Our Team

OUR TEAM

UEPC LEADERSHIP

Andrea Rorrer, Ph.D.

Director
 andrea.rorrer@utah.edu

Andrea Rorrer, Ph.D.

Director
Andrea Rorrer is the Director of the Utah Education Policy Center, the Associate Dean in the College of Education, and Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah.

Andrea holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from University of Texas, Austin and an M.S. in Educational Leadership and Policy from University of Virginia.

 801-581-4207
 andrea.rorrer@utah.edu

Cori Groth, Ph.D.

Associate Director
 cori.groth@utah.edu

Cori Groth, Ph.D.

Associate Director
Cori Groth, Ph.D. is the UEPC Associate Director who works with the Bridgeworks School Improvement team and the UEPC Evaluation Team to support educational and community-based organizations in improving programs, policies, and practices that result in excellent and equitable outcomes for the youth and adults they serve.

Cori is also an Associate Adjunct Faculty with the Educational Leadership and Policy Department in the College of Education where she teaches courses in teacher and leadership preparation programs and serves on various department and doctoral committees.

Cori believes in the power of education to create windows of opportunities for youth to thrive and become active members of our communities and to make the world a better place. She also believes that strong leadership and engaging in continuous improvement and inquiry, including having access to high quality research and evaluation, are the keys to getting the desired outcomes.

Cori has over 20 years of experience helping clients understand whether educational policies, programs, and practices are being implemented as intended, whether they are effective and have an impact, and how they might be improved. She also has over 10 years of experience in supporting leadership development and school improvement as a learning partner with individual schools and through the design and implementation of a variety of leadership development programs.

Since joining the UEPC in 2006, Cori has led studies on charter school governance, comprehensive school reform, arts education, school leadership and improvement, afterschool programs and other community school initiatives, state education agency capacity building efforts, school counseling, and variety of professional learning programs for teachers in K-12 and higher education.

She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Utah, an M.A. in Sociology from Arizona State University, and a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Utah.

Cori is also a member of the American Education Research Association, the University Council of Educational Administration, and the American Evaluation Association. Cori is also a member of Learning Forward, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and the National School Reform Faculty. Locally she has been involved in the Utah Afterschool Network as a past board member, president, and advisory board member.
 801-581-5177
 cori.groth@utah.edu

Janice Bradley, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Professional Learning
 janice.bradley@utah.edu

Janice Bradley, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Professional Learning
Janice Bradley, Ph.D., is an assistant director with the UEPC who partners with education entities to support their school improvement efforts and leadership capacity building resulting in excellence and equitable school systems.

  Janice believes that leadership, educator capacity building using job-embedded professional learning through praxis, co-designing, and effective communities of learning in collaboration, are the keys to continuous improvement thereby ensuring that schools realize growth for every student. She is inspired by the commitment of her partners to serving students and communities. Janice knows that partnership principles of voice, choice, equity, and reciprocity are keys to building relationships with partners for ensuring that change and improvement results.

Janice has been a member of the UEPC Bridgeworks School Improvement Team leading school improvement efforts since 2015. Her expertise is in designing and facilitating Professional Learning for educators (state, administrators, principals, coaches, teacher leaders) at all levels of a system, designing and implementing Professional Learning Communities, Instructional Coaching, co-designing professionally and emotionally fulfilling learning cultures in schools, STEM, and facilitating implementation for change. Her research can be found in two books, Designing Schools for Meaningful Professional Learning (2014), Corwin, Give Me Five: Five Coach Teacher Principal Collaborations that Promote Mathematics Success, and the Learning Forward Journal, The Learning Professional.

Janice began her career as a classroom teacher in Title 1 schools in Austin, Texas, followed by central office roles in the Austin Independent School District that included K-12 Mathematics Specialist, Mathematics Coordinator and Director of Professional Development on the National Science Foundation-funded project, Austin Collaborative for Mathematics Education. Following her service in Austin ISD, she worked at the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin as a Project Director, and Adjunct Professor. Before moving to the UEPC, Janice served as a research faculty member at New Mexico State University, instructor, and where she was Director of Leadership for Mathematically Connected Communities (MC2), a Math-Science Partnership funded project.

Janice holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education, M.Ed. in Science Education, and a B.S. in Education with a minor in Biology, all from University of Texas.

