Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity

Staff & Students

Photo of Liz

Elizabeth Litzler (Eh-LIZ-ah-beth (Liz) LITS-ler)
Director  |

Elizabeth Litzler is the Director of the UW Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE) and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in UW Sociology. Her research interests include the educational climate for undergraduate and graduate students, intersectionality of identities, and gender stratification in education and the workforce. Liz was the Research Manager for the Sloan Foundation-funded Project to Assess Climate in Engineering (PACE). She is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), and served on the WEPAN Board of Directors for 4 years. She acts as reviewer and presenter for WEPAN and ASEE conferences and relevant journals and has published in the Journal of Engineering Education, Research in Higher Education, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering and The Journal about Women in Higher Education. Liz earned a PhD and MA in Sociology and a BA in Communication with minors in Spanish and Women’s Studies.  Litzler CV Feb 2021

 Erin Carll (AIR-in Karl)
Associate Director | 

Erin Carll is the Associate Director at CERSE. Her evaluation and research focus on efforts to expand equity and inclusion in the STEM fields, including through community building and leveraging existing assets. She has published research on housing, neighborhoods, and the carceral system and has experience teaching undergraduate courses. This includes research practicums as well as courses on stratification in the U.S. public school system, housing, and statistics. Erin earned a PhD and MA in Sociology as well as a certificate in demographic methods and a concentration in social statistics from UW. She also holds an MA from Columbia University, a BA from Central Connecticut State University, and an AA from Three Rivers Community College.  CarllErin_CV_20221024


Emily Knaphus-Soran (Em-ih-lee k-NAP-us SOR-an)
Senior Research Scientist |

Emily Knaphus-Soran is a Senior Research Scientist at CERSE. She works on research associated with the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PNW LSAMP), and evaluations of the Redshirt in Engineering Consortium, the ASEE EDGE Initiative, and the Geo-Gold ASPIRE project. Her research focuses on the social-psychological and institutional forces that contribute to the persistence of race and class inequalities in the United States. Emily earned a PhD and MA in Sociology from the University of Washington, and a BA in Sociology from Smith College.  Knaphus-Soran CV 2020


Daniel Mackin Freeman
Research Scientist  |

Daniel Mackin Freeman is a Research Scientist at CERSE and a doctoral candidate in Portland State University’s Department of Sociology. With a background in social practice and education, Daniel’s research focuses on how school structure and curricular emphases both result from and perpetuate social inequalities. He received his BFA in General Fine Arts from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and his MS in Sociology from Portland State University. FreemanDaniel_CV_2023


Photo of Stephanie sittingStephanie Breen
Research Scientist |

Stephanie M. Breen is a Research Scientist at CERSE. She is also a doctoral candidate in the University of Maryland’s Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. As a scholar-practitioner, Stephanie’s research agenda focuses on issues of access, inclusion, and equity for historically marginalized communities in education. She received her BS in History from Suffolk University and her MA in Sociology of Education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.  Stephanie Breen CV Spring 2023


Janie Ng
Finance and Strategy Manager  |

Janie has been with the UW for more than 10 years working in various schools and departments on and off campus in operations.  She recently graduated with her MBA and launched a DEI student organization at USC for online MBA students.  Originally from Northern California, she has been a resident of Seattle for over 20 years. She spends time outdoors running and taking aerial landscape photos to recharge.  If she is not working, cooking, running, or organizing, you can find her brushing her two fluffy samoyeds, Koda (Friend) and Kuma (Bear), and with her family members.



Alyssa Bruce (uh-LI-suh Brus or ɐlIsɐ brus)
Graduate Research Assistant

Alyssa is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. Her research interests focus on international and community development, minority group engagement with economic markets, and the role NGO-government relations play in sustainable aid programs. She follows a participatory action research approach in her work, centering intersectionality in her research findings and applications. Alyssa earned a B.S. in Development Sociology and Applied Economics & Management from Cornell University. At CERSE, Alyssa conducts program evaluation for NCWIT.   

