University of Pittsburgh School of Education
 

Meet Our Faculty

Apply Now

Meet Our Faculty

Foundations, Research, and Practitioner's Inquiry Courses


Thomas Akiva Assistant Professor
Thomas Akiva’s research focuses on understanding and improving out-of-school time (OST) programs for children and youth. His team's applied approach utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods. From a theoretical standpoint, they are interested in development in context and how the opportunities and supports in a young person’s social ecology shape their learning and development--with a particular focus on youth-adult partnerships.

Rip Correnti Associate Professor, LRDC Research Scientist

Kevin Crowley Director of UPCLOSE, Professor
Kevin Crowley is a professor of Learning Sciences and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also directs the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE) and is a Senior Scientists at the Learning Research and Development Center. Crowley works in partnership with museums, community organizations, and other informal educators to develop innovative learning environments. Crowley’s group conducts learning sciences research in informal settings and develops new theories of how people learn about science, technology, engineering, and art.

B. Jean Ferketish Associate Professor
Prior to joining the faculty fulltime, Jean Ferketish served an elected officer of the University for 14 years, including secretary of the Board of Trustees and assistant chancellor. During this time she also taught as an adjunct in four graduate schools at Pitt. She spent the first half of her career in industry and consulting, working with organizations in industry, service and healthcare to strengthen their cultures by simultaneously focusing on the people and process sides of the organization.

Carl I. Fertman Associate Professor
Carl I. Fertman is executive director of the Maximizing Adolescent Potentials Program at the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches courses in health education and health promotion program planning, implementation, and evaluation, health theory, and health counseling. His areas of expertise are health promotion and health education program planning, implementation, and evaluation, promoting child and adolescent mental health, and workplace health promotion. His research focuses on the effectiveness of health programs to address the health needs of children, adolescents, and adults in schools, communities, and workplaces. Fertman has more than 30 years of experience in the health education and health promotion field working at the local, state, national, and international levels.


Francois Guilleux Adjunct Assistant Professor
.

Michael Gunzenhauser Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Certification, Associate Professor
As a philosopher of education and qualitative research methodologist, Michael Gunzenhauser has published on issues related to ethics, social justice, the foundations of research, and school reform. Gunzenhauser is currently continuing his study of the cultivation of professionalism in Pre-K 12 and higher education. In addition to his philosophical work, he is working on several collaborative projects in related areas, including principals' attitudes toward the opportunity gap and disciplinary power expressed through student evaluations.

Sean Kelly Associate Professor, Department of Administrative and Policy Studies PhD Studies Director
Sean Kelly studies the social organization of schools, student engagement, and teacher effectiveness. Kelly was the editor of Assessing Teacher Quality: Understanding Teacher Effects on Instruction and Achievement and serves on the editorial boards of the American Educational Research Journal and Research in the Teaching of English. Kelly’s current research includes the CLASS 5.0 development project, an Institute of Education Sciences-funded educational technology study of classroom discourse.

Jerry Longo Clinical Associate Professor, Director of The Forum for Western Pa School Superintendents
Jerry Longo was an English teacher, high school principal, and school superintendent. He also served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Longo was recognized as the Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year (1997), Tri-State Study Council Distinguished Educator (1995), AASA’s President’s Technology Awardee (2004), and the Pennsylvania Music Educator’s Superintendent of the Year (2007). Current responsibilities include directing the Western Pennsylvania Forum for School Superintendents, coordinating the Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility Program, and teaching both traditional and online classes.

Michael Lovorn Assistant Professor
Michael Lovorn's research interests include best practices and curriculum development in secondary social studies education, historiographical analysis of content and community, teaching and learning in international/intercultural learning environments, and humor in the classroom. Mike earned a PhD in social studies education from the University of Tennessee in 2003. Prior to the completion of this degree, he taught various secondary social studies classes at culturally and economically diverse public schools in Tennessee and Georgia.

Tracy Pelkowski
.

Jill Perry CPED Executive Director, Research Associate Professor
Jill Perry is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she received her PhD in International Education Policy. Perry’s research focuses on professional doctorate preparation in education, organizational change in higher education, teacher professionalization, and teacher issues both nationally and internationally. Her publications have appeared in Planning and Changing Journal, Journal of School Public Relations, Innovation in Higher Education as well as several books and practitioner journals. She has over 18 years of experience in leadership and program development in education and teaching experience at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the US and abroad. Additionally, Perry is the Executive Director of the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate which is headquartered at the University of Pittsburgh.


Jennifer Lin Russell Assistant Professor, LRDC Scientist
Jennifer Lin Russell’s research examines policy and other educational improvement initiatives through an organizational perspective. Russell’s recent work examines two primary issues: how schools create social and organizational structures that support reform and how interorganizational collaborations and networks can be structured for educational improvement.

Cindy Tananis Associate Professor, Director of Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity (CEAC)
Cindy Tananis is the founding Director of the Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity (CEAC) where her work centers on program evaluation efforts with schools, education agencies, community initiatives and not-for-profit groups supporting children, youth, and families through a portfolio of grants and contracts. CEAC has active projects in math and science, early childhood, and Makerspaces and education. Tananis teaches in the Education Leadership program with a specialization in knowledge management and leadership for change.  She also teaches a number of research methods courses for doctoral students and is an active leader and instructor in the School’s EdD program.

