The University of Maryland College of Education welcomes 12 new faculty members for the 2023-2024 academic year.
“These new faculty members represent a group of accomplished and skilled researchers, teacher-practitioners and leaders who bring an impressive mix of academic accomplishments and professional practice to our many programs,” said UMD College of Education Dean Kimberly Griffin. “They are ready to support our mission through their teaching, research and service and will contribute greatly to our EdTerps community in significant ways for years to come.”
Meet the college’s newest faculty members:
Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE)
Katryna Andrusik Ph.D. ’11, Assistant Clinical Professor
Katryna Andrusik began her career in the field of education as a sixth grade reading teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, remaining in the classroom for seven years and concurrently earning her master’s degree. After receiving her doctorate, she served as the founding director of special education and humanities at a teaching preparation program and then became an instructional coach at a charter school in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct at The Catholic University of America. Most recently, she spent one year as an instructional coach at The Catholic University of America, while also serving as a professor in the Department of Education.
Andrusik earned a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Maryland, a M.S. in education and a B.A. in English and French from Johns Hopkins University.
Branden D. Elmore, Associate Research Professor
Branden D. Elmore’s research focuses on identifying pathways for equity, access, and inclusion of diverse identities. His work strategically promotes and advocates for racial mental health support and well-being in the academic and workplace setting.
Elmore has been recognized and awarded for his scholarship. He was named one of the inaugural National Black Justice Coalition’s “100 Emerging Black LGBT Leaders,” and previously received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ (NASPA) African American Knowledge Community Graduate Student “Umoja” Research Award and the NASPA NOW award. His dissertation, “Identity Negotiation Among Black Administrators at a PWI” was awarded the Dr. Marcia Clarke-Yapi Award for innovatively addressing equity issues in higher education.
He earned a Ph.D. in higher education from Pennsylvania State University, a M.A. in communications studies from the University of Cincinnati and a B.A. in communications with a certificate in professional writing from Fayetteville State University.
Sehrish Shikarpurya, Assistant Professor
Sehrish Shikarpurya’s research explores the intersectionality of race/racialization/racism and dis/ability to achieve meaningful adulthood outcomes for racially minoritized and underrepresented youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families. Her scholarship centers on designing and implementing community-driven and culturally affirming interventions to (a) redefine and reshape adulthood outcomes for racially minoritized youth and (b) equip youth and their families with knowledge, community belongingness and culturally informed resources to navigate the transition to adulthood effectively and meaningfully.
Shikarpurya earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, a double master’s degree in Secondary Education and Muslim Societies and Civilizations from The Institute of Education at the University College London, and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University.
Jorinna Tran ’03, M.Ed. ’07, Lecturer
Jorinna Tran has spent the last 17 years as a school counselor at Montgomery County Public Schools. Tran has been a part of the College of Education community as an adjunct faculty member with the counseling program for the last three years and is an alumna of our school counseling graduate program.
Tran received a master’s degree in school counseling and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland.
Christopher S. Travers, Visiting Clinical Professor
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Christopher S. Travers (he/him) is an educator, speaker, writer and artist whose scholarship explores life-making among Black folx in higher education through liberatory masculinities, faith and spiritual connection, and love-based pedagogy and practice. Travers holds over 15 years of experience in education, teaching, speaking and diversity + equity programming, and his work has been published in several scholarly journals, including Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, The Journal of Negro Education, Urban Education and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, among others. He currently serves as the Founder + CEO of The Communion Collective.
Travers earned a Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Towson University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Frostburg State University.
Chunyan Yang, Associate Professor
Chunyan Yang joins the College of Education from the University of California where she served as an assistant and then associate professor of school psychology at University of California Santa Barbara and University of California Berkeley, respectively. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of California, she worked as a school psychologist in the district-wide Multicultural Assessment and Consultation Team in northern Colorado.