She currently serves as Chair-elect, and Vice Chair of Research and Support on the Learning Forward Foundation, and will become Chair of the Foundation in Dec. 2019.
 janice.bradley@utah.edu

Yongmei Ni, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Quantitative Methods
 yongmei.ni@utah.edu

Yongmei Ni, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Quantitative Methods
Yongmei Ni, Ph.D., is an assistant director with the UEPC who works with UEPC research team to provide leadership on statistical, methodological, and analytic issues on evaluation projects and research projects utilizing survey data and large-scale longitudinal student and educator data.

Yongmei is committed to conduct high quality research that aims to improve educational equity and quality for all students. Specifically, her leadership research centers on leadership preparation programs that prepare transformative leaders to make a difference in schools. Her scholarship on school choice focuses on a variety topics related to equity, effectiveness, resource allocation, teacher working conditions, teacher commitment, and teacher turnover/principal turnover. At the UEPC, she has been involved in multiple projects, including the IGPI project, teacher/principal labor markets, ECAPS, dual language immersion, and STEM initiatives project.

Yongmei is also an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. She currently serves as an associate editor for Educational Administration Quarterly. She has received the following awards: National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer postdoctoral Fellowship (2012), the William J. Davis Award for the most outstanding Educational Administration Quarterly article (2013), the University of Utah, College of Education Research Award (2015), and University of Utah Funding Incentive Seed Grant (2016).

Yongmei holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Master’s degree in Economics from Michigan State University.

Yongmei is a member of American Educational Research Association (AERA), Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP), University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).
 yongmei.ni@utah.edu

Matthew Pecsok

Lead Data Scientist & Project Director
 matthew.pecsok@utah.edu

Matthew Pecsok

Lead Data Scientist & Project Director
Matthew Pecsok is a data scientist who works with UEPC stakeholders to help them with data gathering, transformation, analysis, and process improvement/automation.

Matt believes that data driven decisions are a critical tool to help organizations improve their practices. Matt has extensive experience in Information Technology, and a strong background in mathematics/data analytics. He brings a passion for data and technical solutions to each project here at the UEPC.

Matt has supported multiple projects at UEPC in a variety of capacities such as data transformations, process automation, evaluation of statistical methods, and interpretation of results.

Matt has in previous roles built databases, websites, designed and automated reporting systems, maintained and designed Enterprise level software solutions, created analytics resources, built critical server infrastructure, and written many software solutions in a variety of languages. He is particularly proud of his work mentoring team members and clients on technical subjects.

Matt holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Westminster College.
 matthew.pecsok@utah.edu

Carol Swenson, MBA

Assistant Director, Business Operations
 carol.swenson@utah.edu

Carol Swenson, MBA

Assistant Director, Business Operations
Carol Swenson, MBA, is a Business Manager who works with all UEPC stakeholders to come to a written agreement about the educational support they want UEPC to help them with for a mutually agreeable price.

Carol knows that such support services are often critical to educators being able to do their best work to advance education and access for all students, so she works diligently to ensure that work statements in contractual agreements convey the important work of the UEPC team and its clients. Carol has expertise in accounting, budgeting, and finance in both private and governmental sectors, with over 15 years of experience in these areas in university settings. Carol also has higher education experience marketing services and working with teams using project management.

Carol holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration in International Finance from Florida Atlantic University.

Carol is a member of NACUBO and WACUBO, which are organizations that represent more than 1,900 colleges and universities across the country through advocacy efforts, community service, and professional development activities.

 801-585-5594
 carol.swenson@utah.edu

RESEARCH ASSOCIATES

Amy Auletto, Ph.D.

Evaluation and Research Associate
 amy.auletto@utah.edu

Amy Auletto, Ph.D.

Evaluation and Research Associate
Amy Auletto, Ph.D., is a Research and Evaluation Associate who works with UEPC stakeholders to provide timely answers to policy and research questions with the goal of improving educational outcomes for students.

Amy believes that all students deserve equitable access to effective educators and other educational resources needed to ensure success in school and beyond. She is strongly committed to improving the educational circumstances of students from underserved communities.

Amy’s research interests and expertise are in the area of educator labor markets, with a particular focus on strategies for supporting early-career teachers and ensuring their persistence in the profession. She is interested in policies that encourage teacher diversity and equitable access to educators. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods, working with large administrative data sets, surveys, and interview data.

Prior to shifting her focus to education policy and research, Amy was a middle school math teacher in Detroit. This work inspired her to pursue macro-level strategies to improve the challenging circumstances faced by her students and colleagues.

Amy completed her Ph.D. in Education Policy at Michigan State University. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Studies, Master of Social Work, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, all from the University of Michigan.
 amy.auletto@utah.edu

Annie Barton, M.A.

