Our Team: Staff

Rebecca J. GriffithsRebecca J. Griffiths, Principal Investigator
Rebecca J. Griffiths is a principal researcher and co-director of the Digital Learning and Technology Policy program at SRI Education. She conducts research on how educational innovations can increase student learning and success in postsecondary and K12 systems. Her studies blend qualitative and quantitative methods to shed new light on the benefits and challenges of technology-enabled instructional models for diverse students, as well as the factors that drive successful implementation and scaling. Learn More ▸
Nikki EdgecombeNikki Edgecombe, Co-Principal Investigator
Nikki Edgecombe is a senior research scholar at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and a research professor in the Education Policy and Social Analysis Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. She conducts research on teaching and learning, developmental education, education equity, English learners, faculty development, minority-serving institutions, and higher education finance, among other topics. Learn More ▸


Jessica MislevyJessica Mislevy, Co-Principal Investigator
Jessica Mislevy co-directs SRI’s Digital Learning & Technology Policy program, in which she studies highly innovative teaching and learning approaches that use advanced technology in the STEM disciplines. With a background in measurement and statistics, she leads mixed-methods research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects to improve college readiness and completion through the effective adoption of evidence-based practices and products. Learn More ▸
Krystal ThomasKrystal Thomas, Co-Principal Investigator
Krystal Thomas is an education researcher at SRI Education who brings a developmental psychology and equity lens to research, evaluation, and capacity building. Her projects span issues of teacher quality and practices, students’ academic and social identities, and patterns of contextual inequality in the classroom. Thomas is involved in several studies at SRI, including leading survey development and project management. Learn More ▸


Susan BickerstaffSusan Bickerstaff
Susan Bickerstaff is a senior research associate and program lead at the Community College Research Center (CCRC). She conducts qualitative research on developmental education reform, teaching and learning, faculty learning and engagement, and student experiences at community colleges. Her current CCRC projects include the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) and the Caring Campus Initiative. Learn More ▸
Thomas BrockThomas Brock
Thomas Brock is the director of the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and a research professor at Teachers College. From 2013 to 2018, Brock was the commissioner of the National Center for Education Research (NCER) at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Learn More ▸


Amy Brown PhotoAmy E. Brown
Amy E. Brown is a research associate at the Community College Research Center (CCRC). She conducts qualitative research on teaching and learning in online, STEM, and adult education ESL courses; large-scale college reform implementation and costs; and student experiences at community colleges. Learn More ▸


Paul Burkander PhotoPaul Burkander
Paul Burkander is a senior education researcher at SRI with more than 10 years of experience using quantitative analyses to improve student outcomes. He specializes in conducting rigorous descriptive and impact analyses, and in developing and applying evidence review standards. Learn More ▸


Qican (Sunny) Cao PhotoQican (Sunny) Cao
Qican Cao is an education researcher at SRI who specializes in quantitative research on a variety of education topics, including STEM education, education policy, college and career pathways, and institutional effectiveness. She also has experience in data system management and data visualization. Learn More ▸



Hannah Cheever Hannah Cheever
Hannah Cheever is a technical assistance provider and education researcher at SRI Education. Cheever conducts research and provides technical support for projects across content areas and policy contexts, executing strategic project planning and creating systems to ensure quality, timeliness, and responsiveness to client and stakeholder needs. Learn More ▸


Photo of Ariel DeutschAriel Deutsch
Ariel Deutsch is a senior project assistant at CCRC where she supports research on workforce development, community college finance, teaching and learning, and English learners. Before joining CCRC, Deutsch worked at a civilian police oversight agency. She also brings experience as a civil rights litigation paralegal. For the Collaborative, Ariel supports the institutional policies and practice analysis and the co-development process of instructional resources. Learn More ▸


Elizabeth GangaElizabeth Ganga
Elizabeth Ganga is the communications manager at the Community College Research Center (CCRC). She works to ensure that the insights and knowledge developed through CCRC studies reach the people who can benefit from them, including community college educators and administrators, state and system leaders, and policymakers. Learn More ▸


Photo of Jenivee GastelumJenivee Gastelum
Jenivee Gastelum is a research assistant at CCRC, where she assists on a project devoted to self-directed learning skills. A native of Riverside, California, Gastelum attended Riverside City College (RCC), where she received her AA in Sociology and graduated with great distinction. She was also nominated by her department as sociology student of the year. Learn More ▸


Paul HernandezPaul Hernandez
Dr. Paul Hernandez is senior adviser to the president at Achieving the Dream. Dr. Hernandez is a community college leader and practitioner and an Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow serving most recently as vice president for academic and student affairs at Mount Wachusett Community College. Learn More ▸


Photo of Shayleah JenkinsShayleah Jenkins
Shayleah Jenkins is a communications assistant at CCRC, where she supports general media outreach efforts and works to maintain content on the center’s website and blog. Prior to joining the team, Jenkins was involved with various non-profit arts and humanities organizations and spent time writing for an independent education newspaper based in Philadelphia. Learn More ▸
Photo of Jodie LawrenceJodie Lawrence
Jodie Lawrence is an education researcher at SRI Education. She participates in a wide range of projects focusing on accessibility and equity in STEM education, technology innovation and integration, and dissemination of relevant information in innovative and strategic ways. She also serves as the deputy project manager for the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia. Learn More ▸


Photo of Yesica LopezYesica Lopez
Yesica Lopez is a senior project manager at SRI with nearly a decade of experience managing diverse and complex, multiyear and large-scale projects. She currently supports leadership teams in developing and implementing strategic plans and processes, managing administrative and financial activities, and monitoring overall compliance. Learn More ▸


Photo of Jorge MahechaJorge Mahecha
Jorge Mahecha is a Research Associate at CCRC, where his research interests focus on the measurement of Self-Directed Learning skills, student engagement, and the academic trajectories of English and Adult Learners in Community Colleges. Learn More ▸



Photo of Akilah H. ThompsonAkilah H. Thompson
Akilah H. Thompson is a senior research assistant who conducts qualitative research at CCRC on student experiences and faculty learning and engagement. Thompson works on projects related to self-directed learning skills of postsecondary students and how instructional technology and strategic instruction might support the development of transferable skills. Learn More ▸


Photo of Keena P. WaltersKeena P. Walters
Keena Walters is an equity-focused qualitative researcher in education. She brings her expertise in qualitative data collection and analysis to projects related to college and career pathways, alternative secondary education, and social-emotional learning. She also has a background in special education and administration. Learn More ▸



Photo of Ellen Wasserman Ellen Wasserman
Ellen Wasserman is a research associate at the Community College Research Center (CCRC). She conducts qualitative research on teaching and learning, college reform and student experiences at community colleges. Her current projects include the Postsecondary Teaching with Technology Collaborative, the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR), and the evaluation of a professional development course in teaching with technology for the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Northwest. Learn More ▸


Photo of Hui YangHui Yang
Hui Yang is a STEM and computer science education researcher at SRI. She specializes in the field of learning sciences, primarily focusing on integrating educational technologies to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning in K–16. Her research interests include examining how teachers utilize learning technologies and blending content knowledge and pedagogical strategies to support diverse students in achieving meaningful and impactful learning experiences. Learn More ▸


Louise YarnallLouise Yarnall
Louise Yarnall is a senior research social scientist at SRI Education. She studies ways to help educators and employers prepare learners for careers. Yarnall’s work focuses on supporting novel ways to integrate career exploration and preparation into both K–16 and the workplace settings. She has published research on how instructors can incorporate workplace simulation projects and employability skills development into the classroom. Learn More ▸