Current VEST fellows are participating in either the 4-Year Program or 2-Year Program. Learn more about VEST Alumni.
The VEST 4-Year Program has graduate students from the Curry School of Education Ph.D programs of either Education Policy or Educational Psychology-Applied Development Sciences.
The VEST 2-year Program has graduate students later in their academic program from U.Va.'s Department of Economics, Psychology Department, and/or Sociology Department.
The VEST program is committed to creating a community of educational researchers. We value mentorship and support our fellows in their professional development. Our faculty and students met socially a couple times a year to celebrate the success of the program. Our students also regularly support each other socially. Our fellows also work together on projects and in classes; here is a video a group of students and faculty created during the SPR Cup competition in 2014.
4th Year Fellows
Justin Doromal - email@example.com
Justin B. Doromal is an IES pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Policy Studies program. He holds a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Education from the University of Virginia, as well a BA in Mathematics from the University of South Florida. His research broadly examines issues of access to high-quality early education programs in the United States, and he is especially interested in understanding how macro-level policies for improving the quality of early education settings can effectively reach children most likely to benefit from rich, early learning opportunities. Justin's ongoing work explores the role economic and political contexts such as recession and market tensions play in promoting or inhibiting states’ best efforts to make high-quality early education more available to children and families.
Emily Wiseman - firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Wiseman is an IES pre-doctoral fellow in the Education Policy program at the Curry School of Education. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College and earned her M.S.Ed. in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania as well as her MPP from the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at UVA. She was a classroom teacher at a turnaround charter school in Philadelphia and then at a KIPP school in Washington, D.C., before working as a K-8 Reading Specialist for D.C. Public Schools. Her primary area of interest is teacher quality, and her research lies at the intersection of policy and practice around teachers and teaching.
Kylie Anglin - email@example.com
Kylie Anglin is an IES pre-doctoral fellow in the Education Policy program at the Curry School of Education. She earned her M.P.P from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy in May 2018. Originally from Texas, Kylie holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Southwestern University and a post-baccalaureate degree in mathematics from Northwestern University. Before joining Ed Policy Works, Kylie worked as a 7th-grade teacher in rural Arkansas, and as an evaluator for an after-school program in Chicago. Her current research interests involve the impact of educational deregulation on district behavior, student outcomes, and equity. She is also passionate about evaluating and improving the methodologies we use to determine the efficacy of educational policies and initiatives.
Ann Partee - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Partee is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education. She earned a BA in English and Government from the University of Texas at Austin and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before coming to UVa, Ann worked as a Research Assistant in the Ecological Approaches to Social Emotional Learning lab at HGSE under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Jones and as a first grade teacher.
Ann’s research interests center on understanding and improving the quality of children’s early learning experiences. She is currently working with Dr. Amanda Williford to pilot a comprehensive early childhood curriculum in Virginia.
Tatiana Hill - email@example.com
Tatiana Hill is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education. Tatiana received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from Amherst College. Throughout her undergraduate career, she completed a series of studies in Cognitive and Personality Psychology as they pertain to memory, emotion recognition, and coping. Through nonprofit work, she incorporated her knowledge of cognition in a bilingual, multicultural context to explore how the linguistic development and learning processes of English Language Learners and immigrant students impact their school performance.
Currently, she is working with Dr. Natalia Palacios and faculty from Youth-Nex, the U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development. Through her research, Tatiana hopes to identify strategies for engaging with ELL children in the home and in school that highlight ELLs’ cognitive skills and diverse cultural backgrounds.
Ashley Hunt - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Hunt is an IES pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science program. Broadly, Ashley is interested in classroom-based interventions and teacher practices that support social-emotional learning (SEL), the assessment of SEL skills in educational contexts, and the policy implications of widespread administration of SEL measures. She holds a BA in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Virginia, and a MA in Psychology with a concentration in Children, Families, and Cultures from Catholic University.
Ashley is currently working with the Social Development Lab and her advisor, Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman, on the development and evaluation of Connect Science, a curriculum unit that simultaneously promotes SEL skills, academic achievement, and civic engagement.
