Interested in partnering with SERP?

"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."

– Thomas Jefferson



SERP is an organization of forward-thinking people working to solve the most intractable problems facing American education.

Karen Tran (Bay Area) is the Assistant Project Director for SERP's Bay Area Field Sites. Her work includes leading the formative evaluation of Oakland's math and science programming as it transitions to the CCSS and NGSS. She also facilitates the research-practice partnership, Reading to Learn in Science, involving nearly 40 teachers in two dozen San Francisco schools. She brings both practice and research experience to her role at SERP, having taught ELL students as an AmeriCorps member and conducting research on a range of school/district improvement issues in her positions at both WestEd and Stanford. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Geography from UCLA, and a M.A. in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from Stanford University.

Maria LaRusso (Boston) serves as the Project Director of SERP's Catalyzing Comprehension through Discussion and Debate (CCDD) initiatives and as Research Associate at Harvard University. After completing her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard University, she was awarded an APA/IES Postdoctoral Education Research Training Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholar Award for research and teaching in Bogotá, Colombia, and a Research Fellowship Award from the American Association of University Women. Her research focuses on school climate, social development, high-risk behaviors, and the effectiveness of school-based prevention and intervention programs. Previously, she worked as a psychotherapist with children and families.

Allie Huyghe (National Office) serves as Assistant Director. She joined SERP in May 2012 to support various SERP initiatives including AlgebraByExample, STARI, and Word Generation. Her work includes supporting study management as well as reviewing and editing curriculum materials. Prior to SERP, she worked with the Neuropsychology Group at the National Cancer Institute within the National Institutes of Health, and has aided in numerous research projects in the field of Industrial/ Organizational Psychology. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the George Washington University.

George Gumulinski (Design Center) serves as a Media and Design Specialist. His work includes collecting and processing video recordings, assisting in the production of online and print materials, and providing technical and logistical support to the media staff and to the organization as a whole. Prior to joining the SERP, he was a project manager in international business. This Minnesota native enjoys biking to work year-round in California and also appreciates the vast hiking opportunities available locally.

Michelle Forman (Boston) is the Project Director for the SERP Boston Internal Coherence Project, and has been a researcher on the project since its inception in 2007. As director Michelle has overseen the development of the Internal Coherence Assessment Protocol, which has been administered in K-12 schools in Massachusetts, Texas, California, and New York. Michelle has also overseen the development and delivery of ongoing, job-embedded professional development for school and district leaders in the practices that build organizational capacity for improving teaching and learning school-wide. Michelle holds a doctorate in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on a conception of teachers' collective efficacy that is grounded in the professional knowledge of what teachers need to do to excel in their work and serve as agents of school improvement.

Susan Eagle (National Office) joined SERP as the Director of Finance in February 2005. She began her career as an audit associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Deloitte & Touche, focusing on the non-profit industry. Upon graduating from business school, Susan worked as a senior management consultant for McKinsey & Company where she worked on Board-level strategic issues for companies in various industries. Susan received an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, with distinction, from the McIntire School of the University of Virginia. Susan is also the mother of two sets of twins!

Suzanne Donovan (National Office) is Executive Director of the SERP Institute, where she is building a program of work in partnership with school districts, and anchored in classroom and school practice.  She was primary author and co-editor of the two SERP reports: Strategic Education Research Partnership proposed the design and governance structure of the SERP Institute, and Learning and Instruction: A SERP Research Agenda details an illustrative research and development agenda directly tied to classroom practice. Suzanne has also directed the "How People Learn" project at the National Academies since 1999. She served as study director and editor of the most recent report in the series: How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom, which was published in 2005. She was also the study director and co-editor for the NRC report Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education, and was a co-editor of Eager to Learn: Educating our Preschoolers. She has a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining the National Research Council, she was on the faculty of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

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David Dudley (Design Center) is an Illustrator and Content Developer for SERP. He studied art at Oberlin College and did graduate work in creative writing and English at Temple University. He has illustrated books for Oxford University Press, University of California Press, and the Developmental Studies Center, and has done animation, video, and design for Consumer Health Interactive and California WIC. At the University of California at Berkeley, David worked as an art developer, illustrator, writer, and editor for Living by Chemistry, an NSF-sponsored high school chemistry curriculum development project. David has also published creative nonfiction and fiction, literary criticism, and environmental journalism in such periodicals as Schuylkill, Studies in Short Fiction, the San Jose Mercury News, and California Wild (the magazine of the California Academy of Sciences), and has written for a variety of medical websites.

Beverly Hoffmaster (National Office) serves as the Director of Operations, which includes financial management, grants administration, and human resources. She earned a degree in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University and went on to work in retail commerce for over twenty years prior to joining the SERP team. Her business background includes senior management positions at Finlay Fine Jewelry and The Imaginarium (an educational toy store). Beverly admits to being "crazy" for her dogs and enjoys connecting with family when not overseeing operations at SERP.

Matt Ellinger (Design Center) serves as the Director of Media and Design. His work prior to SERP includes time with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (Stanford) where he developed multimedia records of teaching, administered elementary mathematics teacher training studies, and facilitated lesson study programs for Scholar Liping Ma. Matt has also done similar work with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and The Noyce Foundation. Matt consults for WestEd's Understanding Science Program as a materials developer and content specialist. Prior to entering the research world, Matt taught elementary & middle school and served as a school principal in El Cerrito, California. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Texas and an M.A. in Adult Education from San Francisco State University.

Emily Schwartz (National Office) is a Program Officer working on SERP's Catalyzing Comprehension through Discussion and Debate (CCDD) and MathByExample initiatives. She holds a B.A. in Government from William and Mary and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown. Previously, Emily has worked for the Education office of the Senate HELP Committee, District of Columbia Public Schools, and the Close Up Foundation, a DC-based non-profit that leads civics education programs for middle and high-schoolers.

Avery Jones (National Office) serves as the Special Assistant, which includes taking on executive assistant responsibilities, as well as project work. She holds a B.A. in English and Economics from Baylor University and a Master’s in English Literature from Texas Christian University. She has broad experience in event planning, executive support, communication, editing, travel coordination, and office management.

Contact Us

National Headquarters
1100 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1310
Washington, DC  20036
(202) 223-8555

SERP Design Center &
Oakland and San Francisco Field Sites

1663 Mission Street
Suite 650
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 934-8700

Project SERP & Boston Field Site
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Larsen Hall
14 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA  02138

View brief overview video

Michelle Hlubinka (Design Center) is the Science Curriculum Innovator for SERP’s Science Generation expansion. Her previous work producing STEAM curriculum, workshops, and experiences includes nearly a decade at the forefront of the maker movement, bringing Maker Faire, Maker Camp, makerspaces, and more to kids, families, and schools. She has also conducted research as a LEGO Fellow in the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group, led exhibit-based teaching professional development at the Exploratorium, launched a monthly science kit for kids, and written and designed curricula for a variety of contexts both informal and formal. She holds masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Art from Yale.


Strategic Education Research Partnership

1100 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1310  |  Washington, DC  20036

(202) 223-8555