About Us

Research Collaboration is directed by Drs. Amy Gaumer Erickson and Pattie Noonan. They are supported by staff with expertise in evaluation design, qualitative and quantitative methods, marginalized populations, self-determination, multi-tiered instruction and interventions, secondary school reform, college and career competencies, graphic design, and programming. Additionally, our office collaborates with a variety of diverse consultants across the country in order to expand our capacity and meet each project’s unique needs. 

Research Collaboration
researchcollab@ku.edu - Office: (785) 864-0517 - Fax: (785) 864-6421
Rooms 702 & 704, Joseph R. Pearson Hall, 1122 W. Campus Rd., Lawrence, KS 66045


Program Staff

Pattie Noonan, Ph.D.,
Associate Research Professor
E-mail: pnoonan@ku.edu 
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Pattie Noonan centers her work on providing and evaluating professional development related to improving education for all students. She holds a firm belief in the capacity of students with and without disabilities to achieve positive post-school outcomes through college and career competencies. Much of her work entails providing utilization-focused evaluation by working in close collaboration with State Departments of Education to create comprehensive evaluation plans and data systems. Her research often focuses on measuring collaboration, then using the results to improve teaming—a critical yet elusive component of educational improvement. To this end, she has published a book, many articles, and an integrated framework, all of which translate research results into practical applications. Throughout this process, Dr. Noonan continually improves her interactive, adaptive professional development practices in both virtual and face-to-face settings. She lives in Lawrence with her husband, John, with whom she enjoys remodeling old homes and exploring the world.

Amy Gaumer Erickson, Ph.D.,
Associate Research Professor
E-mail: agaumer@ku.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Amy Gaumer Erickson focuses on comprehensive evaluation of educational initiatives that improve in-school and post-school outcomes for students. Her work centers on the implementation of instructional strategies within a Multi-Tiered Instruction and Intervention (MTII) framework that enable students with and without disabilities to become college and career ready. Her research targets the impact of educational improvement strategies in rural communities. Through her collaboration with State Departments of Education, Dr. Gaumer Erickson designs high-quality professional development and implements evaluation plans that track fidelity of implementation as well as short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes for students. To support continuous educational improvement, she has developed evaluation instruments that provide a school-wide perspective on educator implementation. She has also published books and articles that provide practical assessment and instructional strategies to support the cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal growth of students. Dr. Gaumer Erickson and her husband apply these strategies to support the college and career competencies of their three teenaged children. 


Jane Soukup, Ph.D.,
Research Associate
E-mail: jsoukup@ku.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Jane Soukup’s responsibilities include facilitating Arizona College and Career Competency Team Training and the Missouri Post-Secondary Success project. Dr. Soukup's interests focus on the principal's connection to special education services, the opportunity to access general education curriculum for students receiving special education services, and strategies to enhance the self-determination of youth. Her work is driven by her Teach for America Corp experience and work as a classroom teacher/administrator in Texas and Kansas. She lives in Phoenix with her husband, two sons and dog named "Buddy." Her pastimes include waterskiing and fishing. Yes, there really are lakes in Phoenix!

Linda McGurn, Ph.D.,
Research Associate
E-mail: linda.mcgurn@ku.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Linda McGurn’s responsibilities include supporting Arizona College and Career Competency Team Training and the Missouri Post-Secondary Success project. Prior to completing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2014, Dr. McGurn  spent more than 20 years leading high-performing teams and strategic initiatives in the private and government sectors, with strengths in knowledge management, project management, and facilitated learning. Dr. McGurn is an experienced instructor and researcher who has published and presented in several venues on Advanced Blended Learning, and the Army Learning Model (ALM) 2015 implementation. Her areas of interest include the noncognitive competencies that are important for success in college and careers, as well as the readiness of both instructors and learners for the 21st century learning environment. Her experience in education includes course design, development, and delivery in both classroom and online formats.  Dr. McGurn lives in Shawnee, KS, with her husband Larry, and enjoys being “Oma” to her two young granddaughters. 

Marilyn Ault, Ph.D.,
E-mail: mault@ku.edu

Dr. Marilyn Ault's more than 30 years of work have focused on adult learning, particularly the instructional use of existing and emerging technologies to support the improvement of teaching and learning. She has been a member of multi-state, research, professional development, and product development grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. These projects required her to participate in the design, implementation, research, and evaluation of professional learning activities, both face-to-face and online, taking into consideration the unique requirements of the adult learner. As an external evaluator she observes and evaluates professional development opportunities, providing an analysis of the quality of online and face-to-face learning opportunities using research-based metrics. 

Aleksandra Tankhimovich
Research Project Specialist
E-mail: atankhimovich@ku.edu

Aleks came to Lawrence from New York City, where she worked as a Multimedia User Support Specialist at Columbia University School of Law. As someone who is passionate about education, she is excited to work on projects that make a tangible difference in the world.


Lorrie Sheehy
E-mail: lsheehy@ku.edu

Lorrie has been an educator for more than 30 years. In addition to a master’s degree in education, Lorrie holds certifications in elementary education, reading and literacy, special education, secondary transition, English language learning instruction and community college instruction. Throughout her career, she has taught learners in grades 1st through college. She also has extensive experience in providing professional development for adult learners in both face-to-face and virtual settings. Lorrie recently retired from the Arizona Department of Education where her work included designing and implementing all aspects of Arizona’s Post-School Outcomes Survey, including data collection, analysis, and working with schools to use outcome data. Lorrie’s areas of interest include: data-based decision making, inter- and intrapersonal skill instruction in school, home and community settings and adult learning principles. Her major responsibilities include facilitating the Secondary Vermont Multi-Tiered System of Supports Academy (vtMTSS) and collaborating on training for the Missouri and Arizona projects. Lorrie lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband, Larry. She enjoys, hiking, traveling and especially laughing and learning with her seven grandchildren.

Michelle Loewenstein
Project Coordinator
E-mail: mloewenstein@ku.edu

Michelle's responsibilities include providing support for Arizona College and Career Competency Team Training and the Missouri Post-Secondary Success project. Michelle earned her Bachelor’s in English at the University of Kansas in 2009, and has worked at the University of Kansas since 2010. Previously at the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, she supported community outreach and health assessment initiatives. In the University of Kansas Policy Office, she provided technical support and customer service efforts. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration.


Leland Peterson
Graphic Designer
E-mail: leland@ku.edu

Leland brings years of graphic design experience to Research Collaboration. His background in both print and digital design enable him to create evaluation reports and professional development materials for the entire group.

Margo Lauer
Administrative Assistant
E-mail: mlauer@ku.edu

Margo graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has previous experience working with children in many settings, from the community mental health center to foster care services. She believes we can improve the lives of children with education that goes beyond the general required curriculum.


Kasey Monroe
Assistant Researcher
E-mail: kam3797@ku.edu 

Kasey began working for the Center for Research on Learning as a KU undergraduate student in 2004. After earning his degree, he transitioned to a staff position as a research assistant on grant-funded projects. He accepted a position with Research Collaboration in the fall of 2015. 



Ellen Horn, Office Assistant