Group Members

Professor Ginger Shultz (She/Her)

Ginger’s interest in education began when she was an undergraduate at the Evergreen State College, where the progressive curriculum shaped her early views on learning. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry at the University of Oregon, where she also taught hands-on science to elementary school children through an NSF GK-12 fellowship. After graduate school, she transitioned to education-focused research through a teaching postdoc in Chemistry at the University of Michigan. In 2013 she was named a UM Presidential Fellow and began pursuing educational research full-time. Ginger joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry in 2016 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2022. She is Department of Chemistry Associate Chair of Education and Development.

Email: gshultz@umich.edu

RESEARCH STAFF

Dr. Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn, MWrite Program and Research Manager (She/Her)

Solaire has a joint appointment in the Chemistry Department and Sweetland Center for Writing at the University of Michigan. Her research involves development, implementation, and assessment of writing assignments in large, intro-level STEM courses. As a graduate student, her research was in the field of bioanalytical chemistry at the University of Minnesota and involved using platelets as a model system to investigate how the cytoskeleton directs granule release during exocytosis. She transitioned from bioanalytical chemistry to chemistry education for her postdoc because of her interest in studying how students learn and using that to support effective instruction. In addition to performing research, Solaire is committed to increasing the scientific understanding of the general public through teaching and outreach. During her free time, Solaire enjoys reading and running, and rearranging her plants.

Email: quinnsa@umich.edu

Book Recommendation: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin & Gods of the Upper Air by Charles King

Dr. Jeff Spencer, Collaborative Design Facilitator for RELATE (He/Him)

Jeff taught high school chemistry in Aurora, CO for 6 years before deciding to study at the University of Michigan for a PhD in Chemistry.  He earned his Masters and Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and studied Chemical Biology and Education.  He is currently working on two projects: establishing and studying partnerships with high school teachers to inform teaching practices at the university level and implementing design-based implementation research methodology to collaborate around curriculum design with indigenous populations.

Email: jlspen@umich.edu

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

Dr. Amber Dood (She/Her)

Amber is working on the MWrite project here at the University of Michigan, focusing on applying machine learning techniques to text analysis as well as looking at student writing in organic chemistry. She earned her PhD in 2020 at the University of South Florida, where her project involved analyzing students’ written explanations of organic chemistry reaction mechanisms. She earned her BS in Chemistry at Hope College, where she was first introduced to chemistry education research while working as an adjunct instructor. Amber is also committed to fostering the success of underrepresented groups in the sciences and was a founding member and VP of the USF SACNAS chapter.

Email: ajdood@umich.edu

VISITING SCHOLARS

Jonas Niemann (He/Him)

Jonas is a visiting scholar to the Shultz group as a Ph.D. fellow from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Jonas graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 2016 with a Master of Science in Chemistry, with a thesis focusing on the experiences and retention of first-year undergraduate Chemistry students. After this, Jonas worked as a high school Chemistry teacher. In 2022 he returned to the University of Copenhagen as a Ph.D. fellow working on the GATE project (Gender Aware Teaching for Equity in Science and Engineering). In GATE, Jonas investigates how high school students’ experiences in Chemistry, Technology, Mathematics, and Physics shape their science identity and their aspirations to study science after high school. Jonas is also a board member of the Danish Chemistry Teachers Association and the person behind the largest Danish chemistry learning YouTube channel, Gymnasiekemi. Jonas’s spare time is spent with his girlfriend, brewing beer, and on politics.  

Email: jn@ind.ku.dk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JonasNiemann

Book Recommendation: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde for fiction, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius for non-fiction. 

GRADUATE STUDENTS 

Danielle Maxwell (She/Ella)

Danielle Maxwell graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in Leadership. She is a Rackham Predoctoral Fellow, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Chemistry Ph.D. program, and a Master of Science student in the Post-Secondary Science Education program in the Marsal Family School of Education. As a Latina and early-career scholar, Danielle is interested in disrupting dominant narratives and engaging in critical counter-story research that elevates the voices of students from historically minoritized communities. Danielle’s research interests include 1) understanding how Latine undergraduate students develop science identities and navigate epistemological border crossing between science identity and racial identity and 2) using design-based implementation research practices to develop culturally responsive science curricula for secondary and post-secondary science classrooms. Outside of research, Danielle enjoys reading, running, listening to Taylor Swift, and spending time with her partner and cats. If Danielle was not in graduate school, she would be a professional event planner!