Pauline Dott (Paw-LEEN Dot)
Graduate Research Assistant

Pauline Dott is a PhD student in Learning Sciences and Human Development in the College of Education at the University of Washington. Her research interests focus on multilingual and multicultural elementary students and their teachers in relation to language and equity. Pauline also holds a M.Ed. from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin. Pauline works on CERSE’s PNW LSAMP research project.


Jana Foxe (jan-uh foks)
Graduate Research Assistant

Jana Foxe is a second year PhD student at the University of Washington’s Department of Political Science and a Graduate Research Assistant at CERSE. Their research focuses on international political economy and comparative politics, with a focus on the electoral and social impacts of economic policy in Europe. At CERSE, Jana is one of the graduate RA members of the Aspire evaluation team.  Jana is also affiliated with a project promoting and researching equity, diversity and inclusion in the geosciences with a team of researchers based at University College Dublin. Jana received their A.B. in Political Science from Brown University in May 2016.


Selen Güler (Seh-LEHN Gue-Larr)
Graduate Research Assistant

Selen Güler is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Washington. She is interested in the cultural foundations of policy making, the relationship between the state and the economy, and how people use taxes to morally and politically construct the state. Selen earned an MA in Sociology from the University of Washington. She also holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University in Turkey.


Ari Hock (Aw-ree Hahk)
Graduate Research Assistant

Ari Hock is a PhD candidate in the College of Education at the University of Washington. As a learning scientist, he studies community learning environments using design-based research methods. His dissertation is a participatory filmmaking project focused on relational thinking and creative collaboration with/in the Wallingford neighborhood in Seattle. Ari earned a BS in marketing from the University of Maryland and a MEd from the University of Washington. Ari is an avid skateboarder and martial artist, and a novice gardener. At CERSE, Ari is working on the Energy & Equity and ACCESS+ projects.  

Marianne Kellogg (mare-ee-an Kel-og)
Graduate Research Assistant

Marianne Kellogg is a PhD student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development program within the College of Education. Marianne’s research interests include early childhood social-emotional learning, and parent-child interactions and communications. In particular, Marianne explores when and how parents address topics like inequality, racism, and sexism with their young children. Before beginning her graduate program, Marianne worked in evaluation and implementation sciencebased research. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Whitman College. 


Paytan Murray (Pay-tin Mur-ree)
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Paytan Murray is a senior in the University of Washington’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program this year, majoring in Law, Societies, and Justice and minoring in Global Health. In her three years at UW, she has been honored as a Husky 100 Scholar and Marcy Migdal Fund for Education Equity fellow. She aspires to one day become an international human rights lawyer specializing in the intersection between climate justice and international human rights law, establishing protections for those who face intersectional discrimination, and become the first person in her family to attend graduate school. With that, she looks forward to working with CERSE to continue her efforts to uplift systemically marginalized communities in their pursuit of educational opportunities.


Aryaa Rajouria (AR-yah Rah-joe-ree-yah)
Graduate Research Assistant

Aryaa Rajouria is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington.
She is interested in migration as a mechanism for social change, how social structures influence
access to resources, and questions related to environmental governance (focusing on climate
risk and adaptation). She has prior experiences at organizations such as the United Nations
Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Huairou Commission, Transparency International, and
Child Trends. She has a BA from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, where she studied International Relations and Economics. At CERSE, Aryaa is working on a number of projects, including an evaluation for the UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.


Brooke Wolfe
Graduate Research Assistant

Brooke Wolfe is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Communication. Her program of research focuses on individuals marginalized within interpersonal, family, and health contexts. Before attending UW, she completed her M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a B.A. in Communication and Political Science from Pacific Lutheran University. While at CERSE, she will be working on the Aspire project



Amrine White (AM-rin White)
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Amrine White is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Political Economy and minoring in Labor Studies and Diversity at the University of Washington. Her interests include the expansion of diversity programs in public schools as well as community and labor organizing in Seattle. Before working at CERSE she was a member of the Harry Bridges Building a Movement project and worked on the Washington State Labor Council’s Race and Labor Program. In her free time, she loves to paddleboard, run with her dog, and paint.

