Research Collaboration at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning is directed by Drs. Amy Gaumer Erickson and Pattie Noonan. We are supported by staff with expertise in evaluation design, qualitative and quantitative methods, college and career competencies, marginalized populations, self-determination, multi-tiered instruction and interventions, secondary school reform, 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.
firstname.lastname@example.org – Office: (785) 864-0517 – Fax: (785) 864-6421
Rooms 702 & 704, Joseph R. Pearson Hall, 1122 W. Campus Rd., Lawrence, KS 66045
Pattie Noonan, Ph.D., is an associate research professor at the University of Kansas, where she 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 readiness. Much of her work entails providing schoolwide professional development and coaching to trainers, leadership, instructional coaches, and educators while working in close collaboration with state departments of education. Throughout this process, Dr. Noonan continually improves her interactive, adaptive professional development practices in both virtual and face-to-face settings. 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 three books, numerous articles, and an integrated framework, all of which translate research results into practical applications.
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 system of supports (MTSS) 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 schoolwide perspective on educator implementation. She has also published four books and numerous articles that provide practical assessment and instructional strategies to support the cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal growth of students.
Elise Heger, Ed.D.
Dr. Elise Heger has worked in the field of education for the past 20 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, building administrator, and district administrator. Dr. Heger’s research focuses on instructional strategies that support the development of social-emotional learning. She works with educators across Missouri, Kansas, and Arizona. She has helped create professional development to support educators in implementing social-emotional competencies and focuses her research on developing an instructional coaching model designed to provide personalized, on-site support to educators implementing social-emotional competency instruction schoolwide.
Marilyn Ault, Ph.D.
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, 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, Dr. Ault observes and evaluates professional development opportunities, providing an analysis of the quality of online and face-to-face learning opportunities using research-based metrics.
Tammy Haught, Ed.D.
Research Project Manager
Dr. Tammy Haught holds an Ed.D. in organizational leadership with an emphasis in special education. As an elementary teacher, she collaborated with general education teachers, special education teachers, paraeducators, and teachers for English learners to implement research-based instructional strategies in inclusive co-taught classrooms. Her work at the University of Kansas centers around utilization-focused evaluation within educational professional development initiatives. Dr. Haught focuses on educational research to determine the impact of instructional practices designed to support the academic, behavior, and emotional growth of students.
Christy Calvert, M.Ed.
Research Project Manager
Christy Calvert holds a master’s degree in education and has over 20 years of academic and applied research and evaluation experience as both an evaluation consultant and staff member. She has worked in partnership with a wide range of programs, nonprofit organizations, collaborative partnerships, and communities throughout Kansas and beyond. With a special interest in utilization-focused and empowerment evaluation approaches, Calvert helps project partners plan and use evaluation to guide their initiatives, demonstrate the impact of their efforts, and realize meaningful social change.
Elaine Miller, M.A.
Research Project Manager
Elaine Miller holds a master’s degree in special education and has worked in education for over a decade in both implementation and research roles. Miller served as a research associate for several years, managing large school-based research studies, and was a director for a statewide initiative that provided professional development and technical assistance on an evidence-based intervention for secondary students. Miller collaborates with professional development partners to evaluate their outcomes, including fidelity of implementation and student impacts. These data then support continual improvement in training, coaching, and technical assistance. Her academic interests include school behavioral health, equity, and the quality of individual education programs (IEPs).
Madonna Pund, Ed.S.
Madonna Pund, a retired middle school principal and special educator, joined the KU Center for Research on Learning in 2021. She provides professional development trainings to schools and districts implementing the College and Career Competency Framework. She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education, a master’s degree in administration, and a specialist degree in curriculum and instruction.
Kimberlee Oakes, M.Ed.
Kimberlee Oakes holds a master’s degree in special education from the University of Florida and has over 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, evaluator, and educational consultant. By applying utilization-focused evaluation approaches, she assists project partners in designing and improving their practices, resulting in improved outcomes for all students.
Kasey Monroe has over a decade of experience working within the KU Center for Research on Learning. His expertise includes collaboratively developing and implementing evaluation measures to create coherent feedback systems focused on the needs of the end users. Along with other members of the Research Collaboration team, Monroe works with a variety of professional development providers to carry out comprehensive project evaluations designed to continuously improve professional learning activities and, ultimately, student outcomes.
Lauren Fletcher, M.P.P.
Lauren Fletcher holds a master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in education policy. In 2017, she began her work in the education field by evaluating a citywide preschool program and organizations that address non-academic barriers for students. At the KU Center for Research on Learning, she contributes to a variety of initiatives through evaluation and data management. Her research focuses on the implementation of instructional practices and the resulting impact on learners.
Leland Peterson brings years of graphic design experience to Research Collaboration. His background in both print and digital design enables him to create evaluation reports and professional development materials for a variety of audiences.
Research Project Coordinator
Whitney Hersh earned a bachelor of general studies (historical studies) from Fort Hays State University and is working toward a master of arts in history. At both FHSU and KU, she has previously worked as a tutor in English, communications, and history, with an emphasis on writing support for ESL students. Hersh coordinates professional development and acts as a point of contact between Research Collaboration and its clients—sending out reminders, preparing materials, disseminating resources, and overseeing data collection to better fine-tune our professional development.
Tim Lantz, Ph.D.
Tim Lantz holds a Ph.D. in English. Since 2006, he has worked as an editor for multiple publications, academic and popular, in the fields of education, STEM, and literature. He also taught English for fifteen years, focusing especially on language-learning pedagogy and writing across the curriculum.
Lonna Hersh attended Washburn University (WU). She worked as a special education paraprofessional for eight years and has experience with bookkeeping and clerical duties. Hersh provides technical support for professional development, video development, editing, and fiscal roles.
Ellen Horn provides office support to a variety of evaluation and professional development projects.