Researchers & Staff
Full Biography Dave Owens, Professor for the Practice of Management and Innovation, Faculty Director, VU Accelerator-Summer Business Institute
Professor Owens serves on the faculty at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management in the area of management, where he also directs the Executive Development Institute. Owens has consulted for NASA, The Smithsonian, Nissan LEAF, Gibson Music, American Conservatory Theater, Alcatel, Tetra Pak, Tennessee Valley Authority, Cisco, LEGO, The Henry Ford Museum and many other organizations. He has done product design work for well-known firms including Daimler Benz, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Coleman Camping, Corning World Kitchen, Steelcase and IDEO Product Development. He has also served as CEO of a large consumer electronics firm, Griffin Technology. Owens earned his Ph.D. in management science and engineering through a joint fellowship program between Stanford's Graduate School of Business and its School of Engineering. He holds an M.S. in engineering product design and is a registered professional electrical engineer (P.E). In his current work, Owens focuses on concrete strategies for creating positive change in all types of organizations. Full Biography
Andrew Hostetler, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Social Studies Education, Dept. of Teaching & LearningAndrew L. Hostetler taught in high schools in South Carolina and Ohio for eight years before pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at Kent State University, '12. While at Kent State University, Andrew taught courses on understanding secondary school culture in the secondary education program. Since coming to Vanderbilt in 2012, he has worked with local schools and community organizations to study, create, and lead educational experiences in secondary social studies settings, that support community and civic engagement for young people, and encourage focused high quality teacher inquiry into practice. Andrew has presented on these issues at state, regional, national, and international conferences. Full Biography
Ben Rydal Shapiro, PhD Candidate, Learning Sciences/Learning, Teaching & Diversity
Ben Rydal Shapiro is completing his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences & Design as a member of the Space, Learning & Mobility Lab at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. His research and design integrates approaches from the learning sciences, information visualization and architecture to study how people engage and learn in relation to the physical environment and to design new types of learning/information environments and experiences. Ben previously studied architecture and is committed to collaborating with others across the fields of education and design. He is originally from California and received his B.A. in Architectural Studies from Middlebury College and M.Ed. from Vanderbilt where he helped build collaborations with the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Melbourne in Australia and co-founded Vanderbilt’s Design for America Studio. Link to personal website
Lauren Vogelstein, Doctoral Student, Department of Teaching and Learning, Peabody College
Lauren Vogelstein is a Learning Sciences doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning in Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, advised by Rogers Hall and Corey Brady. She is a member of the Space, Learning and Mobility Lab. Lauren began dancing at a young age as she also became enamored with counting, organizing, and pattern making. Her love of the art form as well as mathematics brought her to New York where received her a BFA in dance and a BS in mathematics from The Ailey School and Fordham University. She then went on to work at the National Museum of Mathematics, where she worked as an educator and developed a movement based mathematics curriculum. She then went on to earn her Masters in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. Her current research at Vanderbilt explores bridging dance and mathematics by developing tools and techniques to allow children, as well as adults, to use their bodies as tools for ensemble-based mathematical thinking and learning.
Helen Collins, M.Ed. Learning & Design Student, Department of Teaching and Learning, Peabody College
Helen Collins is a current student in the MEd. Learning and Design program at Peabody. She works as a research assistant for the BLUES 2.0 project. She has 10 years of experience as an elementary teacher, working in London and at an international school in Boston teaching grades 1 to 5. Helen’s research interests are in learning in informal settings, particularly museums, libraries and theaters. She has worked with a children’s theater in London to develop curriculum materials for teachers and was a member of the Board of Educators for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Helen is currently investigating how youth tell stories with archival media, using narrative practices as a form of personal meaning making with cultural heritage material. She is originally from London, having gained a BSc. in Psychology (University of Exeter, UK), a PGCE in Primary Education (University of Brighton, UK) and an MA in Primary Education (Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK).
Jennifer Kahn, Assistant Professor University of Miami
Jennifer Kahn Thorne is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Learning Sciences program in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She completed her doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. Her research looks to professional, representational practices and new interdisciplinary, cultural activities to inform design studies for youth and community learning. Her dissertation report on a design-based research program she developed to explore storytelling practices with statistical and mathematical models of socioeconomic big data commonly found in the public media. She plans to continue to investigating how these practices, along with access to open data and interactive digital visualization tools, can encourage youth and families to engage critically with big data models and to draw relationships across scales—between their personal, local experiences and larger social, economic, scientific, and historical issues.
