2014 News Stories

2014 News Stories

  • January 2014 News Stories

    • Future Teacher Working with Miriam Sherin on Video Project Blogs on Engaging Teaching
      High school student Rebecca Williams, who aims to be a teacher, worked with professor Miriam Sherin on a project related to viewing video of classroom interactions. As part of the project Rebecca wrote a blog about engaging lessons, which was posted on the Teaching Channel website.

    • SESP Scholar-Athletes Receive All-Big Ten Awards for Fall Sports
      Thirteen SESP students received All Big Ten Awards as student-athletes in fall sports as Northwestern earned a conference-best 104 Academic All-Big Ten honors across six sports. The students are Nikki Parsley, Tara Puffenberger, Kristin Wirtz, Collin Ellis, Matt Frazier, Tony Jones, Zack Oliver, Eric Olson, Tyler Scott, Renee Wellman, Katie Gancedo, Bo Podkopacz and Stephanie Holthus.

    • SESP Students Lauren Dennis, Sharon Kao Win Undergraduate Research Grants
      SESP seniors Lauren Dennis and Sharon Kao were awarded Undergraduate Research Grants by the Northwestern University Office of the Provost during fall quarter. Both students are majoring in human development and psychological services.

    • Kemi Jona Testifies at Congressional Hearing on STEM Education
      SESP professor Kemi Jona testified before a Congressional committee in Washington, D.C., on January 8 to share his expertise on industry partnerships for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The hearing for the Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s subcommittee on research and technology focused on “Private Sector Initiatives That Engage Students in STEM.”

    • Jim Spillane Delivers Keynotes for International Conferences in Indonesia, Malaysia
      Professor Jim Spillane gave the opening keynote address for the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement conference in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on January 3. More than 350 delegates from 35 countries were in attendance at Yogyakarta State University.

    • Science: Doug Medin's Study Shows Skill of Jahai at Describing Smells
      Science magazine reports on a study involving professor Douglas Medin, an expert in learning in indigenous cultures, that shows the Jahai nomadic hunter-gatherers of Southeast Asia excel at depicting smells. This may be due to the importance of odors in their daily life, says Medin.

    • Progress Illinois: Diane Schanzenbach Advocates Select Reforms to Food Stamp Program
      Progress Illinois features associate professor Diane Schanzenbach's policy recommendations related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. Schanzenbach's recent report for the Hamilton Project proposed several improvements to the program.

    • NBC Quotes Lindsay Chase-Lansdale in Story about Two-Generation Education Programs
      An NBC feature about two-generation programs quotes professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, who has studied two-generation projects. Studies show that when parents continue their education, “the home environment becomes richer, it’s more cognitively stimulating, and it helps children learn,” she says.

    • David Figlio's Research Finds Infant Health Has Long-Term Impact on Education
      In a recently published study, professor David Figlio and his colleagues discovered that poor infant health, as indicated by low birth weight, reduces a child’s educational attainment. When the researchers compared the progress from birth through middle school of 1.3 million children, including 14,000 twin pairs, they found that low birth weight had a consistent impact.

    • Chicago Tribune: FUSE Program Launches New Solar Car Challenge
      Students at Schaumburg's Lincoln Prairie School demonstrated the new solar car challenge for the FUSE informal learning program. A partnership with Siemens enables the Office of STEM Education Partnerships to add the design of solar cars to its lineup of highly engaging STEAM activities, offered in Schaumburg and other locales throughout the Chicago area.

    • Michelle Wilkerson-Jerde (PhD12) Wins National Science Foundation CAREER Award
      Michelle Wilkerson-Jerde (PhD12) received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research on a way to reshape middle school science with visualization tools. A graduate of the Learning Sciences doctoral program, Wilkerson-Jerde is an assistant professor of education at Tufts University.

    • Undergraduate Researchers Delve into Intriguing Topics with SESP Faculty
      Claudia Haase is one of many SESP professors who give undergraduates the chance to pursue their interests as they work on groundbreaking research. Haase is looking for “passionate and bright” undergraduate students to join her research team exploring emotion, motivation and well-being in adults.

    • Chicago Tribune Reports on FUSE Teacher Invited to State of the Union Address
      Schaumburg FUSE teacher Michelle Burke is the guest of Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth for the 2014 State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C. FUSE is a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) program developed by SESP professors Kemi Jona and Reed Stevens.

    • Education Week Quotes Brian Reiser about Progress on Adoption of Next Generation Science Standards
      Professor Brian Reiser comments in Education Week on the progress of state adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, which are intended to improve science education across the nation. The Next Generation Science Standards adoption process was designed to be different from that of the Common Core, with a more deliberative two-step process, according to Reiser.

    • David Figlio, Jim Spillane, Carol Lee Named to Edu-Scholar Public Influence Ranking
      School of Education and Social Policy professors David Figlio, James Spillane and Carol Lee were named to the 2014 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. Frederick Hess, the American Enterprise Institute director of education and an Education Week blogger, developed these rankings to honor the 200 university-based education scholars who had the biggest influence on the nation's education discourse last year.

    • Learning Sciences PhD Students Expand Understanding of Science Learning
      Students in the Learning Sciences PhD program are breaking new ground as they study science learning in multiple contexts — families, the media, video games, after-school programs, classrooms and more. Their novel research builds understanding of the learning process and the design of innovative learning environments.

  • February 2014 News Stories

  • March 2014 News Stories

    • Cynthia Coburn Addresses Digital Media and Learning Conference
      Professor Cynthia Coburn, who is interested in spreading innovative practices and programs for youth, will address hundreds of specialists in learning and digital media at the Digital Media and Learning conference in Boston on March 7.

