The Mixed Methods Blog

Perspectives from our researchers, highlights from recent studies, and other news about CCRC

Celebrating CCRC’s 2023 Graduating Researchers

2023 grad blog

Commencement season is here! This spring, CCRC is proud to celebrate four researchers who have completed their graduate degrees. These hardworking individuals finished their programs all while making valuable contributions to fieldwork, presenting at conferences, and poring over data. With fresh perspectives and rich skill sets, graduate researchers are essential to the work done at CCRC.

"We are proud to recognize this year’s graduates for all of their contributions to our research teams,” said CCRC Director Tom Brock. “We celebrate their successes alongside them and know that, whether they remain at CCRC or continue on somewhere else, they will continue to make necessary headway in research that increases equity in higher education.”

Congratulations to this year’s graduates: Selena Cho, Aurely Garcia Tulloch, Daniel Sparks, and Ellen Wasserman of the class of 2023!

Selena Cho is graduating with an MA in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. She began at CCRC as a part-time research assistant but has worked full-time for the past two and a half years. In this time, she has been part of the teams studying Caring Campus, guided pathways in the humanities, corequisite courses at CUNY, and workforce recovery in Virginia. She is also part of a team evaluating a toolkit to support postsecondary learning with technology.

Cho plans to continue her work at CCRC post-graduation.

“I used to want to book it out of NYC as soon as possible, but the city has really grown on me in the last year,” Cho said.

Aurely Garcia Tulloch is earning her MA in Organization and Leadership from Teachers College. She has been a research assistant at CCRC since November 2022 and currently contributes to projects on dual enrollment and transfer. For her program, Tulloch conducted a final research project titled "Coping with COVID-19: A Study on Former Dual Enrollment Students' Mental Health."

In addition to continuing her work supporting the dual enrollment and transfer project teams at CCRC, Tulloch plans to explore life outside of school.

“My post-grad plans include taking some well-deserved time off from school. I've been in college from dual enrollment to grad school with no gap year. And reading more books!”

Daniel Sparks is graduating from Teachers College with a PhD in Economics and Education. His dissertation, “More Money, Less Problems? Essays on Improving College Access and Success,” focuses on how state and federal spending on education can promote student outcomes.

Sparks has worked at CCRC for four years on projects ranging from strengthening community college transfer pathways in the humanities to understanding how state and federal financial aid policies interact. After graduation, Sparks will start a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ellen Wasserman is graduating from New Jersey City College with an EdD in Community College Leadership. Her dissertation is titled “Empowering Diverse, First-Generation Community College Students: A Program Evaluation of a Cultural Strengths Professional Development Program.” Wasserman, who taught English and first-year seminar courses for many years at Westchester Community College, is a research associate at CCRC focusing on qualitative research. She is currently working on several CCRC partnerships: the Postsecondary Teaching with Technology Collaborative, the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR), the evaluation of a technology toolkit with the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Northwest, and the Virginia Community College System G3 evaluation. Wasserman started at CCRC part-time in February 2022 and became full-time in March 2023.

After graduation, Wasserman plans to continue in her position at CCRC.

“I am thrilled to be here and to be able to use my community college teaching and staff experience, coupled with my degree, to help advance research about community colleges,” Wasserman said. “I am glad for this opportunity to contribute more broadly than in the classroom to the opportunities for so many students that community colleges represent.”

We thank our graduates for all their hard work at CCRC and congratulate them on their success!

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