Program Faculty

Faculty in the UIC College of Education, especially those focused on Educational Policy Studies or Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment (MESA) have a long history of working with students interested in higher education topics, problems, and research. In 2018-2019, 92% of graduate-level courses in the Educational Policy Studies (EDPS) department were taught by full-time faculty or adjunct faculty with doctoral degrees and professional practice expertise. The MEd in Urban Higher Education program has a very similar teaching profile.

Celina Sima, PhD (Program Coordinator)

Celina Sima

Celina M. Sima (PhD, Northwestern University) is Visiting Associate Professor in Educational Policy Studies and Program Coordinator for the MEd in Urban Higher Education. Dr. Sima has held leadership roles in academic affairs, student affairs, and administrative services at the college and university levels. Dr. Sima’s institutional research is on higher education policy and planning and includes the examination of academic advising, minority student retention and success, general education in the undergraduate curriculum, evaluation of mechanisms for the improvement of undergraduate student transfer and faculty retention strategies. Dr. Sima has taught research designs for policy, public sector strategic planning, organization and administration of higher education, history of higher education and student development theory and has taught in the College of Education’s Urban Education Leadership program.

Mark Martell, PhD

Mark Martell

Mark R. Martell (PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago) is adjunct faculty in Educational Policy Studies, Faculty Fellow in the UIC Honors College, and Affiliated Faculty at the UIC Global Asian Studies Program. He became the director of the UIC Asian American Resource and Cultural Center in January 2015. Mark’s doctoral research explored the racialized experiences of UIC Asian American students and the effects on their student success. Mark is also co-principal investigator for the UIC Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Initiative, where he assists in facilitating grant programs and assists in teaching Asian American courses. He also teaches Asian Americans in Pop Culture, Superheroes and Cultural Mythology, and Comics & Society at the UIC Honors College.  Mark has served as Co-Chair for the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Asian Americans and has served various campus organizations including AARCC’s Advisory Board. In addition to participating in a number of Chicago’s Asian American, LGBTQ, and theatre organizations, Mark has taught at Harold Washington College and for the UIC College of Education and Asian American Studies.

Alexios Rosario-Moore, PhD

Alexios Rosario-Moore

Alexios Rosario-Moore (PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago) is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Educational Policy Studies, where his research focuses on the influence of high school socioeconomic and racial composition on the college choice process, and the role of social class in shaping students’ postsecondary outcomes. Dr. Rosario-Moore has held leadership roles in dual-enrollment programs at colleges in New York and New Orleans where he founded a college bridge program for opportunity youth. He has taught courses to undergraduate and graduate students in practitioner research, the social foundations of education, educational policy, and the sociology of education, and is currently involved in local policy initiatives related to racial equity in school facilities planning, arts education, and community engagement.

Everett Smith, PhD

Everett Smith

Everett Smith (PhD, University of Connecticut) is Professor of Educational Psychology and coordinator of the online Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment Program (MESA) program and the online Educational Research Methodology (ERM) certificate. He specializes in psychometrics, specifically Rasch measurement, and his research interests and expertise include test and rating scale design and analysis for the measurement of latent constructs and testing model robustness. Dr. Smith studies applications of Rasch measurement in the social, behavioral, health, rehabilitation, and medical sciences for both criterion and norm-reference assessments. Among these applications include studies of dimensionality, DIF, cross-cultural equivalence, equating, item banking, rating scale optimization and standard setting. He also serves as the associate editor for the Journal of Applied Measurement, and is on the editorial board of Educational and Psychological Measurement.

Benjamin Superfine, PhD

Benjamin Superfine

Benjamin Superfine (JD, PhD, University of Michigan) is a Professor and Department Chair of the Educational Policy Studies department and teaches classes for PhD, EdD, and MEd students in the Educational Organization and Leadership and Urban Education Leadership programs. Dr. Superfine’s research focuses on the history of education law and policy, school finance reform, standards-based reform and accountability, and teacher evaluation. His research is interdisciplinary and addresses educational issues through the lenses of law, history, and social science. He teaches classes on the history, development, implementation, and analysis of education policy, in addition to the foundations of education research. Dr. Superfine is also the founder and Director of the Research on Urban Education Policy Initiative (RUEPI). RUEPI is a project at the UIC College of Education that is aimed at fostering more informed dialogue and decision-making about education policy in Chicago and other urban areas.

