process,” Foegen says. “I am excited to join a talented and invested group of scholars and educators as we work together to advance the excellence of educational psychology.” 

Foegen’s research is currently focused on algebra assessment and learning. She is exploring the development and implementation of brief assessments in mathematics that can be used to monitor student progress spanning early numeracy (K-1), the middle grades (6-8), and algebra. She regularly consults with teachers and educational leaders across the country on matters related to secondary mathematics assessment. 

“I have worked with general and special education teachers and students to determine if six different types of algebra progress monitoring measures have evidence of technical adequacy—meaning they are reliable and valid—and are sensitive to growth, which would be helpful to teachers in detecting changes in student learning,” she says. “I am currently working with mathematics education colleagues at Iowa State to complete a partnership project with an Iowa school district about increasing algebra learning for students from minoritized backgrounds.”

Foegen has been interested in the intersections between mathematics learning and students with and without disabilities who struggle to learn since the time of her undergraduate work. “As a doctoral student learning about curriculum-based measurement, I was frustrated by the absence of measures for monitoring student progress in middle school mathematics,” she says. “This gap and the need for more students to have success in secondary mathematics has been a driving force in my career. I’m especially passionate about algebra learning, as success in algebra opens doors to post-secondary education and higher-wage jobs.”

Fun fact: What do you do in your downtime?

I enjoy reading, bicycling, and knitting, as well as spending time with family and friends. My current knitting project is a Christmas stocking for my granddaughter, Violet, who was born in April.

HyeJin Hwang

HyeJin Hwang is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. She has a BS and MS in English language education from Korea University in Seoul and a PhD in educational studies with a concentration in literacy, language, and culture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She joined the U as a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Her areas of interest are language and reading comprehension, content learning, multilingual students, and educational technology. 

Hwang says that comprehension of written or oral text and content knowledge—knowledge about the natural and social world—are crucial for successful learning and critical thinking as individuals and as citizens. 

“Research has shown that these two may have a mutually enhancing relationship,” Hwang says. “Providing instructional support that leverages this reciprocal relationship can enhance students’ literacy development and content learning.”

Because she is multilingual herself, Hwang is particularly interested in the comprehension and content learning of multilingual students in K-12, noting that state and national statistics have indicated that multilingual students often receive less support in these areas. 

“Additionally, I am interested in exploring the potential of educational technology in providing K-12 students with individualized instruction to support their comprehension and content learning, especially for multilingual students,” she says. 

Fun fact: What are you reading?
I am reading two historical novels: Human Acts by Han Kang and The Island of Sea Women by Lisa Lee. 

Haoran Li

Haoran Li is an assistant professor in quantitative methods in education in the Department of Educational Psychology. He has a BA in event management from the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, an MS in applied psychology from East China Normal University, and a PhD in research methodology and quantitative methods from Texas A&M University. His research interests include multilevel modeling, statistical methods for single-case experimental designs, measurement development and validation, longitudinal data analysis, and categorical data analysis.

“My current work focuses on the evaluation and application of advanced statistical methods to deal with various types of data from single-case experimental designs,” he says. “I am also very interested in using multilevel modeling and latent variable modeling to analyze clustered and longitudinal data to solve practical issues in social sciences.”

Li says single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) are becoming more popular in recent years. SCEDs can yield a strong inference about whether an intervention works with a far smaller number of cases than what would be needed to conduct a between-groups experiment. 

“Traditionally, applied researchers rely on visual analysis to determine the functional relationship between intervention and outcomes and use a nonparametric approach to evaluate treatment effects,” Li says. He adds that the potential of using statistical modeling tailored to different outcomes and designs in single-case studies can make a great contribution to the statistical rigor of SCEDs, not to mention having a broader impact on the evidence-based practice movement. 

“My hope is to make advanced statistical methods more approachable to applied researchers and help them understand how such data analytical framework can effectively address the challenges posed by traditional methods such as small samples, trend effects, and autocorrelation,” Li says. 

