LASER Institute Selects New Cohort of Scholars

The Learning Analytics in STEM Education Research (LASER) Institute, founded by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, has selected its cohort of LASER Institute scholars for the 2022-2023 academic year. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the LASER Institute is a professional development program for early and mid-career researchers, developed and implemented in collaboration with education faculty from NC State University, the University of Florida and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The goal of the institute is to help researchers understand and improve STEM learning through the use of new sources of data and application of analytical approaches such as machine learning, text mining and social network analysis.

“This year we received over 260 applications and our pool of potential LASER Scholars was exceptionally strong,” said Shaun Kellogg, principal investigator for the LASER Institute, interim executive director of the Friday Institute and senior director of the Program Evaluation and Education Research Group at the Friday Institute. “I wish we had the capacity and budget to support more than 50 scholars each year, but those selected demonstrate great potential for leveraging new sources of data and new analytical techniques for improving STEM education.”

The LASER Institute will kick off this year with a weeklong workshop held at the Friday Institute July 11-15 in Raleigh, North Carolina. This intensive, in-person workshop consists of differentiated learning labs, internationally recognized guest speakers, instructional resources and community building activities all designed to support scholars in their professional development this summer and throughout the year. 

2022 Cohort of LASER Scholars

  • Brittany Anderson; Assistant Professor, Urban Education; University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Alexandria Ardissone; Assistant Scientist; University of Florida
  • Tracy Arner; Postdoctoral Research Scholar; Arizona State University
  • Catherine Blat; Assistant Dean for Student Experiences; Engineering/UNC Charlotte
  • Irina Cain; Associate Lecturer; University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Deborah Cockerham; Clinical Assistant Professor; University of North Texas
  • Michael Daley; Associate Professor of Education; University of Rochester
  • Andre Denham; Associate Dean of Graduate Academic Affairs; The University of Alabama
  • Kristi Donaldson; Partner Relations Manager; The Learning Partnership
  • Krista Dulany; Research Assistant Scientist; University of Florida
  • Mona Emara; Research Fellow, Lecturer of Edu. Psychology; University of Vienna, Austria. Damanhour University, Egypt
  • Lori Foote; Postdoctoral Researcher; University of Cincinnati
  • Liz Frechette; Senior Research and Policy Associate; University of Oklahoma
  • Peng He; Postdoctoral Research Associate; Michigan State University
  • Susan Hibbard; Senior Director of Learning Science and Psychometrics; Blueprint Test Preparation
  • Ahmed Ibrahim; Senior Education Research Consultant; Johns Hopkins University
  • Justina Rodriguez Jackson; Research Scientist; Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jillian Lauer; Postdoctoral Fellow; New York University
  • Mark LaVenia; Data Strategist; EdReports
  • Sungwoong Lee; Assistant Professor; University of West Georgia
  • Kathryn Leech; Assistant Professor; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Alex Lishinski; Researcher; University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Kathryn McCarthy; Assistant Professor; Georgia State University
  • Veronica Minaya; Senior Research Associate; Teachers College at Columbia University
  • Nadun Kulasekera Mudiyanselage; Assistant Professor; Appalachian State University
  • Jennifer Osterhage; Assistant Professor of Biology; University of Kentucky
  • Tom Penniston; Coordinator of Learning Analytics; University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Shalaunda Reeves; Assistant Professor in STEM Education; University of Tennessee
  • Lisa Ridgley; Research Associate; Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education/University of San Diego
  • Guan Saw; Associate Professor; Claremont Graduate University
  • Celia Scott; Assistant Dean of Assessment and Associate Professor; University of North Texas Health Science Center
  • Jung Mi Scoulas; Assistant Professor; University of Illinois Chicago
  • Jenay Sermon; Senior Director Applied Learning Science / Education PT Faculty; Kenzie Academy from Southern New Hampshire University / Florida A&M University
  • Damji Stratton; E-Learning Research & Data Analyst Specialist; Missouri Online, University of Missouri System
  • Robert Talbert; Professor of Mathematics and Presidential Fellow for the Advancement of Learning; Grand Valley State University
  • Ashley Vaughn; Associate Director/Assistant Professor of Practice; Northern Kentucky University
  • Emily Weigel; Senior Academic Professional; Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Melinda Whitford; Research Analyst; University at Buffalo
  • Rachel Wong; Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology; Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Kim Wright; Assistant Research Scientist; Texas A&M University
  • Cristina Zepeda; Postdoctoral Research Associate; Washington University in St. Louis
  • Ya Zhang; Assistant Professor; Western Michigan University
  • Meina Zhu; Assistant Professor; Wayne State University