welcoming new students via Zoom


Daniel Abuabasa


Daniel Abuabasa received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with Mathematics and a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Economics from the University of Ghana. He also obtained an MS (Finance) degree from Pace University, New York, and an MS (Statistics) degree from Montclair State University. Before coming to the United States, Daniel taught mathematics in the high school in Ghana for some time, after which he went to work with the Ghana Statistical Service. Currently, he is a SpED/Mathematics teacher at the Malcom X Shabazz High school in Newark, New Jersey. Eager to improve upon his methods of mathematics teaching, he enrolled as a part-time candidate in the Ph.D (Mathematics Education) Program at Montclair State University. Marveled at how different culture groups approach the learning of mathematics in the classroom, Daniel decided to explore how culture can be employed to interpret mathematics performance of high school students.

Denish Akuom


Denish Akuom is a full-time doctoral student and doctoral research assistant on The Maker Project at Montclair State University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree (Mathematics and Geography) from Karatina University in Kenya and a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from Rutgers University. His research interests focus on exploring preservice teachers’ knowledge development through Making, specifically, how their engagement in 3-D designing and printing, and subsequently practicing with the manipulative they designed, supports their teaching and learning of mathematics. Coming across the Making concept for the first time and learning of its potential to the teaching and learning of mathematics, Denish decided to introduce the concept in Kenya through his start-up called STEM Center Africa. The center has been engaging students in 3-D designing and printing and also offering PD to practicing teachers on how to 3-D design and print a manipulative for teaching. At the center, they also offer other programs like coding, robotics, and scratch programming, among others.

Malack Amenya


Malack Amenya received his BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Montclair State University, NJ, and an MS from East Stroudsburg University, PA. He has been teaching mathematics in New Jersey since 2005 and he is currently a Math Coach in one of the Public schools in NJ. Malack is also currently a part-time doctoral candidate and research assistant. His research interests include Productive struggle in middle school mathematics students, how to advance the forgotten middle math students.

Adam Anderson


Adam is a doctoral candidate and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics. He went to West Liberty University for his bachelor’s and West Virginia University for his master’s. He currently teaches full-time and is a part-time student. His research interests include student understanding of topological concepts, cultural diversity in mathematics education, and technology use in education.

Abiodun Banner


Abiodun Banner is a part-time doctoral student of Nigerian descent and a full-time high school geometry teacher. She also runs a mentoring group called The Ladies of Leadership which focuses on self-awareness and self-confidence to empower young women to be active leaders of tomorrow. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Math Education at New Jersey City University and her Master’s degree in Education from The College of NJ and has been teaching high school for close to 10 years. Her research interest focuses on math anxiety and practical tools to recognize and address it within our classroom.

Denis Cook


Denis Cook is a part-time doctoral student and a full-time high school mathematics teacher. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from SUNY College at Oneonta and a Master of Science degree in Pure and Applied Mathematics from Montclair State University. He has been teaching high school mathematics since 2010 and joined the Mathematics Education doctoral program in the fall of 2022. Denis’s research interests include mathematics curriculum design and innovative pedagogical approaches. In his free time, Denis enjoys traveling, skiing and spending time with family.

Amy Daniel


Amy Daniel is a full-time doctoral student and research assistant. She earned her BS and MS degrees in Mathematics from Texas A&M University. She has taught undergraduate mathematics at Baylor University, the University of New Orleans, and the University of the Incarnate Word, and is currently an adjunct professor at Purchase College in New York. Amy’s research interests include educational practices that impact the experience and success of undergraduate students in core mathematics courses, particularly those of underserved students.

Anthony Emmons


Inspired by his 9th grade geometry teacher, Anthony chose to become a teacher of mathematics. After earning his BS in Mathematics Education from Montclair State in 2006, Anthony began his teaching career at South Plainfield High School. A lifelong learner, Anthony returned to Montclair State University, earned his master’s in Educational Leadership in 2012, and has been a member of the Math Ed PhD program since 2015. Entering his 12th year in public education, Anthony currently serves the Clark Public School District as the grades 6-12 STEAM Supervisor. He resides in Whitehouse Station.

Christa Falzarano


Christa Falzarano is a lifelong learner, who earned her undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Education from Stockton University and her Master’s degree from William Paterson University, in Curriculum and Learning with a concentration in Teaching Children Mathematics. Christa expresses her passion for teaching mathematics as a full-time high school teacher and a part-time adjunct professor. As a part-time doctoral student, who entered the program in Fall 2019, Christa is still exploring potential research areas and is excited to work among passionate and curious colleagues and faculty as she continues her journey.

