Our Team

In his program of research, Professor James Kim uses randomized experiments to evaluate and improve promising literacy interventions. His substantive goal is to understand the role that teachers and parents play in promoting children’s reading comprehension and reading engagement during the academic school year and summer months. He is particularly interested in using the results of randomized experiments to identify a toolbox of literacy interventions and instructional practices that enable educators to improve children’s literacy outcomes, especially vulnerable populations of children growing up in low-income neighborhoods, schools, and homes. His ultimate goal is to use experimental evidence to identify effective literacy interventions that enable all children to acquire knowledge, to read for enjoyment, and to succeed in their chosen life’s work.

Principal Investigator

Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education


Faculty Profile

Curriculum Vitae

James S. Kim


Mary studies how teachers experience and participate with literacy reform efforts. She is particularly interested in the relationship between teachers' implementation experiences with literacy reform efforts and the scalability of these reforms. Before coming to Harvard, Mary was a middle-school English teacher in New York City and a research analyst at Child Trends. Mary earned her B.A. from Cornell University and her M.S.T. from Pace University.

Mary Burkhauser


Catherine Armstrong in a 4th year doctoral student in the Education Policy & Program Evaluation program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the impacts of large scale literacy programs and policies and the methodological investigation of impact heterogeneity in literacy interventions. Prior to coming to Harvard, she worked at social policy research firm MDRC on the evaluations of Response to Intervention and Reading Partners. She has earned a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College and a M.A. in Statistics from Harvard University.

Research Assistant

Doctoral Candidate, HGSE


Catherine Armstrong


Research Assistant

Doctoral Candidate, FAS


Charles Gale

Barb is the projector director for the READS Lab.  Previously, she was a project director for the Center for Education Policy Research and co-PI for the Mathematics Teachers and Teaching Study. Prior to joining CEPR, Barb was an internal evaluator for project FANC, an NSF-funded project studying the effect of implementing formative assessment strategies in networked mathematics classrooms through the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Hawai‘i Arts Alliances’ Arts and Literacy for All project. Barb is a former English teacher and taught at the middle and high school levels.

Barb Gilbert


Research Assistant - Content Developer


Josh Gilbert


Research Assistant 

Doctoral Candidate, HGSE


Kaity Kao


Research Assistant 

Doctoral Candidate, HGSE


Thomas Kelley-Kemple

Ethan is a senior research manager for the Center for Education Policy Research where he leads the analytic design and execution for the READs Lab and the Boston Charter Research Collaborative.  Prior to joining CEPR, he completed a Ph.D. in policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Ethan’s doctoral research focused on whether bonuses for teachers and principals improved student achievement as well as whether voters held school board members accountable for their performance.  At RAND, Ethan worked on projects related to district reform, teacher effectiveness, and out-of-school time.  He has also worked as a teaching assistant for classes on empirical analysis, microeconomics, and statistical methods. Ethan holds an M.P.P in public policy from UCLA and B.A. in economics from Wesleyan University.

Senior Research Manager, CEPR


Ethan Scherer



Contributing Faculty, N. Carolina State University


Jackie Relyea

patrick photo2.JPG

Patrick Rich is a Data Fellow located at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. He is interested in language and literacy development, and how family and social aspects cohere with the classroom. Previously, he was a senior research analyst at Denver Public Schools, where he led stakeholder-focused longitudinal research projects investigating what factors relate to early literacy outcomes, post-secondary outcomes, as well as language acquisition for multilingual learners. He has taught domestically and internationally. His graduate work (MSc) is in economics and also society, technology, and science studies (Lund University in Sweden), with an BSc in industrial and operations research engineering (University of Michigan).

Strategic Data Fellow

Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools

Patrick Rich

Profile picture Johanna.png

Johanna came to the READS Lab from Harvard's Project Zero, where she worked as a Research Assistant on a national study of how different groups think about the goals of college. Her primary focus is issues of social mobility and equity in the field of education, and she has previously coordinated an educational program for immigrant women at the MiRA Centre in Norway, and worked as a teacher and coordinator of a study abroad program in San Francisco. She holds a M.A. in International Studies from the University of San Francisco.

Project Coordinator


Johanna Tvedt

Kristia Wantchekon is a fourth year student at Harvard University in the Human Development, Learning and Teaching concentration of the PhD in the Education. Her interests broadly cover how adolescents' development intersects with their reading development and engagement. In her own research she hopes to explore the mechanisms through which culturally responsive teaching positively impacts the reading growth and engagement of struggling adolescent students. Kristia earned her B.A. from Yale University and received her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University in Spring 2017.

Research Assistant

Doctoral Candidate, HGSE


Kristia Wantchekon

Copyright © 2019 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

READS Lab, Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA  02138

  • White Instagram Icon