The Penn GSE Magazine

Spring 2020 Alumni Notes

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Peggy Baker, CW’71, GED’75, is busy spending time with family, including her grandchildren, and traveling.

Barbara P. Barnett, GED’71, recently screened two of her French-language documentaries about France under the German occupation: Lucie Aubrac Lumière Rayonnante de la Resistance and Lustiger, Le Cardinal Juif. Attendees were retired French teachers and members of the American Association of Teachers of French.

Alice Korngold, CW’74, GED’77, is an author, professor, entrepreneur, and consultant. Her firm, Korngold Consulting LLC, assists multinational corporations in building nonprofit board training and advancing sustainability, diversity, and inclusion.

Susan Marcus, CW’71, GED’73, recently retired and moved to Israel, where she is a part-time English teacher at a diverse public school in Tel Aviv. She has spoken twice to Birthright Israel groups from Penn.

Irving Pressley McPhail, GRD’76, coauthored Success Factors for Minorities in Engineering (Routledge, 2019). Based on a study funded by the National Science Foundation, the book isolates success factors for underrepresented minorities in undergraduate engineering programs.

Penn Affiliations

At Penn, all alumni have an affilia­tion, or series of letters and numbers, following their name to indicate their degree, school, and year of graduation. A master’s degree from GSE is represented as GED and an education doctorate as GRD. A philosophy doctorate from any school at Penn is represented as GR. An undergraduate degree offered by the School of Education until 1961 is represented as ED. The two numbers following the letters represent the year in which that degree was completed.


David Basile, GED’85, principal of Pine Ridge Middle School in Pine Ridge, SC, was named 2020 Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children.

Pratiti Basu-Sarkar, GED’88, works in Kolkata, India, at an art gallery and the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP). At IICP, she helps young adults with disabilities develop animation techniques, fostering storytelling and potential career opportunities for these students.

Marylyn Calabrese, G’63, GR’87, a writing specialist, serves as a sounding board to a variety of learners as they prepare essays and personal statements for applications to college, graduate school, and other endeavors.

Margaret Mulqueen, GED’78, GR’84, runs a private psychotherapy practice and has recently published essays in NBC News THINK, Psychotherapy Networker, and

Mona Weissmark, GR’86, was featured on NPR’s Science Distilled podcast to discuss the importance of examining diversity through a scientific lens, the topic of her upcoming book, The Science of Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Shelley B. Wepner, GED’73, GRD’80, cowrote Entrepreneurial Leadership: Strategies for Creating and Sustaining Partnerships for K–12 Schools (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020) with Diane W. Gómez.


Paul T. Bole, GED’95, was advanced to chair of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the University of New Orleans, effective July 1, 2019.

Barbara Caruso, GR’93, created an educational seminar, “Understanding the Impact of Suicide: A Survivor’s Story,” for businesses and educational groups. It explores multiple facets of suicide from the mind of a person who faced a near-death experience.

Kimberly Y. Erwin, GED’99, an entrepreneur, journalist, and educator, has written a children’s book, There’s Only One RACE—the HUMAN One, Says Me! (InterCultural Books, February 2020). She runs a media company in Hudson, NY, that seeks to help diverse voices.

Linda McKenna Gulyn, GED’86, GR’91, cowrote “Exploring Perceptions of Blame for Autism Spectrum Disorder” (Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 2018, Volume 30, Issue 2). She completed her twenty-fifth year as a professor of psychology at Marymount University.

Kathleen Marie Pierce, GR’94, was awarded the 2019-2020 Distinguished Teaching Award from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, where she is a faculty member.

Scott Riotto, C’90, GED’91, is completing his twenty-ninth year as a classroom history teacher. He teaches at a public high school in Morris County, NJ, and has been an adjunct professor at a college in the county for eighteen years.

Daniel Simpson, G’96, GED’97, is a lyricist, author, and recipient of a Fellow­ship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He coedited More Challenges for the Delusional: Peter Murphy’s Prompts and the Writing They Inspired (Diode Editions, 2018) with his wife, Ona Gritz.

Diane Wynne, GED’95, was promoted to clinical counselor at New Hope Treat­ment Center in Rock Hill, SC, a psychi­atric residential treatment facility where she works with teenage boys.


