Skip to main content

Postdoctoral fellows play a pivotal role in the Warner School’s success

Postdoctoral fellows play a pivotal role in the Warner School’s success

A new academic year brings a cohort of new postdoctoral fellows to the Warner School of Education and its many programs and centers. The three exceptional early-career scholars are set to be integral members of the School’s academic community, infusing it with innovative ideas, cutting-edge research and diverse perspectives that will benefit faculty, staff and students alike. 

A postdoctoral fellow — or simply a postdoc — is an individual professionally conducting research after completing their doctoral studies, typically a PhD. As active scholars in the enriched academic environment at the Warner School, these postdoctoral fellows, who have recently completed their PhDs, are poised to embark on a journey of intellectual growth and professional learning. Their roles extend beyond their own research endeavors, as they also contribute to various school initiatives, ranging from important center work and data collection to research evaluation, teaching, and offering invaluable perspectives through their work.

Associate Dean for Research Samantha Daley, who oversees the recruitment and mentorship of postdocs at the Warner School, emphasizes the significant role these fellows play in enriching both the academic environment and the School's overarching mission.

"Postdoctoral fellows bring immense value to our robust research programs," says Daley. "They join us with a strong foundation of training, independence, and focus, actively driving our research efforts and playing a pivotal role in shaping both existing Warner research activities and their scholarly interests. This mutually beneficial relationship enhances our scholarly pursuits and provides invaluable mentorship opportunities for our postdocs as they prepare to secure a faculty or research position.” 

Meet the fellows

Yu Jung HanYu Jung Han is a postdoctoral fellow housed in the Center for Learning in the Digital Age (LiDA), with additional teaching responsibilities. She is involved in a few externally funded LiDA-related projects and, more generally, contributes her expertise in instructional technology, AI-powered tools for multimodal content creation, and qualitative analysis to LiDA’s initiatives. Her primary research focus centers around the exploration of language learners' language use outside of the classroom, which is motivated by their personal interests. Han focuses on creating learning environments that allow students to leverage and enhance the expertise they acquire through these interest-driven practices, and effectively connect their expertise to their personal, academic, and professional goals. Her research is further categorized into several main areas, such as language learners’ motivation, identity development, and the utilization of technology for interest-driven practices, which has recently expanded into the realm of generative AI. 

Rebecca Rosen is a postdoctoral fellow working on a National Science Foundation-funded study on inclusive design in informal learning spaces. Additionally, with her appointment in the Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, in conjunction with Associate Professor Kevin Meuwissen, she helps to develop and enact professional learning for the Regional Social Studies Leadership Cadre—a working group of educators committed to supporting high-quality social studies teaching. Rosen also assists with running the ROC Urban Teaching Fellows Program and teaches courses in teaching and curriculum. Rosen’s dissertation was titled “Gatekeeping Difficult Histories: The Interaction of Emotions with Secondary Social Studies Teachers’ Pedagogical Reasoning.” Her research focuses on the decision-making practices of social studies teachers and the ways in which they mediate their own and their students’ emotions, and perceptions of associated risks, when teaching difficult content.  

Judith Van Alstyne is a postdoctoral fellow with joint appointments as a liaison for Warner’s Research Subjects Review Board (RSRB), as a senior researcher for the National Science Foundation-funded project “Creating a Model for Sustainable Ambitious Mathematics Programs in High-Need Settings,” and for the Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, where she will be exploring the group information management practices in mentoring contexts, such as Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs). Van Alstyne also teaches courses in the teaching and curriculum program. Van Alstyne’s dissertation is titled “Toward an Understanding of the Personal Information Management Discourses of Youth.” Her research focuses on the digital information practices of youth in multiple settings including academic (e.g., learning management systems) and extracurricular (e.g., digital art and gaming) contexts.

These three outstanding postdoctoral fellows join Zachary Brown, who is completing his second year as a postdoctoral researcher with joint appointments at the Warner School and the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies. Additionally, Eleni Duret, who held joint appointments in the Warner School’s Center for Urban Education Success and the Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, concluded her postdoctoral fellowship in August. Learn more about the postdoctoral fellows at the Warner School

Research at Warner 

The Warner School’s commitment to research and community engagement remains unwavering and centers at the heart of the University’s mission of Meliora: to make the world ‘Ever Better.’ Its faculty, staff, students and alumni foster meaningful relationships with communities to help pave the way for a brighter future for students through its grant-funded programs. In the past year, the Warner School was awarded more than $5.5 million in new grant funding. Much of this funding comes from the National Science Foundation, supporting research and training programs aimed at increasing access to and engagement in STEM fields for underserved populations. Warner’s work through these programs extends to the introduction of justice-centered curricula and teacher residency programs designed to facilitate successful entry into teaching positions, boost retention rates, and align teaching pedagogy with the evolving needs of students, to name a few examples. Learn about the variety of research projects at the Warner School.