ECS Master's Students, Current and Recent

Jimil Ataman

B.A. in Anthropology & History, Lehigh University (2014)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (Expected Completion: 2018)
 Hometown: Eagle, Idaho
Professional Goals: Community advocacy and organizing, Educational Research and Doctoral Study
Key Interests: Ethnographic or Qualitative Research, Higher Education, School and Society

My areas of interest include student identity development, student activism and protest in higher education spaces, the accessibility of academia, intersectionality, and qualitative methods.

Jenny Bae

B.A. in Sociology, University of Pennsylvania (2014)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (2017)
 Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional Goals: Higher Education, Educational Policy Work, Educational Reasearch and Doctoral Study
Key Interests: Higher Education, School and Society, Ethnographic or Qualitative Research

Courtney Brown

B.A. in Sociology, Dartmouth College (2013)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society, Community Action and Social Change Concentration (2017)
 Hometown: Springfield, Virginia
Professional Goals: Higher Education, Educational Nonprofit Leadership, College Access and Postsecondary Success
Key Interests: Higher Education, K-12 Education, Educational Leadership, Race and Equity

I am interested in college access and post-secondary success for urban students, particularly those from first-generation and low-income backgrounds. More broadly, I am interested in how the schooling system can be improved to better meet the needs of students of color and closing the achievement and opportunity gaps.

Sarah Simi Cohen

B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, Suffolk University (2017)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (Expected Completion: 2018)
 Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Professional Goals: Teacher Training, Pedagogy and Curriculum Design; Community Advocacy and Organizing; Educational Non-Profit Leadership; Educational Policy Work; Educational Research and Doctoral Study.
Key Interests: Higher Education, Educational Leadership, School and Society, Race and Equity

My studies are centered in how next-generation, low-income, queer students are either supported or not supported holistically in higher education. I am focusing on importance of the use of queer theory in curriculum and classroom, intersections of race, class, sex, gender, ability, while drawing on social reproduction theories to understand how policy is implemented in higher education. I also look at retention rates of underrepresented students, and the access to and opportunity they have for specific resources.

Steven Couppas 

B.A. in Political Science, University of Pennsylvania (2016)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (2017)
 Hometown: Sellersville, Pennsylvania
Professional Goals: Educational nonprofit leadership, Higher Education
Key Interests: Curriculum and Instruction, Higher Education, Language and Literacy, School and Society

I am interested in exploring how digital literacy education in America's postsecondary, first-year composition courses impacts students' attitudes and behaviors toward civic engagement. In this society, the increasingly seamless integration of students' digital experiences into their notions of citizenship and civic engagement requires an educational response in higher education that addresses digital literacy. I hope to contribute to this response by applying what I learn from ECS to university civic education projects.

Maeve Flynn

BA in International Relations, Ursinus College (2014)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (Expected Completion: 2018)
 Hometown: Chester, Connecticut
Professional Goals: Higher Education, International education
Key Interests: Ethnographic or Qualitative Research, Higher Education, Language and Literacy, Global and International Education

I would like to look more into the topic of study abroad and the reasons behind students' choices to do so. Additionally, factors that influence this choice as well as program availability in a variety of countries.

Marisa Gonzalez

B.S. in Community and Non-Profit Leadership, University of Wisconsin, Madison (2017)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (Expected Completion: 2018)
 Hometown: Trenton, NJ
Professional Goals: Community Advocacy and Organzing; Educational Non-Profit Leadership; Educational Policy Work.
Key Interests: Educational Leadership; School and Society; Ethnographic and Qualitative Inquiry; Race and Equity

I am interested in the relationship between housing policy and access to equitable education, particularly for low-income students and students of color. I hope to work in a nonprofit organization or government agency that seeks to inform policy and practice in these areas.

Brittany Horn

B.A. in Journalism, Pennsylvania State University (2014)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society, Community Action and Social Change Concentration (Expected Completion: 2018)
 Hometown: Strasburg, Pennsylvania
Professional Goals: Educational journalism.
Key Interests: K-12 Education; School and Society; Psychology and Human Development; Race and Equity

After spending nearly four years reporting on crime, education and breaking news, I'm very interested in the intersections of school with the criminal justice system, poverty, addiction and violence. Specifically, I'm focusing my master's paper on how community violence impacts a school's ability to educate a child and, visa versa - a child's ability to learn. With those goals in mind, I'm eager to expand my knowledge about how the education system interacts with other systems and what success looks like in communities struggling most.

Jieun Lee

B.A. in Elementary Education, Seoul National University (2013)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (2017)
 Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional Goals: Teaching and Instruction, Teacher Training, Pedagogy and Curriculum Design. 
Key Interests: K-12 Education, Teaching, Global and International Education

I am interested in educational inequality, comparative education, and teacher education. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the most equal learning environment possible for students by analyzing and comparing educational systems.

Thomas Leischner

B.A. in History, Goshen College (2010)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (Expected Completion: 2018)
Hometown: Luray, Virginia
Professional Goals: Teaching and Instruction, Educational nonprofit leadership
Key Interests: Race and Equity, K-12 Education, School and Society

My areas of interest include power and activism within educational organizations as well as the use of ethnographic collections in consciousness-raising and identity-formation.  I am further driven to better understand who has control of, and access to, those collections.

