Kaitlin Torphy, Ph.D. is the lead researcher and founder of the Teachers in Social Media Project at Michigan State University.

  • CzrnAQYUcAAEMEn.jpg-large
  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon

Dr. Kaitlin Torphy


Our interdisciplinary team combines expertise in educational theory, mathematics education, and computer science computational research in social media data analytics.


Jiliang Tang, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the computer science and engineering department at Michigan State University.

  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Professional Webpage

Dr. Jiliang Tang


Ken Frank, Ph.D. is a MSU Foundations Professor in Sociometrics at Michigan State University. His expertise includes social network analysis, causal inference, and social capital. 

  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Professional Webpage

Dr. Ken Frank

Zixi Chen

Zixi Chen is a doctoral candidate in Measurement and Quantitative Methods program of College of Education, Michigan State University. Her research interests include social network analysis and longitudinal data analysis in educational settings. 


Yuqing Liu

Yuqing Liu is a doctoral candidate in Measurement and Quantitative Methods at the College of Education, Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the diffusion of innovation, gossip behavior in organizations, and teacher’s resource seeking behavior. 


Jordan Tait

Jordan Tait is a doctoral student in Measurement and Quantitative Methods at the College of Education, Michigan State University. His research interests include social network analysis and statistics education.


Daman Chhikara

Daman Chhikara is a doctoral student in the Education Policy Program of College of Education at Michigan State University. His research interests include examining teacher quality, teacher-student relationships and student achievement in different social contexts. 


Xiuqi Yang

Xiuqi Yang is a visiting student at Michigan State University and an undergraduate in sociology at Shandong University, China. Her research focuses on sociology of education, with specific attention to student achievement analyses and children's educational expectations in varying social contexts.


Please reload

Our Approach

Branda Peck

Branda Peck is a graduate of the Elementary Education program at Michigan State University. Her focus and recent certification is in Integrated Sciences, K-8. She started working with the project last summer and has recently rejoined to help as the project continues to expand. 


Nicole Donzella

Nicole Donzella is an undergraduate economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a research intern for the project a few summers ago, and has come back to help further expand the research into more states.


Brianna Canedo

Brianna Canedo is a graduate of the Elementary Education program at Michigan State University and has her endorsement in Integrated Science. Currently she is working as a 4th grade teacher in Michigan.  She has been on the research team for four years working across many different projects, which has helped her grow in her profession. 


Sa'Vaughn Noble

Sa'Vaughn Noble is an undergraduate psychology student in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. In past research projects, he has been involved in collecting and analyzing information related to ideologically motivated offenders that commit crimes on the dark web.


Ashley Widner

Ashley Widner is a senior at Michigan State University graduating in May with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Youth in Society. Her focus has been on at-risk youth; she plans to work as a Foster Care Specialist after graduation. 


Emma Israels

Emma Israels is an undergraduate psychology student at Michigan State University. Her research interests include examining various aspects of today’s society and how they may be impacting youth.


Adrienne Hu

Sihua Hu is a post-doctoral researcher working with Dr. Cynthia Coburn at Northwestern University. She is a founding member of the Teachers in Social Media team and interested in the intersection of teachers' curation and mathematical practices across virtual and physical spaces.


Dr. Corey Drake

Corey Drake is Professor and Director of Teacher Preparation at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the preparation of elementary teachers to teach mathematics to diverse groups of students across diverse contexts. Recent work has been published in the Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, and Educational Researcher.


Please reload

Hamid Karimi

Hamid Karimi is a Ph.D. student in the department of computer science and engineering at Michigan State University. He is interested in machine learning, deep networks, NLP, misinformation on social media, and social network analysis.


Tyler Derr

Tyler Derr is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. His research interests are in data mining and social network analysis with a focus on social networks having both positive and negative links.


Please reload

We use qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine teachers' engagement in social media and virtual spaces. 



We model changes in teachers' resource access and sharing and diffusion of resources within social networks across physical and virtual spaces to make causal inference.


We use classroom observation, teacher interviews, and characterize the nature of teachers engagement online through in depth analysis of instructional content.

Computer Science

We use machine learning on heterogenous data integration to understand instructional content and teachers' networks at scale.


Alan Daly, Ph.D.-University of Southern California San Diego
Christine Greenhow, Ph.D.- 
Michigan State University

Martin Rehm, Ph.D.- PH Weingarten
Frank Cornelissen, Ph.D.-University of Cambridge

Mark Berends, Ph.D.- Notre Dame University

Bill Carbarnaro, Ph.D.- Notre Dame University

Diana Brandon, Ph.D.- Charleston Southern University

Ann Marie Mapes- Michigan Department of Education 

Teachers in Social Media Alumni

Amanda Opperman- Michigan State University

Yun-jia Lo, Ph.D.- University of Michigan

Brianna Canedo- Michigan State University

Andy Jurasek- Michigan State University

Emily Emrick- Teach for America 2019 corps member- Indianapolis

Kimberly Jansen, Ph.D.- Middle Tennessee State University

John Lane, Ph.D.- Michigan State University

Study of Elementary Mathematics Instruction 

Peter Youngs, Ph.D.- University of Virginia

Kristen Bieda, Ph.D.- Michigan State University

Serena Salloum, Ph.D.- Ball State University

Epistemic Network Analysis Team

David Williamson Shaffer, Ph.D.- University of Wisconsin

Drew Huang- University of Wisconsin

Sara Tabatabai-University of Wisconsin

Brendan Eagan- University of Wisconsin