Carnegie Mellon University

Associate Director for K-12

Carnegie Mellon University’s Simon Initiative has hired Maggie Hannan as the new Associate Director for K-12.

 Hannan joins CMU to lead the Simon Initiative’s effort to build a cohesive infrastructure to support learning sciences research on campus, connect that research with the broader learning sciences community, and strengthen connections between CMU and the local K-12 ecosystem. She will also spearhead efforts to establish new connections to educational contexts throughout the region, with a specific focus on building new relationships with stakeholders across diverse educational contexts. This new position is supported by a 3-year grant from the Grable Foundation.

Hannan, who previously served as a graduate student researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and a Summer Associate and adjunct policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, will lead the development of a K-12 research network that will expand the Simon Initiative’s influence both on campus at CMU and across the regional education landscape. She is exploring the needs and perspectives of key stakeholders to form the foundation of a flexible infrastructure that will activate CMU innovations to support educational improvement and equity at scale.

 Hannan earned her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Sciences and Policy program in 2018, where her research focused on collaborative educational improvement initiatives, education policy implementation, and the dynamics of scaling innovations in complex systems. She has worked on multiple education policy projects and partnerships, collaborating with state departments of education and nonprofit foundations to build and evaluate large-scale policy initiatives.

 Before studying educational policy and improvement, she earned a master’s degree in English Literature from West Virginia University, where she also taught college composition courses. Over the course of her career, she has been a researcher, evaluator, and instructor in both the social sciences and the humanities, which has prepared her to do the multidisciplinary work required to connect the many decentralized educational research efforts across CMU.

Hannan’s expertise in implementing and scaling policies and interventions positions her well to develop a strategy and infrastructure for the spread of educational innovations and advances developed at CMU. Decades of CMU research have advanced learning engineering in countless ways, and this expansion of the Simon Initiative will support the dissemination and uptake of these advances across a variety of contexts. Furthermore, Hannan’s extensive training in building networks and partnerships has prepared her to connect researchers with human and knowledge resources across campus and beyond.