SESP Community Honored by ASG

SESP Community Honored by ASG

Susan_CaitlinSusan Olson (left), Caitlin Burnett

Six members of the School of Education and Social Policy community, including SESP Dean David Figlio, were selected to the 2018-19 Associated Student Government (ASG) Faculty and Administrator Honor Roll.

The ASG collected nominations from nearly 200 members of Northwestern’s student body during the last school year. In addition to Figlio, administrators Susan Olson, Caitlin Burnett, Jeannette Colyvas, Shirin Vossoughi, and Jerome Stermer were recognized for their dedication and care for students.


Caitlin Burnett received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and her master’s in higher education administration and policy at SESP. She is an adviser for the undergraduate Learning Sciences and Learning & Organizational Change programs.

Dean David Figlio is an education economist who researches a wide range of education and health policy issues. Figlio hosts regular “dine with the dean” dinners for students and is a regular participant in the Dance Marathon fundraiser. He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Susan Olson, assistant dean for student affairs and coordinator for the Seniors Honors Program, received her master’s in college student personnel from the University of Maryland. Olson also is the adviser to students in the Human Development & Psychological Services concentration.


Jeannette Colyvas, associate professor in human development and social policy and associate professor of learning sciences, was voted SESP’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. Colyvas, who held a meeting with students via Skype when she had pneumonia, was described by them as “extremely dedicated.” She was nominated for her work in Learning and Organization Change 311: Tools for Organizational Analysis. Colyvas received her doctorate in sociology from Stanford University.

Shirin Vossoughi, assistant professor of learning sciences, was nominated for her efforts fighting “for equity both in and outside of the learning space” and for helping her students become better global citizens, according to the nomination. The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Vossoughi is personally invested in the design and study of educational settings for youth from migrant, immigrant, and diasporic backgrounds. She has also designed and taught university-level courses on culture, learning, ethnography, and social theory. Vossoughi received her doctorate in education from the University of California at Los Angeles,

Jerome Stermer is a longtime adjunct instructor who was president of Voices for Illinois Children, a child advocacy organization, for 22 years. He worked as a chief of staff and senior advisor for former Illinois governor Pat Quinn and was acting director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget. Stermer was nominated for his work in Social Policy 351: Reforming State Governments. He received his master’s in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 11/28/18