Who We Are

BERC is a partnership between Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore City Public Schools, and other Maryland universities, along with a wide set of affiliated faculty and researchers. 


The group reviews and approves all research projects and products. It maintains a quality-control process, ensuring all work is of high scientific rigor and relevant to the mission and priorities of BERC and City Schools.


The group facilitates communication about findings from current projects and how the district will implement changes to practice or policy.

Who We Are

BERC Leadership & Staff

Marc L. Stein

Marc L. Stein

Managing Director, Director of Research Operations

Marc L. Stein is an associate professor in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, a faculty associate with the Hopkins Population Center (HPC) and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Social Organization of Schools (CSOS). His research interests and agenda lie in quantitative and mixed methods analyses of the social contexts surrounding schools and schooling, and the role that these contexts play in the enactment of educational policy. He is especially interested in how educational policy can exacerbate or ameliorate racial-ethnic, socioeconomic and other inequalities. 

Lieny Jeon

Lieny Jeon

Director of Early Childhood Initiatives

Lieny Jeon, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advanced Studies in Education at Johns Hopkins School of Education. She received her PhD degree in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in Quantitative Method at Ohio State University. She completed her post-doctoral training in the Department of Defense Child Development Virtual Laboratory School. Her research focuses on early care and education, family characteristics and neighborhood disadvantage that impact children’s lives. 

Curt Cronister

Curt Cronister

Senior Data Manager

Curt Croniser is a seasoned data analyst with over eight years of experience in data management and analysis at Stanford and Northwestern, as well as for-profit companies like SunAmerica, Morningstar, and United Educators. Cronister has over 20 years’ experience organizing original data sources, developing associated data dictionaries and creating data collection, storage, retrieval and analytic systems. He is also proficient using mapping software and is currently enrolled in the Master of Applied Science in Spatial Analysis to improve the use of neighborhood and community measures to add context to BERC’s ongoing research. 

Graduate Research Assistants

Nathaniel A. Dewey

Graduate Research Assistant

Zyrashae Smith

Graduate Research Assistant

Juan Cortes

Graduate Research Assistant

Natalie Schock

Graduate Research Assistant

Research Board & Institutional Leads

The Research Board is chaired by the City Schools research director and the research co-directors from founding universities, Morgan State and Johns Hopkins. Membership includes one faculty member from each university, referred to as Institutional Leads. Research board Institutional Leads serve as liaisons between any interested faculty members at their institution and BERC. The Research Board reviews and approves all research projects and products. This board collaboratively maintains a quality-control process to ensure that all work generated through BERC is of high scientific rigor and relevant to the mission and priorities of BERC and City Schools. The Research Board meets monthly to ensure timely approval of projects.

Research Board Co-Chairs

Christopher Wohn

Director of Research, Baltimore City Public Schools

Simone Gibson

Associate Professor, Morgan State University

Julia Burdick-Will

Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Institutional Leads

Sean Coleman

Director of Doctoral Program, Bowie State University

Harriet Kargbo

Assistant Program and Program Coordinator, Center for Adult Learning, Coppin State University

Qi Shi

Associate Professor, Loyola University Maryland

Jessica Shiller

Associate Professor, Towson University

Seema D. Iyer

Associate Director, The Jacob France Institute, University of Baltimore

Jane Arnold Lincove

Associate Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Laura Stapleton

Associate Dean and Professor, University of Maryland

Terry Shaw

Associate Professor and Director, Research Division, Institute for Innovation and Implementation, University of Maryland

CEO-Deans Board

The CEO-Deans Board is chaired by the chief executive officer of City Schools and the education deans of founding universities Morgan State and Johns Hopkins, with members including the BERC executive director, BERC research co-directors, and the deans from partner colleges and universities. The group facilitates communication about findings from current projects and how the district will implement changes to practice or policy. The group will hear district priorities from the CEO, and deans can share their special expertise and interest areas of their institutions. This opportunity to meet regularly will lead to deeper relationships and identification of more opportunities for local universities to support City Schools. This group meets twice a year.

Sonja B. Santelises

CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools

Rhonda F. Jeter

Dean, College of Education, Bowie State University

James Takona

Dean, College of Arts & Sciences and Education, Coppin State University

Christopher Morphew

Dean, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University

Joshua Smith

Dean, School of Education, Loyola University Maryland

Glenda M. Prime

Dean, School of Education and Urban Studies, Morgan State University

Laurie Mullen

Dean, College of Education, Towson University

Richard Clinch

Executive Director, The Jacob France Institute, University of Baltimore

Jennifer King Rice

Dean, College of Education, University of Maryland

Kimberly Moffitt

Interim Dean, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Judy L. Postmus

Dean, School of Social Work, University of Maryland

Contact Us

(410) 516 - 6832

2800 N. Charles Street, Suite 307, Baltimore, MD 21218