EERC Faculty and Staff

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Michelle Van Noy




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Michelle Van Noy is the Director of the Education and Employment Research Center at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She has over 20 years of experience conducting research on education and workforce. Her research includes studies of technician education, community college noncredit education, student decision making about majors and careers, quality in non-degree credentials, higher education labor market alignment, and effective practices in workforce education. 

Before joining EERC, Dr. Van Noy conducted research on community college workforce education at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers and the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has experience conducting large-scale national evaluations in education and workforce development from her previous work at Mathematica Policy Research. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology and education from Columbia University, a M.S. in public policy from Rutgers, and a B.A. in psychology and Spanish from Rutgers.

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Renée Edwards

Associate Director



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Renée Edwards is the Associate Director for the Education and Employment Research Center. She earned her doctorate in Political Science and Public Policy at Washington State University. She also holds a Masters degree in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Renée specializes in policy implementation assessment and policy evaluation. Her areas of interest are innovation in education and equality policies. She is interested in understanding how policy affects teaching, learning, and educational/career success and how policy impacts (and is impacted by) the social environment around it.

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Tracy Cangiano

Senior Program Coordinator



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Tracy Cangiano is a Program Coordinator at EERC. As such, she is responsible for program and project coordination and administration. Tracy has a B.A. from Rutgers University.

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Daniel Douglas

Senior Researcher



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Daniel Douglas is a Senior Researcher at the Rutgers University’s Education and Employment Research Center. He is the center’s specialist in experimental and quasi-experimental design, as well as quantitative evaluation methods. At EERC, he is currently working on two grants from the US Department of Education’s First in the World Program. Daniel earned his PhD in Sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2017. His current research projects examine developmental mathematics in postsecondary education, connections between higher education and employment, and student progress through STEM fields of study. His research has appeared in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, The Journal of Higher EducationAmerican Educational Research Journal, and The Sociological Quarterly. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, CNBC, and The Hechinger.

Radha Roy Biswas

Senior Researcher




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Radha Roy Biswas is a regional development and public policy researcher by background, with a focus on higher education and workforce development, particularly on the evolving role of community colleges, workforce intermediaries and regional development studies. After acquiring her Master’s Degree in Economic Development studies from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, she worked in Boston, USA. She has a range of published academic papers and reports to her credit. In addition to her work in the USA, she has provided evaluation services for an Indo-US academic leadership summit for the World Bank & USEFI funded Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative, conducted a commissioned study on international skills migration for the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and authored thought pieces for the Wadhwani Foundation for their Race To A Jobs Initiative - a bi-nodal skilling and employment project undertaken in the USA and India. Her recent interests include the role of edutech and jobtech in skill development.

After 15 years in the USA, she is currently based between the USA and India. She has a keen interest in reading, in Indian and western music, has published various essays and articles, and enjoys writing for, and putting up performances with children.

Genevive Bjorn




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Genevive Bjorn is a doctoral candidate in education at Johns Hopkins University, focusing on online learning and mixed methods research methods. Her research interests center on the intersection of higher education, online teaching and learning, science, and equity. Before doctoral research, Genevive taught secondary chemistry at Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, CA. She received an NSF Noyce teaching fellowship in 2013 and won a national teaching award in 2017 from the National Association of Science Teachers. She was also a science journalist and regular contributor to Nature Medicine, and her work has appeared in NatureScienceThe New York Times, and many others. She also received a Knight journalism fellowship in 2011. She has authored and co-authored dozens of publications. Currently, she teaches scientific writing in the COMET program at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Genevive earned her M.Ed. from the University of California San Diego, M.S. in biomedical sciences from the University of Hawaii, and B.A. in biology and chemistry from Boston University. 

Maria Espino





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Maria L. Espino is a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education Administration Program in the School of Education. Her dissertation is exploring how Latin* first-generation, low-income early college high school graduates are transitioning to a four-year institution. She obtained her Master's degree in Educational Policy and Leadership at Marquette University and her Bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a double major in Community and Nonprofit Leadership and Gender and Women studies. As a qualitative researcher, I explore (in)equities in higher education particularly focusing on the experiences of marginalized students. As a scholar and a student advocate,  she believes that it is important to not only conduct research, it is crucial to humanize, empower, and support the community.

