Current Doctoral Students

Students come to the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program with varied and compelling backgrounds. Equally diverse are their developing research interests.

Sarah Galvin

Sarah Galvin 2017/On Campus

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Social MediaLiteracyIdentity
Sarah comes to MSU's EPET program with a BS in English Literature and Music Performance and a Master of the Arts in Teaching degree from Frostburg State University. After working as a high school English teacher, she became interested in how social media was impacting her students. Sarah's current focus is on the intersection of social media with identity and literacy. She aims to investigate the relationships between students' identity performance and growth on social media, their use of new literacies while writing on social media, and how this translates to their use of traditional literacies while writing in the classroom. Ultimately, her goal is to help uncover how student learning, particularly writing development, is affected by the ubiquitous role social media plays in adolescents' lives.

Sukanya Moudgalya

Sukanya Moudgalya 2017/On Campus

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Active-learning strategiesInstructor-facilitated student cooperationPeer and social interactions
I am primarily interested in active-learning strategies and instructor-facilitated student cooperation in engineering education. I am also interested in peer and social interactions and feedback reliability on social media. My background is in engineering and educational technology.

Katie Rich

Katie Rich 2017/On Campus

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Mathematics educationEducational technologyComputational thinking
Katie joined the EPET program after ten years as a curriculum developer at the University of Chicago. Her work there focused primarily on development and testing of Everyday Mathematics, a PreK-5 mathematics curriculum program. She is interested broadly in the use of technology in elementary mathematics education. From the student perspective, she is interested in exploring how dynamic representations and manipulatives can support conceptual development, and how integration of computational thinking concepts into mathematics curricula can promote readiness for computer science education in later grades. From the teacher perspective, she is interested in exploring how digital delivery of curriculum materials can support teachers in making productive adaptations for their particular contexts.

Katie Rich

Krystal Lira 2017/On Campus

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MotivationPersistenceSTEM RetentionMentoring
Krystal is interested in understanding reasons for attrition in STEM education among underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities and women. Specifically, she is interested in the intersection between motivation interventions and mentoring on STEM persistence. Krystal comes to Michigan State University from Los Angeles, California and has a B.A. in Psychology.

Matthew Schell

Matthew Schell 2017/On Campus

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EngagementVirtual/Online EducationScience Education
Matthew came to the EPET program after 3 years teaching science at a virtual high school in Michigan. He has a BA in Physiology from the University of Colorado, and a BS in Secondary Education from Western Michigan University. He is currently interested in studying student engagement in online and virtual environments, and in how technology impacts student engagement in physical classroom spaces. He is also interested in how, or if, synchronous and asynchronous measures of student engagement align when measured in online settings.

Kimberly Alberts

Kimberly Alberts 2017/On Campus

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MotivationEngagementScience Education
I have a B.S. in psychology and history from Central Michigan University and an M.A. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan. I spent the last two years teaching IB psychology and history at an international school in Quito, Ecuador. My research interests include student engagement and student motivation.

Aric Gaunt

Aric Gaunt 2016/On Campus

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Educational PsychologyEpistemologyRandom Access Media
I am a Grand Rapids, MI native and come to MSU from The University of Michigan where I received a Bachelor’s in Psychology. My academic career before graduate studies included work in developmental and educational psychology laboratories where I investigated educational implications of research regarding topics such as cellphone distractions and first impressions. My current research interests concern how learner epistemic beliefs influence strategies of obtaining and organizing knowledge found in random access media as well as how the affordances of random access media influence how these beliefs are conceptualized.

Ying Hu

Ying Hu 2016/Hybrid

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Technology-Assisted Foreign Language EducationOnline and Blended Education
Ying is a PhD student in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University, a lecturer of Chinese at the University of Vermont, and sometimes, a robot on MSU campus.
Originally from China, Ying got her Master’s degree in Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, where she was actively engaged in language learning in 3D virtual worlds. This research interest further extends to her PhD studies. She is interested in the pedagogical affordance and constraints of technology in foreign language learning. More specifically, she explores learner engagement in online/hybrid language classes, pragmatics in technology-enriched foreign language learning environment, embodied language learning in 3D virtual environments.


