Current Team Members

Kelli Paul, Ph.D. – Research Scientist

Kelli received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, and her master’s degree and doctorate in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University – Bloomington. For 10 years, she managed a consulting business where she worked with a diverse set of clients and teams to plan and conduct evaluations that focused primarily in the areas of education and STEM. The majority of these projects have examined middle and high school students, especially women and minority students. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, student engagement and interest in STEM and STEM careers as well as the development of instruments and evaluation tools to assess these constructs.

View Kelli’s CV


Lauren Penney, Ph.D.

Lauren has been supporting youth, educators, and hands-on learning for the past twentyLauren image years across a variety of educational environments.  Her goal is to help develop learning environments that inspire young people to create a better world for themselves and their communities.  Lauren has a BS in Computer Science from CU Boulder and a PhD in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University.  While at Maker Ed, she supported coworkers and external partners to design, evaluate, and iterate maker-centered learning experiences for educators.  Before Maker Ed she worked with TEALS in the Bay Area to recruit, train, assemble, and support teams of tech industry volunteers and high school teachers who collaboratively taught computer science classes.  While pursuing her doctorate degree, Lauren helped design and establish FUSE Studio to provide tools for young people and their educators to develop STEAM expertise.  In 2009 she discovered Amigurumi and has since devoted hours crafting crocheted creatures for family and friends.

Jing YANG, Ph.D. #2

Jing received her bachelor degree in Chemistry from Beijing Normal University, China. Afterwards she joined the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University pursuing a PhD degree in theoretical and computational chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Peter Ortoleva. In 2015, she started her study in science education and planned to peruse a double PhD degree. She is interested in improving undergraduate STEM education. She recently completed her PhD in Chemistry.

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Qiu received her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry from Northwest A&F University, China and her Master’s in Environmental Science from Central China Normal University, China. She had taught in public and private high schools for 5 years successively in Wuhan and Beijing. She enrolled in Science Education program as a doctoral student in fall 2018. Her research interests include, but not limited to, students’ engagement and motivation in studying STEM, science teacher education, and informal STEM learning. You can learn more here.

View Qiu’s CV


Former Team Members

Russell Nelson Balliet, Ph.D.

Russell was born and raised in San Diego, California where he received his degree in Geological Sciences from San Diego State University. As an undergraduate researcher he worked under the guidance of Dr. Eric Riggs, completing a senior thesis in the area of geoscience education and cognition. He continued this work as a doctoral student at Purdue University and completed his PhD in the Fall of 2012; his work at Purdue focused on Undergraduate geologists’ problem solving abilities and workflow in academic field settings. Russell joined Adam Maltese’s group in the Summer of 2013 as a postdoc and his current research interests include the impacts of undergraduate research experiences on students and mentors, STEM interest initiation and retention, and visualization of data.

More about Russell

Alexandra Burris, Ph.D.

Alex received her bachelor’s degree in zoology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Science Education at Indiana University-Bloomington where she holds a teaching position. Her research interests include youth engagement at informal science institutions such as zoos, museums, and science centers. Her recent work includes investigating the use of new research/evaluation tools for use in these settings such as point-of-view camera technology.

View Alexandra’s CV

Christina Cooper, Ph.D.

Christina received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, and her master’s degree in biology from Indiana University-Bloomington. She then joined the Science Education department at Indiana University-Bloomington where she earned her doctorate in 2015. She has taught at Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana University, and is now an Assistant Professor at Corban University in Salem, Oregon. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, methods of student engagement, identifying levels and times of student interest in science, and the use of technology and formative assessment in the classroom.

More about Christina

Joseph A. Harsh, Ph.D.

Joe Harsh is an Assistant Professor of Biology at James Madison University. Prior to completing his Ph.D. in Science Education at Indiana University-Bloomington as a member of the Maltese lab in 2014, he earned a B.S. in the Biological Sciences from Indiana University-South Bend and a M.S. in Botany and Plant Pathology at Michigan State University with a specialization in ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior.

Broadly, Joe’s research focuses on how student experiences guide their learning progressions and engagement in the sciences. Currently, he is investigating the professional and personal outcomes associated with undergraduate research and the means by which those outcomes arise, the use of performance measures to assess student learning in the research setting, quantitative literacy and the cognitive processes involved in how individuals interpret and construct data representations, and teaching and learning practices in the learning environment.

Eunju Jung, Ph.D.

