Alejandra Aguero ›

Ms. Aguero has a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a Master's Degree in Global Studies in Education, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership.

Her research and teaching interests are in education reform, labor, and training and she is currently working on a qualitative case study, which includes interviews conducted in South America, the Middle East, and South Asia on issues related to technology, social media, activism, youth, and women's participation.


Ademola Akinrinola ›

Ademola Akinrinola is a doctoral student in the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Department. His research interests include equity and access to quality education by minoritized, working-class students, politics of education, K-12 school improvement, international education, education as a tool for attaining socioeconomic equality (especially in Sub-Saharan Africa). 

After graduation, Ademola plans to work as  faculty, where he can deploy his scholarship to advocate for equitable access to quality education for all children.

HyeJin Tina Yeo ›

HyeJin Tina Yeo is a Ph.D. student in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership.

Her research interests lie in diversity, equity in education, college access and transition, teacher/faculty education, social mobility and stratification, racial formation, and racial microaggressions. 

 Tina’s ultimate plans include completing her Ph. D. in Higher Education and devoting herself to improving education quality for All students. She has served in secondary and postsecondary settings in Korea and the United States as a teacher, faculty/director of English curriculum and instruction, and an instructional specialist for online learning. 



ArCasia James ›

ArCasia James is a first-year doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership. Her scholarly interests include secondary education of Black Americans during the 20th century, the historic role of philanthropy in constructing Black education and schooling practices, social studies education, Critical Race Theory, and Black Feminisms.

After earning her PhD, ArCasia plans to assume a tenure-track faculty position and work with public schools to radicalize their social studies curriculum.



Andrea Fain ›

Andrea Fain is in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. Her scholarly areas of interest include federal and state financial aid, need-based compared to merit-based programs, impact of increasing cost to earn a degree on low-income students, challenges faced by nontraditional, low-income and undergraduates from rural communities.

After graduation, Andrea would like to be in an administrative role with a focus on finding and creating opportunities to assist financially challenged students. 


Lisa Chason ›

Lisa Chason is a doctoral student in the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Department. Her scholarly areas of interest include  writing studies, second language writing pedagogy, research and analysis of changes taking place in English-language academic writing as it increasingly encompasses multilingual speakers and speakers of other languages. 

After graduation,  Lisa intends to work directly with second language writers, teach, train teachers, and conduct research in university and community-based writing programs. 



Robert Anthony Ward ›

A native of Detroit, Michigan Robert is currently completing his dissertation in socio-cultural studies in education. That project considers the history of education reform, race, and the American Dream. He is both immersed in and in love with his teaching and research here at the University of Illinois. He has a significant interest in processes of race, stratification and the ways in which educators challenge those mechanisms via classroom learning. 

Jami Swindell ›

Jami Swindell is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Special Education. Her research focuses on early childhood special education and early intervention policy. Jami works with the Early Intervention Training Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and has supported workshops and conferences on the state and national level. Jami looks forward to collaborating with other graduate students to organize the College of Education Graduate Student Conference.

Sahar Alameh ›

Sahar Alameh is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She is currently an editorial associate in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST). Her research focuses on how philosophically informed models of scientific explanation can guide K-12 science instruction, learning and assessment. Her research interests include scientific explanation, nature of science, history and philosophy of science.