Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

Fall 2016

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Adam Cebulski (MS10) of Dallas is director of assessment and strategic initiatives in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at Southern Methodist University. He also started the doctoral program in higher education at SMU, and his article on gamification and badging in higher education was accepted for publication in New Directions in Student Leadership.

Laura Gumbiner (MA10) of Columbus, Ind., is beginning Indiana University’s PhD program in school psychology in the Department of Education this fall. She received the school’s Faculty Doctoral Fellowship.

Julie Karaba (BS10) of Arlington, Va., who earned a law degree at Northwestern, was named a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General in the Justice Department. She served as a law clerk to Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Ricki Meyer (BS10) of Boston graduated from law school at Boston University after earning a master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard. Her area of interest is education policy with a focus on special education and disability rights.

Roberto Cabanelas (MS13) of South Barrington, Ill., is a vice president of human resources at SunEdison and a member of the faculty concentrating in organization and strategy for Duke Corporate Education.

Debby Ochoa (MS13) of Middleton, Wis., is now director of human resources at Pacific Cycle.

Lauren Bauer (MA14, PhD16) of Bethesda, Md., is a visiting fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution.

Jane Bohnsack (MS14) of Chicago is now program manager for the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago.

Bree Groff (MS14) recently accepted an offer to open and lead a New York City office for NOBL, an organizational design consultancy based in Los Angeles.

Danielle Keifert (PhD15) is a postdoctoral researcher with the Institute for Inquiry at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. She studies and supports professional learning programs for K–5 classroom teachers who have high numbers of English language learners.

Deirdre Myers (MS15) of Chicago is program coordinator of undergraduate education in the Office of the Provost at Northwestern.

Sean Radford (MS15) of Chicago was recently promoted to vice president of human resources at CAN Insurance.

Khaled Ismail (MS16) is the new social justice education specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also won the SESP Graduate Student Alumni Award.

Carly Pablos (BS16) of Redondo Beach, Calif., won Northwestern’s Ryan Prize for Community Service. She will serve in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.

Corinne Smith (MS16) accepted a position as assistant director with Yale College Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University.

Dan Voss (MS16) was named a teaching fellow by the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation. He teaches high school chemistry and physics in Boone, Iowa.


Jennifer Rickard (BS00) of San Francisco is now senior director of human resources, software, at Hewlett-Packard.

Anna Frost

Anna Frost (BS04) of Tacoma, Wash., received a PhD in leadership studies from Gonzaga University.

Beth Gilfillan

Beth Gilfillan (BS04) of Buffalo Grove, Ill., a college counselor at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, completed her term as president of the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling in June. She is starting a PhD program in counselor education at Pennsylvania State University.

Kenneth Hutchinson (BS04) of Chicago is director of college initiatives for Christo Rey Network.

Scott Wolf

Scott Wolf (BS04) of Denver is principal of North High School for Denver Public Schools.

Douglas Parks

Douglas Parks (MS06) of New York is vice president of human resources at EmblemHealth and is responsible for leadership of all peoplerelated initiatives including human resources strategy, operations and organizational transformation. Previously he was global human resources leader at Mercer.

Lauren Parnell Marino (BS07) of Madison, Wis., is pursuing a PhD in development studies at the University of Wisconsin. She spent the summer in Uganda studying Luganda through a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship.

Arnaldo Rivera

Arnaldo Rivera (MS07) of Chicago, chief policy officer for Chicago Public Schools, was the keynote speaker for the SESP undergraduate convocation ceremony.

Tracy Nicholas (MS08) of Evanston recently joined Threshold Acoustics as director of business development.

Casey Shea (BS08) of Denver graduated from law school at Denver University.

John Wilkin

John Wilkin (MS08) was selected as the new vice president of finance and operations for Juniata College in Huntingdon, Penn.

Hilary Bowen (BS09) of Seattle was named to the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame for women’s lacrosse.

Valerie Hwang

Valerie Hwang (BS09) of Los Angeles is developing a project called One World Hip Hop ( that seeks to use hip hop arts as a medium of international cultural exchange to promote mutual understanding, self-expression and empowerment. One World Hip Hop’s first “arts envoy” trip was to Ecuador last year.

Sophia King

Sophia King (MS90) of Chicago was appointed 4th Ward alderman by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. King is founder and president of Harriet’s Daughters, a nonprofit that advocates for employment opportunities for African American communities.

Bryan Saltzburg (BS92) of Newton, Mass., is now senior vice president and general manager of the global flights business at Travelocity.

John Remy (BS93) of Vienna, Va., who is office managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office of Jackson Lewis P.C., was selected for the 2016 Virginia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Susan Schneider Hasseler

Susan Schneider Hasseler (PhD94) was appointed president of Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. She was formerly senior vice president for academic affairs at Augustana University.

Grace Hong Duffin

Grace Hong Duffin (BS95) of Orland Park, Ill., is director of strategy and operations for Kenneth Young Center, a nonprofit providing mental health services. She was formerly acting secretary of the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services.

Lauren Sternfield Fagel

Lauren Sternfield Fagel (MS95) of Vernon Hills, Ill., completed her first year as principal of Glenbrook South High School. She served as principal of Mundelein High School from 2008 to 2013 and assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, technology and assessment for Lake Forest School Districts 67 and 115 from 2013 to 2015.

Michelle Cooney (BS96, MS97) of Evanston was appointed Lincoln Elementary School’s principal after serving a year as interim principal.

Beth Pandy (BS96) of Fort Collins, Colo., is director of A Face to Reframe, a domestic sex trafficking prevention organization.

Jennifer Aloe Kahler (BS97) of Falls Church, Va., is director of psychology at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington and has a private practice as a clinical psychologist.

Grant Rivera (BS97) of Atlanta was named chief of staff for the Cobb County School District, with 114 schools that serve more than 110,000 students.

Maryam Ahranjani (BS98) is a human rights law adviser and a law professor at Universidad del Istmo in Guatemala.

William Sandoval (PhD98), a professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, was selected as president-elect of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. His term as president will start July 1, 2017.

Maria J. Vlahos Vasilopoulos

Maria J. Vlahos Vasilopoulos (MS98) of Northbrook, Ill., was named instructional supervisor for mathematics for Glenbrook District 225 last fall.

Dan Gill (MS99) of Evanston is now owner of Dan Gill Therapy LLC, a private practice specializing in family, couples and individual psychotherapy. Previously, he was on staff at the Family Institute at Northwestern.

Amy Van Gelder (BS99) of Chicago, an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, was recently promoted to partner.


Walter Secada (PhD84) was awarded an honorary professorship from Universidad LaSalle in Arequipa, Peru. He is professor and senior associate dean at University of Miami’s School of Education and Human Development in Coral Gables, Fla.


Donald Michelin (BS73) of Evanston received a distinguished alumni award from Evanston Township High School. He was principal of Evanston’s Haven Middle School and coached the boys’ track and cross country teams at ETHS.