Eunju Jung is a visiting research associate at the Indiana University School of Education. Her research interests in research methods include statistical methods for testing measurement invariance, various psychometric theories, structural equation modeling and multi-level modeling. She is also very interested in applying appropriate research methods to data related to STEM education. Her most recent position was a post-doctoral research associate in the department of Materials and Science and Engineering at Texas A & M University. She was involved in three undergraduate-education projects: exploring the psychometric properties of the Materials Concept Inventory, examining the impact of incorporating on student knowledge gain, and investigating the dissemination efforts of active-learning pedagogies. She received her Ph. D in Educational Psychology (Focus: Research, Measurement, and Statistics) from Texas A & M University and a B.A. in Linguistics from Korea University in Korea.

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Jungsun KIM, Ph.D.

Jungsun received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a specialty in gifted, creative, and talented studies from Purdue University and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University at Albany-SUNY. She won the Bilsand Dissertation Fellowship on her study about “Talent Development Process of Underachieving and Achieving  Talented Undergraduate Students” at Purdue University in 2018 , the Feldhudson Doctoral Research Award on her studies on the systematic review of the use of verbal and non-verbal praise in the classroom, and second-place at the research gala in the National Convention for Gifted Children in 2017 on her mixed-methods research on the high-impact practices for talented students. Her research covered various aspects of cognitive and social-emotional development considering students’ developmental stages in diverse education settings. Specifically, she is interested in students and their families in socially and economically disadvantaged groups. She believes that ‘talent’ should not be limited by the specific cognitive scale or academic domains; that is the cultivated competency in one or more domains through personal and environmental catalysts. In STEM fields, her research interests are on STEM talent development including creative computational thinking through investigating psycho-social factors in children’s home environments and informal STEM outreach programs with peers and undergraduate STEM ambassadors using quantitative and qualitative approaches. 

Roshan Lamichhane, Ph.D.

Roshan got his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Evansville, IN and his Master’s in Chemistry from Indiana University-Bloomington. He is currently a second-year graduate student in the Science Education – Instruction and Curriculum department at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is interested in ways in enhancing metacognition in students, and exploring misconceptions that students have about different topics in college Chemistry.

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Wenjuan SANG, Ph.D.

Wenjuan attended Beijing Normal University, China where she received her bachelor degree in Education in 2010. Afterwards she went to the United States to pursue a PhD. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Education Policy Students at Indiana University-Bloomington. She is minor in sociology and quantitative inquiry methodology. She joined Dr. Adam Maltese’s research team in 2013 initially as a translator and now she is doing international comparative analyses about students’ motivation of learning STEM subjects with the data collected in this project. She focuses on citizenship education in the United States and Germany, especially history curriculum policies, teachers and textbooks in both countries. She is also interested in using quantitative methods to analyze large-scale data, such as PISA and TIMSS.

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Amber Simpson, Ph.D.

Amber received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Secondary Education from East Tennessee State University, and her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Specialist degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University. She spent five years as a high school mathematics teacher in Tennessee before returning to Clemson University to receive her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Mathematics Education. Amber’s research interests include understanding individual’s STEM identity, specifically female’s identification or dis-identification in STEM-related degrees and careers, and how one’s STEM identity may transform due to different formal and informal learning experiences such as single-sex education settings or after-school programs. She is also committed to understanding the ways in which prospective mathematics teachers learn to teach as an individual within a social-cultural-historical collective unit.

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Euisuk Sung, Ph.D.

Euisuk is a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Maltese’s lab since Fall of 2018. He studied computer science for his bachelor’s degree at Chungnam National University, South Korea, and worked in a start-up company as a software engineer. He engaged in various software development projects including a real-time remote controller and web-sharing video communication. After the three years of working, he decided to become an educator which was the most exciting and valuable work for him. He taught in public high schools for nine years and wrote five technology education textbooks for South Korea K-12 national curriculum. He received master’s degree in career & workforce education from Seoul National University, South Korea, and completed his Ph.D. degree in engineering and technology teacher education at Purdue University, IN. His research interest includes the maker movement, computational thinking, design thinking, and issues in the K-12 STEM pipeline.

Jianlan Wang, Ph.D.

My research interest lies in scientific argumentation. I investigated the relationship between argumentation and the Nature of Science (NOS) in 2011, and the relationship between argumentation and content knowledge understanding in 2012. I did research in both the US and China. One of my resolutions is to combine the educational systems and beliefs of the two countries.