Aerial view of the gateway entrance to Temple University showing wrought-iron gate with bronze seal, and looking down at people walking on a tree-lined brick path with a red Temple T flag peeking out from the side.
Ryan S. Brandenberg

The College of Education and Human Development is proud to celebrate our Owls in the Academy, our alumni who continue to make advances as researchers, faculty and administrators in higher education. Meet a few of our notable alumni who have recently started new faculty or administrative positions.

Shana Levi-Nielsen, Temple University
Who says you can't go home? Dr. Shana Levi-Nielsen earned her PhD in school psychology at Temple and returned to join our faculty. She is a nationally certified school psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst. She also taught in elementary and middle schools in urban settings. Levi-Nielsen says she was first introduced to behavior analysis as a graduate student at Temple's CEHD, and she has since "become an impassioned advocate for the application of behavioral science in schools."

"I have been very grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with faculty whom I admire as mentors, and I have felt so supported, respected, and valued as a colleague," Levi-Nielsen said. She added, "I chose CEHD because I was interested in continuing the dedication to urban education that I developed as a teacher. I knew that Temple, and specifically the school psychology faculty, shared my commitments to educational equity and social justice."

Learn more about Levi-Nielsen online.

Professional headshot of Shana Levi-Nielsen

Mark Emerick, Vassar College
Dr. Emerick is an assistant professor of education at Vassar College. He earned his PhD in education from Temple University, with a focus on applied linguistics. Emerick came to Temple "excited for the opportunity to participate in community-engaged work," he said. "Temple's origins and mission also spoke to me; I felt like Temple's institutional ethos matched my own experiences as a mixed-race first-generation college student. 

Acknowledging faculty mentors such as Elvis Wagner, Maia Cucchiara and others, Emerick said his experiences at Temple prepared him for his work today. Getting involved with professional organizations while a student at Temple provided opportunities for networking and publishing. "My research was shaped by the interdisciplinary opportunities that Temple supported," Emerick explained. "My work draws together the fields of applied linguistics/TESOL and career and technical education (CTE), both of which are strongly represented at Temple."

Professional headshot of Mark Emerick

Camika Royal, Morgan State University
In January 2024, Dr. Royal, currently at Loyola University Maryland, begins a new role at Morgan State University in the School of Education and Urban Studies. She began her career in Baltimore City and Washington, D.C., teaching, coaching teachers and helping to lead a charter high school. Her book, "Not Paved For Us: Black Educators and Public-School Reform in Philadelphia," was released in May 2022 by Harvard Education Press. She received her PhD in Urban Education from Temple University.

"I came into Temple as an education practitioner who had big questions around how we do urban schooling," Royal shared. "The professors who guided my doctoral experience helped me to expand my ideas and questions. They helped me wrestle with the complexities of the histories and sociopolitical contexts of Black urban schooling. They made me more of a scholar. My book only exists because of the studying and work I did at Temple University's College of Education [now the College of Education and Human Development]. My time there changed the trajectory of my professional life."

Professional headshot of Camika Royal

Linda Ruan, Widener University
Dr. Ruan is an assistant professor in the clinical psychology program at Widener University. She received her PhD in School Psychology from Temple University and spent time working in Philadelphia schools. Her research focuses on behavioral health assessment, suicide risk identification and prevention, and mental health equity.

Aaron Wade, Minot State University
Dr. Wade is an assistant professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Minot State University. He earned his PhD in Education from Temple University, with a focus on science, mathematics and educational technology.