SURP Staff

Meet the SURP Staff

Leslie M. Booren, M.A., IOM

Managing Director

Leslie M. BoorenLeslie Booren received her Master’s in Human Development at Washington State University and her Bachelor’s from the honors program in Psychology and Youth Studies at the University of Minnesota. As research faculty for 7 years at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia, Leslie has completed 25+ professional presentations and a number of peer-reviewed publications from multiple national research studies including the inCLASS validation project, the NCRECE longitudinal professional development study, and NCQTL with Head Start. She has coordinated and worked on multiple research projects, including being the Principal Investigator for two studies on adolescent violence. Leslie is also an author of the Individualized Classroom Assessment Scoring System (inCLASS), an observation measure of preschool children’s school readiness. Recently, she has moved into an administrative role as the Managing Director of EdPolicyWorks, a research center at the Curry School of Education specializing in education policy and the implications for the workforce. Leslie continues to have a strong interest in community and youth development by bridging applied and research based practices.

For more information on Leslie Booren, see her profile page.


Stanley C. Trent, Ph.D.

SURP Faculty Advisor

My current research foci include multicultural teacher training in special education, the disproportionate placement of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in special education programs and programs for the gifted, and inclusive education practices in urban schools.

For more information on Stanley Trent, see his profile page.



Josh Medrano, M.Ed. Candidate

Grad Student Program Coordinator

Josh Medrano is a M.Ed. student in the Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, he obtained his BA in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 2016. During his undergraduate career, Josh worked as Research Assistant in multiple cognitive development laboratories that focused on attention, categorization, and numerical cognition. Prior to attending UVA in 2018, he volunteered as an AmeriCorps math tutor for K-5 students and later worked as an office and classroom assistant in a charter school in Cincinnati. Now, as a Graduate Research Assistant in Dr. Jamie Jirout's Research in Education and Learning (REAL) Lab, he is investigating the mechanisms that underlie children’s spatial and mathematical reasoning skills.


Ashley Hirt

Undergraduate Administrative Assistant

Ashley Hirt is a rising third year at the University of Virginia from Ashburn, Virginia. She is a biology and statistics major and is specifically interested in helping people with chronic illness. At UVA, she is involved in Challah for Hunger, volunteers with various public health intervention organizations, and works in a developmental neurobiology lab. When she’s not hanging out with her guinea pigs, she also enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter. In the future, she plans to pursue an MD/PhD, likely concentrated in immune and rheumatic disorders.


Jieun Sung

GRE Course Instructor

Jieun Sung is a Ph.D. student in the Social Foundations program in the Department of Education Leadership, Foundations and Policy at the University of Virginia. Her research is concerned with how families from refugee backgrounds experience and understand formal education, informal learning experiences, and social and cultural transitions in resettlement contexts. She is particularly interested in how educational processes are shaped by interactions with out-of-school institutions and contexts, and by individuals’ conceptions of education, school, and the self. Jieun earned her M.Ed in the Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia, and holds undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and political science from Columbia University.


Bobby Pazhwak

Resident Advisor

Bobby Pazhwak is a rising fourth year undergraduate at the University of Virginia from Fairfax, VA. He is double majoring in biomedical engineering and physics, and is interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare field. He is particularly interested in the intersection of sustainability and human health. At UVA, Bobby has been involved with a wide variety of activities ranging from engineering design to student theatre, and is a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, a gender-inclusive community on Grounds. Bobby has also served as a Resident Advisor (RA) for two years in first year dorms at UVA, and loves meeting new people and building communities. In his spare time, Bobby enjoys reading fantasy novels, going on hikes in the Charlottesville area, and playing board games with friends.