Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity

Staff & Students

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Elizabeth Litzler 
Director  |

Elizabeth (Liz) 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. Liz Litzler CV 2024

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Erin Carll
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 currently serves on the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) Board of Directors. Erin 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. She earned a PhD and MA in sociology as well as a certificate in demographic methods and a concentration in social statistics from UW. Erin also holds an MA and BA in Russian and Eastern European studies, and an AA in liberal arts and sciences. Erin Carll CV 2024

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Emily Knaphus-Soran 
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.  Emily Knaphus-Soran CV 2024

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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. Daniel Mackin Freeman CV 2023

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Rae is smiling with a short sleeve shirt on.

Rae Jing Han

Research Scientist  |

Rae Jing Han is a Research Scientist at CERSE. Their research, teaching, and facilitation focus on cultivating culturally sustaining, liberatory, and justice-centered forms of environmental and climate education. They are passionate about the intersections of identity, emotionality, arts and storytelling, and sociopolitical consciousness. Rae earned a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Human Development, an M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum (Culturally Sustaining Education), and a Certificate in Education, Equity, and Society from University of Washington. They also hold a B.S. in Psychology from Yale University. When Rae isn’t working, they love to draw and paint, knit, run, hike, read, spend time with their puppy Tangyuan, cook and bake, and try new restaurants. Rae Jing Han CV 2023

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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.

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Shawon Riffat Ara
Graduate Research Assistant

Shawon Riffat Ara is a Ph.D. candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She brings more than six years of experience in diverse research programs and leadership activities in Bangladesh and the US. She is interested in research involving disability, mental health, child growth, and development in disadvantaged communities. Being born and raised in Bangladesh, a low-resource country, Shawon’s experience and perspectives align closely with CERSE’s mission to enhance the participation of marginalized populations in STEM fields. Besides research, Shawon has a strong passion for teaching. In her free time, she loves to travel and be in nature.”

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Pauline Dott 
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.

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Salley Fang
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Salley Fang is a third-year Undergraduate student at the University of Washington, studying Informatics with a focus in Data Science. As a Student Assistant at CERSE, she seeks to enhance her analytical abilities and gain deeper insight into the challenges underrepresented groups face in STEM fields, aiming to help contribute to systemic change. She also currently serves as the Director of Data Science at the Prosecution Project (tPP), a research platform that tracks political violence data in the US. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, playing badminton, and exploring Seattle.

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Jana Foxe 
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.

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Selen Güler 
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.

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Theresa Henry 
Graduate Research Assistant

Theresa Henry is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on financial inclusion and women’s empowerment in low- and middle-income countries. Theresa holds an MA in economics from the University of Washington and a BA in economics from the University of Georgia.  


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Ari Hock 
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.

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Marianne Kellogg
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.

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Aryaa Rajouria 
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.

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Maryam Tanveer
Graduate Research Assistant

Maryam Tanveer is an MPH student in Epidemiology on the Maternal-Child Health track at the University of Washington. Her research interests focus on understanding various forms of violence, specifically gun violence and sexual violence. Maryam also holds a B.S.P.H. in Public Health and a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology with a certificate in Gender-Based Violence from Tulane University. Maryam currently works on CERSE’s WA MESA project.


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Marisa Johnson
Undergraduate Research Assistant

While at CERSE, Marisa Johnson was a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Informatics at the University of Washington. She is dedicated to making a positive impact in her community and is an advocate for social change. She is passionate about social/STEM equity and challenging stereotypes within STEM fields. Marisa actively participates in AVELA (A Vision for Engineering Literacy & Access), a student of color registered student organization at UW that serves underrepresented youth through STEM activities and workshops. During her free time, she enjoys exploring new places/traveling, trying new food spots, and volunteering!

Alyssa Bruce 
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.  

James Watkins
Undergraduate Research Assistant

James Watkins is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Sociology at the University of Washington. He is passionate about universal access to housing and healthcare, environmentalism, sustainability, and equal protection under the law for all religious faiths and minority groups. He has previously worked with the UW Department of Sociology as an Undergraduate Site Manager for a survey project addressing the needs and resources available for homeless populations in King County. He has also volunteered with organizations that provide affordable and emergency housing, mental health and counseling services for at risk populations, and other wellknown social justice groups such as March for Our Lives, Planned Parenthood, and the BLM organization. 

Rachel Funk Fordham 
Graduate Research Assistant

Rachel Funk Fordham is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Her research interests include democracy, institutions, inequality, and quantitative research methods. Her current work investigates how money in politics affects the quality of democracy in the United States. Rachel holds an MA in Political Science from UW, as well as a BS in Statistics and a BA in International Studies from Utah State University. 

Chassidy Wen
Graduate Research Assistant

Chassidy Wen is a thirdyear PhD Student at the University of Washington’s Department of Sociology. Her research examines the Bubonic Plague and the targeting of Chinatowns by government authorities, the racialization of disease, and the role of the ghetto to protect these neighborhoods and uses archival methods and process tracing. Chassidy received her BA in Sociology from the University of California Irvine in June 2021.  

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.

Naomi Ramirez Alvarado
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Naomi Ramirez Alvarado is a third-year undergraduate student double majoring in Sociology and Education, Communities, & Organizations at the University of Washington. Her academic interests focus on inequality perpetuated by social structures that disadvantage minoritized racial and ethnic groups impacting their life chances and social mobility. She is passionate about addressing inequity in education and aspires to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. Her goal is to work with community-based organizations to serve, uplift, and empower marginalized communities by providing equitable resources and through meaningful connections. She previously worked with Jumpstart as a Corps Member to provide an inclusive and equitable high quality early education to underserved communities. 

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

Paytan Murray 
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.

Amrine White

Deborah Bedoll

Cara Margherio

Andrea Brudvig

Amber Burrell

Aliyah Turner 

Hanna Moss 

Aasli Abdi Nur

Naomi Yuen-Schat 

Audrey Omar 

Adrienne Beebe 

Mary Padden 

Geri van Engers

Daiki Hiramori 

Riddhi Divanji 

Arwen Chiu 

Burren Peil

Lucas Olson

Anne Sivley

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