Our Team

Bryan A. Brown, Ph.D

Stanford University

Bryan A. Brown is an associate professor of science education at Stanford University. He joined Stanford in the 2004 after working on a post-doctoral fellowship at Michigan State University. His work in the center for research on teaching at Stanford focuses on improving urban science education. He focuses on exploring how language and identity impact urban students’ learning. Dr. Brown is a former high school science teacher who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Hampton University, a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of California, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


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Matthew Wilsey

Stanford University

Matthew Wilsey is a PhD student in Curriculum and Teacher Education with a focus on Science Education at the Stanford GSE. His research investigates pre-service science teacher education and what factors influence the instructional practices beginning science teachers use in the classroom. Prior to Stanford, Matt worked as the associate director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for STEM Education. In this role, he served as a research assistant on Spencer Foundation and National Science Foundation grants focused on science assessment, as well as organizing the Center’s summer STEM camps, which help ensure access to high quality STEM learning opportunities for all students in 14 locations across the nation. Additionally, Matt used his previous experience in the science classroom to help foster growth in early career teachers through work in the Alliance for Catholic Education’s M.Ed. program, the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows program, and CREST, a local professional development program with South Bend, IN middle school science teachers. He completed his M.Ed. with the ACE Teaching Fellows Program after teaching middle school mathematics and science in Brownsville, Texas, before moving to Chicago, IL, and teaching high school physics and chemistry.

Kendra Sobomehin

Kendra is a second year Ph.D. student in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education focusing on Science Teaching. Kendra’s research explores the intersectional spaces of race and gender in urban teaching and learning.

Daniel Pimentel

Stanford University

Daniel Pimentel is a doctoral student in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education with a focus on Science Education, Learning Sciences and Technology Design at the Stanford GSE. Daniel’s research examines how science education can support students with making sense of information in digital environments. His work explores the integration of science media and data literacy practices in the science classroom. He is also interested in science teacher professional learning, the role of technology in science education, and equitable sensemaking in science classrooms. Before coming to Stanford, Daniel spent five years teaching middle school science and high school chemistry in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.Ed in Secondary Education from Boston College where he received the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholarship, the Sharp Urban Teaching Scholarship, and the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship. He also received an Advanced Certificate in Special Education from the Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City.

Dr. Faye-Marie Vassel

Faye-Marie Vassel is a native of the Bronx, NY and received her B.S. from Stony Brook University where she studied biochemistry and Russian studies. Following her undergraduate studies at Stony Brook Faye-Marie went on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received her Ph.D. in biology. Faye-Marie’s doctoral research was focused on enhancing the field’s understanding of how DNA-damage response mechanisms can modulate chemotherapeutic resistance in drug-resistant lung cancer.

Upon completion of an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Science Foundation, Faye-Marie joined HAI and the research groups of Dr. Bryan Brown (Graduate School of Education) and Dr. Hideo Mabuchi (Applied Physics) as a STEM Education, Equity, and Inclusion Postdoctoral Fellow. During her time as fellow, Faye-Marie’s research will be focused on elucidating key factors that may inhibit students from groups historically marginalized in STEM from successfully persisting in the computational sciences.

In the long term, Faye-Marie aims to pursue tenure-track faculty positions where she can develop an interdisciplinary research program that will enable her to pursue scholarship centered on identifying and better understanding how social and structural determinants impact access to quality and equitable STEM educational opportunities. By conducting research of this nature, Faye-Marie hopes to help reduce the educational disparities still present in the academic trajectories of many STEM learners.

Dr. Breauna Spencer

Dr. Breauna Marie Spencer serves as the Inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the Computer Science Department and as a Graduate School of Education Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Stanford University. Ms. Spencer’s research and advocacy work are dedicated to increasing the number of women and students of color enrolled in engineering and computing undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Her research efforts have been supported by the National Science Foundation, Google, the National GEM Consortium, the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, amongst many other foundations, agencies, and universities. She has also participated in research fellowship programs with Google and the National GEM Consortium and has helped lead national research studies designed to improve educational outcomes for undergraduate and graduate students in computing and engineering disciplines as well as examine the success stories of career professionals in computing and engineering disciplines. Her research has been published in Sociological Forum, Sociological Focus, the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science & Engineering, Negro Educational Review, amongst other outlets. Ms. Spencer has also received extensive research evaluation training at the American Evaluation Association and WestEd as a Research Fellow, and she has also served as a part-time faculty member at Loyola Marymount University teaching research methodology and social psychology courses. To support K-12 students interested in pursuing STEM degree programs and careers, she and her students have provided a series of workshops to students within the Los Angeles Unified School District, which includes: Social Identity in STEM, Career Opportunities in STEM, and The Intersection of Hip-Hop Music & Urban Science Education. Ms. Spencer received her doctoral degree in Sociology, master’s degrees in Sociology and Demographic and Social Analysis, as well as undergraduate degrees in Education Sciences and Sociology (w/ Honors) from the University of California, Irvine.

Our Team page Anne

Anne E. Palmer, Ed.D.

Stanford University

Anne Palmer, Ed.D. helps elevate community college math and science faculty as a professional development director for the NSF STEM Core Alliance and executive director of Stanford ‘s Graduate School of Education Aspen Institute fellowship for future college presidents. A “STEMinist” since she was an undergrad at UC Berkeley, Anne works closely with Stanford faculty to improve mathematical mindsets and ways of incorporating students’ language and identity in college classrooms. Recently, Anne helped the Tesla Foundation and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office analyze how learning about drones develops a variety of skillsets including aeronautics, robotics, software development, AI, and mechanical engineering. She also mentors high school students and teachers in facilities engineering using Virtual Design and Construction models.


My instructional goals are based on my experiences in education.

First, my approach attempts to follow basic Socioconstructivist models of education by attempting to identify what students know and bring to the classroom as a primary component of their learning. In addition my teaching goals follow a simple attempt to place the students at the center of instruction. In line with that, my teaching involves the following goals: (a) Students will use classroom literature as ‘Data’ to be analyzed.

Each classroom session will involve the revisiting, analyzing, and the production of new ideas based on literature used in the course. (b) The ‘Goals’ of classroom instruction will be transparent to students. They will be provided with clearly articulated goals associated with the class.


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