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New Faculty Join The School of Education

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The School of Education welcomes six new full-time faculty members this academic year.

Administrative and Instructional Leadership

Elizabeth Gil, Ph.D., joins St. John's University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership. She holds a Ph.D. in K–12 Educational Administration from Michigan State University, where she was named a King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellow. She has also earned a master's degree in Educational Leadership from the College of Saint Rose, a master's degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University, and a bachelor's degree in History from New York University. A native New Yorker, Dr. Gil taught in New York City Public Schools for more than 10 years, where she worked with students, teachers, administrators, and families as a teacher, professional developer, mentor, and data specialist. She has also served as residential faculty in the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers Summer Workshop, which helps prepare college students for the graduate school application process. Her research interests include understanding the experiences of diverse families in schools, leadership and teaching for serving culturally and linguistically diverse student populations, and community engaged scholarship.

Stephen Kotok, Ph.D., joins the Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership as an Assistant Professor. His research focuses on the extent that school factors such as climate, school choice, and segregation influence student learning and attainment. His recent work has appeared in the American Journal of Education, Educational Policy, and The High School Journal. Additionally, he has produced policy reports for the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. He formerly worked at the University of Texas at El Paso, taught middle school social studies in Philadelphia, PA, as well as Asbury Park, NJ, and served as a consultant for the New York City Department of Education. He received his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in Education Theory and Policy with a minor in Demography. Prior to his Ph.D. he received master's degrees in Politics of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Stephanie L. Tatum, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology of Education and M.A. in Educational Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her B.A. in Political Science is from Texas Southern University. Prior to joining the St. John's University faculty, she held academic leadership and teaching positions in higher education, as well as an elementary school principal position. Her area of research includes social justice and multiculturalism in educational organizations, leadership practices and educational policy, socio-political analysis of educational achievement, and ethnographic approaches to understanding social class stratification.

Curriculum and Instruction

Bilge Cerezci, Ph.D., joins St. John's as Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development from Loyola University Chicago, M.S. in Child Development with a focus on infant and toddler development from Erikson Institute, and a B.S. in Preschool Education Psychology from Bosphorus University. While pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. Cerezci worked as research fellow at the Early Math Collaborative and served as a research consultant for the collaborative's various projects with MDRC, Big Shoulders Fund, Ounce of Prevention Fund, and Child Protective Services. Her doctoral fellowship at Erikson Institute's Early Math Collaborative focused on examining quality of early mathematics teaching. She has taught courses on early childhood education, human development, infant and toddler development, and STEM at Chicago City Colleges and Loyola University Chicago. Her research focuses on how quality of early mathematics teaching impacts student outcomes.

Elena Jurasaite-O'Keefe, Ph.D., joins St. John's as an Associate Professor in Curriculum and Instruction. She has been a teacher, school principal, college professor, and an international educator and researcher who helped a major educational reform take root in Lithuania after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She is the author of research articles and a book that focuses on how teachers learn in the workplace every day and how their school cultures create or suppress opportunities for such learning. Other research interests include international comparative education, discourse analysis, ethnography, adult professional learning.

Education Specialties

Rebecca A. Louick, Ph.D., a native New Yorker, joins the Education Specialties department as an Assistant Professor. For eight years, she was a middle- and high-school teacher at schools for students with learning disabilities. Dr. Louick has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College, an M.S.Ed. in Special Education/Learning Disabilities from City University of New York-Hunter College, and an A.B. in English and Sociology from Amherst College. She has taught courses on reading methods for students with special needs, and special education more generally. Her research focuses on the learning needs of adolescents with learning disabilities, particularly in terms of communication and academic motivation.