    • Diane Schanzenbach Tells VOXXI Why Small Class Size Matters for Student Outcomes
      “What people are forgetting is the tried and true, high-quality teachers in small classes really does work,” associate professor Diane Schanzenbach told VOXXI. Her analysis of studies, done for the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, shows the importance of small class size for student learning and long-term outcomes.

    • Faculty, Students Give Presentations at AERA Conference
      At the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA) in Philadelphia from April 3 to 7, 43 Northwestern University faculty members and graduate students will give presentations related to education r

    • Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon’s New Book Highlights Interpretive Discussion
      Professor Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon offers a valuable approach for teachers in her new book Interpretive Discussion: Engaging Students in Text-Based Conversation. The book is available March 18, published by the Harvard Education Press.

    • Jon Guryan's CNN Op-Ed: Intensive Tutoring Keeps Teens from Falling through Cracks
      What urban school systems need is a "safety net" to catch students who start falling behind through individualized and intensive instruction, say associate professor Jon Guryan and Jens Ludwig in a CNN opinion piece. They studied one such plan that is financially low-cost but had significant results in closing the achievement gap.

    • Jim Spillane Addresses Three-College Leadership Conferences in Ireland
      Professor James Spillane shared his expertise in organizational leadership when he addressed scholars in Ireland recently. At a leadership symposium organized by three colleges, he spoke to higher education professionals, faculty members, graduate students and researchers.

    • Fay Cook to Lead National Science Foundation Directorate
      The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected SESP professor Fay Lomax Cook, Institute for Policy Research social policy expert and former director, as an NSF assistant director to head its Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE).

    • Boston Globe: Paula Olszewski-Kubilius Comments on Need for Gifted Education Policies
      The Boston Globe interviews Paula Olszewski-Kubilius about the need for states and school districts to set policies for identifying gifted students and providing them with academic enrichment. Olszewski-Kubilius is former president of the National Association for Gifted Children.

    • Chicago Tribune Quotes Jon Guryan on Pros and Cons of Minimum Wage Hike
      Associate professor Jon Guryan, an economist, says raising the minimum wage is "potentially a policy to stem the increases in income inequality that we've seen in the U.S. in the past 30 to 40 years." The con is that "it's not helping as many or as large a portion of the labor market as you probably would like. And it has some unintended consequences, potentially."

    • Diane Schanzenbach Tells CNBC Millions of Kids Are Food Stamp Recipients
      Associate professor Diane Schanzenbach talks with CNBC about food stamp recipients. The vast majority of food stamps go to children, disabled people and the elderly -- "we don't expect them to work themselves." Her research has shown that children in need benefit when their parents get food stamps, and benefits extend into adulthood.

    • Chicago Tribune Features Lindsay Chase-Lansdale's Two-Generation Project in Evanston
      The Chicago Tribune describes the new Evanston Two-Generation Education Initiative, with research led by SESP professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale. This pilot program for the Evanston Community Foundation is designed to promote economic self-sufficiency for Evanston families--and to enhance the academic and life success of their children.

    • Inside Higher Ed Features Mesmin Destin's Essay on Helping First-Generation College Students Succeed
      Assistant professor Mesmin Destin's opinion piece in Inside Higher Education highlights the need to raise awareness about providing a welcoming environment for first-generation college students. His research shows that talking about social class equips first-generation and low-income students to succeed.

    • Juvenile Justice Exchange Highlights Emma Adam's Comments on Teen Brain
      The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange features comments by professor Emma Adam about the adolescent brain and teens' tendency to seek risky behavior. "Brains during adolescence become more sensitive to rewards,” said Adam, but at the same time brain centers for judgment and control are not fully developed.

    • Center for Talent Development Presents Educator’s Conference April 11
      High-ability students and the Common Core take center stage at an educator’s conference presented by SESP’s Center for Talent Development (CTD) on April 11. All educators and SESP students are invited to attend “Meeting Common Core Standards through Problem-Based Learning.”

    • Policy Briefing Highlights Two-Generation Initiatives
      SESP faculty members Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and Mesmin Destin will share their insights on two-generation education initiatives at an April 16 policy briefing called “Two Generations, One Future.” The Institute for Policy Research is hosting the event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Evanston Township High School.

    • Education Next Looks at Jim Spillane's 1990s Study of Standards for Lessons on Common Core
      In an article about the impact of common core standards, Education Next cites professor James Spillane's in-depth study of nine Michigan districts in the early 1990s, which found wide variations in how teachers interpreted and applied state standards. His research resulted in the book Standards Deviation.

    • Three SESP Students Receive Undergraduate Research Grants
      School of Education and Social Policy seniors Billy Choo, Brenna Ledvora and Kathryn Thomas were awarded Undergraduate Research Grants or Conference Travel Grants from the Office of the Provost for winter quarter.

    • Jim Spillane Presents Talks in Belgium on Education Leadership
      An international authority on education leadership, SESP professor James Spillane gave presentations in Belgium recently on education leadership and policy. His audiences spanned practitioners, policy makers and scholars.

    • Larry Hedges Receives AERA Presidential Citation for Research Excellence
      Professor Larry Hedges has been selected to receive the 2014 Presidential Citation for research excellence from the American Education Research Association (AERA), the nation’s preeminent education research organization.

    • Center for American Progress Cites Jon Guryan's and Diane Schanzenbach's Research on Medicare and Food Stamps
      A Center for American Progress policy analysis refers to SESP associate professor and economist Jonathan Guryan's research showing Medicare led to a dramatic decline in the black-white infant health and mortality gap and associate professor Diane Schanzenbach's research finding that food stamps led to economic self-sufficiency for women.

