Doctoral Program

Meet our Faculty

Jill Allor, Professor & Department Chair

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

In my own doctoral program, my work as a research assistant was critical for the development of the practical skills of conducting and disseminating research. Similarly, I strive to provide doctoral students with a broad range of research experiences so they are prepared to conduct projects independently by the time they graduate. My approach is very hands on as I work side by side with students and other project staff, but my goal is to also give them the freedom to use their skills and talents to make independent contributions. Learn More...




Stephanie Al Otaiba, Professor

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

I mentor students who are bright, engaged, and interested in linking research to practice that matters in schools and to practitioners. Student engagement involves participation on research projects, including writing and presenting manuscripts. A value of mine is to share university teaching in order to better train teachers to use research within their practice. Learn More...




Dan Berebitsky, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Michigan

I believe that students learn a great deal through the process of collaborating with faculty members on research.  My goal is that every student that works with me will gain experience with every phase of research including study design, data collection, and analysis.  Learn More...




Scott Davis, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of UtahScott Davis

My major research area is function and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system in healthy and clinical populations. The major focus of my laboratory currently is autonomic dysfunction specifically related to thermoregulation and cardiovascular control in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). We currently have grant funding to: 1) understand the consequences of MS on blood pressure regulation and the associated control mechanisms, as well as the effect of heat stress on these same variables, and 2) to determine the consequences of MS on the autonomic control of thermoregulatory function (skin blood flow and sweating) during heat stress and exercise. Learn more...




Michael Harris, Associate Professor

Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

I believe that working with high quality doctoral students represents one of the great privileges of faculty life.  Close interaction between faculty and students enables the development of rich content understanding and methodological expertise necessary for students to succeed. Learn More...



Akihito Kamata, Ph.D.

Akihito Kamata, Professor

Ph.D., Michigan State University

I am a quantitative methodologist specializing in various latent variable modeling and research design. My current research agenda includes developing effect size measures for a testlet item response modeling and developing reliability measures of growth trajectory. Please see my personal website for a complete list of my publications and other research activities. Learn More...





Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Associate Professor & Director of Research in Mathematics Education

Ph.D., University of Oregon

PhD students who work with me engage in research and development projects in mathematics education. Doctoral students have opportunities to lead teams to accomplish our project goals, work collaboratively to develop materials, and publish/present findings from our projects. Learn More...




Michael McLendonPortrait of Associate Dean Michael McLendon

Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Endowed Chair in Education Policy and Leadership & Associate Dean

Ph.D., University of Michigan

I believe firmly in the apprenticeship model for those preparing for research and academic careers. My doctoral students and I work closely at one another’s side in formulating research questions, designing strategies for the collection and analysis of data, and writing the results of our research that we co-author in journals of the fields of education and higher education policy. Currently, my students and I are collaborating on studies of state adoption of new accountability policies for education, of factors influencing tuition and appropriations levels at public universities, and of shifting patterns in state legislative leadership in the areas of K-12 and higher education. My goal is that of helping students to develop a high-quality, productive scholarly record prior to their graduation from the PhD program. Learn more...




ken springerKen Springer, Associate Professor

Ph.D., Cornell University

I am currently engaging in both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of academic achievement in low-income minority populations in the U.S.  A separate line of research focuses on cross-cultural differences in creativity. Learn More...




Candace Walkington, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Texas

I believe in giving Ph.D. students increasing levels of freedom and responsibility, allowing them to pursue their own research avenues with space to grow through collaboration with me and other researchers. Doctoral students need to be supported in figuring out where they fit in to the larger educational community, and what their research interests can uniquely contribute to key issues in education. I believe doctoral students should be taught to be critical of educational research and uphold high standards of theoretical and methodological rigor in the studies they design and conduct. I facilitate a high level of intellectual engagement and a commitment both to contributing substantively to funded research projects and to forging an independent research agenda. Learn More...




Paige Ware, Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

We are analyzing data from a six-year project funded by the Department of Education, in which secondary teachers received intensive support to learn about instructional practices for English language learners. As part of this project, we examined the various roles that mentoring played, both in supporting teachers’ new strategies, as well as in providing connections with adolescent language learners in the Dallas area. Learn More...




Peter Weyand, Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Georgia

We are currently working on projects in three primary areas: 1) gait mechanics and the metabolic cost of walking, 2) gait mechanics and running performance, and 3) the mechanics of between-player collisions in contact sports like basketball and soccer. The primary focus of our current doctoral student is the mechanics of high-speed running. I try to identify students who are capable of succeeding at a high scholarly level and provide them with the training and resources they need to develop fully. Learn More...


Anne Wilhelm, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

I am currently analyzing data from a project involving collaboration with four large school districts as they worked to support middle school math teachers.  Also, I am involved in a project co-planning (with district leaders) professional development for math teachers in a large urban school district. Learn More...



Paul Yovanoff, Professor

Ph.D., University of Oregon

In addition to numerous publications and conference presentations, Dr. Yovanoff consults routinely with government and research institutions. Current research interests include psychometric modeling of assessments for special populations, specification of optimal cut-scores for classification decisions, and culturally sensitive measurement and assessment for educational decisions. Learn More...