2015 News Stories

2015 News Stories

  • January 2015 News Stories

  • February 2015 News Stories

    • Organizational Change Students Collaborate with Companies, Nonprofits
      For graduate students in the Learning and Organizational Change master’s program (MSLOC), collaborations with companies and nonprofits fuel learning. Students benefit from real-world challenges, while organizations welcome the fresh input from knowledgeable students. Current projects include collaborations with Leo Burnett advertising agency and Lurie Children's Hospital.

    • Senior Sarah Watson Wins Northwestern Oratorical Contest
      SESP senior Sarah Watson won the first Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest held at Northwestern University. The contest began with students submitting speeches to a panel of judges, and then three finalists were chosen to present their speeches to an audience at McCormick Auditorium.

    • David Uttal Discusses Program That Improves Students' Spatial Skills
      SESP professor David Uttal discussed a program that has enhanced students’ learning at a variety of levels, from basic spatial reasoning to solving complex problems involving the coordination of numerous variables, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting.

    • Improving Health Literacy for All Patients
      Together with SESP associate professor David Rapp, Learning Sciences graduate Michael Wolf is researching practical solutions to help patients manage everyday health care challenges.

    • On Yahoo Health, Alexandra Solomon Gives Advice on 'Falling in Love All Over Again'
      In a Yahoo health feature, "20 Ways to Fall in Love All Over Again," SESP faculty member and therapist Alexandra Solomon offers advice for couples. She says to schedule time off from regular responsibilities, say thank you, give compliments, have your own interests, flirt, talk about feelings and redefine date night.

    • Windy City Times: Danny Cohen Speaks at Holocaust Remembrance
      Chicago's Temple Sholom hosted a memorial and workshop for Holocaust Remembrance Day featuring a workshop, "Overlapping Triangles," with assistant professor Danny M. Cohen, a member of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide commission and an author of human rights fiction.

    • Reuters: Emma Adam Comments on Study Showing Screen Time Hurts Teens' Sleep
      In Reuters news picked up by numerous media outlets, professor Emma Adam comments on a new Norwegian study linking screen time to lack of sleep. Adam says comparisons are lacking, but there is evidence that screen time before bedtime affects sleep.

    • Atlantic Quotes Jim Rosenbaum, SESP Alums in 'Will Ending Segregation End Poverty?'
      An Atlantic article on "Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?" includes interviews about housing policy with SESP professor James Rosenbaum and alumni Ruby Mendenhall, Stephanie DeLuca and Susan Popkin.

    • President Schapiro to Receive President's Award from NASPA
      Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University and a faculty member in the SESP Higher Education Administration and Policy program, will receive the President's Award from NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. He was given the award for his dedication to improving the lives of Northwestern students.

    • Cynthia Coburn Works to Expand Research in Early Math Education
      Because scientific-based research on the topic is lacking, SESP professor Cynthia Coburn is helping to develop new research on young children’s math learning. The DREME network will lead key projects on important early math topics.

    • Jim Spillane Video Discusses Research Directions for Common Core
      A new video by SESP professor James Spillane, produced by the American Educational Research Association, calls for scholars to identify key ideas for research as the Common Core standards roll out.

    • Jon Guryan Finds Prize Payments Induce Savings Behavior
      Americans are more likely to save if they have the option of winning a prize when they make a deposit, according to research by SESP associate professor Jon Guryan.

    • Graduate Student Lucas Chen Wins Campus Life Award
      Serving international students won SESP graduate student Lucas Xiao Chen the Campus Life Award for fall 2014. It is also his career goal after graduating from the Master of Science in Higher Education and Policy Program.

    • David Uttal: How Brain Processes Complex Spatial Information
      At conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, professor David Uttal gave a presentation about a program that partners a cognitive scientist and an environmental scientist to facilitate high school students' reasoning about complex real-world scientific and engineering problems through the use of computer-based layered maps. His talk was called "Promoting Spatially Based Scientific Reasoning with Geographic Information Systems."

    • Jim Rosenbaum Reports on Challenge of Completing Community College
      Professor James Rosenbaum and his colleagues find that many young people who enroll in community college fail to complete their studies and attain a degree.

    • FiveThirtyEight Features Diane Schanzenbach's Research on Impact of Recession on Families
      FiveThirtyEight features as policy-relevant Diane Schanzenbach's presentation at the American Economic Association annual meeting on "Impacts of the Great Recession on Low-Income Households." Schanzenbach cites a weakening social safety net, with no increase in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or welfare, despite an increase in poverty during the Great Recession.

    • Aspen Institute Promotes Terri Sabol's Findings on Head Start Impact on Parents
      Aspen Institute's Journal of Ideas promotes research by SESP faculty members Terri Sabol and Lindsay Chase-Lansdale that finds parents of 3-year-olds in Head Start, the nation's largest federally funded preschool program for low-income children, had steeper increases in their own educational attainment than parents of the control-group children by the time the children reached kindergarten. Parents benefit from child care, a parent network and educational opportunities, they say.

    • Quartz: Mike Horn Gives Advice on Joining Faculty at Prestigious University
      According to Quartz, only 12 percent of computer scientists move to a more elite institution than the one where they earned their degree, and Mike Horn is one, moving from Tufts to Northwestern. He gives advice to aspiring professors.

    • Claudia Haase's Research Highlights the Bright Side of Aging
      As spouses age, they show more positive emotional behaviors, such as humor, and fewer negative ones, such as defensiveness, SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase's studies show.

    • Senior Nikita Ramanujam Co-Heads TEDx Talks
      SESP senior Nikita Ramanujam, who co-founded TEDx Talks at Northwestern last year, is once again co-heading the event, scheduled for May 9. Applications for talks are due February 26.

