Selcuk Acar is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology. He joined UNT in 2019 following seven years of teaching and research at the International Center for Studies in Creativity of SUNY Buffalo State. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia, concentrating on Gifted and Creative Education. He holds his M.A. from Istanbul University in Gifted Education and B.A. in Educational Sciences from Bogazici University. His primary research focus includes divergent thinking, assessment of creativity, creative leadership, and identification of the gifted and talented. In his dissertation titled “Empirical Studies in Divergent Thinking,” he explored novel methods of quantifying and scoring responses given to divergent thinking tasks. Dr. Acar published some of his articles in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Creativity Research Journal, Thinking Skills and Creativity, and Journal of Creative Behavior. He also contributed to several major outlets such as Cambridge Handbook of Creativity and the Encyclopedia of Creativity. His methodological focus is quantitative and uses meta-analysis and multilevel modeling in his work. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Creative Behavior. He was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership of American Creativity Association. He is also a recipient of Doctoral Level Completed Research Award and Dissertation Award both granted by the National Association for Gifted Children.
Alecia Adams is the Administrative Coordinator for the Department of Educational Psychology, assistant to the Chair, handles payroll, budgets and provides support to faculty and students. She has worked at the university since 2003 and enjoys interacting with students, faculty and staff. In her free time, Alecia loves to travel.
Dr. Allen’s research aims to address institutional and systemic inequalities within STEM education by supporting the design and implementation of STEM learning reforms. She examines the ways that equity and instructional improvement efforts take on meaning and become consequential for youth and teachers in local practice. Some of her current work examines how efforts to improve STEM education intersect with students’ learning and identity work within and out of school. Her work also explores the relationships among local policy, educators’ organizational contexts, and their efforts to implement reform-based and equity-oriented pedagogies. Allen's research has been published in journals such as Journal of Learning Sciences, Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and AERJ.
Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, Allen was a STEM Researcher at SRI International. Allen received her doctorate in learning sciences and human development at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before pursuing her doctorate, she taught high school English and reading, writing, and developmental education community college courses in the Seattle area. She has a master in teacher degree from Seattle University and a BA in English Literature from Western Washington University.
Brenda Barrio is an Associate Professor of Special Education - Critical Perspectives at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on the areas of disproportionality of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education, culturally responsive teaching, bilingual and multicultural special education, and pre-/in-service teacher preparation. Barrio has more than 15 years of teaching experience including, graduate and undergraduate special education courses and K-5th bilingual and inclusive education in Texas. She is also the co-founder of the WSU ROAR post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and is the current chair of the Diversity Committee of the Council for Learning Disabilities.
Miriam C. Boesch, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Special Education. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Special Education with an emphasis in Severe Disabilities and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) from Purdue University. Her dissertation was awarded the College of Education Outstanding Dissertation Award. Her research focuses on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Specifically, she engages in AAC research to assess teacher preparation needs, compare strategies suitable for individuals with autism and complex communication needs, and reduce challenging behaviors. Dr. Boesch teaches courses pertaining to autism, intervention strategies, and behavior management. She is also the co-author of the book: Implementing Effective Augmentative and Alternative Communication Practices for Students with Complex Communication Needs: A Handbook for School-Based Practitioners. Dr. Boesch also publishes in peer-reviewed journals, presents at national and international conferences, and currently serves on the editorial board for the journals Communication Disorders Quarterly and TEACHING Exceptional Children. She is the recipient of the 2014 College of Education Junior Faculty Research Award and the 2017 College of Education Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from UNT.
Dana Booker holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Human Development and Family Science from the University of North Texas. Specifically, Dana has researched child advocacy practices, multi-system collaborations around prevention and intervention, and parent-centered education through her work at Prevent Child Abuse Texas. Her research interests also include working with military families and military systems to identify effective academic prevention strategies for youth. Dr. Booker has received evaluation training from the American Evaluation Association and worked as the program evaluator for the Texas chapter of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). It was this opportunity that increased her passion for prevention and intervention work. Originally from Albuquerque, Dana received her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Educational Psychology from the University of New Mexico. Dana is married to her best friend and is a proud mom of three amazing boys.
Judi Rockey Bradetich, MS, MM, is Senior Lecturer of Human Development and Family. She received the Master of Science in Development and Family Studies from UNT, in 2007. She also has a Master's degree in Music (Accompanying) from the University of Southern California.
Ms. Bradetich is passionate about teaching and helping people learn, and feels her most important, challenging, and rewarding goal to engage students in critical, practical, and reflective thinking about course content. She has been recognized for her efforts, first in 2012, when she received the Outstanding Lecturer Award from the College of Education, and in 2016, when she received the UNT Exemplary Online Teaching and Course Award.
