2022-2023 Academic Year

 Sixth-Year Students

Laura Willoughby

My current research interests revolve around the use of real world contexts when learning math.  I have lived in 5 different states in the last 10 years and each state has unique experiences and lifestyles for the students.  The students’ experiences will inevitably shape their perspectives on the contexts they are exposed to.  Because of this,  I am interested in exploring the extent to which current context-based curricula motivate students to learn the intended mathematics with an ultimate goal of improving the learning experience for all students.

Fifth-Year Students

Amanda Mohammad Mirzaei

Amanda Mohammad Mirzaei is a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics Education in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. Her research interests include postsecondary mathematics instruction, how instructors treat student prior knowledge in their mathematics classrooms, and mathematics engagement. Her dissertation focuses on the treatment of student prior knowledge by introductory calculus instructors in postsecondary institutions across the U.S.

Amanda received her B.S. in Mathematics from La Salle University, after which she taught middle school mathematics for two years at Nativity Preparatory School in Wilmington DE. She then received her M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Delaware before starting her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. During her time in the School of Education, Amanda has worked on research projects with several faculty. Additionally, she has been a TA for mathematics education content courses and an instructor for the elementary mathematics education course.

Fourth-Year Students

Casey Griffin

After graduating from UD with a B.A. in Secondary Mathematics Education, I taught high school math in New Jersey for two years, and earned my M.A. in Mathematics from Villanova University with a graduate assistantship. I began the PhD in Education program, specializing in mathematics education, with plans of teaching math and postsecondary math instructor education at the college level. I am interested in implementing teaching practices that enable active learning into college math courses as a way to retain more STEM majors (especially women), and supporting instructors and graduate student TAs with college-level teaching interests.

Ethan P. Smith

My current research interests focus on the ways in which mathematics teachers recognize and respond to students’ written mathematical thinking, and how such instructional moves intersect with teachers’ focus on students’ spoken discourse. My research also addresses mathematics teacher and coach perceptions of their shared work, school and district professional learning, and curriculum materials. I am interested in exploring what drives divergent experiences in these fields between teachers and their coaches, and what might promote stronger teacher-coach relationships and teacher buy-in to their professional learning and curriculum use. I worked in education in rural Mississippi from 2010-2019, first as a mathematics teacher and interventionist for the middle grades (3 years) and then as a mathematics teacher educator (6 years). I was also a founding member of the Mississippi Mathematics Specialists Network (serving as the Mission Statement Chair) and worked as the Social Media Coordinator for the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics. During my time in Mississippi, I completed my Master’s in Education at the University of Mississippi, with a capstone project focused on the role of teacher practice on student motivation towards school mathematics.

Kateri Sternberg

After graduating from the Univeristy of Scranton with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, I decided to pursue my interest in teaching in McAllen, TX where I taught middle school math while earning my M.Ed. from the Univeristy of Notre Dame. I am excited to begin a new adventure as I pursue a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education here at UD. My interests range from blended learning, to fractional reasoning, to math-confidence. I hope to focus my research on middle school grades, but am open to where within that age range my interests may take me.

Third-Year Students

Crystal Collier

I graduated from Florida A&M University in 2001 with a B.S. in Actuarial Science and, after some time in the insurance industry, I decided to pursue Education as a career. In 2011, I was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and earned an M.A.T. from the University of Indianapolis in 2013. After graduation, I taught Algebra and Precalculus at an early college high school. During that time I wrote and implemented several open ended project and problem based lessons which emphasized real-world situations. My current research interests include the impact of student-teacher relationships on mathematical achievement. Specifically, how teachers use caring practices to support mathatical learning and encourage positive student attitudes towards math. I am also interested in the impact of context-based  relevance on student achievement. My goal is to help teachers who already engage in mathematical care with their students better understand the impact of those practices and to expand the ways math teachers talk about and use care in their classrooms.

Allison Gantt

After teaching mathematics in secondary contexts for seven years, primarily in Wilmington, Delaware, I developed a strong interest in the transformative experiences that can occur in the mathematics classroom. I joined the Ph.D. program at the University of Delaware to pursue my interests in the study of the school mathematics experience. My research interests focus on how teaching and learning connect, with a focus on secondary algebra content. I am currently exploring how middle school students develop their representational activity through their classroom interactions.

