Faculty News

by John Conroy

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has announced the selection of 23 scholars as 2015 AERA Fellows, including School of Education Professor Ellice Forman, a faculty member in the Department of Instruction and Learning. AERA, which is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education, selects Fellows on the basis of their notable and sustained research achievements.

Sean Kelly, an assistant professor in the Administrative and Policy Studies Department, has been invited to join the editorial board of the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ), one of the flagship publications of the American Educational Research Association. Kelly has served as a periodic reviewer for AERJ since 2007.

Center for Urban Education Director and Professor Rich Milner was named by American Enterprise Institute director of Education Policy Frederick M. Hess on the “Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings,” which recognizes 200 university-based scholars who shape public discussions of education. Milner was also appointed by Governor-elect Tom Wolf to his transition committee for education issues. The committee individuals will work with the agency review heads and with the outgoing administration to better understand the issues and challenges that face the executive branch.

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) released a single study review of Assistant Professor Lindsay Page's report, “Freshman year financial aid nudges: An experiment to increase FAFSA renewal and college persistence." The WWC, established in 2002, reviews and assesses research evidence for educational programs, products, practices, and policies. Page was also interviewed in an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education to discuss whether the federally required net-price calculators designed to provide college estimates for students are accurately predicting costs. The concept is also the focus of a new paper by Page.

Associate Professor Najeeb Shafiq was interviewed in WalletHub’s recent study examining "2015′s Cities with the Most & Least Efficient Spending on Education." Shafiq discussed what makes school systems more effective, what factors influence a city's ROI on spending, and how residents can know whether their tax dollars are being effectively used. Pittsburgh was ranked 15th on the list.

Associate Professor Ming-Te Wang has released the inaugural issue of his Developmental and Motivation Research Laboratory's newsletter. In the first issue, the research team focuses on the topic of school engagement and the lab's various ongoing studies. The primary goal of all studies conducted at the Developmental and Motivational Research Lab is to reduce risky health behavior and promote positive child and adolescent development. The newsletter's creators and contributors include various collaborators, lab staff and graduate researchers, and assistant researchers.

Shannon Wanless, an assistant professor in the applied developmental psychology program, published a paper in Prevention Science that focuses on the importance of training educators in social-emotional learning skills to improve their teaching.