Who We Are
Eddie Fergus - Co-Principal Investigator
Alan Ripp - Project Director
Alan Ripp, a graduate of Texas Tech University (BS) and Texas Woman's University (MEd), has taught in Bedford, Texas and Newton, Massachusetts. Serving as a facilitator and a consultant, Ripp has utilized his expertise in meeting the needs of students in diverse classrooms. Working as an adjunct professor at Queens College, Ripp's coursework includes Classroom Management and Culturally Responsive Education. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Boston University and Fitchburg State College.
Chemay Morales-James - Senior Project Associate
A former special education teacher, Chemay has been a part of TACD for over 5 years. During her time at Metro, she has lead the development of Metro’s Culturally Responsive Education curriculum that has become a central part of the Center’s systems level work with school districts. In addition to this, Chemay has experience in guiding school districts in developing or restructuring RtI/Problem Solving Teams and has been a contributing writer for practitioner briefs produced by TACD. In addition to working on TACD, Chemay has over ten years experience working with students from vulnerable populations. Her interest in working with TACD was inspired by her desire to take part in creating systemic change in the way all children are appropriately educated, especially those who have been disenfranchised.
Chemay has a B.S. in Special Education from Southern CT State University and Ed.M. in Supervision of Special Education Programs from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Roey Ahram - Senior Project Associate
Roey is a doctoral student at NYU's Steinhardt School in the department of teaching and learning. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and his Master of Arts in Teaching at Clark University in Worcester, MA. He has taught high school mathematics in Worcester as well as served as the Chairman of the Worcester Public Schools Mathematics Curriculum Revision Committee (7th-12th grade) before coming to NYU. Roey's research interests focus on equity issues in education, school reform, and urban education.
Patrick Jean-Pierre - Senior Project Associate
Patrick's expertise is in implementing behavioral intervention for at-risk boys. Dr. Jean-Pierre earned his Doctorate of Psychology at Rutgers University in Organizational Psychology with concentrations in Community and Sport Psychology. He received his Master degrees from CUNY Brooklyn College in Industrial Organizational Psychology and at Stony Brook University in Human Resource Management. He holds a B.A. from SBU in Psychology and a minor in International Studies.
Prior to joining Metro Center, he taught Jr. High School at the Andries Hudde School in Brooklyn. At Rutgers University, he served as a Senior Consultant to the NJ Department of Education. Patrick's research interests include manhood, inter-group relations, and systemic change.
Lorraine Lopez - Project Associate
Lorraine Lopez has over 20 years of experience as an educator. Prior to joining the Metro Center for Urban Education, Lopez worked as New York State's program manager of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), public school teacher and a securities research analyst. She is a New York State certified Business and Marketing teacher and taught English as a Second Language (ESL), GED, business and computer skills to incarcerated youth and adults. Lopez is currently a board of education member of the Fallsburg Central School District. She earned a Masters in Public Administration and B.S. from Marist College.
Rod Wilkins - Project Associate
With the Center for Equity and Achievement at the Metro Center, Rod has extensive experience in developing intervention programs and improving school scholarship data. He has more than 15 years in public education in teaching and administration. Most of his work has included developing programs in grades k-12 for "At-Risk" students. Mr. Wilkins also worked on Wall Street as an Investment Advisor. He earned his B.A. from John Jay College, an M.A. from Columbia University, Teachers College, and currently holds a NY State SDA & SBL from Hunter College. His interests include political writing, travel, and community service.
Christina Hale - Project Associate
Christina L. Hale, a California native, has worked in public education for the past fourteen years. She received her B.A. from UCLA with a major in English and a minor in Education and went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Ms. Hale comes to Metro Center after working in New York City as both a literacy coach and an English teacher. Prior to those assignments, she taught Middle School English and AVID courses within the Long Beach Unified School District in California.
Christina’s research interests grew out of her work in Long Beach, which serves one of the most diverse large city populations in the country. Her work in that district enabled her to examine the definition of academic rigor and to construct lessons that make academic rigor accessible for all students. She has also worked with teachers on designing and implementing culturally relevant curriculum.
An avid runner, Ms. Hale hopes to begin training for the NYC marathon in the near future.
Beverly Murphy - Administrative Coordinator
Beverly has been a dedicated team member of the Metro Center for over six years. Prior to working at the Center, she worked for The John. A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing department at the University. She holds an AAS degree in Accounting from Elizabeth Seton College. Beverly assists in all facets of coordinating project workshops to ensure that our staff is well prepared to deliver professional development and technical assistance to school administrators throughout New York State. Her interest is to one day work with parents and teachers to bridge the gap to help children to reach their full potential.