    • Cynthia Coburn Honored as AERA Fellow for Education Research
      The American Educational Research Association (AERA) recently named SESP professor Cynthia Coburn an AERA Fellow. Coburn is one of 23 scholars to become 2015 AERA Fellows in recognition of exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research.

  • March 2015 News Stories

    • Opportunities Fund Supports Student Initiatives
      For School of Education and Social Policy undergraduates who want to lead extracurricular projects, the SESP Opportunities Fund can help them make a difference. This spring, several leadership events — including a global health event, an entrepreneurship competition and college scholarships— are being supported by the fund, which is intended to encourage undergraduate innovation and service.

    • SESP Faculty Teach Continuing Education Class
      Testing, standards, accountability, teacher quality, achievement gap — education issues concern many citizens today. To share insights and research findings about current issues, 10 SESP faculty members are pitching in to teach a continuing education class at Northwestern this spring.

    • Joe Curnow (BS05), Winner of Canada’s Biggest Doctoral Award, Studies Youth Movements
      Joe Curnow (BS05), a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, is the winner of the Vanier Graduate Scholarship, Canada’s largest doctoral award. The award supports her current research into the engagement of youth in social movements.

    • SESP Ranks Number Seven
      Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy ranks number seven in the nation, according to the new 2016 ranking of graduate schools of education by U.S. News & World Report. SESP consistently ranks among the top graduate schools nationwide.

    • Intergenerational Exchange Brings Insights about Aging
      In the SESP Adulthood and Aging class, students delve into theories and research about adult development. However, at an “intergenerational exchange” where they actually hear older people’s stories, their learning truly comes to life.

    • Societally Engaged Adults See Their Lives as Redemption Stories
      Middle-aged Americans who show high levels of societal involvement and mental health are especially likely to construe their lives as stories of personal redemption, according to new research by professor Dan McAdams.

    • Jim Spillane Keynotes Australia Principals Conference
      When professor James Spillane gave the keynote address at the Queensland Principals Conference in Australia, 1,350 principals from across the state of Queensland heard his talk. Spillane spoke to the school leaders about leading and managing instructional innovation in Australia.

    • Ed Week: Brian Reiser Says NGSS Science Standards Ask Students to Investigate 'Mysteries'
      At the National Science Teachers Association conference, SESP professor Brian Reiser described the new NGSS science standards as a "shift from learning about something to figuring out something." Students are given a big question, a "mystery" to investigate.

    • SESP Students Nia Coffey, Alex Cohen Help Women’s Basketball Make History
      SESP undergraduate students Alex Cohen and Nia Coffey helped the Northwestern women’s basketball team sail into the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament on Saturday — for the first time ever in program history.

    • Megan Bang (PhD09) Receives Awards for Education Research
      Megan Bang (PhD09), a graduate of the SESP Learning Sciences program, is the 2015 recipient of two awards from the American Education Research Association. She is assistant professor of education at the University of Washington in Seattle.

    • 3 SESP Students Awarded Undergraduate Research Travel, Language Grants
      Three SESP students were awarded grants by the Office of Undergraduate Research during winter quarter. Abby Durgan and Nick Medrano received Conference Travel Grants, and Daniel Isaacson won an Undergraduate Language Grant.

    • Paulo Blikstein (PhD09) Develops Real-Time Assessment of Students' Learning
      Paulo Blikstein (PhD09), founder of the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab at Stanford University, researched a way to gauge in real-time how students learn computer science. For future classrooms, instructors may be able to see how well their students are learning — as the material is being taught — and then adjust lessons in real-time to meet better the needs of their students.

    • ABC-TV News Reports Claudia Haase's Finding: People Trust More as They Age
      New research by assistant professor Claudia Haase suggests that people become more trusting as they get older. "People really seem to be 'growing to trust' as they travel through their adult years," Haase says about the study, featured on ABC-TV Channel 7.

    • Uri Wilensky’s New Book Explores Agent-Based Modeling
      Rapid technological advances are revolutionizing work in science, mathematics and complex theories. To introduce the powers of agent-based computer modeling for investigating complex problems, SESP learning sciences professor Uri Wilensky has written a new book called An Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling.

    • Danny M. Cohen Writes Novel for Holocaust Education, Has Interview Event April 16
      SESP assistant professor Danny M. Cohen (PhD11), who specializes in the design of Holocaust and human rights education, wrote a young adult novel for use in school curriculums. He will be discussing his book, Train, at a campus-wide April 16 event for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    • Fay Lomax Cook in Washington Post: Partisan Bias on Climate Change Makes Citizens Uncertain
      Toby Bolsen, James N. Druckman and Fay Lomax Cook state in their op ed in the Washington Post that the "politicization of climate science" leads to citizen uncertainty — even though "there is a clear scientific consensus about the reality of human-induced global warming."

    • SESP Alumni Selected as Global Teacher Fellows
      Brian Hurley (MS10), Faisal Mohyuddin (MS03) and Hina Patel (MS06) — all graduates of SESP’s Master of Science in Education program — were selected as 2014-15 Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellows by the U.S. Department of State. Their international field experiences are in Republic of Georgia, Uganda and Morocco, respectively.

    • Terri Sabol’s Study Finds New Video Tool Predicts Effective Teaching
      SESP assistant professor Terri Sabol and her colleagues found that the Video Assessment of Interaction and Learning (VAIL) could reliably predict teachers’ abilities to identify effective interactions between teachers and students. The teachers with this skill then tended to actually have more effective interactions with students in their classrooms, the study found.