Research Associate
 annie.barton@utah.edu

Annie Barton, M.A.

Research Associate
Annie Barton, M.A., is a Research Associate who works with the Bridgeworks School Improvement Team and the UEPC Evaluation Team to support school and community partners in their efforts to create excellent and equitable opportunities for all students.

Annie believes that all students deserve an excellent education that is rigorous, culturally responsive, and humanizing. She also believes that data-driven decision making and ongoing professional learning are at the heart of improvement.

Annie has over ten years of experience working in both teaching and administrative roles in a variety of school contexts, including Title I public, charter, and independent school settings.

Annie is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Educational Leadership & Policy Department at the University of Utah. She also holds an M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum, Instruction, and Urban Leadership from University of Colorado - Denver, and a B.A. in Classics from Bates College.

Annie is a member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
 annie.barton@utah.edu

Bryan Becherini, M.A., M.Ed.

Research Associate
 bryan.becherini@utah.edu

Bryan Becherini, M.A., M.Ed.

Research Associate
Bryan Becherini M.A., M.Ed. is a research associate who works with UEPC's Bridgeworks team to support schools across the state of Utah in turnaround initiatives.

Bryan believes that every student in Utah deserves an education that properly prepares them for college or career pathways. Having worked in Title One schools in both New York City and Ogden School District, Bryan understands the importance of this work and strives to support principals as they develop their skills and the skills of their teachers to better support the needs of students in Utah.

Bryan has several years of experience working with turnaround schools as an instructional coach, assistant principal, and as a principal. With this field experience and research as a doctoral student, Bryan intends to develop the research surrounding the school and district turnaround. Additionally, Bryan’s focus is on systems of sustainability within schools and districts, and helping organizations build capacity of all stakeholders including parents, students, and employees.

Bryan’s most recent experience with UEPC is in the realm of supporting schools develop state-required school plans that align with the vision and mission of the schools. In recognizing that each school is unique in its own way, Bryan strives to ensure that schools feel supported throughout this process by focusing on the Four Domains of Turnaround and the Five Principles of Leadership.

Bryan is certified as a Level 2 Utah Educators with endorsements in K-12 Administration and Social Studies. He also received training in leadership from the University of Utah’s College of Education, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and through the United States Marine Corps.

Bryan has received the following awards: Ogden School District Higher Achieving Award - Spring 2017.

Bryan holds an M.A. in United States History from St. John’s University, M.Ed. in Education, Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah, and a B.A. in Secondary Education from Iona College.
 bryan.becherini@utah.edu

Brody Moore, MSTAT

Research Associate
 brody.moore@utah.edu

Brody Moore, MSTAT

Research Associate
Brody Moore is a research assistant at the UEPC who serves as the staff statistician and an assistant data scientist. He has extensive experience and training in handling, manipulating, and analyzing data through R, a statistical computing software. Through his years of tutoring he understands how to present information in a clear understandable way.

Brody believes that data is the key to understanding and evaluating how programs are to be viewed and handled. He is inspired by solving problems and answering questions previously thought to be a mystery.

Brody has been with the UEPC since 2019. His expertise is in programming in R, statistical analysis, and problem solving.

Brody finished his M.Stat. from the University of Utah and holds a B.S. from Utah State University.
 brody.moore@utah.edu

Felicia Onuma, M.A.

Evaluation and Research Associate
 felicia.onuma@utah.edu

Felicia Onuma, M.A.

Evaluation and Research Associate
Felicia Onuma, M.A., is a Research and Evaluation Associate who works with UEPC stakeholders to understand how data can be used to advance educational policies and practices that ensure equity, access, and success for students in Utah.

Felicia understands that the quality of a student’s K-12 education has important implications for their college enrollment, major choice, degree attainment, and social mobility. As such, she is very committed to ensuring that educational decision-making is done carefully and with sufficient, accurate, and compelling data.

Prior to assuming her current role at UEPC, Felicia worked in several educational research and administrative capacities where much of her work centered on the persistence and success of undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Some of her key research contributions were to projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) that aimed to identify factors that support the retention and degree attainment of Black community college transfer students in engineering and Black students in physics and astronomy respectively.

Felicia has presented her research at such conferences as the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). She most recently co-authored a paper that is published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, and an invited article that will be published as part of an inaugural journal issue.

Felicia comes to UEPC with experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, survey design, and data visualization.