Paul Reimer 2016/Hybrid

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Mathematics EducationTeacher EducationIdentity
Paul joins the EPET program after 20 years as a teacher, instructional coach, workshop presenter, and designer of mathematics programs at the K-12 level. His research focuses on the work of teaching, with an emphasis on how teachers of mathematics develop knowledge, beliefs, identity, and practice in the context of their work. He is particularly interested in factors that support teachers' learning and enactment of mathematical teaching practices, and in the ways school culture and policy can support teacher change. To this end, he studies the design and outcomes of professional learning for teachers that is situated within their communities of work.

jessica sprick

Jessica Sprick 2016/Hybrid

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AttendanceSpecial Education
Jessica Sprick is an educational consultant who works with schools and districts to develop and implement multi-tiered prevention and intervention approaches to address behavioral and attendance concerns in K–12 settings. She is a former special education teacher for students with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties and Dean of Students at the middle school level. Jessica's research interest is focused on the prevalence and impacts of student absenteeism on students who are identified for special education. She is also interested in exploring how educational technology can be utilized for a variety of interventions with students who have chronic attendance concerns.


Bret Staudt Willet 2016/Hybrid

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Affinity spacesSocial capitalInformal Learning
Bret is interested in affinity spaces and social capital. More specifically, he is interested in the extent to which digital affinity spaces (e.g. online videogames, Twitter hashtags, fan forums, podcasts, and YouTube channels) afford and constrain bridging social capital (weak ties across diverse networks) among youth and young adults. Bret is also the Ministry in Digital Spaces Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, building a team of staff and volunteers physically located all over the United States but gathered online to figure out what ministry looks like there. He is an avid gamer motivated by exploration and social connection, primarily in Elder Scrolls Online but in many independent games as well. His favorite bit of digital street cred is that he still keeps in touch with his first online friend, from AOL in the early 90s. Find him online at


Anna Sansone 2016/Hybrid

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Science EducationSituated LearningMotivation
Anna is interested in how participation in certain technology-driven activities impacts student motivation and achievement in science classes. Specifically, she would like to learn how connecting with other students in geographically disparate locations enhances student learning over shared but separate experiences. She has a BA in environmental science, an MAT in secondary science teaching, an MS in instructional design and technology, and teaches math, science, and social studies for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) overseas.


Shawn Daley 2016/Hybrid

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Social mediaInformal learningAugmented/Mixed Reality
Shawn is fascinated by the way in which informal learning transpires in social media, and wants to examine if mapping those learning networks can be leveraged to improve traditional educational experiences. He is also intrigued by the opportunities presented by new technological tools such as mixed and augmented reality. Shawn presently serves as the Executive Vice President for Innovation at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, where he also is an associate professor of teacher education.


Philip Sands 2016/Hybrid

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Phil Sands is interested in the area of computer science education and issues of broadening participation. Specifically,he is interested in leveraging online environments to reduce the impact of issues of classroom identity on underrepresented student groups. In addition to his research, he currently works in K-12 Outreach for Purdue University in the Department of Computer Science. Previously, he spent seven years teaching statistics and computer science to high school students in Michigan and Maryland.


Eileen Mooney 2016/Hybrid

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mathematics educationblended learningdiscourse in math classroom
Eileen has been teaching mathematics for 12 years, and has also taught art. She has a BA in Philosophy, an MFA in Painting, and an ALM in Mathematics for Teaching. She is interested in creating and facilitating learning experience that promote deeper understanding in the domain of mathematics--specifically through discourse. Certain affordances and constraints of face-to-face discourse have led her to explore the use of dynamic mathematics software and Google docs as a venue through which students can target their understanding, by increasing the demand on their language acquisition in synchronous, online discourse.

Patrick Beymer

Patrick Beymer 2015/On Campus

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MotivationDecision Making
After earning his BS from the University of Pittsburgh in Economics, Patrick Beymer taught high school mathematics for three years while earning his MEd in Educational Psychology at North Carolina State University. Patrick’s research aims to address issues of student motivation. He is interested in understanding student judgment and decision-making and how the economics and marketing literature can inform education. He is also interested in examining social processes and contextual factors that influence motivation.

Emily Bovee

Emily Bovee 2015/On Campus

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MotivationDecision Making
Emily is interested in motivation in the university context and in the transition to the working world. Broadly, she studies motivation and decision making in late adolescence and early adulthood, with a particular focus on the academic and social transition to the post-secondary educational environment. She is also interested in the factors that affect retention and degree completion, especially in connection with the initial adjustment process. Her background is in college admissions and recruitment.

Ian Clemente

Ian Clemente 2015/On Campus

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Missy Cosby

Missy Cosby 2015/On Campus

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Mathematics EducationUrban Education
Missy Cosby comes to the Educational Psychology/Educational Technology program with over a decade of experience in the secondary mathematics classroom. While working on her doctorate, she continues to work part time as a high school mathematics teacher and instructional coach. Her current research interests are threefold. Broadly, she looks at ways in which technology can be leveraged to aid in student learning of mathematics at the secondary level, particularly for struggling students. The affordances and constraints of the flipped classroom approach to teaching and learning in STEM disciplines is also of interest to her. Additionally, she is interested in work relating to the mathematical identity, understandings, performance, and experiences of students who have traditionally been marginalized in schools with a focus on the African American student experience.

