Members of the Curriculum Advisory Committee are experts in their fields. From neurobiologists and New York Times best-selling authors to emergency physicians at world-class hospitals, internationally-renowned education reformers, and space explorers — they help generate new course concepts, shape current curriculum, and keep EXPLO on the leading edge of the world of people and ideas.
(F) = Former EXPLO Faculty Member
(S) = Former EXPLO Student
(P) = EXPLO Parent
Dr. Christian Arbelaez (F, P), MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician in emergency medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital, Boston. He formerly served as both the Assistant Residency Director of the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program and the Associate Director of the Office for Multicultural Careers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Arbelaez is a recognized leader on clinical and educational innovation in the areas of emergency medicine, public health, and workforce diversity, and has participated in volunteer relief efforts in such hard-hit locations as New Orleans and Haiti. He is currently involved in the development of emergency medicine as a specialty in his native country of Colombia.
Dr. Beth Parks Aronson is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University, where she directs the Masters Program in Community Psychology. Aronson teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in general psychology and clinical/counseling areas, supervises practicum students, provides academic advisement, and conducts and supervises research. Aronson has also taught at Kennesaw State University and New York University, teaching research methods and statistics as well as courses in clinical/counseling psychology. In addition to her academic positions, Aronson has worked in private practice as a licensed psychologist, with specialized training in the treatment of OCD and in group therapy methods. For a number of years, Aronson served as a HOPE trainer for the APA, providing continuing education to mental health professionals in relation to issues associated with HIV/AIDS. She also trained front line mental health, public health, and substance abuse workers through the HIV Rapid Testing Training program through SAMHSA. Prior to completing her doctorate, Aronson supervised a team of foster care caseworkers providing permanency planning services families affected by HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Robert S. Berg is a professor of physics at Wellesley College. He has taught a wide range of courses, from introductory engineering to advanced quantum mechanics. He received his A.B. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Robbie co-developed a course at Wellesley called Robotic Design Studio. In this innovative, interdisciplinary course, students learn how to design, assemble, and program robots. Through their robotics projects, Robbie’s students tap into a wide range of disciplines, including computer science, physics, math, biology, psychology, engineering, and art.
Dr. Andy Boynton (P) is the Dean of Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. He co-chaired a committee of deans, faculty and university administrators to revitalize the undergraduate core curriculum at Boston College. His blog on leadership and innovation is a regular feature on Forbes.com, and his two most recent books, The Idea Hunter: How to Find the Best Ideas and Make Them Happen and Virtuoso Teams: Lessons from Teams That Changed Their Worlds, received critical acclaim. Prior to his appointment at Boston College, he was a professor of strategy at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland for over 10 years. At the IMD, he led a faculty team and was program director of one of the world’s top ten Executive Global MBA programs, as recognized by BusinessWeek.
Dr. Neil H. Buchanan is an associate professor of law at The George Washington University Law School. His research addresses the long-term tax and spending patterns of the federal government, focusing on budget deficits, the national debt, health care costs, and Social Security. He also is engaged in a long-term research project that asks how current policy choices should be shaped by concerns for the interests of future generations. He received his A.B from Vassar College where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Neil went on to earn his A.M. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He won the Allyn Young Teaching Prize and a certificate for distinction in teaching from Harvard. Neil has taught economics at Wellesley, Goucher, and Barnard Colleges, as well as the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan. He earned his J.D from the University of Michigan, magna cum laude, and clerked for Judge Robert Henry for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Dr. Jim Cocola (F), is an associate professor of literature, film, and media in the Department of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His current research includes projects on the imaginative making of place in modern and contemporary American poetry; electronic and digital mediations of modern and contemporary American poetry; and the cultural and geographical dimensions of Italian-American literature and film. He is also working on manuscripts for a collection of lyric poems along with an epic sequence. Dr. Cocola is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, essays, and a book of poetry. He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of Virginia and earned his A.B. from Harvard College. Prior to pursuing his doctorate, Dr. Cocola was the Humanities Dean at The American School of Tangier, Morocco, and was a Stowe-Harvard Fellow at the Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, England.