Sam Scovill 




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Sam Scovill is a researcher at the Rutgers University’s Education and Employment Research Center. They are currently a doctoral candidate in the School of Sociology at University of Arizona where they teach classes on social movements, Internet qualitative research, and popular culture. Their primary research areas are in social movements and young people’s politics with a focus on digital political engagement. They are currently working on their dissertation, which looks at how young people’s (18–24) social positionality shapes how they define politics and come to adopt political identities. Prior to graduate school they were a program and administrative assistant at Community Action Youth & Workforce Development Programs where they developed an interest in youth workforce development.

EERC Student Staff

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Victoria Coty




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Victoria Coty is a Research Project Coordinator for the Education and Employment Research Center. A graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelors of Arts in Statistics and Sociology, Victoria completed an honors thesis using nationally representative data to explore the relationship between extracurricular engagement, postsecondary aspirations, and educational attainment. She presented her work and was awarded the Henry Rutgers Scholars Award, given to recognize outstanding senior theses. Victoria is currently pursuing an Ed.M in Educational Statistics, Measurement, and Evaluation from Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education. In her role at EERC, Victoria continues to explore the factors that influence educational choices and success while assisting with the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the center’s ongoing work.

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Justin Vinton




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Justin is a doctoral student at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. His primary research areas are in labor and employment relations and organizational structure, and include the topics of labor-management partnership, collaborative work arrangements, high performance work systems, and the changing role of middle management. He also approaches his research with a policy lens as his current projects take place in public education and healthcare settings. He works at the Education and Employment Research Center at Rutgers, studying workforce development programs in community colleges across the US.

Justin is the recipient of the Baden-Württemberg Scholarship to study at the University of Konstanz’s Department of Politics and Public Administration. In addition to working on numerous projects, he is co-writing a review of Robert B. McKersie’s recent book, A Field in Flux: Sixty Years of Industrial Relations, which will be published in LERA’s latest Perspectives on Work volume. He was also co-organizer of the first annual Industrial Relations PhD Student Conference held at Cornell ILR, involving doctoral students from Rutgers SMLR, MIT Sloan, and Cornell ILR.

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Mariam Rashid 






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Mariam Rashid is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Policy Analysis at Rutgers School of Social Work. Her research interests center on health disparities and the unintended consequences of welfare and social policies. Mariam's dissertation focuses on tobacco regulation policy and a minor's access to tobacco in the state of New Jersey. Before her doctoral research, Mariam earned a USAID fellowship to fund her master's thesis studying Post-Apartheid access to sanitation in Cape Town, South Africa, leading her to continue her passion for policy and health disparities research. Her other research experience includes evaluating state and federal prevention efforts on opioid, tobacco, and alcohol uses. Mariam has a passion for bridging the gap between science and politics through her research and teaching. She has taught various courses at Rutgers University focusing on social and health policies, including women, gender, public health, and medicine. Through her teaching and assignments, Mariam encourages her students to be the next generation of scholars forging positive change in the world.


Mariam is an alumnus of the Eagleton Institute of Politics and earned her MPH concentrating in health systems and policy from Rutgers, School of Public Health. She completed her B.A. in biology from Rutgers University-Newark.

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Bruce DuBoff

Senior Research Assistant




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Bruce DuBoff is a doctoral candidate at Rutgers SC&I with an LIS focus. His research focuses on the intersection of science fiction, interest development, inquiry design, and science and STEM subjects and activities across gender, racial, and cultural spectra. Bruce earned his BA in English from Penn State and his MLIS from Rowan University, and he expects to complete his Ph.D. in 2021-22.  He was the NJ Association of School Librarians’ 2012 Villy Gandhi Scholar and a 2017-18 AECT Cochran Intern and Legacy Scholarship recipient, and Bruce is the 2020 Rutgers University Collier-Kuhlthau Fellow. He is also a Past President of the NJ Association of School Librarians (2016), retiring after 26 years as a K-12 teacher and school librarian to focus on his studies full-time. 

