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Faculty Network Members

We welcome new members who will contribute to the mission of the Center.

Learn about the member benefits in the STEM Education Research Network.

Join the Network!

West Virginia University Faculty

Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Todd Hamrick, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor/Academic Advisor

Hands-on Learning and Experienced Based Learning.

Robin Hensel, Ph.D., Coordinator; Assistant Dean for Freshman Experience

Melissa Morris, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor/Academic Advisor

Energy and thermodynamic related topics.

Stefanos Papanikolaou, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Primary research interest in in the theory and application of statistical methods towards the theoretical and computational modeling of mechanical behavior of materials. Overall research interests lie in the application of statistical methods for the theory and modeling of highly frustrated systems and networks.

Lizzie Santiago, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor/Academic Advisor

The retention of engineering students and how classroom experiences affect students' interest in engineering, as well as understanding the development of critical thinking skills in first year engineering students.

Ryan Sigler, Ph.D., Coordinator of Enrollment Management 

Frances VanScoy Ph.D., Associate Professor

Information Assurance - information dissemination, virtual environments.

Gary Winn, Ph.D., Professor & Coordinator, Occupational Safety and Health Doctorate

Transportation and program evaluation, safety legislation and compliance issues, experimental methods, advanced manufacturing, and construction safety. STEM education interests include STEM recruiting and retention, including freshmen, Appalachian students and Appalachian female students. Also interested in STEM summer camp data collection strategies.

Feng Yang, Ph.D., Associate Professor    

Design and analysis of computer simulation experiments on models of manufacturing systems, with an emphasis on efficient experimental design to save computational effort and performance evaluation of the system. Application of computer simulation in manufacturing, transportation and supply chain management. Design of experiment methodology and application. Applied statistical method.

College of Education and Human Services

Curriculum and Instruction Literacy

Johnna Bolyard, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Development of pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers and teacher leaders. Development of knowledge for mathematics teacher educators, Uses of representation and technology in mathematics.

Matthew Campbell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 

Research and teaching is focused on transforming the way in which teacher candidates are prepared and practicing teachers and teacher leaders are supported.

Jeffrey Carver, Ph.D., Professor

Improvement of teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines at all levels, particularly in ways that help students connect science to daily life.

Melissa Luna, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 

Learning Science, focusing on elementary teachers' noticing and sense-making of students' scientific thinking.

Sarah Selmer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 

The development of pre-service elementary teachers’ mathematical knowledge of teaching in the area of algebraic reasoning.

Keri Valentine, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 

Cognitive flexibility on the part of middle school mathematics learners using design-based research strategies in conjunction with phenomenological research methods; and  informal STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) learning environments in the context of summer game design camps for 11-17 year olds.

Learning Sciences and Human Development

Reagan Curtis, Ph.D., Chair

Mathematical and scientific knowledge across the lifespan; online delivery methods and pedagogical approaches to university instruction; research methodology; program evaluation; and data analysis for studies in developmental, educational, and counseling contexts.

Ugur Kale, Ph.D., Associate Professor   

Primary focus is to examine the urgent issues that emerging technologies bring to computational thinking, online learning, and teacher education today. He is currently teaching courses that deal with multimedia learning, technology integration, instructional design, and educational psychology. 

Jiangmei (May) Yuan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor    

Research interests include enhancing STEM teaching and learning through the use of technologies (e.g. robotics) and improving students' learning by promoting their engagement in peer and formative assessments.

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Melissa Olfert, Ph.D., Associate Professor

The prevention of chronic disease across the lifespan using lifestyle behavior change interventions (with community based participatory research methods) to minimize risk of disease in populations, especially in health disparate regions.

Design and Community Development

Jessica Blythe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

School of Design and Community Development. Agricultural and Extension Education. Focus on the need for secondary agriculture teachers to be engaged in professional development activities that increase their STEM literacy and ability to effectively teach STEM concepts.

