Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education
Meet Students & Alumni
If you are thinking about applying to our program and would like to talk with
one of our current students or alumni, feel free to email those who have
included their contact information below.
Elise Deitrick (contact me)
PhD in STEM Education
I chose to pursue a PhD in STEM Education because in
undergrad I did not have an opportunity to directly learn
about computer science and engineering education, instead
studying the discipline and math education separately. Not
only have my experiences afforded me the opportunity to
attend to the unique pedagogical challenges of engineering
education, but I have also deepened my understanding of
learning which has made me a more informed educator.
In 2013, I earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the
University of Texas, Dallas as well as Mathematics 4-8
Teaching Certification in Texas.
PhD in STEM Education
Tufts education has a uniquely student centered research
orientation that makes sense of sense-making. Being in this
environment, and constantly in dialogue with child
development researchers, discipline experts, and critical
scholars, has revolutionized how I think about education.
Together I believe we can shift people's perspectives to
value more contextual and dynamic accounts of learning.
I earned my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and B.A. in
Applied Mathematics from Tufts University in 2013. I worked
as a curriculum developer and teacher at a computer science
education company called TechSmartKids for two years.
Yara Wasfi Shaban (contact me)
Learning sciences provide a rich, diverse, and challenging
opportunity to reflect and research about the ways we learn
and develop. My colleagues and professors come from
different scientific backgrounds, and I am excited to be
part of their conversation and discoveries in the field.
I have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Electrical
Engineering from the University of Jordan in Amman.
Lama Jaber (contact me)
PhD in Science Education, 2014
I am an assistant professor in science education at Florida
State University where I teach graduate courses on the
learning and teaching of science. I am also a core faculty
in the FSU-Teach program where I teach undergraduate courses
for preservice science and mathematics teachers. In my
research, I study learners' engagement, emotions, and
sense-making in science. I am also interested in the design
responsive teaching classrooms that promote students'
disciplinary engagement and agency in science. To that end,
I examine how pre-service and in-service teachers come to be
more responsive to students' thinking and emotions in
My experience in the STEM Education program was no doubt one
of the most transformative experiences in my life. I had the
opportunity to work with amazing mentors and distinguished
scholars, participate in various research projects, teach
courses and engage in professional development for teachers,
meet wonderful people and make lifelong friendships. Not
only did the STEM Education program help me develop the
knowledge, tools, and dispositions that are core to my work
today, but it also significantly shaped who I am as a
scholar and as a person. It has enriched me with a sense of
excitement and passion for ideas, an eagerness to make a
difference, and a feeling of responsibility to give back.
For this and much more, I am forever grateful.
Mara V Martinez
PhD in Mathematics Education, 2008
Dr. Mara V Martinez is an Mathematics Education Associate
Professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago in the
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Department with
a joint position at the Learning Sciences Research
Institute. She is primarily involved in developing and
teaching courses for pre-service teachers at both the
elementary and secondary levels. She also advises doctoral
student s in the Mathematics Education. Her research has
been supported by the National Science Foundation.
Currently, she is a co-PI in the
project. Her research agenda focuses mostly
on the teaching and learning of algebra and proof in K-12.
PhD in STEM Education, 2011
I am currently the Manager of Research and Evaluation at the
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. I manage a team of
four who study the impacts of our exhibitions, digital
media, after school, teacher education and student
experiences programs. Since we study a large number of
programs with very different goals and populations, it is
important to have a wide variety of methodological tools,
experiences and philosophies. The multidisciplinary nature
of the MSTE program, along with its emphasis on learning
multiple methods of research, has prepared me to be flexible
yet still adhere to rigorous research practices.
Kristen Wendell (contact me)
PhD in Science Education, 2011
I am an assistant professor of elementary science education
at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where I teach
courses on the learning and teaching of science,
engineering, and math at the early childhood and elementary
school levels. I am also a member of UMASS Boston's Center
of Science and Mathematics in Context (COSMIC), where my
research focuses on the incorporation of engineering into
both elementary school experiences and elementary teacher
preparation in urban settings.
The Tufts STEM Education program not only enabled me to find
my dream job but also built my capacity to do the work I do
each day. I am not exaggerating when I say every single day,
I use knowledge, skills, and habits of mind developed at
Tufts in the STEM Education Ph.D. program and its
partnership with the Center for Engineering Education
Outreach. My courses and research experiences grounded me in
theories of learning across the distinct STEM domains,
nurtured my interdisciplinary interests, exposed me to the
development of educational research programs, and gave me
crucial contextual knowledge about the role of culture,
race, language, educational philosophy, and school systems
in STEM learning. Most importantly Tufts provided a vibrant
and joyful intellectual community where I could grow not
only as a scholar but also as a person.
Below are a few videos that profile some of our students' research interests.
3-D Learning Technologies: Tufts Visualization Wall with Aaron Price
Math Science and Technology Ph.D. candidate Aaron Price explores 3-D
visualizations of galaxies to help students better understand spacial and
structural concepts of the universe.
This video was captured in the Tufts University Center for Scientific
Visualization. Aaron is currently
the Manager of Evaluation and Research at the Chicago Museum of Science and
Meet Mara Martinez
PhD, Mathematics Education, 2008
A profile of Ph.D. graduate Mara Martinez and her work in the Math Science
Technology and Engineering program.
Featured and excerpts as she prepares for and delivers her dissertation defense
presentation on how students can use algebra to produce proofs.
Mara is currently an assistant professor of Mathematics Education at the
University of Illinois.
Meet Morgan Hynes
PhD, Engineering Education, 2009
This video is a short profile with Tufts Engineering and Education graduate
Morgan Hynes that features his work in schools using Leggo Robotics.
Morgan is currently an assistant professor in Engineering Education at