Lucas Moore, Ed.D., Director
I am a Research Assistant Professor with the Program Evaluation Research Center. My areas of interest are program evaluation (process and outcome), evaluation design, research design, and quantitative data analysis. Currently, I Co-Direct the Tracking, Evaluation, and Quality Improvement (TEQuIP) Core of the WV Clinical & Translational Science Institute. Prior to joining the Program Evaluation and Research Center, I worked primarily as an evaluator in the field of public health, where I evaluated several large scale public health initiatives in the state of West Virginia.
Reagan Curtis, Ph.D., Founder
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I founded the Program Evaluation and Research Center and now serve as Chair for the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development.
I pursue a diverse research agenda including areas of interest in (a) the development of mathematical and scientific knowledge across the lifespan, (b) online delivery methods and pedagogical approaches to university instruction, and (c ) research methodology, program evaluation, and data analysis (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodological) for studies in developmental, educational, and counseling contexts.
There is a diverse group of faculty affiliates and graduate student researchers who make it possible for the Program Evaluation and Research Center to function. They are as follows:
Terence Ahern, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I have an extensive research background in social media, social media software engineering, dynamic systems and gaming. Currently we are conducting research on the integration of dynamic models for use with school teachers. Finally I have extensive background in data architecture and web-based data capture.
Malayna Bernstein, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am interested in how people learn. Specifically, I study teacher education and professional development, the cultural contexts
for learning, the cognitive foundations of reading and writing,
and qualitative methods.
John Blake, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program. I am currently the primary investigator of a study conducted at the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center focused on relationships between attachment style, hope, and patient outcomes following traumatic injury. My previous research includes investigation of factors that contribute to positive rehabilitation outcome, community participation, and employment for people with spinal cord injury.
Darran Cairns, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I received a B.S. in Physics (1995) and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering (1999) from the University of Birmingham (UK). My research in engineering focuses on the development of flexible nano-composite materials, high performance coatings, and flexible electronic devices. I am also involved in a number of initiatives related to design-based engineering education. I am interested in the close integration of math and science for education at secondary and postsecondary levels and I work closely with science and mathematics teachers in local high schools to develop design-based societally-relevant curricula.
Jeffrey Carver, Ed.D., Faculty Affiliate
My research interests focus on novel ways to improve teaching and learning of science at the middle, secondary and post-secondary levels. Two of my currently funded projects relate to a) increasing the number and quality of STEM teachers focused on teaching in high needs schools and b) the use of scientific research experiences in bionanotechnology and its impact on teacher performance and student attitudes toward careers in science in general and in bionanotechnology disciplines specifically. The majority of my studies utilize qualitative or mixed methods approaches with a few studies that tend toward more quantitative approaches.
Jeffrey Daniels, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology program. I am one of the two primary researchers in the study of global hostage-taking, a research initiative being carried out by academics, Federal agents, and law enforcement officials to study hostage-taking from the perpetrators’ perspectives. I also conduct research on school captive-taking events and averted lethal school violence. I have conducted numerous studies using both quantitative and qualitative research designs, especially grounded theory and consensual qualitative research.
Zornitsa (Zorrie) Georgieva, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am very interested in studying higher education student retention. I would like to explore the current trends and different aspects of student persistence. With the new technological development and the change of the college student profile, my interest is focused on studying the significance of a number of factors including instructional approach and method of instructional delivery that may have an impact on the students’ persistence in higher education.
Sharon Hayes, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am interested in how individuals become teachers and develop and reshape their beliefs, attitudes, and practices over the course of their professional lifetimes. More specifically I am involved in studying (a) teacher identity development, (b) inquiry as a space for the transformation of personal, local, and global views of teaching, learning, and how these views are enacted in classrooms and schools, (c ) the mentoring and professional development of prospective and practicing teachers, and (d) the nature of and possibilities for qualitative research. In addition, I have an interest in questioning and reconstructing my own teacher practices and the ways we do teacher education, as well as the purposes and possibilities for collaborative partnerships between institutions of higher education and public schools.
Melissa Hartley, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
My areas are special education and quantitative data analysis, including structural equation modeling (both partial least squares and covariance based), factor analysis, path analysis, discriminant function analysis, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, ANOVA, ANCOVA, MANOVA, t-tests, correlation, and non-parametric tests. I have experience in cleaning and using large databases (> than 5.5 million) and analyzing existing data. My research interests include the supply and demand of special education faculty, technological simulations in education, and using data to drive decision making.
