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Steve Amendum, Ph.D.

Steve Amendum

Steve Amendum is a professor in the School of Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware. He studies early reading development, literacy development and instruction for multilingual learners, and evidence-based classroom literacy instruction. He also supports schools and classroom practitioners by providing effective professional learning. He has a PhD in literacy education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MEd in reading education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Leslie Babisnski

Leslie Babinski

Leslie Babinski is an associate research professor in the Center for Child and Family Policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Her areas of expertise are in teacher consultation and collaboration, teacher professional development, and school-based interventions for children and adolescents. Dr. Babinski has an MA and PhD in educational and school psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Laronda Blessing

Laronda Blessing

Laronda Blessing, Project Coordinator, has been part of the BELLA project since 2019. She previously worked in Durham Public Schools coordinating an after-school enrichment program as well as school pantry programs. Prior to that, she taught English as a Second Language to adults in Minnesota and Iowa. Blessing has a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Public Policy from Duke University.

Madeline Carrig, Ph.D.

Madeline Carrig

Madeline Carrig is the Associate Director of the Data Core of the Center for the Study of Adolescent Risk and Resilience (C-StARR). She earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in quantitative methods from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Madeline also serves as the instructor for the first-year graduate applied statistics sequence in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Steve Knotek

Steven Knotek

Steven Knotek is an associate professor and the coordinator of the School Psychology Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He studies the use of a human-centered design approach to co-design innovations with community stakeholders (i.e., parents and teachers). He is also and is developing an implementation coaching model to bridge the science-to-service gap and allow innovation adopters (e.g., teachers, coaches) to adapt evidence-based programs to be culturally responsive. He has an MA in counseling from the University of San Francisco, and a PhD in educational and school psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Teresa Longnecker

Teresa Longenecker

Teresa Longenecker, Senior Data Tech, previously worked with dual language kindergarteners in Spanish for an evaluation of the North Carolina Pre-K program. In Wake County, she provided health and education services to Latino families and youth in the public schools. She also taught ESL to adults.

Jennifer Mann, Ph.D.

Jennifer Mann

Jennifer Mann is a Research Scientist in the Center for Child and Family Policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. She spent sixteen years as an educator teaching elementary and adult English as a Second Language (ESL), sheltered English literature for newcomers, and pre-service English and ESL Education. Her areas of expertise include culturally sustaining pedagogies, the well-being of marginalized students, and teacher education. Dr. Mann has an MAEd in Reading Education from East Carolina University and a PhD from North Carolina State University in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, specializing in Literacy and English Language Arts.

Amy Wadia

Amy Wadia

Amy Wadia, Implementation Coach, earned her B.A. in English and an M.A. in elementary education and reading from West Virginia University. She has previous experience as a North Carolina public school teacher working as an elementary teacher and instructional coach.

Robert Martinez, Ph.D.

Robert Martinez

Dr. Martinez is a Latinx researcher who was raised and attended public schools in Los Angeles, had immigrant parents who didn’t graduate high school, and was an underserved/underresourced foster youth. Robert was also a first-generation college graduate who lacked sufficient career and college readiness self-efficacy and access information for postsecondary education throughout my K-14 experience. A commitment to community engagement, social justice, and understanding the perspectives and assets of underrepresented communities is fundamental to his personal beliefs and values as a faculty member within the School of Education at UNC-CH.

Sheri Petrequin

Sheri Petrequin

Sheri Petrequin joined the Center for Child and Family Policy in October, 2022 as a Senior Research Data Tech for the BELLA Study. The vast majority of her career has been spent as an elementary school teacher in California and North Carolina. She is passionate about educational equity and making educational opportunities accessible for all students. Outside of teaching, she spent four years working in the education wing of an environmental public policy firm in Seattle. This is where she found her passions for education and equity/policy change collide to benefit future generations of students. Sheri received a BA in Social Science with a behavioral concentration from San Jose State University and a Cross-Cultural Language Acquisition Development K-8 Teaching Credential (CLAD) from National University.