Our Fellows


Maryland Equity Project Fellows bring a wide range of expertise on education policy issues, especially as they relate to education in Maryland. They work with the Maryland Equity Project on specific projects or research around their area of expertise.

To contact a fellow, please email mdequity@umd.edu or go to our Contact Us page.

Daniel KlasikDaniel Klasik
Daniel Klasik is Assistant Professor of higher education in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University. He was a postdoctoral fellow with the Maryland Equity Project in 2013-14 and received his PhD in Education Policy and MA in Economics at Stanford University. Prior to his time at Stanford, Daniel worked as an admissions officer at a selective private liberal arts college, and as a research assistant in the Education Policy Center of the Urban Institute. His ongoing research investigates how students make decisions about whether and where to attend college and how they ways in which they make these decisions shape their later college and life outcomes. His publications include studies of the many obstacles to four-year college enrollment (in Research in Higher Education) and how state-mandated SAT or ACT testing affects students’ college choices (in Educational Researcher).


Joe PopvichJoe Popovich
Joe Popovich is recently retired from Morgan State University as Vice President for Planning and Information Technology. Much of his research while at Morgan centered on the status of under-served populations and the role of historically black campuses in educating these populations. Prior to Morgan, he was Director of Policy Research for the Maryland Higher Education Commission and its predecessor agency. He was responsible for developing Maryland’s first comprehensive plan for postsecondary education, a wide variety of statewide studies and projects, and the creation off its unit record system for collecting campus student and personnel data, one of the first in the nation. His primary research interests are educational parity as well the success or failure of government to address parity issues, organizational performance and outcomes assessment, and organizational process improvement. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and his master’s in higher education administration from that same institution. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Higher Education Planning and Policy.


Jennifer King RiceJennifer King Rice
Jennifer King Rice is Professor of education policy and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs in the College of Education at the University of Maryland. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. Prior to joining the faculty at Maryland, she was a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Dr. Rice’s research draws on the discipline of economics to explore education policy questions concerning the efficiency, equity, and adequacy of U.S. education systems. Her current work focuses on teachers as a critical resource in the education process. Her authored and edited books include Fiscal Policy in Urban Education; High Stakes Accountability: Implications for Resources and Capacity; and Teacher Quality: Understanding the Effectiveness of Teacher Attributes, winner of the 2005 American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education book award. As a national expert in education finance and policy, Dr. Rice regularly consults with numerous policy research organizations and state and federal agencies. She was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation post-doctoral fellow in 2002-03, and spent a recent sabbatical leave as a Visiting Fellow at the Urban Institute. She is a past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy.


Linda ValliLinda Valli
Linda Valli is the inaugural Jeffrey and David Mullan Professor in Teacher Education-Professional Development at the University of Maryland (UMD). She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in the social sciences and education. Dr. Valli has focused her teaching and research on helping preservice and in-service teachers study their own practice to improve the learning context, especially for low-achieving, disengaged students. She and Robert Croninger were co-PIs on a five-year, $4.5 million NSF-sponsored study of 4th and 5th grade reading and mathematics instruction. Working with Croninger and other UMD colleagues, she examined teaching practices and school policies that benefit or disadvantage students in high-poverty, culturally- and linguistically-diverse schools. Together they wrote Test Driven: High-Stakes Accountability in Elementary Schools, published by Teachers College Press (New York, 2008). Dr. Valli is currently working with a group of educators and local activists on a “promise neighborhood” concept to revitalize schools and communities. Promise neighborhoods are a “place-based” strategy for improving life prospects for urban youth and their families through rich educational opportunities and a strong safety net of social and economic supports. Her research appears in a range of journals, including the American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, Urban Education and the American Journal of Education.