Graduate Students | Learning Technologies


Rukmini Manasa Avadhanam is Ph.D. candidate in Learning Technologies. She has a master's in psychology. Her interest in working with teachers and students motivated her to take a leap toward a career in education.

Her research interests are digital divide, technology integration, teacher beliefs, teacher online education, and professional development in developing countries. She loves playing with data and she is trying to find her feet in learning analytics and social network analysis.

Sarah Barksdale

Sarah Barksdale is a PhD candidate within the Learning Technologies program. As a previous secondary English and Theatre teacher with a master's in Instructional Technology, she is passionate about working alongside K-12 teachers on pedagogical strategies to equitably integrate technology and computer science into their spaces.

Her research interests include exploring global perspectives on technology integration and teacher education, and her dissertation focuses on pathways for K-12 CS education in Minnesota and teachers' experiences bringing CS into their classrooms.


John Bartucz
John Bartucz is a Teaching Specialist and Ph.D. student in Learning Technologies. He has a master's in computer science and one in secondary education. He currently teaches several classes in the LT department. His passion in education is giving students the tools (specifically data science) to empower themselves and their communities.

Dr. Yu-Hui Chang is a newly graduate doctor in the Learning Technologies program. Before her Ph.D. journey in Minnesota, she was an elementary school teacher, a research assistant, and an NPO worker in Taiwan, and a Fulbright language teaching assistant in the Midwest. 

Her research focuses on technology integration and professional development through the learning sciences lens. She is working on using qualitative content analysis to explore teachers’ beliefs and pedagogical approaches in the digital age. Her research interests also include CS in education, computational participation, knowledge building, and online collaboration.

Chen Chen

Chen Chen is a Ph.D. student in learning technologies. She holds multiple degrees, and the ones that are most relevant to her current study are a master’s degree in instructional design and a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Her research interests include augmented reality, virtual reality, computational thinking, as well as technology integration that supports learning and knowledge building. She constantly updates her knowledge in relation to technology and education. 

Basel Hussein

Basel Hussein is a Ph.D. student in Learning Technologies. He hold a bachelor's degree in cognitive/social psychology. His research interests are around personalized learning and human-AI partnership.

His current work focuses on using computational methods to investigate and support goal-driven learning, problem-solving, and information-seeking behavior. His personal interests are music, tech, biking, and cooking.

More about Basel's work in his website  


Tina Jeon is a Ph.D student in the Learning Technologies program. She is interested in what education means in different contexts and how to support teachers and students from diverse backgrounds based on the bachelor's degree in education and anthropology/sociology and graduate certificate on Leadership in Technology Integration.

Tina has worked in K-12 school as an education technology integration fellow, which further motivated her passion for learning science and technology field. She is looking forward to exploring equity issues and inclusive representation of learner identities and needs in learning tools.


Robert Kreml is a PhD student within the Learning Technologies program. He holds a master's degree in adult, continuing, and higher education administration and a bachelor's degree in physics.

His research interests include studying augmented and virtual reality as a technology enhanced learning environment in STEM education. Other research interests include: Online and distance learning, knowledge building, collaborative learning with technology, and increased learner motivation from technology.


Hong Shui is a Ph.D student in Learning Technology program of Instruction and Curriculum Department, University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She holds a master degree in English Language and Literature and worked in Sichuan Normal University for years. 

Her research interest lies in the effective integration of technology into education, online collaborative learning, and the connection between learning design and learning analytics. 


Megi Shuke is a Master’s student in Learning Technologies.She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Tirana. Megi has always had a passion for teaching that has led her to many short-term experiences in Europe, as well as a one-year teaching experience in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Her current research interests include Educational Uses of Social Media and Informal Online Learning Communities. She is the founder and curator of a learning community on Instagram, @albanianstudygram, which aims to give Albanian youth access to different learning opportunities.