Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

FAll 2014

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Elise Alford Claffey (MS10) of Garden City, Ida., is the student union associate director at Boise State University.

Andrew Seidler (MS10) of Knoxville is pursuing a PhD at the University of Tennessee, where he is assistant director and academic adviser in undergraduate programs and global leadership.

Joanna Sojka (MS10) was elected 7th Ward alderman in Des Plaines, Ill.

Michael Alperin (BS11) of Cambridge, Mass., is a dual MBA and MPP candidate at MIT and Harvard and an education technology strategy intern at McGraw Hill.

Eric Horowitz (MA11) is beginning a PhD program in social psychology at the University of Southern California.

Sean Kavanaugh (MS11) accepted a position as assistant athletic director and director of academic support at the University of Portland.

Enid Rosario-Ramos

Enid Rosario- Ramos (PhD11) of Ypsilanti, Mich., an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, won a National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for research to improve education.

Mary (Gardner) Burrelle

Mary (Gardner) Burrelle (MS12) of Chicago joined McDonald’s Corporation as the director of global legal strategy and development.

Michael Kegler (MS12) of Chicago is now manager of registrar systems at the University of Chicago.

Meghan Kelly (MS12) of Warminster, Pa., is the assistant director for assignments and communications at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jessica Catz (MS13) of New York has launched her own professional development coaching and change strategy consulting business.

Georgia Del Freo (MS13) of Erie, Pa., was promoted to vice president of operations at the Greater Erie Community Action Committee.

Matt Douponce (MS13) is the associate director of programs and centers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Nick Severson (MS13) of Philadelphia is the resident director at Drexel University.

Sharon Bautista (MS14) of Chicago joined Discover Financial Services as senior manager of digital design and development.

Susan DeBourcy (MS14) joined Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Mich., as senior manager of talent management and organization development.

John Holcomb (MS14) of Chicago has been awarded a five-year teaching fellowship from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation.

Tade Mengesha (BS14) of Centennial, Colo., was awarded an Emerson National Hunger Fellowship.


Gary Kosman (BS00) of Los Angeles was the featured speaker for the SESP Convocation in June. He is the founder and CEO of America Learns, an organization that helps nonprofits and government agencies improve service delivery.

Andrew Male (BS00) of Rocky River, Ohio, was promoted to director at Western Reserve Partners. He also received M&A Advisor’s 40 under 40 Recognition Award.

Joyce Lee Yang (MS00) of Fullerton, Calif., is a recruiter in the human capital department at Green Dot Public Schools in Los Angeles, a large charter management organization. Yang worked as a school administrator for 12 years.

Erin Hopmann (BS03), co-founder of Dabble, an online platform for teachers to connect with people interested in short-term specialty classes, moved her business to St. Louis.

Diana Schofield (BS03) of Norfolk, Va., became a staff psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. She is also assistant professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Shilpa Chaddha (MS04) of Chicago, a senior customer success manager with, was recently honored with a Global Customer Success Award.

Joe Curnow

Joe Curnow (BS05) of Toronto won the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, awarded for academics, research and leadership. She is pursuing a doc- toral degree in education at the University of Toronto.

Elizabeth Gianfrancisco (BS05) of Honolulu is English department chair at Myron B. Thompson Academy. She earned National Board Certification in English and language arts and completed a master’s in educational administration at the University of Hawaii.

Matt Ulrich (BS05) of Bozeman, Mont., is director with Profitable Ideas Exchange, which facilitates peer-to-peer interactions among executives.

Peter Finn (MS07) of Chicago was promoted to deputy executive director and chief learning officer at the Society of Women Engineers.

Victoria Lautsch (BS07) of Brookline, Mass., is director of recruitment at UP Education Network, a nonprofit that restarts failing schools as charters.

Mimi Engel

Mimi Engel (PhD08) of Nashville, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, won a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Courtney Reynolds (MS08) was awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching that will allow her to study and conduct research in the United Kingdom. She teaches third to fifth graders in a multi-age classroom.

Jenn Chung

Jenn Chung (MS09) of Chicago was recently promoted to director of global operations at TransUnion.

John Colucci (BS09) of Chicago, an English teacher at Julian Middle School in Oak Park, was nominated for a Those Who Excel award for the state of Illinois.

Victor Lee (PhD09) of Logan, Utah, an assistant professor at Utah State University, was awarded a National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for his research on science learning.

Christine Leung

Christine Leung (MS09) of San Francisco joined Education First Consulting as the director of organizational development and operations.

Chris Powell

Chris Powell (BS90) of Orlando, Fla., was appointed chief executive officer at the software com- pany Black- bookHR.

Stasia Huiner (BS94) of Santa Barbara, Calif., was appointed senior vice president of client performance optimization at the health care firm SCI Solutions, Inc.

Grant Rivera (BS97) of Atlanta was named chief leadership and learning officer at Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia.

William Sandoval

William Sandoval (PhD98) of Los Angeles has been promoted to full professor in the Department of Edu- cation at the University of California-Los Angeles.


Diane Balin (MA73, PhD84) of Riverside, Ill., retired from the University of Illinois. She is co-director for public policy for the Illinois American Association of University Women (AAUW). She also co- directs two AAUW Impact Grants.

Cheryl Thomas Strickland (BS77) of Atlanta was named to the board of directors of Commercial Real Estate Women of Atlanta Inc. She is first vice president at Stifel, Nicolaus & Company.

Ce Cole Dillon

Ce Cole Dillon (BS78) of Chicago is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Student Loan 411 LLC, which helps borrowers repay their student loan debts.

Jordan Horowitz (BS78, MA/MS81) of Long Beach, Calif., is vice president for foundation relations and project development with the Institute for Evidence-Based Change. He edited a special volume of New Directions for Community Colleges on college completion.

Mark Larson (BS79) of Lake Zurich, Ill., co-authored Write through Chicago, a creative writing and Chicago history text.


Nancy Copeland Firfer (BS67) served Glenview, Ill., for 23 years as a school board member, village trustee and village president. Glenview named a street in her honor.

Lorraine Morton

Lorraine Morton (MS42), Evanston’s first African- American mayor and a longtime edu- cator, donated her papers to Northwestern University. Her papers reflect considerable social change over six decades in Evanston.