Ming Lei

Ming Lei 2015/On Campus

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Online and Blended EducationStudent Retention
Prior to joining the program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University, Ming taught high school chemistry and mathematics, developed standards-based curriculum, and trained teachers to implement project-based learning in blended-model schools. These experiences influenced Ming’s current research interests in how learners form relationships with their peers and their instructors in online settings.

Swati Mehta

Swati Mehta 2015/On Campus

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MotivationProblem-based Learning
Swati entered the doctoral program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology with a range of experience. Her interests revolve around studying how (and in what ways) the problem-based approach to learning can be used to motivate students, especially underrepresented or marginalized populations, to choose STEM professions. Broadly, she is interested in studying, how can teachers use inquiry-based learning approaches to motivate students to continue to pursue STEM as a profession? Prior to joining Michigan State University, she worked as an educational counselor for an educational consulting firm imparting online motivational and assessment-based sessions to aspiring graduate and undergraduate students seeking admission in foreign universities. Her experiences and skills also emerge from teaching master's students at a management institute in India.

Brian Arnold

Brian Arnold 2014/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyNarrative & Game Based Learning
After earning his MFA from USC School of Cinema & TV and a BA in Lit from AJU Brian spent five years at Nickelodeon Animation Studios (Spongebob, Hey Arnold! etc.) before plunging into higher education. Serving EDMC as everything from Animation Faculty to Dean of Academic Affairs, Brian is now Lead Faculty for National University's BA in Digital Media Design.

Erin Bone

Erin Bone 2014/Hybrid

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Erin Bone is a doctoral student in the Educational Psychology Educational Technology hybrid program. She lives in Iowa and teaches middle school special education and coaches varsity track and cross country. Erin is interested in how the use of technology in the classroom can help adolescents with mild to moderate learning disabilities increase cognitive engagement.

Amy Chapman

Amy Chapman 2014/Hybrid

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A New Jersey native, Amy spent formative years in Boston. While there, she spent ten years as the Director of Faith Formation at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She will continue her pastoral ministry work as the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Robert Church in Ada, Michigan in August, 2014. Amy is currently pursing a doctorate in Educational Psychology and Education Technology (EPET) from Michigan State University's College of Education. She holds three degrees from Boston College: an A.B. in history and secondary education; an A.M. in Developmental and Educational Psychology; and a C.A.E.S. in Religious Education.

Sarah Gretter

Sarah Gretter 2014/On Campus

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Digital LiteracyFictionCognitionAffectCritical Thinking
My interests lie at the intersection of cognition, new literacies, and education. More particularly, I aim to work on the implementation of Media and Information Literacy materials in schools to foster students' critical thinking in digital environments.

Will Imbriale

Will Imbriale 2014/Hybrid

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Learning AnalyticsHigher EducationAssessment
Will comes to Michigan State in the midst of a higher education career that includes work in admission, academic advisement, student retention and academic support services. He has been a part of several projects that used data warehouses to inform policy and student support strategies. He earned his B.A. from Boston College and M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Will’s research interests focus on the use of learning analytics to assess and motivate college students. He is interested in the impact of student performance data on self-efficacy and consciousness. Other interests include institutional assessment measures, predictive modeling, and the effectiveness of early warning systems.

Sarah Keenan

Sarah Keenan 2014/On Campus

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CreativityCritical ThinkingInformal Learning
Sarah comes to East Lansing and the EPET program most recently from Chicago, where she worked at an hands-on science center, teaching 3 - 5 year olds. She has a Scottish Masters in History from the University of Edinburgh, and while in Chicago attended a Museum Studies certificate program at Northwestern University. She is interested in the development of creativity and critical thinking, exploring the impact of informal learning in different spaces such as museums, and ultimately advancing educational practices to support children struggling in traditional school settings.

Carmen Richardson

Carmen Richardson 2014/Hybrid

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Carmen Richardson is a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology hybrid PhD program at Michigan State University. She lives in Hawai’i and is an Instructional Technology Specialist for Kamehameha Schools. Her research interests include recognizing, encouraging, and supporting creativity in teaching and learning across all disciplines. She is also interested in the role that technology plays in supporting the pedagogy of creative teachers. You can find her online at or on twitter- @edtechcarmen.

Kristy Robinson

Kristy Robinson 2014/On Campus

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Kristy is happy to be a part of the EPET because her learning and experiences in psychology and mentoring students in transition piqued her interest in developmental and environmental factors that support motivation for deep learning during the transition to college.