Felicia is a Ph.D. Candidate in Higher Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. She also holds an M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Social Policy from the Johns Hopkins University.
 felicia.onuma@utah.edu

Robert Owens, Ph.D.

Evaluation and Research Associate
 robert.owens@utah.edu

Robert Owens, Ph.D.

Evaluation and Research Associate
Robert Owens, Ph.D. is an evaluation research associate. He works with the STEM Action Center, the Utah System of Technical Colleges, the Department of Workforce Services, Utah Afterschool Network, and other partners to plan and conduct evaluations and report evaluation findings.

Rob knows that the best outcomes are driven by data-informed decision making and that the best decisions are made based on accurate understanding of the best available data. Rob’s areas of expertise include utilization-focused evaluation, data-visualization and effective data storytelling, data literacy, evaluation of implementation, and evaluation capacity building.

Rob has extensive training and experience in all steps of program evaluation. He is trained in statistics and statistical software including Excel, SPSS, and has basic proficiency in SQL, LISREL, and R.

Prior to joining the UEPC, Rob was the principal investigator on statewide evaluations of Felony Drug Courts, Juvenile Drug Courts, and Mental Health Courts in Idaho. Results of his evaluations have been cited by nationally recognized drug court experts.

Rob holds a Ph.D. in Education and an M.A. in Human Development from Washington State University. He completed a B.A. in Psychology at Idaho State University.

Rob was a long-time member and also served as chair of the Idaho Statewide Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup and also sat on Idaho’s Empirically-Based Practices Workgroup. Rob has been a member of the American Evaluation Association and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
 robert.owens@utah.edu

Laura Scarpulla, Ed.D.

Evaluation and Research Associate
 laura.scarpulla@utah.edu

Laura Scarpulla, Ed.D.

Evaluation and Research Associate
Laura Scarpulla, Ed.D, is a Research Associate with the UEPC Evaluation Team, who works to support educational and community-based organizations by evaluating stakeholders’ programs as well as supporting organizations and leaders to increase their impact and effectiveness.

Laura’s passion for connecting and collaborating with people intersects with her drive to work with educators and policymakers to ensure all students experience an equitable and robust education. Research and evaluation play a crucial role in informing educators about what works and what doesn’t; feet-on-the-ground collaboration guides finding effective intersections between research and each unique educational context. Laura enjoys problem-solving through combining research, strategic planning, and practical, real-life experience to steer educational change.

Laura’s areas of expertise include instructional and school leader coaching, coherent district-level leadership, and organizational leadership. She has supported Turnaround Schools and districts in seven states, giving her a wide experience base which she leverages when working with educational systems. Laura is a skilled facilitator and communicator: she builds collaborative teams that value and utilize each team member’s contributions, allowing and encouraging everyone to benefit from a larger collective knowledge and experience base.

Laura is proud of her 18+ years of work in public education and proud to be an educator in these times of immense change when we all need to learn from and lean on each other.

Laura holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from The University of Utah; an M.A. in Literacy Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado, Denver and B.A.s in English and Psychology from The University of Colorado, Boulder. She is also a certified reading specialist, a Six Sigma green belt, and regularly facilitates professional learning for both large and small groups.

Laura is a founding member and Co-Director of The Wallace Stegner Young Scholars’ Writing Institute, a collaborative project between Salt Lake City School District and the University of Utah to offer additional writing instruction to struggling teen writers while simultaneously offer hands-on professional learning for teachers of writing.
 laura.scarpulla@utah.edu

Magda Tsagaris, M.Ed.

School Support Associate
 magda.tsagaris@utah.edu

Magda Tsagaris, M.Ed.

School Support Associate
Magda Tsagaris, M.Ed is a school support associate with the UEPC Bridgeworks team working to support schools across the state of Utah to establish meaningful collaborative partnerships and implement data-driven practices to impact student achievement.

Magda believes that strong schools are the key to healthy communities. As a proponent of community schools, Magda uses her knowledge of research and pedagogy to help school systems select and implement strategies that are matched to their unique needs. Over the years, she has taught at a variety of schools including both Title I and non-Title I public schools.

Prior to joining the UEPC Bridgeworks team, Magda worked directly with teachers, administrators, and education leaders across the state of Utah as well as multiple school communities in Illinois and North Dakota. Her work included performing on-site appraisals, identifying trends and root causes of underperformance, creating focused improvement plans, providing professional development and coaching, developing content, and implementing evidence-based instructional strategies to improve teaching and increase student achievement.