    • Claudia Haase Co-Chairs International Symposium on Nature-Nurture Research
      How do nature and nurture interact in shaping emotional, social and mental health? As a way to highlight important new research directions in the area, assistant professor Claudia Haase chaired a conference called “New Frontiers in Gene-Environment Research” on March 14 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

    • MetaMedia Center for Youth Opens in Evanston as Partnership with Northwestern
      The Chicago Tribune reports that a digital media and maker lab for Evanston youth opened at McGaw YMCA, developed as a collaboration among McGaw YMCA, Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.) and Northwestern University's Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP), with a lead gift from the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation.

    • PhD Student David Weintrop Wins Computer Science Education Award
      Learning Sciences doctoral student Dave Weintrop is investigating the best way to teach students how to program computers — a skill he sees as critically important in today’s world. His work recently won the gold medal for student research from the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest professional organization for computing professionals and academics.

  • April 2015 News Stories

    • New Advances for Master of Science in Education Program
      New changes in SESP’s Master of Science in Education program are designed to make the curriculum more valuable than ever for today’s teachers. The program is adopting a new focus in the research area, new course work in English as a Second Language and new enhancements for elementary teaching.

    • Dedre Gentner Finds Comparison Method Helps Children Quickly Learn Engineering Principle
      Analogical processing helped children quickly learn a key engineering principle as they constructed toy buildings, professor Dedre Gentner found in a study carried out in the Chicago Children’s Museum. Her work seeks ways to support children’s learning both in school and in informal environments.

    • Professor Kemi Jona Discusses Power of Informal Learning across Life Span
      At a Dialogues with Gensler event, SESP professor Kemi Jona, whose work explores improving learning with technology, spoke of the power of informal learning environments. “We learn throughout our lives,” says Jona, “At home, at play, through our hobbies. People are amazing learners, but most of them shut that off when they walk into a classroom.”

    • Trust Increases with Age, Benefits Well-Being
      New research by SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase suggests a bright side to getting older. Trust increases with age and predicts increases in well-being, according to Haase's study.

    • SESP Holds International Education Conference with Sciences Po
      SESP is hosting an international education conference, sponsored by its Office of Global Initiatives and featuring a collaboration with Sciences Po, the highly regarded Paris center for research and higher education. “Education and Society: Access, Opportunity and Equity” will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and research on critical issues facing education around the globe.

    • Huffington Post Features Uri Wilensky's Agent-Based Modeling as 'Cyberlearning Transforming Education'
      In an article on "7 Cyberlearning Technologies Transforming Education, Huffington Post highlights professor Uri Wilensky's work with agent-based computer modeling for education. Wilensky's NetLogo agent-based modeling platform enables students to more easily engage in scientific inquiry.

    • MSLOC Instructors Aaron Olson, B. K. Simerson Co-Author Book on Strategic Leadership
      A new book by two instructors in the SESP Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program examines what leaders who think strategically do differently. Aaron Olson (MS98) and B. K. Simerson say their book Leading with Strategic Thinking is based on their teaching at Northwestern, 35 years of consulting experience and a study of more than 300 leaders.

    • Northwestern Hosts Summit to Inspire STEAM Education Innovation
      To inspire K-12 education leaders, the Office of STEM Education Partnerships planned Northwestern's first STEAM Summit on April 14 with Segal Design Institute. The daylong event is intended to foster innovative thinking, collaboration, planning and action in K-12 for STEAM teaching and learning.

    • Faculty, Students to Give Presentations at AERA Conference, April 16-20
      At the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA) in Chicago from April 16 to 20, 83 Northwestern University faculty members and graduate students will give presentations related to their education research.

    • Families, Educators Invited to Free STEM Learning Event April 25
      SESP’s Center for Talent Development is co-hosting a free interactive teaching and learning event for families and educators on April 25. This Share Fair event will allow educators, students and families to experience innovative methods for transforming STEM education.

    • WBEZ Interviews Danny M. Cohen about His New Novel, Train
      SESP instructor Danny M. Cohen discusses his young adult novel, Train: A Novel Inspired by Hidden History, as Holocaust fiction and an outgrowth of his focus on Holocaust education design. Portraying the complexities of Holocaust victims, the story is not just about persecuted Jews but also the Roma, homosexuals, the disabled and other young people fearing for their lives.

    • MSLOC Student Lanier Zimmer Receives Luce Fellowship for Policy Work in Asia
      SESP graduate student Lanier Zimmer received a prestigious Luce Fellowship to work and learn in Asia over the next year. A student in the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program, she will begin with a language and cultural orientation this summer.

    • Junior Renee Wellman Receives Udall Scholarship
      Junior Renee Wellman, a social policy major, has been awarded the Udall Scholarship. She is the first Northwestern student in five years to win the award.

    • Alumni Muneer Satter and Kristin Hertel Commit $2 Million to SESP
      Northwestern University alumni Muneer Satter and Kristen Hertel (BS86) have committed $2 million to the School of Education and Social Policy to support Project Excite and other educational opportunities for deserving Northwestern scholars.

    • Campus Leader Qiddist Hammerly Wins Truman Scholarship for Public Service
      SESP junior Qiddist Miriam Hammerly has received the highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a $30,000 award that supports graduate education for outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in public service.

    • David Figlio in Orlando Sentinel: Private School Scholarship Students Keep Pace
      Data compiled annually by SESP professor David Figlio show that tax credit scholarship students at private schools typically make educational progress comparable to that in other schools nationwide. The Orlando Sentinel says private schools in Florida are more dependent on state voucher programs.

    • Senior Frances Fu Receives Campus Life Award
      SESP senior Frances Fu was honored with a Campus Life Award for Winter 2015 for her work as president of the Panhellenic Association. The Campus Life Award recognizes students who have significantly contributed to the improvement of the quality of student life at Northwestern.