    • Washington Post Cites Kirabo jackson's Research Showing Impact of Cash Incentives for AP Scores
      The Washington Post cites associate professor Kirabo Jackson's research finding that in Texas, cash bonuses and extra support sparked an increase in AP and IB test takers primarily among black and Hispanic students. The portion of students scoring above 1100 on the SAT or above 24 on the ACT increased 80 percent for black students and 50 percent for Hispanic students.

    • Carol Lee Receives DuSable Museum Award
      The DuSable Museum of African American History is honoring professor Carol Lee with its top 2014 award, the Dogon Award, which will be presented at the Night of 100 Stars Awards event on April 5.

  • April 2014 News Stories

  • May 2014 News Stories

    • Northwestern Alum Peter Bloom Enlightens Philanthropy Students
      Students in the Learning Philanthropy course benefited from real-world lessons from Northwestern alumnus Peter Bloom, himself a philanthropist and board chair of the nonprofit DonorsChoose.org. Bloom flew from New York to Chicago to address the unique undergraduate class that SESP dean Penelope Peterson co-teaches with Lauren Young, director emerita of the Spencer Foundation. He is advisory director for General Atlantic.

    • Tori Marquez, Peter Podlipni, Emily Rivest Win Campus Life Awards
      In recognition of their contributions to improving the quality of student life at Northwestern, sophomore Tori Marquez, junior Peter Podlipni and senior Emily Rivest received Campus Life Awards. Three of the six Campus Life Award recipients for winter quarter are SESP students.

    • Inside Higher Ed Cites Jon Guryan's Research on Regulation of For-Profit Colleges
      An article in Inside Higher Ed cites SESP professor Jon Guryan's research on how a new federal proposal will affect for-profit colleges. The Obama administration's proposal seeks to more tightly regulate for-profits, and Guryan's research analyzes the impact.

    • Washington Post Quotes Lindsay Chase-Lansdale: Two-Generation Education Key to Anti-Poverty Programs
      The Washington Post features SESP professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale in an article about two-generation anti-poverty strategies, which reflect a growing body of research that shows high-quality early childhood education is not enough to lift a child out of poverty. “It’s not reasonable for the child to be the only change-agent in a family that’s facing economic hardship,” says Chase-Lansdale, whose research is at the center of a new report from the Brookings Institution.

    • Adjunct Instructor Michael Novak Wins Golden Apple Award
      Michael Novak, a middle school teacher and adjunct instructor for the School of Education and Social Policy, is one of 10 Chicago-area teachers to win the 2014 Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence. Novak teaches eighth-grade mathematics and science at Park View School in Morton Grove and has been a member of the SESP community since 2004.

    • Senior Kia Sosa Receives Fulbright Fellowship
      SESP senior Kia Sosa won a Fulbright fellowship to teach in Croatia next year.

    • In Memoriam: Stephen G. Seliger
      Steve Seliger, a civil rights attorney and instructor in Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy, passed away on May 13. Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.

    • Sentinel Cites David Figlio's Study Showing School Grades Drive Up Home Prices
      An article in the Maine Morning Sentinel cites a 2004 study by professor David Figlio that found school grades in Florida drove up home prices in places with top-rated schools.

    • Three PhD Alumni Win NAE/Spencer Fellowships
      Three of this year’s prestigious National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships went to alumni of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. Mimi Engel (PhD08), Victor Lee (PhD09) and Enid Rosario-Ramos (PhD11) were three of the 25 recipients of the fellowships for significant research to improve education.

    • Informal Science Blog Features Profile of FUSE Program
      An Informal Science blog post outlines the FUSE program, which engages young people ages 11 to 18 in science, technology, engineering, arts/design and math (STEAM) through interest-driven activities in a youth-centric, free-choice environment.

    • Cynthia Coburn Relays Education Policy Research in Chile
      “New policies should focus on educating teachers,” stated the headline of an interview with SESP professor Cynthia Coburn in El Mercurio, the primary newspaper of Santiago, Chile. Coburn was in Chile last week to give a public lecture as the Chair of Educational Change at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago.

    • Symposium Inspires Teachers to Take Cutting-Edge Biotechnology to K-12 Classrooms
      A recent symposium at Northwestern showed Chicago teachers how biotechnology can play a starring role in their classrooms. Scores of teachers participated in the 2014 Biotechnology Symposium on May 12 at the Allen Center, entitled “Bringing Biotech from the Bench to the K-12 Classroom.”

    • News-Journal Cites David Figlio's Study Showing Benefits of School Choice
      A Pensacola News-Journal opinion piece cites professor David Figlio's finding that Florida's tax credit scholarship program has boosted student performance in public schools statewide; the program draws disproportionately low-income, poorly-performing students from the public schools into the private schools; and students who move to private schools perform as well or better once they move.

    • Eight SESP Undergraduates Win Summer Research Grants
      Eight School of Education and Social Policy undergraduates received Summer Undergraduate Research Grants from the Office of the Provost. Robert Barnes, Marcel Byrd, Lya Ferreyra, Qiddist Hammerly, Jennifer Katz, Brenna Ledvora, Fortunato Medrano and Karen Wilber will pursue independent research projects this summer in the United States and abroad.

    • Reuters: Jon Guryan Finds Nearly Half of For-Profit College Students Could Lose Aid with Proposed Rule
      Nearly half of students attending U.S. for-profit colleges could lose federal aid if the Obama administration implements a new rule on public disclosure of the schools' performance and earnings, according to a report prepared by SESP professor Jonathan Guryan and consultant Matthew Thompson.