Yue Ma

Working as a secondary school math teacher encouraged me to purse my M.A. in Educational Studies from University of Michigan. Then I started the PhD program in mathematics education because I am especially interested in how teachers and materials can better support student learning. My current research focuses on how teachers direct students’ noticing by observing the teacher’s words, gestures, and the interaction with the materials. I am still open to any other related topics on mathematics education.

Second-Year Students

Srujana Acharya

As I was completing my MSc in Mathematics from India in 2020, I started teaching high school students due to my interest. For the past year, I taught at various levels (elementary school to undergraduate courses), trained students for various competitions (including the International Mathematics Olympiad), and worked with high school teachers to adapt themselves for virtual teaching (introducing them to GeoGebra, Desmos, etc.). As I worked more, I saw the necessity of understanding more about mathematics education and the opportunities that could open up to work on a broader scale, which led me to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics education at UD. My current research interests include examining how various variables affect students’ mathematical understanding, understanding different learning methods, and investigating the role of the curriculum.

Sümeyye Kurutaş

After graduating from Bogazici University with a bachelor’s degree of Mathematics Education, I worked as assistant teacher in Italy for six months. Then I got my M.S. in Secondary School Science and Mathematics Education. During my master’s study, I got the chance to study in Finland for a semester and take a variety of courses including qualitative research methods, educational leadership, and international education policy and practices. My master’s thesis was about exploration of effective professional development characteristics from the perspective of PD coordinator, facilitator, and participants. After finishing my master’s study, I worked as math teacher in an international school for a year. Since I was so excited for doing research, I wanted to pursue my Ph.D. study here in UD. I am interested in learning more about how we can reinforce teacher learning, how their learning turns into practice, and learning environment design.

First-Year Students

Rebecca Memmolo

After graduating from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education, I worked as a first-grade classroom teacher in Asheville, NC until earning my M.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland. While earning my degree, I served as a University Supervisor for Middle School Math and Science teacher candidates. Most recently, I worked as a middle school mathematics teacher in Wilmington, DE until I began at the University of Delaware in the Mathematics Education Ph.D. program. My experiences sparked my interest in the relationships teachers and students have with mathematics. Presently, my research interests are in mathematical identity, and specifically, how pre service teachers’ experiences as students in mathematics classrooms coalesce with their attitudes and beliefs towards mathematics teaching.

Former Students

Dr. Julien Corven – Assistant Professor, Illinois State University

Dr. Kwaku Edusei – Mathematics Curriculum Specialist, Age of Learning

Dr. Matthew Melville – Assistant Professor, Purdue University Fort Wayne

Dr. Kelly Curtis – Instructional Specialist, Mathematics, Professional Development Center for Educators, University of Delaware

Dr. Kristin McKenney – Teacher, Skyline Middle School

Dr. Jenifer Hummer – Assistant Professor, West Chester University

Dr. Tony Mixell – Adjunct Professor, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Joe DiNapoli – Assistant Professor, Montclair State University

Dr. Siobahn Suppa – Assistant Professor, Stockton University

Dr. Emily Miller – Associate Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Ali Marzocchi –  Associate Professor, California State University in Fullerton

Dr. Erin Meikle –  Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Heather Gallivan – Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa

Dr. Susana Molitoris-Miller – Associate Professor, Kennesaw State University

Dr. Taffy McAneny – Assistant Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Jathan Austin – Associate Professor, Salisbury University

Dr. Rob Wieman – Associate Professor, Rowan University

Dr. Nancy Dyson – Research Associate, University of Delaware

Dr. Eric Sisofo – Assistant Professor, University of Delaware

Dr. Corey Webel – Associate Professor, University of Missouri

Dr. Brian Bowen – Professor, West Chester State University

Dr. Christine Phelps-Gregory – Professor, Central Michigan University

Dr. Delayne Johnson – Associate Professor, Delaware State University

Dr. Sandy Spitzer – Professor & Director of M.S. in Math Education, Towson University

Dr. Lauren Goggins – Teacher, William Penn High School

Dr. James Beyers – Professor, The College of New Jersey

Dr. Rodney McNair – Professor, Delaware State University (retired)

Dr. Stephen Hwang – Research Associate, University of Delaware

Dr. Nicola Edwards – Associate Professor, Delaware State University

Dr. Yuichi Handa – Professor, University of California, Chico (retired)

Dr. Julie Cwikla – Professor, University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Margaret Smith – Professor, Iona College

Dr. Theresa Grant – Professor, Western Michigan University

Dr. David Slavit – Professor, Washington State University

Header Photograph: “Longwood Gardens” by Dr. Amanda Jansen