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Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching & Agency

DELTA Alumni

Profile of Yasemin Cicek

Yasemin Cicek

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Yasemin Cicek is a Ph.D. student in DELTA. Her research interests include 1) Computing Education in K-12 schools, 2) mathematics learning situations provided by technology-enriched learning environments, and computer programming activities. Recently, she conducted an interview study with preservice teachers to explore their attitudes toward computer programming in mathematics classrooms.
Profile of Todd Lash

Todd Lash

Director of Computer Science Teacher Education, Curriculum & Instruction

Todd Lash is a Ph.D student in the Department of Special Education interested designing equitable computer science education. Previously, he worked for seventeen years as a k-5 classroom teacher, interventionist, library media specialist, and instructional coach for computer science and computational thinking at the elementary level. He is the co-founder of EdCampCU, which aims to bring community members with diverse viewpoints together to discuss education-related issues. Todd’s research interests are around increasing equity in and access to high-quality computer science education for all students. He served as a writer for the 2016 Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Standards Revision team and as a writer for the Framework project. Todd is also an active member of the CSTA K-8 task group.
Profile of Brian Guerrero

Brian Guerrero

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Brian is a PhD student interested in the intersection of video games and education. Currently investigating the collaborative learning processes encountered in MMORPG raiding groups.

Profile of Taehyun Kim

Taehyun Kim

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Taehyun Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Curriculum & Instruction department at UIUC. His research focused on how the body-based interactions with immersive media (e.g., virtual reality) can facilitate complex understanding of STEM learning contents, and how the media can be adequately designed to include these types of interactions.
Profile of Juan Pinto

Juan Pinto

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Juan Pinto is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, and Agency (DELTA). His research specializes in educational data science, adaptive learning systems, and the use of machine learning in educational settings. Learn more at
Profile of James Planey

James Planey

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

James Planey is a second year graduate student interested in immersive technologies, their potential to enhance science teaching and learning, and challenges to their implementation in the classroom. James has previous experience in both formal and informal learning, having worked as a field biologist, nature educator, high school biology teacher, and educational technology coordinator. James is a member of the EmIT Group under the direction of Dr. Robb Lindgren.
Profile of Casey Smith

Casey Smith

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Casey Smith is a Ph.D student in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests involve cross-domain collaborations in post-secondary makerspaces. Casey’s work with Dr. Mike Tissenbaum in the DELTA program aims to explore technologies for improving student cross-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge awareness.
Profile of Ross Toedte

Ross Toedte

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Ross Toedte is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology who previously did computational science research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and achieved his MS in science education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His principle research focus is climate change education for elementary- and middle-school-age learners. He is also a research assistant on the Move2Learn project, which explores early childhood science learning in science centers in the U.S. and U.K. The DELTA program helps him advance his interests because it enables him to explore educational issues using new strategies and novel tools.
Profile of Anastasia Tzirides

Anastasia Tzirides

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Anastasia-Olga (Olnancy) Tzirides is a PhD candidate in the Learning Design and Leadership Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on exploring the potential of using digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence combined with a multimodal and translanguaging approach to language learning.
Profile of Rob Wallon

Rob Wallon

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Rob Wallon draws upon his experience as a high school science teacher to inform his research on educational technologies for science teaching and learning. Rob currently works as a research assistant on the GRASP Project, and his dissertation research aims to study the gesture-augmented simulations developed from that project in middle school classrooms.

Profile of Sherry Yi

Sherry Yi

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Sherry Yi is Ph.D student in Educational Psychology. She is currently investigating the self-perceived influence of sandbox games on STEM interest based on college freshmen majoring in STEM. On a broader scale, she is interested in technology’s impact on everyday lives and the potential for learning transfer between informal and formal learning spaces. In her spare time, she likes to dabble in art, write about her latest escapades, read tech news, and indulge in Minecraft.
Profile of Yingbin Zhang

Yingbin Zhang

Graduate Student, Curriculum & Instruction

Yingbin Zhang is a third-year doctoral student in DELTA. His research interests include how educational technology can support children in becoming self-regulated learners. Yingbin is applying sequential analysis in learning process data to detect students' strategic learning behavior. He currently works in a project about novice programmers' debugging behavior under Dr. Luc Paquette's supervision.
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