Helen Hazi, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I track and interpret those laws and policies in the 50 states that have consequence for instructional supervision, i.e., teacher observation, curriculum and staff development. I’m also concerned with critical incidents of practice associated with the certification, rights, testing, development, and evaluation of professional personnel and school reform. I have also studied consequences of the state’s school finance case, the Recht Decision.
Paul Hernandez, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
My main program of research focuses on the regulation of motivation, social influences processes, and role such processes play in the academic persistence of underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The consistent theme running through the above areas is my focus on the situational and person factors that maximize (or inhibit) human potential, particularly for members of underrepresented groups.
In general, I use longitudinal, quasi-experimental, and experimental designed studies paired with advanced quantitative analytic methods to better understand the impact of motivational and social influence processes. For example, one of my current projects involves a longitudinal quasi-experimental designed study to understand the impact(s) of interventions aimed at improving the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in biomedical and STEM disciplines. I using structural equation and multilevel modeling techniques to quantify the direct, indirect, and moderated effects of the interventions on student performance and persistence in their chosen disciplines.
Monica Leppma, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
My research interests encompass mental health and school counseling. More specifically, I study counselor education, positive emotions, human strengths, and school climate. I am primarily interested in exploring factors and qualities that help individuals and communities thrive. My current projects include development of group leadership skills, counselor efficacy and wellness, and resilience in children and adolescents.
Kristin Moilanen, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am a developmental psychologist, and my expertise is in the period of adolescence. My research interests include self-regulation, social relationships, and risk behaviors during adolescence and emerging adulthood. I have extensive experience in quantitative data analysis (e.g., structural equation modeling, latent growth curve modeling, and growth mixture modeling), scale development and validation, and the analysis of existing data.
Anne Nardi, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am interested in problem solving and decision making. My research interests are in adult learning, autobiographical memory, teacher beliefs, and teacher education. I am a professor of Educational Psychology and have served as a program evaluator for a number of grant-funded projects at WVU.
Namoi L. Rahn, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am an assistant professor in special education at West Virginia University. My research interests include early language and literacy interventions, response to intervention (RtI), and personnel preparation. In my current research, I am using single-case design to examine vocabulary and language interventions for young children with multiple risk factors including identified disabilities and poverty.
Karen Rambo-Hernandez, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am interested the assessment of student learning, particularly the assessment of academic growth, and evaluating the impact of curricular change. More specifically, my substantive research interests include academic acceleration, STEM education- particularly diversity in engineering, and gifted education. I use quantitative methods such as multilevel modeling and structural equation modeling to assess the impact of curricular changes and track student growth. My research has been supported by grants from the American Psychological Foundation and the National Science Foundation.
Amy Root, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
Broadly, my research efforts focus on the interpersonal processes involved in the children’s healthy development. Specifically, my work has primarily focused on the role of parents in the development of children’s emotion self-regulation and anxious, wary behavior. I have recently started investigating potential determinants of parenting and contextual aspects that influence the parenting process (e.g., rural, impoverished settings). These efforts represent my core research interests: understanding how children’s dispositional traits and caregiving environments work together to produce developmental outcomes, particularly those related to the self-regulation of emotion and the development of social behaviors.
James Rye, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am a science educator with primary interests in professional preparation and development of elementary teachers to teach science utilizing garden-based learning, inquiry, probeware, and concept mapping among other research interests.
Christine Schimmel, Ed.D., Faculty Affiliate
My research interests include school counseling and incorporating counseling theories into practice. I am interested in explorations of creative counseling techniques including play therapy. I am involved in examining the effects of engaging in multisensory techniques like moving, writing, and creativeness as ways to increase the effectiveness of counseling. One of my most current projects addresses the implementation of a bullying prevention program in a West Virginia elementary school.
Neal Shambaugh, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
My areas are instructional design, technology-teaching, pedagogical content knowledge, visuals and mental models, and my research interests are ID Pedagogy, Developmental Research, Mental Models, Visual Literacy, Design Thinking, Technology Integration, Professional Development, Online Program Development.
Kostantinos Sierros, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I received a B.S. (2001) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Newcastle (UK) and an M.S. (2002) in Polymer Engineering and Science from the University of Birmingham (UK). I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham (UK) in Materials Science and Engineering (2006). Currently I am an Assistant Professor with the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at WVU. My research is focused on the development of flexible devices for energy harvesting and on the tribology of functional coatings. I am the advisor of WVU’s Human Powered Vehicle Design Team and I am interested in design-based engineering education projects.