    • Sophomore Qiddist Hammerly Named Presidential Fellow
      In recognition of her leadership and interest in public policy, SESP sophomore Qiddist Hammerly was selected as a Presidential Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress. This leadership program in Washington, D.C., is designed to develop a new generation of national leaders committed to public service.

    • Education Week Features Kirabo Jackson's Finding: Increased School Spending Helps Kids in Poverty
      Education Week highlights SESP associate professor Kirabo Jackson's research showing that school spending increases lead to better outcomes for children in poverty. In districts that substantially increased spending because of court mandates, low-income children were significantly more likely to graduate from high school, earn livable wages and avoid poverty in adulthood.

    • Senior Mahalia Kahsay Wins Princeton in Asia Fellowship
      Senior Mahalia Kahsay, a social policy major with an interest in refugee law, won a Princeton in Asia fellowship to teach in Thailand at Chiang Mai University.

    • New York Times Article Highlights Lessons from SESP Philanthropy Class
      Some people think it's easy to give away money, according to Dean Penelope Peterson of the School of Education and Social Policy -- until they take her course on philanthropy, which is featured in a May 29 article in The New York Times highlighting the unexpected challenges in real-world charitable giving.

  • June 2014 News Stories

    • SESP Receives $4 Million Grant to Train Education Researchers
      The School of Education and Social Policy has received a new $4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to train doctoral candidates as highly qualified education researchers through its Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences.

    • New Coaching Certificate Program Prepares Leadership Coaches
      Maximizing the development of talent through one-on-one and group coaching is a strategy for many human capital leaders seeking ways to strengthen and grow their organizations. Singularly qualified to prepare professionals in the areas of learning and change, the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change Program is kicking off a new graduate certificate program in organizational and leadership coaching.

    • Statesman Journal Quotes Diane Schanzenbach on Benefit of Small Class Size
      Research shows that as class size shrinks, student learning improves, associate professor Diane Schanzenbach tells the Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon. Salem-Keiser elementary school district is proposing to use new funding to lower class size.

    • Catalyst Reports on Evanston Two-Generation Program, Guided by Lindsay Chase-Lansdale's Research
      Catalyst reports on an Evanston two-generation education initiative designed to help mothers pursue more education while providing early childhood education for their children. Professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, who is using research to guide the program, says, "Our hypothesis is that as parents proceed more in their education or in their careers, their children’s expectations will be higher or more realistic, and the parents will be better equipped with knowledge on how to guide or mentor them.”

    • Senior Sylvia Gorski Selected for Teaching Fellowship in Spain
      Senior Sylvia Gorski will combine her passion for teaching with her passion for Spain when she travels to Madrid this fall to begin a one-year teaching and study experience. She was selected for the Bilingual English Development and Assessment (BEDA) program of the Escuelas Catolicas de Madrid (Catholic Schools of Madrid).

    • Christian Science Monitor Quotes Diane Schanzenbach Cautioning about Ban on Food Stamps for Soda
      Christian Science Monitor quotes associate professor Diane Schanzenbach: "Advocates for a policy to ban the purchase of sugar-sweetened beverages using SNAP benefits have the best of intentions. But policymakers need to be careful not to let their zeal for combating obesity push them into hastily adopting policies that at best are unlikely to help fight obesity, and, at worst, can do substantial damage to the safety net."

    • Becca Abara, Jo Lee Profiled as 'Senior Standouts' in Northwestern Magazine
      Rebecca Abara, a QuestBridge Scholar from Dallas, earned awards for her Free Your Mind mental health campaign. “Northwestern has grounded me in the reality that nothing is impossible if you work for it," she says. "Entrepreneur energizer" Jo Lee launched EPIC, a student organization that exposes students to entrepreneurship.

    • Students Present Research at Undergraduate Expo, High School Showcase
      For the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Expo, 12 SESP undergraduate students were selected to present their research projects. At the same time, high school researchers from Chicago-area schools showcased their own science projects and attended the Expo.

    • Three MSLOC Students Named Education Pioneers Fellows
      Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) students Amber Barger, Jessica Domijan and Stanley Fong have been awarded Education Pioneers Fellowships for this summer. Education Pioneers, a nonprofit organization focused on transforming K-12 urban education, selects top graduate students across the nation to support nonprofit partners and build a national leadership network.

    • Senior Tade Mengesha Wins Emerson Hunger Fellowship
      Senior Tade Mengesha was awarded an Emerson National Hunger Fellowship for next year, which provides both grassroots and public policy experience.

    • Senior Honors Students Present Research
      Eleven School of Education and Social Policy seniors in the undergraduate honors program presented posters of their research projects on June 6. All are students of Dean Penelope Peterson and teaching assistant Tracy Dobie.

    • Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools Holds Kickoff Event
      Nearly 80 high school students entered Thorne Auditorium on Northwestern’s Chicago campus on June 12 full of anticipation. They had been selected for the inaugural class of Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools, and with their parents they were attending the kickoff orientation event to find out how the program will help them to attend a top college.

    • Bill Gates Tweets about SESP Philanthropy Class
      Bill Gates, who has become an advocate for philanthropy after making his fortune with Microsoft, tweeted about the School of Education and Social Policy philanthropy class recently.

    • Philanthropy Class Donates $50,000 to Local Nonprofits
      To “learn by doing,” students in SESP’s Learning Philanthropy course had the opportunity to actually donate $50,000 to nonprofit organizations that benefit children and adults. After studying the history and practice of philanthropic giving and extensively researching individual charities, student groups made donations to four local nonprofit organizations.

    • Doctoral Student Elizabeth Dyer Awarded NAE/Spencer Fellowship
      Elizabeth Dyer, a doctoral candidate in the Learning Sciences program at SESP, was awarded a National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for the coming academic year. Only 30 fellows were chosen from more than 600 applications from students at about 100 graduate institutions.

