A Diverse & Vibrant Intellectual Community

Georgetown’s faculty has a long and rich tradition engaging issues central to education, learning, and educational policy. Faculty in Government, Psychology, Sociology, Linguistics, and the McCourt School of Public Policy all have extensive research and teaching portfolios that center on education, and MAET draws extensively on the insights and knowledge of these interdisciplinary researchers, teachers and thinkers. Bringing together these faculty – through both MAET and the Georgetown Education Network – is a major new priority for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Program Faculty

Douglas S. Reed, PhD

Director, MAET

Professor, Government

Douglas S. Reed is a Professor of Government and Director of MAET. He is currently conducting research on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the politics of English Learner programs. He is the author of Building the Federal Schoolhouse: Localism and the American Education State(Oxford University Press, 2014) and On Equal Terms: The Constitutional Politics of Educational Opportunity (Princeton University Press, 2003). He co-edited a Russell Sage Foundation volume on impact of the 1964 Elementary and Secondary Education Act and is currently engaged in research on academic help-seeking networks of recently immigrated students at an International Academy in the Washington, DC, area. He co-founded the undergraduate program in Education, Inquiry and Justice at Georgetown and teaches courses on educational policy, democracy and education, and Constitutional Law. He has been named a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow.

Sabrina Wesley-Nero, PhD

Assistant Director, MAET

Associate Teaching Professor, EDIJ

Sabrina Wesley-Nero directs the undergraduate Program in Education, Inquiry and Justice (EDIJ) and is the Assistant Director of MAET. Wesley-Nero is a Georgetown (SFS ’95) and Teach for America (Bay Area ’95) alumna with extensive experience in the field of education. She has taught in ESL, Spanish bilingual, Spanish immersion, and general education K-12 classrooms, and previously served as Director of Curriculum for the New Teacher Project in New York and Director of Research and Program Evaluation for the Center for Inspired Teaching (CIT) in Washington, DC. At CIT, she was instrumental in the development of their teacher certification curriculum and shepherded the organization through the process of gaining accreditation as an approved teacher preparation program. She also has served as a program reviewer for both the Office of State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Wesley-Nero has conducted research on the preparation of teachers of English learners and professional development of school leaders. Within EDIJ, she teaches courses on urban education, educating the whole child, and philosophy of education.

Kristin A. Sinclair, PhD

Assistant Teaching Professor, MAET

Kristin Sinclair is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the MAET program. Her research agenda seeks to understand the pedagogical and emancipatory potential of the relationships between young people and their places. She uses theories such as spatial justice and youth sociopolitical development to explore how systems of privilege, oppression and resistance complicate and shape young people’s experiences of place and how those experiences in turn shape young peoples’ growth and development as citizens, activists, and political actors. Her dissertation, a qualitative case study of a food justice project in an urban charter high school, critically examined whether and how place-based education might be a tool for youth civic engagement and sociopolitical action. Her other research projects have investigated how social studies teachers navigate the aftermath of anti-union policies and how they make decisions about what curricular resources to use in their classrooms. Her research has been published in Educational Policy and The Peabody Journal of Education. Kristin has over a decade of experience as an educator in multiple roles and contexts. She brings a justice-oriented, place-based lens to her courses in MAET.

Crissa Stephens, PhD

Assistant Teaching Professor, MAET

As a critical applied linguist, Crissa Stephens’ research analyzes language and social justice. She is currently studying when, how, and why well-meaning interpreters and educators silence language-minoritized voices in crucial interactions in schools, especially women advocating for their children. This work provides a roadmap for policymakers, researchers, and educators to undo these inequities to build a more socially and linguistically just system. Through community-engaged methods (including critical ethnography and discourse analysis), she partners with diverse communities in education. Together, they map how language policies, ideologies, and practices interact with social identity development and access and to identify tools for change and Dr. Stephens creates new recommendations based on their input. Educational language policy issues such as language access through interpreting and translation, parent and community engagement, language policy implementation, and anti-oppressive language pedagogy form the core of her research.

Affiliated Faculty

Heidi Elmendorf, PhD

Associate Professor, Biology

Heidi Elmendorf is an Associate Professor of Biology at Georgetown University. An award-winning teacher, she has run a research laboratory that has trained many graduate and undergraduate researchers over the past 18 years. Elmendorf is the Director of Undergraduate Students and Studies in the Biology Department, overseeing curriculum and academic advising, and she has also led department efforts to emphasize scientific communication within the curriculum. Elmendorf has devoted much of her professional life to pedagogical innovation and has worked with both the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the American Society for Microbiology on education and education research initiatives and was a co-founder of the ASM-NSF Biology Scholars Program, a national campaign for evidence-driven science education reform. As the Director of Science Education Outreach at Georgetown, Elmendorf works with science faculty to facilitate and coordinate various campus partnerships with schools (including DCPS) and community organizations. She has additionally assumed a related leadership role at Georgetown on efforts to improve diversity in the sciences; she leads the Regents Science Scholar Program, working from the stage of admissions through academic advising, summer program development, and creation of research internship opportunities.

Nora Gordon, PhD

Associate Professor, Public Policy

Nora Gordon is Associate Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy and Research Associate of the National Bureau of Education Research. Her research focuses on fiscal federalism in American education policy and especially the current and historical federal role in elementary and secondary education. An expert on Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Gordon has also studied the causes and consequences of school desegregation, state school finance reforms, and school district consolidation. Her current research projects include a study of school-based Medicaid billing for special education, and one of historical trends in how states use categorical versus general aid for education.