Magda earned her M.Ed. from Southern Utah University with an emphasis in Early Literacy, and her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Utah.
 magda.tsagaris@utah.edu

Katya Wagstaff

Research Communications Associate
 katya.wagstaff@utah.edu

Katya Wagstaff

Research Communications Associate
Katya Wagstaff is a research communications associate who works with UEPC to plan, coordinate, implement, and monitor effective marketing, public relations, and communication plans to increase awareness of the Utah Education Policy Center and its work.

Katya knows that strategically communicating UEPC’s work to the right audiences maximizes its impact and further establishes UEPC as a thought leader in educational research, policy, and practice. She is passionate about research-based content marketing, branding, including brand history, and being relationship- and people-focused.

Katya holds an HBA in Communication with an emphasis in Strategic Communication and a minor in Theatre from the University of Utah.

Katya is a member of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America).
 katya.wagstaff@utah.edu

Kristen Weissinger, M.S.

Research Associate
 kristen.weissinger@utah.edu

Kristen Weissinger, M.S.

Research Associate
Kristen Weissinger, M.S., is a research associate who works with state agencies, education entities, and out-of-school time programs to support their evaluation needs.

Kristen believes that students, families, and communities are best served when the most current and accurate data are used to inform short- and long-term decision making. To this end, she continuously seeks to enhance and expand collaborations with colleagues and partners as well as refine research techniques to align with current best practices.

Kristen has been a part of the UEPC evaluation team since 2013. She has experience in both qualitative and quantitative methods, project management, survey design, data collection, and data visualization. Her work currently supports evaluation and professional learning foci at UEPC.

Kristen holds a M.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Utah and B.A.s in International Relations and Liberal Studies from Florida International University.
 801-585-7787
 kristen.weissinger@utah.edu

Lisa Wisham, M.Ed.

Research Associate
 lisa.wisham@utah.edu

Lisa Wisham, M.Ed.

Research Associate
Lisa Wisham, M.Ed., is a research associate who works with both the Bridgeworks School Improvement Team and the UEPC Evaluation team.

Lisa believes that helping others make intentional connections to align their work around shared outcomes is critical to building collective capacity and strengthening opportunities for Utah students and families.

Lisa has been with the UEPC since 2017. Her expertise is in out-of-school-time programs, cultivating and strengthening community partnerships, and state and federal school programs.

Within her role on the Bridgeworks School Improvement Team, Lisa has worked closely with the Canyons School District for the past two years. In addition to her work with the school leadership teams and faculties at Midvale and Copperview Elementary Schools, Lisa has helped to develop and facilitate the afterschool professional learning community (PLC) within the district. This PLC utilizes a data-driven continuous improvement cycle to ensure alignment between the afterschool programs and the traditional school day.

Lisa began her career as a certified teacher in an alternative high school here in Utah. She was also the principal of an accredited private school/residential treatment center for five years. She worked at the Utah State Board of Education for nine years in the Federal Programs Office, where she managed federal and state grants for community and afterschool programs. Lisa holds an active Level 2 Utah Educator License.

Lisa has received the following awards: United Way/South Salt Lake Promise Partner of the Year - 2014, City of South Salt Lake; Utah Afterschool Advocate of the Year Award –2017, Utah Afterschool Network.

Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from James Madison University.

Lisa is on the Board of Directors at the Utah Afterschool Network.
 lisa.wisham@utah.edu

Research Assistants

Beam (Adebimpe) Idowu Deji-Olatunde

Graduate Assistant
 beam.deji-olatunde@utah.edu

Beam (Adebimpe) Idowu Deji-Olatunde

Graduate Assistant
Deji-Olatunde Adebimpe, also known as Beam was born in Ogun state, Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria.

Beam has chosen education as a career for over 20 years, and had worked as a teacher, school counselor and an administrator. Beam is currently a doctoral student in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah.

Her bi-cultural background combined with interest in education and community collaboration has provided her with several opportunities and community leadership roles. Her interest in research has increased her drive for equitable education for children and adult.

Beam feels it is delightful to collaborate in the efforts that make quality education accessible to all by working with Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC). Her passion for education and people motivates her interest to contribute to Utah education. It is Beam’s pleasure to actively and positively engage in Utah school improvement especially in the areas of school leadership and family engagement. Her motto is, “Together we will make an effective turnaround.”
 beam.deji-olatunde@utah.edu

Kate Pasco

Intern
 kate.pasco@utah.edu

Kate Pasco

Intern
Kate Pasco is an intern who helps with qualitative data analysis and tracks education-related bills in the Utah legislature to continue to strengthen UEPC’s understanding of statewide policy happenings and how they affect stakeholders.