Michelle Ware

Michell Smith Ware 2014/Hybrid

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Identity DevelopmentUnderrepresented/First Generation
Michelle Ware is joining the 2014 EPET Hybrid Cohort with 10 years of experience in higher education. Since earning her Masters in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Athletic Counseling in 2004, she has worked in diverse educational settings ranging from high schools to nationally ranked research institutions. She is currently Co-Director of the Balfour-Hesburgh Scholars Program in the First Year of Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Through her research, she hopes to examine identity development, persistence and motivation of underrepresented and first generation students in highly selective educational environments. She is also interested in assessing the effectiveness of using eportfolios as a tool to improve student engagement, achievement and resilience of underrepresented and first generation students.

Carl Weckerle

Carl Weckerle 2014/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyOnline EducationHigher Education
Carl Weckerle currently serves as the Director of Instructional Technology and Online Learning at Macomb Community College, which administers and trains on the use of classroom technologies and the college’s learning management system. His background is in workplace instructional design and K-12 education. His focus is on the effective teaching and learning in and out of the classroom with a focus in online education. His research interest is focused on learning interactions and motivation in online learning. He also has an interest in faculty development and teacher development. He is married with three boys and resides outside of Detroit.

Chris Working

Chris Working 2014/Hybrid

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Chris has taught third grade for 11 years in Holland, Michigan. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Fine Arts/Elementary Education and his Master’s degree from Grand Valley State University in Educational Technology. He is interested in the role technology plays in collaborative learning, specifically in the ways computer supported collaborative learning can support literacy instruction. He is also a Teacher Consultant with the National Writing Project, working especially with digitally mediated composition. For fun he trains with a masters swim team in Holland.

2013 Cohort
Emilia Askari

Emilia Askari 2013/On Campus

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Educational TechnologyCivic EngagementAdolescent Learning

Emilia Askari is interested in the intersection of technology, learning and civic engagement. She also is a journalist, a teacher, and the mother of two teens. Before she began her studies at MSU, Emilia spent two decades as a reporter at newspapers such as the Detroit Free Press and the Miami Herald. Over the years, she's won more than 20 prizes and fellowships and served on the national boards of several professional organizations, including the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Emilia has a bachelor's degree in economics and creative writing from Brown University, a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, and a master's degree in information studies from the University of Michigan,where she studied human-computer interaction, social media and digital preservation. Emilia co-directs a digital news and entrepreneurship project with Arab American 8th graders in a Dearborn public school. She also has taught environmental journalism at the University of Michigan for a decade and a half.

Emilia wants to create a game that will teach digital literacy and content creation in middle schools. She likes camping, travel and people who dream big. During the summer of 2012, Emilia spent a month in Mongolia working with journalists and librarians to preserve news from Mongolian websites before it was lost to history.

The digital news project that Emilia co-directs for Arab American 8th graders.

Elizabeth Boltz

Elizabeth Boltz 2013/On Campus

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Educational TechnologyEducational GamingTransformative Play
Prior to pursuing doctoral study, Liz developed and maintained a complex system of web-based applications for a private university in Ohio. In this role, she became increasingly interested in studying the structure, design, and content of educational technologies -- particularly videogames for learning. She has completed the Serious Games Certificate program at Michigan State, teaches with the MAET program, and is engaged in research on the use of videogames to promote historical empathy.
Diana Campbell

Diana Campbell 2013/On Campus

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Educational TechnologyLiteracyWriting
Dredger, Katie, Augustowski, Jason, Campbell, Diana. Digital Internships with Poetry as Practicum Experience. (2013) A research presentation at the National Council for Teachers of English Annual Convention, Boston, Massachusetts.

Campbell, Diana. Text Talk. (2012) An invited presentation at the National Council for Teachers of English Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Campbell, Diana. Prezi Power. (2012) An invited presentation at the National Council for Teachers of English Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cui Cheng

Cui Cheng 2013/On Campus

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Educational TechnologyCognitive FlexibilityHypermedia
Before coming to MSU, Cui worked as a product manager of online systems and mobile applications for three years in Beijing, China. Her passion for research is on educational technology and cognition, which led her to the EPET program. Currently, she’s interested in utilizing educational technologies, online interactive learning systems in particular, to help learners develop cognitive flexibility. This is a crucial ability to adaptively tackling problems in complex domains.
Brittany Dillman

