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Eric Camburn, Director

Sherman Family Foundation Endowed Chair, UMKC

For three decades, Eric Camburn has conducted research on school improvement, school leadership and inequalities in educational opportunity. His research has contributed to the field’s understanding of social inequalities in the secondary and postsecondary outcomes of urban students and of factors that promote and impede the progress of urban students at key junctures. Early research investigated factors associated with social inequalities in high school course failure and access to postsecondary education. A second thread of his research has examined factors that promote the improvement of literacy instruction in urban elementary schools with high poverty rates. Camburn has worked collaboratively with multiple urban districts to advance improvement initiatives through research evidence. Most recently he served as a founding co-director of the Madison Education Partnership, a partnership between the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Madison Metropolitan School District. He earned his doctorate in education from the University of Chicago.

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Karin Chang

Associate Director

Karin Chang has more than 20 years of experience in Kansas City helping educational organizations meet a wide range of evaluation, needs assessment and research needs. In the Kansas City region, she has partnered with over 40 school districts and charter schools, community colleges, economic development organizations and the state Departments of Education in Kansas and Missouri. Her expertise spans the P-20 educational continuum, including early childhood, K-16 STEM learning, adult education and workforce development. She earned a doctorate in education research and psychology from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Education Policy and Administration from Stanford University.

Prior to joining the UERC, Chang served as the director of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC), where she led a team of researchers from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri and Kansas State University. The consortium focused on critical educational issues in Kansas City, including student mobility, parent school choice, extended school year and disparities in reading achievement. This focus on equity continues to be a central component of her work at UERC.

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Jenny Frenzel

Senior Research Assistant

Jenny Frenzel has over 14 years of experience in educational and nonprofit program evaluation and grant outcomes measurement. Her experience includes the design and implementation of comprehensive evaluations for educational, youth development and health promotion programs. Frenzel is highly skilled in the areas of both quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University and master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Karen King

Grants Coordinator

The majority of Karen King’s professional experience has been in the higher education environment, with the most recent 15 years devoted to grantsmanship. Her academic background is in business, having earned her undergraduate degree in business administration with a concentration in economic development from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Business Administration from Baker University. Among her responsibilities as senior grants coordinator, King provides support for faculty by researching external funding sources, assisting with preparation and submission of grant proposals, managing pre- and post-award administration and conducting grant-related professional development.