Fun fact: If you could invite any figure—living or dead—to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would like to have dinner with Steven Jobs. He reshaped the music industry with iPod, the mobile phone industry with iPhone, and the movie industry with Pixar Animation Studios. I would love to talk to him about how he was able to change the world through constant innovation and amazing vision. 

Anne Foegen, HyeJin Hwang, Haoran Li
Anne Foegen, HyeJin Hwang, and Haoran Li

Department of Family Social Science

Ronald Asiimwe

Ronald Asiimwe is an assistant professor of couple and family therapy specializing in culturally responsive practices in the Department of Family Social Science. Asiimwe (Dr. A) grew up in Uganda. He holds a BA in community psychology from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, an MS in marriage and family therapy from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and a PhD in human development and family studies with a specialization in couple and family therapy from Michigan State University, East Lansing. Dr. A has research and clinical experience practicing in the U.S. and in his home country of Uganda. His research program integrates multicultural perspectives to study how trauma affects parenting, child/youth outcomes, and overall couple and family relationship functioning in underserved communities in the USA and in Sub-Saharan Africa. He also has research interests in measurement and scale validation, alongside the development of systemic family therapy in Africa. 

“I am particularly driven to these areas with the goal to discover scientifically proven and culturally responsive practices that can help individuals and families in underserved communities negotiate crises, improve parenting, couple, and family relationships, and improve overall mental and emotional wellbeing of underserved families and communities,” he says. 

Asiimwe is a recipient of several awards, including the Family Process Institute’s 2022 Dissertation Grant Award, the 2023 New Writers Fellowship from the Family Process Institute, and the 2022 Excellence in Graduate Teaching award from Michigan State University. He is also a former fellow of the Certificate in Leadership program of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). 

Fun fact: What do you do in your downtime?
I enjoy playing tennis, traveling, reading and watching comical books or TV shows, running marathons, skiing, watching soccer, and college basketball.

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Aditi Rajendran

Aditi Rajendran is an assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD). She has a BBA in marketing and international studies from the University of Iowa; an MEd focusing on learning, diversity, and urban studies from Vanderbilt University; and a PhD in educational policy, organizations, and leadership in P-12 systems from the University of Washington. She was most recently a postdoctoral fellow in OLPD. Her areas of interest include racial equity leadership, learning and organizational change, community-based and participatory research, critical and Indigenous theories, and school-community relations. 

“I see my research interests as trying to push against dominant narratives of schooling to reimagine what’s possible,” she says.

Growing up as a child from an immigrant family in an overwhelmingly white, working/middle-class, rural-adjacent community, Rajendran never questioned school. “That felt like an impossibility,” she says. “In that racial isolation, I, like so many kids of color, learned to assimilate, to erase, conform, and contort myself to survive. But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Rajendran says she’s had the honor and privilege to learn in community with mentors and leaders that refute the premise that the system can’t change. “No, it wasn’t built for us, but we can rebuild it,” she says. “And that’s really been the key to my work. I’m invested in us!”

She wants to advance the agency and self-determination of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples to remake these systems based on their hopes, dreams, and visions of justice. “I want our epistemologies and ontologies to be central as we make consequential decisions in education policy and practice,” she says. “And I want to maintain healthy relations that keep us all whole and well as we co-create these new possibilities.”

Fun fact: What are you reading?
I’m currently reading Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez.

David Quinn

David Quinn is the Rodney S. Wallace Associate Professor for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. He holds an MEd in curriculum and instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and an EdM in education policy and management and an EdD in education policy, leadership, and instructional practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He was previously an associate professor of education at the University of Southern California. He came to OLPD last January. His areas of interest include educational inequality by race and class, teachers’ racial attitudes and biases, “achievement gap” discourse effects, framing effects on support for racial equity in education policy, and seasonal learning patterns. 

“My current work focuses on the equity implications of the discourses we use in policy discussions, in research, in the media, and in schools,” he says. 

