Andy Isaacs received a BA in classical Greek from Northwestern University in 1974, an MST in elementary education from the University of Chicago in 1977, and a DA in mathematics (with concentrations in abstract algebra and theoretical computer science) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1994. From 1977 until 1985, Isaacs taught fourth and fifth grades in Chicago-area public schools. In 1985, he joined the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at UIC as a lecturer in mathematics education. Beginning in 1986, Isaacs worked on the NSF-funded Teaching Integrated Mathematics and Science Project (TIMS) at UIC, which was directed by Philip Wagreich and Howard Goldberg. In 1989 and 1990, he worked with Wagreich and David Page on UIC's Maneuvers with Mathematics Project, another NSF-funded curriculum development effort. From 1990 to 1995, he was a full time writer for Math Trailblazers, a comprehensive curriculum for grades K-5 based on TIMS and funded by NSF.
Rebecca W. Maxcy is a senior curriculum developer at UChicago STEM Education. Currently, Maxcy is the project lead for the Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative. In addition, she is one of the authors of Everyday Mathematics and led a team that developed the fourth edition and Common Core State edition. She was part of a team that developed the Everyday Mathematics third edition and various state specific editions. Maxcy provides professional development and consultation to support the implementation of Everyday Mathematics. Prior to joining UChicago STEM Education, Maxcy taught in Chicago Public Schools, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and Poland Springs, Maine. Maxcy trained resident teachers at the Chicago Academy, in addition to being adjunct faculty at National Louis University. Maxcy earned a Master’s in Elementary Education from Lesley University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bates College.
Dr. Meg Bates is an educational psychologist who works on developing and researching educational innovations at UChicago STEM Education. She has led the development of several digital tools for STEM teacher learning, including the widely-used Everyday Mathematics Virtual Learning Community; an online financial literacy course for teachers; and an adaptive digital planning tool for teachers called CurriculumKit. She has published numerous articles on how teachers use and learn from online tools and co-edited a volume on digital curricula in school mathematics. Bates previously served as a writer for the Everyday Mathematics curriculum. She holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in educational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in English secondary education from Millikin University.
Melinda Croes, MSW, LSW recently joined the Magnetar Capital team as a Financial Education Specialist. For the past ten years, she worked in the non-profit sector creating and building financial education and asset building programs for low-wage earners, residents of subsidized housing, immigrants, Veterans, and recently homeless individuals. Her prior experience focused on case management, housing, mental health, and substance use. Melinda graduated from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at University of Illinois – Chicago and is a Licensed Social Worker. She earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada.
Kristin Fitzgerald-Hill came to UChicago STEM Education as a teacher in residence, and is one of the writers for the Everyday Mathematics fourth edition. Before coming to UChicago STEM Education, she taught school in Southern California, where she also served as a mathematics teacher on special assignment. Kristin earned a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College.
Charu Gupta is a school development specialist for the Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative. She has worked in the financial inclusion field for several years on both local and national levels. As Assistant City Treasurer for the Chicago City Treasurer’s Office, Charu worked closely with government officials, community organizations, and teachers to improve the quality of financial education and products in Chicago. Charu has also worked for the San Francisco’s Office of Financial Empowerment and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, D.C. Charu is excited to bring her experience in financial education to the Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative. Her role includes leading collaborative efforts with schools, policymakers, and community partners, as well as applying current research and evidence in the field to the curriculum. Charu earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California-Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jenn Hockema is a project manager for the Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative and has worked on the project since 2014. Jenn leads teacher and school recruitment, program enactment, support and coordinates special events. Jenn has a wide range of experiences leading youth development and experiential education programs including after school activities, leadership conferences, camps, treatment centers and community events. Jenn earned a Master’s in Non-Profit Management from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Youth, Adult and Family Services from Purdue University.
William Schmidt is a research analyst with UChicago STEM Education. Since joining UChicago STEM Education, William has assisted teams researching mathematics, computer science, and financial education. Prior to joining UChicago STEM Education, William worked in a variety of legal firms and taught K-8 students and adults seeking their GED in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Currently, William is also an adjunct lecturer with the City Colleges of Chicago. William earned a master’s degree in Humanities with a concentration in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Rhetoric from the University of Illinois.