    • Time Magazine Reports Claudia Haase's Study on Trust Increasing with Age
      Time magazine reports new research by assistant professor Claudia Haase that shows as people age they become more trusting. And this increased sense of trust is linked with higher well being, says Haase, directs Northwestern’s Life-Span Development Lab.

    • Isabel Garcia (BS15) Awarded Princeton in Latin America Fellowship
      Isabel Garcia, a SESP social policy major who graduated in March, received a Princeton in Latin America fellowship. Next year Garcia will be working with an education policy organization in Mexico called Redes de Tutoría.

    • Israel's Top Newspaper Reports on Danny M. Cohen's Novel, Train
      "While teaching the narratives of gays, Roma, the disabled and political dissidents, Holocaust historian and educator Danny M. Cohen wrote a novel," begins an article in Israel's biggest newspaper, Haaretz. Cohen's Train is fiction about teenagers during the Holocaust.

    • Daily Northwestern: Patrick Day (BS92) Speaks on Building Northwestern Campus Community
      Patrick Day (BS92), vice president for student life at University of the Pacific, spoke to nearly 170 RAs and Residential Services administrators about the importance of building cross-cultural and diverse communities. Day spoke at the sixth annual Gregg A. Kindle Distinguished Lecture on Community.

    • WTTW Interviews David Figlio on Evanston's New Model for Advanced Placement Recruitment
      A WTTW-TV story on Chicago Tonight features an interview with SESP professor David Figlio, who is studying the Advanced Placement model at Evanston Township High School. The district has revamped courses and added supports to encourage minority and low-income students to succeed at AP tests.

    • Patient Portals Could Widen Health Disparities
      Patient portals that provide medical information online could widen the gap in health disparities among the most vulnerable patients, according to a new study by professor Michael Wolf (MA06) of SESP and Feinberg School of Medicine.

    • Senior Samantha Yi Wins Alumnae of Northwestern Service Award
      SESP social policy major Samantha P. Yi is the recipient of the 2015 Senior Woman’s Service Award given by the Alumnae of Northwestern University. The award honors a senior woman for outstanding volunteer service during her undergraduate years at Northwestern.

    • Arva Rice (BS90) Honored with SESP Alumni Award
      New York Urban League president Arva Rice (BS90) is the recipient of the 2015 Alumni Merit Award for the School of Education and Social Policy. The award recognizes high achievement in a profession or field of endeavor.

  • May 2015 News Stories

    • Education Week Features Jim Rosenbaum's Community College Report on 'Forgotten Half'
      Education Week reports on new research by professor James Rosenbaum that finds nearly half of community college students failing to complete because of obstacles such as lack of counseling, confusing choices and chaotic schedules.

    • Senior Samantha Yi Gains Recognition for High School Teacher Honored by Northwestern
      Five high school teachers who had “transformative effects” on the lives of graduating Northwestern University seniors they once taught will receive a special award during Northwestern commencement on June 19. One awardee, Sameer Shah, was nominated by SESP senior Samantha Yi.

    • Biotechnology Symposium Inspires Teachers with Innovative Activities
      A biotechnology symposium gave 100 Chicago science teachers a chance to try their hand at innovative biotechnology activities for the classroom—from using remote labs to building models of proteins. High school and middle school science teachers gained cutting-edge resources and learned hands-on activities to use in biotech labs.

    • Loeschner Lecture Presents Controversial Educator Eva Moskowitz
      The Ray and Nancy Loeschner Lecture on Leadership series will present a talk by Eva Moskowitz, the founder and CEO of Success Charter Schools, New York City’s largest network of charter schools, on May 20. Moskowitz has been labeled “America’s most controversial educator” by U.S. News and World Report.

    • David Rapp Receives Undergraduate Teaching Award
      SESP professor David Rapp will be honored with a 2015 Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence Award for his outstanding dedication to undergraduate education at Northwestern University.

    • 4 SESP Students Win Fulbright Fellowships
      SESP honors students Izora Baltys, Brenna Ledvora, Rabeya Mallick and Karen Wilber were awarded Fulbright fellowships for work and study in South Africa, Germany, France and Vietnam, respectively. All four will serve as English teaching assistants.

    • Luke Cianciotto Wins Princeton in Asia Fellowship
      Senior Luke Cianciotto, a social policy major, won a Princeton in Asia fellowship. He was awarded the highly selective fellowship to teach English at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.

    • Four SESP Students Receive Summer Research Grants
      Cara Conway, Halimah Jones, Stacy Kim and Caroline Levy were recently awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Grants for 2015. Their research spans topics from school closures to volunteering to life narratives.

    • Jim Rosenbaum Comments in Education Week on Gains for Children Moving Out of Poverty
      The younger children are when they move out of impoverished neighborhoods, the better their long-term outcomes are, including college-attendance rates and later salary levels, according to two new studies. SESP professor Jim Rosenbaum, who studied the Gautreaux Project, agrees that those results may derive from the likelihood that children in low-poverty neighborhoods are more liable to be given second chances.

    • Jim Spillane Lectures in Chile on Distributed Leadership in Schools
      “Distributed Leadership” was the topic when SESP professor James Spillane gave a lecture to more than 300 people in Santiago, Chile. Spillane was in Chile to give a public education lecture at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago.

    • TES Connect Features HDSP Student Brady Jones's Research on Teachers
      TES Connect teacher network highlights new research about teachers by Brady Jones, a PhD student in the Human Development and Social Policy Program. According to TES, Jones's research shows what influences teachers to stay in the profession.

    • Loeschner Lecture Presents Charter School Founder Eva Moskowitz
      “American public education could look very different if we truly challenged children,” said controversial educator Eva Moskowitz as she delivered the Ray and Nancy Loeschner Lecture on Leadership on May 20. Moskowitz is the founder and CEO of Success Academy, New York City’s largest network of charter schools.

