Mission & Purpose Staff Senior Scholars Advisory Board Employment Affiliates



STAFF

  • Margaret Cahalan, Ph.D. — Vice President, Research

    Margaret Cahalan is the Director of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education (Pell Institute) and the Vice President for Research at the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). She currently serves as a Co-PI for an i-3 grant awarded to COE in 2010 entitled, Using Data to Inform College Access Programming. The purpose of this project, being implemented in low-income high priority schools in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, is to study possible innovations to the Talent Search model designed to use a whole school and community partnership approach to increase college going and retention for low-income students. Dr. Cahalan joined COE in 2011, after serving as the division leader for the Secondary-Postsecondary Cross-Cutting (SPCC) Team within the Policy and Program Studies Services (PPSS) at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Prior to working at ED, Maggie worked as a statistical research contractor for over 20 years at Westat, Mathematica, and RTI. In this capacity she served as the project director for large statistical sample surveys including the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOFAS) and the National Study of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG). She also directed several TRIO national evaluations including the National Evaluation of Student Support Services and the National Evaluation of Talent Search, as well as several TRIO Performance Reporting Technical Assistance and Analyses contracts. These contracts were responsible for the re-design of the annual performance reports (APRs) of the Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and McNair programs to include individual student records and the building of longitudinal databases to track program outcomes. Maggie cares passionately about helping to find ways to reduce educational inequity and working toward an inclusive asset based talent development approach to education at all levels. She is also very much interested in place based education and action research working to mitigate and adapt to climate change and helping to promote the transition to a more just, co-operative and environmentally friendly world economy. Maggie received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Khadish O. Franklin — Associate Director

    Khadish O. Franklin is the Associate Director of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. He brings to the Pell Institute a deep knowledge of the impacts of higher education policy and institutional factors leading to postsecondary success for first generation, low-income, and minority students. He currently serves as a Co-PI for an i-3 grant entitled, Using Data to Inform College Access Programming, being implemented in low-income high priority schools in Pennsylvania and Kentucky; and manages the development of a longitudinal data solution that integrates data to help educators make informed decisions regarding student achievement and college access and success. He is completing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, where his research focuses on practices for supporting students’ academic achievement, college persistence, and completion. Prior to joining the Pell, Franklin served as the Senior Education Policy Researcher at the Georgia Student Finance Commission in Atlanta, where he coordinated the development of a state longitudinal education database, policy initiatives and analysis, and efforts to improve the state’s lottery funded HOPE scholarship program. He has held a number of roles in policy organizations and university administration including the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the University of Maryland, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and Florida State University. Franklin earned a Master of Science degree in Higher Education from Florida State University and a B.A. in Communication from the University of Arkansas.

  • Mika Yamashita — Senior Researcher and Data Analyst

    Mika Yoder Yamashita is the Senior Researcher and Data Analyst at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. She currently serves as Co-PI on the COE i-3 project implemented in six high schools; and manages internal evaluation efforts and leads the student tracking and analysis efforts. Her most recent project at the Pell is a study of support services for military and veteran students at for-profit colleges. She leads the Pell Institute’s effort to promote a dialogue between researchers and practitioners by facilitating TRIO and college access and success program research and evaluation topical interest groups. She has over ten years of program evaluation experience, and her evaluation work has focused on programs to support college access and success of low-income students. Prior to working for the Pell Institute, Mika worked for FHI 360 where she managed local evaluation projects of the GEAR UP program and Title III strengthening institutions program. Other experience includes performance monitoring of capacity development projects at the World Bank Institute (WBI) and facilitating internal evaluation practice for science professional development programs implemented by NASA Education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.