Research is an integral part of any graduate level education. Listed here are a few research projects and interests of departmental faculty.

Dr. Janet Bagby
  • Student veterans' experiences on college campuses
  • Faculty perceptions of combat-related PTSD and teaching post 9/11 student veterans
  • The effects of environment on children's executive function
  • Connecting educational theory and Montessori practice
  • Children's problem solving transfer

Dr. Alexander Beaujean

  • Individual differences and their influence on educational outcomes.
  • Structure and measurement of human cognitive abilities.
  • London School of Differential Psychology.

Dr. Tonya Davis

  • The effects of motivating operations on challenging behaviors and intervention.
  • Intervention methods for severe problem behaviors.
  • Applied behavior analysis intervention among individuals with developmental disabilities.


Dr. Julie Ivey-Hatz

  • Effectiveness of the Autismate iPad application on communication and socialization in children with autism
  • Cognitive and affective empathy in children with autism spectrum disorder
  • iPad technology and autism

Dr. Susan Johnsen

  • The Longitudinal Effects of Enrichment and Advanced Placement Programs on Gifted and Talented Students from Lower Income Backgrounds.
  • Factors that Influence the Retention of Novice and Beginning Teachers.
  • The Validity of Alternative Assessments in Identifying Gifted and Talented Students.
  • The Relationships between Alternative Assessments and Instructional Practices.
  • The Effectiveness of Undergraduate Programs in Preparing Teachers in Gifted and Talented Education.
  • The Effectiveness of Preparing Teachers in Professional Development Schools.
  • The Effectiveness of Specific Instructional Practices on Student Achievement.
  • Implementing Action Research in Professional Development Schools.
  • Factors that Sustain Change in Differentiated Instructional Practices.
  • Assessing The Degree and Effects of the Implementation of Programs for Gifted and Talented Students.

Dr. Grant Morgan

  • Model selection and estimation in latent variable models.
  • Applications of clustering/classification procedures.
  • Applied assumption-reduced statistics.

Dr. Terrill Saxon

  • The study of cross-country differences and similarity in various educational practices, youth development and teacher education.
  • The role of didactic interaction (e.g., between mother-toddler; teacher-toddler) in fostering the child's acquisition of cognitive skills (e.g., language) and the child's readiness to learn upon entering school.

Dr. Tracey Sulak

  • Intervention research in math and literacy.
  • Impact of environment on achievement.
  • Attention allocation and achievement .

  • Dr. Marley Watkins
    • Structural validity of individually administered intelligence tests.
    • Validity of CBM indices.
    • Development and validation of the Homework Performance Questionnaire for parents and teachers.
    • Validity of psychodiagnostic instruments.
    • Diagnostic validity/utility of educational and psychological instruments.