    • Former Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton (MS42) Donates Papers to Northwestern
      Lorraine Morton (MS42), Evanston’s first African-American mayor and longtime public school educator, donated her papers to Northwestern University. She has been a witness to and participant in enormous social change since making Evanston her permanent home in 1953.

    • SESP Convocation 2014 Honors Graduates, Inspires Leadership
      At the Convocation for the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) on June 20, undergraduate, master’s and doctoral graduates received diplomas, and awards were presented to faculty and students. Gary Kosman, the founder and CEO of America Learns, was the featured speaker, along with student speaker Josephine Lee.

    • Northwestern Partners on New Center to Study Education Leaders' Use of Research
      The Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education has awarded nearly $5 million to the University of Colorado Boulder, the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University to create a new center that will study how educational leaders — including school district supervisors and principals — use research when making decisions and what can be done to make research findings more useful and relevant for those leaders.

    • Seniors Marisa Bast, Raleigh Smith Win Big Ten Medal of Honor
      The two winners of this year's Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference's most prestigious award recognizing academic and athletic excellence, are SESP graduating seniors Marisa Bast and Raleigh Smith. Bast has been a standout at softball, Smith at tennis.

  • July 2014 News Stories

    • Kirabo Jackson Finds Increased School Spending Helps Poor Kids
      SESP associate professor Kirabo Jackson finds that increases in K-12 school spending lead to better outcomes for children living in poverty. He investigated four decades’ worth of data on the impact of court-mandated changes in school finance.

    • SESP Dedicates Kothari Learning Studio at Annenberg Hall
      In recognition of their son’s education at SESP, Shyam and Nina Kothari decided to support a classroom in Annenberg Hall where their son had classes. The high-tech Kothari Learning Studio was dedicated the day before Arjun Kothari’s graduation at a June 19 reception attended by the Kothari family, Northwestern trustees and faculty.

    • Energy Game Created by Mike Horn and Reed Stevens Wins Award
      A game called Turn Up the Heat that faculty members Mike Horn and Reed Stevens developed for their Green Homes Games project recently won an award at the international Games+Learning+Society conference. The project aims to discover enjoyable ways for families to consider energy use and environmental sustainability.

    • Humorous YouTube Video with 145,000 Views Highlights Claudia Haase's 'Marriage Gene' Research
      A humorous YouTube video highlights research by assistant professor Claudia Haase and her collaborators at University of California-Berekeley showing the link between a certain gene and marital happiness. Those with a particular variant of the 5-HTTLPR gene react more to the emotions in a marriage while those with other variants are more even and thus happier.

    • Abraham Lo Wins AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship
      Learning Sciences doctoral student Abraham Lo received the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research for 2014-15. This fellowship recognizes the quality of Lo’s research and his potential to contribute to education improvement.

    • Kemi Jona's Special Issue of Distance Education on MOOCs Available
      Research professor Kemi Jona edited a special issue of Distance Education on massive open online courses (MOOCs), a phenomenon that he says has "rocked the boat of higher education." Articles and commentaries discuss emerging research in this field where "practice is leading theory."

    • Cynthia Coburn Gives Keynote Talk at International Learning Conference
      Professor Cynthia Coburn, an expert in the area of scaling up education reform efforts, will address an international learning conference this week. At the International SIM Conference, she will provide a framework for how to spread and sustain successful changes in instruction.

    • David Figlio Delivers Keynote Economic Policy Lecture in Poland
      Professor David Figlio added Warsaw to his list of destinations for economic policy talks as he headed to Poland to deliver the Leonid Hurwicz Lecture. His keynote address kicked off the ninth annual Warsaw International Economic Meeting on July 10.

    • 12 SESP Students Awarded Undergraduate Internship Grants
      Twelve SESP students were awarded grants for their internships this summer through the Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP): Robert Bourret, Catherine Chung, Isabel Garcia, Brandon Hill, Jenny Kwon, Adriana Lopez, Maria Marquez, Anisa Mian, Hannah Ongman, Gabrielle Parsons, Natalie Sack and Jacqueline Soria.

    • Huffington Post Video: Alexandra Solomon Tells How Couples Avoid Relationship Ruts
      To avoid relationship ruts, clinical psychologist and SESP instructor Alexandra Solomon says there is a million-dollar question that happy couples ask, over and over: "What's it like to be in a relationship with me right now?" She also recommends eye contact and holding hands as a way to engage.

    • How Children Categorize Living Things
      Linguistic and cultural forces shape children's understanding of the natural world. In a study by Andrea Taverna with professors Sandra Waxman and Douglas Medin, the responses of children from three different cultural communities in Argentina to what is living differed.

  • August 2014 News Stories

    • Sharon Kao (BS14) Wins Psychological Association’s Student Research Award
      Recent SESP graduate Sharon Kao (BS14) was the 2014 recipient of the Asian American Psychological Association’s Undergraduate Research Award. The award was presented at the association’s annual conference on August 6.

    • John Holcomb (MS14) Named Knowles Science Teaching Fellow
      John Holcomb, an August 2014 graduate of the Master of Science in Education Program, was named a teaching fellow through the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF).

    • New York Times Quotes Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon as Leading Scholar on Interpretive Discussion
      In a story about an initiative for campus discourse called Ask Big Questions, the New York Times quotes professor Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon as a leading scholar of interpretive discussion. Ask Big Questions was co-founded by one of Haroutunian-Gordon's former students, Rabbi Josh Feigelson.

