Founding Director Dr. Matthew T. Hora is an Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at UW–Madison, and a research scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. After several years of experience in organic agriculture and food systems research, he received his master's degree in applied anthropology from the University of Maryland - College Park. Dr. Hora then worked as a program evaluator of public health and STEM education initiatives before earning his Ph.D. in the learning sciences from the Department of Educational Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012.
Hora's work focuses on discerning the cognitive, cultural, and contextual factors that underlay organizational change processes. Using theory and method from cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, and systems engineering, he has explored issues related to curriculum planning, classroom instruction, and data driven decision-making in postsecondary STEM departments. These perspectives are now being applied to the problem of education-workforce dynamics, and the degree to which these complex factors can and should be considered when developing public policy regarding education and workforce development. His research utilizes a wide range of qualitative methodologies gleaned from a variety of disciplines, including grounded theory, decision modeling, scaling and data reduction techniques, and case study methods.
Assistant Director Dr. Matthew Wolfgram is an anthropologist of education and a Senior Researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. He earned his Ph.D. in linguistic anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2009. Wolfgram’s three major research projects include: (1) an ethnography of communication focused on the education and practice of an indigenous system of medicine in Kerala (south India) called Ayurveda; (2) a video-discourse analysis of teacher-student and student peer-group interactions in US middle and high school STEM classrooms; and (3) an ethnography of the experience of low-income, first-generation, and minotrized students on the campus of a public flagship university in the American Midwest. As Assistant Director, Wolfgram manages the research and out-research work at CCWT. He is also planning a major new ethnographic study to document how refugee resettlement populations in Wisconsin such as the Hmong experience the college-workforce transition.
Policy Analyst Dr. Matías Scaglione is a labor economist and an Associate Researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012, with a concentration in labor markets and quantitative methods, and received a master’s degree in economics from the Universidad de San Andrés, in Argentina, in 2001. His current research interests focus on the changing nature of employment and work in the United States since the late 1970s, including the dynamics of the wage distribution, the employment and earnings of college graduates, the conceptualization and measurement of middle-skills jobs, and the debate on the future of work. Dr. Scaglione has previously worked as a Senior Economist at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, a Data Scientist and Researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School, and a Research Fellow at the Inter-American Development Bank.
Dr. Bailey B. Smolarek is an Assistant Researcher with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 2016, Bailey earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison specializing in language and education, education policy studies, and qualitative research. Drawing on critical social theories, Bailey's scholarship revolves around issues of educational equity from both systemic and localized understandings. Her dissertation used critical policy approaches to ethnographically examine the local enactment of federal and state education policies on Latin@ immigrant youth at a high school in rural Wisconsin. Informed by her prior roles as a middle school Spanish teacher and an adult ESL instructor, Bailey's research is dedicated to cultivating socially just educational spaces for multilingual and multicultural learners and the educators who serve them.
Chelsea Blackburn Cohen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at UW–Madison. She has a master’s degree in Global Higher Education from UW–Madison and a bachelor’s degree in Writing from Carroll University. Blackburn Cohen’s research interests center on the effects of globalization on higher education, society, and knowledge production. Her dissertation work specifically examines the forced displacement of academics and the experiences of those being hosted at colleges and universities in the United States. As a graduate assistant, Blackburn Cohen assists with data collection, analysis, and writing related to the Center's various research projects.
Carrie Weikel Delaplane is an Intern at the Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions and lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Carrie is an Ed.D student at Oregon State University in the Community College Leadership Program. Professionally, Carrie has worked in student services in higher education for 19 years in diverse locations and institutions and currently serves as Associate Dean of Students at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. Carrie’s research interests are the intersection of workforce development, vocational education, regional economic development, social justice, employment outcomes and the community college.
Mun Yuk Chin is a Project Assistant at the CCWT and an advanced doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and grew up in both Malaysia and Singapore. Mun’s research interests focus on the subjective identities of social class, sexuality, and gender, as well as their relationships with mental health. For her dissertation, Mun plans to investigate the effects of social class concealment among undergraduate students. As a graduate assistant, Mun is currently working on the various phases of the Center’s projects on students’ experiences with career advising.
Yuwei Sun is a Project Assistant at the CCWT. Currently she is a Master’s student in the Statistics Department. She received her Bachelor’s degree in statistics from Nankai University in Tianjin, China, in 2017. Yuwei has previously worked as an intern at Sinopec Finance, in Tianjin, and as a Research Assistant at Nankai University. She is interested in statistical modeling, data analysis and data visualization techniques.”
Yi-jung Wu is a Project Assistant at the CCWT and a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at UW–Madison. She received her B.S. in Mathematics and M.S. in Cognitive Science from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Her previous experiences include working as a research assistant responsible for projects in cognitive psychology and educational research and as a middle school mathematics teacher. She is especially interested in the interdisciplinary study on college to workforce transitions. Her research interests include using mixed methods and quantitative methods to explore the topics of student employability, career development and STEM education.
Research Assistant Samantha Thompson works on a variety of tasks for CCWT. Also an undergraduate alumna of UW–Madison, she is now currently pursuing her graduate studies at the university in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, specializing in Global Higher Education. She is particularly interested in using a comparative lens to examine international education systems and policy. Her research interests lie in exploring how higher education systems around the world prepare their students to thrive in their careers and lives. She also focuses domestically on the international student experience at American universities in the college to workforce transition.