AERA Names Two Congressional Fellows for 2018-19
AERA Names Two Congressional Fellows for 2018-19

June 2018


AERA has named two scholars as AERA Congressional Fellows for 2018–19. They will spend a year in Washington, D.C., working on the staff of a member of Congress or a congressional committee, and use their research expertise to inform policy. This will be the third year of the AERA Congressional Fellowship initiative.

The two 2018–19 AERA Congressional Fellows are Rachel Feldman (Northwestern University) and Kendrick Davis (Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Education). This year the two appointments are both early career scholars.

Rachel Feldman is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Northwestern University School of Education & Social Policy, where she is looking at how school districts make decisions and the role of research, routines, and external partnerships. Feldman earned her Ph.D. in educational policy studies in 2017, with a concentration in policy studies, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research examines how K–12 education policies create specific—intended or unintended—outcomes for teachers. Feldman also spent time as a classroom teacher of mathematics.

Kendrick Davis is currently the director of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics initiatives for the city of Philadelphia in the Mayor’s Office of Education. Davis earned his Ph.D. in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania in spring 2018.  With master’s degrees in both law and engineering, Davis recently defended his dissertation: “Re-engineering Risk: A Portraiture of Black Undergraduate Engineering Persistence in Higher Education.”

Their fellowships begin September 1.

“Now starting its third year, the AERA Congressional Fellowship is an important and valuable learning opportunity for our AERA members, for connecting education research to the work of policymakers and more broadly for expanding the footprint and understanding of the field,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. 

The four 2017–18 AERA Congressional Fellows will be finishing their year on August 30.

Zewelanji Serpell spent the last year working with the House Education and Workforce Committee for Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA). Kathryn Wentzel worked in the personal office of Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH). They will return to their faculty positions at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Maryland, respectfully.

Jennifer Ayscue, who worked in the office of Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), has accepted an assistant professor position in educational leadership and policy at the North Carolina State University.  Paul Rubin, who served in the office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), will be commencing a two-year postdoctoral position at the University of Utah in August.