Jen Loughnane

Leadership Studies in Leadership Studies; History, University of Richmond (2011)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (Expected Completion: 2018)
 Hometown: Richboro, Pennsylvania
Professional Goals: Teaching and Instruction,Teacher training, pedagogy and curriculum design, Educational nonprofit leadership, Higher Education, International education
Key Interests: Curriculum and Instruction, Teaching, Global and International Education

Sarah Murphy

B.A. in History and Secondary Education, Goucher College (2015)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (2017)
 Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut
Professional Goals: Teacher training, pedagogy and curriculum design, Community advocacy and organizing, Educational nonprofit leadership, Educational Policy Work
Key Interests: Curriculum and Instruction, Psychology and Human Development, Race and Equity, K-12 Education, School and Society

I want to develop a deeper, more comprehensive knowledge of education policy and curriculum development and, more specifically, how these areas influence the social and political development of students. I'm also interested in the different ways the education system shapes students' prejudices and perceptions of the world around them.

Kim-Jamy Nguyen

BA in History, Government + Asian American studies (minor), University of Texas at Austin (2012)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society, Community Action and Social Change Concentration (2017)
 Hometown: Houston, Texas
Professional Goals: Other, Community advocacy and organizing, Educational nonprofit leadership, Educational Policy Work, Educational Research and Doctoral Study
Key Interests: Race and Equity, Educational Leadership, School and Society

I would like to explore how we can better support the Asian American/Pacific Islander population in education – with a particular emphasis with the ways that programs be better tailored to fit the population that they are serving.  I am driven by questions such as: How can education be culturally in-tune with the populations that they are serving? How can we uplift communities that have typically been underserved?

Alana Peck

B.A. in Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison (2013)
B.A.in Latin American, Caribbeab, and Iberian Studies (2013)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society, Dual Degree Prorgram with Social Work (Expected Completion: 2019)
 Hometown: Altoona, Wisconsin
Professional Goals: Teacher Training, Pedagogy and Curriculum; Educational Non-Profit Leadership; Educational Policy Work; Macro-Practice Social Work
Key Interests: Curriculum and Instruction; K-12 Education; School and Society; Ethnographic and Qualitative Research

I'm interested in exploring how public schools can be transformed into more welcoming spaces for all students to grow, learn, and find academic success. I'm also looking forward to deepening my understanding of how trauma informed care and restorative justice principles can be integrated into school systems in a meaningful way. Long term, I'm hoping my MSW will provide me with a unique perspective and set of skills to address these issues.

Monique Y. Perry

B.A. in English, University of Michigan
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (2017)
 Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Professional Goals: Teaching and Instruction, Teacher Training, Pedagogy and Curriculum Design, Community Advocacy and Organizing, Educational Policy Work, Educational Research and Doctoral Study
Key Interests: K-12 Education, Curriculum and Instruction, School and Society, Ethnographic or Qualitative Research, Race and Equity

My areas of interest include gender, sexuality, critical pedagogy, mixed methodology, and intersectionality. I hope to expand the research specifically surrounding school climate, child welfare, interpersonal violence, intimate partner violence, family structure, and adolescent relationship violence. My intention is to expand this area of research while also building relationships with community organizations, local schools, and academia.

Herbert Phillips

B.A. in Sociology, New York University (2015)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (Expected Completion: 2018)
 Hometown: New York
Professional Goals: Teaching and Instruction, Community advocacy and organizing, Educational nonprofit leadership, Higher Education, Educational Research and Doctoral Study
Key Interests: Ethnographic or Qualitative Research, Race and Equity, Higher Education, School and Society

Matriculating as a student at the Graduate School of Education at The University of Pennsylvania has positioned me to investigate my passions, which include examining higher education access for African American students, cultural inclusion and culture development within highly selective post-secondary institutions. Upon graduation, I hope to apply these foundational tenets, learned from my major: Education, Culture and Society, and further my study at the doctoral level in the form of research and instruction.

Debbie Teo

BA in English, Loughborough University, UK (2010)
PGDE in Education (Secondary), National Institute of Education, Singapore (2011)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (2017)
 Hometown: Singapore
Professional Goals: Teaching and Instruction, School leadership, International education
Key Interests: Ethnographic or Qualitative Research, Race and Equity, Global and International Education, School and Society

My interests lie in values education, which includes but is not limited to moral or character education, civics education and sex education. I am exceptionally passionate about how values education in public schools nurture openness and inclusivity as well as cultivate social activism in young people.

Albany Vega

B.A. in Comparative Literature, UCLA (2016)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society (2018)
 Hometown: Modesto, California
Professional Goals: Higher Education; Educational Non-Profit Leadership
Key Interests: K-12 Education; Higher Education; Educational Leadership; School and Society

I am interested in developing college access policies and programming for first generation, low-income and underrepresented students in underresourced communities.

Alice Wang

B.A. in Art History, Bowdoin College (2015)
M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society, Dual Degree Prorgram with Social Work (Expected Completion: 2019)
 Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Professional Goals: School Leadership; Educational Non-Profit Leadership; Higher Education; School Social Work; Educational Research and Doctoral Study
Key Interests: K-12 Education; Higher Education; School and Society; Pscyhology and Human Development; Race and Equity.

I am interested in the ways in which education is sold, both to students individually and to society at large, as a tool to repair or lessen social inequalities. At the same time, schools often end up replicating those same social inequalities they claim to fix. With a historical and philosophical foundation, I hope to think about the lived experiences of students and learn how to best support them as they navigate these challenges.