Research Assistants


Mandeep Singh Brar

Mandeep (MANDY) is an international student from Punjab (India) with a strong background in Sociology & Education. He is pursuing MS in Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. His research interests revolve around abuse (at homes or in schools), the relationship between the abuser & the abused, childhood memories & related trauma, and the like. He works as a Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant at the "Intercultural and Classroom Culture Lab" under the supervision of Dr. Samara Madrid Akpovo and is the lead GRA for COLAB.


Andrew Madjar

Andrew was a primary school teacher in New Zealand for 10 years and is currently a PhD candidate and research assistant at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is secretary of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia and is Editorial Administrator for ACCESS: Contemporary Issues in Education. His current research explores moral uncertainty in the lives of teachers. His research uses hermeneutic and phenomenological philosophy to develop understandings of pedagogy and practice that are grounded in lived experience.


Lucas Wang

Lucas is a Clinical Teaching Specialist at Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), The University of Melbourne, Australia. His current doctoral research focuses on highlighting and explaining mathematical creativity in Australian early years settings through investigating teachers' perspectives and practices. He is also interested in the professional identity of early childhood educators and migrants' journey to Reconciliation in Australia. Prior to entering academia, Lucas spent 3 years working with children aged 0-5 as an early childhood teacher.



"As I read about all the experiences that other people have had in their educational contexts and looked at their pictures, I became more aware of the idea that my ideas and assumptions of what early childhood education looks like is just one way of approaching education. There are many ways to teach young children effectively and what I may personally feel is the best for my children in my class, might not be at all how a teacher in New Zealand supports their children."

-COLAB Student