Audra Slocum, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am a qualitative researcher of adolescent cultural identity and literacy practices, with particular interests and experience in research in and with marginalized (i.e. racially, culturally, linguistically, economically, and sexual identity) communities, particularly Appalachian communities. In addition, I have experience in program design for cross-cultural, urban and secondary English teacher preparation.
Megan Smith, Faculty Affiliate
West Virginia Department of Education’s Project AWARE, promoting emotional health and safety in West Virginia public schools.
Jennifer Taylor, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am an assistant professor in the Counseling and Counseling Psychology programs in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling and Counseling Psychology. My research focuses on professional competence, lifelong learning, continuing professional development, mentoring, and continuing education. As an extension of this work, I also study important impacts and predictors of professional competence, including personal variables such as stress, self-care, and an appreciation for multiculturalism and engagement in social justice issues. My overall program of research is designed to provide an evidence-based approach to understanding, generating, and maintaining professional competence across the professional lifespan. It includes conceptual and empirical expressions as this rapidly developing field advances within a broadly interdisciplinary context, both informing, and being informed by, developments within allied fields of health.
Eva Erdosne Toth, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I received my Ph. D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I am an Assistant Professor of Science Education and an Educational Researcher supported by the statewide WVNano Initiative. I have project management experience stemming from my role as a Vice Director for Education at Allegheny General Hospital, CGS and conducted post-doctoral research experiences at the University of Pittsburgh, LRDC and at Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Psychology. I have received over $2M as a PI or Co-PI for federally and locally supported research projects.
My research focuses STEM teaching and learning with recent focus on issues of biotechnology and nanotechnology teaching and learning. I study the roles and effects of a variety of virtual laboratories and examine the ethical, socio-scientific issues that advances in these fields bring about. My research takes place in classroom settings where I study the results of my own teaching or the effectiveness of teaching environments my collaborators and I design. In addition to working with faculty at my own college (College of Human Resources and Education at WVU), I also work with colleagues at the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and look forward to extend my collaboration with faculty in Pharmacy, Health Sciences and Business. I also continue a productive collaboration with faculty from the Bayer School of Natural Science and the School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Jessica Troilo, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate
I am an assistant professor in Child Development and Family Studies. My master’s degree was in Family Mediation, and my Ph.D. is in Human Development and Family Studies (both from the University of Missouri). I am primarily a qualitative researcher who studies fatherhood. I focus on cultural conceptions of fathers, both personal and media, and divorced fatherhood. I use content-analysis, grounded theory, thematic analysis, narrative analysis, and phenomenology in my research.
Atiyah Alghamdi, Graduate Student
I am interested in investigating higher education movement toward knowledge society and educational reform endeavors. I have more than 15 years experiences in both public and higher education and I have witnessed several educational reform initiatives. Therefore, I plan to study the knowledge society movement across cultures and its impact on educational reform initiatives, which incorporates a mechanism for developing faculty members and students as knowledge workers for promoting increased innovation. Besides, I would like to explore the gender roles in knowledge society in terms of equality. This investigation will lead to support intellectual capital for females and males to transfer to Knowledge Society in higher educational institutions.
Jennifer Francis, Graduate Student
I am a second year graduate student in the Educational Research and Evaluation Master’s program. I completed my undergraduate studies at Alderson-Broaddus College where I received my degree in both Secondary Math Education and Mathematics in 2013. I recently taught Math I and Math II at a local high school, and I am currently a substitute teacher. My particular research interests are in mathematics education (including all grade levels), project/problem based learning, and the evaluation of various educational programs.
Natalya Kuznetsova, Graduate Student
I am a doctoral student specializing in curriculum, literacy and cultural studies. Having background in linguistics and foreign language pedagogy, I am interested in socio-cultural foundations of foreign language acquisition and literacy, heritage speakers’ literacy, and language and identity. I am also concerned with the efficiency of different instructional practices, designing and developing of foreign language courses and curriculum, evaluating educational programs.
David Loomis, Graduate Student
I am an doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Education and a graduate assistant for PERC. My interests are broad and include specialties within program evaluation, quantitative analyses, applied behavior analysis (ABA), behavioral consulting and teacher training for school districts, effective teaching strategies for students with special needs, community building, the modern state of ethics, and swing dancing.
Sera Mathew, Graduate Student
I am interested in women’s reproductive health curriculum development, implementation and evaluation. I have extensive experience working as a health educator and am interested in designing and evaluating programs to help improve reproductive health outcomes among marginalized and underserved communities in the US and in India.