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Our Staff

Staff Photo

From left to right

Top row: Betty Phillips, AJ Edson, Yvonne Slanger-Grant, Merve Nur Kursav, Chuck Fessler.

Second row: Taren Going, Eli Claffey, Amie Lucas, Brady Tyburski, David Bowers.

Third row: Sunyoung Park, Amit Sharma, Billie Lozen.

Not pictured: Emma Herrera, Maggie Ozias, and Shannon Mchugh.

Alden J. Edson, Research Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education

Alden J. Edson, Research Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education

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

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: AJ Edson, 2014

Amie Lucas, Designer/Communicator

Amie Lucas, Web Designer/Communicator

Amie’s interest in psychology and art pulled her into the field of web development in 2005. She spent the next few years working in a K-12 environment and freelancing while earning her Bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University. She started working at MSU in 2012 and eventually made her way to the Connected Mathematics Project.

In her spare time, Amie enjoys hiking and camping with her husband, spending time with her pets (three dogs, two cockatiels, and a snake), photographing Michigan, working in her garden, and visiting her property in the U.P.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Amie Lucas, 2014

Amit Sharma, Graduate Assistant

Amit Sharma, Graduate Assistant

Amit is coming to CMP from Northern India. He completed his undergrad in Math, Statistics and Ecomonics and his MBA in Human Resources. He joined a Teach for India fellowship and had the opportunity to teach 64 grade III kids in one of the slum schools of Mumbai.

His research interest revolves around inquire based teaching, intrinsic motivation in Math and the role of technology in Math Education.

In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, traveling, and humming songs. He loves listening to sufi music and is trying to learn to play the flute.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Amit Sharma, 2016

Brady Tyburski, Graduate Assistant

Brady Tyburski, Graduate assistant

Brady Tyburski is a PhD student at Michigan State University. He has a BS in mathematics education from Central Michigan University and an MS in mathematics from Colorado State University. His current research primarily concerns how undergraduate students learn about function as a big idea in mathematics. 

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Brady Tyburski, 2020

Chuck Fessler, Graduate Assistant

Chuck Fessler, Graduate Student

Chuck is a Ph.D candidate in the Program in Mathematics Education. His doctoral research is on how students learn and understand topics related pre-calculus, specifically trigonometry. Currently, he is developing his research practicum around this interest. More broadly, Chuck is interested in secondary and early undergraduate mathematics education.

In his spare time, Chuck and his wife, Hannah, are often on an outdoor adventure with their two dogs.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Chuck Fessler, 2019

David Bowers, Graduate Assistant

David Bowers, Graduate Assistant

David Bowers comes to CMP from Ohio State University with a master's in Mathematics. He has a longstanding love of both mathematics and education.

David worked as a high school math teacher in Columbus City Schools for several years before deciding to pursue an advanced degree. He earned a Master's degree in math and has now found himself a home here at MSU as a Doctoral student. 

In his spare time, David loves hiking and cooking with his wife. 

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: David Bowers, 2016

Eli Claffey, Graduate ASsistant

Eli Claffey, Graduate assistant

Eli Claffey is from Nashua, New Hampshire. His interests with respect to identity and math teaching and learning are:

  • How do a student or teacher's perceptions about themselves shape their experience as a student or teacher
  • How do the habitats and language used by students and teachers in the classroom influence how students view themselves as 'doers' of math?

Eli is also interested in exploring customizable, responsive ways to scaffold problems (accessed by teacher or student) afforded by emerging technology in math classrooms. He would like to explore the effect of these tools on students' achievement in that class, on students' self-perceptions, and in their achievement in future math classes.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Eli Claffey, 2020

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 supported the implementation of CMP school-wide 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, boating, sunshine and their young children, Julian (5) and Wyndsor (3).

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Billie Lozen, 2015

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.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Elizabeth Phillips, 2014

Emma Herrera, Undergraduate Assistant

Emma Herrera, Undergraduate Assistant

Emma Herrera is a sophomore studying mathematics with a minor in actuarial science. She hopes to become an actuary and maybe go into teaching.

Emma is heavily involved with YoungLife, serving as a leader/mentor to middle school students. She loves Starbucks and love to go to the movie theaters. Most importantly she loves to play volleyball, especially with her two sisters.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Emma Herrera, 2017

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.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Glenda Lappan, 2014

Maggie Ozias, Undergraduate

Maggie Ozias, Undergraduate

Maggie Ozias joined CMP in September of 2018. She is a sophomore undergraduate studying Mathematics, with minors in Physics and Graphic Design. She hopes to go into education, and teach high school math. 

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Maggie Ozias, 2018

Merve Nur Kursav, Graduate Assistant

Merve Nur Kursav, Graduate Assistant

Merve comes to CMP from the University of Georgia where she received her M.A as a Fulbright Scholar.

Her research interests are centered around investigating the role of innovative methods in teaching, learning, students' thinking, and enhancement and development of curriculum materials.

In her spare time, Merve enjoys traveling, going to live music, and writing poems.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Merve Nur Kursa, 2017

Shannon Mchugh, Undergraduate

Shannon Mchugh, Undergraduate Assistant

Shannon earned a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology at Oakland University followed by joining the U.S. Air Force. After the air force, she returned to her studies at Michigan State University to earn her Bachelor's in Mathematics. 

Shannon joined the CMP family in August of 2019 and discovered a great team building the future of math education. 

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Shannon Mchugh, 2019

Sunyoung Park, Graduate Assistant

Sunyoung Park, Graduate Assistant

Sunyoung Park is from South Korea and currently working on her ph.D degree here at MSU. She is specifically interested in developing mathematics textbooks that can foster students' conceptual understanding, as well as investigating teachers' role in the classroom for students' active engagement with mathematics.

Sunyoung has lots of fun stories related to travel, jazz, coffee and wine, bicycle, and yoga. 

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Sunyoung Park, 2018

Susan Friel, Author

Susan Friel, Author

Susan Friel is a Professor of Mathematics Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. A former elementary and middle grades classroom teacher, Susan teaches in diverse programs. She is particularly interested in the design of effective mathematics/mathematics education curricula. 

When not immersed in math stuff, Susan likes to garden. She had a rather large vegetable garden this past summer with lots of cucumbers, acorn squash, zucchini, tomatoes, kale, chard, and green beans. She also likes to dance - particularly ballroom dancing. And she and her husband enjoy their grand kids (Jalin, Kaila (Hawaii) and Eli, Coop (NC)) and their animals - Jesse (dog), Jasmine and Jake (cats) who are not only 'name coordinated – all "Js"' – but also color coordinated - all black and white! 

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Susan Friel, 2014

Taren Going, Graduate Assistant

Taren Going, Graduate Assistant

First year graduate student, Taren Going's research interest center around how mathematical reasoning is developed in the middle grades. She received her BS degree in physics and math and her MEd in science education.

In her spare time, Taren's favorite thing to do is sleep past 5:00 a.m. (she has two daughters, 3 and 1). She also loves playing the piano and knitting. 

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Taren Going, 2016

Yvonne Slanger-Grant, Academic Outreach Specialist

Yvonne Slanger-Grant, Academic Outreach Specialist

Yvonne is a middle school mathematics teacher from Portland, Michigan. She is currently out of the classroom working as a professional development coordinator and teacher in residence at CMP.

Yvonne has worked on all aspects of the development, implementation, and professional development of the CMP curriculum, from the beginning in 1991. She also worked as a mathematics instructional coach for two years. 

When not working, Yvonne enjoys her family with two sons who diminate her time. She hopes to retire one day in a house overlooking the water.

CMP Staff in the Spotlight: Yvonne Grant, 2014