Group Members

Professor Ginger Shultz

5/03/16 Chemistry Faculty Labs Day 2Ginger’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 as an Assistant Professor in 2016.



Dr. Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn, MWrite Project Manager

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.

What mythological creature are you? Unicorn



Dr. Amber Dood

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. 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.

What mythological creature are you? Elf

Dr. Kathryn Hosbein

Katy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow here at the University of Michigan, studying how teachers implement culturally relevant education within Indigenous communities. She has a Masters degree in Chemistry where she studied the diagnosis of protective coating quality on sculptures using non-destructive techniques. Katy earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2019 from Portland State University where she researched aspects of student science and chemistry identity within general and organic chemistry courses. She comes to us from East Carolina University where she studied student proficiency in scientific practices through Argument-Driven Inquiry as a Postdoctoral Scholar. Outside of research, Katy enjoys reading in her backyard, snuggling with her pets, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

What mythological creature are you? Elf



Eleni Zotos

Eleni graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2017 with her B.S. in Chemical Science and certification in secondary education. Eleni is a PhD candidate in the chemistry program, and her current research focuses on investigating the teacher knowledge and experiences of graduate student instructors in chemistry.

What mythological creature are you? Mermaid


Jeff Spencer 

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.

What mythological creature are you? Dragon

Field Watts

Field is a PhD candidate and a graduate from Oklahoma State University with B.S. degrees in chemistry and mathematics. He is working on projects centered around students’ reasoning in organic chemistry, using qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze student responses to writing-to-learn assignments. He joined the Shultz research group because the research projects allow him to combine his interests across disciplines to make sense of students’ learning and to effect positive change in instruction. Outside of research, Field is also a graduate student instructional consultant at the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. When not working, he enjoys running, reading, and ruffling his cat, Budders.

What mythological creature are you? Dragon

Ina Zaimi 

Ina (she/her/hers) graduated from the University of Michigan with her BS degrees in Biomolecular Science and English as well as her secondary education certifications in Chemistry and English. Humanizing chemistry incited Ina’s transition from teaching English to teaching chemistry centered around identity. Ina believes chemistry courses should affirm students’ languages, cultures, and identities as much as literature courses do. She is a part of our MWrite Crew, researching the reasoning, reading, and writing of reaction mechanisms and reaction coordinate diagrams. Her research exposes that the rhetorical situation of the assignment shapes the impact of the assignment and, moreover, that the linguistic identity of the student shapes the impact of the assignment. She serves as Graduate Student Instructor Coach in the Chemistry Department, and she serves as a Graduate Student Instructional Consultant in the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. She has served as a Graduate Student Instructor for general chemistry and organic chemistry in the Chemistry Department. When not researching or teaching, Ina enjoys reading and rescuing plants from the clearance aisle.

What mythological creature are you? Dragon

Danielle Maxwell 

Danielle 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 Ph.D. Candidate in the Chemistry Ph.D. program and a Master of Arts student in the Post-Secondary Science Education Program in the School of Education. Danielle’s research is focused on 1) characterizing the social practices of students when participating in a guided inquiry-based learning activity, 2) understanding how students from non-majority groups and different educational contexts develop science identities, 3) investigating the role of cultural identity as a sub-construct of science identity, and 4) using design-based implementation research practices to develop coursework with Indigenous populations. Danielle’s background in organizing science outreach and social justice initiatives inspired her to pursue educational research that uplifts and amplifies the voices of non-majority populations. Outside of research, she enjoys reading, drinking bubble tea, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and The Good Place, and spending time with her cat. If Danielle was not pursuing a Chemistry Ph.D., she would be a professional event planner!

What mythological creature are you? Elf

Rebecca Fantone

Rebecca (she/her/hers) graduated from Clemson University in May 2019 with her B.S. in Chemistry. Rebecca became interested in chemistry education when she found often times students and non-students alike would lament about how much they disliked their chemistry courses. 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. Rebecca currently has two research projects: 1) understanding how instructors develop as teachers through the evolution of their artifacts and 2) characterizing post-secondary instructors’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in NMR spectroscopy. 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.

What mythological creature are you? A mermaid!

Daisy Haas

Daisy graduated from Chapman University in 2021 with her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Rhetoric and Writing. Combining her passions of writing and STEM education, Daisy’s summer rotation project is working on an Automated Text Analysis project in which Organic Chemistry students use scaffolds to reason through comparison. Daisy is passionate about working towards a more accessible, inclusive, and equitable STEM classroom for underrepresented minority students. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, hiking, and cooking!

What mythological creature are you? A fairy!

Michael Petterson

Michael graduated from the University of Michigan in 2021 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He loved Michigan (and the Shultz Group) so much that he decided to stick around for a Chemistry M.S. before applying to medical school. Michael works with Solaire on a project investigating chemistry students’ responses to the peer review component of writing-to-learn. In his free time, he is an avid fisherman, skier, chef, and college sports aficionado.

What mythological creature are you? Centaur




Katiya Barkho

Katiya is a junior majoring in Biomolecular Science and minoring in Medical Anthropology. Katiya was born and raised in Iraq, but currently lives in Sterling Heights, MI. When she’s not studying, she’s most likely reading, exercising, watching movies, or going on fun, outdoor adventures. She has a pet turtle named Quincy (she breaks the stereotype of slow turtles). Katiya is working with Ina on exploring organic chemistry students’ translation between reaction mechanisms and reaction coordinate diagrams.



Ethan Teich

Ethan is a senior studying Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. He is from Highland Park, IL. After school he hopes to travel the country before going to medical school. When he’s not studying he enjoys going to the movies, skiing, hiking and reading. Ethan is working with Danielle on investigating science identities of minority students in institutions across the country.

What mythical creature are you? Phoenix



Nikita Daniel

Nikita is a junior studying Neuroscience and Psychology. She is from Novi, MI. After undergrad, she is interested in going to medical school. When she is not studying, she likes to read, watch movies with friends, and play tennis. Nikita is working with Rebecca on analyzing how educators develop through the evolution of the resources they use.

What mythological creature are you? Unicorn






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

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

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

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

Dr. Jennifer Schmidt-McCormack, Time: 08/2017 – 07/2019, Current: Assistant Professor at St. Ambrose University, Iowa


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

Dr. Megan Connor, Time: 09/2016 – 05/2021, Current: Post-Doc at University of Southern Florida, Tampa

Nick Garza, Time: 9/19-5/21, Current: Chemistry Instructor at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Michigan


Jordan Tyo

Paul Brandfonbrener

Benjamin Glass

Grace Park

Trisha Gupte

Emma Snyder-White

Ellen Yang

Kellie Spahr

Sabrina Archer

Sarah Wiest

Andrew Relinger

Giselle Roca

Sean Lang

John Griffin

Jessyca Judge

Khadijah Hussain

Noelle Polakowski

Simon Joshua

Callie Bartkowlak

Robert Moeller

Audrey Halim

Linda Camaj

Carmen Chen

Genevieve Brown

Ronald Inglehart

Seth Klapman

Kathryn Marchetti

Raymond Strobel

Ali Van Belkum