Deborah Bedoll (DEB-ruh BEE-doll)
Graduate Research Assistant

Deborah Bedoll was finishing a MA degree in Program Evaluation through the Michigan State University when she worked with us, and completed her student practicum with CERSE in December 2022. Her BA (Animal Behavior) and BS (Evolutionary Ecology) degrees were earned through Evergreen State University, and her research interests include communication methods, unconscious biases, early childhood education, mental health, and increasing the accessibility of research to wider audiences


Cara Margherio (KAIR-uh Mar-GAIR-ee-oh)
Assistant Director

Cara Margherio was the Assistant Director of the UW Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE). Her research interests span the study of intersectionality, higher education, organizational change, and social movements. Cara uses mixed methods to understand the social mechanisms which may change, or facilitate, the production of inequities within higher education. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as CBE-Life Sciences Education; Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion; Neuron; Race Ethnicity and Education; and Research in Higher Education. She served as a Virtual Visiting Scholar with the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network. Cara earned a PhD and MA in Sociology at the University of Washington, and a BPhil in Sociology and BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Margherio CV Jan 2021


Andrea Brudvig (AN-dree-uh BRUD-vig)
Graduate Research Assistant

As a graduate student in Social Work at the University of Washington, Andrea’s interests included mental health, education, social justice, and human development with a focus on infant and early childhood mental health. She is also passionate about decolonizing research methodologies and is an advocate for using contemplative practices to promote reflective capacity building and critical consciousness. Andrea previously earned an MA in Consciousness Studies and a BA in Social Work and Psychology. At CERSE, she worked on the Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in STEM. 


Amber Burrell
Graduate Research Assistant

While at CERSE, Amber Burrell was working toward her PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. Her interests include education, criminal justice, law, policy, race, gender, and inequality. Her work recognizes the racial and gender inequalities that exist in our social institutions, and which are often viewed as acceptable norms. In the future, Amber hopes to promote better policies and laws to decrease such inequalities. Amber received her BA in sociology at the University of Arizona. At CERSE, Amber was working on evaluations for the Redshirt Workshop 2022 and the ASEE Virginia Tech IRES project.


Aliyah Turner (Uh-lee-uh Terner)
Graduate Research Assistant

While at CERSE Aliyah pursued a Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology. She received her Master’s in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 2019 and her Bachelor’s in Law & Society and Sociology with High Honors from Oberlin College in 2017. Aliyah is a native of the South-Side of Chicago and carries her community with her in the work she does. Aliyah’s research interests are located at the intersection of race, gender, place, and power. Aliyah uses critical qualitative methods to understand and explore race and gender formation as it unfolds differentially across major structures of power in society, like schools and the Criminal Legal System. Most recently, Aliyah explored how penalizing narratives associated Black masculinity infiltrated the All-Black-Male-School (ABMS) context and impacted Black boys’ socialization, identity formation, and encroached upon their resistance efforts. Aliyah was able to apply her analytical skills to the evaluation work she did for CERSE.

Hanna Moss (Han-uh Moss)
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hanna majored in Physiology and minored in Education at the University of Washington. She was a UW FIG leader who is passionate about health, equity, science, and gender issues. In her free time, she likes to crochet and do yoga. At CERSE, she focused on the evaluation of the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PNW LSAMP) and helped on other projects.


Aasli Abdi Nur (AH-slee AHB-dee Noor)
Graduate Research Assistant

While with CERSE Aasli Abdi Nur purued a PhD in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked in the non-profit sector as the lead internal evaluator for an organization providing skills-based health education to students in under-resourced high schools. In her doctoral studies, she is pursuing research on the gendered dimensions of migration and health. Aasli holds an MPH from Emory University and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis.


Naomi Yuen-Schat (Nay-oh-me You-en Shot)
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Naomi Yuen-Schat majored in Political Science with an emphasis in Political Economy and minored in Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies. She is interested in global Indigenous sovereignty, as well as immigrants’ and women’s rights issues. She helped to uplift BIPOC communities, women and marginalized groups through her work with CERSE.