Frank Forte


My name is Frank Forte. I’m in my third year of the doctoral program (part-time). I worked for 17 years as a high school math teacher where I taught everything from remediation courses through BC Calculus. I earned a master’s degree in Mathematics from Montclair State in 2007, then completed my supervisor’s certificate in 2011. I left the high school in 2015 to become a full-time instructor at Raritan Valley Community College, where I teach the range of courses (from Elementary Algebra through Calc. III and Linear Algebra). At the college, I also serve as the department’s concurrent enrollment coordinator, working with high schools that teach our courses on site. Outside of teaching, I spend time as a public address announcer for various sports events, volunteer as an announcer for an annual Special Olympics meet and serve as a church volunteer. I’m excited to continue my doctoral studies as a part-time student at Montclair State University.

Bernard Gray


Bernard Gray earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics from Rutgers, Newark. He received his Master of Arts for Teaching in Secondary Education from Montclair State University. Bernard is currently an 8th grade middle school teacher of Mathematics and Science since 2016 with Newark Public Schools. He is also an adjunct professor at St Elizabeth University where he teaches Arithmetic, Introduction to Algebra and Elementary Statistics. He began his PhD in Mathematics Education as a part-time student in fall 2019. Bernard enjoys traveling and being with family and friends.

James Janakat


Youngjun Kim


Youngjun Kim is a full-time doctoral candidate and research assistant. He earned his B.S. in Mathematics and B.A. in English Language and Literature from SungKyunKwan University in South Korea. Youngjun taught middle and high school mathematics in South Korea. In the U.S., he continued his teaching career at Passaic Arts and Science Charter School in New Jersey. With his experience, he realized that differences in mathematics education between the two countries produce different academic outcomes. Based on his background, his research interests include international comparative studies in math education and its impact on U.S. educational policy, research, and practice. He is also interested in how to support in-service and pre-service mathematics teachers.

Elise Lahiere


Elise Lahiere is a doctoral candidate and currently works as a research assistant. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Master’s degree in Statistics at MSU, where she also worked for eight years as a Course Coordinator. Her professional experiences have mainly focused on teaching, developing courses, supporting students, and providing training for tutors and graduate assistants. In her spare time she looks to provide resources for teachers through her website, DashofResearch.com. Her key research interests include mathematical modeling and perseverance.

Su San Lim


Su San Lim is a full-time Ph.D. student and a research assistant in the mathematics education department. She earned her B.S in mathematics education and master degree in mathematics from Jeju National University in South Korea. Her research interest is the motivation of students from underprivileged communities.

Mila Martynovsky


Mila is fond of teaching and learning, which go hand in hand for many professional educators. She hopes that her students, from school and after school programs to the university level, learn as much from her as she learns from them. Mila has her Masters degree in Mathematics for Teaching from Harvard University’s Extension School, where she received the Thesis of the Year award for “Effects of Math Olympiad Training on Middle-School Female Students’ Confidence in Mathematics.” Currently, she is a high school math teacher and a part-time faculty at Fordham University. At Montclair State University, Mila is an inspired scholar who is meeting new people and learning new tools for her research. In her spare time, Mila loves to explore New York and nearby territories, and is always excited to discover new places to find great chocolate.

Gabby Migliore


Gabby has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Mathematics, with a minor in Music from Felician University, as well as a Master of Science in Teaching and Learning Physics from NJCTL. She will be a part-time doctoral student come Fall 2022, and is in her 8th year of teaching Mathematics and her 5th year of teaching Physics in Morris County, NJ. Gabby’s research interests include student motivation and productive struggle. In her spare time she plays, coaches, and officiates Ice Hockey, and is an avid fan of the New Jersey Devils.

Emily Olson


Emily Olson is a first-year full-time doctoral student and research assistant, entering Fall 2023. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Following receiving her BA, she took a gap year, during which she worked as a mathematics tutor. She entered the Rutgers University New Brunswick Mathematics PhD program, but as of Spring 2023, she has left that program with a MS degree in Mathematics. Her research interests in Mathematics Education are varied, but she is passionate about how students’ perspectives of their identity can impact how they see their belonging in the field. She is also interested in understanding more on how to work with mathematics students who experience test anxiety and imposter syndrome.