Email: maxweldn@umich.edu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Danielle_Maxwel

Book Recommendation: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch & Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, & the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Rebecca Fantone (She/Her)

Rebecca graduated from Clemson University in May 2019 with her B.S. in Chemistry. Rebecca became interested in chemistry education when she found that oftentimes students and non-students alike would lament about how much they disliked their chemistry courses. Her research primarily focuses on how post-secondary instructors’ learn to teach chemistry through 1) understanding what resources adopt and adapt for their teaching and 2) characterizing instructors’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in NMR spectroscopy. She hopes to use her research and teaching experience to support lead and graduate student instructors in creating equitable teaching environments. As a queer woman, Rebecca is passionate about LGBTQ+ recruitment and retention in STEM fields, as seen by her background as an executive board member of oSTEM at Clemson University. Outside of research Rebecca likes to cook, get bubble tea with her friends, go on long walks around Ann Arbor and annoy her cat Obi.

Email: rfantone@umich.edu

Book Recommendation: The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Daisy Haas (They/She)

Daisy Haas graduated from Chapman University with a BS in  Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with a minor in Rhetoric and Writing. Daisy’s research interests include exploring intersections between writing, justice, and chemistry, supporting graduate teaching assistants to enact commitments for equity in the classroom, and creating transformative educational experiences for undergraduates. As a queer person, their research and teaching often focus on creating spaces in science where students can safely, authentically, and critically explore their interests in community. They have served as a GSI for organic labs, biochemistry writing discussion sections, a graduate student professional development course, and a self-designed English class as an instructor of record. Outside of research, Daisy enjoys cooking, reading, walking, and playing with their cat, Ivy.

Email: dahaas@umich.edu

Book Recommendation: Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Archer Harrold (He/Him)

Archer graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2022 with a B.S in Chemistry. He got his start in the CER community in undergrad working in Dr. Alena Moon’s group from 2018-2022 analyzing students’ understanding of various light-matter interactions. Currently he is working on two projects 1) Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning in General Chemistry and 2) Culturally Responsive Teaching with RELATE (NSF). His dissertation research will focus on Culturally Relevant Pedagogy  and how teachers develop and operationalize this framework in their classrooms in local contexts. Outside of school, Archer enjoys playing teamfight tactics, reading romance novels, and cooking food from TikTok recipes. 

Email: aharrold@umich.edu

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/archer-h-a79ba1b5/

Book Recommendation: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo & The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer Armentrout

Safron Milne (She/Her)

Safron, aka Saf, graduated from the University of Minnesota – Morris in 2022 with a BA in Chemistry. Through various teaching experiences during her undergraduate career, she became interested in supporting students’ learning through research. Safron is a McNair Scholar, a Rackham Merit Fellow, a Master’s student in the Post-Secondary Science Education Program, and a PhD Candidate in the Chemistry PhD Program. Her early graduate research focused on analyzing writing assignments that engaged students in peer review and identifying the relevance of chemistry in their lives. Currently, she is working on projects focused on supporting GSIs and teachers with engaging in equitable and culturally affirming teaching practices.  In her free time, Safron watches Survivor weekly, listens to lots of Indie music, plays co-ed volleyball, and hangs out with her cat, Stan. 

Email: safronm@umich.edu

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Eryn Stern (She/Her)

My name is Eryn Stern and I am from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I am a sophomore and I hope to attend medical school after graduation. I am interested in researching topics related to education and STEM courses, such as the benefits of peer-review and writing assignments in STEM classes, and beneficial teaching methods in science courses. Outside of school, I enjoy playing and watching tennis, reading, working out, and being outside. I also love to volunteer. Student Organizations/Volunteer Clubs I’m in: Helping Hands (tutor K-12 students for free), Dance Marathon at U-M (DMUM, an organization helping to raise money and prove therapies for kids at U-M C.S. Mott’s Children’s Hospital), Adaptive Sports volunteer (help out with wheelchair tennis), Best Buddies (work with and hang out with people with disabilities), K-Grams (write pen pals to elementary school aged students)

Email: erynster@umich.edu

Jocelyn Chen (She/Her)

Jocelyn is an undergraduate student at UM from Charlotte, North Carolina majoring in Biochemistry with a teaching certificate in Chemistry and minoring in Statistics. After graduating, Jocelyn plans on teaching for a few years before going to graduate school and ultimately pursuing a career in academia. She is working with Daisy on analyzing how graduate student instructors conceptualize and enact their commitments for equity in the chemistry classroom. When Jocelyn isn’t working on school-related projects, she enjoys going on runs, hanging out with friends, and playing the piano and violin.