    • New York Times: Paul Krugman Cites Diane Schanzenbach's Study on Food Stamps
      In a New York Times column about rising inequality, Paul Krugman cites associate professor Diane Schanzenbach's research on food stamps as he maintains that taxing the rich and helping the poor may well raise, not lower, the economy’s growth rate. Schanzenbach found that food stamps increased health and economic self-sufficiency.

    • SESP Welcomes New Students, Faculty
      The School of Education and Social Policy is welcoming new undergraduates and graduate students with orientation activities this fall. New this year, the entire SESP community is invited to a SESP-wide poster session on September 23, where faculty present current projects, and an all-school welcome back social on September 30.

    • David Uttal Wins American Psychological Association's Best Article Award
      The American Psychological Association awarded professor David Uttal the George A. Miller Award for the most distinguished publication in general psychology. His article "The Malleability of Spatial Skills: A Meta-Analysis of Training Studies" is the first all-encompassing analysis of how and how much training influences spatial thinking.

    • Sun-Times Profiles SESP Junior Tom Hruby, Navy SEAL and Football Player
      Tom Hruby is an active Navy SEAL at the same time he's a full-time SESP student and a member of the Northwestern football team. He's 32 years old with a wife and three children and is determined to meet the challenge he's set for himself, according the Chicago Sun-Times.

    • Sunshine State News: David Figlio's Report Shows Tax Scholarship Students Keep Up with Peers Nationally
      Professor David Figlio's new study shows low-income students participating in Florida’s tax credit scholarship program are performing at the same level as their peers nationally, according to Sunshine State News.

    • Grant Funds New Network for Public Science Education and Outreach
      Northwestern University is part of a new multi-institutional initiative to encourage education and outreach efforts that extend the impact of federal scientific research. The National Science Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to a five-year initiative called the Broader Impacts and Outreach Network for Institutional Collaboration (BIONIC).

    • EdTech Interviews Kemi Jona about Best Practices for Remote Labs
      Leverage existing software. Look for instrumentation. Identify high-needs areas. Set expectations. These are some of the tips professor Kemi Jona offers in an EdTech article about setting up remote labs for high school science and why they're beneficial.

    • MSLOC Students Help YMCA Unite Employees behind Its Cause
      Thanks to a unique partnership between the YMCA and the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) program in the School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University graduate students are an integral part of the pathway to how YMCA staff and volunteers tell the Y’s story.

    • Heather Schoenfeld Wins Awards for Article on Incarceration
      Assistant professor Heather Schoenfeldrecently received two awards for a paper she co-wrote on “The Transformation of America's Penal Order: A Historicized Political Sociology of Punishment.” The best paper awards are from the American Sociological Association and the Law and Society Association.

    • Memorials Honor Joanna Sojka (MS10)
      A memorial service for Joanna Sojka (MS10), a graduate of the Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy program, will be held on September 3. Alumni, faculty, family and friends are also in the process of discussing a memorial at Northwestern to honor Sojka.

    • MSLOC Breaks New Ground with Jive Social Collaboration Technology
      Tapping into social collaboration technology typically used by large companies, the SESP Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change Program (MSLOC) is pioneering the use of the cutting-edge Jive social networking software for an educational purpose. For MSLOC, Jive provides an online space where students and faculty build a strong and robust learning community.

  • September 2014 News Stories

    • Northwestern Academy Starts with Summer Activities
      How do humans construct knowledge about their place in the universe? Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools started this summer with a three-week summer session for one group of students on this heady theme — pursued through field experiences, readings, and a mini capstone project. The overall goal for Northwestern Academy is to prepare under-resourced Chicago high school students for selective colleges.

    • Deseret News Cites Diane Schanzenbach Study on Class Size 'Tradeoffs and Payoffs'
      In an article on the tradeoffs and payoffs involved in lowering class size, Deseret News cites a study by SESP associate professor Diane Schanzenbach, described as a leading proponent of small class size. One of her studies estimates how much it costs, using specific interventions, to nudge an underprivileged child into college.

    • Atlantic Quotes Kirabo Jackson on Effectiveness of Cash Prizes for Voting
      Atlantic discusses cash prizes to get people to vote, first looking at associate professor Kirabo Jackson's research on paying students to get good grades. “Well-designed cash-for-grades schemes can both improve grades and promote learning,” says Jackson. “Voting is much more conducive to rewards than grades.”

    • Brian Reiser Keynotes Conference on Next Generation Science Standards
      As a keynote speaker at a major conference for Illinois educators, Learning Sciences professor Brian Reiser discussed the research-based recommendations for the Next Generation Science Standards. These national standards, designed to support scientific literacy for the 21st century, aim to improve K-12 science education.

    • Kemi Jona and FUSE Featured at Technology Conference
      Professor Kemi Jona addressed the School Superintendent Program at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago on September 10. He spoke on "STEM Best Practices." The FUSE informal learning program was represented at the show as well.

    • Wall Street Journal Features Karen Fuson's Finding about Best Language for Math
      Chinese uses simpler number words and expresses math concepts more clearly than English, making it easier for children to learn arithmetic, according to the Wall Street Journal, which features research and comments by SESP professor emerita Karen Fuson.

    • MS in Education Program Hosts Summer Convocation
      SESP’s convocation for the Master of Science in Education program conferred degrees on 56 MSEd graduates -- elementary and secondary school teachers -- who walked in a Saturday (August 2) morning ceremony in the Ryan Family Auditorium at the Technological Institute.

    • Six SESP Faculty, Staff Named to Honor Roll
      Six School of Education and Social Policy faculty and staff members were named to the 2013-14 Faculty Honor Roll.

