Meet Our New Faculty and Staff 2023-24

2023-24 Meet Our New Faculty and Staff with 8 portraits and SOE logo

We welcome the energy and inquiry our new faculty and staff bring to the School of Education. Their research includes AI supporting students and teachers, educational practices and policies, higher education experiences and outcomes, the power of mindfulness on resilience and well-being of educators and students, and more.

Haesol Bae is an assistant professor in Educational Theory and Practice. Dr. Bae’s research focuses on how students learn by engaging in solving complex problems and how technology can support this learning process. Specifically, she is interested in how teachers can play a central role in supporting students while utilizing emerging educational technology, such as AI. Currently, Dr. Bae is involved in two projects, one of which involves collaborating with K-12 teachers.

Nicholas Bell is an assistant professor in Educational and Counseling Psychology’s Division of Special Education. Dr. Bell’s research focuses on studying education practices and policies and their impact, toward identifying and shaping equitable experiences for students in regular and special education. Dr. Bell currently studies a) the application and extension of QuantCrit in anti-racist research and b) anti-racist special education practices and policies to prevent the overrepresentation of Black, Latinx, and Emerging Bilingual boys and girls in special education and provide students quality, equitable experiences in special education.

Jonathan Foster is an assistant professor in Educational Theory and Practice. Dr. Foster’s research brings together teacher education, artificial intelligence, and argumentation in STEM education. Teachers make many complex decisions when facilitating argumentation, such as what questions to ask, when to probe ideas, and even how to display and keep track of students’ ideas. He seeks to understand how natural language and computer vision technologies, imbued with artificial intelligence, may support teachers in learning how to facilitate argumentation.

Maria Haji-Georgi is a visiting assistant professor in Educational and Counseling Psychology’s Division of Special Education. Prior to earning her PhD in educational psychology and methodology with a focus on special education from UAlbany, she worked as an elementary school teacher. Some of her research interests are the measurement of teacher-student relationships for students with emotional and behavioral disorders and their associated outcomes, the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on teachers and students, and students' social-emotional learning.

Elizabeth Jach is an assistant professor in Educational Policy & Leadership. Dr. Jach’s research examines factors facilitating better outcomes in higher education for its various constituents, including undergraduates, undocumented students, and postdoctoral scholars. With over 30 publications, Dr. Jach and various co-authors have demonstrated evidence for positive outcomes for undergraduates who participate in applied learning experiences, what factors have been associated with greater support of undocumented students, and what experiences matter for belonging among postdocs.

Julio McLaughlin is a lecturer for the Human Development program in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology. He earned his CAS in educational research from UAlbany. His research interests are classroom learning, specifically creativity, motivation, theories of learning, formative assessment, and high-ordered thinking.

Sean Pease is assistant director for accreditation and student success. He currently supports school-wide program accreditation and assessment efforts and university Middle States related program review. Prior to joining the School of Education, Sean worked for The Graduate School as assistant director of graduate admissions operations since 2015.

Deborah Schussler is a professor in Educational Policy & Leadership. Dr. Schussler uses an implementation science lens to investigate the development of educators’ dispositions and social-emotional competencies and the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on the resilience and well-being of educators and students. She has partnered with educators and school districts across the country on grants totaling over $10 million, and she has published dozens of articles and book chapters in a wide variety of outlets. She is an Associate Editor of Mindfulness.