NCRGE Researchers (2020-2025)

Del Siegle (Ph.D., Special Education, University of Connecticut) serves as Principal Investigator and Center Director. He is the Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. He is a respected leader in the field of gifted and talented education. He is a past president of the National Association for Gifted Children, past board member of the Council for Exceptional Children–The Association for the Gifted, past chair of the Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent SIG of AERA, and 2011 recipient of the NAGC Distinguished Service Award and 2018 recipient of the NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award. He is a past co-editor of the Journal of Advanced Academics and Gifted Child Quarterly. Dr. Siegle is coauthor of the 6th and 7th edition of Education of the Gifted and Talented. He has served as PI and Co-PI for Javits awards, PI for the Increasing Academic Achievement Study for the NRC/GT, and PI for the previous IES awarded NCRGE (IES R305C140018)

Betsy McCoach(Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut) serves as co-Principal Investigator and Associate Director for Research. She has extensive experience in multilevel modeling, instrument design, and latent variable modelingShe is the founder and Program Chair of the annual Modern Modeling Methods conference. Dr. McCoach has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books, including Instrument Design in the Affective Domain and Multilevel Modeling of Educational Data. She was editor of Gifted Child Quarterly (2012-2017). Dr. McCoach has served as co-Principal Investigator and research methodologist for several federally-funded IES and NSF projectsDr. McCoach is a member of the IES Stats/Methods review panel.

E. Jean Gubbins (Ph.D.,Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut) serves as co-Principal Investigator and Associate Center Director for Operations. She is a Professor in the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program at the University of Connecticut. She served as Associate Director of NCRGE and also serves as PI on Javitsfunded research.  

Susan Assouline (Ph.D., Psychological and Quantitative FoundationsUniversity of Iowa) serves as a co-Principal Investigator (PI for the University of Iowa). She is the director of the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development and holds the Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Endowed Chair in Gifted Education. She will lead the construction of the professional development intervention and administration of the IAS for the acceleration study. She will share responsibilities with Brandon LeBeau and Duhita Mahatmya at U of I. Dr. Assouline will also assist in recruiting and communicating with partner districts in Iowa and ensure that all project activities align with other Center projects. She is author of The Iowa Acceleration Scale (2009), a tool designed to guide educators and parents through decisions about grade-skipping students. In 2015, she co-edited, with Nicholas Colangelo, Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, A Nation Empowered: How Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students. 

David Card (Ph.D., Economics, Princeton University) serves as co-Principal Investigator (PI for NBER subcontract). Card is Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and served from 2011 to 2017 as Director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His recent research includes studies that investigate the determinants of entering a post-secondary program in a STEM field (Card and Payne 2017) and the determinants of student test scores (e.g., Card, Dooley, & Payne, 2011; Card and Rothstein, 2007); studies that use regression discontinuity designs to conduct program evaluation research (e.g., Card, Dobkin & Maestas, 2008, 2009; Card, Chetty, & Weber, 2007); studies of methodological issues in the implementation of regression discontinuity designs (e.g., Lee & Card, 2008; Card, Lee, Pei, & Weber, 2012); and studies that implement difference-of-differences (interrupted time series) designs (e.g., Card & Cardoso, 2012). Recently he has studied the impacts of gifted education and of programs that increase the access of high-achieving minority and low-income students to advanced academic programs (IES grant R305E110019; Card & Giuliano 2014, 2016a, 2106b).  

Eric Chyn (Ph.D., Economics, University of Michigan) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). His primary research fields are labor, urban and public economics. In his recent work, he has studied the effects of government programs and policies on children. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Virginia. 

Laura Giuliano (Ph.D., Economics, University of California-Berkeley) serves as co-Principal Investigator. She is a Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Director of a Master’s Program in Applied Economics and Finance. From August 2015-December 2016, she served as Senior Economist for Labor, Education and Welfare for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers where her portfolio included policies to promote equality of opportunity in education and to expand high-quality STEM education and employment opportunities to all students. Some of her recent research focuses on the impacts of gifted education and of programs that increase the access of high-achieving minority and low-income students to advanced academic programs (Card & Giuliano, 2014, 2016a, 2106b). This research was funded by IES grant R305E110019 and published in leading academic journals; it also received national attention. In addition, she recently received an IES grant (R305A190175, with PI Card) to study the impacts of test-based acceleration in middle-school math on college entry and major choice. Giuliano currently serves on the Advisory Board for the IES-funded National Center for Research on Gifted Education.  

