Students who elect to pursue the research option should contact a participating faculty member below and submit an electronic Honors Credit Learning Agreement (eHCLA) request. The eHCLA is an agreement between the James Scholar student and the cooperating faculty member that outlines the requirements for the James Scholar project. The list below provides a short summary of the faculty member’s research interest. You can click on their name for more information about their research interests, publications, and contact information.

Students who wish to pursue the research option are encouraged to enroll in CI 199. The CI 199 course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of research. This course will cover the basics of educational research and assist students in a research project with a faculty member in the College of Education. In addition to the faculty listed below, more options are available by viewing the College of Education faculty research profiles.

There is a number of research lab sites available in the College of Education located under the Research Lab heading. Please familiarize yourself with the lab by accessing the accompanied link and contact the participating faculty member for information on how to participate.

Participating Faculty

Stephanie C. Smith 

Stephanie C. Smith is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction specializing in Early Childhood Education.  Her research focuses on urban early childhood programs.  Of particular interest are: 1) pedagogic methods employed by teachers of children in high-poverty areas, especially the effectiveness of progressive pedagogies 2) and family engagement in schools with high-poverty populations, including understanding barriers to teachers faced by families and barriers to families faced by teachers. 

James Rounds

I study the nature of interests and how they change over the life span. Much of my research examines the structure of interests, how that structure develops and changes over the life course, and the reciprocal influences among personality, interests, and abilities. Current research projects involve investigating how interests can be used to predict career and educational choice, performance, and success. I also study career development in adulthood, assessment of personality traits and work values.

Dr. Jennifer Cromley

Dr. Jennifer Cromley is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology.  Her work focuses on two areas of science/math learning: 1) Comprehension of scientific text--how do students make sense of words and diagrams together in biology and chemistry textbooks and 2) Retention in science majors--what thinking skills and what aspects of motivation help students want to stay in the sciences? Work in the lab includes analyzing student scratch work on science and math tasks (middle school through undergraduate); data entry, cleanup, and measurement work on various assessments; and data analysis under supervision. James Scholars who make intellectual contributions can count on having their name on a conference submission.

Patrick H. Smith

Patrick Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. His research focuses on language and literacy education and practice in multilingual communities. He is interested in the forms of human capital generated by Spanish/English biliteracy, and in the hybrid literacies of transnational immigrants and migrant students moving between Mexico and the U.S.

Luz. A. Murillo

Luz A. Murillo is an Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction. Her research examines the literacies of Indigenous, Latina/o, and other minoritized groups through the lenses of border theory, critical ethnography, and decolonizing pedagogies. Her work explores the intersections of language and culture and how these shape literacy learning and practice in linguistically diverse families, communities, and schools.

Robb Lindgren

Robb Lindgren is assistant professor in the Curriculum & Instruction Department and faculty in the Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, and Agency (DELTA) program.  His research examines theories and designs for learning within emerging media platforms (e.g., simulations, virtual environments, mobile devices, video games, augmented and mixed reality, etc.). His projects include the design and implementation of a full-body immersive simulation of planetary astronomy targeted at teaching middle school students in informal settings.  He is also working on projects related to online science simulations, video games, and the role of gestures in learning science content.

Cheryl Light Shriner

Cheryl Light Shriner is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Special Education department. Her work involves creating adapted materials for individuals with disabilities, being a participant of a weekly social group, and creating video demonstration strategies. There are many opportunities available to students who wish to volunteer with social group and other experiences working to serve individuals with disabilities.   James Scholars may serve as mentors, data collectors, and assist with video recording social group meetings that include young adults with disabilities on the autism spectrum.

Dr.Chris Roegge

Dr. Chris Roegge is the Executive Director of the Council on Teacher Education at Illinois.  His work involves the oversight of academic programs that prepare Illinois students for state licensure as teachers, administrators, or school service personnel.  James Scholars will have the opportunity to delve into state policies and regulations for the preparation of teachers; the assessment of a student's ability to teach; barriers to entry into the teaching profession; and traditional vs. alternative routes into teaching.

Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky

My areas of research include social and communication behavior of young children with autism and other developmental disabilities. I am very interested in intervention strategies to promote the social-communication behavior of children with disabilities and in methods for training and coaching parents (e.g., home-based intervention and internet-based interventions).

Stacy Dymond

My research interests focus on curriculum and instruction for students with severe intellectual disabilities in inclusive school and community settings. I am particularly interested in the use of service learning as a form of pedagogy for promoting access to academics and life skills curriculum.

Rebecca Ginsburg

Education Justice Project,

Rebecca Ginsburg directs the Education Justice Project, which provides educational programs to men incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center, a men's state prison about thirty-five miles from campus. Within the College of Education she teaches a course on Education and Social Justice. Her current research interests include prison education, historical carceral landscapes, and the Atlantic slave trade.

Ali Lewis

Ali Lewis is the director of the University Primary School and adjunct faculty member for the College of Education. Her research interest examines the nature and role of social studies in elementary schools and her expertise is related to theory-practice at the University Primary School.

Maya Israel

Maya Israel is an assistant professor in the Dept. of Special Education. Her primary areas of specialization involves exploring innovative ways of supporting struggling learners in meaningfully accessing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through Universal Design for Learning (UDL), instructional strategies, and technology applications. Her projects include: (a) developing and examining UDL-based educational STEM video games that embed metacognitive strategies and scaffolded inquiry, and (b) exploring teachers’ instructional use of technologies to support struggling learners in the content areas. Current projects include the development of an epistemic video game focused on construction of a zero net-energy home and examining the impact of K-12 computer science education on diverse students' learning and attitudes about STEM. 

H. Chad Lane

Beginning in the spring of 2015, Chad will be an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology with a joint appointment in Informatics. His research involves the application of artificial intelligence and entertainment technologies to educational problems, with an emphasis on informal and self-directed learning. More specifically, this work seeks to investigate the nature of engagement in learning activities and how to best promote it through technology. Chad is interested starting new projects along these lines that leverage game-based and affective technologies for K-12 STEM education, and even potentially leveraging commercical-off-the-shelf games such as Minecraft and Terraria.

Research Lab Sites:

Adult Learning Lab:

Elizabeth Stine-Morrow