Education Graduate Association
The Education and HDFS Graduate Association (EGA) is the official student organization of full- and part-time graduate students at the University of Delaware’s School of Education and Department of Human Development and Family Sciences. Officers are elected to EGA each year for a one-year term. Students are granted membership in this association upon acceptance to the School, and its officers are elected from among your peers and colleagues.
The EGA serves as a link to news, information, and events within the school that affects graduate students. It also serves as an advocate and representative to the faculty and administration of the School on matters ranging from quality of life to programs and advising. The EGA also holds events throughout the semester. Check the event calendar for upcoming activities and connect with them on Facebook.
President & Communications Committee Co-Chair: Elena Silla
Elena Silla is a second year Ph.D. student in the Education program with a specialization in Learning Sciences. She earned both her B.A. in Psychology and her M.Ed. in K-6 Education from the University of Notre Dame. Previously, she worked as a fourth grade teacher in Richmond, California and a research assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include elementary math cognition and learning, motivation and belonging in mathematics, and forming research-practice partnerships with practitioners to promote motivation and learning in mathematics.
Vice President: Rachel Fidel
Rachel Fidel is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Education & Social Policy program. Prior to coming to UD, she received a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Development from the University of Central Florida. At UCF, she was involved in research involved studying the efficacy of a parenting intervention in childcare centers and with families involved with child welfare. For two years, she worked as a research assistant with the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood, on a project focusing on suspension and expulsion policies in childcare and pre-K. She is currently working on two projects: one examining the levels of lead in water in schools and childcare facilities, and one studying educational leaders’ experiences of professional development. Her research interests are in child and family policy, specifically early care and education policy.
Secretary & Communications Committee Co-Chair: Rebecca Memmolo
Rebecca Memmolo is a first year Ph.D. student in the Education program with a specialization in Mathematics Education. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University and an M.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, she worked as a first-grade classroom teacher in Asheville, North Carolina and a middle school mathematics teacher in Wilmington, Delaware. Her research interests focus on teachers’ beliefs and attitudes in relation to mathematics.
Treasurer: Thomas Maldonado-Reis
Thomas Maldonado-Reis (he/him) is a first year Ed.D. student in the Educational Leadership program. He earned a B.A. in English and an Ed.M. in Applied Human Development from Boston University. Additionally, he has completed a postbaccalaureate premedical program from Harvard University. Previously, he worked as a substitute teacher in Appoquinimink School District for English and Spanish (grades 9-12) before transitioning to higher education. His higher education experience spans 8 years of progressive enrollment and change leadership at Boston University and Harvard University. Currently, Thomas is an Assistant Director for enrollment at the Harvard Division of Continuing Education and serves as a member of the organization’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging committee. Prior to joining Harvard, Thomas served as the inaugural Director of Enrollment & Data Management at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. His research focus is twofold: 1) issues of equity and access for multilingual students in postsecondary education and 2) data-driven policy implementation.
Social Committee Chair: Faezeh Vahdat Nia
Faezeh Vahdat Nia is a first-year doctoral student in the School of Education, Learning Sciences Program. She received her B.A. in Education with a minor in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Her M.A. is in Educational Psychology from the University of Tehran. Her previous work has been on children’s play and learning as well as improving adults’ playfulness. She has worked in a toy company for 9 years. Her current research interests include the Playful Learning Landscapes and guided play, more specifically exploring ways in which play could be infused with the science of learning to improve children’s cognitive skills such as executive functions, and spatial skills.
Educational Workshops Committee Chair: Elizabeth Wroten
Elizabeth Wroten is a second-year student in the Human Development and Family Sciences PhD program at University of Delaware. She currently holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from University of Delaware, and will graduate with her M.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences in May 2023 before continuing in the program. Elizabeth is a lifespan developmentalist with a wide variety of research interests; current and previous work includes historical analysis of working-class families in 20th century France, virtual home visiting in the COVID-19 pandemic, and various topics pertaining to adolescence, emerging adulthood, transitions, maternal health, and death across the life span.
1st Year SOE Ph.D. Cohort Representative: Amanda Man
Amanda Man is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Sociocultural and Community-Based Approaches (SCA) specialization. She completed her B.A. in English Literature and Secondary Education at Washington University in St. Louis and holds a M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society through the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. In between her studies, she taught high school English in Trenton, NJ for two years, then taught in and helped develop a secondary school English-language immersion program in Macau S.A.R. for four years. Currently, she supports UD’s Center for Intercultural Engagement in the formation of its basic needs program, Blue Hen Essentials. Her research interests revolve around the interactions between crises, schools, communities, and young people, and is grounded in healing-centered pedagogy, radical empathy, promoting equity, and uplifting student voices.
2nd Year SOE Ph.D. Cohort Representative: Irene Post
Irene Post is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Literacy specialization. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Educational Studies from Columbia University and an M.S.Ed. in Literacy from Bank Street College of Education. Before beginning the program, Irene spent a decade as a Spanish-English bilingual elementary school teacher in both New York City and Chicago. Additionally, she worked for two years as an adjunct instructor of undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation at Northeastern Illinois University. Irene is interested in bilingual education, language acquisition, and the literacy development of multilingual children.
ESRM Representative: Jesse Eze
Jesse Eze is a student in the School of Education’s Educational Statistics and Research Methods program, and this is his first year as a doctoral student. He attended the University of Lagos in Nigeria to earn his Bachelor of Education degree in mathematics education. His areas of interest include the implementation of policies, cognitive development, the identity and anxiety associated with mathematics, and various teacher training schemes.