New Faculty Members

by Pitt School of Education

Meet the new faculty members who joined the Pitt School of Education in the Fall 2017.

Lori Delale-O’Connor is a tenure-track assistant professor of Urban Education at CUE. Prior to her faculty appointment, she served as CUE’s inaugural associate director of research and development. Her teaching, research, and policy interests focus on the social and cultural contexts of education, family and community engagement, and youth development, all with a focus on urban schools and neighborhoods. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University, an MEd in Secondary Education from Boston College, and a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Dana N. Thompson Dorsey is CUE’s associate director for research and development and a tenured associate professor of Urban Education. Her research and teaching focus on issues related to education law and policy, the historical, social, and political context of education, and critical race theory. She received a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (‘99), and a PhD in Education from the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies at Pitt (’07).

Kari Kokka is a new tenure-track assistant professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Instruction and Learning. Her research involves Social Justice Mathematics, STEM teacher activism, and the retention of STEM teachers of color in urban schools. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a math teacher and coach for 10 years in a Title I public high school in New York City and a math teacher for one year in the Bay Area. She has also worked at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity to support teachers with Performance Assessment and Project Based Learning. Kari completed her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, her M.A. with the Stanford Teacher Education Program, and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is co-founder of the Creating Balance in an Unjust World Conference on STEM Education and Social Justice, and she was recently elected as the new co-chair of AERA’s Critical Educators for Social Justice SIG.

Francis A. “Alvin” Pearman is a new tenure-track assistant professor of Urban Education at CUE. His research and policy interests concern the interplay of poverty, race, and geography in the context of urban schooling. His current research examines connections to and consequences of gentrification with respect to modern schooling. Throughout his research, he combines quasi-experimental research with careful attention to how “big data,” including geo-coded crime statistics, business information, and local voting patterns might open new sites of inquiry in the field of education. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.

Xu Qin will receive her Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. As a recipient of the 2017 National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, she will take advantage of this prestigious fellowship to further develop her dissertation study. Thus, she will join the Research Methodology program in the Department of Psychology in Education as a new assistant professor beginning in September 2018. Her research has focused on developing statistical methods for causal mediation analysis in multi-site trials and employing innovative methods to conduct educational program evaluations.

Emily Rainey is a new tenure-track assistant professor of literacy education in the Department of Instruction and Learning. Emily’s research involves disciplinary literacy instructional practices, disciplinary literacy teaching, and literacy teacher education. Emily holds a PhD and MA in Literacy, Language, and Culture from the University of Michigan. She began her career in education as a middle school ELA teacher in the Arkansas Delta.