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College of Education

Our Team

Core Faculty

Matt Irvin, Ph.D.

Matthew Irvin, Ph.D.

Matthew Irvin is Professor of Educational Psychology & Research and Director of the Child Development Research Center (CDRC) at UofSC. He holds degrees in School Psychology and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology. He has led numerous federally funded projects in rural education, including STEM teacher development and STEM workforce development. He has expertise in STEM learning and motivation, distance learning, rural youth, and youth with disabilities. He has published numerous referred articles and book chapters including research pertaining to African American youth in high poverty rural areas, distance education in rural schools, rural mathematics education, rural STEM workforce development, science learning, and STEM career choices.

Christine DiStefano, Ph.D.

Christine DiStefano, Ph.D.

Christine DiStefano is the E.S. Gambrell Professor of Educational Psychology, a psychometrician in the UofSC Department of Educational Studies, and co-Director of the Psychometrics Laboratory. She holds degrees in Statistics and a Doctorate in Educational Measurement. Her documented expertise includes structural equation modeling, survey design and latent class clustering/cluster analysis. She has been involved in the application of advanced statistics and measurement methods in multiple research projects over the past 15 years. She has taught advanced quantitative research courses to doctoral students for nearly 20 years and provided numerous professional development and invited workshops on advanced methodologies at American Educational Research Association, American Psychology Association, and universities. 

Angela Starrett, Ph.D.

Angela Starrett, Ph.D.

Angela Starrett is research associate at the UofSC Child Development Research Center and co-Director of the Psychometrics Laboratory. She holds degrees in Mathematics and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology, with additional emphasis on Rural Educational Research Methodology. She has developed and taught numerous statistics courses (online and face-to-face formats) for more than a decade at regional universities and UofSC. She is an advanced quantitative methodologist with expertise in large-scale data analysis, structural equation modeling, and latent class clustering/cluster analysis, as well as rural STEM learning and motivation.

Jin Liu, Ph.D.

Jin Liu, Ph.D.

Jin Liu is clinical faculty in the Department of Educational Studies at UofSC. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Research and Measurement. Her research interests include structural equation modeling, secondary data analysis, ethical issues in assessment and peer assessment. Liu has experience using advanced methods such as propensity score matching, mediation analysis, Rasch modeling and zero-inflated negative binomial regression. She has years of experience in teaching multiple graduate-level research and measurement/assessment courses.

 

IMMERSE Measurement Experts

Deborah Bandalos, Ph.D.

Deborah Bandalos, Ph.D.

Deborah Bandalos, Ph.D., is a Professor and Director of the Assessment and Measurement Ph.D. program within the Department of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University. Her research areas include scale development, exploratory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling. She has taught courses in measurement theory, exploratory factor analysis, latent variable models, and missing data methods for over 30 years. Bandalos is the author of Measurement Theory and Applications for the Social Sciences (Guilford, 2018) and has published a variety of articles and book chapters on item development, statistical methods, and their applications. She has served as Associate Editor for the journals Structural Equation Modeling: An Interdisciplinary Journal and Multivariate Behavioral Research. Bandalos is a member and past president of the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology and is president-elect of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association. She serves in many leadership roles, including membership on the Advisory Board of the Buros Center for Testing, as a member of the Task Force on Foundational Competencies in Educational Measurement of the National Council on Measurement in Education, and on the Examination Committee of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. She has developed and participated in teacher training in assessment for the state of Nebraska and has participated in standard setting sessions for state and district tests in South Carolina and Nebraska.

Grant Morgan, Ph.D.

Grant Morgan, Ph.D.

Grant Morgan is Professor of educational measurement and Associate Dean for Research at Baylor University. He has co-authored a book “Survey Scales: A Guide to Development, Analysis, and Reporting” and his area of expertise is psychometrics and latent variable models. Morgan has authored well over 100 articles, manuscripts, book chapters, proceedings, and technical reports in quantitative methodology. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. He currently sits on numerous review panels for the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education, and, in addition to NSF IMMERSE, he works on federally funded projects related to data science, sports analytics, and statistics education.

Tenko Raykov, Ph.D.

Tenko Raykov, Ph.D.

Tenko Raykov is an internationally known, well-respected full professor of measurement and quantitative methods at the University of Michigan. He is involved in research on evaluation of behavioral measurement reliability and validity, instrument construction and development, analyses of data sets with missing values, and applications of latent variable modeling to behavioral development across the lifespan. Raykov has published numerous books and articles on psychometrics and structural equation modeling, and he routinely provides workshops. 

 

IMMERSE Rural Education Experts

Hobart Harmon, Ph.D.

Hobart Harmon, Ph.D.

Hobart Harmon is one of the nation’s leading researchers and experts on rural education. A former director of two rural investing in innovation (i3) projects ($6 mil.) funded by the U.S. Department of Education and deputy director of a six-state NSF Rural Systemic Initiative ($10 mil.), he currently holds a courtesy appointment as a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University. Harmon has authored numerous publications pertaining to rural education in the United States and is a twice recipient of the National Rural Education Association’s Stanley A. Brzezinski Memorial Rural Education Research Award. He holds a Ph.D. from Penn State University.

Darris Means, Ph.D.

Darris Means, Ph.D.

Darris Means is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He researches postsecondary education access and success for rural students, Black students, students from low-income backgrounds, and first-generation college students; science education and equity for Black students; and the postsecondary education experiences of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer students. He is currently the Co-PI on a Spencer Foundation grant focused on postsecondary education access and opportunity for rural Black youth, and he is a Co-PI on an NSF grant focused on Black students’ persistence in science degree programs. 

Judith Meece, Ph.D.

Judith Meece, Ph.D.

Judith Meece is Professor of Education Emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has extensive experience conducting school-based research, including rural adolescents preparing for the postsecondary transition as well as mathematics and science motivation. She received funding as PI from the Institute of Education Sciences for a national study of 7,000 rural high school students’ postsecondary preparation, occupational aspirations, and motivation. Meece also received funding from the NSF and Spencer Foundation to examine mathematics motivation.

Daniel Showalter, Ph.D.

Daniel Showalter, Ph.D.

Daniel Showalter is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Eastern Mennonite University and specializes in rural mathematics education research. He has been awarded several NSF grants related to rural STEM education, including “Faculty-Led Institutional Transformation for Teaching Diverse Learners in STEM,” “STEM Teachers Applying Restorative Justice in Education Together,” and “STEM Scholars Engaging in Local Problems.” He consults with the Rural School and Community Trust and co-authors their annual research reports, including the most recent “Why Rural Matters 2018-19: The Time is Now.” 

 


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