Educational Psychology & Counseling Department

Current ESM Students

Brenna Berry ESM Student

Brenna Berry

Brenna is a first-year doctoral student in the ESM program. She has a BS in psychology from Penn State University. Her primary research interests include assessing the validity and reliability of measurements, STEM education assessment, and cognitive science. Brenna is currently a graduate research assistant for Jennifer Ann Morrow, associate professor, and Louis Rocconi, assistant professor.


Terry Gibson ESM Student

Terry Gibson Jr.

Terry is a 4th year doctoral student in the ESM program. He has a BS in mathematics from Savannah State University, an MA in curriculum and instruction from Tennessee Tech University, and an MST in mathematics from Middle Tennessee State University. He is currently an assistant professor of mathematics at Pellissippi State Community College. His research interests are in survey research, which includes survey development and validation, statistics education and quantitative methodology and higher education assessment and evaluation.


Kevin Kidder, ESM student

Kevin Kidder

Kevin Kidder is an Evaluation Associate for the National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER). Kidder brings extensive knowledge and experience in program evaluation, with a specialization in mixed methods analyses and a strong statistical background. He leads the evaluation for the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project. Kidder’s skillset also includes creating and analyzing surveys, communication of evaluation findings with stakeholders, creating and performing needs assessments, conducting focus group interviews, and managing project timelines. Kidder’s other research areas are focused on LGBTQ issues in higher education. Kidder has a BS in psychology from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently a third year in the ESM program.


Paul Kirkland

Paul Kirkland

Paul is a fourth-year doctoral student in the ESM program. He has a BS in mathematics from Tennessee Wesleyan College and an MM in mathematics from the University of Tennessee. His research interests include mathematics education, statistics education, educational assessment and measurement, and program evaluation. He is also interested in teaching statistics and research methodology. He is currently employed as a Mathematics Teacher for the Monroe County School System.


Rachel Ladd, ESM student

Rachel Ladd

Rachel is a second-year student in the ESM program. She graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2013 with a BA in psychology and returned to UT (and Knoxville!) to pursue a PhD in 2016. Rachel has several years of professional program evaluation experience and enjoys working with community-based organizations, particularly those that focus on youth or mental health concerns. Her primary research interests include best practices in evaluation, cultural competency in evaluation, processes of identity development in youth, suicidology, and disparities related to mental health or educational attainment. She is currently a Graduate Research Assistant in the Office of Research Support.


Sondra LoRe, ESM student

Sondra LoRe

Sondra LoRe is a doctoral candidate in the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program. She works as an evaluator for the National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER) and has over 20 years’ experience in K-12 STEM education and leadership. She received her BA in economics from the University of Massachusetts, MS in curriculum and instruction from the University of Tennessee and EdS in educational leadership form Lincoln Memorial University.


Sarah Nadel ESM Student

Sarah Nadel

Sarah is a fourth-year doctoral student within the ESM program. She has a master’s degree in quantitative research, evaluation, and measurement from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Kentucky University. Her primary research interests include self-efficacy, motivation, and retention in higher education and within organizational settings. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.


Jessica Osborne, ESM student

Jessica D. Osborne

Jessica Osborne is the Assistant Director at the Student Success Center at UT and also a current student in the ESM program. She has a BA in English and an MFA in creative writing. Originally from Kingsport, TN, Jessica now lives in Knoxville with her husband and daughter.


Noelia Pacheco, ESM student

Noelia Pacheco

Noelia is a first-year doctoral student in the program. She has a BA in English from Universidad de Santiago de Chile and a MA in Spanish literature and linguistics from Ohio University. Her main research interests are related to adult and higher education and particularly related to the question how systematic evaluation of educational programs can increase their effectiveness and their quality. She is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant for Gary Skolits, associate professor.


Richard Parlier, ESM student

Richard Parlier

Richard is a second-year doctoral student in the ESM program. He earned his MS in professional counseling from Georgia State University and a BS in biology/cell biology at the University of Georgia. He currently works part time at the Knoxville Family Justice Center evaluating intake processes and software functionality. He also works as a Graduate Assistant with the Counselor Education program at UT. His current research interests include management, assessment, and sustainability of non-profits and organizational settings.


Christina Peterson, ESM student

Christina Peterson

Christina is a first-year student in the program. She is passionate about promoting sensible nutrition, inclusive communities and economic diversity through food system program and policy evaluation. Christina has a MS in nutrition and a BA in economics. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked for a wellness professional development non-profit conducting needs assessments, program evaluation and research on certification standards. Christina has worked and volunteered in many countries, including Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Kenya, Spain, and Mexico. She is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Office of Information Technology Research Computing Support group.


John Walker, ESM student

John Walker

John is a first-year doctoral student in the ESM program. He earned his BS in mathematics from Grand Valley State University and a MA in international education policy from the University of Sydney. He currently serves as the Assessment Coordinator for the Experience Learning Initiative in the Teaching and Learning Innovation Unit. His research interests are primarily focused on higher education assessment and experiential education. He is particularly interested in what makes institutional assessments effective in a faculty-led, -inspired, or -supported initiatives, and what information faculty use from student assessments and how they use it to (re)shape their pedagogy.



Updated 02/13/2018

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