About the COVID-19 and Equity in Education Team

Michael Garet

Michael Garet, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Michael S. Garet is a vice president and Institute Fellow at AIR and a co-principal investigator for the CEE Initiative. His areas of specialization include teacher development and methodological issues in evaluating the impacts of educational interventions. He is currently co-leading studies of multi-tiered systems of support in reading and the implementation of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program for the Institute of Education Sciences, as well as an evaluation of continuous improvement as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Networks for School Improvement initiative.

Susan Bowles Therriault

Susan Therriault, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Susan Bowles Therriault is a managing director at AIR and co-principal investigator for the CEE Initiative. Her areas of specialization include conducting research to inform the development of accessible technical assistance training and tools related to the use of data by states, districts, and schools to improve educational outcomes for students. Presently, she leads a body of work in Massachusetts to conduct focused evaluations of struggling schools and districts designed to inform continuous improvement at the state, district, and school levels. She is the co-principal investigator of a mid-phase Education Innovation Research grant focused on building evidence for the use of the early warning intervention monitoring system to increase the number of students who graduate from high school. She also serves as an advisor on the federally funded National Students Attendance, Engagement and Success Center, and is a former director of the U.S. Department of Education–funded College and Career Readiness and Success Center.

Cong Ye

Cong Ye, Longitudinal Database Lead and Developer

Dr. Cong Ye is a senior researcher in the Education Statistics Program at AIR and leads the development of the longitudinal database for the CEE Initiative. His areas of specialization include survey methodologies, sampling and weighting, and modeling with complex survey data. He has experience in designing survey and research platforms and leading the development of AIR data analytics tools—including topic modeling, sentiment analysis, web scraping, video processing, and text labeling—that help projects in reducing labor and cost as well as improving the data sources and data quality.


Caitlin Deal

Caitlin Deal, Place-Based Asset Mapping Lead and Data Scientist

Caitlin Deal is a data scientist in Technology Solutions at AIR and supports the development of the longitudinal database and community asset maps for the CEE Initiative. Her areas of specialization include geospatial information sciences (GIS) and survey methodology and is currently working on GIS analytics for the CEE project, where she combines datasets from multiple sources, such as the Census Bureau and state education departments. She has extensive experience with spatial modeling and analyzing of survey and administrative data to create online interactive maps, story maps, and apps.

Image of Trent Sharp

Trent Sharp, Co-Lead, CEE Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Network and Database Developer

Dr. Trent Sharp is a senior consultant at AIR and co-leads the CEE research–practice partnership network. His area of focus include participatory and place-based research, digital equity, human centered design and collective impact. He is currently leading a coalition of local foundations through a mixed methods adult and family literacy needs assessment in 22 counties across Texas and New Mexico, collaborating with 10 schools in Austin, Texas, to sustain their collective impact efforts, and supporting multiple state agencies as they integrate spatial analytics into their state-level decision-making.

Tammie Causey

Tammie Causey-Konaté, Co-Lead, CEE Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Network

Dr. Tammie M. Causey-Konaté is an AIR senior technical assistance consultant and research–practice partnership co-lead on the CEE project. Her areas of specialization include diversity and equity, cultural and linguistic competence, workforce diversification, cross-education system partnerships, and the postsecondary development of school leaders for urban and rural education contexts. A former educator, Dr. Causey-Konaté directs the Wallace CALL for Equity Centered Leadership project at AIR and serves as equity advisor in the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and on several projects, including the BMGF Evaluation of the Networks for School Improvement project and the Improving Equity in Career and Technical Education Ohio project.

Sushmita Subedi

Sushmita Subedi, Project Manager and CEE Community of Researchers Lead

Dr. Sushmita Subedi is a senior researcher at AIR and the project manager for the CEE Initiative. She also leads the development and operation of the CEE Initiative’s community of researchers. Her areas of specialization include research on education policy implementation and the evaluation of school improvement, educator development, and social-emotional learning programs. Currently, Dr. Subedi leads a portfolio of quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation projects at AIR, engaging clients, organizations, and policy makers in research-informed and equity-focused discussions on the path to improving outcomes for students and developing teacher leaders.


Mark Ziegler-Thayer

Mark A. Ziegler-Thayer, CEE Technical Working Group Coordinator

Mark A. Ziegler-Thayer is a research associate at AIR and the TWG Coordinator for the CEE initiative. Their areas of specialization include education policy research, fostering youth empowerment via culturally relevant pedagogy implementation, and increasing equity initiatives across K-12 schools. Currently, as a part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation initiative, they are a research analyst for the Raising Texas Teachers project.


Kyle Argueta

Kyle Argueta, Communications Associate

Kyle Argueta is a communications associate at AIR and provides communication and multimedia support for the CEE Initiative. His areas of focus for the project include strategic digital communications, writing support, web development, and project coordination. In addition to the CEE Initiative, he serves as a communication lead across multiple client-facing projects where he provides creative solutions to strategically disseminate products, publications, and resources via social media, video/audio deliverables, and animated graphics and presentations.


Christelle Paul

Christelle Paul, Research Assistant

Christelle Paul is a research assistant at AIR who supports the development and operation of the CEE Community of Researchers. Her focus areas include data entry and management, qualitative research analysis, and writing support. In addition to the CEE Initiative, she contributes to youth-program improvement work, school district reporting for the Massachusetts DESE, and evaluating turnaround efforts for low-performing schools in Massachusetts.


Grace Cole

Grace Cole, Research Assistant

Grace Cole is a research assistant at AIR who supports work on the CEE Researcher Network. Her areas of focus include project management, data entry and management, recruitment and scheduling, data collection, communication with stakeholders, and writing support. Additionally, she participates in continuous improvement work, Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring Systems (EWIMS), assisting REL Midwest and Teach For America.


Karlie Kemper

Karlie Kemper, Research Assistant

Karlie Kemper is a research assistant at AIR and supports the construction of the COVID-19 Longitudinal Database by gathering and cleaning data on R and Stata, and synthesizing literature regarding community-based researcher-practitioner-partnerships. Their areas of focus include social-emotional learning, restorative justice, and culturally responsive teaching.


Morgan Thomas

Morgan Thomas, Research Assistant

Morgan Thomas is a research assistant for the CEE project and serves as project manager of the research–practice partnerships for CEE. Her areas of focus include qualitative and quantitative research analysis, writing support, project coordination, GIS map design, policy development, and conducting interviews. Additionally, she works on whole child policies, syllabi review, GIS mapping, workforce alignment, school facilities, 21st century student needs, and Early Warning Intervention Systems.


Ashley Sunde

Ashley Sunde, Research Assistant

Ashley Sunde is a research assistant at AIR who assists the CEE Initiative with data validation efforts. Her area of focus is on education programs at the secondary level. She currently supports the data management, preparation, and analysis efforts of a randomized-control trial study evaluating the impacts of a high-school intervention on student achievement.


Mia Mamone

Mia Mamone, Research Assistant

Mia Mamone is a communications assistant at AIR and is working on the communications team for the CEE Initiative. Her areas of focus include content creation, social media development, and online events. In addition to the CEE Initiative, she works on multiple education projects, including REL Midwest, REL Southwest, and the PROGRESS Center.