Mary Kay Stein Professor, LRDC Associate Director
Margaret Smith works with preserivce middle and high school mathematics teachers at the University of Pittsburgh, with doctoral students in mathematics education who are interested in becoming teacher educators, and with practicing teachers and teacher leaders locally and nationally. Over the past 20+ years she has been developing research-based materials for use in the professional development of mathematics teachers and studying what teachers learn from the professional development in which they engage.

Charlene Trovato Associate Chair for Dept. of Administrative and Policy Studies, Clinical Associate Professor
Charlene Trovato teaches leadership courses in the MEd school leadership certificate and the EdD programs. Trovato was a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) group that developed new standards for school leaders and chaired a team to review the superintendent letter of eligibility program at Drexel University, as well as leading the redesign of the K-12 principal program supported by a grant from the PDE and the EdD program. Currently, Trovato directs the K-12 principal and supervisor of curriculum and instruction certificate programs and chairs the school-wide EdD program.

Ashley Woodson Assistant Professor
Ashley N. Woodson received her PhD from Michigan State University, in Curriculum Instruction and Teacher Education with an emphasis in Race, Culture and Equity in Education; her research interests focus on urban sexualities, how the African diaspora is conceptualized in secondary social studies, and the implications of these conceptualizations for urban Black students' civic agency.

Educational Leadership


Cindy Tananis Associate Professor, Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity (CEAC) Director
.

Charlene Trovato Associate Chair for Dept. of Administrative and Policy Studies, Clinical Associate Professor
Charlene Trovato teaches leadership courses in the MEd school leadership certificate and the EdD programs. Trovato was a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) group that developed new standards for school leaders and chaired a team to review the superintendent letter of eligibility program at Drexel University, as well as leading the redesign of the K-12 principal program supported by a grant from the PDE and the EdD program. Currently, Trovato directs the K-12 principal and supervisor of curriculum and instruction certificate programs and chairs the school-wide EdD program.

Mary Margaret Kerr Chair for Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, Professor
Mary Margaret Kerr has worked in urban school districts throughout her academic career. She has directed training services for the University’s youth suicide and violence prevention center, STAR-Center, which provides crisis response services, training, and policy consultation to school districts and agencies across Pennsylvania. Her research team also studies the experiences of children who visit and correspond with the Flight 93 (9/11) National Memorial, the Pentagon Memorial, and other such dark heritage sites. Her second area of research explores the emotional lives of teachers and students in K-12 schools.

Jerry Longo Clinical Associate Professor, Director of The Forum for Western Pa School Superintendents
Jerry Longo was an English teacher, high school principal, and school superintendent. He also served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Longo was recognized as the Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year (1997), Tri-State Study Council Distinguished Educator (1995), AASA’s President’s Technology Awardee (2004), and the Pennsylvania Music Educator’s Superintendent of the Year (2007). Current responsibilities include directing the Western Pennsylvania Forum for School Superintendents, coordinating the Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility Program, and teaching both traditional and online classes.

Maureen McClure Associate Professor, IISE Senior Research Associate
.

Ira Weiss Adjunct Faculty
.

Higher Education Management


James Jacob Associate Professor, Director of IISE
James Jacob has devoted the past 15 years of his academic and professional life to helping to promote issues related to comparative, international, and development education (CIDE) initiatives. His research interests include higher education management; HIV/AIDS multisectoral prevention, capacity building, and principles of good governance; indigenous education issues of culture, language, and identity as they relate to post-secondary education; quality assurance; organizational development; higher education strategic planning; and organizational effectiveness.

Stu Sutin Clinical Professor, Associate Director of IISE
Stu Sutin joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 as clinical professor of Administrative and Policy Studies, and associate director of the Institute for the International Studies of Education. Prior to accepting this position, Sutin was president and CEO of Community College of Allegheny County between 2003 and 2007. Before assuming positions in education, Stu worked for 29 years in the financial services industry where he was President of Bank of Boston International, and Senior Vice President and International Department head of Mellon Bank. During those years Stu was President and board chair of the Banker’s Association for Finance and Trade. He also co-founded and chaired the Global Trade Institute in Pittsburgh and the New England Export School in Boston. Stu was chair of the Western Pennsylvania District Export Council, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Language, Literacy and Culture


Richard Donato Chair for Department of Instruction and Learning, Professor
Richard Donato’s research interests include early foreign language learning, language program assessment, sociocultural theory and second language acquisition, the discourse of classroom collaboration, and foreign language teacher education. He received the Modern Language Journal/American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Paul Pimsleur award for his published research in 1997 on early language learning and in 2006 on the connection of language learning to literature instruction in university foreign language classes.

Linda Kucan Associate Professor
Linda Kucan’s research interests focus on comprehension and learning from text—particularly informational text. She investigates discussion as a context for comprehension instruction as well as the role of tasks in mediating student learning from text. She is also interested in vocabulary development and instructional approaches to support students in acquiring academic vocabulary and using that knowledge for reading and writing.