3rd year Fellows
Brian Kim - email@example.com
Brian Heseung Kim is an IES pre-doctoral fellow in the dual Education Policy Ph.D./MPP program with the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. He studied education from a variety of perspectives throughout his undergraduate degree, working with organizations like America Reads and Counts, Upward Bound, and Let's Get Ready, before graduating with a B.A. in English and Economics from Bowdoin College. Brian received his teaching certification in English and Social Studies after graduation and taught English at a public high school in southern Maine for three years, eventually serving on the school leadership team.
Brian's research interests primarily relate to higher education access and outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds. His major research projects are (a) examining the role of teacher recommendations in postsecondary applications as a potential barrier to low-income, racial/ethnic minority, and first-gen students, and (b) examining socioeconomic disparities in labor market outcomes among graduates of applied community college programs. He leverages an interdisciplinary approach in his work, combining traditional econometrics and data science. More information can be found on his website, www.brhkim.com.
Walter Herring - firstname.lastname@example.org
Walter Herring is in the dual MPP/PhD Education Policy program through the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. A native of Dallas, Texas, Walter earned his BA in Public Policy from Stanford University before returning to Dallas to teach Algebra 1 to 9th grade students through the Teach for America program. Prior to joining EdPolicyWorks, Walter worked as a program manager and data analyst for a non-profit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area devoted to preparing under-resourced middle and high school students for college. Walter’s research seeks to understand how student learning develops during the early elementary grades and what factors might contribute to their learning during these critical first years of school.
Miray Seward - email@example.com
Miray Seward is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education. Miray received her B.A. in psychology and human development from Duke University in 2014. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Miray spent a year as a project/research coordinator in the Motivate Lab and two years as a lab manager in the Language Development Lab and Wilbourn Infant Lab at Duke University.
Currently, Miray’s research examines the experiences Black female student-athletes and how identity is developed in the context of athletics and academics.
Karen Kehoe - firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Kehoe is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education. She earned a B.A. in American Studies and French from the University of Notre Dame and an Ed.M. in Language and Literacy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Before coming to UVa, Karen worked as an elementary school and special needs classroom teacher, reading specialist, curriculum developer, and program coordinator in local government and non-profit settings.
Karen’s research interests include acquisition of language and literacy skills and social-emotional development in early childhood and teacher professional development. She is passionate about work that supports the goals of economically-vulnerable children, families, and communities. Karen works with Dr. Bridget Hamre at the Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning.
2nd Year Fellows
Shoronda Matthews - email@example.com
Shoronda Matthews is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science Doctoral Program at the Curry School of Education. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Scranton and her M.A. in General Psychology from Adelphi University. During her undergrad years, she worked at a clinic where she helped to set up and run their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. Prior to coming to UVA, she was a Research Assistant in the Cognitive Development Lab and the Child and Adolescent Research (CARE) Lab at Adelphi University. She interested in the topic of digital and physical learning differences in young children. She will be working with Dr. Jamie Jirout in the Education and Learning Lab.
Melissa Lucas - firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Lucas is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral affiliate fellow in the Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education. Melissa received a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her undergraduate career and prior to starting her doctoral studies, Melissa worked three years as a Research Assistant with the Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development at VCU. Currently, she is working with Dr. Natalia Palacios. Melissa is interested in supporting and encouraging the widespread access and delivery of academic and language services, and strategies for assisting low-income, immigrant populations, to mitigate barriers and promote Latinx children’s school motivation and readiness skills. She aims to understand how parents, teachers, and mentors influence Latinx student’s language and reading development, all the while examining the culturally-relevant differences within the Latinx community.
Deiby Mayaris Cubides Mateus - email@example.com
Mayaris is a pre-doctoral affiliate fellow in the Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Sciences program. Mayaris obtained a B.A. and a MSc in Economics, both at Universidad del Rosario in Colombia. Prior to join UVA, she worked as a research fellow in the Social Sector at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC, and as a consultant in the Ministry of Labor in Colombia. From those job experiences, she gained insights into the design and implementation of public policies aimed at young people and children.
Mayaris will be working with Dr. Jennifer LoCasale Crouch. She is interested in the design of better education policies for early childhood from a comprehensive point of view that addresses the development of children as the result of experiences that in turn are determined by a large number of factors.