Scott A. Imberman (Ph.D., University of Maryland) serves as co-Principal Investigator. He is professor of economics and education and specializes in the economics of education and education policy. He will manage research assistants, conduct statistical analyses, conduct background research, and write papers and reports resulting from the research. His research focuses on issues in domestic education and he has recently studied returns to higher education, charter schools, gifted education, and teacher incentives, with work published in outlets such as the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and Education Finance and Policy. He is a research associate at the NBER, a research network affiliate at the Center for Economic Studies/Ifo Institute, and a co-editor for Economics of Education Review. 

Brandon LeBeau (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is an assistant professor of Educational Measurement and Statistics at the University of Iowa. He has extensive experience as a statistical programmer that is able to adapt or tailor software to the needs to the data and research
question. His interests lie at the intersection of statistical software development and evaluating and creating new methodologies to analyze modern educational and social science data.

Catherine Little (Ph.D., College of William and Mary) serves as Co-Principal Investigator. She will dedicate .04 FTE in Years 1, 2, and 5 and .01 FTE in Years 3-4 She has been a recipient of two Javits grants. She is coordinator for the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program at UConn. 

Duhita Mahatmya (Ph.D., Iowa State University) is an assistant research scientists at the University of Iowa. Her research utilizes a systems approach to examine family, school, and community factors that shape inequities in academic and psychosocial development, with particular attention to the
experiences of individuals from marginalized social identity groups. With an interdisciplinary approach, she publishes and presents with faculty in psychology, education, family studies, economics, communication, and the natural sciences to investigate student and faculty development.

Scott Peters (Ph.D., Gifted and Talented Education, Purdue University) serves as a co-Principal Investigator (PI for University of Wisconsin – Whitewater). He is Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, where he teaches courses related to measurement and assessment, research methodology, and gifted education. He serves as Association Editor for the National Association for Gifted Children.  

Christopher Rhoads (Ph.D., Statistics, Northwestern University) serves as co-Principal Investigator. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. His research interests focus on methods for improving causal inference in educational research, particularly in the areas of experimental design and the analysis of multi-level data structures. Dr. Rhoads has been a member of research teams conducting evaluation and efficacy grants in the areas of educational technology (Institute for Education Sciences Goal 3), and housing and child welfare (Administration for Children and Families) and serves on the advisory boards for several IES and NSF funded projects. He is co-PI for the National Center for Research on Gifted Education. He is also currently co-PI for an IES Goal 1 development grant and co-PI for a Javits grant. He is also a regular presenter at the IES funded Summer Research Training Institute for Cluster Randomized Trials. He has published articles in Journal of Educational and Behavioral StatisticsJournal of Research on Educational Effectiveness and British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology and is acknowledged as an outstanding peer reviewer for two scholarly journals. 

Katharine O. Strunk (Ph.D., Stanford University) serves as a co-Principal Investigator (PI for Michigan State). She is a Professor of Education Policy and, by courtesy, Economics, and the Clifford E. Erickson Distinguished Chair in Education. She is also co-director of the Michigan State University Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) and an associate editor of the journal Education Finance and Policy. Along with Dr. Imberman, she will oversee a team that will collect and examine data from Los Angeles Unified School District to implement this project. She will conduct statistical analyses, conduct background research, and write papers and reports resulting from the research. Strunk’s research is focused on three areas under the broad umbrella of K-12 education governance: teachers’ unions and the collective bargaining agreements they negotiate with school districts, teacher evaluation and compensation, and accountability policies. Rooted in the fields of economics and public policy, Strunk’s work centers on structures that are central to district operations and policy and the ways these structures affect policymakers’ decisions and outcomes, including studies of teacher and school accountability and support policies in the LAUSD and throughout Michigan, and portfolio management reforms in LA, Denver, and New Orleans.