Quinn says that racial equity in education is often framed around “closing the achievement gap.” However, a growing number of scholars argue that this frame perpetuates deficit mindsets by focusing on student outcomes rather than on the structural injustices that continue to shape those outcomes.

“Using randomized experiments, I’ve shown that the ‘achievement gap’ framing magnifies racist stereotypes and depresses the extent to which the public prioritizes racial equity in education,” Quinn says. “In work currently in progress, preliminary results suggest the ‘opportunity gap’ framing may be more productive at building support for racial equity efforts.”

Fun fact: What is your favorite website?!

Ronald Asiimwe, Aditi Rajendran, and David Quinn
Ronald Asiimwe, Aditi Rajendran, and David Quinn

School of Kinesiology

Emmanuel Bonney

Emmanuel Bonney is an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology. He received his PhD in physical therapy from University of Cape Town in South Africa and was most recently a postdoctoral associate at the Institute of Child Development in CEHD. His research focuses on brain and motor development in both typical and atypical populations, including developmental coordination disorder (DCD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and agenesis of corpus callosum (ACC). His research considers the biological and behavioral aspects of these developmental disorders as well as the impacts of specific cultural contexts around the world. Bonney’s research interests also include global health, and health disparities both within and outside of the United States. He hopes to make discoveries that will improve the lives of all children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. 

Bonney says that research on developmental disorders, and autism in particular, is typically focused on developmental domains such as social communication, language, or cognitive development with secondary focus on motor domains, despite the high prevalence of motor impairments in these conditions.

“I think motor development is an important developmental process that can be harnessed to change the lives of individuals with developmental disorders,” he says. “I am motivated by understanding the links between early movement experiences and later developmental and health outcomes, and I am particularly interested in how intensive motor stimulation and intervention can mitigate developmental challenges associated with motor delay.”

Movement is a powerful resource that allows people to interact with objects, animals, and other human beings, Bonney notes. “I think a better understanding of the process of motor development in children with atypical trajectories can provide insights to facilitate early detection of developmental disorders in general and in specific cultural contexts and can guide intervention strategies that maximize the developmental potential and health of young children in different parts of the world,” he says.

Fun fact: If you could invite any figure—living or dead—to dinner, who would it be and why?

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Nelson Mandela was the first Black president of South Africa and a true campaigner of equality and justice. His life and values are a great source of inspiration to me and having dinner with him would give me the opportunity to learn more about his personality and leadership qualities. I would specifically ask him to share with me two important lessons he learned from spending 27 years in prison and how those ideas impacted the rest of his life. 

Candace Hogue 

Candace Hogue is an assistant professor of sport and performance psychology in the School of Kinesiology. She completed her undergraduate degree at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was a collegiate athlete and studied psychology and business administration. She later completed an MSE in the psychology of health and physical activity at the University of Kansas, where she also went on to complete her PhD in health education and the psychology of physical activity under the mentorship of Mary Fry. Hogue was previously an assistant professor of kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University, prior to joining the faculty in CEHD. Her research interests include performance stress and motivation in sport and other physical activity-based contexts, as well as coaching education and life skill development for participating athletes. 

“What I love about sport and performance psychology is that we have the opportunity to help participants learn valuable and important life skills through their engagement in physical activity,” she says. “Some of these skills include learning how to work well with others and manage and utilize performance stress in order to get the most out of sporting experiences.”

Hogue says she enjoys the opportunity to help leaders, including coaches, fitness instructors, and PE teachers, develop a passion for physical activities in the participants they lead. “We all know the benefits of living a physically active lifestyle,” she says. “I love this job because I get to help others, both indirectly and directly, live their happiest and healthiest lives.”

Fun fact: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?  

Work hard and be kind. 

Emmanuel Bonney and Candace Hogue
Emmanuel Bonney and Candace Hogue

Photo credit(s): Photos courtesy of individual faculty members