Our Team

Project Leaders

About Us 11

Chauncey Monte-Sano


Chauncey Monte-Sano is the founder and director of Read.Inquire.Write. and an associate professor of Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. Her scholarship centers on how adolescents learn to reason and write with sources about historical and social issues, and how such instruction can challenge inequities in students’ literacy outcomes. Prior to her work at U-M, she taught high school in California, earned National Board Certification, and completed a Ph.D. at Stanford University. She enjoys playing winter sports, including ice hockey and skiing, and spending time outdoors with her husband and two children.

About Us 10

Mary Schleppegrell


Mary Schleppegrell, Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Michigan, leads the effort to include supports for language development in the Read.Inquire.Write. curriculum. Her research develops approaches that enable English language learners and all students who need literacy support to participate in inquiry learning. She has previously worked with the California History/Social Studies Project and is the author of The Language of Schooling and numerous articles and books related to language in school subjects. 

2017 publicity photo of Amanda Jennings, a PhD candidate with the College of Education and Human Development. - (Evan Krape / University of Delaware)

Amanda Jennings


Amanda Jennings is a Research Investigator at the University of Michigan. She supports the Read.Inquire.Write. project in the design, implementation and evaluation of professional development.  Her research focuses on understanding children’s naive economics theories in an effort to better design social studies curricula. Prior to working at University of Michigan, Amanda earned her Ph.D. at University of Delaware where she worked as a researcher at UD’s Center for Economic Education cultivating research practice partnerships with schools and districts and developing second and third grade economics curricula. Amanda also has experience teaching middle and high school.

U-M Team


 Sarah Day Dayon


Sarah Day Dayon supports TRIPSS as a research assistant. She is a pinay educator and learner from the suburbs of Chicago, the contemporary and ancestral lands of the Council of Three Fires (the Ojibwa, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples) and the various Indigenous communities that have and continue to call this land home. Prior to beginning a doctoral program and Teaching and Teacher Education at UM, Sarah Day taught high school U.S. history, world history and Ethnic Studies. She received her BA in Ethnic Studies and Biology as well as her MAT in Secondary Social Studies from Brown University. She enjoys k-pop, trivia, karaoke, and traveling to new cities.

Rebecca D’Angelo


Rebecca D’Angelo supports Read.Inquire.Write as a research associate. She earned her M.A. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan, and her B.A. in History and Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Prior to her work at U-M, Rebecca taught high school history in the greater Boston area and supported high school and university ESL teaching as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Norway. She’s a big fan of cats, banjos, and deli pickles.


Logan Eiland


Logan Eiland is a PhD student in Teaching and Teacher Education at U-M and he supports Read.Inquire.Write. as a research assistant. Originally from Virginia, he earned his BA in History and MA in Secondary Social Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to attending U-M, Logan taught high school history in Richmond, Virginia. He spends his free time exploring with his dog, visiting used book stores, and cooking.

About Us 16

Mar Estrada


Mar Estrada supports research, curriculum development, and professional development for Read.Inquire.Write. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Teaching & Teacher Education at U-M: she focuses on inquiry-based and literacy-infused historic and social education for adolescents. She is from Mexico, where she participated in indigenous and rural educational projects, researched educational policy, and taught at different grade levels. She has a master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences. Her favorite musical genres are son jarocho and son huasteco.

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Mina Hernandez Garcia


Mina Hernandez Garcia is a former English as a Second/Foreign Language teacher and a mentor to novice and developing teachers working in high-needs New York City public schools. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. She earned her M.S. in TESOL from the City College of New York and her B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Belgrade, Serbia.
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Aileen Kennison


Aileen Kennison provides staff support to the TRIPSS project. She joined the University of Michigan School of Education in 2012 as a project manager for research projects. In addition to supporting TRIPSS, Aileen also currently manages three National Science Foundation grants and works with undergraduate students as a field instructor and lecturer in the Elementary Teacher Education program. From 2003-2012, Aileen worked as a school administrator and a high school history teacher in California. She has an MS in educational administration and a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, antique shopping, and spending time with her husband and three kids. 


