Curious about what it is like to be a student in the CSTL Division?

Azevedo, RenatoRenato is a PhD Student in Educational Psychology (CSTL) at the College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a M.Sc. in Accounting Education & Research from University of Sao Paulo and Bachelor’s degrees in Information Systems and Accounting. At Illinois, he serves as Graduate Research Assistant for the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS) since 2011. Previously he served as Student Senator (ISS) and Member of the U-C Senate Committee on Graduate and Professional Student Affairs.

Within Cognitive Psychology, he has been working with Prof. Daniel Morrow, on the nature of complex human problem solving and learning. He has further interest in investigating relationships among professional expertise, cognition, decision-making, and workload in complex task domains such as accounting and behavioral economics. His interest in this domain reflects his own experiences in the field as lecturer and researcher in Accounting in Brazil at the University of Sao Paulo. He has been teaching accounting and business undergraduates since 2007 and MBA students since 2009. Renato has conducted studies related to cognitive psychology, such as studies that examine how cognitive styles affect students’ career aspirations to become accountants. He is currently planning to explore psychological processes involved in developing expertise in a complex domain such as accounting, in order to design more effective educational programs for accounting and perhaps other domains.

Ma, ShufengI entered the CSTL program in 2010 after studying chemistry for four years at Beijing Normal University (BNU) in Beijing, China. My advisor, Dr. Richard C. Anderson gave me tremendous support during last three years to help me adjust to a new academic field. He helped me develop expertise in children’s reading and reasoning and strengthen my ability to do both quantitative and qualitative studies. With his professional guidance and inspirational encouragements, I completed my master thesis on English language learner’s oral narratives. This study investigated how collaborative group work promotes Hispanic children’s language production, storytelling, and thinking and reasoning. My second study investigated children’s ability to organize text information and bridging inferences into coherent causal chains, a process we call multi-link reasoning. We found that children who participated in collaborative group discussions were more likely to generate longer chains of reasoning. These two studies built my interests in self-directed knowledge construction process and the development of transferrable skills. I will continue studying how multi-link reasoning skill transfers in different tasks and how children integrate background knowledge, text information, and inferences into coherent mental models.

I enjoy doing educational research, but I also want to find a way to use what I learn. In the summer of 2012 I volunteered for Dream Corps International, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the environment for learning and development of children in rural China. We built a library for the local elementary school and introduced a rich variety of high quality books to underprivileged children. I hope I can be more involved in this kind of activities.

In my free time I like to write novels, play piano, go to museums and art galleries.

Jason Morphew

Morphew, JasonI am a PhD Student in Educational Psychology (CSTL) at the College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently I serve as Graduate Research Assistant on multiple projects working with faculty from Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Psychology, Physics, and Engineering. I hold a M.A. in Educational Psychology from Wichita State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with endorsements in both mathematics and natural science from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. I have 11 years of math and science teaching experience at the middle school, high school, and technical college levels.

I have many diverse research interests. My master’s thesis involved investigating how research experiences affected graduate students Nature of Science beliefs. I am currently working with Prof. Jose Mestre, on several projects investigating expert-novice differences within introductory Physics courses, as well as designing interventions utilizing cognitive diagnostic computer adaptive testing aimed at struggling students. I am also working with Prof. Robb Lindgren investigating the ways in which embodied experiences affect learning within STEM courses, as well as students’ conceptual understanding of geologic time.

I have a 3-year-old son, so my free time involves a lot of playing with matchbox cars and watching cartoons. I also enjoy cooking and sports. I am also training for two half-marathons in the Spring.

Peiyun Zhou

Zhou, PeiyunI entered the CSTL program in Fall 2011 after obtaining my M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College.  I was a research assistant in the bilingual reading and writing projects at Boston College. Before that, I taught English in China and Poland. My experiences with bilinguals at different ages motivated me to further explore how people read and acquire a second language.  So I moved to UIUC to pursue my Ph.D in Educational Psychology. To improve my quantitative skills, I took many statistics classes and received an M.S. in Statistics in 2013.

My research interests are L1 and L2 language processing and reading comprehension in English and Chinese, L2 language acquisition and the effect of perceptual simulation and sociolinguistic cues on language processing. Currently, I am a research assistant at Educational Psychology Psycholinguistics Lab. My advisor is Kiel Christianson. In our lab, we use eye-tracking methodology and comprehension measures to investigate native and non-native English speakers' language processing and reading comprehension.

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, reading, and traveling. I also like to go to movies, visit museums and play video games (Super Mario is my favorite) with my friends.