    • PhD Students Christina Krist, Eleanor Anderson Win Spencer/NAE Fellowships
      Learning Sciences doctoral students Eleanor Anderson and Christina Krist were recently awarded Spencer/NAE Dissertation Fellowships, which carry $25,000 awards. Anderson’s research centers on restorative justice in high schools, and Krist’s research on making scientific processes meaningful to students.

    • Alex White (BS08), David Hoffman's (BS09) Startup Bought by Pandora
      Pandora Media, Inc. will acquire the company started by two recent SESP grads, Alex White (BS08) and David Hoffman (BS09), along with another Northwestern grad, Samir Rayani. Next Big Sound, which was created as part of a Northwestern class, is a data analysis company for the music industry.

    • PBS Offers Mike Horn’s Evolution Games as Online Lab for High School
      Assistant professor Michael Horn’s museum research on evolution has become part of a new online PBS NOVA unit for high school students called “Evolution Lab,” with games to introduce teens to processes of evolution.

    • PBS Interviews David Figlio about Research on ETHS Changes to Shrink Achievement Gap
      Evanston Township High School noticed that minorities were underrepresented in AP courses, which boost a college application. How did the school bridge the gap? SESP professor David Figlio is researching the school's changes and was interviewed for the PBS report.

  • June 2015 News Stories

    • YMCA MetaMedia Center for Teens Features FUSE
      Northwestern president Morton Schapiro visits the new MetaMedia teen space at Evanston's McGaw YMCA, which features FUSE learning activities developed by SESP professors Kemi Jona and Reed Stevens.

    • Quick to Smile? Claudia Haase's Study Finds It May Be in Your Genes
      A new study by SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase finds that people with a certain gene variant are less stoic and are more likely to smile and laugh.

    • Alexandra Solomon Chosen to Give 'Last Lecture' to Northwestern Graduates
      SESP instructor Alexandra Solomon was chosen to deliver the "last lecture" on June 17 to Northwestern's graduating senior class.

    • Daily Herald Profiles SESP Softball Player Andrea DiPrima
      The Daily Herald profiles SESP softball player Andrea DiPrima, who has wrapped up a standout collegiate softball career at Northwestern before embarking on graduate education at the University of Illinois.

    • Washington Post: Diane Schanzenbach Comments on Sesame Street Findings
      A new authoritative study on Sesame Street finds lasting educational benefits for children — benefits as powerful as those from preschool. The research can’t say whether the show continues to deliver such high benefits to children, SESP professor Diane Schanzenbach told the Washington Post. But, she said, it clearly shows “the importance of childhood education.”

    • Northwestern Magazine Features Isabel Garcia, Peter Podlipni, Sarah Watson as Outstanding Seniors
      In its annual outstanding seniors feature, Northwestern magazine features SESP seniors Isabel Garcia (as a health educator), Peter Podlipni (as a science teacher) and Sarah Carthen Watson (as a "conversation starter").

    • President Schapiro Visits MetaMedia Teen Space with FUSE
      Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and Executive Vice President Nim Chinniah recently toured the innovative MetaMedia teen space at the McGaw YMCA in Evanston, a University-community partnership among Northwestern, McGaw and Y.O.U. Metamedia center features FUSE, a video game-inspired model for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) exploration and learning.

    • Senior Sarah Carthen Watson Wins Ryan Prize
      SESP graduating senior Sarah Carthen Watson has been awarded the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Prize for Community Service, which honors a student who exemplifies leadership and service through participation in University and community activities.

    • Uri Wilensky Lauded at Book Signing
      A book signing event for SESP professor Uri Wilensky honored his achievements both as an author of the new book An Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling and for developing his innovative NetLogo software for computer modeling. Wilensky’s book, written with William Rand, explains the powers of agent-based computer modeling for investigating complex problems.

    • David Uttal Tests Spatial Skills Training for STEM Achievement
      SESP professor David Uttal's new study will test whether spatial training actually leads to STEM achievement in school and beyond — an outcome that is important for the future of the U.S.

    • Steve and Sue Wilson Give
      $1 Million to SESP

      The power of a college education is an enduring value for Northwestern alumni Steve and Sue Wilson. To increase the opportunity for talented young people to have a superior college education — the kind they’re proud to have had at Northwestern — they made a gift of $1 million to Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools.

    • U.S. News: Humor Is Genetic, According to Claudia Haase's Study
      How you smile or laugh may depend on your genes, a new study says. SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase and her colleagues tested 336 adults and found that those with short versions (alleles) of the 5-HTTLPR gene smiled or laughed more when looking at funny comics or film clips, compared to those with long versions of the gene.

    • Civic Engagement Certificate Students Present Projects
      Students completing SESP’s Civic Engagement Certificate Program in 2015 presented posters about their capstone projects at a reception on June 5. These projects, designed as culminating experiences for second-year students in this two-year program, involve at least 100 hours of community service and a reflective analysis.

    • Senior Honors Students Present Research
      Nine School of Education and Social Policy seniors in the honors program presented posters of their research projects on June 5. Topics ranged from game learning to penal reform, testing and mental health support.

    • Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools Starts 2nd Year
      With a second new cohort of 67 students, Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools is poised to begin a successful second year. A welcome event and a team-building ropes course experience kicked off the summer activities for this SESP program to prepare Chicago high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds for selective colleges and universities.

    • Learning Sciences Faculty Present in Netherlands, Sweden
      Professor Kemi Jona made stops in the Netherlands and Sweden as he presented at international conferences on the impact of science and computer-supported learning. Fellow Learning Sciences faculty members Reed Stevens and Matt Easterday gave presentations at the computer-supported learning conference in Sweden as well.

