AEFP 44th Annual Conference

Building the Connections Between Research and Policy

Kansas City Marriott Downtown - Kansas City, Missouri
March 21-23, 2019

AEFP 44th Annual Conference - Candidates for Board of Directors

President Elect

Patrice Iatarola is an Associate Professor of Education Policy and Evaluation in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University.  A member of AEFP since 1997, she has served on the AEFP Board (2006-2009) and was a recipient of the Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation award (2003). In her research has explored how district, state and federal policies and incentives have shaped school and student outcomes and how they may exacerbate or alleviate inequities.  Her research has been published in leading journals in education policy, such as Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and American Educational Research Journal.

At-Large Members (Three positions)

Brooks Bowden is an Assistant Professor of Methods and Policy at North Carolina State University and Director of Training at the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been a member of AEFP since 2012. She is a co-author on the recently released 3rd edition of the cost effectiveness textbook, Economic Evaluation in Education: Cost-Effectiveness and Benefit-Cost Analysis, 3rd Edition. Her Ph.D. is in Education Policy from Columbia University. Her research aims to mitigate the effects of poverty on children that prevent them from experiencing the full value of school.
Bradley R. Curs is Associate Professor the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) at the University of Missouri. His research uses tools from the discipline of economics to understand the effects of educational policy at both the student and institutional level. Specifically, his research focuses on issues of education access, equity, and success across three areas: the efficacy of financial aid programs, the behaviors of educational institutions, and pre-college readiness behaviors.  Dr. Curs has served on the editorial boards for the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and the Review of Higher Education.
Cassandra Hart is an associate professor of education policy at the University of California, Davis. Hart’s research has focused on school choice programs, effects of online education on student outcomes, and effects on students of exposure to demographically similar teachers. Her research has been published in education and economics journals including Education Finance and Policy, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.Hart serves on the editorial board of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.  She received her PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University in 2011 and has been an AEFP participant since 2009
Steven Hemelt is an assistant professor of public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a research fellow with the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), and senior researcher with the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER). His fields of interest are the economics of education, education policy, labor economics, and program evaluation. His current research examines transitions from high school to college, postsecondary costs and cost drivers, and success in higher education for traditionally underserved students. He has been a member of AEFP since 2008, recently serving on the conference program committee, and has a particular interest in the mentorship and success of first-generation professionals.
Tatiana Melguizo is an Associate Professor in the USC Rossier School of Education. She received a Ph.D. in Economics of Education from Stanford University and a M.A. in Social Policy from the London School of Economics.  She works in the field of economics of higher education. She uses quantitative methods of analysis to study the association of different factors, educational programs, as well as public policies on the persistence and educational outcomes of minority and low-income students. Her work has been published inEducation Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Teachers College Record, The Journal of Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Journal of Research in Educational Effectiveness, AERA Open. Higher Education and World Development.
Marcus A. Winters is an associate professor and Department Chair for Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. His research focuses on educational policy, with an emphasis on school choice, accountability, and teacher quality. Winters’s research has been published in a variety of journals including Journal of Public Economics, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Researcher, and Education Finance and Policy. He has also written for popular media outlets including Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today. Winters holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Arkansas.

Policymaker/practitioner (One position)

Yan Li is an enthusiastic storyteller using education data. Director of the Office of Research and Development at the Mississippi Department of Education, with a Ph.D., in Economics from the University of Mississippi, she received the annual Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015. Next Generation Leaders Awardee with the Consortium for School Networking, state agency fellow with Results for America, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, and the National Center for Education Statistics Expert Panel for Educational Technology Equity Initiatives. Published in several peer-reviewed journals, she is Principal Investigator for the Institute of Education Sciences 2015-19 Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grant and pending Principal Investigator for the 2019-23 Education Research Grant. Yan has the demonstrated drive to help further AEFP’s mission.
Dara Zeehandelaar Shaw is the Executive Director for Research at the Maryland State Department of Education. She was recruited by agency leadership in 2016 to design, build, and oversee the Department’s new Office of Research. Over the past two and a half years, the office she created and manages now drives the Department’s evidence-based decision-making by undertaking actionable research and evaluations using Maryland data, collaborating with local school systems to collect and learn from their data, leading the development and implementation of the agency’s strategic research agenda, communicating information to stakeholders and state leaders, and advancing a data-driven culture. She also supports the design and implementation of the state’s accountability system. Previously, she was the national research director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy think tank. There she oversaw Fordham’s research pipeline, designed and executed new studies, managed ongoing projects, and conducted quantitative and qualitative research. She earned a Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy with a specialization in research methodology from the University of Southern California, and previously worked as a high school mathematics teacher and summer-school coordinator in Washington D.C. public schools. A Los Angeles native and Baltimore resident, she also holds a M.S. in astrophysics from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Cornell University.

Teacher (One position)

Katherine Kurjakovic received her B.A. in American Studies from Barnard College and her M.A. in teaching English as a second language from Hunter College. She is currently English Language Learner Specialist and an assistant to the Vice President for Education at the United Federation of Teachers in New York City. Prior to that, Katie taught English as a new language for 25 years in a K-6 school in Queens, NY. She serves on advisory groups for the NY State Education Department including the Professional Learning Team. Katie has served on and chaired the Board of Governors for the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY.
Kyle Arnone is the Deputy Director of Collective Bargaining for the AFT Bargaining Center, having previously served AFT as a Senior Associate of Healthcare Policy. He is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Hazard. He has a master’s in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and served as a UCLA instructor for six years.