Tara Pizzi


Tara has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics and a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from William Paterson University in New Jersey. She taught middle school mathematics for 7 years in Morris County, NJ, where she also served as an 8th grade advisor. She is now a full-time mother and will be joining the doctoral program in Fall of 2022 as a full-time student. Her research interests include perseverance and translanguaging practices in bilingual settings, as well as effective preparation methods for pre-service and in-service teachers.

Erin Pomponio


Hello! I’m Erin Pomponio. I have been a graduate research assistant working on the NSF-funded Teachers Making for Mathematical Learning project since May 2019, and I became a full-time doctoral student in January 2020. I earned a B.F.A with a concentration in sculpture from The College of New Jersey in 2008, and an A.A.S. in veterinary technology from Bergen County Community College in 2010. I earned my M.A.T. from Montclair State University in 2019, where I was able to focus much of my work on disability studies, critical theory, and inclusive education through another graduate research assistantship position. I am currently a certified K-6, special education, middle school science, and art K-12 teacher with experience teaching in kindergarten. My research interests include examining elementary-aged student mathematical learning through a variety of epistemological theoretical perspectives, the learning and doing mathematics as a creative process, and examining the intersections of mathematics and the arts as a space where accessible models of teaching, pedagogy, and curriculum can be developed.

Amanda Provost


Amanda Provost received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education at Montclair State University, with a minor in Psychology. She has taught middle school (6-8th grades) math and science for 4 years. She started the PhD program as a part-time student in the Spring of 2020 while teaching, and now she is enrolled full-time as a doctoral research assistant. Her research interests include mathematical modeling and math & science integration in STEM education.

Emily Sullivan


Emily is in her third year of teaching math and coaching basketball full-time at River Dell High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Delaware, where she also minored in Italian and swam on the club swim team. Emily will begin her journey in the fall of 2022 as a part-time doctoral candidate in the Mathematics Education PhD program at Montclair State University. She is excited and grateful for this opportunity to contribute to research in a field she is passionate about.

Geena Taite


Geena Taite has earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Ramapo College and her Master of Arts for Teachers degree in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has been teaching various levels of high school mathematics since 2013 and is currently teaching at the Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy in Wayne, NJ. Geena began pursuing a PhD in Mathematics Education in the fall of 2019 as a part-time student. She has an interest in making mathematics meaningful for her students and is dedicated to reflecting on her practice to improve student learning. In her spare time, she coaches figure skating.

Henry Vas Nunes


Henry Vas Nunes received his Bachelor’s degree at SUNY New Paltz. He received his Master’s degree and advanced certificate in teaching students with disabilities at Queens College. As a lifelong learner, he also went to St. John’s University to receive an advanced certificate in School Building Leadership. He has been teaching mathematics at The Churchill School and Center in New York City for the past 16 years, where he has been the math department chair, service learning coordinator, Landmark College liaison, mentor, and Varsity Cross Country coach. He is entering the program in the Fall 2022 semester as a part-time doctoral student focused on conducting research in the field of interventions for students with learning disabilities.

Laura Weinstein


My name is Laura Weinstein. I entered the doctoral program in the fall of 2014. A former IT professional in both the finance and entertainment industries, I changed careers to become a mathematics educator with the twofold goal of being a positive influence for helping individual students learn mathematics, as well as a force for positive change in public education overall. I teach at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels and delight in opportunities to experiment with compelling research findings in my classroom experiences. I love being in school (do what you love! then it doesn’t feel like work!) but for relaxation, I will read, draw, write, craft and sculpt miniatures, stroll around in gardens, or just hang out on the couch with my dog watching old movies. (Well, ok, I watch the movies and she just hangs out with me.) I feel very fortunate to be part of the doctoral community here at Montclair State.

Antonina (Toni) York


Toni is a full-time doctoral student and research assistant who started in Fall 2018. She has a B.A. in Mathematics, Physics, and Music (Composition) from Drew University and a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in German from Oregon State University. She also has an M.S. in Mathematics (Education) from Montclair State University and an M.E. in Systems Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. She spent seven years working as a civilian engineer with the US Air Force, during which she got involved in several STEM Outreach programs. She still works with USAF STEM Outreach on a summer program called Engineering Camp. Her research interests include the integration of mathematics with computer science and the study of growth mindset in both students and teachers.

Karmen T. Yu


Karmen Yu is a doctoral candidate in her dissertation stage. She has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She was an elementary teacher for three years. As she is focusing on her dissertation work, she is also working as an adjunct instructor at MSU teaching Precalculus and Calculus I. Her research interest is in undergraduate students’ mathematics learning in inquiry-based groupwork settings.