2019 - 2020 Fellows

Elena Aydarova holds a PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education from Michigan State University. Dr. Aydarova is an Assistant Professor of Social Foundations in the College of Education at Auburn University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social foundations of education, including Diversity of Learners and Learning Settings as well as Modern Education and Comparative Perspectives. Her research focuses on educational reforms in the context of global neoliberal transformations in education, exploring such issues as global trends in privatization of teacher education, teacher preparation for culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as internationalization of education in the U.S.

Michael Kopish is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Ohio University. He taught high school social studies for 10 years before earning his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an emphasis in social studies education. At Ohio University he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in social studies education and global education. Dr. Kopish’s research interests include service learning, global citizenship education, civic engagement, and inclusive classroom practices in social studies.

Minda Morren López earned her Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy, and Language from the University of Texas, San Antonio.  Currently, she is associate professor of literacy and serves as associate chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses to preservice and inservice teachers and literacy specialists in reading, writing, multicultural education, and language acquisition.  Her award-winning dissertation examined language ideologies and biliteracy practices in Spanish-English Two-Way Immersion schools in Texas.  She continues to publish mixed-methods research on topics such as equity, ideologies, literacies, language acquisition, multicultural/multilingual education, and teacher preparation and development.

Adriana Laza Medina is an associate professor of Reading Education in the Cato College of Education's Reading and Elementary Education Department at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University. She has her master’s degree in Reading Education from Florida International University and her doctorate in Reading from University of Miami.  Dr. Medina teaches courses in content area literacy, comprehension, reading assessment and intervention, and teaching reading to English language learners. She serves as Chair of her College's Internationalization Committee and as secretary for the University’s Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society.

Christina Noel is an Associate Professor of special education at Western Kentucky University.  In 2015, she earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from Vanderbilt University.  Dr. Noel teaches graduate and undergraduate level courses for preservice teachers, including an introduction to special education course and a behavior and classroom management course

Chang Pu is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education (ESOL) and the ESOL Endorsement Program coordinator at Berry College. She received her Phd in Culture, Literacy, and Language from the University of Texas, San Antonio. At Berry College, Chang teaches ESOL endorsement and TEFL courses, and Multicultural Education at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Chang’s research interests include English as a second language education, bilingual education, heritage language education, and teacher education. She also collaborates with international schools and English immersion schools in China, providing preservice teachers teaching abroad internship opportunities and helping preservice teachers develop intercultural competence.

Jacqueline Yahn is an assistant professor and the Middle Childhood Education Program Coordinator for Ohio University’s Eastern Campus. She earned her doctoral degree in educational administration with a special focus on rural education from Ohio University. Dr. Yahn teaches coursework in middle childhood education, adolescent and children’s literature, and reading instruction and development. Her primary areas of scholarship are policy and leadership issues in rural schools and communities.  Yahn’s work often focuses on school funding in rural areas, as well as the influence rural industries have on school and community vitality.

2020-21 Fellows


Ching-I Chen is an associate professor in early childhood intervention (ECI) at Kent State University (KSU). She is originally from Taiwan and holds a Ph.D. in Early Intervention/Special Education from the University of Oregon. At KSU, Ching teaches core courses of the ECI specialist licensure program that focuses on child development, assessment, curriculum and intervention, as well as supervises practicum. Ching’s research interests include: (1) the development and application of culturally and linguistically relevant early childhood assessments; and (2) personnel development in ECI. Ching is a researcher in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Chair Program: Screening and Evaluation of Early Childhood Development, which supports her collaboration with international researchers. She actively engages in international projects regarding the development of early childhood assessment tools and ECI training programs. Prior to joining KSU, Ching was a university postdoctoral fellow at the Early Childhood Personnel Center of the University of Connecticut, which is a federally funded technical assistance center that builds awareness of an integrated, comprehensive system of personnel development for every state’s early childhood workforce. Additionally, she has served as a practitioner and an interpreter for young children with special needs and their families of diverse backgrounds. The course she plans to revise and teach during spring 2021 is SPED 63955 Typical and Atypical Development of Young Children (Licensure area: Early Childhood Intervention Specialist Initial/Additional Licensure; this course is also a required course for Preschool Special Needs Endorsement and Early Intervention Certificate). Ching is being mentored by Laura Hauerwas, Professor of Elementary and Special Education at Providence College.


Elizabeth Kenyon is an assistant professor of social studies education at Kent State University. Dr. Kenyon graduated from Michigan State University with a PhD in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education. She currently teaches in the early childhood, middle childhood and graduate program at Kent State. Her interests include critical whiteness studies, democratic citizenship education and global citizenship education. The initial licensure course she will be working on for this program is ECED 30144 Integrated Curriculum in Social Studies Grades K-3 in the fall 2020 (two sections) or ECED 40301 Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary Years in spring 2021 (two sections as well, course changes due to licensure band change). This course is the primary methods course in elementary social studies instruction for the program. In the past, this course has included a global children’s literature read aloud that students conduct in the field as well as a day devoted to global citizenship education. Elizabeth’s hope is to reconfigure the course into an inquiry into immigration both globally and in the United States through the lenses of the social studies disciplines. Students would take what they learn in this inquiry and think of ways of engaging young learners (K-3 or K-5) with this topic. Elizabeth is being mentored by Samara Madrid Akpovo, Associate Professor and Director of the Intercultural and Classroom Culture Research Lab at the University of Tennessee.


Tim Mahoney is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Educational Foundations at Millersville University.  Tim holds a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice from The University of Colorado at Boulder, and an M.A. in Teaching Secondary Science from the University of Michigan. Tim began his teaching career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, and has taught high school science and in teacher education programs in Detroit, Colorado, Montana, California and Taiwan before coming to Millersville.  In addition to the administrative responsibilities of department chair, he teaches Foundations of Education and Philosophy of Education at Millersville.  In 2018, he was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Fellowship at the University of Lower Silesia in Poland.  His research interests center on disposition development and evaluation in pre-service teachers and more recently,  policy evolution in global educational systems.  The course he will modify is EDFN 211-Foundations of Modern Education.  This is a required course for pre-service teachers at Millersville and is a perfect place to work on internationalizing the content.   He focuses the content on the history and philosophy of educational systems, and use stories and case studies rather than textbooks to communicate content.  He has used examples from Taiwan, Poland and Kenya.  Most of the students are Sophomores.  His sections focus on Secondary teachers in all content areas. Tim will be mentored by Kenneth Cushner, Professor Emeritus, International and Intercultural Teacher Education at Kent State University.


Betty Okwako Riekkola is an Assistant Professor of Education at Albion College. She holds a Doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education with a concentration in Comparative and International Education from Michigan State University. While pursuing her Doctorate, she also completed a specialization in Gender, Justice and Environmental Change. Betty also holds a Masters in International Development from Western Michigan University. Betty was a high school teacher in Kenya for a number of years before immigrating to the United States to pursue graduate work. She has worked extensively with pre-service teachers and taught a variety of teacher education courses. Her research interests focus on the ways in which immigrant children from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds experience school once they relocate to the U.S. Other research interests include pre-service teacher education, social foundations of education and global citizenship education.  The course that she plans to revise is EDUC 247: Social Studies in Elementary Schools. She teaches this course each spring and it is a requirement for all pre-service teachers completing Elementary Education Certification at Albion College. Betty is being mentored by Erik Byker, Associate Professor, Social Studies Education, at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.


Beth Lewis Samuelson is Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture and Language Education at the Indiana University Bloomington School of Education where she teaches classes in literacy theory and in the English-as-a-second language and World Languages teacher education programs. She is also a member of the graduate faculty and has supervised doctoral students since 2008. Her research has focused on language policy in Rwanda and community engagement and international service learning. In her research work, she has done research multilingually using Chinese, French and Kinyarwanda, and she has advised doctoral students in using multilingual research techniques. She has earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Southern California, and the University of California-Berkeley. As part of her Fellowship, Beth will be revising and teaching L239/L539: Language & Learning: Foundations for Teachers. For more information on current projects, visit https://samuelsonbeth.wixsite.com/home.Beth  Beth is being mentored by Mary Curran, Director of Local Global Partnerships and Coordinator of the Language Education Programs at Rutgers, State University of New Jersey.


Tanja Carmel Sargent has a PhD degree in Education and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is Associate Professor of Education, Culture and Society at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Tanja's research has focused on student-centered reforms to teaching in China.  She is the program coordinator of the Education, Culture and Society EdM and EdD programs. She teaches courses in the social contexts of education and international education including Education and Society, Comparative Education, and Chinese Education and Society.  She is also an instructor, and the course coordinator, for Introduction to Education which is a required class that undergraduate Education minor students must take before they apply to any of the Rutgers 5-year teacher education programs.  This 05:300:200 Introduction to Education course, and its accompanying clinical component, is the course that she will revise.  She will teach this course in both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Tanja is being mentored by Lesley Bartlett, Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.