Five people at an event stand together, smiling

Sara Allender, GED’04, was named senior technical assistance advisor for the U.S. Department of Education’s National Charter School Resource Center. She collaborates to provide technical assistance to federal charter school program grantees and other entities.

Melissa Brogdon, GED’09, has launched a consultancy, Campbell Impact, focused on fundraising solu­tions for mission-driven organizations, and authored an article about ethics in fundraising in the October 2019 Issue of AFP Global.

Deangela Burns-Wallace, GRD’09, was sworn in as Secretary of Administration for the State of Kansas and is the first African American to serve in this role. She was also appointed chief informa­tion technology officer for the Kansas Executive Branch.

Ashaki O. Charles, GED’09, is associate vice president of development at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, where she leads the major and leadership gifts team for the professional schools.

Debbi Clarke, GRD’00, coauthored The Insider’s Guide to Working with Universities: Practical Insights for Board Members, Businesspeople, Entrepre­neurs, Philanthropists, Alumni, Parents, and Administrators (University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

Theodore Cross, GED’09, WEV’09, has joined Western Governors University as associate dean of graduate programs in the College of Business, where he over­sees four degree programs and more than eleven thousand students. He aims to help scale affordable higher educa­tion via online modalities.

Malik Edwards, GR’06, was promoted to professor and appointed associate dean of academic affairs at North Caro­lina Central University School of Law.

Jennifer Glynn, GED’97, GR’03, has been director of research at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for ten years. Her recent research shows that students transferring to four-year institutions from community colleges are more likely to graduate than those entering from high school.

Michael Hoober, GED’09, and C. Eric Bondy, GED’18, have established Connect Counseling, a mental health counseling firm in Lancaster, PA. They strive to provide applied developmental and eco-systemic strategies that reflect their studies at Penn GSE.

Francis M. Hult, GR’07, has been appointed professor in the Depart­ment of Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. There he directs the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages graduate program, now celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Siobhan McVay, GED’03, a science teacher at Delran High School in Delran, NJ, was named New Jersey’s 2017 science teacher recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Gregory Mena, GED’00, was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, CA.

Perry Monastero, GED’97, GRD’05, started RPM Consulting Group to help a variety of organizations realize goals for capacity building and philanthropic ventures. He reports that he has been well served by the intellectual discipline, research and analysis skills, and history of education he learned at Penn GSE.

Bradley W. Moore, C0’1, GR’04, GED’05, was elected in November to a four-year term as a school director in the Radnor Township School District of Pennsylvania. An attorney for most of his career, he previously taught in Philadelphia through Teach for America.

Two people at an alumni event looking at the camera, one in a Penn sweatshirt and the other with a colorful scarf

Sharon Ravitch, GR’00, was named a Fulbright Specialist to work with Dr. BMN College of Home Science in Mumbai, India, on pluralism, equity, identity, and agency development with first-generation minoritized women.

Oswald Richards, GR’01, was promoted to professor and associate dean of faculty at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.

Monica Rowley, GED’06, teaches English and AP Research at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City and has consulted for the College Board. A member of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network and Saint Joseph’s College Teacher Education Advisory Board, she is at work on a novel.

Karen Sibley, GRD'03, vice president for strategic initiatives at Brown University, is working with colleagues in government, industry, and higher education to engage in the innovation economy and support economic development for Providence and the State of Rhode Island.

Devon Skerritt, GED’05, is deputy director of design research at Southern New Hampshire University’s Innovation Center. Previously he completed his Ed.D. and jumped into design thinking and innovation at Southern Methodist University.

Tian Song, GED’09, was selected as a member leader for the Education Abroad Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, effective January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021.

MaryBeth Curtiss Spencer, GED’06, teaches middle school and is the K–12 social-emotional learning specialist at Woodlynde School, an independent school near Philadelphia for students with learning disabilities. She works with the Penn Literacy Network to train teachers in learning disability literacy.

Alison Teaford, GED’03, has taught in Philadelphia for seventeen years while raising her son as a single mother. Her son plans to enter college in the fall to study fashion design after graduating from Harriton High School.

