Lab Alumni

Former Post-Doctoral Fellows
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Dr. Tony Perez is an assistant professor of educational psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. His research focuses on the relations between motivation and STEM achievement and applying motivational principles to interventions designed to support STEM achievement.
John Ranellucci
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Dr. John Ranellucci is an Assistant Professor in Educational Foundations at Hunter College in New York. His research focuses on motivational interventions and the structural relation among motivation, emotion, learning strategies, and academic achievement in the context of traditional and technology rich learning environments.
Emily E. Messersmith
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Dr. Emily Messersmith has worked as a research analyst at the Center for Developmental Science and the Arbor Research Collaborative for Health in Ann Arbor, MI. She is the co-founder of More Than Answers, LLC.
Former Doctoral Students
Stephanie V. Wormington
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Dr. Stephanie Wormington uses person-centered and variable-centered analyses to examine how and why students’ motivation changes across development. Her current research focuses on identifying mechanisms of motivational change, including social network influences, attributions for success and failure, and achievement-related emotions. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
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Dr. Paul O’Keefe is an assistant professor of Psychology at Yale-NUS College. He completed his doctoral training in social psychology at Duke University, focusing on goal pursuit and motivational processes. He then took a postdoctoral fellowship at New York University before being awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Postdoctoral Fellowship, a title he held at Stanford University. His research investigates how goals are most effectively pursued. To this end, he focuses on a number of important psychological variables relating to motivation, including implicit self-theories, interest/passion, and self-regulation.
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Dr. Erika Patall is an associate professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She studies the determinants and development of motivation and the relationship between motivation and academic achievement and underachievement. She has most frequently focused on how the provision of choice and support for autonomy may impact motivation and support other achievement related outcomes. Dr. Patall is also interested in how school time and the activities of children outside of school influence their academic achievement. She has studied the effects of extended school time and activities such as parent involvement in schoolwork, homework, and afterschool programs. Finally, Dr. Patall is interested in the development and use of meta-analytic methods in social science research.
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Dr. Kate E. Snyder is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at the University of Louisville. She studies the development of achievement motivation, examining how student motivational beliefs and behaviors interact with the educational context to contribute to underachievement, particularly among gifted students. In this research, she integrates across multiple theoretical perspectives in motivation and has proposed a theoretical model of multiple pathways in the development of underachievement. Her empirical approach to testing mechanisms and psychological processes within model includes multiple methods such as longitudinal analysis, instrument development, and experimental methodology.
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Dr. Adar Ben-Eliyahu is a senior lecturer in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at the University of Haifa. Her research integrates clinical, social, and educational psychology to understand how relationships with people and the learning environment influence learning. More specifically, she is interested in self-regulation and motivational process. She is also interested in structural equation modeling and factor analysis.
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Dr. Michael Barger is a post-doctoral researcher in Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois, working with Dr. Eva Pomerantz. He is interested in the development of motivation and personal epistemologies.
Diana McCallum
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Diana McCallum works as a Senior Human Services Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. Previously, Diana worked at NCEE as a research scientist contributing to the What Works Clearinghouse, and as an analyst with the Department of Health and Human Services, where she studied policy and research issues related to teen pregnancy prevention. Diana holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Duke University. During her graduate studies, she focused on motivation and emotion regulation in test-taking environments and parental involvement in middle school education.
Former Undergraduate Research Assistants
  • Michele Farber, winner of 2008 Winfred Quinton Holton Award, MD from Thomas Jefferson University
  • Jennifer Herring, winner of 2008 Winfred Quinton Holton Award, PhD in Clinical Psychology from St. John’s University, Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital
  • Melanie Tannenbaum, PhD in Social Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Robin Tan, Doctoral Student of Clinical Psychology at University of South Florida
  • Jenessa Malin, winner of 2011 Winfred Quinton Holton Award and 2011 Zener Award; PhD in Human Development from the University of Maryland, SRCD Policy Fellow, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families.
  • Fiona Cary, M.A. in Special Education and Teaching from Marian University, M.A. in Social Work from University of Chicago, School Social Worker- LEARN Charter School Hunter Perkins Campus
  • Marissa Mumford, B.A. in Psychology from Duke University, Summa Cum Laude, Manager of Merchandising Finance
  • Ann Kang, B.A. in Economics and Psychology from Duke University, Investment Banking Analyst at JP Morgan
  • Amanda Nickens, Teach for America Corps Member, Charlotte,NC