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January 2013

Staff News

James Benson

James Benson joined NCER as a program officer in the Policy and Systems Division. He will provide technical assistance to grant applicants and oversee the work of NCER grantees in the area of Improving Education Systems. James comes to NCER from the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, where he worked as a post-doctoral researcher for the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study. James focused on acquiring and coding the data required to evaluate the Wisconsin Scholars Grant, a need-based grant to low-income college students in Wisconsin. James received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While a graduate student, he received funding through the Interdisciplinary Program in the Education Sciences, one of the first graduate training programs funded by IES. His research interests have focused on increasing educational opportunities and attainment for low-income students.

Diana McCallum

Diana McCallum joined NCEE as a research scientist where she works with the What Works Clearinghouse. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Diana worked as an analyst with the Department of Health and Human Services, where she focused on policy and research issues related to the teen pregnancy prevention initiative. She also helped launch the teen pregnancy prevention evidence review and a federal-level evaluation. Diana holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Duke University. During her graduate studies, she focused on motivation and emotion regulation in test-taking environments and parental involvement in middle school education.

Felicia Sanders

Felicia Sanders joined NCEE as an associate research scientist where she works with the Regional Educational Laboratory Program. Prior to joining IES, Felicia was a research associate at Research for Action, a non-profit research firm in Philadelphia. While at Research for Action, she worked on projects focused on the implementation of the new Common Core State Standards funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the national evaluation of a community schools initiative funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, and school turnaround efforts in Philadelphia. Felicia holds a Ph.D. in educational theory and policy from Penn State University.

Elliot Weinbaum

Elliot Weinbaum has been named Associate Commissioner for the Knowledge Utilization Division at the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE). He will oversee the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) program and the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC). Elliot holds a Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in history from Yale University. Read the full announcement.