In addition to teaching undergraduates in classes ranging in size from 20 to 135 students, Bradetich was named CLEAR's first Faculty Fellow, to promote the active learning strategies of Team-Based Learning at UNT. She regularly advises large numbers of undergraduate students, serves on multiple committees at all levels of the University, and participates in professional development opportunities to improve course design and student engagement. Such work reflects her overall approach to her life's work: to improve herself and others through engagement, innovation, and hard work.
She has received grants from CLEAR and UNT’s Office of Faculty Success. She is certified as a Trainer-Consultant through the Team-Based Learning Collaborative, and has presented at national conferences. She has presented many workshops at UNT to teach and mentor other faculty as they implement Team-Based Learning in their courses.
Dr. Chang's primary teaching areas are Educational Research Designs and Intermediate Statistics. Her research interests include predicting neuropsychological functioning in academic achievement through utilization of norm-referenced neuropsychological instruments and examining psychometric properties of norm-referenced instruments assessing neuropsychological functioning and/or cognitive processing.
Dr. Chen engages in doing research and teaching in the area of quantitative methods. Her primary quantitative research interests include Growth Mixture Modeling (GMM), Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM), and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), and the application of these methods in longitudinal data analyses and mediation analysis. She is also interested in the application of these methods in educational and family-based data. Her interested substantive areas include children’s psychosocial functioning and self-regulation, school-based prevention, teacher-student relationship and peer relations, and the intersection of family and cultural contexts in shaping Asian American adolescent development.
Jason Chiang received his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science from Syracuse University, Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and Methodology from SUNY Albany, and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Toronto. As a first-generation Canadian, Jason immigrated to Canada in 2001 after finishing high school in Taiwan.
Informed by his own experiences as an immigrant student and a parent, he is deeply fascinated by how familial, school, and cultural factors affect immigrant children’s capacity to cope with challenging educational and environmental situations and succeed.
Before moving to Texas, Jason had previously taught at University of Akron as Assistant Professor of Instruction, and at Berkshire Community College as Assistant Professor of Psychology.
Cynthia Frosch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. Trained as a Developmental Psychologist and Endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Mentor, Frosch earned her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Her passion is translating research on infant mental health and early family relationships into action for students, parents, and professionals.
Frosch's research interests center on socio-emotional development in early childhood, including the interplay of social and emotional skills and early parenting. Her work has a strong relational health focus — examining how parent-infant emotional connection and parenting sensitivity contribute to healthy development. In an effort to understand how to best support those who care for young children, Frosch's recent work focuses on reflective practice among early childhood professionals. Frosch’s research has been published in journals including Infant Mental Health Journal, Acta Paediatrica, Journal of Family Psychology, and Developmental Psychology.
She is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, International Congress of Infant Studies, Zero to Three, and the World Association for Infant Mental Health. Frosch reviews regularly for professional journals and is on the Editorial Board for Infancy. She also trains researchers and professionals on assessments of parent-child interaction quality, including the Welch Emotional Connection Screen and the Parent-Infant Interaction Rating Scales developed for the NICHD SECCYD. Frosch recently completed training in the iEQ9 assessment and was a nominee for the College of Education Faculty Teaching Excellence award in 2017 and 2018.
Robin’s background is a bit of winding road, but one he considers divinely guided by God. His early background was in youth ministry with undergraduate majors in Biblical studies and psychology from Evangel University (Springfield, MO). This evolved into a focus on counseling and masters degrees in general and clinical psychology, and eventually LPC licensure. Robin then earned a PhD in educational psychology at Texas A&M University, and this led to his current research and teaching focus on statistics, measurement, and research methodology. The LPC licensure was latter allowed to lapse due to a focus on methodology, but Robin still periodically works with counseling applications. More recently, Robin has completed a doctor of ministry (DMin) degree from Liberty University with a cognate in expository preaching and teaching. Robin is married to an incredible woman and has two awesome, young adult kids. In his spare time, Robin enjoys outdoor activities and being involved at Midway Church.
Jaret Hodges earned a master's degree at the University of Houston, doctorate at Purdue University, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University. His research interests include underrepresented populations in gifted education, rural gifted education, and gifted education policy. He also has an interest in promoting open science practices and the use of computer programming in education research.
Darrell Hull received his PhD in Educational Psychology from Baylor University. He has been involved in STEM and STEM education for more than 20 years, as principal investigator for several NSF and U.S. Department of Education programs. During the last 10 years he has conducted research on positive youth development in the Caribbean, working in the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Belize were he has directed randomized trial studies and quasi-experimental trials focused on adolescents. Based on his work with Item Response Theory and Generalizability Theory, Dr. Hull teaches measurement in the Educational Research PhD program and is a frequent psychometric consultant to assessment organizations in the DFW area.