Edward Scott - firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Scott Jr. is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral affiliate fellow in Curry’s Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science program. Prior to doctoral study, Edward served students and families as a social worker in an urban school district, facilitating the expansion of trauma-informed care practices and school culture improvement initiatives. His professional background includes clinical mental health services, youth program development, and management consulting. He earned a B.A. in psychology from William Jewell College, an MSW in clinical social work from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in organizational development and leadership from the Rockhurst University Helzberg School of Management. Edward is interested in adolescent leadership identity and sociopolitical development research. Under the mentorship of Drs. Nancy Deutsch and Chauncey Smith, Edward will begin exploring the relational and organizational contexts that effectively promote youth leadership, activism, civic engagement, and psycho-social wellbeing.
Arielle Bosuslav - email@example.com
Arielle Boguslav is an IES pre-doctoral fellow and is currently completing the dual Ph.D./MPP program with the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Originally from Massachusetts, she ventured “across the pond” to earn her BA in Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University. After graduation Arielle worked in innovation consulting before shifting to the field of education. Her six years of teaching experience include middle school English Language Arts in a Title I charter school and teaching English as a foreign language to adults in Russia. Arielle’s research interests primarily relate to teacher professional development and the application of behavioral insights to policy implementation.
1st Year Fellows
Theresa Pfister - firstname.lastname@example.org
Theresa Pfister is a pre-doctoral affiliate fellow in the Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Sciences program. Theresa was a QuestBridge Scholar at Pomona College, where she earned her BA in English Literature. Prior to joining UVA, she worked with the Peace Corps in Areka, Ethiopia, taught 4th grade in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn while earning her MAT, and served as a college advisor at SEO Scholars in NYC. Through these experiences, she found that caring, empowering connections could predict positive outcomes for all students, and this inspired her to spread this knowledge as both a researcher and practitioner.
Theresa is working with Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman on the new ExCEL Education project in the Social Development Lab, where they will be using mixed methods to measure empathy, compassion, respect, and integrity in early adolescence.
Kelsey Clayback - email@example.com
Kelsey Clayback is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral affiliate fellow in the Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education and Human Development. Kelsey earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Dayton, where she worked on research examining executive function, math skills, and classroom quality in preschool settings. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Kelsey earned her M.Ed. in Clinical and Developmental Research from Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, Kelsey worked on a variety of projects involving social and emotional development, early math development, and depression prevention. During her master’s, Kelsey also conducted independent research on teacher well-being, support, and discipline practices in early childhood education.
At UVA, Kelsey is working with Dr. Amanda Williford. Kelsey is particularly interested in early childhood education and ways to promote social and emotional development in school settings. She is also interested in teacher well-being and determining how to best support educators to facilitate positive outcomes for themselves and their students.
Dan Rodriguez-Segura - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Rodriguez-Segura is a doctoral student in Education Policy at UVA. He has a BA in Economics from Washington and Lee University and a Master’s Degree of Economics from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the Education Policy PhD, Dan worked as a research assistant for Nudge4 and as a research analyst at the Latin America Public Policy Expertise Hub at McKinsey and Company. Dan’s research interests lie primarily in the intersection between K-12 education policy, international development and poverty, and behavioral science.
Sierra Eisen - email@example.com
Sierra Eisen is an Institute for Education Sciences predoctoral fellow in the Developmental Psychology doctoral program in the Department of Psychology. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on how young children learn from touchscreen technology and educational apps. As a VEST fellow, Sierra is working with Jamie Jirout and Angeline Lillard examining parent-child interactions during digital and physical spatial play and links to children's early spatial and math abilities.
Victoria Mauer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria is currently an Institute for Education Sciences predoctoral fellow in the Community Psychology program in the Department of Psychology. Victoria received her B.A. in Psychology from New York University, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University, and her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Her research centers on the study of prevention and intervention programming seeking to promote supportive contexts, particularly in schools, that foster positive youth development and prevent gender based violence. As a VEST fellow, Victoria is working with Nancy Deutsch on the Study of Important Youth-Adult Relationships (YAR Study), as well as the development of a training institute to investigate whether leveraging youth-adult relationships in public middle schools can foster positive school climates and reduce educational inequality.