Search Committee for the Dean of the College of Education

Michael Pagano
Search Committee Chair
Dean and Professor
Urban Planning and Public Affairs
Director, Government Finance Research Center

Michael A. Pagano is Dean of UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, Director of the Government Finance Research Center,  professor of public administration, former co-editor of Urban Affairs Review (2001-14), and elected fellow (2006) of the National Academy of Public Administration.  He has published eleven books, including Metropolitan Resilience in a Time of Economic Turmoil, Terra Incognita, Cityscapes and Capital, and The Dynamics of Federalism, and over 100 publications on urban finance, capital budgeting, federalism, infrastructure, urban development and fiscal policy.  His BA in Latin American Studies is from the Pennsylvania State University and he has a PhD in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Christerralyn Brown
Doctoral Candidate
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Special Education

Christerralyn Brown, MEd is a former MTSS coordinator and case manager for Chicago Public Schools. Her scholarship interest involves providing professional development and coaching for educators regarding classroom management and culturally sustaining practices to impact student engagement. She is a special education doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago with research focuses on culturally adapting social-emotional and behavior interventions and strategies for students of color.

Alejandra Cantero
Business Administrative Associate
Educational Psychology and Special Education

Alejandra “Alex” Cantero is the Business Administrative Associate for the Educational Psychology and Special Education departments in the College of Education.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and later her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She has a deep commitment to mentoring and supporting marginalized urban students, in particular first generation students, with a positive college experience.  Having worked in the College of Education for more than 10 years, she serves on various committees and panels on campus.  She has received two awards from UIC: The Award of Merit (2014) and the Janet Watkins Service Award (2019).

Amanda Lewis
Distinguished Professor
African American Studies and Sociology
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy 

Amanda E. Lewis is the Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and  College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on how race shapes educational opportunities and on how our ideas about race get negotiated in everyday life. She is the author of several award-winning books including, with co-author John Diamond, Despite the Best Intentions: Why racial inequality persists in good schools (Oxford University Press, 2015), and Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the color-line in classrooms and communities (Rutgers University Press 2003).  Her research has appeared in a number of academic venues including Sociological Theory, American Educational Research Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Educational Researcher, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Urban Education and The Du Bois Review.  She has received numerous grants and awards including from the National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Fry Foundation, and the American Sociological Association.  Most recently she was awarded the 2018 Founders Award for Scholarship & Service from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities.  Dr. Lewis lectures and consults regularly on issues of racial and educational equity and contemporary forms of racism.

Daniel Maggin
Associate Professor
Special Education
Interim Associate Dean for Research

Daniel Maggin is an associate professor in special education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He currently serves as the interim associate dean of research for the College of Education at UIC. His research and teaching addresses focuses on students with and at risk for developing emotional and behavioral disorders. Specifically, Dr. Maggin’s research focuses on three areas including (a) the use of systematic review and meta-analysis to assist with the identification of effective, school-based instructional and management practices; (b) the training of school personnel to use a continuum of empirically supported assessment and intervention methods to develop individualized educational programs for students with disabilities; and (c) the development and application of methods for promoting the use of research and evidence in schools to assist school personnel better support the individualized needs of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Dr. Maggin has received more than $7 million in funding from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Catherine Main
Senior Clinical Lecturer
Educational Psychology

Catherine Main has nearly three decades of work on behalf of young children and their families in the state of Illinois. Her work in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has included innovative and responsive program development and coordination in Early Childhood Education. Main designed and developed a Blended Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education program and an Early Childhood Alternative Licensure program. Both programs were the first of their kind approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and both reflect a focused, much needed response to specific demands for early childhood teachers in Chicago. She is a recipient of the 2019 UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching.  As the Principal Investigator (PI) on the recently awarded Department of Education (DOE) grant, The Chicago Early Childhood Preparation and Pathway (CECPP) Partnership, she is currently leading a research team to enhance and expand the UIC Early Childhood Alternative Licensure program.  She regularly presents her work at national conferences and as an invited speaker at local conferences and is past-President of the Illinois Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (ILAECTE) and a member of the board for Chicago Youth Centers.

Daniel Morales-Doyle

Assistant Professor
Curriculum and Instruction

Daniel Morales-Doyle is an assistant professor of science education and coordinator of the licensure strand of the MEd Science Education program. His research examines the potential for science education to act as a catalyst for social transformation by addressing inequity in science education as a component of larger systems of oppression. His work explores high school science curriculum, teaching, and teacher education. His focus is on engaging youth in learning science and learning to critique science in order to construct communities that are more just and sustainable. He was a high school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for just over a decade before coming to UIC.

Na’ilah Saud Nasir
Spencer Foundation

Na’ilah Suad Nasir is the sixth President of the Spencer Foundation which invests in education research that cultivates learning and transforms lives. She held a faculty appointment at the University of California, Berkeley from 2008-2019, where she also served as Vice-Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion. Nasir earned her PhD in Education Psychology at UCLA and was a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Stanford University. Her work focuses on issues of race, culture, learning, and identity. She is the author of Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement for African-American Youth and has published numerous scholarly articles. Nasir is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Kathleen Sheridan
Associate Professor
Educational Psychology

Kathleen M. Sheridan is an associate professor in the department of Educational Psychology. She also coordinates the Human Development and Learning program. Dr. Sheridan received her PhD in Child and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include early STEM literacy and professional development for early childhood educators, online learning and course development in higher education, and teacher presence in online courses. Sheridan has been published in leading academic journals, delivered keynote speeches, and has presented her work at workshops and at regional, national and international conferences.

Benjamin Superfine
Chair and Professor
Educational Policy Studies

Benjamin M. Superfine is a Professor in the College of Education, where his research interests center on education law and policy. Superfine received his JD and PhD in Education Foundations and Policy from the University of Michigan.  Before joining UIC, Superfine practiced law at Dow Lohnes PLLC in Washington, D.C.  Superfine’s research focuses on the history of education law and policy, school finance reform, standards-based reform and accountability, teacher evaluation, and collective bargaining. His research is interdisciplinary and addresses educational issues through the lenses of law, history, and social science. He is the founder and Director of the Research on Urban Education Policy Initiative at UIC.

Maria Varelas
Chair and Professor
Curriculum and Instruction


Dr. Maria Varelas is Chair of UIC’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Professor of Science Education, and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She was the inaugural Director of the UIC Center for the Advancement of Teaching-Learning Communities for two years. Prof. Varelas is program co-coordinator and co-director of graduate studies of the UIC PhD program in Mathematics and Science Education, and the Masters in Education (MEd) program in Science Education. With multi-year and multi-collaborator NSF grants totaling over $12M, Prof. Varelas has been focusing on equity and social justice, working with teachers towards changing the master narrative of how students of color in urban public K-12 schools engage with science and seeking to create transformative and generative learning spaces and places centered on students’ assets, agency, creativity, and voice. Dr. Varelas is widely published and recognized as a University of Illinois Scholar and Distinguished Researcher of the Year in Social Sciences and the Humanities, and has held several leadership positions in the field of science education.