AERA Names Four Congressional Fellows for 2017-18

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2017

Tony Pals,
(202) 238-3235, (202) 288-9333 (cell)

AERA Names Four Congressional Fellows for 2017-18

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2017 ─The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has named four scholars as AERA Congressional Fellows for 2017-18. 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.

The four 2017-18 AERA Congressional Fellows are:

  • Jennifer Ayscue
    Ayscue is research director for the Initiative for School Integration at The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles. Ayscue earned her Ph.D. in education from UCLA in 2016. Her research examines how policy shapes the opportunities that students are able to access, and seeks to both understand and impact patterns of inequality and segregation that persist in schools across the nation.
  • Paul Rubin
    Rubin received his Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia in 2017. While at Georgia, he served as a project manager and lead graduate researcher at the Institute of Higher Education. Rubin’s higher education policy research focuses on federal financial aid policies, institutional test-optional admissions policies, and state-level policies designed to impact college completion.
  • Zewelanji Serpell
    Serpell is an associate professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Howard University in 2002. Zewelanji’s research focuses on the learning experiences of African–American students in school and examines sociocultural processes that promote or inhibit learning. Her work in this area intersects with a range of significant policy issues in school.
  • Kathryn Wentzel
    Wentzel is a professor of developmental science specialization and educational psychology specialization at the University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in psychological studies in education from Stanford University in 1987. Her research examines the social correlates and antecedents of adolescent motivation and achievement. This work includes a focus on teacher-student relationships and teacher supports.

Their fellowships begin September 1.

“We are pleased these talented scholars will be contributing to the effective use of scientific knowledge about education in the formation of public policy,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Through this program and other public engagement initiatives, AERA is further building connections between education researchers and the policy community.”

The AERA Congressional Fellowship Program is now in its second year, having launched in 2016-17. AERA’s first Congressional Scholar, Jenna Sablan, a researcher at Loyola Marymount University, has been working for the Senate Budget Committee on education policy issues.

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.