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Psychological Sciences

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Faculty Advisor

David Cordray

Contact Information

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Research Area

Education

Bachelors Degree: Millsaps College, 2000. Major area: Psychology. Minor area: Computer Science.

Current Courses

Teaching Assistant for Psychology 310, Statistical Inference for graduate students in psychological sciences.

Michael C. Nelson

Predoctoral Student
Research Area: Quantitative Methods
Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program

Employing diverse methods (IRT, HLM) to assess intervention fidelity. Optimizing research designs for RCTs.

Institute of Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellow

From 2001 to 2008, I was employed by the University of Dayton's Education Department in several positions at the School Study Council of Ohio, with which UD is affiliated. At SSCO, a non-profit consortium of school districts and universities, I worked as a project assistant before advancing to coordinate evaluation services and eventually served as Coordinator of the Grant Writing Center. In my role as program evaluator, I collaborated with other researchers and administrators at local and state education entities to design, conduct, and report studies of satisfaction and effectiveness. Through the Grant Writing Center, I interfaced directly with clients to determine their needs, direct grant searches, and write proposals. On their behalf, I coordinated grant writing teams, recruited grant partners, and collaboratively wrote and submitted proposals to state and federal agencies (e.g., ODE, USDE, IES). In both these roles, I was responsible for training and supervising a team of project assistants.

I came to Vanderbilt's QME program to enhance my skills and narrow my focus on methodology and design. My IES fellowship and ongoing research on intervention fidelity and education RCTs have provided wonderful opportunities to understand the difficulties of field research, as well as how I can help overcome those difficulties with experimental design and analytic tools. My mission is to work in partnership with specialists in education content, pedagogy, psychology, and educational leadership to develop and test the programs that contribute to better learning and quality of life for millions of students.

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