Eddie Maloney, PhD

Professor, English

Eddie Maloney is the Executive Director of the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) and a Professor of Narrative Theory, Literature, and Practice in the Department of English. He holds a PhD from The Ohio State University in English Literature and an MA from Syracuse University in English and Textual Studies. As Executive Director of CNDLS, a research center on teaching, learning and technology, he helps to define Georgetown’s strategy to advance teaching and learning practices at the university, including developing innovative approaches to technology-enhanced learning, learning analytics, and fulfilling the Jesuit mission of teaching to the whole student. As a professor in the Department of English, he teaches courses on modernism, postmodernism, critical and narrative theory.

Lourdes Ortega, PhD

Professor, Linguistics

Lourdes Ortega has been a Professor at Georgetown in the Linguistics Department since 2012. Her main area of research is in second language acquisition, particularly sociocognitive and educational dimensions in adult classroom settings. She also has long-standing interests in second language writing and foreign language education and has published widely about systematic research synthesis and epistemological and ethical dimensions of second language acquisition research. In the last few years, she has become interested in applying insights from bilingualism and from usage-based linguistics to the investigation of second language development. Ortega is originally from Spain, where she received her first degree in Spanish Philology. She studied abroad in Germany, lived in Greece for 7 years as a teacher of Spanish, and relocated to the United States in 1993, where she completed her studies and rooted her academic career. She was co-recipient of the Pimsleur and the TESOL Research awards (2001) and has been a doctoral Mellon fellow (1999), a postdoctoral Spencer/National Academy of Education fellow (2003), and a senior research fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (2010). Her publications include the books Understanding Second Language Acquisition (Hodder, 2009) and Technology-Mediated TBLT: Researching Technology and Tasks(with Marta González-Lloret; John Benjamins, 2014). She served as area editor for “Language Learning and Teaching” for the Wiley Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (2013) and was the editor of Language Learning for the five-year term of 2010-2015.

Eloise Passachoff, JD

Professor, Law

Eloise Passachoff teaches education law at the Georgetown Law Center, as well as courses on regulation and legislation. Her scholarship focuses on administrative and constitutional law issues surrounding federal funding, with a particular interest in legal regimes governing education and social welfare programs. She received an AB summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard, an MA from Yale, an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a JD magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. After law school, she worked at WilmerHale LLP in New York City; served as a law clerk to Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court of the United States; and taught first-year legal research and writing as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Pasachoff currently serves on the executive committee of the Education Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Earlier in her career, she taught middle and high school English in public and private schools in New York City. She is a past chair of the Committee on Education and the Law of the New York City Bar Association and served on the board of the Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, Massachusetts for seven years. In 2012, she was awarded the Education Law Association’s Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law.

Andria Wisler, PhD

Associate Teaching Professor, JUPS

Andria Wisler serves as Executive Director of the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service at Georgetown University. As Associate Teaching Professor, she is a member of the core faculty of the Program on Justice and Peace (JUPS). Wisler received her PhD in Comparative and International Education and Philosophy from Columbia University and her MA in International Educational Development and Peace Education from Teachers College. Her research and teaching are in the fields of peace education, conflict studies, and international educational development, and her principal interest lies in the transformative potential of educational initiatives in post-conflict societies and for girls living in urban poverty. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Andria began her vocation within education as a school teacher at an independent school, the Cornelia Connelly Center, which serves girls of immigrant families of the Lower East Side, New York City. At Georgetown, Andria participated in the inaugural group of Doyle Fellows, a campus initiative on inclusion and diversity, the Engelhard Initiative, and – in Fall 2010 – Andria was a faculty-in-residence in Georgetown’s Alanya, Turkey, study abroad/community living-and-learning program. Andria co-edited (with Celina Del Felice and Aaron Karako) Peace Education Evaluation (Information Age, 2015), a first of its kind resource of 20 chapters that reviews the trends and challenges in evaluation of peace education, presents case studies of programs around world, and offers ideas for methodological innovations. She is married to Bill Rebeck, Professor of Neuroscience, and is mother to Jackson.

Jennifer Woolard, PhD

Associate Professor, Psychology

An associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University, Jennifer Woolard began her career at the National Victims Resource Center. While obtaining her doctoral degree in developmental and community psychology at the University of Virginia, she also served as a victim-witness volunteer in the county police department, a staff member to the Virginia Commission on Family Violence Prevention, and a consultant with Virginians Against Domestic Violence (now Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.) She then joined the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice and became an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Center for Studies in Criminology and Law. In 2002, she joined the psychology faculty at Georgetown University where she serves as co-director of their graduate program, supervising the Human Development and Public Policy track. Woolard’s research and action laboratory, the Georgetown Community Research Group, examines how individuals and families interact with systems in communities, including how first responders and veterans receive mental health treatment. Her Center for Research on Adolescence, Women, and the Law concentrates on care and control systems, including the juvenile and criminal justice systems and schools. Projects examine how youth and parents understand the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to a trial. In addition, Woolard has testified as an expert before federal and state legislatures, as well as in criminal cases; presented her research findings to a wide variety of academic, legal, and policy audiences; and won several awards for teaching excellence.