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Our Staff

Main Staff Photo

Glenda Lappan, Author

Glenda Lappan, Author

Glenda joined MSU as an assistant mathematics professor in 1965. After teaching mathematics and mathematics education for 10 years, she turned her attention to mathematics curriculum research.

With her colleagues, Lappan developed the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP). Glenda's research and development interests are in the connected areas of students' learning of mathematics and mathematics teacher professional growth and change at the middle and secondary levels.

Glenda retired in the Spring of 2014, and now spends her time with her family.

Elizabeth Difanis Phillips, Author

Elizabeth Difanis Phillips, CMP Author and Senior Academic Specialist in Program in Mathematics Education and Department of Mathematics

When Betty Phillips joined the Department of Mathematics at Michigan State University in the 1970s, she developed an interest in the teaching and learning of algebra. This interest led her to a search for a curriculum that would change the mathematical experiences for both students and teachers.

Her early work, along with her colleagues, involved writing five exemplary mathematics units for the Middle Grades Mathematics Project (MGMP). These efforts lead the foundation for the development of CMP.

In her spare time, Betty enjoys time spent with her family and friends, particularly with her seven grandchildren. Gardening, yoga, Pilates, exercising, cooking, reading, going to the theater or concerts, and traveling are sandwiched into the remaining time. Most of all, she loves being at her cottage where she can recharge her soul, energy, and vision.

Alden J. Edson, Research Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education

Alden J. Edson, Research Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education 

AJ Edson is a research assistant professor of mathematics education. His research focuses on secondary school mathematics curriculum design and development using design-based research methodologies. In particular, AJ is interested in studying the enactment of curriculum materials in a digital world.

While not working on research and curriculum development for CMP, AJ avidly enjoys science fiction, almost any genre of music, and silly jokes. 

Yvonne Slanger-Grant, Academic Outreach Specialist

Yvonne Slanger-Grant, CMP Professional Development Specialist

Yvonne's work in the CMP office includes the development of CMP materials, professional learning outreach, and research. She has worked as a middle school mathematics teacher, third-grade teacher, instructional coach, and professional learning provider.

Yvonne started with CMP as a field test teacher in 1991. Since then, her work has included all aspects of development, implementation, and professional development with the curriculum. She has taught the materials. She has provided professional learning and support to others. She has worked on development of student editions, teacher guides, and assessment.

When not working, Yvonne enjoys her family that includes two sons who dominate her attention and time. She hopes to retire one day in a house overlooking the water.

Elizabeth "Billie" Lozen, Consortium Coordinator

Elizabeth "Billie" Lozen, Consortium Coordinator

Billie has a long history with CMP. Her first exposure to CMP was as a middle school student in Portland, Michigan. She was one of the many students to engage in the CMPI pilot, which later led her to an assignment as a CMP Undergraduate Assistant. Since her days as a CMP Undergraduate Assistant, she has taught 8th grade CMP and Algebra I, and has also supported the school wide implementation of CMP as a middle school principal. In 2015, Billie rejoined the Wells Hall staff as a full-time Consortium Coordinator.
Billie and her husband, Adam, enjoy traveling, exercising, and being with their children, Julian (11) and Wyndsor (9).

Chris Waston
Chris Waston, Communications Specialist 

Chris is from Detroit, Michigan, and received his Bachelor's from Michigan State University where he majored in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics. He then received his Master's from Michigan State University in Teaching and Curriculum with a concentration in K12 Administration.

As a Specialist with the Connected Mathematics Project team he focuses on communications and technology: managing websites and social media accounts, communicating the story of CMP with various stakeholders, collaborates with the team to support data collection and analysis, and assists with CMP events in person and online.

When not working, Chris enjoys spending time with his family: his wife Sarah, and their four children who keep them busy but provide them with a lot of memories and love on a daily basis.


Tyler Knowles

Tyler Knowles

Tyler has been with CMP since 2016, collaborating with the team on technology solutions, data collection, video, and web projects. Tyler has a BA in Communication Arts - Radio, TV, Film from The University of Wisconsin - Madison. Prior to joining CMP, he lived in Los Angeles and worked primarily in film and television. He also spent seven years as a Creative at Apple and six months living on a cruise ship, performing a cappella with three other friends from his college group, The MadHatters. Tyler came to the CMP team via his then girlfriend, now wife, Kathryn Appenzeller Knowles (Ph.D. in Mathematics Education, 2019). Tyler and Kathryn live in San Antonio with their cat, Meowington M. Meowser.

Emma Craig

Emma Craig, Graphic Artist and Professional Aide

Emma has been working for CMP since graduating from Michigan State in 2021. She studied Mathematics with a focus in secondary education. 

In her free time, Emma enjoys travelling, reading, going for walks, and spending time with her two cats, Polly and Panini!