Brittany Dillman 2013/On Campus

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Educational PsychologyTeacher NoticingMathematics Teacher Education
Brittany Dillman joins the Spartans from a wide variety of educational experiences. Brittany attended Kalamazoo College and received her B.A. in mathematics and teacher certification. She spent a year in Japan teaching through the JET program as an English teacher. Brittany spent the 10 years prior to coming to MSU in the role of teaching and teacher leadership at Perry Middle School (Perry, MI), primarily as a 7th grade mathematics teacher. There, she coached, sat on numerous committees, and worked with the theatre program. Brittany got married to her husband, Peter, in 2012. They have 2 cats and live in Haslett. She enjoys HGTV, home decorating, spending time with friends, being outside during the fall in Michigan, and having fun in the journey of life.
Jon Good

Jon Good 2013/On Campus

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Computational ThinkingComputer Science EducationCreativity
Jon Good is interested in the teaching of computational thinking, robotics, electronics, and how those subjects interact with creativity. Prior to coming to MSU, Jon taught for twelve years in independent schools in both Ohio and Virginia. His experiences in education include faculty development, technology management, teaching multiple courses related to computing, and curriculum development. Instructional approaches that encourage flexibility, experimentation, and trans-disciplinary learning have always interested Jon and guide his research. He has earned a bachelor's degree in Visual Communication Technology from Bowling Green State University and a master's in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. Jon and his family enjoy camping, biking, cooking, gardening, and reading.
Day Greenberg

Day Greenberg 2013/On Campus

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Educational PsychologyGender IssuesSTEMMuseum Studies

Day Greenberg is studying what preteens find important in out-of-school explorations of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She’s interested in looking at both the social interaction and the personal identity work that can occur in informal STEM learning environments, especially where they intersect with issues of access related to gender, race and socioeconomic status. By exploring these relationships, Day hopes to discover how scaffolding learning experiences outside of the classroom (i.e., in museums, clubs, camps and websites) can support both academic and professional achievement in STEM fields.

Wong, E. D., Pugh, K. J., & Greenberg, D. (2014, April). Charting Dewey's Influence on Contemporary Scholarship in Science Education Journals (1992-2012). Poster session presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadephia, PA.

Spencer Greenhalgh

Spencer Greenhalgh 2013/On Campus

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Educational TechnologyEducational GamesHistorical Empathy
Spencer Greenhalgh came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, he studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, Spencer taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where he plans to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. His research interests focus on using technology to create more authentic learning experiences in courses related to the humanities. He has a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to help students experience history, practice ethical reasoning, and explore moral dilemmas, but Spencer also researches the use of portfolios as authentic assessment and explore any use of technology that helps students connect what they're learning with the world around them.
Rohit Mehta

Rohit Mehta 2013/On Campus

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Educational TechnologyPopular CultureSocial Media
After completing his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Florida, Rohit Mehta went back to India where he taught in an Engineering college for 3 years. He also gained some experience there in educational counseling and admissions. His interactions with senior year and freshman year students, primarily, and ardent love for cinema, forced him to look for innovative ways to improve teaching standards in India, which brought him to the EPET program at MSU. Rohit is interested in analyzing films, popular culture, and social media to learn how and why they influence content knowledge.
Chris Seals

Chris Seals 2013/On Campus

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Educational PsychologyUnderrepresented StudentsHigher Education

Christopher Seals is native of Kentucky and attended the University of Louisville, where he earned both his Bachelors degree majoring in psychology, and his Masters of Education with a concentration in counseling psychology. Throughout his undergraduate career, Chris was a researcher who studied the influence of racial socialization messages on attention skills of early head start preschool students. During his Masters degree, Chris completed several internships including working at an outpatient clinic, a counseling office, and a psychiatric hospital.

For the past five years Chris has worked as an admissions program coordinator at his alma mater and helped to start and run several campus programs, including the African American Male Initiative. His experiences gave him great exposure to the issues of retention and access for all students, and especially students of color. Christopher came to MSU with intentions of researching cognitive and non-cognitive factors that influence the retention and academic performance of students from underrepresented backgrounds at public college institutions.

2012 Cohort
Theresa Grossman

Theresa Grossman 2012/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyLiteracyAdolescents
The hybrid EPET program has afforded Theresa Grossman the opportunity through research and study to explore the exciting and ever-changing landscape of literacy while continuing to dedicate myself to teaching in the secondary English classroom. Ten years of work with adolescents in the varied settings of alternative school, traditional high school, and community college together with her Master's degree study of literacy convinced her of the relationship of classroom discourse to learning and of the importance of story in closing the gap between marginalized adolescents and their peers. The pursuit of her doctorate has allowed her to investigate the possibilities technology can offer to facilitate that much needed and meaningful discourse. Her research interests focus on the impact of technology on language, discourse, and meaning-making for marginalized adolescents. Specifically, Theresa seeks to understand ways literary fiction and participatory media might be utilized to enhance the critical thinking skills of at-risk adolescents.
Laura Hamilton

Laura Hamilton 2012/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyCritical ThinkingMathematicsOnline Courses

Laura Hamilton has always loved math and currently teach online math courses for both Macomb Community College and Baker College as an adjunct instructor. She is also involved in course and curriculum development. Although online education may seem new she has been teaching online for 9 years. Laura’s first career however was not in education. She has an engineering degree and has spent time in both manufacturing and in product design. This doctoral program seems to be a perfect blend of her educational and technical interests. Laura is interested in understanding which types of technologies compromise critical thinking (by automating too much) vs. those that enhance critical thinking (interactive methods that prompt learner to think deeper) and how to use those technologies to engage and help students that are not strong in math have a successful experience with mathematics.

