Research, Impact and Achievements: March 2024

Curriculum and Instruction

Nathaniel BryanAssociate Professor

Dr. Nathaniel Bryan was elected program co-chair of the Critical Perspectives in Early Childhood Education SIG by the members of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). As the co-chair, Dr. Bryan will assist the program chair with their responsibilities and ultimately move into that role. His term starts April 15, 2024.

Dr. Bryan also has been selected to receive an honorable mention for the AERA Division K 2024 Early Career Award. Congratulations to Dr. Bryan on his achievement!

Cathery YehAssistant Professor

Dr. Cathery Yeh has been named a recipient of an Equity in Math Education Research Grant (EMERG) awarded by the National Academy of Education (NAEd) for the project “Searching for Educational Equity Through Critical Socio-Spatial Analysis”. The grant is awarded to 10 early-career scholars based on their potential to propose and carry out cutting-edge research and to make significant contributions to research and practice that focus on understanding, supporting and improving the long-term mathematical opportunities and experiences of African American, Latinx and Indigenous learners as well as students from communities experiencing inter-generational poverty.

Educational Psychology

Laura Quiñones CamachoAssociate Professor

Dr. Laura Quiñones Camacho was named a Rising Star of 2024 by the Association for Psychological Science (APS). The APS Rising Star designation recognizes early career researchers whose work has already advanced the field and who demonstrate great potential for their continued contributions. Dr. Quiñones-Camacho’s research focuses on how contextual and family environments influence neurobiological development and mental health in early childhood.

Yiqiu YanDoctoral Student
Katherine MuenksAssociate Professor

Dr. Katherine Muenks and doctoral student Yiqiu Yan have been published in the journal Motivation and Emotion. Their study, “Do my peers have a fixed or growth mindset? Exploring the behaviors associated with undergraduate STEM students’ perceptions of their peers’ mindsets about intelligence,” leveraged both open-ended and close-ended measures to identify five behavior categories that signal peer mindsets. The study also discusses implications for college STEM instructors.

Educational Leadership and Policy

Stella FloresAssociate Professor
Matt GianiAssistant Professor of Practice

Dr. Stella Flores and Dr. Matt Giani are serving as principal investigators along with colleagues Richard Murphy and Brian Dixon on a grant recently funded by the Spencer Foundation. Their study, “Admission, Tuition, and Housing: The Relative Effects of Different Guarantees in the College Outcomes of High-Ability, Low-SES Students,” The Spencer Foundation’s Large Research Grants on Education program supports broadly conceived research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education for projects ranging from one to five years.

Denisa GándaraAssistant Professor

Dr. Denisa Gándara, along with Co-PI Hadis Anahideh of the University of Illinois – Chicago and team member Kathe Pelletier of EDUCAUSE, has received a Spencer Vision Grant. This prestigious award funds team research projects for 6-12 months to help develop large-scale research projects that are focused on increasing equity in education. Dr. Gandara and her colleagues will use the funding to identify a way to enhance community colleges’ capacity to ethically use predictive analytics to improve outcomes for racially minoritized students.

Liliana GarcesAssociate Professor
Victor Sáenz Professor and Associate Dean for Student Success, Community Engagement and Administration

Dr. Liliana Garces and Dr. Victor Sáenz recently contributed to a report called “Truths about DEI on College Campuses: Evidenced-based Expert Responses to Politicized Misinformation.” Published by the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, the report responds to the testimony provided at a hearing on DEI initiatives that happened in a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on March 7 by citing the research and highlighting the benefits of DEI efforts on college campuses.

Lisa JasinskiPh.D. ’18, Educational Leadership and Policy

Dr. Lisa Jasinski has been named president of The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM). Dr. Jasinski will serve as the organization’s ninth president, chair of the ACM Board of Directors Dr. Jenifer K. Ward of Luther College announced this week. The ACM is a consortium of 14 liberal arts colleges across Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Jackie PedotaDoctoral Candidate

Congratulations to Jackie Pedota for winning the 2024 Doctoral Student Award from AERA’s Educational Change Special Interest Group! Pedota, who is supervised by Dr. Liliana Garces, recently published a solo study in the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership called “Institutionalization of a Latinx Campus Cultural Center: Exploring a Case of Racialized Administrative Burdens Faced by Latinx Staff and Students.” She currently serves as the graduate student representative for AERA’s Division F.

Kinesiology and Health Education

Sara Hussain Assistant Professor

Dr. Sara Hussain and her colleagues José del Millán and Manzure Mawla of UT Austin and Michael Borich of Emory University recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research team will use machine learning to identify personalized EEG brain states that predict strong and weak residual corticospinal tract activation in chronic stroke survivors and develop a real-time EEG analysis algorithm that accurately delivers TMS during personalized EEG brain states in neurotypical adults. Dr. Hussain believes this study will lead to the development and validation of a novel noninvasive brain stimulation technique that could help accelerate hand motor recovery after stroke.

Special Education

Jessica TosteAssociate Professor

Dr. Jessica Toste has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the Badar-Kauffman Conference at Kent State University on April 3-5, 2024. Dr. Toste’s talk, titled “Maximizing Impact: A Human Sciences Approach to Intensive Reading Interventions for Students with Disabilities,” will highlight key findings from her program of research focused on methods for intensifying interventions for students with or at-risk for reading disability. She also will describe the development of targeted intervention programs and teacher professional supports that have emerged through an interdisciplinary human sciences approach to inquiry.

Dr. Toste also has been honored by the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) for her service as president of DLD. She was recognized at the council’s annual convention on March 14, 2024, and will continue to serve the organization for another year as past president.