Qi Learning
Working together to change the world through STEM education.

Meet Our Team

Experts in learning, professional development, and program evaluation.

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Marcy Berger

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Alfred Vitale


CEO, STEM Education Director

Yen Verhoeven

In addition to over 11 years of high school and college teaching experience in science and biotechnology, Yen designed curriculum, mentored preservice teachers and trained faculty, managed the Students Tackling Relevant Authentic Science (STARS) program at the University of Rochester, and was a program evaluator for the Noyce Scholars program at the University of Rochester and the Critical Mass of Engineering Technology Scholarship (COMETS) program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She co-founded the BioTech SYSTEM consortium at the University of California at Davis and is excited about bringing her experience in STEM education to Paragon. From 2017-2018, Yen served as the science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) consultant for the Ames Community School District (ACSD) in Iowa; together with ACSD teachers, Yen created inquiry-based labs for grades K-5th, and designed the scope and sequence for science in 2nd and 6th grades. She currently serves on the Ed Tech Workgroup under the Iowa Innovation Council. Yen specializes in learning theory with a focus on online instructional design and STEM professional development. To contact her directly, send an email to: yen@paragonlearn.com

Yen's CV                   LinkedIn                   Personal Website                  



University of Rochester, New York
Ph.D., 2018, Teaching and Curriculum w/specialization in Online Learning and Instructional Design
Certification in Online Teaching and Learning, 2017
Certification in Program Evaluation, 2014

University of California at Davis, California
California Professional Clear Teaching Credential in Science with Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) specialization, 2000

University of California at Davis, California
B.S., Evolution and Ecology, 1994

Current Memberships and Service

  • Boys and Girls Club of Story County, science mentor

  • Ed Tech Workgroup of the Iowa Innovation Council, member

  • Connected Learning Alliance, member, reviewer, and presenter

  • American Educational Research Association, member

  • Association of Internet Researchers, member and reviewer

  • Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction, member and reviewer

  • Iowa Academy of Science, member and presenter

  • National Science Teachers Association, member



Research and Development

Marcy Berger

Marcy has over 20 years of experience as an educator.  She taught preschool in a variety of private and public settings.  She administered an after-school Hebrew School where she considered teacher development to be the focus of her job.  She has taught and supervised pre-service teachers at the University of Rochester and also supervised both early childhood and elementary teaching certificate candidates at the State University of New York at Cortland.  Marcy’s expertise in teacher learning and development stems from her work with pre-service and in-service teachers and from her deep knowledge of the research literature.

Research Interests

• Teacher learning
• Accountability policy
• Teacher assessment


University of Rochester, New York
Ph.D., 2017

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Massachusetts
Ed.M, 1987

Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Massachusetts
A.B., 1986




Alfred Vitale

Alfred has more than 18 years of experience in managing large and small-scale technical assistance projects in education and human services sectors, as well as designing and implementing program evaluations at federal, state, and local levels.  Besides his current role as program administrator at a university medical center, Alfred also served as the Director of Research and Evaluation for a large, urban, non-profit education services provider and has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Rochester and Monroe  Community College for close to 10 years.



University of Rochester, New York
Ph.D., Education w/Specialization in Human Development, 2013

University of Rochester, New York
M.S., Human Development, 2008

University of Rochester, New York
B.S., Religious Studies w/Honors & Magna Cum Laude, 2004

Research Interests

• Fourth Generation & Utilization-focused Evaluation
• Life Course Theory & Ecological systems models of development
• Phenomenological Methodology & Philosophy
• Leadership & Organizational development theories