For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop


University of Minnesota

Alisha Wackerle-Hollman

Alisha Wackerle-Hollman headshotDr. Wackerle-Hollman (school psychology) is an educational psychologist whose research addresses both development of early literacy and language measures for preschool age students, as well as the design and evaluation of parent education programs. Her recent work has focused on measurement systems designed to evaluate progress on language and literacy in English and Spanish speaking preschools, and the adaptation of these measures for use on mobile computing devices. Alisha is specifically interested in issues related to reducing standard error of measurement to support effective data-based decision making and research to practice application in measurement design and utility.

Scott McConnell

Scott McConnell headshot

Scott McConnell is a professor of educational psychology (special education) and child psychology, and has held the Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs. His research focuses primarily on preschool-aged children, and the skills and competencies that will enable them to learn and participate in school and other settings. Within this broad area, Scott is interested in the design, evaluation, and application of easy-to-use tools for describing children's current language, literacy, and other important skills; the design and evaluation of interventions that support development of these, particularly in "nonspecialized" settings like homes, community settings, child care and preschool classrooms; and the design and improvement of programs - from classroom efforts to comprehensive community-wide efforts - that help children of all ages develop fully. Scott's teaching focuses on research on methods in special education and community-based settings. he is an affiliate of the Center for Early Education and Development, and was also past director of both CEED and the Institute on Community Integration.

Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez headshotDr. Rodriguez is a professor of educational psychology (quantitative methods in education) in the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Minnesota (since 1999). He received his Ph.D. in Educational Measurement & Quantitative Methods from Michigan State University. Dr. Rodriguez holds the endowed Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development with a focus on achievement gaps, and is a member of the University’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. An active member of the National Council on Measurement in Education, he currently serves on a number of technical advisory committees including with the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Buros Center for Testing, ACT, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the New York Department of Education.

Dr. Rodriguez is the recipient of the 2005 Albert J. Harris Research Award of the International Reading Association for the article: Reading growth in high-poverty classrooms: The influence of teacher practices that encourage cognitive engagement in literacy learning. His research and publications address reliability theory, item writing and test design, classroom assessment, measurement accessibility, early literacy and reading, and Latino youth development. His book, Developing and Validating Test Items, was recently published by Routledge (2013). He is the senior research and psychometrics coordinator for the first international studies of mathematics teachers (TEDS-M and FirstMath), conducted in over two dozen countries, and serves as psychometric consultant to the Guatemala Ministry of Education.

Erin Lease

Erin Lease HeadshotErin Lease is a doctoral student the Department of Educational Psychology and coordinates IGDILab research activities. She is interested in cost-effective, scalable solutions to promote school readiness and close achievement gaps. Her research focuses primarily on programs and policies that bridge early childhood and K-12 education systems. Additionally, Erin is interested in technology-based solutions for increasing the use and expansion of evidence-based practices and improving research tools. Prior to returning to graduate school, Erin worked as a practitioner in community-based settings, which continues to inform her daily ambition to bridge the gap between research and practice.

Collaborative researchers at other universities

Lillian Duran (University of Oregon)

Robin Hojnoski (Lehigh University)

Kristen Missall (University of Washington)

Anthony Albano (University of Nebraska)

Graduate students

Learn more about the graduate students conducting research with IGDI Lab.


Lori Erickson, St. Paul Public Schools

New Horizons Academy

Minneapolis Public Schools

Bloomington Richfield Public Schools

Moundsview Early Childhood

Iowa Department of Education

Early Learning Labs, Inc.