Email: jocelynv@umich.edu

Book Recommendation: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Rachel Williamson (She/Her)

Rachel is a LSA Honors first-year student from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is working with the RELATE project team to study culturally-relevant teaching in Alaska, where she analyzes interview data to reconstruct stories of rural Alaskan classroom experiences. She is currently undecided on her major, but plans to do something sustainability-related. After graduation, she hopes to do work with marine ecosystems, and spend lots of time in and around the ocean. Outside of school, Rachel plays trumpet in the Michigan Marching Band. She also loves to play golf, read, write, enjoy nature, (especially the beach), and spend time with her family, (especially her dog, Wrigley).

Yacine Lo (She/Her)

Yacine Lo is an undergraduate student at UM from Kalamazoo, MI majoring in Biology, Health and Society on a Pre-Med track. After graduating, she hopes to attend medical school to continue on the path to a future career in Emergency Medicine. She is working with Daisy on analyzing how graduate student instructors conceptualize and enact their commitments for equity in the chemistry classroom. When Yacine isn’t working on school-related projects, she enjoys watching shows (both on television and at local theaters!). 

Book Recommendation: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

GROUP ALUMNI

POSTDOC ALUMNI

Dr. Katy Hosbein, Time: 07/2021 – 08/2022, Current: Faculty at Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Naish Lalloo, Time: 01/2022 – 07/2022, Current: Faculty at North Carolina State University

Dr. Blair Winograd, Time: 01/2020 – 05/2021, Current: Ford Motor Company

Dr. Raymond Pugh, Time: 02/2016 – 02/2017, Current: Faculty at University of Wisconsin – Platteville

Dr. Alena Moon, Time: 05/2016 – 06/2018, Current: Faculty at University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Dr. Jordan Boothe, Time: 05/2017 – 08/2018, Current: Faculty at University of Pittsburgh – Greensburg

Dr. Jennifer Schmidt-McCormack, Time: 08/2017 – 07/2019, Current: Faculty and Coordinator of Success Programs at St. Ambrose University

GRADUATE ALUMNI

Dr. Ina Zaimi, Time: 09/2019 – 04/2024, Current: Instructional Consultant at University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

Dr. Field Watts, Time: 09/2018 – 12/2022, Current: Post-Doc at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Dr. Jeff Spencer, Time: 09/2017 – 11/2022, Current: K12 Science Instructional Coach/Education Consultant, State of Illinois Regional Office of Education #17

Dr. Eleni Zotos, Time: 09/2017 – 06/2022, Current: Faculty at University of Detroit Mercy

Dr. Megan Connor, Time: 09/2016 – 05/2021, Current: Faculty at Samford University

Nick Garza, Time: 09/2019 – 05/2021, Current: Faculty at Valencia College

Josh Kenney, Time: 09/2017 – 06/2018, Current: Secondary Science Teacher

UNDERGRADUATE ALUMNI

Sabrina Archer
Katiya Barkho
Callie Bartkowlak
Paul Brandfonbrener
Genevieve Brown
Linda Camaj
Carmen Chen
Jasen Chen
Nikita Daniel
Benjamin Glass
John Griffin
Trisha Gupte
Audrey Halim
Khadijah Hussain
Ronald Inglehart
Simon Joshua
Jessyca Judge
Seth Klapman
Sean Lang

Kathryn Marchetti
Robert Moeller
Grace Park
James Peil
Michael Petterson
Noelle Polakowski
Andrew Relinger
Giselle Roca
Matthew Silverstein
Emma Snyder-White
Kellie Spahr
Raymond Strobel
Ethan Teich
Jordan Tyo
Ali Van Belkum
Ellie White
Sarah Wiest
Ellen Yang