Our Team

Project Leadership

Neal Kingston

Principal Investigator

Dr. Kingston oversees and provides guidance on all aspects of the Enhanced Learning Maps project. He is a professor in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Kansas and director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute. He is also a senior advisor for the Dynamic Learning Maps® Alternate Assessment Consortium. Kingston’s research focuses broadly on improving large-scale assessments so they better support student learning, especially the use of instructionally embedded, instructionally relevant assessments based on fine-grained learning map models.
Kingston received his doctorate in educational measurement and research design from Teachers College at Columbia University. Before coming to KU in 2006, Kingston was a researcher and then an executive at several educational testing companies and associate commissioner for curriculum and assessment at the Kentucky Department of Education during the early years of the Kentucky Educational Reform Act. He started his career as a high school science teacher.

Marianne Perie

Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director

Dr. Perie oversees all aspects of the Enhanced Learning Maps project and supervises its day-to-day activities. She also helps the ELM team advocate for the inclusion of formative assessment as part of a balanced assessment system. Perie is director of the Center for Assessment and Accountability Research and Design and a former director of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, both at the University of Kansas.
Perie has previously served as a senior associate with the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, providing technical assistance to more than 16 states and territories. Her primary research interests are in the areas of standard setting, reporting, accountability, technical documentation, and validity studies. She has more than 20 years’ experience and expertise in K–12 assessment, accountability systems, test validity evaluation, and performance standards.

Administration

Dale Cope

Dr. Cope assists the Enhanced Learning Maps team with state partner relationships and professional development for teachers. She has extensive experience in project management and evaluation, including work on large-scale projects for universities and state education agencies. Cope earned her doctorate in educational leadership and business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She also holds a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Puget Sound. She has worked as a high school and middle school teacher, a high school principal, and executive director for curriculum and assessment in a large urban school district. She currently works as a research director at the Center for Assessment and Accountability Research and Design.

Nancy Lister

Ms. Lister represents the Kansas State Department of Education. She works closely with the project director, project manager, and other project staff to monitor, manage, and document the use of funds. Lister also assists with logistics for project meetings and training events. She communicates with state representatives as needed to establish and maintain open lines of communication among state partners and the research staff. Lister holds an undergraduate degree in communications and media studies from Washburn University and a master of science in management degree from Baker University.

Kevin Liu

Mr. Liu is the primary liaison between the Kansas State Department of Education and the Center for Assessment and Accountability Research and Design. He assists the project director in managing the logistics of communications and arrangements for training events, and he ensures tracking of funds for CAARD activities. Liu holds a master of business administration degree, with concentrations in international business and marketing, and a bachelor of science degree in secondary education from the University of Kansas. He has eight years’ experience at the University of Kansas Confucius Institute, four years' experience as a merchandise planner in the retail footwear and apparel industry, and four years’ experience teaching at the secondary level in Kansas.

English Language Arts Content Team

Holly Dubiel

Ms. Dubiel is an assistant researcher in English language arts, where she applies her teaching experience to develop formative lessons. She also develops the ELA portion of the learning map model for the project. She taught secondary English language arts courses for 13 years prior to joining the Center for Assessment and Accountability Research and Design. Dubiel received a bachelor’s degree in secondary language arts education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas.

Sasha Feryok

Ms. Feryok is an assistant researcher for the Enhanced Learning Maps project. She contributes to the English language arts portion of the project by creating instructional resources based on best practices in ELA education. After graduating with a degree in education from Wichita State University, her 11-year teaching career included a variety of subjects in grades 6–8.

Sarah Marten

Dr. Marten is the English language arts project lead for the Enhanced Learning Maps project. She collaborates with the English language arts team, guiding the development of the ELA portion of the learning map model and its instructional resources. Marten earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Kansas and taught classes in the School of Education at KU. Before coming to KU, Marten spent 11 years in the classroom as a high school English teacher. Marten’s research interests are in the areas of education policy and organizational sociology, with an emphasis on issues of social justice. She earned a master’s degree in teaching and learning from the University of California, San Diego, and bachelor’s degrees in English and secondary education from Kansas State University.

Jonathan Schuster

Dr. Schuster supervises ongoing development of the learning map model for English language arts. He worked to create the Dynamic Learning Maps® learning map model from which the Enhanced Learning Maps project’s model was derived. He provides invaluable expertise in identifying how portions of the learning map model relate to the academic standards teachers are responsible for teaching, and he guides the development of professional development materials that focus on the individual skills located in each map section. Schuster received his doctorate in cognitive psychology from the University of Kansas, focusing primarily in psycholinguistics.

Russell Swinburne Romine

Dr. Swinburne Romine advises the English language arts content development team, and he is responsible for the development and revision of the ELA sections of the learning map model. He is associate director of test development and production for the Dynamic Learning Maps® Alternate Assessment Consortium. Romine earned his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota. His research interests are in the areas of intersection between developmental psycholinguistics and large-scale assessment of reading comprehension. He has previously taught classes in educational psychology and educational measurement at the University of Minnesota.

Mathematics Content Team

Nicki Lindner

Ms. Lindner is an assistant researcher for the Enhanced Learning Maps project. She contributes to the mathematics portion of the learning map model by creating instructional resources for elementary math teachers based on best practices in mathematics education. Lindner worked for eight years as an elementary teacher in Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado. She taught Pre-K, third grade, fifth grade, and sixth grade. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Regis University and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Colorado.

Lindsey Weiland

Ms. Weiland is an assistant researcher for the Enhanced Learning Maps project. She helps to evaluate best practices in mathematics education, contributes to the mathematics portion of the learning map model, and creates instructional resources for math teachers. Weiland worked for five years as a secondary math teacher in Kansas before joining the Center for Assessment and Accountability Research and Design. She earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and her bachelor’s degree in secondary mathematics education from the University of Kansas.