Jordan Tegtmeyer, GED’08, was promoted to director of operations for the Center of Career Development at Princeton University.

Karen Weaver, GRD’09, covers the intersection of college sports and higher education as a contributor to She recently launched the podcast Trustees and Presidents: Managing Intercollegiate Athletics.


Laura Bradley, GED’18, is a research specialist in the Waisman Center Motor and Brain Development Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She coordinates a study investigating autism in young children and its impact on their daily living skills. 

Thomas Bullock, GRD’10, recently married his longtime partner, Edwin Flores, and was named dean of adult education for Savannah Technical College. The college’s adult education program is the third largest in the state of Georgia.

Carolyn Chernoff, GED’03, GR’13, coedited Contested Spaces of Teaching and Learning: Practitioner Ethnographies of Adult Education in the United States (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019), with Janise Hurtig.

Yeonhee Cho, GED’19, is pursuing his Ph.D. in information science technology at the University of Washington. He appreciates his Penn GSE education, particularly the opportunity to pursue an internship related to immersive technology.

Kendrick Davis, GEN’14, ML’17, GR’18, is vice president of policy research with The Campaign for College Opportunity in Los Angeles, CA. He was previously an education policy advisor for U.S. Senator Kamala Harris as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow for 2018-2019.

Alexander De Arana, GED’17, worked with the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia and the Yale National Initiative to create and publish high school social studies units, which he presented at the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies and the Celebration of Writing and Literacy at Penn GSE.

Ian Deas, GED’17, was promoted to assistant dean and director of student leadership and engagement at Princeton University.

Stephanie Fazio, GED’11, a fantasy author published by Syafant Press, is launching two new fantasy series this year: The Fount and Opal Contagion.

Sarah Fears, GED’18, began a position as assistant director of student philanthropy at Penn. She manages the Seniors for The Penn Fund campaign and committee, partners with Penn Traditions and other campus allies, and strives to inform the undergraduate student body about giving back.

Forough Ghahramani, GRD’16, co- authored a chapter of Gender, Science, and Innovation (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020) that explores challenges facing women scientists in academia and develops effective strategies to improve gender equality.

Esther Glasgow, GED’18, works at READ 718, a literacy nonprofit in Brooklyn, NY, that provides volunteer tutors to low-income students reading below grade level. She is grateful to Penn GSE for preparing her to navigate community engagement and parent advocacy.

Margaret Hadinger, GRD’14, was appointed designated institutional official and director of graduate medical education and student programs for Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA. She oversees the health network’s medical/dental residency and fellowship programs.

Hollie Hartford-Karaban, GED’95, GED’15, founded Academy for Innovation in Education (AIE), a venture she developed in Penn GSE’s Education Entrepreneurship program. AIE plans to launch programs in entrepreneurship, STEAM, and other subjects in New Jersey this summer.

Randy Hayward, GRD’11, is director and curator of the Traveling Black History Museum, which he founded in 2019. The museum educates students of all ages about Black history from the antebellum period to today.

Paul Hermans, GED’15, became director of the STEAM department for preK–12 at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA. He enjoys combining his background as an engineer with his work as an educator.

Kalyn Higgins, GED’14, is acting chair of the Reading and Writing Department at an independent school in Manhattan, NY. She supports students in grades six through ten as a one-on-one learning specialist and teaches sixth grade reading fundamentals.

Erica Hildebrand, GED’13, was selected by the U.S. Department of State for a ten-month fellowship project to train teachers and teach English in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is one of only two hundred U.S. citizens selected for the 2019-2020 English Language Fellow Program.

Sean Homsher, GED’10, opened Blue Bell Mental Health, a private practice in Blue Bell, PA, that offers counseling in a variety of areas, including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, grief and loss, end of life, sports and artistic performance, and LGBTQIA, and practices jointly with Blue Bell Equine Assisted Therapy.

Abraham Kou, GED’15, GED’16, is providing counseling for substance abuse and trauma as lead clinician at Thriveworks. He also offers affordable supervision for aspiring professional counselors seeking licensure.

Mark Bai Li, GED’14, is pursuing his Ph.D. in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. His research examines the learning of Manchu, a critically endangered language in China.

