Current Students

Most students in the Assessment and Measurement Doctoral program have assistantships through the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS). Through these assistantships student gain valuable real world experience in various aspects of assessment design and measurement techniques.

Profile photo: Sarah Alahmadi

Sarah Alahmadi

First Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Christine DeMars

Education:

Undergraduate degree: University of Virginia, B.A. Psychology, 2016; Master’s Degree: Villanova University, M.S. Experimental Psychology, 2020

Research Interests:

  • Test Development
  • Item Response Theory
  • Structural Equation Modeling
Profile photo: Holly Buchanan

Dr. Holly Buchanan

First Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Sara Finney

Education:

Undergraduate degrees: University of Richmond, B.S. Biology, 2001; Virginia Commonwealth University, B.S. Nursing, 2002; Master’s Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University, M.S. Nursing, 2004; Doctoral Degree: University of Virginia, Doctor of Nursing Practice, 2014

Research Interests:

  • Systems Approaches to Assessment
  • Assessment to support learning improvement
  • Evidence-Informed Practice
  • Using assessment to support policy development
Profile photo: jemma king

Jemma King

First Year Student: Joint MA/PhD Program

Advisor: Dr. Deborah Bandalos

Education:

Undergraduate degree: West Virginia Wesleyan College, B.A. Psychology, 2020

Research Interests:

  • Learning Improvement
  • Program Theory
  • Item Response Theory
  • Impact of Negatively Keyed Items
Profile photo: Kathryn Thompson

Kathryn Thompson

First Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Brian Leventhal

Education:

Undergraduate degree: Flagler College, B.A. Psychology (Minor: Mathematics), 2018; Master’s Degree: JMU, M.A. Psychological Sciences- Quantitative Concentration, 2020

Research Interests:

  • Item Response Theory
  • Polytomous Models
  • Item Analysis
  • Simulation Studies
Profile photo: Thomas Hartka

Thomas Hartka

Second Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Keston Fulcher

Education:

Undergraduate degree: James Madison University, B.S. Psychology, 2015
Master’s Degree: James Madison University, M.A. Psychological Sciences – Applied Concentration, 2019

Research Interests:

  • Learning Improvement
  • Growth Mindset
  • Use of Assessment Results
Profile photo: Chris Patterson

Chris Patterson

Second Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Dena Pastor

Education:

Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin-Platteville, B.S. Mathematics, 2017
Master’s Degree: University of Iowa, M.A. Higher Education and Student Affairs, 2019

Research Interests:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Assessment
  • Critical Quantitative Methodology
  • Student Affairs Assessment
Profile photo: Paulius Satkus

Paulius Satkus

Second Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Christine DeMars

Education:

Undergraduate degree: James Madison University, B.S. in Psychology, minor in Statistics, 2017
Master's degree: James Madison University, M.A. in Psychological Sciences, Quantitative Concentration, 2019

Research Interests:

  • Measurement in Social Sciences
  • Measurement Models and Methods (e.g., IRT, CFA)
  • Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT)
  • Examinee Motivation
Profile photo: Sean York

Sean York

Second Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Jeanne Horst

Education:

Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University, B.S. Radio/Television/Film, 1993
Master's Degree: Indiana University Bloomington, M.S.Ed. Instructional Systems Technology, 2011

Research Interests:

  • Scenario-Based Assessment for Critical Thinking and Humanities
  • Systems Approach to Assessment
  • Intersections of Assessment and Learning Design
  • Continuous, Fine-grained Assessment for Non-traditional Programs
Profile photo: Chi Au

Chi Au

Third Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Dena Pastor

Education:

Master’s Degree: James Madison University, M.A. Psychological Sciences – Quantitative Psychology Concentration, 2018
Undergraduate Degree: Liberty University, B.S. Psychology, 2014

Research Interests:

  • Bayesian Statistics
  • Measurement Models
  • Validity
  • Use of Assessment Results
Profile photo: Nikole Gregg

Nikole Gregg

Third Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Brian Leventhal

Education:

Master’s Degree: James Madison University, M.A. Psychological Sciences – Quantitative Psychology Concentration, 2018
Undergraduate Degree: James Madison University, B.A. Psychology, 2016

Research Interests:

  • Applications of Multidimensional Item Response Theory
  • Survey Development and Response Processes
  • Test Fairness
  • Accountability to promote equity in K-12 Education
Profile photo: Caroline Prendergast

Caroline Prendergast

Third Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Keston Fulcher

Education:

Master’s Degree: Boston College, M.Ed. Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment, 2018
Undergraduate Degree: James Madison University, B.S. Psychology and Writing & Rhetoric, minor in statistics, 2015

Research Interests:

  • Use of assessment to support improvement of student learning
  • Program theory
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion in assessment
  • Professional development in higher education assessment
Profile photo: Beth Perkins

Beth Perkins

Fourth Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Sara Finney

Education:

Master’s Degree: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, M.S. Psychology, 2010
Undergraduate Degree: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, B.A. Psychology, 2009

Research Interests:

  • Examinee Emotions
  • Measurement
  • Structural Equation Modeling
  • Use of Results
Profile photo: Sarah MacDonald

Sarah MacDonald

Sixth Year Student

Advisor: Dr. Robin Anderson

Education:

Undergraduate Degree: Blackburn College, English Literature, 2002; Master’s Degree: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Rhetoric and Composition, 2004; Master’s Degree: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Adult Education and Human Resource Development, 2007

Research Interests:

  • Prior Learning Assessment
  • Adult Learning
  • Higher Education Policy