Danielle Keifert is a learning scientist, researcher, educator, and assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of North Texas. Danielle studies how young children orient to inquiry, and the sensemaking resources they draw upon during inquiry. These include resources like engaging in imaginative embodiment by acting like a creature with feet on the back of your head to explore anatomy, engaging in thought experiments like imagining standing in boiling water or becoming a water particle to explore states of matter, and even drawing to make sense of engineering challenges. She also examines the sensemaking practices of young children's families and explores how children may be constrained/supported to engage in those practices across home and school. Danielle broadens forms of supported sensemaking through design-based research and professional learning partnerships; Danielle studies how mixed-reality technologies support young children’s sensemaking in science through play and embodiment (Science through Technology Enhanced Play, National Science Foundation grant), and how to support teachers to engage students in broader forms of representation in the service of modeling in science (Representations for Teachers as Learners project, McDonnell Foundation grant). Through this work she seeks to broaden participation in science practices not just by including more individuals from underrepresented communities in science, but also by expanding what counts as science. Danielle earned her PhD from the Learning Sciences program at Northwestern University after five years as a middle math and science teacher, and she is the proud human of a rescue pup named Gracie.
Lauren Kelly received her doctorate in HDFS/Forensic Science from Texas Tech University. She also completed training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where she developed skills related to crime scene investigation, trauma-informed counseling, lie detection, victim advocacy and profiling. She also worked for a non-profit in New Mexico as a clinician assisting children who experienced the most severe forms of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect. Dr. Kelly teaches family law and public policy, courtship and marriage, families in crisis and families, communities, schools. Dr. Kelly's research focuses on child abuse and outcomes, romantic relationships, sexism, forensic interviewing, and breastfeeding awareness.
Michael Langlais is an Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Sciences within the Department of Educational Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences in 2014 from the University of Texas - Austin and he recently served as Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska - Kearney. His research broadly focuses on romantic relationship processes, particularly in virtual contexts. His research aims to promote health romantic relationship development and maintenance.
Julie Leventhal received her doctorate in Family Studies from Texas Woman’s University and is a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Leventhal teaches courses on interpersonal relationships, family dynamics, and other specialized topics related to working with families. Her area of research is centered around anti-human trafficking advocacy and volunteerism; she primarily works with agencies and NGOs in Eastern Europe. Dr. Leventhal also serves as the Faculty-in-Residence in Rawlins Hall and works closely with both UNT Housing and Residence Life and the Honors College within this position.
In 2018, Dr. Leventhal was honored as the recipient of the UNT ‘Fessor Graham Award, the highest honor bestowed by the student body for outstanding and unselfish service beyond the call of duty, as well as the College of Education Outstanding Lecturer Award.
Caitlyn Majeika joined the UNT faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Special Education Program of the Educational Psychology Department in 2019. She recently graduated with her PhD in Special Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Caitlyn’s area of expertise centers around supporting the academic, behavioral, and emotional development of students with or at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders in classroom settings. More specifically, her research includes developing and implementing function-based behavioral interventions and training teachers to use a data-based decision-making process to adapt and intensify behavioral supports.
I received my doctorate from the University of Oregon. My specialty is in the areas of severe behavior problems, severe disabilities, and inclusive education. My research interests include functional behavioral assessment and positive behavior support for individuals with developmental disabilities, analyzing the effect of teacher behavior on student performance, classroom management and instructional strategies, and inclusive education and support.
Rachel U. Mun is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas in Educational Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Education, Learning Sciences and Human Development from the University of Washington. She was also a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Connecticut with the National Center for Research on Gifted Education conducting research on identifying and serving underrepresented gifted learners. Her research interests are two tiered and best described as an intersection between culture, gifted education, and socioemotional well-being. At the micro-level, she explores socioemotional development and decision-making for high-ability students (emphasis on immigrants) within family, peer and academic contexts with the goal to promote well-being. At the macro-level, she examines ways to improve equitable identification and services for K-12 high-ability learners from diverse populations. She has published in Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, and Roeper Review. She most recently received the NAGC 2017 doctoral dissertation award (first place).
Anne N. Rinn, Ph.D., is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas, where she also serves as Director of the Office for Giftedness, Talent Development, and Creativity. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Houston and a doctorate in educational psychology from Indiana University. She has authored more than 50 publications related to the social and emotional characteristics of gifted individuals and the psychosocial skills necessary for the development of talent. She is an active member of the National Association for Gifted Children and the American Educational Research Association, holding leadership positions in both organizations.
Melissa Savage earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from Purdue University in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, Dr. Savage was an IES postdoctoral research associate at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and spent four years as a secondary Special Education teacher in Indiana. She holds degrees in both Special Education and Exercise Science.
Her research focuses on the use of technology to increase engagement and independence in healthy behaviors and community participation for adults and transition-age youth with developmental disabilities. Along with mentor Kara A. Hume, Dr. Savage received a grant from the Organization from Autism Research for her Step It Up project, focusing on increasing physical activity for adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. She has published in journals such as Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, and TEACHING Exceptional Children.
Abbas Tashakkori is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas. His research focus is in Research and Evaluation Methodology. In 2010 he was honored as a Distinguished Mentor by the American Educational Research Association - Division of Research Methodology.