About Us

Our Grant Team and Advisors is composed of experienced education researchers, data scientists, journalists, graphic designers, and communication experts from across the United States and Canada.

Grant Team

Dr. Joseph Polman, the principal investigator (PI) of the grant, is a Professor and an Associate Dean for Research in the School of Education at University of Colorado Boulder. He has a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, and has conducted research and development related to technology-supported inquiry learning of science for over 20 years. He is on the editorial boards of Journal of the Learning Sciences and American Educational Research Journal.

Dr. Engida Gebre is a co-principal investigator on the grant and Assistant Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Gebre has been conducting research on active learning environments and processes, learning technologies and student engagement, semiotic tools/inscriptions, representational competence, and leadership for teaching and learning.

Andee Rubin is PI of the portion of the project at TERC, where she is a Senior Scientist. TERC is an independent non-profit engaged in research and development in the fields of math and science education. Rubin has been involved in creating software tools for data representation for over 30 years. She has conducted extensive research on students’ and teachers’ statistical reasoning, especially as it is influenced and made visible by data visualization tools.

Cynthia Graville is an Instructor of Converging Communication Technology and Director of the Communication Media Lab at Saint Louis University. Currently, she is enrolled as a doctoral student in the Teaching and Learning Division of the College of Education at UMSL. She was the recipient of ASTC’s Roy A. Shafer Leading Edge Award for New Leadership in the Field 2008.

Dr. Alan Newman is consultant to the project. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and has conducted basic research at various universities and Brookhaven National Laboratory, but most of his career—over 20 years—has been spent as a science journalist and managing editor. He is the managing editor of the youth science news magazine SciJourner.

Gary Robert Lamb is both a CISL design-based research team member and the classroom teacher at Pattonville High School. Lamb will implement in three chemistry classes the infographics critique and construction co-designed by our team. He has a B.S. in Biology with a teaching certificate from Bradley University. He is completing his Master of Education degree at University of Missouri-St. Louis, and has been part of the SciJourn team as an implementing teacher for three years. He was one of six high school science teachers in 2011-12 awarded a “Peabody Energy Leaders in Education” in recognition of his excellence as a Chemistry and Physical Science teacher.

Stephen Sommer is a dual Ph.D. Student in the School of Education and the Institute of Cognitive Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying Learning Sciences and Human Development. His research concerns multi-semiotic representation in STEM literacy, collaborative meta-cognition, epistemic agency, and leadership development instruction. In the summer, he is a Course Director for the Colorado Outward Bound School.

Chelsey Shade is a PhD candidate in the Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity Program at the University of Colorado Boulder, under the advisory of Dr. Guillermo Solano-Flores (Stanford) and Dr. Kathy Escamilla (CU Boulder). Her dissertation focuses on the semiotic complexity of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Mathematics Practice Test, and whether these complexities differentially affect high school bilingual (English-Spanish) students. She plans to defend her dissertation in April, 2016. She joined the project in September 2016. Her main tasks have been to code and analyze the pre- and post-assessment data.

Joanna Weidler-Lewis is postdoctoral researcher on the SLI project. She received her PhD in Learning Sciences and Human Development at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests include bring critical, spatial, and feminist perspectives to STEM learning environments.

Ada Ren is a part-time research assistant at TERC working on two STEM Literacy projects. She has a background in speech-accompanied gesture research in the speech field and web and graphic design in online education. Her understanding of data science and technical tools aid her role in supporting this project.

Past Members

Lily Ko is a researcher at TERC.
Leighanna Hinojosa is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences at University of Colorado Boulder.


Advisory Board

Our advisory board provides input to us on designing and organizing collaborative learning environments using infographics and data journalism.

Current Advisors

Vera Michalchik is a Senior Social Scientist and Director of Research on Informal Learning Environments in the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. She has her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University, an M.Ed. in Human Development from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Film Studies from University of California, Berkeley. She studies the features of environments that successfully promote STEM learning for underserved youth, with a specialization on informal science contexts. Her work includes focus on multimodal representational practices and she has an interest in the role of social media in citizen science and new forms of public engagement in science.

Heather Corcoran is director of the College and Graduate School of Art and the Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professor of Art at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a graphic designer whose work explores relationships of information and expression, spanning collaborative projects for social impact and self-generated projects for exhibition. She works on questions of informational density, clarity, and audience understanding, while also addressing how elements such as image, text, and graphic form create voice, and how data can provoke an emotional response.

Bárbara Brizuela is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Tufts University and Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts & Sciences. She received her Ed.D. from Harvard, where she studied with Eleanor Duckworth. Her research focuses on children’s learning of mathematics, especially their use of representational tools, and mathematics teachers’ learning and PD.

Victor Lee is assistant professor of instructional technology and learning sciences at Utah State University. His work examines the intersections of in-the-moment cognition, external representations, and emerging technologies. He has created and studied the use of materials to support K-12 teaching and learning, and also explored the potential of physical activity data technologies (such as heart rate monitors, distance trackers, etc.) and personally relevant data to enable students to engage in more authentic forms of inquiry. He is a recipient of a NSF CAREER award, and the Jan Hawkins award for early career contributions to humanistic research and scholarship in learning technologies.

Former Advisors

Shannon Briner received her Masters in Business Administration from Lindenwood University and her Bachelors of Science in Biology from SUNY Brockport. She began her career working on the Human Genome Project as a data analyst at Incyte Genomics. She then started her own company, BrinerVision, LLC; offering services for fingerprinting and gene expression analysis. Since then, Briner has led a group of data analysts at MedAssets that analyzed supply chain spending for major hospital systems and worked as the project manager at Monsanto with responsibility for implementing a global multidomain masterdata management solution.

Barbara Glauber is principal of design studio Heavy Meta. She has an MFA from CalArts and teaches design at Yale and Cooper Union. Barbara focuses on projects for cultural institutions, collaborating with artists, curators, and editors to create monographs, interdisciplinary exhibitions, information graphics, and identities.