Yang’s research interests focus on understanding how school members interact with their ecological contexts to find their resilience individually and collectively when facing risks and adversities, such as bullying, teacher-targeted violence and mental health challenges.
Yang received a Ph.D. in education with a specialization in school psychology from the University of Delaware, a MSc in research methods in psychology from the University of Bristol in England and a B.S. in chemistry with a teaching credential from the Central China Normal University in China.
Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM)
Keiana Mayfield, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Keiana Mayfield’s research interests lie at the intersection of child development and sociocultural contextual factors. Her work focuses on how families and schools influence child and adolescent development while embedded within a society with deep roots in racially oppressive ideologies. She examines how a combination of individual characteristics, socialization processes and sociocultural factors support (or undermine) child and adolescent development across contexts using advanced statistical methodologies. Her research strives to create and inform intervention and prevention programs working to undermine and dismantle the perpetuation of racially oppressive ideologies through socialization practices in family and school contexts.
Mayfield earned a doctorate in the human development and family studies program at The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in social work and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and studies of women and gender studies from the University of Virginia.
Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL)
Keisha McIntosh Allen, Assistant Professor
Keisha McIntosh Allen’s research focuses on frameworks, practices and policies that foster humanizing approaches to teacher learning and their relationship to educational equity in schools. Specifically, her research seeks to acknowledge the full humanity of Black teachers and students by examining how schools can be spaces that affirm the lives of Black children and their teachers. Through four interconnected strands of research (critical multicultural teacher education, professional learning, humanizing pedagogies and teacher diversity), Allen’s work aims to pursue systemic changes that can transform teacher preparation and the contexts of teachers’ work.
Allen has been published in top peer-reviewed journals focused on urban and multicultural education. She serves on the executive committee for English Language Arts Teacher Educators and is a recent appointee to the Maryland Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board.
She earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching with a specialization in multicultural and urban education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an MAT and bachelor’s degrees from Hampton University. Prior to earning her doctorate degree, Allen was a high school English teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools.
Meghan Comstock, Assistant Professor
Meghan Comstock's experience as an elementary mathematics and science teacher in Jonestown, Mississippi, informs her scholarship and teaching, which focuses on how K-12 instructional policies and the institutional and organizational conditions in schools shape equitable educational opportunities for racially and ethnically minoritized students. Comstock uses an interdisciplinary lens that bridges organizational sociology, politics of education, and teaching and leadership studies.
Comstock earned a Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in biology from the University of Virginia.
Amy Green ’02, Ph.D. ’17, Assistant Clinical Professor
Amy Green currently serves as the College of Education’s Director of the Center for Science and Technology in Education where she coordinates and oversees innovations and partnerships to advance teacher education in science, technology and STEM. Green first joined the University of Maryland as an undergraduate, graduating with a degree in elementary education and later earned her graduate degrees after teaching elementary school in Montgomery County Public Schools for nine years.
Green earned a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis on science and STEM education and a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Maryland.
Joann Kang ’04, Secondary Social Studies PDS Co-Coordinator
Joann Kang is a Professional Development Schools coordinator for secondary social studies and works primarily with the College of Education’s Master’s Certification (MCERT) program. She is an experienced secondary social studies classroom teacher and instructional leader, having spent12 years as a middle school teacher in Anne Arundel County and Howard County Public Schools. Kang is committed to supporting pre-service teachers as they prepare to enter classrooms and helping them integrate and implement anti-racist and anti-bias practices, as well as culturally responsive teaching, into social studies education and curriculum.
Kang received a Master of Arts in teaching from Towson University and a bachelor's degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland.
Sara Kirschner, Assistant Clinical Professor
Sara Kirschner is a former elementary school teacher, instructional coach and curriculum writer. Her specialization is elementary mathematics teacher education and she researches clinical practices and mathematics methods course work in elementary teacher education.
Kirschner received a Ph.D. in education from George Mason University, a M.A. in elementary education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in communications from Pennsylvania State University.