Xiaorui Li, GED’13, is a Ph.D. candidate in second language studies at Purdue University. She plans to graduate in May 2020.

William Liu, GED’11, is science department chair at Memorial High School in San Antonio, TX. He is proud of his students’ success and to have carried his team into the decade with new technology and strategies for learning.

A man and a woman are both smiling and wearing winter coats

Weiran Ma, GED’13, is a user experience designer and researcher at Green-Path Financial Wellness. He lives with his wife, Xiaorui Li, GED’13, one-year old daughter Charlotte, and Ollie the border collie in West Lafayette, IN.

Anita Mastroieni, GGS’99, GRD’10, has been appointed associate vice provost for graduate education at Penn.

Julia McWilliams, GED’11, GR’17, is author of Compete or Close: Traditional Neighborhood Schools Under Pressure (Harvard Education Press, 2019).

Carolanne Mitchell, GED’11, is intake and assessment coordinator at Center for Literacy, where she has taken a lead role in helping adult learners enroll in ESL, adult basic education, and other classes. She bought a house in West Philadelphia with her husband.

NaTosha H. Murry, GED’15, began a position as senior program manager for the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity in Detroit, MI. She manages online programs and operations for faculty programs.

Deborah Olusa, GRD’14, was recognized at the United Nations as a Top 100 Human Rights Defender by The International Human Rights Commission for her Sub-Sahara Africa: Breast Cancer model. The model leverages big data while building emerging economies.

Jasmine Phillips, GED’17, was selected by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of State to participate in a program in Belize to educate students about multi-culturalism, civic activism, social justice, and volunteerism.

Amber Ravenscroft, GED’19, is manager of innovation at The EdVenture Group Inc. In this role, she is author and manager of entrepreneurship programs that received two federal awards from the Appalachian Regional Commission and will reach an anticipated 20,000 rural students in eight states.

Callista Regis, GED’17, is currently a Ph.D. student at Cambridge University. Her research is based on meaning- making using a range of multi-modal texts.

Ian Riccaboni, GED’10, is in his fourth year as host of the internationally syndicated Ring of Honor Wrestling, a role that has brought him to a sold-out Madison Square Garden and on tours of Europe. He is also an adjunct professor at Holy Family University.

Lior Schenk, GED’18, a teacher at Pittsburgh Environmental Charter School, was selected for Project Drawdown at Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance. He collaborates to shift youth mindset on climate solutions from that of defeatism to one of empowerment and action.

Colorful block puzzles with the words Penn GSE and the Penn shield on them are sitting on a table

Namreen Syed, GED’19, appeared alongside UNESCO’s assistant director-general for education on high-level panels in Paris, France, for World Teachers’ Day and the launch of the Global Framework for Professional Teaching Standards. She was mentioned in the acknowledgments of UNESCO’s book Humanistic Futures of Learning: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks (2020).

Navin Valrani, W’93, GED’18, is CEO of Arcadia Education, which launched the Arcadia Global School in February as the third school under the Arcadia umbrella in Dubai, United Emirates. Expected to open in August 2021, the school will be centered around the classrooms of the future and cater to over 4,200 students at an affordable price.

Matt vandenBerg, GRD’19, vice president for advancement and external relations at Alma College, received the 2019 John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in recognition of his doctoral dissertation.

Huabing Wang, GED’14, a counselor at Ivy Labs Education, writes, “The beauty of being an educator is having the privilege to closely observe and perceive the subtleties in humanity, and earning the chance to better them, bit by bit.”

Xiaonan Wei, GED’19, is an analyst at a pharmaceutical consulting company and also works with international students to help them achieve academic and career goals. She appreciates how her Penn GSE education enables her to embrace opportunities.

Yohana Wijaya, GED’19, is developing a literacy initiative for grades one through five at the Calvin Christian School in Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as a curriculum for potential kindergarten classes. She considers her studies at Penn GSE a blessing.

Xinye Zhang, GED’15, is studying sociolinguistics, heritage language, language variation, and language acquisition as a Ph.D. student in the Linguistics Department at the University of California, Davis. She is grateful for her Penn GSE education.

Submissions have been edited due to space constraints and magazine style guidelines.