Technology Team

Richard Branham

Mr. Branham advises the design and development of the Enhanced Learning Maps interactive interface. Branham is a professor of industrial design at the University of Kansas. He works in areas of cognitive human factors and interaction design strategies, methods, and techniques, specializing in wayfinding, navigation, and use models. He has over 30 years of professional experience developing interfaces between people and technology and 25 years of teaching and research experience. He holds bachelor and master of fine arts degrees from the University of Kansas and a master of science degree from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology. Branham founded the Information and Design Systems Division of Unimark International. He also founded the Design Planning Group in Chicago.

Chris Gayler

Mr. Gayler is an assistant researcher for the Enhanced Learning Maps project. He serves as a web programmer for the learning maps interface, editor of the mathematics learning map structure, and creator of mathematics instructional materials. Gayler taught middle and high school mathematics for four years in Kansas public schools. He earned a master of arts degree in education and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Kansas.

James Miller

Dr. Miller advises the project leadership regarding the development of learning map visualizations and supervises the software development team. He is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Kansas. Miller has active research and teaching interests in computer graphics, large-scale multidimensional and multivariate data visualization, geometric modeling, and technology in education. After receiving his doctorate, Miller spent eight years working in industry before returning to academia at KU in 1987. Miller frequently collaborates with faculty in other university departments on applications of scientific visualization. He is the chair of the eLearning Research Collaborative (eRC), a research laboratory that is pursuing interdisciplinary research related to the development of technology in education.

Dain Vermaak

Mr. Vermaak works as a web programmer on the Enhanced Learning Maps project. Vermaak will initially focus on strengthening the design of the current ELM interface, allowing it to be scaled and extended in response to future requirements. With a robust and flexible system in place, Vermaak will then work with the design team to introduce new features and present ELM’s resources in an intuitive, easily digested format. Currently a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, Vermaak earned undergraduate degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering from Montana State University.

Advisors

Barbara Bradley

Dr. Bradley advises the Enhanced Learning Maps English language arts team on creating instructional resources that are as helpful as possible for teachers and students. Bradley is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching in the School of Education at the University of Kansas; she joined KU’s faculty in the fall of 2004. Bradley earned a bachelor of science degree from Stony Brook in biology and psychology, a master of arts degree in physical education from Adelphi University, and a doctorate in reading education from the University of Georgia. She has 14 years’ experience teaching preschool-aged children with special needs and has taught in New York, Virginia, and Colorado.

Angela Broaddus

Dr. Broaddus advises the Enhanced Learning Maps math team on development of the mathematics portion of the learning map model and related instructional resources for teachers. Her work adapting the Dynamic Learning Maps® Alternate Assessment System’s mathematics learning map model for the general student population forms the foundation of the mathematics portion of the Enhanced Learning Maps project. She has also worked extensively on the creation of the learning map tool that the ELM project’s participating teachers use to access its map model and accompanying instructional resources. She currently serves as an assistant professor of mathematics and mathematics education at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

Bruce Frey

Dr. Frey advises the Enhanced Learning Maps team on classroom assessment and analysis. He is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Kansas and was trained at KU in the areas of statistics, measurement, and research design. His areas of research include classroom assessment, instrument development, and program evaluation. Frey is the author of several books, including Statistics Hacks and Modern Classroom Assessment. He co-edited the Encyclopedia of Research Design. He is a co-author of the widely used Levels of Collaboration Scale (utilized in program evaluations) and the Spirituality Index of Well-Being. He has won many teaching awards at the school and university level, including the ING Professor of Excellence Award, given annually by the University of Kansas to a faculty member for outstanding performance in the classroom and commitment to the profession.

Russell Gersten

Dr. Gersten advises the Enhanced Learning Maps team on instructional interventions for struggling students. He is executive director of Instructional Research Group and professor emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He served on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, co-chairing the work group on instructional practices. He recently completed a rigorous research review of professional development in mathematics for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. To date, Gersten has published more than 150 works.

Margaret Heritage

Dr. Heritage brings to the Enhanced Learning Maps project her expertise in using learning progressions for the purpose of formative assessment. Heritage’s current work focuses on the development of language learning progressions, teachers’ use of formative assessment, and professional learning for teachers in implementing formative assessment effectively in their classrooms. Her work is published in peer-reviewed journals, edited books, and practitioner journals, and she has also authored a number of books. Her most recent books, Formative Assessment in Practice: A Process of Inquiry and Action, and English Language Learners and the New Standards, co-authored with Aida Walqui and Robert Linquanti, are published by Harvard Education Press.

Karen Karp

Dr. Karp advises on mathematics education and instructional strategies for helping students struggling to learn math. Karp is a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and professor emeritus at the University of Louisville. She is a past member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics board of directors, and a former president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. Her current scholarship focuses on teaching interventions for students in the elementary and middle grades who are struggling to learn mathematics.

Evaluation

Kimberly Good

Dr. Good uses her expertise in research and evaluation to provide formative data to support the development and implementation of the Enhanced Learning Maps project. At the project’s conclusion, she will execute a summative evaluation to gauge the success of the project in attaining its goals and to measure the project’s impact. Good earned a bachelor of arts degree in science education from the University of Northern Iowa and a master of arts degree in educational psychology from the University of South Dakota. She also holds a doctorate in educational leadership with emphases in program evaluation, measurement, and research design from Western Michigan University. She favors a multi-method, participatory approach to evaluation and employs both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods.