Team

Dr. Tina Grotzer 

Dr. Tina Grotzer

Next Level Lab Role: Faculty Director

Tina Grotzer is a Principal Research Scientist and Member of the Faculty of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an expert in the learning sciences and cognitive sciences and a senior researcher at Project Zero. She has been working in grounded, informal and formal contexts for applying cognitive science findings for three decades. She teaches courses in cognition and learning, and its applications to learner behaviors, pedagogy, instructional design, and school design. This work considers what it means to be an expert learner and how to leverage research towards supporting students in developing adaptive expertise to help them learn how to learn about and navigate challenges of the future.  Her awards include a Career Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the US Government for her research on learning to handle complexity. She has written many research articles, articles for the general public, books, and curricula for the classroom. With colleague, Dr. Christopher Dede, she developed the EcoLEARN curriculum that leverages new technologies to teach complex ecosystems science concepts. She has worked with PBS, Disney/ABC, and Microsoft and schools nationally and internationally. Prior to coming to Harvard, she was a district-wide administrator and teacher for over a decade.

 

Dr. Chris Dede 

Dr. Christopher Dede

Next Level Lab Role: Senior Researcher

Chris Dede is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership.  From 2001-2004, he was Chair of the HGSE department of Teaching and Learning.  In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.  From 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Expert at NSF, Directorate of Education and Human Resources.

Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment, a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group.  In 2013, he co-convened a NSF workshop on new technology-based models of postsecondary learning; and in 2015 he led two NSF workshops on data-intensive research in the sciences, engineering, and education.

Chris also was an International Steering Committee member for the Second International Technology in Education Study, and he has participated in technology-based learning initiatives for various Global South countries. He is currently a member of the OECD 2030 Scientific Committee.

His co-edited books include: Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement; Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student; Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education; Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education; Learning engineering for online education: Theoretical contexts and design-based examples; and The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy.

 

Megan Cuzzolino Headshot

Dr. Megan Cuzzolino

Next Level Lab Role: Senior Project Manager

Megan Cuzzolino is a researcher and educator with expertise in cognition and development, instructional design, and public engagement with science. As a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, her research focused on the emotion of awe and its role in scientific learning and discovery. Prior to her graduate work, Megan was an elementary and middle school science teacher, a Science Education Analyst at the National Science Foundation, and a research assistant for several of Tina Grotzer's former projects on complex causal learning. She holds an Ed.D. and an Ed.M. in Human Development from HGSE and an A.B. in Psychology from Harvard College.

 

Eileen McGivney 

Eileen McGivney

Next Level Lab Role: Doctoral Researcher

Eileen McGivney is currently a PhD student, instructor, and researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the potentials and challenges of learning with immersive technologies such as virtual reality, particularly for young people of diverse identities and cultural backgrounds. At Harvard she has conducted research on learning in virtual environments, makerspaces, and massive open online courses. Previously she worked as a research associate at the Center for Universal Education at Brookings and as a research assistant at the Education Reform Initiative in Istanbul, Turkey.

 

Tessa Forshaw 

Tessa Forshaw

Next Level Lab Role: Doctoral Researcher

Tessa Forshaw operates at the intersection of design, learning science, and workforce development. As a lecturer and researcher at the Stanford University d.school, she creates learning environments that enable students to apply design thinking and innovation to challenges facing the future of work. At Harvard she is on the DCE Teaching Faculty, co-founded the Workforce Development Landscape Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, and supports research in HGSE’s Next Level Lab.

Outside her academic career, she a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Silicon Valley design firm People Rocket.  Previously, Tessa worked at IDEO CoLab and in Accenture's Strategy, Insight, and Innovation team where she was focused on super-charging the future of work through the intentional use of emerging technologies and human centered design. Tessa is a recipient of the the Australian American Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award, a Fast Company Design Award for General Excellence, and a Core 77 Design Award for Educational Product Design.

Tessa earned her M.A. in Learning, Design, and Technology from Stanford University and her B.A. (Honours) in Sociology and Economics from the Australian National University. She is currently a Doctoral Student and Presidential Scholar at Harvard University.
 

Ashley Etemadi 

Ashley Etemadi

Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Over the last eight years, Ashley Etemadi has worked as a management consultant at Accenture New York, a Fellow at a company builder and venture capital firm in Colombia, and as an operations leader at Toptal, the largest global network of vetted freelance talent, where she helped build their first service offering in the business consulting space, Toptal Finance. In her free time, she co-facilitates inquiry- and discussion-based learning settings for the personal and social development of displaced Middle Eastern university students. She holds an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a B.A. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and a B.S. in Operations & Information Management (with a concentration in Decision Processes) from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
 

Rodrigo Medeiros 

Rodrigo Medeiros

Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant 

Rodrigo Medeiros is a technologist and learning designer with a career that spans over 15 years in industries that include high-volume e-commerce, travel & entertainment, education, and finance. With a master’s degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education, Rodrigo is interested skills development for the modern workforce, at the intersection of ed tech and learning sciences. With technical training experience acquired while working with learners from several backgrounds, Rodrigo is well versed in adult learning. As a solutions architect, Rodrigo created learning plans for technical teams and conducted numerous learning activities including design sessions, custom hands-on workshops, and learn-by-doing exercises with innovation teams. He also provided guidance on data strategy, technical skills development, and technology to executive leadership at companies small and large.
 

Mingyue Sun
Mingyue Sun
Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Mingyue Sun holds an Ed.M. in Human Development and Education program from HGSE. Prior to HGSE, she worked as a research assistant in two labs at Bryn Mawr College and Penn Graduate School of Education. Mingyue is passionate about learning sciences and learning design, and she aspires to explore innovative ways to promote adult learning and workforce development. She holds a BA in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College.
 

Jingyi Xu
Jingyi Xu
Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Jingyi Xu holds an Ed.M. in Human Development and Education program from HGSE. Prior to HGSE, she studied Applied Psychology & Human Education and Economics at Boston College. She is passionate about understanding how social and cultural factors shape individuals’ cognitive and emotional processes in learning.
 

Isabella Capeci
Isabella Capeci
Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Isabella is a current Ed.M. candidate in the Learning Design, Innovation & Technology program. Prior to HGSE, she developed staff training curricula at Step Up, a housing and mental health services agency in Los Angeles, California. She holds a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Occidental College and is passionate about creating adult learning materials that are compatible with the mechanisms of attention, memory and higher order thinking.
 

Alyssa Gandolph
Alyssa Gandolph
Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Alyssa Gandolph is pursuing her master’s in Education Policy and Analysis at HGSE. She recently graduated from the University of Arizona, completing her B.S. in educational leadership and B.A. in political science with minors in Russian studies and educational psychology. While at the UofA, she worked as a research assistant, observing teacher and student behaviors across schools in Tucson, Arizona. Additionally, Alyssa was a Disability Policy Fellow at the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities. These experiences, alongside nonprofit internships, prompted Alyssa’s hope to bring community agency into policy efforts seeking to minimize cyclical poverty. She is interested in k-12 strategies to promote access to the workforce.

 

Mari Longmire
Mari Longmire
Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Mari Longmire (they/them) is an Ed.M. candidate in the Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology program at HGSE. Mari previously served as the assistant director of the University of Michigan Educational Theatre Company, where they utilized arts-based pedagogy and participatory storytelling to enhance social-emotional learning, meaning-making, and skill development for undergraduate and graduate students, particularly related to DEIB campus initiatives, sexual misconduct prevention, culture change, and college transition. With growing experiences in media design and gamification in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mari is passionate about leveraging interactive storytelling and innovative learning design to build individual, team, and organizational capacity through creative deeper learning initiatives. Mari holds a B.A. in Linguistics with a focus in sociolinguistics, queer studies, and intergroup dialogue education from the University of Michigan.
 

 

Aubry Ma
Aubry Ma
Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Aubry Ma is a current Ed.M. candidate in the Human Development and Education program at HGSE. Prior to HGSE, she worked in the Finance industry in London, including Goldman Sachs, where she worked closely with the Global Markets Division. Aubry has lived and studied in over four countries, including New Zealand, China, and the UK, and her research interests include educational innovation and the future of workplace development in organizations. She holds a BA in Education Studies from the Institute of Education at University College London.
 

Athena Tassis
Athena Tassis
Next Level Lab Role: Research Assistant

Athena Tassis is an Ed.M. candidate in the Learning Design, Innovation and Technology program at HGSE. She holds a Master of Teaching from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, at the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Psychology from York University. Prior to HGSE, Athena has worked on various research teams, some of which focused on teaching and learning pedagogies, and she has recently explored preservice teachers’ understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education. Among many roles, Athena worked as an instructional designer, finding innovative ways to support student learning through the use of technology and learning design. Athena has a passion for the use of AI in educational contexts, and more specifically, she is interested in the complementary roles of humans and machines when looking at Intelligence Augmentation.

 

Lydia Cao Headshot 
Dr. Lydia Cao
Next Level Lab Role: Visiting Fellow

Lydia Cao recently completed her PhD in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include supporting teachers to develop adaptive expertise and responsive practice, ed-tech design, and science education. In her dissertation, she co-designs a professional development program incorporating mixed-reality simulations with teachers in Pakistan to promote responsive dialogic teaching during science discussions. Prior to her doctoral studies, Lydia taught math and science in middle and high school in Canada.
 

Claire (Yu) Hao
Claire (Yu) Hao
Next Level Lab Role: Visiting Fellow

Claire (Yu) Hao is a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford Department of Education. Her doctoral project focuses on exploring and supporting students’ transition from high school to university. Her research interests include language and identity, agency, self-concepts, and sense of belonging in secondary and higher education settings.

Claire holds a BA in Education and Physics from the University of Cambridge, an MA in Applied Linguistics from University College London Institution of Education, and an EdM in International Education Policy from Harvard University. Since 2015, Claire has served as the Director of International Education at Beijing Xinxuedao Education Group, a non-profit organisation operating 21 K-12 schools across China. She has also worked as a high school counsellor and a teacher of Physics and Psychology.
 

Olav Schewe
Olav Schewe
Next Level Lab Role: Visiting Fellow

Olav Schewe is a PhD Candidate at the University of Oxford Department of Education. Supported by the Norwegian Research Council, his doctoral project focuses on the use of technology to teach students better learning skills. He is also the author of two international best-selling books on effective learning strategies, “Super Student” and “Learn Like a Pro”, and an edX course. With a passion for applying cognitive psychology, he trains students and teachers in the science of how we learn. Prior to his PhD, Olav worked in the edtech industry. Olav holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a BSc from the Norwegian School of Economics.
 

Maggie Lorenz
Maggie Lorenz
Next Level Lab Role: Collaborating Partner, Accenture

Maggie is a Manager in Accenture’s Talent & Organization practice. She focuses on preparing the workforce for business transitions, changing market interests, and providing clients with the tools to empower their people in the ever-changing workplace landscape. Prior to joining Accenture, she worked in public education, led teacher training programs, and has experience working in and consulting non-profit organizations that focus on adult education and training. Most recently, she led change activities for global industrial and consumer goods clients as they transition their workforce to new business planning systems. Maggie holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Louisville with a major in social ethics and minor in women and gender studies. She received her Master of Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a Master of Science in Executive Leadership and Organizational Change from Northern Kentucky University’s Haile College of Business.


 

Christine Nanan
Christine Nanan

Next Level Lab Role: Collaborating Partner, Accenture

Christine is a Senior Manager in Accenture’s Talent & Organization practice, where she helps organizations develop effective strategies to attract, retain, and develop their talent. Her work focuses on people analytics and research. She currently serves as a Platform Advisory Fellow for the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the New Economy and Society on topics concerning work, wages and job creation. Prior to joining Accenture, she was a high school physics and economics teacher. Christine holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Miami with a major in economics and a minor in art and art history. She received a Master of Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mohamed Elmi
Mohamed Elmi
Next Level Lab Role: Collaborating Partner, Accenture

Mohamed is a Consulting Analyst in Accenture's Health & Public Service practice. Mohamed graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities with a degree in Biology and Public Health. He has worked in various clinical and public health settings which makes him passionate about helping improve the quality of human life. He is interested in healthcare delivery, public health delivery, and healthcare in general. Mohamed has lived in 5 countries and speaks 3 languages, English, Somali, and Arabic. During his free time, he participates in a variety of outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding and is a huge supporter of the Minnesota Vikings. Skol!