Leah Hager Cohen (F) is the author of five nonfiction books and five novels, including Train Go Sorry, House Lights, and The Grief of Others. She has written extensively for The New York Times as well as the New York Review of Books, and has taught writing at Emerson College. Currently, she is the Barrett Professor of Creative Writing at the College of the Holy Cross Her honors include making The New York Times‘ Notable Book List five times, the American Library Association’s Ten Best Books of the Year, and Toronto Globe and Mail‘s Ten Best Books of the Year. Leah received her B.A. in creative writing from Hampshire College and her M.S. in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Michael C. Dorf (F) is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and was previously the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at the Columbia University School of Law. He was also the Michael Sovern Professor of Law and the vice-dean of the Columbia University Law School. While teaching at Rutgers University School of Law (Camden), he was the recipient of the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award. Mike writes extensively on U.S. constitutional law issues and civil procedure matters for both scholarly publications and popular audiences. While at Harvard Law School, Mike was Best Oralist and captain of the first-place team for Ames Moot Court. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Mike earned his A.B. from Harvard College magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Dr. Andrew Eyre (F) is a physician in the emergency departments of Brigham and Women’s and The Massachusetts General Hospital. His research has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Medicine and he has presented at the national meeting of the American Urologic Association. He began his medical career while an undergraduate at Williams College, working as a certified emergency medical technician with Village Ambulance Services. He brought his interest in medicine to EXPLO at Wheaton, where he worked as a staff member for three summers — as a teacher and residence director. Dr. Eyre was deeply involved in the development of both EXPLO’s Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine Focus Programs. Dr. Eyre is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and earned his medical degree at The University of Vermont, where he won the Wasserman Prize for Scholastic Performance. He was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.
Dr. Barry J. Fishman (S, F) is an associate professor of learning technologies and educational studies at the University of Michigan’s School of Education and School of Information. Previously, he was a visiting associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research focuses on: video games as models for learning environments, teacher learning and the role of technology in supporting teacher learning, and the development of usable, scalable, and sustainable learning innovations through design-based implementation research (DBIR), which he helped establish. He was co-author of the Obama Administration’s 2010 U.S. National Educational Technology Plan, and served as Associate Editor of The Journal of the Learning Sciences from 2005-2012. Barry is the 2001 recipient of the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies, the 2003 Evan and Helen Geib Pattishall Award, the 2004 Council of Great City Schools Urban Impact Award, and the 2010 Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize, awarded by the University of Michigan. He received his A.B. In English and American literature from Brown University, his M.S. in instruction systems technology from Indiana University, and his Ph.D. in learning sciences from Northwestern University.
Dr. Nathaniel O. Keohane (F) is the Vice President for International Climate at the Environmental Defense Fund. His previous role at Environmental Defense was Director of Economic Policy and Analysis, as well as chief economist. In 2011, he served a stint as special assistant to the President on energy and the environment. Nat works to develop and advocate environmentally responsible and economically sound climate policies aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. He seeks to bring economic theory and empirical analysis to bear on questions such as the optimal design of cap-and-trade systems and the long-term impacts of climate policy on the U.S. economy. Prior to working at Environmental Defense, Nat was an assistant and then associate professor of economics at the Yale School of Management. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard University.
Dr. Wei-Chung Allen Lee (F) is an instructor in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. His general research interest is understanding how information is processed in the brain. More specifically, he aims to elucidate the interplay between circuit structure and neuronal function by combining state of the art imaging techniques to map network activity in the intact brain, then examine how neurons are wired together. Wei earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his S.B. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and his A.B. in biochemistry and government from Bowdoin College.
Ramien R. Pierre (F) works as an analyst and project manager with NASA APPEL and is also a senior consultant at Careerstone Group, LLC. He has worked for more than seventeen years administering arts and education programs, as well as coaching managers and executives on team-building and managing organizational change. Previously, Ramien served as a Project Manager at UNCF Special Programs Corporation, as well as Administrator for Education Department at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he directed the Vilar Institute for Arts Management. Prior to his work at the Kennedy Center, Ramien was the Executive Director of the Dance Institute of Washington. He has worked as Assistant Dean of Students at Haverford College and at the George School. Ramien earned his B.A. in political science at Haverford College, an M.A. in social studies education at Brown University, an M.Ed. in mind brain education at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a certificate in arts management from the Vilar Institute for Arts Management. He received his Doctorate of Education for Learning & Teaching at Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Gideon Rose (S) was appointed Editor and Peter G. Peterson Chair of Foreign Affairs magazine in October 2010. For the previous ten years, he served as the magazine’s Managing Editor. From 1995 to 2000, he was the Olin Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and served as Chairman of the Council’s Roundtable on Terrorism. Previously, he served as Associate Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, and taught American foreign policy at Columbia and Princeton Universities. Gideon received a B.A. in classics from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University. He writes extensively on terrorism and foreign affairs, and wrote the 2010 book, How Wars End.
