RPPL Names Dr. Stacey Alicea As Its First Executive Director

Aug. 30, 2022
Contact: Kent Fischer, kent@the-learning-agency.com

Dr. Alicea will lead RPPL’s efforts to advance better research around teacher learning in service of more equitable outcomes for all students

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Aug. 30, 2022)—The Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL) has named Dr. Stacey Alicea as its first Executive Director. Her hiring marks a milestone for RPPL, which in just two years has grown from an idea among colleagues to a pioneering network of researchers and professional learning providers dedicated to advancing our understanding of what works when it comes to teacher professional learning.

Dr. Alicea has spent the last 25 years studying and working in the fields of public health, social work, education, and healthcare as a practitioner, researcher, and leader. As a researcher, she has authored or contributed to more than a dozen published peer-reviewed journal articles.

Dr. Alicea comes to RRPL from the Newark Trust for Education where she served as Director for Early Learning Strategy and led a comprehensive network-based strategy in partnership with families, local and national early learning organizations to improve access to early learning opportunities for young children.

Prior to working at the Newark Trust, Dr. Alicea was the Associate Executive Director at Ramapo for Children, a New York City-based education non-profit, where she led Ramapo’s professional development, capacity building, and strategic learning division.

Dr. Alicea said it is her life experiences as a Puerto Rican woman from a close community in the Bronx and Brooklyn, that inspire her strong dedication to equitable learning, continuous education, and community service.

“I know from personal experience that teachers can deeply impact young people’s lives,” Dr. Alicea said. “That’s why I’m so excited by RPPL’s mission to leverage thoughtful and rigorous research to improve teacher professional learning, which is critical to students’ success in school and beyond. More than ever, students need dedicated and prepared teachers, and
teachers need professional learning that helps them engage and partner with young people to achieve their educational and life goals .”

Dr. Alicea is a New York City native. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology and Social Intervention from New York University, and a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University. She also has a dual bachelor's degree in Community Health and Sociology from Brown University.

As Executive Director, Dr. Alicea will anchor a growing ecosystem of stakeholders, support the RPPL team, drive fundraising and member recruitment, and work with RPPL’s research partners and members to generate practical, relevant, high-quality research around teacher professional learning.

“Dr. Alicea’s commitment to excellence in research and practice, her dedication to equitable learning and equity-centered research, and her coalition building leadership experience and approach make her the perfect person to lead RPPL in its mission to transform professional learning research and practice,” said Emily Freitag, RPPL’s Chair and CEO of Instruction Partners, who led RPPL’s Executive Director search.

RPPL, founded in 2020, is rapidly growing as it works to advance better research around teacher learning in the service of more equitable outcomes for all students. To help achieve this, RPPL is bringing together organizations and researchers who study teacher learning to identify the features of professional learning that improve students’ classroom experiences, well-being, and academic growth, with a specific focus on students from historically marginalized groups. Read more about Dr. Alicea on RPPL’s website.


About RPPL: The Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL) is a collaborative of professional learning organizations, researchers, and foundations committed to advancing the collective understanding of how to support teacher professional learning that leads to equitable student outcomes for historically marginalized students. RPPL seeks to identify the features of professional learning that dramatically accelerate improvements in students' classroom experiences, well-being, and academic growth; and to generate and share insights that can guide other professional learning organizations to strengthen their program design, results, and efficiency.

RPPL Exec Dir Press Release.pdf