She is married and has 3 great kids. Her daughter happens to be a proud member of the MSU Spartan Marching Band (GO GREEN - GO WHITE)! Laura lives in Clarkston, MI. Her family keeps her very busy! She spends any extra time she has playing her flute in her local community band. It is great fun!

Virginia Hiltz

Virginia Hiltz 2012/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyTeacher EducationLiteracyStudent Learning
Virgina Hiltz is a member of the 2012 MSU EPET hybrid cohort. Her background is in elementary (K-8) education having served as a classroom teacher, library media specialist, and school administrator in three school settings with differing student demographics. Her research interests focus on how teachers learn to be technologically literate, and how that literacy (or lack of) impacts student learning. She is especially interested in online, self-directed teacher professional development in technology and its connection with building teacher’s technology self-efficacy. Additional interests include 1) the use of technology in the Response to Intervention process and, 2) how transitioning to a paperless environment impacts teaching and learning.
Nicholas Holton

Nicholas Holton 2012/Hybrid

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Educational PsychologyStudent HappinessEduaimonic Orientations
Nick Holton is a educator, mentor and coach from Grand Rapids, MI now living and working in the greater Los Angeles area. Since 2009, Nick has taught Sociology and World History courses at Milken Community High School, a private Jewish High School in Bel Air, CA. He also works part time as a educational consultant for Centropa, a NGO in Vienna, Austria dedicated to telling the story of Central and Eastern European Jewry via digital storytelling. Nick's research interests revolve around issues of student happiness. Specifically, he is investigating the extent to which student's happiness is determined by eduaimonic orientations and affected by authentic experiences in educational environments. Nick is currently in 2nd year of the EPET Hybrid program and in the process of completing his practicum.
Emiko Kiyochi

Emiko Kiyochi 2012/Hybrid

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In one of her previous lives, Emiko was a systems analyst: in another, a technical translator on R&D projects. She is currently an adjunct faculty teaching Japanese language and culture in higher ed on- and off-line in beautiful coastal Southern California. At MSU, Emiko plans to focus on games in education and training, and secretly imagine myself playing games with her 13-year-old son and calling it a part of her Ph.D. study. The development in this area is so exciting, and Emiko believes her backgrounds can be very helpful.
Theresa Grossman

Kristen Knickerbocker 2012/Hybrid

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Kris Knickerbocker has lived in the Lansing (MI) area for all of her life. She comes from a family that has been lovingly dubbed "matriarchal." Her mother, who is now 72, raised all six children on her own and fostered bonds of friendship that are still very much intact in their adult lives. As for the family she has created for myself: Kris has a loving and devoted companion, Andy, and a beautiful 12-year-old son Jake. They spend much of their time vigorously debating social politics, taking crazy adventures together, and discussing the potentiality of a real zombie apocalypse (entirely plausible from a biological standpoint...). Her primary reason for entering the Ph.D. program is the actualization of a lifelong dream. She intends to continue teaching high school Chemistry and Biology at East Lansing High School and will use the experiences and skills she gains to mold herself into the most effective and engaging teacher she can be.

You-kyung Lee

You-kyung Lee 2012/On Campus

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MotivationAchievement goalsSocial interdependence
You-kyung Lee is interested in student motivation and personal/social factors influencing it. She earned her B.A. in education from Yonsei University and M.A. in educational psychology from Seoul National University in Korea. Her specific research interest is students’ diverse kinds of goals, not only individual learning goals (e.g., achievement goals) but also contextual goal structures (e.g., classroom goal structures, cooperative/competitive/individualistic goal structures). She is currently working on how these different types of goals interact with each other in learning setting and how various factors impact the interactions. She also focuses on studying psychology and quantitative methods, which qualify her to research student motivation in a deeper and more comprehensive perspective.