Dr. Pasi Sahlberg is a Finnish educator, author, and scholar. He has worked as a school teacher, teacher educator, professor, researcher, and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems and reforms around the world. His expertise includes school improvement, international education issues, classroom teaching and learning, and school leadership. His bestselling book, Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? (Series on School Reform), won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award. He is a former Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) at Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki. He held a two-year position starting in 2014 as visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and will begin a similar professorship at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College in January of 2017.
Dr. Jonathan Z. Simon (F) is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he splits his time between the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Biology, and the Institute for Systems Research. Jonathan’s research interests are in auditory neural computations and representations, magnetoencephalography and cortical physiology, signal processing in biological systems and computational and theoretical neuroscience. He has been awarded numerous grants from the National Institute of Health to support his work. Jonathan graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. in physics from Princeton University. He also holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Linda Siperstein is a staff doctor at the Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital in Berkeley, California. Previously, she spent ten years at the VCA Wakefield Animal Hospital (Massachusetts). Linda earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston. Linda received her B.S. from Northwestern University, after which she became a public radio producer.
Dr. Brian R. Soucek (F) is a professor at the University of California – Davis School of Law. Soucek is a graduate of Boston College (B.A., Philosophy and Economics); Columbia University (Ph.D., Philosophy), where he was awarded the Core Preceptor Prize for his teaching; and Yale Law School (J.D.), where he was Comments Editor for the Yale Law Journal, a Coker Fellow in Procedure and won the Munson Prize for his work in the school’s immigration clinic. Prior to law school, Soucek taught for three years in the Humanities Collegiate Division and Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago, where he was Collegiate Assistant Professor and Co-Chair of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. After law school, he clerked for the late Mark R. Kravitz, United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut, and the Hon. Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Much of his philosophical works centered on the personification of art: the way that notions such as autonomy, agency, authenticity, or expression are invoked analogously in discussions both of persons and of artworks. Brian has also written on the philosophy of music, particularly opera. In addition to book chapters and articles in the philosophy of art, Soucek’s legal publications include work on asylum law, on due process values embodied in contemporary courthouse art, and, most recently, on unpublished appellate opinions and the precedential force they gain by being copied and pasted. In 2015, his recent article on employment discrimination claims brought by plaintiffs perceived to be gay won the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation and gender identity legal scholarship published in the previous year. Uniting all of these projects is an overarching concern for the role appearances play throughout the law, particularly in two areas that Soucek teaches at UC Davis School of Law: employment discrimination law and civil procedure.
Dr. James C. Spohrer (F) is the Director of Understanding Cognitive Systems at IBM in San Jose, CA, where he has worked for over thirteen years. At IBM, he previously served as Director of Global University Programs and Cognitive Systems Institute, as well as Director of Almaden Services Research. Jim is a frequent advisor to the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. He received a B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University. He has lived in Rome, Italy, where he was a visiting scholar at the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” and a lecturer at major European universities. Jim has published broadly on speech recognition, empirical studies of programmers, artificial intelligence, and authoring tools. He helped establish two educational non-profit research websites, The Educational Object and Worldboard: Associating Information with Places.
Dr. Glenn Stark is a professor of physics at Wellesley College, where he has taught for almost 30 years. His research is in the field of experimental molecular spectroscopy and his laboratory programs emphasize molecular transitions which are of interest to astrophysics, planetary atmospheres, and aeronomy communities. He receives funding for his research from NASA and collaborates with institutions in both London and St. Aubin, France. Prior to his work at Wellesley, Glenn was a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Glenn holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
George T. Whitesides (S) is CEO of Virgin Galactic, a firm developing commercial space vehicles. He also serves as co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies and Space News selected him as one of 12 “People to Watch” in the space industry. Before Virgin Galactic, he was named Chief of Staff of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration after serving on the NASA transition team for the incoming Obama Administration. He is also the former Executive Director of the National Space Society. George co-founded the global astronomy education program Permission to Dream (PTD) in 2002. A Fulbright Scholar, George received his graduate degree in remote sensing and geographical information systems from Cambridge University, and his undergraduate degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University. He is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.
Dr. Yong Zhao is an internationally known scholar, author, and speaker. His work focuses on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has designed schools that cultivate global competence, developed computer games for language learning, and founded research and development institutions to explore innovative education models. He has published over 100 articles and 20 books. His latest book, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, has won several awards, including the Society of Professors of Education Book Award (2013), Association of Education Publishers’ (AEP) Judges’ Award, and Distinguished Achievement Award in Education Leadership (2013). He currently serves as the Foundation Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Education. Formerly, he served as Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the University of Oregon’s College of Education, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership.