Students interested in pursuing research may contact a participating faculty member to inquire about this option and if available should submit an electronic Honors Credit Learning Agreement (eHCLA). The eHCLA is an agreement between the James Scholar student and the cooperating faculty member that outlines the expectations for the James Scholar project. The list below provides a short summary of faculty members' research interests. You can click on their name for more information about their research, publications, and contact information.

Students who wish to pursue the research option are encouraged to enroll in CI 205 (spring only). The CI 205 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.

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

Participating Faculty

Participating Faculty Researchers
Elizabeth Biggs

Elizabeth Biggs

1. Please briefly describe your general areas of research interest.

My research focuses on identifying practices to supporting the learning, contributions, and valued membership of children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (e.g., autism,intellectual disability, multiple disabilities) across school and community settings. My current work focuses on two intersecting areas for children and youth who have complex communication needs(e.g., students who are minimally verbal or nonverbal): specifically, promoting students' social flourishing and their communication development.

2. Please list 2-3 research projects in which you are willing to work with James Scholars and provide in brief the following information: A) description of project. B) description of scholar responsibility. C) projected scholar time commitment.

If James Scholars were interested in working with me on ongoing research, I would want to talk with them to individualize a plan that mutually benefits both the work I am doing and their own interests and development. That said, I have several projects that might be ways for students to be involved and contribute: Project I: A framework for communication intervention for students with complex communication needs A: This project involves reviewing the literature and developing a practitioner friendly manuscript (for teachers, paraeducators, and service providers) focused on thinking both conceptually and practically about a framework for communication intervention for student with complex communication needs who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). This framework focuses on three tiers: (1) ensuring access to a reliable and appropriate communication system, (2) creating a language-rich, responsive communication environment, and (3) systematic teaching of communication skills. B: Scholars' responsibilities could include reviewing relevant literature; preparing tables or figures; and/or drafting sections of the manuscript, such as vignettes of hypothetical students to illustrate application. If scholars would make substantial contributions to Reporting provided by Web Services at Public Affairs | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Page 5 the manuscript (e.g., conceptually, in writing), there would be opportunities for having their name listed as an author. C: Projected time commitment may be variable but is anticipated to be at least a few hours regularly each week *Aside from this project, there are several other ongoing projects that scholars could be involved in. I would be happy to talk with students if they have individual interests about how they could develop roles that would have mutual benefit to both their development and to ongoing research.

Meghan Burke

Meghan Burke

My research examines how parents navigate service delivery systems to access services for their offspring with disabilities. My projects often include interviews with parents of individuals with disabilities. The scholar may assist with transcription, data entry, and writing. Time commitment to James Scholar projects may vary depending on the student.

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.

Stacy Dymond

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

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.

Rebecca Hinze-Pifer

Rebecca Hinze-Pifer

1. Please briefly describe your general areas of research interest.

My studies use a range of quantitative methods including descriptive, quasi-experimental, and experimental. I have two lines of research in K12 schools. The first explores the non-academic dimensions of schooling, including discipline policy and socioemotional learning. The second examines educational inequality through multiple lenses.

2. Please list 2-3 research projects in which you are willing to work with James Scholars and provide in brief the following information: A) description of project. B) description of scholar responsibility. C) projected scholar time commitment.

Achievement gaps and officer involved shootings - I am looking at the extent to which student academic performance responds to officer-involved shootings in the area. I need assistance cleaning and categorizing the shootings data. Depending on interest and availability, scholars could be involved in some aspects of the analysis. I am working on a project using national nonprofit tax records to document private spending on public schools. The data will be combined with school achievement and inequality data from the entire country, to examine patterns of inequality and the ways private spending exacerbates or ameliorates unequal school funding. There are several portions of the project I could use assistance with, depending on scholar interest.

Wen-Hao (David) Huang

Wen-Hao (David) Huang

1. Please briefly describe your general areas of research interest.

I am mostly interested in understanding how to motivate individuals and organizations to behave productively in various learning and performance improvement contexts. An essential subset of my research is to understand how decisions are made by individuals and organizations and what are some opportunities and challenges for individuals and organizations to make informed decisions.

2. Please list 2-3 research projects in which you are willing to work with James Scholars and provide in brief the following information: A) description of project. B) description of scholar responsibility. C) projected scholar time commitment.

1. Using VR to teach archaeological skills: I am looking for scholars who are interested in analyzing quantitative and qualitative data collected from UIUC students. The time commitment is negotiable.2. Improving mental health care qualities for underrepresented perinatal women at C-U area: I am looking for scholars who are interested in interacting with community members and interested in analyzing qualitative data. Some weekend hours are required. 3. Understanding how career decisions are made by working adults and/or college students: I am looking for scholars who are interested in exploring and synthesizing literature and analyzing qualitative data. Time commitment is negotiable. 4. IDEA Coalition Bringing Awareness to Perinatal Mental, Physical Health
Wenhao (David) Huang, Karen Tabb-Dina, and Brandon Meline, are working together to use research and technology to improve wellness for new mothers and infants.
Read more...

 

H. Chad Lane

Chad is 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 effective technologies for K-12 STEM education, and even potentially leveraging commercial-off-the-shelf games such as Minecraft and Terraria.

Nancy Latham

Nancy Latham

1. Please briefly describe your general areas of research interest.

Teacher workforce pathways, teacher persistence in the field, teacher shortage, and teacher preparation models. Early childhood best practices, instructional environments, classroom management and community, and instructional planning and assessment.

2. Please list 2-3 research projects in which you are willing to work with James Scholars and provide in brief the following information: A) description of project. B) description of scholar responsibility. C) projected scholar time commitment.

Working on issues related to to state an national policies related to teacher preparation, workforce pathways, and teacher shortage and projects specific to ECE instruction described above. I prefer to allow students to co-design the scope and trajectory of their project which also defines the timeline and outcomes.

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.

Cheryl Light Shriner

Cheryl Light Shriner is a Teaching Assistant Professor within the Department of Special Education. She teaches courses related to characteristics, curriculum models, instructional strategies, assessment, and behavior intervention related to individuals with disabilities. She has an interest in projects related to individuals with autism or with behavioral challenges across the age span. She is also interested in assistive technology for individuals with severe and multiple disabilities. James Scholars may have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Dr. Light Shriner in reviewing and summarizing research articles, creating or testing out material that can be used in research studies, or develop procedural training videos. James Scholars may also have the opportunity to accompany Dr. Light Shriner to community settings like classrooms, clinics, or centers where services are provided to individuals with disabilities.

Robb Lindgren

Robb Lindgren is an 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.

Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky

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).

Rachel Roegman

Rachel Roegman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests examine the interconnections of equity, contexts, and leadership, and her work focuses on the development and support of equity-focused leaders.  Dr. Roegman's project focuses on understanding K-12 public school principals’ perspectives on and experiences with addressing issues of race with multiple constituent groups within diverse school contexts, based on the idea that how they approach race impacts student and staff perceptions of the school’s racial climate, which is connected to student outcomes.

Students involved in the project may be involved in some of the following activities: conducting interviews, transcribing data, developing a survey, reviewing literature, and analyzing data. I look forward to discussing the project with interested students!

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. 

Jose Del Real Viramontes

Jose Del Real Viramontes

1. Please briefly describe your general areas of research interest.

I am in the Higher Education program under EPOL and my research generally focuses on the access, promotion, and graduation of Latina/o/x students in higher education. However, I received my PhD in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Cultural Studies in Education. I have experience teaching courses on teaching and learning with a focus on Mexican American students and families.

2. Please list 2-3 research projects in which you are willing to work with James Scholars and provide in brief the following information: A) description of project. B) description of scholar responsibility. C) projected scholar time commitment.

This semester I am willing to support students in general projects that would introduce them to research with a focus on Mexican American/Latina/o students and education. Projects that students may want to engage in are: 1) developing a reading list for a lit review or 2) developing a research paper on a topic of their choice. Scholars will need to be actively engaged throughout the project. Time commitment would range between 3-4 hours depending on project and scholar needs.

Allison Witt

Allison Witt

My research interests are focused on globalizing teacher education and teaching practice.  I’m especially interested in how pre-service teachers can develop global competency themselves in ways that can be modeled with their own students later.  My current research projects include the analysis of the cross cultural exchange between visiting and host teachers in international contexts.  I am particularly focused on the transformative potential of collaborative international partnerships that must be established and maintained between schools, universities, administrators and teachers.

Research Lab Sites:

Adult Learning Lab: http://education.illinois.edu/tall/

Elizabeth Stine-Morrow