    • Emma Adam in Huffington Post: 5 Ways Stress Hormones Help
      SESP professor Emma Adam relates five ways that stress hormones such as cortisol help every day. They help people wake up in the morning, sleep at night, face stressful events, optimize cognition and regulate the immune system.

    • Policy Briefing Explores Education in the Digital Age
      The pros and cons of online classes, the gap in young people’s Internet skills, and a dramatic increase in preschool iPad use were a few of the topics broached during the Institute for Policy Research's May 19 briefing on Capitol Hill. Communication studies researchers Ellen Wartella and Eszter Hargittai joined SESP professor David Figlio to discuss technology’s impact in education.

    • Philanthropy Class Donates $100,000 to Charities
      After studying philanthropic giving and researching local charities, students in the SESP Learning Philanthropy class made donations totaling $100,000. Student task forces investigated six areas of philanthropy: education, environment and sustainability, arts and culture, child/youth development, human services and civil rights, and eradicating poverty.

    • Convocation 2015 Honors, Inspires Graduates
      At the Convocation for the School of Education and Social Policy on June 19, undergraduate, master’s and doctoral graduates received diplomas, and awards were presented to faculty and students. Margaret Beale Spencer, a University of Chicago professor who received an honorary Northwestern degree earlier that day, was the featured speaker, along with student speakers Isabel Garcia and Avi Small.

    • Jim Spillane Discusses Distributed Leadership in Singapore, Hong Kong
      Professor James Spillane shared his insights on school leadership with an international audience recently as he addressed education leaders, policy makers, teachers and researchers in Hong Kong and Singapore.

    • Mike Horn Receives Prestigious CAREER Award to Expand Computing
      Assistant professor Michael Horn received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study computational literacy in informal learning environments, through a project called “Blocks, Stickers, and Puzzles.”

  • July 2015 News Stories

    • Dan McAdams’s New Book Depicts Personality Change across Life Span
      In his new book The Art and Science of Personality Development, professor Dan McAdams illuminates how personality evolves throughout a lifetime as individuals develop from infancy through old age. The book integrates the best research in personality and developmental psychology as McAdams offers what has been described as “the first comprehensive theory of personality development to emerge in the 21st century.”

    • Jim Spillane’s New Book Addresses Leaders in Common Core Era
      Professor James Spillane, known for his expertise in education leadership and policy, has a new book on the Common Core State Standards, a hot topic in schools and statehouses across the nation. Challenging Standards can help education leaders to build system capacity and navigate conflict as they implement the standards in schools.

    • Smithsonian Features Liz Gerber for Innovating Design Thinking Program
      In an article about higher education degrees, courses and labs in design and innovation, Smithsonian magazine highlights assistant professor Liz Gerber, who helped establish a design thinking program at Northwestern.

    • White House Report Highlights SESP Research on Disadvantaged Youth
      A report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors highlights findings of associate professors Jonathan Guryan, on reducing crime and dropout, and Diane Schanzenbach on preschool education and income inequality.

    • CTD Educator's Conference on August 20 Explores Math Creativity
      Educators will learn about "Encouraging Mathematical Creativity in a Differentiated Classroom” at a conference on August 20 hosted by Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development. The conference features Eric Mann, a gifted education expert and professor of mathematics at Hope College.

    • Emma Adam, Lindsay Chase-Lansdale Coauthor Study Finding Weight Gain with Fatherhood
      A study of how fatherhood affects health found that a 6-foot-tall man who becomes a dad gains an average of 4.4 pounds. SESP professors Emma Adam and Lindsay Chase-Lansdale coauthored the study with lead author Craig Garfield.

    • Dave Renz (MA67) Retires as Adviser, Teacher, Mentor for MSEd Program
      David Renz (MA67) has been a beloved adviser, teacher and mentor to aspiring teachers at Northwestern for two decades. As he retires in August, alumni and staff paid tribute to an inspiring figure in the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program.

    • Four SESP Graduates Selected as Northwestern Public Interest Fellows
      Four 2015 graduates of the School of Education and Social Policy were selected as fellows for the Northwestern University Public Interest Program (NUPIP). Emily Callahan, Amy Glazier-Torgerson, Alexis Gable and Haley Sonenthal will work with Chicago nonprofit organizations, continuing to pursue interests in public service that they developed during college.

    • Seattle Times Cites SESP Study on Impact of Preschool Math Skills
      According to the Seattle Times, "A groundbreaking study in 2007, done by Northwestern University professor Greg Duncan and others, found that math skills in kindergarten predict third-grade test scores in both reading and math — a surprising result that scientists are still working to understand. But it suggests that a good start in math is key because research also shows that kids who start out behind in the early grades don’t tend to catch up."

    • Dedre Gentner Awarded Rumelhart Prize in Cognitive Science
      Professor Dedre Gentner is the 16th recipient of the David E. Rumelhart Prize, which is considered the most important award in the cognitive science field. The prize is awarded annually to an individual making a significant contemporary contribution to the theoretical foundations of human cognition.

    • Chicago Tribune Quotes Brian Reiser on New Illinois Science Exam
      The new Illinois science exams are based on Next Generation Science Standards that SESP professor Brian Reiser helped to develop on a national committee. The Tribune quotes him as saying, "Nothing is perfect. But there are a lot of things in the Next Generation Science Standards that are a major step forward for us." One of the critical goals of the new standards is to move away from memorizing facts and move toward deep analysis in key areas of science, according to Reiser.

    • Diane Schanzenbach Named Director of Hamilton Project at Brookings Institution
      SESP associate professor Diane Schanzenbach has been appointed director of the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution that focuses on fostering more inclusive growth. Schanzenbach will also join the Economic Studies program as a senior fellow.