Audrey Omar (ah-dree OH-mar)
Graduate Research Assistant

While with CERSE, Audrey pushed a PhD in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. Her research interests include family, gender, parenting, decision making and family identity. Audrey holds a B.A. in sociology from North Dakota State University, an M.A. in sociology from the University of Iowa, and an M.A. from the University of Washington. In between stints in graduate school, Audrey worked for the Yale Center for Analytical sciences as a research assistant and biostatistician. At CERSE, Audrey worked with the National Center for Women and Information Technology.


Adrienne Beebe (AY-dree-uhn Bee-bee)
Graduate Intern

Adrienne (they/them) interned at CERSE while completing their M.Ed. in Education Policy at the University of Washington. Their interests include methods of defining, evaluating, and contributing to college student success through an equity lens. They previously worked at a community college as an academic support specialist in STEM and aim to continue supporting college students’ success through data-informed and equity-minded practices. Adrienne holds a BA in Economics-Mathematics from Whitman College. At CERSE, Adrienne worked on the BRAINS project.

Mary Padden (Mare-ee Pad-in)
Graduate Research Assistant

While with CERSE Mary Padden was a doctoral student in educational policy, organizations, and leadership in the College of Education at the University of Washington. A former special education teacher and policymaker, her research interests include how authentic, equitable collaborations between schools and families can lead to racial justice and thriving communities. She has worked with multiple public school districts and with elected officials, including in research, policy advising, teaching, and professional development. She recently received the College of Ed’s Community Partner Fellow Award and has an MA in education policy and undergraduate degrees in public policy analysis-sociology and French. Through her work, she focused on work with communities to advocate for justice in education and beyond. As a graduate research assistant at CERSE, Mary worked on the Energy & Equity and Computer Science & Math projects.

Geri van Engers
Administrator  |

As the former administrator for CERSE, Geri worked closely with the Center’s team to support operations including management of its pre- and post-award activity, financial portfolio, payroll and personnel matters and facilities and space assignment. Geri’s extensive career as a research administrator has included appointments in renowned academic and scientific institutions working with leading research scientists and educators pushing the boundaries of knowledge in their field. She helped to uplift CERSE’s important work in evaluation and research of equity and representation in STEM fields. She holds a BA in Linguistics from the University of Washington and an MA in Linguistics/TESOL from San Francisco State University.

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Daiki Hiramori (Dye-kee Hee-RA-more-ee)
Graduate Research Assistant

While with CERSE, Daiki Hiramori pushed a PhD in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. His research interests include quantitative methodology, queer and feminist studies, sexuality and gender stratification, and Japanese society. In addition to an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington, Hiramori holds a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Mathematics from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. As a research assistant at CERSE, he worked on the evaluation of the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PNW LSAMP).

Riddhi Divanji (RI-dhee di-VAHN-jee)
Graduate Research Assistant

Riddhi pursued her M.Ed. in Measurement and Statistics in the College of Ed. Department of Educational Psychology. She also worked as a research coordinator at foundry10, co-designing research and program evaluation projects with youth program developers and community partners. Her interests include measuring academic and social-emotional outcomes and investigating the application of emerging learning technologies in K-12 classrooms. As a graduate research assistant at CERSE, Riddhi worked on an evaluation project examining the impact of a university’s STEM bridge program on participants’ educational trajectory and professional outcomes.


Arwen Chiu 

Burren Peil

Lucas Olson

Anne Sivley

Theresa Henry

Anna Lee Swan

Emma Scher

Lamar Foster

Kerice Doten-Snitker

Emily Haluschak

Greg Diggs-Yang

Alex Schaefer

Kaiqi Zhang

Cordelia Ilton

Karah Lothian

Tiffany Pan

Em Affolter

Yin Zhang

Montana James

Brian Serafini

Rob Tennyson

Alexis / Lexie Maister

Jenni Branstad

Kenno Hayashi

Lucy Herr

Johnathan Hsu

Marijo Manaois