ADVANCED FELLOWS (entered program as dissertators)
Dissertation: Uncertainty about Occupational Preferences: Effects on Education Choices and Labor Market Outcomes
Research interests: Labor Economics, Education, Econometrics
Research statement: I am interested in how uncertainty about
occupational preferences relates to educational choices such as
whether or not to attend college and the type of major to pursue
(e.g., career-oriented versus liberal arts). My goal is to quantify
how this uncertainty and the subsequent choices influence educational and labor market outcomes including college completion, labor market participation and lifetime earnings.
Bio: Andrew received a Masters in Economics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a BA in Math/Economics and Psychology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Research interests: Problem solving and representation, mathematics education, conceptual knowledge of mathematics
Research statement: My primary interest is in children's mathematical problem solving. Specifically, my research focuses on how different types of practice and experience affect the ability to solve complex mathematical problems. Recent projects have looked at different ways to improve children’s understanding of mathematical equivalence (the idea that the two sides of a mathematical equation have the same value).
Bio: Noelle graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with a BA in Psychology.
Research interests: Achievement motivation, social evaluative threat, student interests and values, neuroendocrinological and genetic mediators and moderators of academic stress, applied social psychological interventions
Research statement: I study how different aspects of the social situation can be modified to motivate people, and I am most interested in understanding why some people become energized and motivated whereas others become threatened and withdraw from the same potentially motivating situations. For example, high achievers thrive in competitive environments, but low achievers become demotivated. My dissertation focuses on how, why, and when people respond positively to different possible motivators, as well as on developing specific interventions to allow everyone to have a positive response.
Bio: Chris received a BA in psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2006.
Dissertation: Nice to Meet You? Exploring the Development of Supportive Parent-School Relationships in Low-Income Latino Communities.
Research Statement: Latinos are among the most educationally disadvantaged population subgroups in the U.S., but the mechanisms driving this disadvantage are not well understood. This study will explore one potential mechanism: the development of supportive parent-school relationships—those characterized by trust, respect, and shared expectations. I use a multi-method approach to analyze interview and questionnaire data from a cluster randomized controlled trial implemented in predominantly low-income Latino immigrant communities in Phoenix, AZ and San Antonio, TX. Specifically, I will examine: (1) racial/ethnic variation in the development of parent-school relationships during early elementary school; (2) how these relationships develop for families of Latino children; and (3) whether and for whom a family engagement program intervenes on parent-school connections in these communities? This study builds on research linking inequalities in family-school relationships to educational outcomes by considering both how these inequalities are produced and how they might be addressed. In this way, it will advance our understanding of Latino educational disadvantage, a core policy issue for the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority group in the U.S.
Research interests: Educational inequality, social stratification, racial/ethnic relations, education policy, sociology of education, quantitative methods, mixed methods
Bio: Megan received her BA in Sociology and Spanish from Pepperdine University in 2005. Prior to coming to Madison, she spent two years getting to know her roots and teaching English language at a junior high school in Sendai, Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. Megan now works with Adam Gamoran, Ruth Turley, and Carmen Valdez on a study of the causal impacts of social capital on children's development.