Dr. Xueli Wang – PI
Dr. Xueli Wang is the Barbara and Glenn Thompson Endowed Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches graduate courses on community colleges, mixed methods research in education, and assessment in higher education. Dr. Wang’s research focuses on community colleges and STEM education, aiming to identify practices, structures, and policies toward transformative change for equitable student outcomes. Her NSF-funded research projects have investigated two-year college students’ learning, transfer pathways, and success, as well as how faculty development translates into teaching practices that subsequently shape students’ experiences and outcomes. A notable example of Dr. Wang’s work is her book, “On My Own: The Challenge and Promise of Building Equitable STEM Transfer Pathways” (published in 2020 by Harvard Education Press, hepg.org/hep-home/books/on-my-own). Grounded in a large-scale longitudinal mixed methods study of 1,670 community college students, the book issues a plan of action toward cultivating equitable transfer pathways. This book received the 2021 outstanding publication award from the American Educational Research Association’s Postsecondary Education Division. Among her numerous other awards, Dr. Wang was honored with the Transfer Champion-Catalyst Award by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students in 2021, the Barbara Townsend Lecture Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education in 2020, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education’s Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in 2020.
Dr. Turina Bakken – Co-PI
Turina Bakken is the provost at Madison College. She has served as vice provost, associate vice president, dean, associate dean, program director and faculty member. Bakken is a member of the College Assembly and holds board of director positions for multiple organizations outside of the college.
She was awarded the Distinguished Teacher of the Year award in 2006 and received the college’s Outstanding Employee award in 2010. In 2016, she received the Dr. Idahlynee Karre Exemplary Leadership Award from the national chair committee.
She holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bakken earned a Master of Science in marketing and organizational theory, Bachelor of Applied Arts in marketing with a specialization in international business, bachelor of arts in French area studies and a certificate from the Faculte des Lettres in Aix en Provence, France.
In addition to her accomplishments at Madison College, Bakken has served as color commentator for University of Wisconsin-Madison women’s hockey and hosted a sports radio show on the BIG1070 and ESPN radio.
Dr. Mary Ellen Kraus – Co-PI
Mary Ellen Kraus is Co-PI for the Crisis as Catalyst for Change and Innovation project. She recently completed 10 years as program director for the biotechnology program at Madison College and has been an instructor for 23 years.
Mary Ellen has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Penn State University and a PhD in Biochemistry from Cornell University. She works with industry partners to identify internship opportunities and to develop training programs. She has developed programs for high school students to earn dual credit and has a strong interest in developing new and non-traditional pathways for students to enter the biotechnology industry and to grow their careers.
Dr. Kelly Wickersham – Researcher
Kelly Wickersham is a research associate for the Crisis as Catalyst for Change and Innovation project. Her research interests center on qualitative and mixed methods exploration of student pathways, mobility, and success in higher education, as well as community college ATE/STEM education, experiences, and completion. Kelly received her PhD from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Amy Prevost – Researcher and Project Manager
Amy Prevost is an associate researcher for the Crisis as Catalyst for Change and Innovation project. Her work primarily focuses on qualitative aspects of education research, and her primary areas of interest lie in understanding educational pathways in STEM programs, improving student outcomes at the post-secondary level, including access to careers, and trying to understand what experiences contribute to students’ abilities to transfer knowledge. Amy received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and holds bachelor’s degrees in Biology and French, also from UW–Madison.
Dr. Yen Lee – Postdoctoral Scholar
Yen Lee is a post-doctoral researcher for the Crisis as Catalyst for Change and Innovation project. Her research focuses on evaluating and resolving the challenges empirical researchers may encounter in data analysis, such as (1) evaluating the violation of normality assumption and (2) obtaining trustworthy conclusions when complex statistical models are adopted with a small sample size. She has a M.S. in Psychology from Chengchi University in Taiwan, focusing on psychometrics, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on statistical methods.
Nicole Contreras-García – Graduate Research Assistant
Nicole Contreras-García is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research agenda is aimed at advancing equity-centered holistic support for underrepresented community college students. She received her M.S. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from UW-Madison.
Ayse Okur Ozdemir – Graduate Research Assistant
Ayse Okur Ozdemir is doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a master’s degree in Global Higher Education from UW–Madison. Her main research interest includes equity-driven assessment in higher education.
Maria Widmer – Graduate Research Assistant
Maria Widmer is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and a Manager of Teaching, Learning, & Technology for the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research agenda focuses on equity, data, and student activism in higher education. Maria received a M.Ed. in Learning, Design, and Technology from Penn State University.
Peiwen Zheng – Graduate Research Assistant
Peiwen Zheng is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a graduate research assistant on the Crisis as Catalyst for Change and Innovation project. Her research interests center on the experiences of underserved students navigating community and technical colleges. She received her master’s degree from the Global Higher Education Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Xiwei Zhu – Graduate Research Assistant
Xiwei Zhu is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a graduate research assistant on the Crisis as Catalyst for Change and Innovation project. Her research focuses on teaching and learning at community colleges, especially how faculty define and engage in inclusive teaching. She holds a master’s degree in Global Higher Education from UW–Madison.