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Principal Investigator, Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education          Faculty Profile

James Kim is an expert on literacy intervention and experimental design. His professional mission is to conduct a systematic program of policy relevant research in literacy that focuses on improving outcomes for low-income students and struggling readers. He leads the READS Lab (Research Enhances Adaptations Designed for Scale in Literacy), a research-based collaborative initiative to identify and scale adaptive solutions for improving children’s literacy learning opportunities and outcomes. As part of the Reach Every Reader (RER) Initiative, the READS Lab is partnering with practitioners in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and researchers at the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili) and Florida State University to improve Kindergarten to Grade 3 reading outcomes. His current research priority is to understand how building children’s domain knowledge and reading engagement can foster long-term improvements in reading comprehension. He serves on the editorial boards of Reading Research Quarterly, the Journal of Educational Psychology, and the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. Prior to graduate school, he was a middle school U.S. history teacher.


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Senior Researcher

Mary Burkhauser 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, her M.S.T. from Pace University and Ph.D. from Harvard.



Senior Researcher

Josh Gilbert is a senior researcher at the Harvard READS Lab and is a faculty member at New England Conservatory in the Music-in-Education Department. Josh’s prior research experience includes work with the Center for Music and the Arts in Education and Harvard Project Zero. Josh’s academic publications include articles in Arts Education Policy Review and AERA Open, and a chapter in Music Learning as Youth Development.



Research Assistant, Doctoral Candidate, EPPE

Thomas Kelley-Kemple focuses on examining school level determinants of policy implementation and effectiveness. He is primarily interested in understanding how schools use data to improve and support student success.



Research Assistant, Doctoral Candidate, HDLT

Alfatah's interests include the science of reading, interventions for struggling readers, and instructional and pedagogical guidance for teachers. As a PhD candidate, Alfatah focuses on the design of effective reading interventions for K-12 students. Alfatah brings a wealth of experience to research, having directly taught students as reading clinician and having led LEA and district-wide initiatives to deliver interventions at scale.


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Research Assistant, Doctoral Candidate

Doug Mosher studies literacy interventions for elementary school students. He is particularly interested in measuring the quality and quantity of teacher-language use in the classroom and its impact on students' vocabulary development and reading comprehension. Additionally, he is interested in the ways students acquire domain knowledge through reading and how students transfer this knowledge to other conceptual domains. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Doug worked for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools as a first-grade teacher.



Staff Assistant

Ruth Newhouse studies literacy interventions, specifically for students who are learning English as an additional language. She is very interested in work that combines community and family outreach with school-time instruction. Prior to working on the READS lab team, she received her M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She previously taught high-school math in Watsonville, CA. Also, she has experience working in elementary schools, both as a teacher and out-of-school time coordinator.


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Strategic Data Fellow, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Patrick Rich is a Data Fellow located at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools where he serves as a liaison to the MORE RCT and the lead research analyst for the Office of Academics and Office of Accountability. 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).



Senior Researcher

Ethan Scherer is a senior researcher with the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) and the READS Lab.  He leads the analytic design and execution for the MORE RCT and the Boston Charter Research Collaborative. As part of his work with CEPR, he also led the analytic design and execution for the Proving Ground project.  Prior to joining CEPR, Ethan completed a Ph.D. in policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and worked on projects related to district reform, teacher effectiveness, and out-of-school time at RAND. Ethan holds an M.P.P in public policy from UCLA and B.A. in economics from Wesleyan University.


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Project Manager

Johanna came to the READS Lab from Harvard's Project Zero, where she worked as a Research Assistant on a national study on higher education in the 21st century. 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 is the co-founder of the Migrant Alliance and Partnership Network in Boston, and holds an M.A. in International Studies from the University of San Francisco.

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