Deborah Boone, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Impacts of extension and 4-H youth development activities, information transfer from extension to constituents, problems faced by agriculture teachers and extension agents, job satisfaction and stress and burnout agriculture among teachers and extension agents.

Harry Boone, Ph.D., Chair and Professor

Teaching methods and experiential learning.

Stacy Gartin, Ph.D., Professor

Descriptive survey research in the areas related to agricultural education, communications, youth leadership development, teaching and learning theory, adult education and agricultural mechanics.

Forestry and Natural Resources

James Anderson, Ph.D., Professor

Ecology and management of wetlands, with a focus on evaluating ecological differences between created and natural wetlands.  Wildlife ecology and management including scientific investigations and habitat restoration for birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Interested in collaborating on STEM education initiatives for research projects and in the classroom.  

Nicolas Zegre, Ph.D., Associate Professor 

Teaches courses related to hydrological sciences, climatology, and water resources; and is developing a course on science communication. Research interests include w atershed and forest hydrology, land use and climate change effects on water resources, forest watershed management, ecological and hydrological linkages, riparian processes, hydrologic behavior change detection, hydrologic modeling and statistics, and water quality.

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Jonathan Cumming, Ph.D., Professor

Focuses on soil stress resistances in plants, biofuel feedstocks production, and the role of soil mycorrhizal fungi in moderating plant responses to soils.

Dana Huebert Lima, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor

Epigenetic regulation of gene expression. 

Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor

Teaches upper level courses in molecular and cell biology. Topics are covered in the context of biotechnology and medicine emphasizing mechanisms and processes. Explores current and emerging knowledge in these applications and touches on ethical and legal ramifications.

Jennifer Stueckle, Teaching Assistant Professor

Focuses on the reproductive physiology of fishes and the influence of environmental factors, particularly endocrine disruptors, on parental investment, embryonic development and behavior.

Elizabeth Thomas, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer

Teaching General Biology, Environmental Biology, and Biotechnology and Society along with Honors Biology seminars.


Erin Battin, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor

Teaching General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Bioinorganic Chemistry.

Lisa Holland, Ph.D., Professor

Capillary electrophoresis and microfluidics applied to proteins, next-generation drugs, nanoparticles, and disease markers.

Joshua Osbourn, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor

Teaching Organic Chemistry.

Betsy B. Ratcliff, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor

Teaching Introductory, General, Organic, Biological and Physical Chemistry.

Tabitha Razunguzwa Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor

Teaching General Chemistry.

Michelle Richards-Babb, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director Office of Undergraduate Research

Chemical education, particularly the freshmen chemistry learning experience, undergraduate research and STEM outreach.

Mark Schraf, Senior Lecturer/Teaching Professor

Teaching General Chemistry.

Mingming Xu, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor
Teaching General Chemistry.

Geology & Geography

Graham D. M. Andrews, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 

Dr. Andrews uses fieldwork, petrology, and geochronology to investigate the origins and architectures of volcanic provinces throughout the North American Cordillera.

Amy Hessl, Ph.D., Professor 

Uses the environmental information stored in the growth rings of trees to study climate variability, ecosystem processes, and human activities over the last 2000 years. She has studied forest dynamics, climate and human history in the American West, Mongolia and Southern Australia. 

Brenden McNeil, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Fieldwork, remote sensing, and GIS to examine human impacts on the spatial patterns of forest ecosystem services, particularly in the eastern USA. 

Tim Warner, Ph.D., Professor

Remote sensing applications and the spatial analysis of images. Utilizes optical and thermal imagery, as well as ildar, to study terrestrial features including biogreography and geological phenomena.

Amy Weislogel, Ph.D., Associate Professor 

Sedimentology, stratigraphy and sedimentary petrology to elucidate paleoenvironmental, tectonic and climate processes. These pursuits can aid in energy exploration, carbon sequestration and reconstructing global change and Earth's history.


Marjorie Darrah, Ph.D., Professor

Graph theory and discrete math.

Jessica Deshler, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Undergraduate mathematics education including graduate student professional development, student professional development, student understanding of calculus, gender issues in mathematics and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Nicole Infante Ph.D., Associate Professor

Undergraduate mathematics education.

Michael Mays Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Specialization in Number theory.

David Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Undergraduate Director

Cognitive science, problem solving, proofs, how worked examples help students learn in lower level classes, and cognitive load theory in relation to mathematics. General interest in STEM Education. Specialization in undergraduate mathematics education.

Lori Ogden, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor  & Precalculus Coordinator 

Undergraduate mathematics education, teacher education, STEM curriculum development, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Laura Pyzdrowski, Ph.D., Professor & Pre-Collegiate Mathematics Coordinator

Distance learning, K-12 and higher education outreach, STEM curriculum development, teacher education and professional development, undergraduate math education research, instructional technology.

Vicki Sealey, Ph.D., Associate Professor 

Undergraduate mathematics education; calculus student learning.


Paul Cassak Ph.D., Associate Professor

Theoretical and computational plasma physics, focusing on magnetic reconnection and its applications using analytical techniques and large scale numerical simulations, and observational data. Applications include solar flares and coronal mass ejections, geomagnetic activity including sub storms and solar wind-magnetosphere coupling in the geomagnetic field (relevant to the field of space weather), disruptive events in fusion plasmas, and various astrophysical settings. Has interest in STEM education and physics education research.

Lian Li Ph.D., Professor 

Research unveils structure and property relationships of condensed matter at the atomic scale. Current interests are the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of Dirac materials (e.g., graphene, topological insulators, and Wey semimentals), Fe-based superconductors, and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides, and application of in situ low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) to gain new insights into these quantum phases of matter from the interplay of strain, proximity, correlations, and spin-orbit interactions.

Duncan Lorimer Ph.D., Professor

Research into pulsars and transient radio sources involves high school students and teacher through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory program. Astrophysical signal processing techniques; searching for and timing neutron stars; modelling the Galactic pulsar population and evolution; compact object binaries and their merger rates; white dwarf cooling; Galactic and extragalactic transient radio sources; supernova remnants; the interstellar medium and tests of general relativity.

Maura McLaughlin, Ph.D., Professor

Studying neutron stars and their environments through radio, X-ray and gamma-ray observations. A significant research aim, as chair of the NANOGrav collaboration, is to use neutron stars to detect gravitational waves through timing an array of ultra-precise millisecond pulsars. 

Paul Miller, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor

Physics education, informal science education, and plasma physics.  Introductory physics for engineers and for elementary education majors.  Involved with the WVUteach and the PhysTEC projects.

Earl Scime, Ph.D., Professor and Chair

Space and laboratory plasma physics. Focuses on the heating and energization of particles in a wide range of plasma environments: the heliosphere, the magnetosphere, magnetic fusion experiments, and low temperature plasmas. Measurement tools include plasma probes, tuneable lasers, microwave scattering, and emission spectroscopy. In addition to laboratory research, his group is also very engaged in STEM education in WV through the WV Robotics Alliance. Through the Robotics Alliance, they work with over 2,000 elementary, middle, and high school students each year in hands-on STEM programs.

Gay Stewart, Ph.D., Professor & Director of WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education

Interested in all areas of research that help improve the recruitment, retention and success of STEM majors, with a particular interest in teacher preparation as part of the STEM major. Director of WVUCE-STEM to help forge partnerships to impact STEM education K-20 in West Virginia and help WVU become a national model for effective STEM education. Co-director of  WVUteach.

John Stewart, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Understanding of the performance of STEM students in science classes and how that performance affects retention to STEM majors. He also works on quantitative departmental transformation particularly those that support physics teacher training.

Women and Gender Studies

Kasi Jackson, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Science education research focusing on diversity, representation of science in popular film and science fiction literature, gender and animal behavior, and feminist analyses of emergent technology.


Josh Karr, Clinical Assistant Professor 

Master Teacher for WVUteach, uniting in-depth science and mathematics education with teacher preparation.

Vanessa Licwov-Channell, Clinical Assistant Professor

Master Teacher for WVUteach, uniting in-depth science and mathematics education with teacher preparation.

Elaine Schwing, Clinical Assistant Professor 

Master Teacher for WVUteach, uniting in-depth science and mathematics education with teacher preparation.

Nancy Spillane, Ed.D., Clinical Associate Professor

Master Teacher for WVUteach, uniting in-depth science and mathematics education with teacher preparation.

Michael Tilley, Clinical Instructor 

Master Teacher for WVUteach, uniting in-depth science and mathematics education with teacher preparation.

Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center

Ann Chester Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Education Partnerships
Designed, built, and shepherded a one-of-a-kind mentoring program in the state of West Virginia that helps underrepresented high-school students enter and succeed in STEM-based undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

School of Medicine

Rondalyn Varney Whitney, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, Associate Professor 

Occupational therapy was founded 100 years ago by an architect-engineer, an artist, a social worker, a psychiatrist and a nurse and is, by intentional design, a STEAM engine aimed to improve one's ability to do what they want to do (occupations) in spite of disabling health factors. Dr. Whitney's clinical work has focused on bridging the gap between potential and performance for children with social-emotional, physical or mental health disability (ASD, ADHD, and CSIP/SPD). She has created and supported district wide high-interest thematic group activities/summer camps aimed to improve academic outcomes. She pioneered the use of a telehealth intervention aimed at improving maternal health and reducing child behaviors. Research interests include toxic maternal stress, health related quality of life and the use of art as therapeutic intervention.

School of Pharmacy

Kimberly Kelly, Ph.D., MS, Associate Professor

Three overlapping themes emerge from Dr. Kelly's research: cancer risk perception/communication, health behavior (e.g., cancer screening, genetic testing), and elevated risk populations (e.g., Appalachian, those with a family history of cancer). Her work relies on behavioral theory from psychology (health, social, cognitive), as well as communication and information sciences. She mixes qualitative and quantitative methods, utilizing clinic-based and community-based approaches. Most of her research has focused on how risk is communicated in the context of cancer genetic counseling and how risk perceptions differ from objective estimates of risk. She also examines the role of risk perception in cancer screening. Through her research, Dr. Kelly hopes to understand how best to enhance appropriate decision-making about health behaviors in elevated risk populations to accomplish optimal health outcomes.

WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education

Lynnette Michaluk, Research Assistant Professor

Developing statistical models using traditional and novel methods for identifying students at risk for STEM dropout. Determining factors involved in the development of STEM identify in undergraduate physics students. Increasing the enrollment and retention of students in STEM majors with particular emphasis on recruitment of women, people of color, and rural populations. Impact of critical thinking interventions on critical thinking and writing skills of undergraduate STEM students.

WVU Extension Service

4-H & Youth Development

Susan Gamble, Ed.D., Extension Specialist - Afterschool Grants Program  

Directs the West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network, an organization working to complete systems building to support high quality out-of-school time STEM opportunities for all West Virginia school-age youth.

Jennifer Robertson-Honecker, Ph.D., WVU Extension Specialist - STEM Specialist
The development and assessment of laboratory and classroom exercises, analysis of efficacy of technology use in the classroom, and the development of chemistry outreach programs.

Families & Health

Litha Sivanandan, Ph.D., WVU Extension Specialist - Food Safety and Preservation
Working to help increase training opportunities available for West Virginians to become successful food entrepreneurs. She hopes to accomplish this by increasing the food business in the state and with training on byproduct utilization and sustainability. Research interests include Communications in Science and Engineering of Food, and the use of animations and videos to explain these topics.

WVU Tech

The following Faculty Members are the official WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education representatives at WVU Tech. WVU Tech is a Division of West Virginia University.

Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences

Mingyu Lu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Afrin Naz, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Computer Science and Information Systems