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who we are

CEO and Founder

Molly B. Zielezinski Ph.D. has spent more than a decade teaching and researching technology and learning in K-12. She has a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Learning Sciences & Technology Design where her research focused on understanding how technology is used to support learning in K-12 classrooms. In her time at Stanford, she developed expertise in technology design, design thinking, curriculum development, and teacher education.

Today, as Founder and CEO of MBZ Labs, she works in partnership with educational technology companies, research and education organizations to develop and implement efficacy research projects and strategic initiatives bridging technology, research and practice.

Director of Research

Paul Franz, M.A., is a life-long scholar, avid researcher, and former middle school teacher.  He has written and presented research on student health and well-being, college admissions and higher education policy, curriculum and technology, and Massive Open Online Courses. He has led professional development in curriculum design and assessment, and has coached over a dozen schools in policy-change efforts. His work has appeared in the Review of Higher Education, ASCD’s EL Magazine, and on EdSurge. He has also appeared as a guest on KQED Forum.

Paul holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, and an M.A. in Learning, Design, and Technology from Stanford University. He is skilled at identifying trends from the literature and applying these to analysis of educational technology in action. As the Director of Research for MBZ Labs, Franz uses these skills to provide actionable insights to educational technology companies interested in leveraging research for improvement.

Director of Knowledge

Amanda Thibodeau has been working in education and non-profit management for the last decade.  After working in multiple healthcare startups, Thibodeau moved to the Sierra Nevada foothills to learn about sustainable agriculture with the goal of teaching students where their food comes from.  There, she founded and developed a thriving educational farm serving thousands of students and educators throughout the region, later pioneering a farm-to-school program that serves over 96% of classrooms in her county while developing cutting edge curriculum and professional development to support this program.

With her B.A. in Communications and Culture and Philosophy from Clark University, Thibodeau is skilled at synthesizing information and identifying trends and big picture themes. As the Director of Knowledge at MBZ Labs, Thibodeau is excited to use her varied skills and leadership experience to help companies and educators thrive in a dynamic environment and face the challenges of education in today’s world.