Kate believes in educational equity and wishes to create a more accessible system for students across Utah. She knows it is crucial that we examine programs’ effectiveness in serving students from all backgrounds in order to provide them with the most meaningful education.

Kate focuses on qualitative analysis methods and studies social reproduction and educational access as research interests. She is also trained in legislative committee testifying by the Washington State Legislature.

Kate will present her undergraduate thesis, a qualitative analysis of the experiences of students who received need-based financial aid at private high schools, at the American Educational Research Association’s 2020 Annual Meeting.

Kate will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies from Westminster College in May 2020.

Kate is a student at Westminster Honors College.

 kate.pasco@utah.edu

Faculty Research Associates

Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC) Faculty Associates consist of University of Utah faculty members who demonstrate leadership in education and/or educational equity, access, or opportunities  at the local, regional, or national levels and whose work contributes to the mission of the UEPC. Associates work in collaboration with the UEPC on education-related initiatives. Through their scholarly activities and expertise, Associates also help guide UEPC's work and ensure that UEPC follows the latest developments in education.

Aaron Fischer, Ph.D.

Faculty Research Associate
 aaron.fischer@utah.edu

Aaron Fischer, Ph.D.

Faculty Research Associate
Dr. Fischer has been working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families for 15 years. He graduated from the University of Miami, where he earned a bachelors degree in psychology and worked as a research coordinator at the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Dr. Fischer completed his masters and doctoral degree in school psychology at Louisiana State University. Before arriving at the University of Utah in 2014, he completed his predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at the May Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. His internship and graduate work focused on providing evidence-based practice in schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics for children with disabilities and their families. Specifically, Dr. Fischer’s clinical interests concentrate on the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with ASD and other disabilties, as well as providing support and training to their families. As such, his scholarship is considerably influenced by his applied work in those areas. Additionally, Dr. Fischer is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of behavior problems, as well as the acquisition of adaptive skills, in individuals with ASD and developmental disabilities. Moreover, he is the director of the interdisciplinary pediatric feeding disorders clinic at the University of Utah Neurobehavior HOME program and the director of the University of Utah Technology in Training, Education, and Consultation (U-TTEC) Lab in the College of Education.

https://faculty.utah.edu/u0982011-Aaron_J._Fischer,_PhD,_BCBA-D/research/index.hml
 aaron.fischer@utah.edu

Kim McCormick, Ph.D.

Faculty Research Associate
 kim.mccormick@utah.edu

Kim McCormick, Ph.D.

Faculty Research Associate
Kim McCormick, PhD, is a Research and Evaluation Associate who works with UEPC stakeholders to use data to make continuous education improvements.

Kim knows the importance of the evaluation process and is driven to support clients in not only collecting data that is aligned with the questions they are asking, but also to make meaning from the information that is gathered. In addition, she believes that a vital piece of the evaluation process is to take action based on what is learned from the data.

Kim began her career in education as an elementary classroom teacher in 2003 and had the opportunity to work at a STEM magnet school and an independent school for gifted and talented learners in Indianapolis, Indiana. She continued her work as an educator for seven years as an assistant professor at Salisbury University and Towson University in Maryland. Her work in higher education allowed her to partner with professional development schools to facilitate best practices in high ability education, assessment strategies to document student learning, ways to facilitate cognitive engagement in the classroom, and integrating STEM education with learners.

An ongoing theme of evaluation has been woven throughout Kim’s career. She has extensive experience in working with various stakeholders, leading district, state, and national projects, designing surveys, managing data collection, and sharing results in meaningful ways for clients. She has an upcoming article “Maryland Criteria for Excellence: A Model for Program Evaluation and Improvement” in Teaching for High Potential that highlights a model for practitioners to implement best practices for evaluating their school-wide gifted and talented programs.

Kim has both technology and gifted and talented education endorsements on her teaching license.

Kim holds a Ph.D. in Learning and Developmental sciences with a specialization in Education Philosophy and a minor in Counseling from Indiana University, an M.A. in Educational Psychology with a gifted and talented specialization from Ball State University, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Butler University.

Kim is a member of the American Educational Research Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Association for Gifted Children, and the National Association for Professional Development Schools.
 kim.mccormick@utah.edu

Vicki Park, Ph.D.

Visiting Research Scholar

Irene Yoon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor