Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

Fall 2017

Carol Lee

In Brief

Carol Lee, the Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education in the School of Education and Social Policy, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research on the Social Contexts of Education from the American Educational Research Association. Lee is best known for her insights on the complex ways cultural knowledge is constructed and plays out in the classroom, school and as part of school reform initiatives.

Regina Lopata Logan, Marcelo Worsley and Elizabeth Gerber were awarded Faculty Innovation in Diversity and Equity grants from the Northwestern University Office of the Provost.

The Center for Talent Development (CTD) received a $132,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for scholarships for low income, talented students to attend CTD educational programs.

Dan McAdams, director of The Foley Center for the Study of Lives, delivered the Presidential Address at the biennial meeting of the Association for Research in Personality titled, “The Psychology of Donald Trump: Perspectives from Personality, Social, and Evolutionary Psychology.”

David Rapp, a psychologist and the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, received a Society for Text & Discourse fellowship which recognizes his sustained and substantial contributions to the field. Rapp’s work looks at language and memory, and why people fall prey to misinformation.

Brian Reiser, professor of learning sciences, co-edited Helping Students Make Sense of the World Using Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices. Written in clear, non- technical language, the book uses examples from real classrooms to help teachers understand and implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the new K–12 guidelines for science content.

Forbes cited James Rosenbaum’s book Beyond College For All as one of “Ten Books to Get You Through the College Admissions Cycle.”

Professor Terri Sabol, assistant professor of human development and social policy, was selected as one of 22 early career fellows by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD). Sabol studies the individual and environmental factors that lead to healthy child development, with a particular emphasis on schools and families. In addition to working with AERA and SRCD, the fellows will have a chance to network with their peers and senior scholars who study early childhood education and development.

Schanzenbach To Lead IPR

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Prominent economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach was named director of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research (IPR). She succeeds David Figlio, who left the position to assume his new role as dean of the School of Education and Social Policy.

An IPR fellow whose research examines issues related to education and child poverty, Schanzenbach is a faculty member in SESP’s human development and social policy program.

From 2015–2017, she was director of The Hamilton Project, a research group within the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution, where she was a senior fellow in economic studies. Upon assuming the IPR directorship, Schanzenbach also will become the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor at the University.

“Now, more than ever, we need to produce evidence of unimpeachable quality and to successfully convey this evidence to many different groups,” Figlio said. “Diane has the rare combination of exceptional research talent and the remarkable ability to explain research findings to many audiences.”

MSLOC Project Earns Digital Learning Fellowship

LEFT TO RIGHT Terri Cramer, Melinda Turnley, Alyssa Dyar, Jeff Merrell, Michelle Albaugh.

The Master’s in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) program received a 2017–18 Digital Learning Fellowship from the Office of the Provost at Northwestern.

The funding will support MSLOC’s “Digital Portfolio Learning Ecosystem Project,” an initiative to help graduate students create their own personal website to showcase their professional skills and newfound MSLOC knowledge.

The project was designed and developed by Jeff Merrell, associate director and lecturer of the MSLOC program; Melinda Turnley, assistant director and lecturer; Terri Cramer, assistant director and program advisor; and Alyssa Dyar, former senior instructional technologist at the School of Education and Social Policy.

Three Tips From Solomon’s Marriage 101 Class

Alexandra Solomon

Alexandra Solomon, who teaches the popular SESP course “Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101,” offered three pieces of advice from the class during a feature segment on the Today Show.

  • Learn how to make a heartfelt apology
  • Listen to understand, rather than listen to respond
  • Respect the pause. Learn to reflect on what’s irritating you

“Happiness in our intimate relationships ‘counts’ more toward overall emotional well-being and life satisfaction than other factors, even health, wealth, and career,” Solomon said. “That’s why a class like M101 is so important, and why it’s offered in the School of Education and Social Policy.”

Solomon is a psychotherapist who trains marriage and family graduate students at the Family Institute. She is the author of the book Loving Bravely: Twenty Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want (New Harbinger, 2017).


Nichole Pinkard

Nichole Pinkard (PhD98), associate professor of learning sciences, returns home to Northwestern after breaking new ground at DePaul University. Pinkard, whose research focuses on creating supportive learning spaces, both on and offline, was one of the first graduates of SESP’s Learning Sciences PhD program. Two decades later, she’s back at Northwestern to spear- head collaborations through SESP’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships.

Pinkard, founder of the Digital Youth Network, received the 2014 Northwestern University Alumni Association Alumni Merit Award. In 2016, she delivered the keynote speech for the graduate convocation ceremony, where she stressed the importance of the School’s unusual “ecosystem” and credited a special mentor, Carol Lee, Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy.

“What I learned the most from Carol and her insatiable work ethic is the importance of passing it on, and of having a circle of friends that you can think together with and cry with,” Pinkard told the graduates.

Ofer Malamud

Ofer Malamud has joined the Human Development and Social Policy faculty and is a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. Malamud, whose interests include education, technology and child develop- ment, holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University. He researches labor economics and the economics of education, including the effects of education on jobs and educational investments throughout life.

Malamud, previously with the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, has studied whether education, in addition to providing specific skills, can help students determine the best career path for their talents. He also has looked at how education may help workers protect themselves from adverse labor market shocks; how family environments can affect the productivity of later educational investments; and how learning new technology impacts the effec- tiveness of developing educational skills.

“The answers to such questions have the potential to make a significant and long- lasting contribution to the economics of education,” he said.