EII Internships in Education Research Methods
The Education Innovation Institute internships are designed to provide a select group of students the skills necessary to conduct education research using large longitudinal data sets. The mission is to expose young researchers to the complex techniques increasingly being used to investigate questions in education policy and practice and to help them appreciate the perspectives of policy makers and practitioners when shaping their research questions. The curriculum is taught by EII Executive Director Kristin Klopfenstein, Trent Lalonde, assistant professor of Applied Statistics and Research Methods, and Gabriel Serna, assistant professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership.
Corey applied to the internship to learn about statistical methods for dealing with complicated problems in research design and to gain experience using large sets of longitudinal data. A UNC senior majoring in economics, he was attracted to the internship’s focus on applying econometrics to investigate issues of policy relevance. The “creative and dynamic” aspects of research appeal to him, he says, and, while he has not settled on specific topics, he expects to use research in a career as either an actuary or an economist.
Czarina’s research interests range from cognition and decision making to the psychology of law and behavioral economics. A UNC junior, she is majoring in English and psychology with minors in history and economics. When she started college, she took an interest in economics but found herself continually frustrated by the lack of practical application for some economic theories. What she hopes to gain from the EII internship is an ability to understand statistically what she is learning to view through a psychological framework as well as enough fluidity to explain difficult statistical concepts to others who might not have a strong familiarity with the math.
Chelsie’s passion is for understanding how teacher-student relationships and teachers’ dispositions can act as protective factors for underrepresented students. As a researcher she hopes to explore how teacher education programs can prepare teacher candidates and in-service teachers to apply and adapt instruction based on students’ social-emotional and developmental needs. She applied to the internship to deepen her skills with longitudinal data and work collaboratively with peers and faculty to grow as an innovative thinker and researcher. Chelsie is a doctoral student in educational psychology at UNC with an emphasis in child development and minor in statistics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wyoming, where she was a McNair Scholar, and a master’s degree in counseling from UNC. She does counseling work through a partnership with two local elementary schools and is a graduate assistant conducting research on the teacher education program at UNC.
Amanda’s research interests include studying online education and parental involvement in the success of students. She applied to the internship to build a strong foundation in quantitative analytical methods and become a more sophisticated consumer of research findings. She expects skills from the internship to benefit both her graduate study and her current job as the English content coordinator for GOAL Academy, Colorado’s largest online high school, where her duties include reading and analyzing research to determine best practices for the school. She holds an associate’s degree from Pueblo Community College, a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in elementary education from CSU – Pueblo, a master’s in elementary literacy from Walden University, and a master’s in educational psychology from UNC. She plans to enroll in UNC’s educational psychology doctoral program in fall 2014.
A. Chris Johnson
With a goal of eventually becoming a university professor and researcher, Chris sought out the internship to learn how to conduct rigorous, unbiased research that has practical application in schools. A former teacher, her chief research interest concerns understanding which practices are most effective at motivating students academically and investigating the influence of psychological, biological, and environmental factors. Through the internship, she hopes to build professional relationships while strengthening her skills. Chris is a doctoral student in the educational psychology program at UNC and is working with research as a graduate assistant. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in human development and family studies with an early childhood emphasis and a master’s of education in reading, with honors, from Regis University.
A statistician who has consulted on numerous research projects, mostly in the areas of neurological rehabilitation and veterinary science, Scott wants to expand his skill set to include education research. Through the internship he hopes to focus on applying advanced statistical techniques to large data sets and study how research can affect education policy. As a doctoral student in applied statistics at UNC, his graduate assistantship in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences involves analysis of education data for accreditation and program feedback. He holds a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from the College of William and Mary and a master’s in statistics from Kansas State University. In addition to his teaching and research he also serves as a senior referee for internationally streamed professional video game tournaments.