Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postdoctoral Researchers

dana dunwoody

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

dr. dana dunwoody is the Earl Center’s inaugural postdoctoral research fellow on the stem cascades project. dana brings to this role her expertise in adolescent development and social justice education. dana is deeply committed to youth, families, and community. as a community organizer, youth sports coach, educator, and scholar dana brings an critical intersectional, psychosomatic perspective to her research, teaching, and service.prior to her joining the earl center, dana completed her pdh in applied human development at boston university wheelock school of education and human development. during her graduate studies, dana served as the national president of the aacte holmes scholars programs and represented the wheelock graduate student body on multiple councils and boards. dana held a postdoctoral position with boston university’s professional development and postdoctoral affairs office as the pedological expert bringing social justice education and critical pedagogy to the conference planning team.dana is completely sure she is hilarious, and tests her jokes on her partner at their home on the beach. when dana has free time, she walks and plays in the ocean, plays videogames, bakes unbelievable cookies, volunteers at a local farm caring for animals, and connects with her family and friends over games and food.

Ada Okun

Graduate Student Researcher

Ada is a third-year doctoral student in Educational Studies, concentrating in Mathematics Education while pursuing questions and methodologies that transgress disciplinary boundaries. Her research interests center on critical perspectives: interrogating mathematics education’s links with colonialism, racial capitalism, and intersecting systems of oppression; and envisioning approaches to math teaching, learning, and research that work towards collective liberation. Formerly an elementary teacher, Ada is curious to explore questions and possibilities that emerge in everyday classroom practice, and she is committed to methodologies that are rooted in reciprocal, dialogic relationships with teachers and children.

Cliff Freeman

Graduate Student Researcher

Cliff Freeman is a first year Ph.D student at Boston University studying Mathematics and Science Education. Cliff is particularly interested in innovative and equitable approaches that broaden participation in STEM education and careers for populations of youth who have been historically underrepresented. Cliffs journey to this point began in the 10th grade when he began working at the Young People’s Project, a national non-for-profit organization, when it was awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (award #1031633). Cliff’s main responsibility was to design, prepare, and implement how he and his peers would teach math and computer science lessons to hundreds of middle and elementary school students in his neighborhood. Cliff’s STEM story is a story he hopes millions of other disenfranchised youth can replicate through his work as a student, professional work as a young adult, and eventually his research as a researcher in the STEM Education field.

Ryan Koa

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Ryan is currently a senior Health Science major at Boston University who is on the pre-dental track. Ryan was born in Myanmar, and moved to Vermont at the age of five. As a first generation college student, Ryan is interested in helping other students find their passion in life. With this interest, Ryan is working on a program called Alumni Outreach with his own high school, where recent high school graduates come back to help current high school students talk about a variety of topics, such as: the college experience, picking a college/major, standardized test, and the application process. Ryan now has the amazing opportunity of being an undergraduate research assistant working on the STEM Cascades Research Project, with an amazing group of researchers. When Ryan is not doing research or academics he is passionate about giving back to his community, by doing activities like, volunteering at food pantry, or volunteering at the Red Logan Dental Clinic. A dental clinic that promotes the health of people in Upper Valley who are in need and do not have a way to pay for these services.

Rehnuma Kabir

Undergraduate Student Researcher

My name is Rehnuma Kabir and my pronouns are she/hers. I am a senior at BU double majoring in biology and anthropology on the premed track. I currently have the fantastic opportunity to work as a research assistant on this amazing team with STEM Cascades. A little bit about me, I’m from NYC with my big immigrant family of 7. When I’m not talking your ear off about how much I love my kids that I mentor, then I’m probably trying some new restaurant or going for a little adventure in Boston’s neighborhoods.

Kimmone Bartley

Undergraduate Student Researcher

My name is Kimmone Bartley. I am a junior at Boston University, in the College of Arts and Science, where I study Computer Science. I am originally from Kingston, Jamaica, and migrated here a few years ago. I choose to complete my education in Computer Science, after discovering my passion for it. Through computer science, I get to express my creative side and learn to improve my problem-solving skills. In terms of things I have done with studying CS, as a major, I would say I have contributed towards conducting research and working as a facilitator for BU Girls Who Code, where I taught students programming. In the future, I wish to establish a tech start-up.

Samara Fair

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Samara Fair is a junior at Boston University studying Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Manufacturing Engineering. On campus she serves as an Inspiration Ambassador for the Technology Innovation Scholars Program (TISP) through the College of Engineering, NSBE Region 1 Telecommunications Chair and Second Vice-President of the Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Samara has a passion for early childhood education and uses her involvements and leadership to give back to minority communities and inspire youth aspiring to be in STEM. 

Adriana Alvarado

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Hi! My name is Adriana Alvarado, I’m twenty years old and I’m from Elizabeth, New Jersey. I’m currently a sophomore at Boston University majoring in Computer Science – I have hopes of becoming a software engineer, however, keep myself open to the variety of realms in CS. I was introduced to coding when I was around twelve years old through my older brother, who also studied the same major at Stanford. When it comes to my own interests and what I do during my leisure time: I love music (R&B, rap, and hip-hop – generally high vibrational music), taking care of and learning more about natural curly hair, makeup, rollerblading (I’m currently learning!), and crocheting. I’m excited to be a part of this project and to meet those who make up the rest of the team!