Who We Are
Who We Are
SIG Officers

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Jackie Mania-Singer (2022-2024)
National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

Program Chair
Linda K. Mayger (2021-2023)
The College of New Jersey

Program Chair-Elect
Lok-Sze Wong (2021-2023)
University of North texas 

Margie Sauceda Curwen (2022-2024)
Chapman University 

Nichole Walsh
Fresno State

Officer Bios

2018 headshot

Dr. Jackie Mania serves as the Director of Research and Evaluation at NCCEP. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct for three Oklahoma universities in the area of Educational Leadership. Dr. Mania has 20 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, a principal, a district administrator, the Director of School Turnaround for the State of Oklahoma, and a faculty member at Oklahoma State University. She has published numerous manuscripts and book chapters and has been invited to speak nationally and internationally on her research. 

Jackie is a member of the Systems Thinking in Education SIG because she has always felt a sense of community among the members and she enjoys conversations with others in the same field. She is most looking forward to a trip to Poland to see her family this summer. Her hobbies include running, pottery, traveling, and baking.


Dr. Linda Mayger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Secondary Education at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Dr. Mayger’s research primarily investigates organizational practices and leadership in full-service community schools and the influences of federal and state policies on practicing educators. Her extensive experiences as a teacher and administrator in P – 12 schools laid a foundation for Dr. Mayger’s teaching and research interests, which focus on how schools can develop systems that address the holistic wellbeing of each child. Her work has appeared in Social Science Research, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), Leadership and Policy in Schools, and Educational Administration Quarterly.

Dr. Mayger enjoys being part of the Systems Thinking SIG because the Systems Thinking SIG is ideal for considering complex problems that have interdisciplinary causes and effects. She looks forward to teaching a research class in Portugal this summer. Adoro!

DSC_6639Dr. Lok-Sze Wong studies system reform policies as attempts to address systemic inequities. Drawing on education, sociocultural, and organization theories and mixed methods, her research unpacks how systems (re)produce inequities and how to humanely reform schools and districts as complex social systems. She focuses on professional learning opportunities that support teachers and administrators as they shift their practices while redesigning the very organizations in which they work. Dr. Wong began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles. Dr. Wong has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Wong enjoys being part of the SIG because the members of this SIG are thoughtful scholars and wonderful human beings who have diverse understandings of systems thinking. We continually push each others' understandings about systems thinking and how to leverage systems thinking to improve children's learning opportunities. She hopes to spend her summer spending a lot of time with her 7-year old daughter this summer when she’s not writing.

Margie Sauceda Curwen, Ph.D. is an associate professor at Chapman University in Orange, California in the Attallah College of Educational Studies and is the Coordinator for the Kathleen Muth Literacy Center. Her research interests are literacy as a social practice, classroom discourse, pedagogical approaches using systems thinking, critical literacy, and systemic sustainability education.

When Dr. Sauceda Curwen discovered the Systems Thinking in Education SIG, it was a much welcomed academic home for dialogue and sharing ideas.




Dr. Nichole Walsh’s research area of interest is teacher and administrator preparation and development. She enjoys being part of the Systems Thinking in Education SIG so that she can feel connected to AERA through a smaller group. Professionally with over 20 years of experience in public education, she currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Fresno State, with past K-12 experience as a secondary school principal, vice principal, and guidance instructional advisor, as well as a secondary district academic coach, activities director, and classroom teacher. Personally, her husband is an elementary music teacher of over 20 years, and together they have a 16 year old daughter who loves volleyball and 13 year old son who loves chess.