Holly Marich

Holly Marich 2012/Hybrid

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Holly Marich lives in Ely, Nevada. She’s been an educator in various capacities since graduating from UNLV in 1994. She is a teacher consultant for Great Basin Writing Project and she is a national board certified teacher. Additionally, Holly has two master’s degrees, one in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in literacy and the other is an M.S. emphasizing elementary mathematics pedagogy. Currently, she works as a professional development coordinator for Northeastern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program. In this role, she works with teachers in five of Nevada’s 17 counties. Holly also works with teachers in both Clark County (Las Vegas) and Washoe County (Reno) through various networking opportunities such as the Teacher Inquiry Community Leadership Network of Nevada. While pursuing her never-ending-journey of learning and exciting career as an educator, she has managed to enjoy a wonderful marriage of 22 years, take pleasure in a busy life filled with three amazing children: Hannah 17, Bobby 15, and Benjamin 12 along with 1 cat, 2 dogs (pugs) and 5 back-yard chickens! When she’s not busy running around the northeastern part of Nevada working with teachers, she loves to watch movies with her family, explore with square-foot gardening, and vacation, preferably on a beach somewhere far away!
Amy Peterson

Amy Peterson 2012/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyOnline EducationHigher Education
Amy Peterson is a life-long Chicago-lander, and she currently lives in the “extreme” Northwest suburbs (also known as cornfields). She and her husband have two daughters in middle school and a pretty awesome dog. She works for a company that partners with universities to put their programs online. She oversee two departments: Course Development and Student and Faculty Support Services. For the last twelve years, Amy has been working in online higher education, primarily in the leadership and management of course development, educational technology, and student support services. Her true passion in education is the development of online courses and the implementation of educational technology. While she has a good understanding of many concepts of educational psychology and educational technology, she’s come to this program because she wants to expand that knowledge and use theory to thoughtfully inspire her practice and research.
Ha Thanh Nguyen

Ha Thanh Nguyen 2012/On Campus

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Educational TechnologyLiteracySocial Semiotics
Ha Thanh Nguyen is an international student from Hanoi, Vietnam with a background in English Language Education. She became a full time student at Michigan State in 2011 after 3 years of teaching at Vietnam National University. While her research topic is still evolving, she always find herself somewhere in the realm of new literacy, visual literacy, creativity, and social semiotics in the context of technological development, globalization and cultural diversity.
Josh Rosenberg

Josh Rosenberg 2012/On Campus

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Educational PsychologyEducational TechnologyTeacher Education
Josh focuses on how social and cultural factors affect how individuals teach and learn, in order to understand and design learning environments that support learning with technology for all students, and in particular disadvantaged students. Joshua is the Associate Chair of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Special Interest Group (SIG) in the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). As a teacher, Joshua became quickly concerned with issues of culture and context. Instead of turning away, these experiences focused his attention on issues of inequity in education, in general, and on issues of teaching and learning with technology, in specific.
James Seaman

James Seaman 2012/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyDesignPhysical Space
James Seaman is an architect who specializes in the design of school environments. He works for the company Fielding Nair International whose work extends globally. He finds his work very exciting and he really enjoys collaborating with educators and administrators in designing environments that foster student-centered learning. James grew up in Saginaw, Michigan but moved to the Detroit area to study architecture at Lawrence Tech. He has remained in the area ever since, working for a couple of different architecture firms before settling into his current position. At the previous company he worked for, James met his wife—an interior designer. They just got married last summer and recently bought a mid-century modern house in Huntington Woods (a Detroit suburb) that they are still having a blast renovating despite all the hard work. James is interested in researching the effect that physical space and school organization have on learning in a world where information can be accessed from anywhere and at anytime.
Barbara Smutek

Barbara Smutek 2012/Hybrid

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Aanii! (Hello) Barb Smutek resides in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Sault Ste. Marie, where she was born and raised. She is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Barb has a degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and a degree in Communication from Lake Superior State University. She was recently hired by the Michigan State University Extension office in Chippewa County. In her new position, as Extension Educator, Barb is responsible for implementing a Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program grant for Native tribes located in Northern Michigan. She also has an amazing three year old daughter named Adriana! Barb was initially drawn to the Hybrid EPET Ph.D. program because of the opportunities provided by the cutting edge technology being utilized by the faculty and students. She is passionate about higher education opportunities, accessibility of academic opportunities for Native American populations, the motivation and resiliency of Native people, and the impacts on learning styles using different forms of technology. She hopes to learn and conduct research on indigenous logic models, research design and evaluation for Native populations, and try to figure out how to turn all of these passions/interests into a viable research question.
Colin Terry

Colin Terry 2012/Hybrid

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Colin Terry is a doctoral student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology Hybrid Program. He currently lives in Colorado and serves as the Director for the Center of Academic Services & Advising at the Colorado School of Mines. Prior to MSU, he studied at New York University and Gonzaga University. Colin is deeply interested in the relationship between technology and attentional control. As part of this research he considers the impact of media multitasking and distraction on self-regulatory behavior, metacognition, and creativity.
2010 Cohort
Christopher Fahnoe

