2019-2020 Academic Year

 Fifth-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.



Fourth-Year Students

Kelly Curtis

Kelly Curtis


I am interested in studying Discourse and Positioning Theory in high school mathematics classrooms. In my experience and prior research, I have found that the ways teachers talk to students about mathematics (sending subtle or overt messages about their mathematical capabilities) not only influences what students come to learn about math but what they also come to believe about themselves. As a part of my qualifying study, I explored how the teacher could use speech acts to support students acting as mathematicians in the classroom. For my dissertation, I plan to look at the relationship between cognitive demand and the language used to enact problems and the messages this may send to students about learning mathematics.


Third-Year Students

Julien Corven

After ten years of teaching middle and high school mathematics in the Baltimore City Public School System, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of Delaware in order to become a mathematics teacher educator. I recently completed my second-year qualifying study on classifying developmental trajectories of prospective elementary teachers’ specialized content knowledge (SCK) for teaching division during a mathematics content course. I am currently working on my dissertation proposal, which focuses on connections between prospective teachers’ prior common content knowledge and their SCK development, and providing deeper qualitative descriptions and classifications of these development trajectories.

Kwaku Edusei


My goals include examining the effects on both motivation and learning, when video games are used as the context for learning middle school math. I hope to become or develop a resource for teachers who are struggling with learning, motivation and engagement in their classrooms.



Matthew Melville

I decided to enroll in the PhD program at the University of Delaware to become a teacher educator and research methods for teachers to use to help them improve their craft of teaching.  I am currently studying about teachers’ planning practices while using an international comparative method of research for improvement.  I am interested in Japanese teachers’ teaching practices.  After living in Japan, and conducting my Master’s Thesis about Japanese teachers’ planning practices (Kyozaikenkyu), I am looking at what tools or methods are successful and how to adapt them for U.S. teachers to benefit from using them.

Second-Year Students

Amanda Russo


First-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 most recently earned my M.A. in Mathematics from Villanova University with a graduate assistantship. I am starting the PhD program in Mathematics Education here at UD with the hopes of teaching mathematics and math teacher education at the college level. As a new PhD student, I have not locked down my potential research topics, but I am mostly interested in improving the stigma of math at the college level, helping teachers/math PhD students who may want to teach at the college level, as well as general history of math and women in math.


Ethan Smith

After working for nine years as a teacher and mathematics specialist in rural Mississippi, I am excited to pursue a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. My past experiences have given me opportunities to see how different groups of students are (or are not) positioned as mathematically competent, and how that impacts these students’ orientation towards school mathematics. My research interests focus on this intersection between a teacher’s beliefs and instructional decisions and students’ mathematical self-efficacy. I am especially attentive to the role that literacy and discourse practices play in developing student self-efficacy 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.

Former Students

Dr. Jenifer Hummer – Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Delaware

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 – Assistant Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

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

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

Dr. Heather Gallivan – Assistant 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. Corey Webel – Associate Professor, University of Missouri

Dr. Brian Bowen – Associate Professor, West Chester State University

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

Dr. Delayne Johnson – Associate Professor, Delaware State 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