    • SESP Participants Get Insider's View on Career Trek to Washington, DC
      Two SESP students, one SESP recent graduate and one SESP adviser took part in Northwestern University’s first-ever university-wide “career trek.” A group of 15 students and five staff members spent three days in Washington, D.C., visiting a range of employers and alumni in fields of government, policy and law.

    • Kaney O'Neill (BS04, MA06) Honored with Veteran Entrepreneur Award
      SESP alumna Kaney O'Neill (BS04, MA06), a disabled veteran who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at SESP, was honored with the Woman Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Women's Business Development Center. O'Neill is president and CEO of O'Neill Contractors, a roofing company in Chicago.

    • Marisa Bast (BS14) Finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year Award
      SESP graduate Marisa Bast (BS14) has been named one of 30 finalists for the NCAA's Woman of the Year Award, based on outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. A softball standout at Northwestern and a learning and organizational change major, Bast created an anti-bullying program for local schools.

    • Danny Cohen Presents on Holocaust Education at U.S. Holocaust Museum
      Danny M. Cohen (PhD11), assistant professor of instruction at SESP, presented his work on Holocaust education design at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of a symposium on New Research on Roma and the Holocaust.

    • David Rapp's New Book Tells Why People Rely on Misinformation
      Sometimes people rely on information that’s just plain wrong — even when they know it’s wrong. Why this happens and how to prevent it is the subject of a new book by professor David Rapp.

    • Tim Dohrer Conveys Ideas about Teaching in Educational Leadership
      Educational Leadership, the magazine of the ASCD, recently published two pieces of writing about teaching by Tim Dohrer, director of the Master of Science in Education program. An autobiographical piece describes the teacher who inspired him to become a teacher, and another piece explains a practice that worked for Dohrer's students.

  • October 2014 News Stories

    • SESP Student Board Highlights New Projects
      The SESP Leadership and Programming Board is planning an array of events and projects to make the School of Education and Social Policy an even better place to be for undergraduates. The board of 12 student volunteers advises the SESP Office of Student Affairs on programs and events.

    • Biotechnology Day Shows High School Students Biotech Opportunities
      Hands-on science activities, lab tours and a panel discussion with Northwestern science students introduce opportunities in biotechnology to 100 Chicago and Evanston high school students who visit Northwestern for Biotechnology Day. The October 6 event is organized by the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP).

    • Increasing Teacher Effort: Kirabo Jackson's Study Compares Managerial Control with Performance Pay
      Paying teachers according to student test score improvements is gaining traction, and SESP associate professor Kirabo Jackson evaluates the role of managerial control in improving employee performance, comparing it with performance pay.

    • Saturday Seminars Guide Parents of Gifted Children
      Parents can take advantage of workshops designed to help them develop special strategies to nurture the development of their gifted children during a series of Saturday seminars hosted this fall by Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD), a program of the School of Education and Social Policy.

    • Northwestern to Train and Support Chicago’s Top Principals
      In an effort to help bolster talented principals, Northwestern University faculty will provide leadership training and executive coaching to top educators from Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago Public Schools Principal Fellowship program, which began October 8, is a three-year partnership between Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern’s Center for Nonprofit Management at the Kellogg School of Management and School of Education and Social Policy.

    • Mike Horn Designs Frog Pond Exhibit for Computer History Museum
      Using new interactive technologies, SESP assistant professor Michael Horn designs innovative museum exhibits to engage visitors in learning. His newest exhibit — on computer programming — will be on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

    • Senior Blake McHugh Wins Kabiller Award, Takes Lacrosse to Kids in Jamaica
      After receiving the Kabiller Award for Excellence in Character, Commitment and Community, senior Blake McHugh traveled to Jamaica with the goal of impacting children’s lives through lacrosse.

    • Lois Trautvetter Introduces SESP, US Higher Education to Students in China
      Associate professor Lois Trautvetter got an in-depth look at the global interest in American higher education when she participated in a tour of China with representatives from seven top U.S. university programs, including the School of Education and Social Policy. The 2014 U.S. Leading Graduate and Professional Schools Tour was hosted by the Council for International Culture and Education.

    • New York Times: David Figlio's Study Shows Heavier Babies Do Better in School
      The New York Times features a study by professors David Figlio and Jon Guryan showing that babies who were heavier at birth scored higher on math and reading tests from third to eighth grades. The study calls into question timing early births for parental convenience.

    • Guardian Cites Diane Schanzenbach's Finding That Class Size Impacts Marginalized Most
      An article in The Guardian about the controversy over class size cites associate professor Diane Schanzenbach's research showing "smaller class sizes have helped marginalized students, the students struggling the most."

    • Alumni Share Career Stories with SESP Undergraduates at Special Event
      For the annual Alumni Career Luncheon, 13 accomplished alumni are leading small-group sessions with SESP undergraduates to give students ideas about potential career paths.

    • Doug Medin's New Study Explores Cultural Side of Science Communication
      Professor Douglas Medin's new study explores the cultural side of science communication and how to present science information to diverse groups without polarization. Medin suggests communicating science in a culturally neutral way.

    • Parents Benefit from Head Start Program
      Head Start programs may help low-income parents improve their educational status, according to a new study by Northwestern University researchers Terri Sabol and Lindsay Chase-Lansdale. The study is one of the first to examine whether a child’s participation in the federal program benefits mothers and fathers – in particular parents’ educational attainment and employment.

    • Office of STEM Education Partnerships Hosts Statewide STEM Summit
      Educators, business leaders and university administrators will attend the upcoming sixth annual statewide STEM Summit, this year hosted by the Office of STEM Education Partnerships at Northwestern University on November 5. The summit will focus on innovation and collaboration in K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

    • Miriam Sherin Chosen as Academic Leadership Fellow
      Learning Sciences professor Miriam Sherin is one of five faculty leaders selected to be fellows in the Academic Leadership Program, an intensive yearlong program offered by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The program addresses challenges for administrators in major research universities.

