Principal Investigators

Aydin BalPrincipal Investigator
Aydin Bal, Ph.D.

Aydin Bal is a professor of education at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His research focuses on the interplay between culture, learning, and mental health across local and global education systems. Dr. Bal examines the social justice issues in education, family-school-community- university collaboration, and systemic transformation. He has developed a Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports framework and the Learning Lab methodology. In Learning Labs, local stakeholders (students, families, educators, policy makers, and community representatives), especially those from historically marginalized communities, collectively design and
implement culturally responsive behavioral support systems. As a practitioner and researcher in schools, hospitals, and prisons, Dr. Bal has worked with youth from minoritized communities experiencing academic and behavioral problems from the United States, Turkey, South Sudan, Syria, the Russian Federation, one Ojibwe Nation, and Brazil. Dr. Bal was the recipient of the 2019 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award.

Aaron Bird BearCo-Principal Investigator 
Aaron Bird Bear

Aaron Bird Bear was appointed as the inaugural Tribal Relations Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in November 2019. Bird Bear joined UW-Madison in 2000 to support the retention and graduation of American Indian and Alaska Native students at the university. In 2009, Bird Bear began supporting historically underrepresented students in the UW-Madison School of Education and also forwarded the School’s efforts to integrate First Nations Studies into public PK–16 education. Bird Bear is an alumnus of the Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis MS program at UW–Madison.

Research Team

Dian Mawene Dian Mawene
Project Coordinator/Research Assistant

Dian Mawene is a doctoral candidate in the department of Rehabilitation Psychology and special education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dian’s research interests are in the intersections of race, class, space, and disability. She examines structural factors shaping spatial exclusions of students of color and of low-income backgrounds in a Wisconsin suburb. Her most recent work: Spatial othering: examining residential areas, school attendance zones, and school discipline in an urbanizing school district has been published in the Education Policy Analysis Archives and School diversity notebook.

Linda OrieLinda Orie
Research Assistant

Linda Orie is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and graduate student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison. Raised by educator parents, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Stanford University and decided to dedicate her career to advancing the education of minority youth. Linda earned Wisconsin teacher licensure and a second Bachelor's degree from UW-Oshkosh and taught Science to middle school students on the Menominee Reservation in Northeast Wisconsin for 5+ years, service which affirmed her commitment to systemic change and social justice. Linda’s experience includes creating place-based, culturally relevant science and social studies curricula for middle and high school youth.

Dosun KoDosun Ko, Ph.D.

Dr. Ko is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Wichita State University. He received his doctoral degree in the special education program from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include racial disproportionality in behavioral outcomes (e.g., emotional/behavioral disorder [E/BD] identification and school discipline), culturally responsive and trauma-informed inclusive education, and participatory social design research grounded in cultural historical activity theory.

Halil Ibrahim CakirHalil Ibrahim Cakir, Ph.D.

Halil Ibrahim Cakir is a researcher in the Department of Special Education at Giresun University in Turkey. He received his undergraduate degree at Karadeniz Technical University in Turkey with a major in Hard of Hearing and Deaf Studies. He completed his master's and Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include learning, school-wide interventions, school discipline, and multicultural issues in special education.

Morgan Mayer-Jochimsen

Morgan Mayer-Jochimsen is a Ph.D student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at UW-Madison. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Scripps College. After completing her studies, she served as a youth worker with K-8 girls in STEM at Girls Inc. and as a program coordinator to support faculty collaboration across disciplines at the UW-Madison School of Education. Her research focuses on dismantling the school-prison nexus and mobilizing white educators to disrupt racism in schools. Ultimately, she seeks to integrate understandings of interconnectedness into research and education.

