SESP Welcomes First Early Career Visiting Scholars

SESP Welcomes First Early Career Visiting Scholars

Sofia_Bahena_Cecelia_MoralesScholars Sofia Bahena (l) and Camila Morales will be joining SESP in the fall.Scholars Sofia Bahena and Camila Morales have been named the inaugural early career visiting fellows at Northwestern University's Center for Education Efficacy, Excellence, and Equity (E4) during the 2022-23 academic year.

Bahena, assistant professor of education at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Morales, assistant professor of economics at the University of Texas at Dallas, will be conducting K-12 education research as part of E4’s Early Career Visiting Fellows Program.

“They both stood out in a competitive pool for their commitment to research on pathways to success for underserved and historically marginalized student populations,” said Paul Goren, director of E4.

Bahena focuses on K-12 education policy, college access, program evaluation, and community-school relationships. She also has experience working with English/Spanish bilingual communities and communicating research to policymakers and families.

She is currently an early career reviewer for the William T. Grant Foundation, where she reads and evaluates grant proposals on studying the use of research evidence. A product of the San Antonio Independent School district, Bahena received her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio and her doctorate from Harvard University.

“I look forward to collaborating with E4 to explore the relationship between math and college-readiness,” Bahena said.

Morales is a labor economist who studies the impact of immigration policies on employment opportunities for young adults. She also researches the efficacy of school-level programs and peer interactions on the academic achievement of immigrants/refugees and English language learners.

Her scholarship has been recognized by the American Society for Hispanic Economists and the Association for Education Finance and Policy for its promising contribution on topics addressing issues of relevance to the Latino community and education policy. Morales received her doctorate and bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University.

Housed at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), the E4 Center was created through an innovative partnership with Curriculum Associates, a leading provider of digital assessment and instructional materials. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is advised by practitioners from several urban public-school districts.

The visiting scholars will research a range of issues facing underrepresented students, including children of color, non-native English speakers, or students whose families live in poverty.

“Bahena and Morales will be a critical part of E4’s mission to uncover how students learn and how to best support the students who struggle,” said Dan P. McAdams, SESP interim dean.

E4 is part of the School of Education and Social Policy’s commitment to generate rigorous evidence to improve K-12 education. E4 will address the inequities built into education systems by leveraging the speed at which digital platforms generate high quality data. The partnership combines the expertise of an established education tech company -- Curriculum Associates -- serving over 11 million students with one of the world’s leading institutions of education research and teaching and its school district partners.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 5/28/22