    • SESP Student Board Seeks Alumni Career Advice
      As a way of helping undergraduates to gain career advice, the SESP Leadership and Programming Board is spearheading an initiative for undergraduates to develop relationships with alumni. The Board is composed of student volunteers who advise the SESP Office of Student Affairs on programming and events.

    • Larry Hedges Receives Sells Award for Lifetime Achievement
      Professor Larry Hedges recently received the highest honor bestowed by the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology. The Sells Award for Distinguished Multivariate Research recognizes “distinguished lifetime achievement in multivariate experimental psychology.”

    • New York Times Quotes David Figlio on Fundraising for Wealthy Public Schools
      A New York Times article that points out the inequities in philanthropic school fundraising also notes that fundraising is what keeps many wealthier parents committed to public schools. The article quotes SESP professor David Figlio: “If all of a sudden these super-rich people no longer can achieve what they want through the public sector, they’ll just send their kids to private schools and take their ball and go home.”

    • Analyzing Election Results, Daily Signal Cites David Figlio's School Choice Research
      Daily Signal cites SESP professor David Figlio's study that Florida tax credit scholarship students are making the same academic gains as other students nationwide. School choice was an issue in the Florida governor's race, where the victor, Rick Scott, supported school choice.

    • Huffington Post Interviews Alissa Chung about Parental Responses to 'Mean Girl' Behavior
      On Huffington Post, Alissa Chung, a clinical child psychologist and SESP lecturer on child development, discusses how to approach a child’s “mean girl” behavior. She advises reflecting on the meaning of the behavior. Girls could be trying to navigate socially, using the behavior to gain power or status, or indicating a lack of empathy.

    • Brian Reiser to Demystify New Science Standards
      To give the public the facts and clarify the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), professor Brian Reiser is participating in two public panel presentations. The Chicago Council on Science and Technology is presenting programs on November 12 and 20 entitled “Decoding the New Science and Math Standards” to discuss the NGSS for science and the Common Core standards for mathematics.

    • Education Week Quotes Cynthia Coburn on Importance of Research in Schools
      Education Week says professor Cynthia Coburn, "a veteran of long term field-testing in schools, warned that data simulations should never take the place of full-scale experimental trials in schools." She noted, "The history of education research is littered with really wonderful lab experiments and interventions created outside the classroom that, for whatever reason, didn't work in the classroom."

  • November 2014 News Stories

  • December 2014 News Stories

    • Heavier Newborns Show Academic Edge in School
      Birth weight makes a difference to a child’s future academic performance, according to new research led by David Figlio that found heavier newborns do better in elementary and middle school than infants with lower birth weights.

    • Corey Brady Addresses Audiences in Mexico on Learning Science with Computer Modeling
      Assistant professor Corey Brady traveled to Mexico recently to share his expertise in computer modeling for engineering education. He gave a conference keynote, a workshop and a panel presentation — all at the Technological Institute of Madero in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

    • Northwestern Helps Evanston Children Learn Code
      As part of a global effort to spark interest in computer programming, Northwestern University has partnered with Evanston elementary schools for the second annual “Hour of Code” initiative. The Kits and ‘Cats Hour of Code event will reach at least 2,000 Evanston students.

    • Senior Samantha Yi Awarded Undergraduate Research Grant
      Samantha Yi, a SESP senior majoring in social policy, was awarded an Academic Year Undergraduate Research Grant during fall quarter. Her research explores the leadership of a dual language learning program in Evanston.

    • FiveThirtyEight Quotes Diane Schanzenbach on Tradeoffs in Capping Class Size
      FiveThirtyEight's analysis of Washington's new initiative to cap class size quotes associate professor Diane Schanzenbach: “Class-size reduction is a smart and sound policy in lots of cases. But as an economist, I have to think about what would be the best use of the next dollar spent, and for an across-the-board reduction of this magnitude, the evidence just isn’t there.”

    • TV News Video: Lessons on Charitable Giving from SESP Philanthropy Class
      Allentown TV News is one of the stations showing a video with lessons charitable giving from Northwestern students in the SESP philanthropy class taught by Dean Penelope Peterson. Students in the class learn important lessons as they give away $50,000.

    • Junior Malik Dent Receives Campus Life Award
      SESP third-year student Malik Dent received the Fall 2014 Campus Life Award, which recognizes students who have significantly contributed to the improvement of the quality of student life at Northwestern.

    • Corey Winchester (BS10), Sabrina Ehmke (BS05) Selected for Global Fulbright Program
      SESP alumni Sabrina Ehmke (BS05) and Corey Winchester (BS10), both history and social sciences teachers at Evanston Township High School, were selected for a Fulbright-Hays international program this summer. They will travel to Bolivia and Peru.

    • SESP Faculty Member Jerry Stermer Named Illinois Comptroller
      Governor Pat Quinn named longtime aide Jerry Stermer, a SESP adjunct faculty member, to succeed the late Judy Baar Topinka as Illinois comptroller. Stermer, who was sworn into office on Friday, had been serving as Quinn’s budget director.

    • Northwestern's FUSE Program Excites Middle Schoolers about STEM
      Northwestern's FUSE program is designed to engage middle schoolers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through exciting high-tech challenges. Suburban Life features a story about the program in Crystal Lake School District 47.

    • Why Do Schools Need New Science Standards?
      Learning sciences professor Brian Reiser explains the new and improved approach to teaching science. Reiser is a contributing author of the framework used to develop the new standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards. He explains why they are so critical for children –- and for a functioning democracy.