  • August 2015 News Stories

    • Carol Lee Honored as Learning Scientist
      The Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) is honoring SESP professor Carol Lee for her contributions as a learning scientist. FABBS is a coalition of scientific societies that advance the sciences of mind, brain and behavior.

    • Graduate Programs Expand Global Initiatives
      SESP graduate programs are expanding their global perspective because of the importance of cross-cultural competencies and the interests of students in an increasingly global world. Both the Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy and the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change programs have new global-focused courses and more global programs and events.

    • SESP Adds New Undergraduate Learning Sciences Major
      The School of Education and Social Policy is adding a new undergraduate major in learning sciences. The new major will prepare students to be leaders in the scientific understanding and practice of designing effective environments for learning.

    • New Weekend Enrichment Classes for Gifted Students
      The Center for Talent Development has launched a new weekend-long enrichment program targeting children who are passionate about math, science and technology. The one- or two-day courses in architecture, optics, animation and nanoscience, called the Accelerated Weekend Experience (AWE), will be held August 15 and 16 on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

    • FABBS Foundation Honors Carol Lee for Contributions to Learning Sciences
      The Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) is honoring Learning Sciences professor Carol Lee. FABBS is a coalition of scientific societies that advance the sciences of mind, brain and behavior.

    • Master of Science in Education Program Holds Last Summer Graduation
      Forty-one graduates of the Master of Science in Education Program received diplomas at the program’s final summer ceremony on August 1. From now on, all graduates will participate in the June convocation held by the School of Education and Social Policy.

    • Lois Trautvetter on WTTW Comments on University of Illinois Controversies
      On WTTW's Chicago Tonight, Lois Trautvetter, director of SESP's Higher Education Administration and Social Policy program, commented on controversies at the University of Illinois. These included the school's being named top party school by Princeton Review and withdrawal of a faculty job offer.

    • Atlantic Features Dan McAdams on Life Stories
      An Atlantic magazine article on the importance of life narratives to personality features the work of SESP professor Dan McAdams.

    • Inside NU Profiles Wildcat Coach Pat Fitzgerald (BS97)
      Despite being the youngest head football coach in the Big Ten, Pat Fitzgerald (MS97) is also the second longest-tenured. Inside NU profiles Fitzgerald, "the one man that hasn't just become the face of Northwestern football nor the brains behind it. He is Northwestern football."

    • Chief Learning Officer Profiles SESP Instructor Aaron Olson (MS98), Aon's Talent Chief
      In "Aon's Strategic Mind," Chief Learning Officer profiles MSLOC instructor and alumnus Aaron Olson. "As a learning leader who developed his skills through a changing organization, Aon’s CLO knows learning can drive business strategy by guiding culture," the article states.

    • New Workshops for Teachers Strengthen STEAM Education
      As a leader in STEM education innovation, the Office of STEM Education Partnerships offered new workshops for K-12 teachers this summer. A new professional development series featured STEAM, which adds the arts to STEM, and workshops in Kentucky to give rural teachers access to remote laboratories.

  • September 2015 News Stories

  • October 2015 News Stories

    • Women in STEM Club Has Impact at Evanston Township High School
      Two years ago Evanston Township High School administrators were concerned about the drop-off in the number of girls enrolling in the most rigorous science courses. In response, Kristen Perkins of SESP, the Northwestern-ETHS partnership coordinator, and an ETHS senior started a club called Women in STEM, which is having an impact on enrollment numbers. “The girls are so enthusiastic,” says Perkins.

    • Alumni Kate McKenzie, Fred Tye Lead Colorado Retreat for SESP Seniors
      In September Kate McKenzie (BS13) and Fred Tye (BS13) led a weeklong retreat for rising SESP seniors to Mission Wolf, a Colorado wolf sanctuary and not-for-profit educational organization. Project Pause offers a break before senior year for students to think about where they are and where they’re heading.

    • Jim Spillane Addresses Singapore Early Childhood Conference
      Professor James Spillane gave the keynote address at the Early Childhood Conference in Singapore. An audience of 2,500 early childhood educators and policy makers heard his talk on "Leading and Managing Human Development Practice."

    • SESP Receives $1M Spencer Award to Expand Computational Literacy in Schools
      The School of Education and Social Policy received a prestigious Lyle Spencer Research Award of $1.1 million to expand computational literacy in schools by teaching skills in required high school science and mathematics courses.

    • SESP Information Technology Staff Share Advances at National TechForum
      SESP Information Technology staff members Alyssa Dyar, Ryan Nix and Matthew Rich are making presentations at a national professional development conference about innovative technology initiatives at SESP. Dyar, Nix and Rich will present at the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) CIO TechForum2015 on October 13 and 14 called "The New World of Higher Ed IT."

    • Miriam Sherin and Co-Authors Receive Publication Award
      The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics awarded professor Miriam Sherin and her co-authors the Linking Research and Practice Outstanding Publication Award for their article “Connecting Research to Teaching: Lenses for Examining Students’ Mathematical Thinking.” Sherin’s co-authors and fellow awardees are Katherine Linsenmeier (MS05), Janet Walkoe (PhD13) and Martha Mulligan.

    • Alumni Meet with Undergraduates for Annual Career Event
      For the annual Alumni Career Luncheon, 12 accomplished SESP alumni are meeting with undergraduates to share ideas about career paths. Alumni participants in the special career event are Joanna Cohen (BS06), Leah Templeton Engelhardt (BS65), Barry Goldberg (BS05), Andrew Green (BS15), Jan Hall (BS75), Keith Lewis (BS85), Carolyn Ludwig (BS60), Julianne Piotrowski Nery (BS95), Sarah Rosenbaum (BS10), Joe Ruklick (BS59), Marilyn Ruschhaupt (BS65) and Melanie Taylor Williams (BS75).

