EII Faculty Fellows

Education Innovation Institute Faculty Fellows are UNC scholars whose academic research and interests dovetail with the EII’s core mission to leverage research to improve policy and practice in key areas of education. The Fellows network is open to faculty from all parts of the university who seek to further UNC’s goals to create a vital, challenging educational experience for students while advancing the university’s profile as a thought leader in the state and the nation in education-related policy. In accepting the position, Fellows agree to operate as a community of scholars dedicated to high-quality inquiry and student mentoring and to work with each other and the Institute on research projects, mentorship of students, and development of policy positions.

Current Faculty Fellows

Elysia V. Clemens

Elysia V. Clemens, PhDAssociate Professor
Applied Psychology and Counselor Education

Dr. Clemens’ research interests include school counseling, child/adolescent mental health/continuity of care, and improving educational outcomes of at-risk populations, including students in foster care. She has held counseling and administrative posts in a school and a behavioral health center. Her Ph.D. is in counseling and counselor education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a cognate in statistics.

Trent L. Lalonde

Assistant Professor Trent L. Lalonde
Applied Statistics and Research Methods

Dr. LaLonde’s research interests are generalized linear models, clustered and longitudinal data, binary responses, random effect models, and missing data. He helped found the EII Internships in Education Research Methods and takes an active role in leading internship sessions. He holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in statistics.


Frieda Parker

Assistant Professor
Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Parker’s primary research interest is the design of effective professional development for secondary mathematics teachers. She also has worked with the UNC-based Math Teacher Leadership Center (Math TLC) on a project to support classroom teachers and coaches in developing the skills and knowledge to take leadership in their schools, districts, and beyond. Before coming to UNC she taught mathematics at a middle school. Her Ph.D. is in Educational Mathematics from UNC.


Corey Pierce

Associate Professor
Special Education

Corey PierceDr. Pierce’s research areas include Response to Intervention, implementation models for schools and evaluation of effectiveness, identifying efficient methods for teaching reading skills to middle school students with literacy and behavior skill deficits, and identifying differences in cultural awareness issues related to teaching between traditional campus-teaching preparation programs and urban-education programs. He currently is working with a former EII intern on a research project to investigate the effectiveness of Response to Intervention practices in Colorado and Nebraska. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in Special Education.

Gabriel R. Serna

Gabe SernaAssistant Professor in the School of Education/Leadership, Counseling and Research
Virginia Tech

Dr. Serna’s research interests include higher education economics and finance, budgeting and planning in higher education, enrollment management, student price responsiveness, college choice, philosophy of economic theory and methodology, and applied econometrics. He holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy from Indiana University Bloomington.