Sophia DodgeSophia Dodge
Sophia C. F. Dodge is a doctoral student in the School Psychology program. She received a BA in Psychology with a minor in Education and a specialization in Developmental Disabilities and Human Services from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Sophia’s research interests include cultural adaptations of evidence-based interventions and preventative educational frameworks; advocacy and systems change; trauma-informed interventions; family and community engagement; culturally and linguistically diverse students; and homeless, immigrant, and refugee populations. Her current work involves the implementation and evaluation of the Wisconsin School Threat Assessment Protocol and identifying culturally sensitive preventative educational framework to provide equitable services to all students in the U.S. and other countries.

Fabiane BravoFabiane Bravo
Fabiane Bravo is a Ph.D student in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literatures from Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro. After working as an English teacher at bilingual schools, her interest in the field of education intensified.

Fabiane received a scholarship from the Organization of American States to pursue a Master’s degree in Education at York University in Toronto, Canada. After completing her Master’s in Education with focus in culture and identity, she returned to Rio de Janeiro where she works at a Brazilian public school and at Instituto Benjamin Constant, a National Institute of Education for the blind. This experience sparked concerns related to special education and equity.

Her research interests include over-representation of minority students in special education, culturally responsive learning and teaching and the development of partnership between schools and families.

Kemal AfacanKemal Afacan, Ph.D.

Dr. Afacan is an Assistant Professor of Special Education and Associate Dean of Graduate School at the Artvin Coruh University, Turkey. Dr. Afacan’s research focuses on academic and behavior supports for students with disabilities. He publishes and presents on topics such as literacy instruction for students with disabilities, culturally responsive behavior support systems, and the efficacy of alternative education settings for students with disabilities.

Hyejung KimHyejung Kim, Ph.D.

Dr. Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership at Binghamton University. Previously, she worked as an elementary school teacher in South Korea for five years. Her research focuses on the intersections of multiple vulnerabilities, autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, and transition from high school to adulthood. Currently, she uses national datasets, such as the National Longitudinal Transition Study, to understand racial disparities in college enrollment for students with neurodevelopmental disabilities; and transition path to college for emerging bilinguals with autism. As a CRBPBIS team member, she involves in projects investigating racial stratification within school systems and communities in Wisconsin. Her research goals include increasing access to postsecondary education for diverse learners and eventually assisting them to have competitive and integrated jobs.

Madeline BeedersMadeline Beeders

Madeline Beeders is a graduate student in the School Psychology EdS program. She received her BA in Community Development and Communication (double major) from the University of Washington-Seattle. Madeline has worked in special education, international community development, addiction recovery, and suicide prevention and response. Madeline's interests include cultural adaptations of evidence-based mental health and social emotional interventions within a multi-tiered school framework; grassroots, community-based systems change; and enhancing accessibility to treatment and assessment for autism spectrum disorder. She is currently a participant in the Project CASTLE grant receiving specialized training in autism spectrum disorder.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Boris Krichevsky, Ph.D.Boris Krichevsky, Ph.D.

Boris Krichevsky (he/him/his) is researcher and teaching associate in the College of Education at the University of Washington – Seattle. His research is situated at the intersection of teacher education, educational policy, and organizational theory. Using qualitative methods, Dr. Krichevsky explores two interrelated strands: (1) the role of cultural and historical conditions in interorganizational and cross-sector collaboration; and (2) national, state, and local education policies that enable and constrain the preparation and support of teachers. Dr. Krichevsky’s research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Human Arenas: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Psychology, Culture, and Meaning and the Journal of Teacher Education.

He is a former student in the Madison Metropolitan School District and a former special education teacher in New York City public schools. Dr. Krichevsky received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison; an M.S. from Brooklyn College, CUNY; and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington – Seattle.

Former Research Team Members

Kathleen Monmany
Sophia Butterfass
Fathiya Issa
Larry Love
Rebekka Olsen
Hyejung Kim
Scott Pelton
Esmeralda M. Rodriguez
Rachel Fish
Jennifer Betters-Bubon
Dana Baldwin
Ashley Gaskew
Sojung Park
Elizabeth Schrader

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