Sida Sun

Sida Sun is a first-year PhD student at the U of M, and she supports Read.Inquire.Write. as a research assistant. She earned her M.A. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan, and her B.A. in Korean Language and Literature from Beijing Language and Culture University. Prior to coming to the U.S in 2016, she also taught TOEFL, SAT, and ACT writing in Beijing. She’s eclectic with music, movies, and books. Recent obsessions include Debussy, Ravel, and orcas. 

Teacher Experts


Jared Aumen


Jared Aumen has worked on the Read.Inquire.Write. project as a curriculum writer, researcher, and collaborating teacher. In 2017, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Teaching and Teacher Education. Prior to his doctoral work, Jared taught middle school and high school in the Washington, D.C. area. Since then, he has worked as an instructional coach and professional development provider. Jared is currently a middle-school social studies teacher.

About Us 2

Renea Di Bella


Renea Di Bella supports Read.Inquire.Write. as a collaborating teacher. She currently teaches an inquiry-based middle school history curriculum in Michigan where she is also a teacher leader in culturally responsive pedagogy. A native of Michigan, Renea enjoys traveling, photography, and gastro-tourism in her spare time.

About Us 7

Kimberly Harn


Kimberly Harn is a collaborating teacher for the Read.Inquire.Write. curriculum and supports professional development. She is a middle school Social Studies and ESL teacher in Michigan. Kimberly has M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in History from Rhodes College. She is particularly interested in culturally responsive curriculum for English Learners that is inquiry-based and allows students to write. She enjoys middle school humor and the beach.

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Jeff Kabat


Jeff Kabat is a Read.Inquire.Write. collaborating teacher who supports the project with curriculum development and testing. He holds a B.A. in History from U-M and currently teaches sixth and seventh-grade social studies in Michigan. Previously, he worked in schools in Korea for nearly fifteen years. His hobbies include reading, spending time with his family, and traveling.

About Us 6

Ryan Soupal


Ryan Soupal brought the Read.Inquire.Write. team of teachers and researchers together and created an initial investigation for the curriculum. Ryan has taught high school social studies in Michigan and currently serves as the Middle Years Programme Coordinator at an IB World school.  In his free time, he enjoys reading and spending time with his family.

About Us 1

 Ian Shephard


Ian Shephard helped develop the Read.Inquire.Write curriculum to support his middle school students as a collaborating teacher. He has been a teacher of social studies in Michigan for the past six years. He holds a B.A. in Geography and English Education and has been a teacher for ten years. Prior to teaching in Michigan, he taught for two years in a public school in South Korea.

Disciplinary Experts

About Us 3

Flannery Burke


Flannery Burke is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Saint Louis University. She co-authored of “What Does It Mean to Think Historically?” commonly cited as the 5 C’s of Historical Thinking.  She serves on the board of the Missouri Council for History Education which advocates for more history, better taught. She served as an expert reviewer for the Read.Inquire.Write. investigation about Cherokee Removal.

About Us 14

Dean Chahim


Dean Chahim helped to review the Mexico City curriculum for Read.Inquire.Write. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University, where he researches the water crisis in Mexico City. He holds a B.S.C.E. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a B.A. in Development Studies from the University of Washington. Prior to studying at Stanford, he worked briefly as an environmental engineer and volunteered as a community organizer in his hometown of Seattle. In his downtime, he loves photography and cooking.
About Us 15

Yuan Julian Chen


Yuan Julian Chen has provided expert review for Read.Inquire.Write.‘s investigation about the Silk Road. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in History at Yale University, working on medieval environmental history of East and Inner Asia. In her free time, she enjoys playing classical guitar, learning Japanese, and spending time with her two sons.

About Us 13

Geoff Emberling


Geoff Emberling reviewed the Read.Inquire.Write. investigation on Hammurabi and ancient Mesopotamia. Geoff is an archaeologist and museum curator who works on the ancient cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. He works as a Research Scientist at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan and is currently directing an excavation in northern Sudan.

About Us 5

Kyle Evered


Kyle Evered earned his Ph.D. in Geography and a Graduate Certificate in Russian and East European Studies, both at the University of Oregon. In graduate school, he also received a Fulbright to study in Turkey for a year. Trained to study geographies of the Middle East and North Africa and the former Soviet states of Eurasia, most of Evered’s research deals with topics associated with geographies of Turkey and its neighboring states. He supported Read.Inquire.Write with the Middle East investigation.

