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Erika Bernabei

Erika Bernabei (Middleton) is a Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership and an Assistant Commissioner in the NYC Department of Homeless Services.

Erika has 13 years progressive leadership experience, including 8 years at PolicyLink, a national nonprofit organization where she worked with US Department of Education Promise Neighborhood grantees across the country to provide equity focused, results driven technical assistance, developed common data infrastructure, and built many cross-agency partnerships to drive community level transformation. In her role as Assistant Commissioner, Erika is responsible for permanent housing strategies to ensure that all homeless families with children become and remain permanent members of their communities. She is also an expert in Results Based Accountability and uses an anti-racist lens in all of her work and research.       

Ms. Bernabei is currently completing her Doctorate and holds a Master’s in Politics and Education from Columbia University Teachers College.

Pedro De La Cruz

Pedro de la CruzPedro De La Cruz is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program.  Prior to attending NYU, Pedro held several positions in the NYC Department of Education, including teacher, Principal of a dual language school in Manhattan, and central office administrator serving over 125 schools.  He holds a bachelor's degree in finance, a master's degree in teaching, and a master's degree in educational administration.  Pedro is also a graduate of the NYC Leadership Academy.  His interests include the effects of policies on traditionally marginalized students and the schools that serve them, consequences of one-size-fits-all school accountability systems, and long-term solutions to the achievement gap.

Nakia M. Gray

Nakia M. Gray served as the director of the College Now Program at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York for five years, the last three while concurrently enrolled in the Education Leadership doctoral program. Her role in a credit-based high-school-to-college transition program has led her to questions of equity of access, equity of resources, and rigor and credibility of these types of programs, with particular interest in the decision-making processes and characteristics of students and program staff. As a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program at New York University, her focus is on interrogating the purpose and effectiveness of, and access to credit-based transition programs. In the future, Nakia hopes to pursue research on programs and interventions in high school and college contexts that promote academic persistence and success. Nakia is interested in pursuing an academic career, and also plans to continue to assist transition programs in improving assessment, professional development of staff, and the development of programs which create pathways to higher education for poor and working class students of color.

Alicia Elan Harkum

Alicia Elan HarkumAlicia Elan Harkum is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership Program. Prior to attending NYU, Alicia taught in the Baltimore City Public School System. Alicia graduated from University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Educational Studies with a minor in legal studies and earned a master’s degree in teaching at Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include critical policy studies, cultural (re)production in schools, sexuality education, and queer studies.

Aisha Haynes

Aisha Haynes is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program. Aisha currently also serves as a high school teacher in Brooklyn, New York where she has taught for the last eight years. She earned her master's degree in Teaching at Fordham University and previously studied English Literature at Villanova University. Her research interests include the consequences of small schools and the educational experiences of inner-city youth.

Andrea López

Andrea LopezAndrea López is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership Program. Prior to attending NYU, Andrea served as Academic Coordinator and Teacher at PENTA UC, the Educational Program for Kids with Academic Talent of Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile, and participated in educational support programs for public schools. Andrea has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and in Aesthetics, from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She earned a Masters in Human Resources Management from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a Masters in Art Theory and History from Universidad de Chile. Her research interests include citizenship education, civic engagement, social justice art education, and K-12 school reform.

Hilary Lustick

Hilary Lustick is a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership in the ALT Department.  She has also served as a research associate at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools and an adjunct professor of Philosophy of Education, History of Education, and Gender and Education.  Her dissertation research focuses on alternatives to suspension and expulsion such as restorative justice, specifically what it means for a majority-white teaching staff to implement such practices equitably with linguistically, culturally, and ability diverse students.  Before starting her PhD, Hilary taught high school English in Boston and Brooklyn, and served as a community organizer with both youth and adults around issues of public education.  She is also a poet and is published in several literary magazines as well as an anthology of Jewish lesbian poetry called Milk and Honey.

Chy McGhee

Chy McGheeChy McGhee is a doctoral student in the Education Leadership Program. Prior to attending NYU Chy served as classroom teacher and instructional coach in the District of Columbia Public Schools. Chy graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut. Chy is a Nationally Board Certified teacher with four children. Her research interests include educational equality and culturally relevant pedagogy.

Chandler Patton Miranda

Chandler PattonChandler Patton Miranda is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership Program.  Prior to attending NYU, Chandler taught high school science at international schools in Bogota and Barranquilla, Colombia and was a Teach for America (TFA) corps member in San Benito, Texas. Chandler graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, and earned a master’s degree in Education from TCU.  Her primary research interest is in the schooling experiences of adolescent immigrant youth. 

Tzuchi Tsai

Tzuchi Tsai is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University and a research assistant for CREATE. His research focus is on autonomy and the experience of New York City public school principals. Tzuchi holds an M.Ed. in School Leadership from Harvard University, an M.A. in Mathematics Education from Columbia University, and a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University. Tzuchi spent 6 years in New York City public schools teaching Middle School Mathematics.