Theresa (Terri) Thorkildsen, PhD

Terri Thorkildsen

Theresa (Terri) Thorkildsen (PhD, Purdue University) is a professor of Education and Psychology. Focusing on human development, her current research highlights how individuals incorporate their understanding of the fairness of institutional practices into their motivation to achieve academic goals. Findings from these studies illustrate how individuals formulate and enact intentions. Dr. Thorkildsen seeks to understand how youth come to understand the structure of civil engagement, and how this type of engagement differs from personal and civic engagement. This programmatic attempt to understand why some individuals become highly committed to school while others avoid such commitments is disseminated in a wide range of outlets. She has authored or edited five books as well as a range of journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. As a fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the American Educational Research Association, she is also an active citizen in a number of professional organizations as well as in the UIC community.

Marc VanOverbeke, PhD

Marc VanOverbeke

Marc VanOverbeke (PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison) is the interim dean of the College of Education, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the UIC College of Education. His professional training and research focus on the history of higher education.  In particular, he has addressed the connections between higher education and secondary education and the ways in which the two educational levels have worked together, competed with each other, and influenced and shaped each other.  While his methodological focus is history, Dr. VanOverbeke also explores the policy implications that arise from this historical perspective.  He is a corresponding editorial board member for the History of Education Quarterly (UK), and is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education (ISCHE).

Stephanie Estrada

Stephanie Estrada is the Senior Associate Director of the UIC Office of Institutional Research. She oversees the team that is responsible for creating and maintaining student data files, systems, and reporting tools to meet official data requirements of OIR and producing federal and state level institutional reports such as IPEDS and IBHE and other requests for official data. Prior to joining UIC in 2013, Stephanie worked as an independent data consultant, a researcher at the University of Chicago, and a senior business consultant in health insurance, customer service, and technology industries. She earned her M.S. in Public Administration from DePaul University and B.A. in Business from Truman State University.

Karen Halverson Cross

As a law student, Karen Halverson Cross served as editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. After law school, she conducted research as a Fulbright scholar in former Yugoslavia and worked as an associate with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. Since joining the John Marshall faculty, Professor Cross has taught at the Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon, the University of San Diego’s summer program in Moscow, the Central European University in Budapest, and the MBA program for Executives and International Managers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her teaching and scholarship focuses on contract law, international economic law, arbitration, and higher education law and policy. She is a contributor to Kluwer Arbitration Blog and ASIL Insights, and her scholarship has appeared in the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy (refereed), Journal of International Economic Law (refereed), Ohio State Law Journal, and Michigan Journal of International Law, among other publications. Professor Cross was awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair to Portugal in 2008 and has since served on many peer review committees for the Fulbright program. During 2018-19, Karen served as Associate Dean for Administration at John Marshall, developing law school policies and assisting with the law school’s acquisition by UIC. She serves on UIC’s Faculty Senate and the Senate’s Committee on Educational Policy. Karen returned to John Marshall in 2018 after taking leave to work in central administration on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. She teaches contracts, education law and policy, and arbitration-related courses. Karen received an M.S. in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University; a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School; and a B.A., with distinction, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bill Hayward

Bill Hayward is the Director of the UIC Office of Institutional Research and oversees the work of the office. Bill has thirty years of experience in institutional research and as a higher educational consultant. He spent a total of twenty-five years in the Institutional Research Office at Northwestern University, first as an analyst, and then fifteen years as the director. He also spent five years as a higher education consultant, serving as the Vice-President of the higher education research practice at Slover Linett (a Chicago-based firm) and then as the Director of Constituent Research at the Huron Consulting Group. Bill earned an M.Ed. in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment from UIC and an M.S. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin.