SOLER Faculty Committee

Co-Chair: Soulaymane Kachani, Senior Vice Provost

Co-Chair: Janet Metcalfe, Department of Psychology

Samantha Garbers, Mailman School of Public Health

Sarah Hansen, Department of Chemistry

David Helfand, Department of Astronomy

Garud Iyengar, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Caroline Marvin, School of General Studies

Malia Mason, Management Division, CBS

Ellen Meier, Teachers College

Letty Moss-Salentijn, College of Dental Medicine

Brent Stockwell, Department of Biological Sciences

Gregory Wawro, Department of Political Science

Tian Zheng, Department of Statistics 


Sandesh Tuladhar

Sandesh Tuladhar

Associate Provost for Online Education

Merrell Norden

Merrell Norden

Associate Director of Online Education

Program Director Adam Brown

Adam Brown

Program Director

SOLER Student Assistants (SSAs)

Read about the SSA position here.

John Thorp (Senior SSA) is a 5th-year PhD candidate in Psychology in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a BA in the Philosophy of Cognitive Neuroscience from the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies as well as a BA in Jazz Studies. John is currently pursuing his PhD with Dr. Lila Davachi, investigating the ways that motivational and affective states shape our memory. During the 2021-2022 academic year, he is also serving as a Lead Teaching Fellow in the Center for Teaching and Learning; John is looking forward to complementing his advocacy and liaison work in that role with efforts to address the mechanistic questions SOLER is built to ask. In the evenings, John is most likely to be found at the Jazz Gallery, Roulette Intermedium, or Film at Lincoln Center.

Josh Friedman is a 6th-year PhD candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University studying Cognitive Science in Education. He has over 10 years of experience in learning facilitation, 5 years teaching internationally across 5 continents, and 5 years as a researcher in educational and social cognitive psychology. He completed his undergraduate studies at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, receiving a BS in Business Administration and a BA in Philosophy, and is currently pursuing his PhD with Dr. John Black, investigating how nonverbal communication between teachers and students shapes student learning processes. During the 2023-2024 academic year, Josh plans on defending his dissertation, continuing to teach undergraduates at Hunter College, and continuing research into how nonverbal behavior is both a predictor of and a tool to enhance student learning within the Columbia community. As a long time formal and informal educator, Josh believes strongly in the power of connection, interdisciplinary work, and rigorous research and experimentation to improve the state of learning for the future. On the weekends, Josh can be found in his garden, or seeking out artistry in the big city.   

Connor Martini is a 5th-year PhD Candidate in religion at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. After three years working for a nonprofit women’s college in Rwanda, Connor joined Columbia University in 2017, earning his MA in 2019 and MPhil in 2021. Connor’s dissertation, “The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Presence and Wonder and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” is an ethnographic study of the astronomers looking for life in the universe. Connor aims to demonstrate how this scientific project, defined by the relationships forged between practitioners and the yet-unseen presences for whom they search, can be more fully understood through the tools and rubrics of religious studies and the methods of qualitative research. Connor has also made pedagogical training in tools and strategies for inclusive teaching a priority during his graduate studies. Over his nine teaching appointments, Connor has endeavored to create a classroom environment in which all students feel comfortable, supported, and capable.

Former SSAs:

  • Byung Cheol Lee (Marketing)
  • Sanjana Rosario (Marketing)
  • Ksenia Rybkina (Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Studies) 
  • Niharika Telrandhe (Public Health)
  • Chenyou Wu (Teachers College)