Kristen Bieda

Kristen Bieda, Co-Principal Investigator  

Kristen Bieda is Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Program in Mathematics Education. A former middle school, high school, and community college mathematics teacher, she currently researches how to promote equitable, meaningful engagement in mathematical practices related to sensemaking and justification.

In addition, her current work explores the design of clinical experiences that support pre-service teachers in learning to teach for reasoning and sensemaking. She contributes to research on CMP’s new digital collaborative platform and investigates how students’ and teachers’ use of the platform supports productive disciplinary engagement in mathematics classrooms.

Her work has been published in journals such as Mathematics Teacher: Learning & Teaching, Journal for Research on Mathematics Education, Journal of Teacher Education, and Journal of Curriculum Studies.

Taren Going, Post-Doctural Research Associate

Taren Going, Post-Doctoral Research Associate 

Taren recently received her Ph.D. in mathematics education from MSU, and is excited to continue working and researching with CMP! Her research interests are centered on student thinking and justification, and how writing and collaboration can promote mathematics learning.

In her spare time, Taren loves to spend time with her spouse and two daughters and enjoys theatre, music, and knitting.

Ashley Fabry, Graduate Assistant

Ashley Fabry, Graduate Assistant

Ashley is originally from Wisconsin and has spent the last 6 years teaching high school math in the greater Madison area. She is interested in research that explores ways to bring more relevance to math classrooms to improve students' math identity and give them a sense of belonging and empowerment. 

Sunyoung Park, Graduate Assistant

Sunyoung Park, Graduate Assistant

Sunyoung (Sunny) recently received her Ph.D. in mathematics education from MSU and continues working for the CMP research team. Her research interests include how mathematics teachers learn to utilize curriculum resources and how teacher educators collaborate with teachers and students through participatory action research. 
In her free time, she enjoys yoga, biking, and traveling. 

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Sasha Rudow, Graduate Assistant 

Sasha received her bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University before moving to Houston, Texas to begin her teaching career. She spent 6 years teaching various high school math classes and 2 years as a mathematics instructional coach at an intermediate school. Sasha is interested in researching inquiry-based learning practices and student-centered classroom approaches. In her free time, she enjoys biking, yoga, reading, traveling, and hanging out with her cats.  

Ahmad Kohar

Ahmad Wachidul Kohar, Graduate Assistant  

Ahmad is originally from Indonesia and has spent the last four years teaching undergraduate mathematics education students and working on research in mathematical literacy, teacher knowledge, and beliefs at the State University of Surabaya. He has also been involved in a community service program that facilitates teachers in implementing realistic mathematics education as a learning approach in some schools in Indonesia. He is interested in research that explores ways to improve teachers’ problem-posing skills on context-based mathematics tasks and how those types of tasks are set up in mathematics instruction.  

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Samantha Wald, Graduate Assistant

Samantha is originally from Buffalo, New York and attended undergrad at SUNY Oswego. She got her master’s degree online through James Madison University and has spent the last 7 years teaching high school math in Northern Virginia.

Samantha’s research interests center around how culturally responsive teaching and equity-based practices impact the student-teacher and student-student relationship and how that affects motivation and classroom performance. She is also interested in the impact of these practices on disciplinary infractions in the classroom and overall student achievement.

Autumn Eyre Staff Photo

Autumn Eyre, Undergraduate Assistant 

Autumn is a junior majoring in neuroscience and psychology. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Michigan State, she plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in endocrinology or psychiatry. 

Autumn is a member of the honors college and has been working with CMP since 2021. She is an avid basketball watcher and refuses to miss an MSU win at the Breslin. 

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Cora Haddad, On-Call Professional Aide 

Cora is a junior majoring in Computing and Applied Mathematics at Saint Mary’s College, as well as pursuing a degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. At school Cora is the treasurer of the Saint Mary’s chapter of Society of Women Engineers and works for The Observer, the tri-campus news paper.

This is her second summer working at CMP. In her free time she enjoys reading, crocheting, going to concerts and partaking in spontaneous adventures.

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Maya Herrera, Undergraduate Assistant 

Maya is currently a junior at Michigan State. Recently accepted into the Broad Business College, she plans to major in finance. 

In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, volleyball, journaling, and watching the sunset with her Chihuahua-Shih Tzu mix, Rosie. 

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Josh Pullen, Undergraduate Assistant 

Josh is a student in MSU’s 5th-year teacher preparation program. Aside from teaching math, Josh has a strong interest in technology. During his time as an undergrad, he taught workshops at the MSU AI Club and developed interactive online math materials for 3Blue1Brown.com, a popular mathematics YouTube channel.

In his free time, Josh enjoys developing coding projects for fun and going outside.

Matthew Philips

Matt Phillips, Undergraduate Assistant