    • Fox News Features Jon Guryan's Research Showing Benefits of Intensive Tutoring
      Fox News quotes associate professor Jonathan Guryan on the benefits of a high-intensity tutoring program in Chicago Public Schools. Intense tutoring enabled 9th and 10th graders at risk of dropping out to learn two to three years’ worth of math in one year.

    • Brian Reiser Keynotes Illinois Science Education Conference
      Professor Brian Reiser will deliver the keynote address for the 2015 Illinois Science Education Conference on October 23, along with two Illinois teachers who collaborate with him on research. Their presentation to science educators will support implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.

    • La Presse Features Emma Adam's Research on Discrimination Stress
      The Canadian newspaper La Presse features professor Emma Adam's study showing discrimination stress has a cumulative effect on health over time. The discrimination has a greater long-term impact when it occurs during adolescence.

    • Field Hockey Standout Dominique Masters 'Coaches for College' in Vietnam
      Northwestern field hockey standout and SESP junior Dominique Masters went to Vietnam to participate in Coach for College, a service learning program to teach academics, sports and life skills at summer camps for children in rural Vietnam.

    • New York Times: David Figlio Finds Disadvantaged Start Hurts Boys More Than Girls
      The New York Times reports new findings by SESP professor David Figlio and his colleagues that a disadvantaged start hurts boys more than girls. Family disadvantage takes more of a toll on boys than on their sisters.

    • Football Co-Captain Christian Jones Plans to Give Back to High School
      Football co-captain and learning and organizational change graduate Christian Jones is planning a program for his Texas high school similar to NU for Life. This unique program is designed to equip athletes with the resources to excel professionally upon completion of their athletic careers.

    • Brian Reiser Gives Keynote at National Climate Education Forum
      Professor Brian Reiser is a keynote speaker at the Forum on Digital Media for STEM Learning: Climate Education on November 9. Reiser will give a keynote presentation on “Climate Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.”

    • SESP Fulbright Fellows in Vietnam, France, South Africa, Germany
      See the map of Northwestern Fulbright Fellows, including Izora Baltys in South Africa, Brenna Ledvora in German, Rabeya Mallick in France and Karen Wilber in Vietnam. All are teaching and pursuing other projects as they represent the U.S.

    • Unpacking the Narrative of Poverty in Education Reporting
      At an October 22 Education Writers Association seminar on the influence of poverty on education, professors Emma Adam, David Figlio, Kirabo Jackson, Jon Guryan and Jim Spillane discussed their research findings for the panel “Covering Poverty's Influence on Education.”

  • November 2015 News Stories

    • New Report on Chicago Principal Retention Lauds Northwestern’s Fellowship Program
      A new report on principal retention by the Chicago Public Education Fund addresses the challenge of retaining Chicago’s top principals. The report, based on a survey of 423 principals, cites Northwestern’s Chicago Principals Fellowship as the kind of opportunity that principals want for learning and support.

    • Why Are Boys Falling Behind?
      Boys, especially African-American boys, are falling behind -- both behaviorally and educationally -- according to new research by SESP professor David Figlio. Young males, it appears, are extra sensitive to disadvantage.

    • CTD Receives $1.2M Grant for Gifted Education for Disadvantaged Kids
      Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development has been awarded a prestigious $1.2 million Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will help the School of Education and Social Policy's center identify gifted and academically advanced students from economically disadvantaged families.

    • SESP Co-Sponsors Talk by Dale Russakoff, Author of The Prize
      In the highly acclaimed book The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?, former Washington Post reporter Dale Russakoff tells the eye-opening story of what happened when the schools of Newark, New Jersey, received a $100 million gift. Russakoff will give a special lecture at Northwestern on December 1, co-sponsored by SESP.

    • Crain's Chicago Business: How to Create the Next Generation of Coders
      A profile in Crain's Chicago Business tells how SESP assistant professor Mike Horn is working to get kids interested in coding. His research aims to inspire computer literacy in places other than school, "to get kids as young as kindergartners—particularly girls and minority groups—into coding as much as video and games."

    • Diane Schanzenbach on WBEZ: 'School Lunch Policy Needs Improvement'
      National public radio station WBEZ interviews SESP professor Diane Schanzenbach on the federal school lunch policy that subsidizes lunch but not just milk. “The incentives here are certainly for kids to take what’s free and then wastefully dispose of it,” she continued, “so it seems like there’s room for a policy improvement.”

    • SESP Senior Swim Captain Van Donkersgoed's New Life in the Sport
      An article for SwimSwan tells why SESP senior swim captain Van Donkersgoed traded in his role as senior captain for student assistant coach.

    • Bart Hirsch’s New Book Addresses Job Skills for Minority Youth
      How can we best help minority young people to develop marketable job skills? Professor Barton Hirsch’s new book, Job Skills and Minority Youth, provides new understanding of the best approaches for hiring success. A mock job interview designed by human resources professionals is a practical tool provided in the book.

    • Local Jewelry Designer Creates FUSE Challenge
      Evanston jewelry designer Christopher Duquet worked with SESP’s FUSE program to create a jewelry design challenge. The FUSE program features a series of challenges designed to get students excited about science, technology, engineering, arts/design and mathematics (STEAM).

    • The Economist: Jon Guryan Finds Educated Parents Spend More Time with Kids
      An article in The Economist on trends in marriage and having children cites SESP associate professor Jon Guryan's research showing that well-educated parents spend more time with their children than their less-educated peers. In fact, fathers with a job and a college degree spend more than double the time of less-educated men.

  • December 2015 News Stories