I am a postdoctoral research fellow in the Psychology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies students' motivation to learn. 

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Background

Understanding how and why students learn is critical for helping them to reach their full academic potential, and for addressing achievement gaps. My work focuses on understanding and improving students' motivation to learn during middle school, high school, and college. 


Research

I explore two primary lines of research which are grounded at the intersection of educational, developmental, and social psychology. One line of research is to understand how students' motivation (their beliefs, values, goals, and energy directed towards or away from learning) affects their learning behavior, engagement, and academic achievement. I have studied the role of motivational factors such as students' perceptions of their competence, their value for learning, their perceptions of psychological costs for learning, and the types of motives that drive students' learning. 

My second line of research uses this knowledge to help instructors be more motivationally-supportive. I develop and test motivational interventions for students to help them learn more effectively. This includes interventions that aim to enhance students' perceptions of value, those that aim to reduce college students' perceptions of psychological costs, and those that support students' autonomy. These efforts aim to help close achievement gaps and promote diversity in math and science.

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Education and Training

I am currently serving as principal investigator for a research project funded by a National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship. I am mentored by Dr. Judith Harackiewicz .

I earned a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland in 2017, working with Dr. Allan Wigfield. At Maryland, I pursued a specialization in Educational Psychology and I earned a graduate certificate in Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation.

I earned a B.A., summa cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011, with a double major in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and Educational Studies.