Jasmine Y. Ma, Assistant Professor NYU Steinhardt
Jasmine Y. Ma is a mathematics education researcher and learning scientist interested in how people learn in and out of school settings. Her current research focuses on developing theories of ensemble learning and embodied cognition by designing and investigating experimental large-scale geometry activities for secondary mathematics students. Her work has been supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, and she has published her research in Journal of Teacher Education and The Journal of LearningSciences. Ma received her doctorate in mathematics and science education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.
Katie Headrick Taylor, Assistant Professor University of Washington
Katie Headrick Taylor is Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development at University of Washington's College of Education. She earned her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College in Learning, Teaching, and Diversity, and her B.A. in Urban Studies at New York University. Taylor was a postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy. She looks closely at the role of digital media in the lives of children, youth, and adults through ethnographic and mixed method case studies, classroom and community-focused design studies, and the development and study of undergraduate courses for pre-service teachers. She is most committed to the notion that young people, in collaboration with one another and emerging technologies, have the potential for producing new techno-civic practices that address and influence practical, “on the ground” issues. In her work, she argues that young people’s interest and familiarity with new and mobile technologies remain untapped resources for formal and other designed learning spaces. Wisely leveraging these tools for young people’s learning and engagement requires more ethnographic and small-scale design research about how children and youth use mobile computing in the more informal, transitional spaces of daily life. Taylor has over a decade of of experience working with and co-designing technology-rich learning environments with youth to promote locally relevant learning and civic engagement. She has done work with Chicago area youth at CivicLab and before that worked with young people living in Nashville through the Oasis Center. A component of this work is leveraging emerging mobile and location aware technologies to engage young people in processes of community development.
Nathan Phillips, Assistant Professor UIC College of Education
I am interested in the geographies of literacy and learning--particularly youth learning. I study young people's spatial literacies and media literacies in and out of school, across virtual and physical landscapes, and among multiple media. I am particularly interested in these literacies and mobilities as they relate to the possibilities for young people to actively and critically participate in civic processes that have an impact on their lives now and in the future. I am currently designing instruction and research for classrooms where young people interpret and produce thematic maps and map-body performances for making arguments. I am also currently investigating the multimodal nature and design of young people's publicly distributed media production processes and products. Other recent research has included investigating practices of spatial analysis and modeling by professional work groups and identifying principles of this practice that can be taught in formal and informal instructional settings with young people.
Before coming to UIC, I taught high school English, journalism, creative writing, and film. I currently teach courses in disciplinary literacy for preservice secondary school teachers.
Alvin Pearman, Doctoral Student, Department of Teaching and Learning, Peabody College
Alvin Pearman, a National Institute of Health Predoctoral Fellow, is a graduate student at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College in the Department of Teaching and Learning. His research focuses on urban schooling, social inequality, and neighborhood effects. His current research on education examines the impact of city-wide income inequality on schooling outcomes, the influence of neighborhood gentrification on disciplinary patterns in schools, and the role of student mobility in shaping achievement and attention skills. Other projects examine the effects of neighborhood poverty on the mathematical trajectories of black children, as well as descriptive analyses of the social, economic, and political contexts in which urban schools are located nationwide. Throughout his research, Alvin combines quasi-experimental research with careful attention to how "big data," including geo-coded crime statistics, business information, and local voting patterns, might open new sites of inquiry in the field of education and shed new light on how the spatial dimension of social stratification figures into schooling-related processes for children and adolescents.
Tyler Hollett, Assistant Professor Penn State University
Ty Hollett's research is grounded in new literacies with a focus on digital media and learning. His interests include interest-driven and informal and non-formal learning, especially in youth affinity spaces. He has explored the use of location-aware technologies in public schools to design and augment youth movement through place, to contribute to forms of public authoring and urban markup, and to develop varieties of mobile storytelling. Additionally, he has worked with Kevin Leander and members from the Nashville Public library in the design of a new digital media learning lab called The Studio. He is currently exploring spatial learning and literacies in gaming environments like Minecraft.
Kevin Leander focuses on the spatial side of literacy including Adolescent Literacy, Secondary English Education, Literacy and Social Space and Technology, Sociocultural Theory and Literacy, Classroom Discourse and Identity, Multimodality, and Composition. Full Biography