Christopher Fahnoe 2010/Hybrid

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Christopher Fahnoe currently works for a K-8 district of 5,000 students in Arlington Heights, Illinois. His current role is Director of Technology and Assessment and he is finishing his fourth year. Chris has only worked in District 25 during his career and has been a middle school teacher, curriculum developer, elementary principal and now his current position. He is intrigued by both the physiological and psychological aspects of learning. He also has an interest in leveraging technology to improve learning experiences for all members in our district. Chris is seeking both rigor and innovation in this program and many of the participants have been recommended with high regard. So he is looking forward to being a learner amongst the motivated, intelligent, creative, artistic, and driven.

Chris’ other areas of research interest: The relationship between wanting kids to be curious/participatory/innovative online and how that balances with Internet safety and security. Also, he is interested in examining the perception of the 'virtual' worlds (online, 3D, gaming) between adults and young children and what that means for future authentic social experiences (for example, is it really 'virtual' to kids?).

Molly Frendo

Molly Frendo 2010/Hybrid

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Virtual CommunitiesExperiential EducationStaff Development
Molly Frendo works for Michigan State University Extension on campus at MSU in the field of volunteer and staff development. She also teaches online Anthropology courses for Muskegon Community College. Her research interests include using technology to enhance staff/volunteer development, experiential online education for youth, and collaboration within virtual communities.
Angela Johnson

Angela Johnson 2010/Hybrid

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Educational TechnologyDesignPhysical Space

Angela Johnson has been a Michigan educator for 20 years: 6 as a middle school media specialist and 14 as a high school English teacher. She is interested in exploring the topic of information literacy-- the changing nature of information in a technological world and how we teach students the skills for navigating this complex new world effectively.

Tracy Russo

Tracy Russo 2010/Hybrid

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Educational PsychologyFlowPlay
As a community college instructional designer with extensive teaching experience, Tracy Russo is interested in learning environments that foster flow, play and transformative across all age groups. Connecting real-world complexity to classroom teaching and learning via curriculum design and technology greatly interests her, particularly regarding current concerns such as sustainable building and renewable energy. She looks forward to the challenge of not only researching possible solutions, but to learning new ways to communicate these solutions.
Christopher Sloan

Christopher Sloan 2010/Hybrid

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Knowledge Co-constructionMotivation

Chris Sloan currently teaches high school English and media at Judge Memorial in Salt Lake City, Utah. In his Ph.D. research he is examining knowledge co-construction and what motivates students to engage in social argumentation. Chris chose this Hybrid EPET program because it provides a rigorous course of studies with expert faculty while he’s still able to remain teaching and learning in his research base.

Timothy Xeriland

Timothy Xeriland 2010/Hybrid

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Tim Xeriland has been teaching for fourteen years and he enjoys it tremendously. He currently has four degrees: psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, and computer programming, but he is always studying and learning new things. Teaching is great because he constantly hears fresh ideas from his students. For the past eight years, he has also worked as an instructional designer. That means Time solves problems. Any problem that prevents students from learning the course material can be addressed by an instructional designer. On another note, he loves to travel. He has been all over the world. In the past few years, he has been to India, Peru, Fiji, Vietnam, Kenya, China, Australia, Nepal, Costa Rica, and Ireland.
Angelina Zeller

Angelina Zeller 2010/Hybrid

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Emotional DevelopmentVirtual Education

Angelina Zeller lives in Mason (about 15 minutes from MSU) with her wonderful husband (Phil) and 2 adorable children (Xavier 6 and Amanda 4). Family game night is a common occurrence at their house. Sometimes family game night includes board games, yet more often includes Wii Super Mario Brothers, Lego Guitar Hero or Mario Kart. Of course, the kids usually win! They also love to travel. Their recent trips have included a cruise on the Oasis of the Seas and a road trip to Washington, DC.

In Angelina’s current role at Associate Superintendent at Eaton Intermediate School District, she oversees General Education, Technology, Instructional Technology, Prevention and Early Childhood. In coordination with her current role, she is also working with a team to open the Relevant Academy. The Relevant Academy is a Public School Academy currently being formed in Eaton County. The academy will be a virtual school, targeting students who have dropped out of school. The instructional strategies will include a blended online learning environment with support of students’ social emotional growth, rigorous online content and strong mentor support for each student. She is interested in focusing her research around the idea that with appropriate supports and a focus on social emotional development, students who have dropped out of school can re-engage and perform at the level of their traditional General Education counterparts, through a blended online environment?