Interested in educational psychology? Get to know some of our current students and learn about their experiences in our programs.
"I believe that humans love finding connections, whether it be with living or non-living things. I connect with people by listening to their stories and I believe that I can provide a support system that can help them grow." Read more.
"I am very drawn to helping clients create meaning through their losses and adjusting to their new normal." Read more.
Psychological foundations of education
Nic VanMeerten feels fortunate that this program allows him to combine his two passions: video games and research. He says, “After meeting Keisha Varma and several other faculty and staff in the psych foundations program I knew that this would be a good place for me to develop my skills because of the supportive and collegial manner of the people here.” Read more.
"I really enjoy being surrounded by people (both peers and mentors) who are invested, curious, and engaged every day!" Read more.
"Graduate school is also the only place where I’ve felt both terrified and intellectually-stimulated at the same time. But once you learn something new, the feeling of terror slowly starts to transition into confidence and feels really good." Read more.
"I’m honored to work alongside some of the brightest minds in our community. I’m inspired by my instructors and colleagues daily, and I am very proud of the work that we are doing to better the current education system." Read more.
Quantitative methods in education
Hao Jia is an international student providing practical and clear guidance for collecting and analyzing educational data to improve theories and analysis and uncover insights into the relationship between academic achievement, students, families, and schools. Hao is also working on a theoretical paper regarding the sample size requirement for Hierarchical Level Modeling method, which aims to show the best sample size for accurate estimation and provide practical guidance for sample collection within educational area.
"The 'me' of five years ago probably wouldn’t recognize the 'me' of today, and I mean that in a positive way." Read More.
"I believe that graduate school is the best place of having challenges and making mistakes academically and learning from them." Read More.
Amaniel Mrutu is interested in examining reliability and the measurement of students’ mathematics abilities. During his academic experience, Amaniel has found the process of test development particularly intriguing. He says, “I have begun demystifying the test development process in the QME program and find myself surprised by how many steps are involved in creating tests associated with high-stakes decisions.” Read more.
Mollie received her BA in Psychology from St. Olaf College and worked for a few years in higher education before returning to pursue a graduate degree. Her research focuses on evidence-based practices that improve the climate of equity in schools by identifying and correcting educational disparities/disproportionality. She also has an interest in advocating for educational policy and legislative changes to support all children in schools. Read More.
A former school counselor, Tara Kulkarni is interested in disability diagnosis, especially in vulnerable sections of society. Her research interests also center around theories of learning and academic achievement. She currently works with Dr. Amanda Sullivan and is involved in projects that focus on disproportionality in special education and educational disparities affecting students in schools. When she graduates, Tara would like to be a researcher and future policy maker in the field of education.
"The most exciting aspect of my work is being prepared to solve problems that get in the way of children’s learning and overall functioning in and out of school." Read more.
Jake Anderson received his undergraduate degree from McNally Smith College of Music with the intention of playing drums for a living. After getting connected with his sister, a social worker, he decided to start working in a group home where he found a passion in working with disabilities. Read more.
Britta Bresina was a former teacher who is now a PhD student studying why some students continue to struggle with reading even after years of intensive intervention. Read more.
Shawn Girtler has been a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) since 2011, working with individuals of all ages that have developmental and intellectual disabilities. She says, "The special education PhD program in Educational Psychology was a great next step for me." Read more.
A former preschool teacher at the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf, Brynn Roemen is interested in language deprivation in deaf and hard-of-hearing preschool children. She finds the limited amount of research in this area to be exciting. She says, “This allows for a lot of creativity and room for my interests to grow and expand to new areas.” Read more.