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Eliza Peterson

Senior Research Assistant




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Eliza Peterson is a Research Assistant for the Education and Employment Research Center. She is a Junior at Rutgers University majoring in American Studies with a minor in Education as a Social Science. Previously, she was a Research Assistant for the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology’s Morningside Center Whole School Restorative Practices and Racial Equity Project. She is very involved with the Model United Nations Development Organization and has been volunteering at their biannual conferences for the past few years. She is passionate about making college workforce programs more functional and effective for all students, and promoting educational equity at all levels, K-12 and beyond.

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Arvind Chennupati 

Senior Research Assistant 





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Arvind Sai Chennupati is a social sciences graduate with a MA in Development Studies. He is a policy enthusiast and worked as a policy consultant for State Governments in India on healthcare and education and with HSI (Humane Society International/India) for farm animal and wildlife policy advocacy. Arvind’s interest has always been the intersection of different aspects that bring society together. He was a GlobalGiving (India) traveler and visited various non-profits working in different aspects such as education, environment and conservation, healthcare.

Arvind is currently pursuing his Master’s in Economics from Rutgers University and works as Qualitative Research Assistant at EERC. When he’s not around his books, he is most definitely trekking and exploring the local culture.

Younes Baghdad-Brahim

 Research Assistant





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Honors Undergraduate Student in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, Class of 2022.

EERC Affiliates

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Peter Bahr 






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Peter Bahr serves as Associate Professor in the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Dr. Bahr is a nationally recognized scholar and expert on community colleges, student outcomes, and economic mobility. His research focuses on students’ pathways into and through community colleges and other sub-baccalaureate institutions, and then into the workforce or onto four-year postsecondary institutions. His current work is funded by federal and foundation grants encompassing investigations of how to improve education and labor market outcomes of students in postsecondary career and technical education, including short-term skills-building programs, longer-term credential programs, and stackable credential pathways; research illuminating how noncredit workforce education programs are being utilized by community colleges and the education and labor market outcomes that students in noncredit programs are experiencing; studies seeking to strengthen STEM pathways from community colleges to universities; and research on optimizing developmental education reform in community colleges.

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Mark M. D’Amico






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Mark D’Amico is a Professor of Higher Education at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research occurs at the intersection of community college student success and workforce development. Mark is currently Co-PI on a project with the Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center funded by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES-NSF) to study the community college noncredit data infrastructure. He is a Past-President of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges and former Associate Editor of Community College Review.  Prior to his faculty role, Mark served in administrative positions with the South Carolina Technical College System, Midlands Technical College, Francis Marion University, and UNC Charlotte.

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Faye-Marie Vassel 

Visiting Researcher





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Dr. Faye-Marie Vassel is a native of NYC and received her B.S. from SUNY Stony Brook University where she studied biochemistry and Russian studies. Following her undergraduate studies at Stony Brook University Faye-Marie went on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received her Ph. D. in cancer biology. Faye-Marie’s doctoral research was focused on better elucidating how DNA-damage response mechanisms modulate chemotherapeutic resistance in drug-resistant lung cancer.

Faye-Marie is currently a 2019-2021 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow and has had the opportunity to work as an evaluability and research synthesis fellow helping her host agency better understand the evolving nature of the STEM education research funding landscape. Faye-Marie’s time as a AAAS fellow has been incredibly rewarding and given her greater insight into critical issues of equity, access, and inclusion of great importance to the STEM education research community. In  Fall 2021 Faye-Marie will start a STEM Equity and Inclusion research fellowship at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. In the long term, Faye-Marie aims to pursue academic tenure track faculty positions where she can develop a research career focused on identifying and better understanding social and structural determinants impacting access to quality and equitable STEM educational opportunities. By conducting research of this nature, Faye-Marie hopes to help reduce the educational disparities still present in the academic trajectories of many STEM learners.