About Us 9

Christopher Heaney


Christopher Heaney is a historian of the Americas and author of Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu. He supports Read.Inquire.Write. with curriculum on the Incas, and on writing history from original research. He lives in State College, PA, where he is an Assistant Professor of Modern Latin American History at Penn State. He likes reading, running, and being with his family. 


LaGarrett J. King


LaGarrett J. King is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Learning and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo. Dr. King earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. A former teacher in Texas and Georgia, his research broadly examines how Black history and race is taught and learned in schools and society.

About Us

John Metzler

John Metzler (Ph.D. Educational Policy Studies and African Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a specialist in educational systems in East and Southern Africa (working in the region since 1972)  and has wide experience in integrating Africa into the K-14 curriculum.  He has worked at Michigan State University (African Studies Center, adjunct Department of Teacher Education) since 1987.
About Us 4

Ian Moyer


Ian Moyer supports Read.Inquire.Write. by reviewing the investigations related to ancient history. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and is currently Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching specialties are in ancient Greece and Egypt, pre-modern world history, as well as religion and cross-cultural interactions in ancient societies.


Patrick Rael


Patrick Rael is a specialist in African American history (Ph.D. American History, University of California, Berkeley, 1995).  He is the author of several works on the role of free African Americans in establishing the protest tradition that helped bring about the Civil War and emancipation. He served as the expert reviewer for the Read.Inquire.Write. investigation about post-Civil War Reconstruction, which continues his long engagement with bringing college-level history skills to K-12 students.

Past Contributors

Sally AL-Banna


Sally AL-Banna supports the Read.Inquire.Write project as a Graduate Research Assistant. Sally is a Master’s student in the Educational Studies department in the Teaching and Learning concentration at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Prior to attending U-M, Sally earned her B.A in Education with a concentration in English Language Teaching from the University of Aden. Sally served as an Arabic Fulbright Teaching Assistant at the University of Texas in Austin for two years and worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for Arabic speakers in Yemen for five years.

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Martha Epperson


Martha Epperson is a former ELL teacher and current Phd student in the Teaching & Teacher Education Program at the University of Michigan. Before arriving in Michigan, Martha served as an English Language Fellow in Chile where she worked with Chilean pre-service and in-service teachers of English. In Chile, she collaborated extensively with the Chilean Ministry of Education on a series of professional development projects for public sector English teachers. Prior to her work in Chile, she worked in US public schools where she supported both ELL teachers and content area teachers in their practice. In her free time, Martha enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and reading.

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Ryan Hughes


Ryan Hughes supports Read.Inquire.Write. in a variety of capacities including web development and research. He taught elementary school in San Francisco before joining U-M. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Teaching & Teacher Education and holds a M.A.T. in Social Studies Education and a B.A. in History. In his free time, he enjoys road trips and running half marathons. 
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Sarah Thomson


Sarah Thomson was the original Project Manager for Read.Inquire.Write. and has worked on this project since its inception. She created many of the investigations, developed several iterations of the curriculum as it was tested, and supported teachers in using the materials. Sarah taught middle school social studies before joining U-M in 2013. She earned her M.Ed. and teaching certification from the University of Maryland, her B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she will complete her Ph.D. in Teaching at Teacher Education from U-M in 2018.


Linda Castillo


Linda Castillo supported the Read.Inquire.Write. project during 2017-18 as a graduate student in the Teaching and Learning program at the University of Michigan. She contributed in a variety of ways that helped us develop the English Learner supports and writing analysis. Before coming to Ann Arbor, Linda taught English as a Second Language to emerging bilinguals and new immigrants, developed an English Language Development program and collaborated to open a Newcomer Center. Linda’s research explores instructional practices that simultaneously teach content and language to students who are new to English, but find themselves in classes taught in English.

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Anne-Coleman Webre


Anne-Coleman Webre has supported the Read.Inquire.Write. project with curriculum development and research.  A current doctoral student at the University of Michigan in Teaching and Teacher Education, she previously taught middle school Social Studies and English as a Second Language in Alexandria, VA and Baltimore, MD.  She earned her M.A. from New York University in TESOL/Foreign Language Education and her B.A. from the University of Virginia in Archaeology and German Language & Literature.

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