Michael Lovorn Assistant Professor
Michael Lovorn's research interests include best practices and curriculum development in secondary social studies education, historiographical analysis of content and community, teaching and learning in international/intercultural learning environments, and humor in the classroom. Mike earned a PhD in social studies education from the University of Tennessee in 2003. Prior to the completion of this degree, he taught various secondary social studies classes at culturally and economically diverse public schools in Tennessee and Georgia.

Amber Pabon Assistant Professor
Amber Pabon is a qualitative researcher of two strands of scholarship: the life histories of Black male teachers and the language and literacy practices of Black youth in urban schools. Amber began her career teaching English Language Arts in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where she worked as an English teacher educator and literacy staff developer for several years. Amber is also affiliated faculty in the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program as well as the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has published in the Journal of Negro Education, the Multidisciplinary Journal of Education Research, and Urban Education.

Ashley Woodson Assistant Professor
Ashley N. Woodson received her PhD from Michigan State University, in Curriculum Instruction and Teacher Education with an emphasis in Race, Culture and Equity in Education; her research interests focus on urban sexualities, how the African diaspora is conceptualized in secondary social studies, and the implications of these conceptualizations for urban Black students' civic agency.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)


Ellice Forman Professor
Ellice Ann Forman’s research employs a cultural historical theoretical framework and uses methods from sociolinguistics as well as the learning sciences to study teaching and learning in K-12 mathematics and science classrooms. She teaches graduate-level courses in qualitative research methods, culture and cognition, and classroom research. Her publications have appeared in leading journals in education. She was appointed a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association in 2015. ​

Doug Kostewicz Associate Professor
Doug Kostewicz has worked as both a special educator and a behavior analyst in child welfare, and expanded his research to include investigating the support given to students with and without disabilities in inclusive settings via interventions for educators. Currently, his research interests include fluency-based academic interventions and improving professional development associated with the effects of teacher-initiated classroom interactions of students with special needs.

Peg Smith Professor, LRDC Senior Scientist
.

Mary Kay Stein Professor, LRDC Associate Director
Margaret Smith works with preserivce middle and high school mathematics teachers at the University of Pittsburgh, with doctoral students in mathematics education who are interested in becoming teacher educators, and with practicing teachers and teacher leaders locally and nationally. Over the past 20+ years she has been developing research-based materials for use in the professional development of mathematics teachers and studying what teachers learn from the professional development in which they engage.

Social and Comparative Analysis in Education


Jo Victoria Goodman
Jo Victoria Goodman is a visiting research assistant professor for the Department of Administrative & Policy Studies and Director of Editing for the Institute for International Studies in Education. She studied international and development education at the University of Pittsburgh with a second concentration in social foundations. She has authored articles, book chapters, and a book, Autobiography of a Democratic Nation at Risk (2009), published by Peter Lang in Pinar’s Curriculum as Complicated Conversation Series.

Maureen McClure Associate Professor, IISE Senior Research Associate
.

Special Education


Laura Bray Instructor
Laura E. Bray is an instructor in the Department of Instruction and Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research draws from organizational and learning theories to examine the implementation of special education policies, identify best practices to support and use within inclusive learning environments, and design interventions to ensure that all students have access to high quality and responsive instruction.​

Frances Mary D'Andrea Instructor
Frances Mary D’Andrea is an instructor and educational consultant specializing in literacy and students with visual impairments. D’Andrea began as a TVI in 1982; from 1995-2005 she worked at the American Foundation for the Blind, establishing their National Literacy Center. She is immediate past-chair of the Braille Authority of North America and co-author of several textbooks.

Anastasia Kokina Assistant Professor
.

Rachel Robertson Assistant Professor
Rachel Robertson’s doctoral experience included a research fellowship at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, where she provided training and consultation in classwide behavior interventions. Robertson also served as a certified behavior analyst for Allegheny County and as an assistant professor in special education at Duquesne University. Robertson’s current research focuses on parent and teacher-implemented behavioraL interventions for children with autism.

Health and Physical Activity


Carl I. Fertman Associate Professor
Carl I. Fertman is executive director of the Maximizing Adolescent Potentials Program at the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches courses in health education and health promotion program planning, implementation, and evaluation, health theory, and health counseling. His areas of expertise are health promotion and health education program planning, implementation, and evaluation, promoting child and adolescent mental health, and workplace health promotion. His research focuses on the effectiveness of health programs to address the health needs of children, adolescents, and adults in schools, communities, and workplaces. Fertman has more than 30 years of experience in the health education and health promotion field working at the local, state, national, and international levels.


Out-of-School Learning


Kevin Crowley Director of UPCLOSE, Professor
Kevin Crowley is a professor of Learning Sciences and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also directs the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE) and is a Senior Scientists at the Learning Research and Development Center. Crowley works in partnership with museums, community organizations, and other informal educators to develop innovative learning environments. Crowley’s group conducts learning sciences research in informal settings and develops new theories of how people learn about science, technology, engineering, and art.