Faculty and Staff

STEM Faculty

Jennifer Wilhelm, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Department Chair
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Vita (PDF)
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Dr. Wilhelm joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Education in 2009 as an Associate Professor in Science Education and as an engagement and outreach faculty member of the University of Kentucky’s Partnership Institute for Mathematics and Science Education. She was promoted to Full Professor in 2014. She holds an M.S. in Physics from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Mathematics/Science Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Wilhelm was an Associate Professor at Texas Tech University and was awarded the Texas Tech University’s Presidential Academic Achievement Award in 2009.

Dr. Wilhelm’s primary research interest involves the design of inquiry-based, project-enhanced, interdisciplinary learning environments. She investigates how people understand science and mathematics concepts as they participate in project work that demands the integration of multiple content areas. Dr. Wilhelm’s research focuses on project pieces that are inherently interdisciplinary and fruitful for contextualized student learning. Some examples include examining the development of students’ science and mathematics content understanding as they engage in studies of motion and rate of change; sound waves and trigonometry; and the moon’s phases, the moon’s motion, and spatial geometry.

Brett Criswell, Ph.D., Penn State University
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Vita (PDF)

Dr. Criswell joined the faculty in 2013 as a Clinical Assistant Professor in STEM Education and as the department representative on Kentucky’s STEMx Project. He holds an M.S. in Science Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction (with a Science Education emphasis) from Penn State University. Following 15 years of teaching high school chemistry and the completion of his doctoral degree, Dr. Criswell was a faculty member at Georgia State University where he was the coordinator for the MAT Secondary Science program. He was also a Co-PI on a Noyce Track II grant designed to develop chemistry and physics teacher leaders (a project with which he is still associated). Another grant on which he is currently a Co-PI is representative of his research interests: Integrating Quality Talk Professional Development to Enhance Professional Vision and Leadership for Teachers in High-Needs STEM schools. This NSF-funded grant is focused on using a discourse model (Quality Talk) to improve the learning of science in high school classrooms. Understanding the effect of this model on the meaning making in which the students engage and on the teachers’ ability to interpret and respond to students’ reasoning is exemplary of the kind of work in which Dr. Criswell likes to immerse himself.

Molly Fisher, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Director of Graduate Studies
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Vita (PDF)
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Dr. Fisher joined the faculty in 2009 as an assistant professor of mathematics education.  She began her career as a high school mathematics teacher in the Charlotte, NC area.  She obtained her B.A. in Mathematics, M.A. in Mathematics Education, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (with an Urban Mathematics Education specialization), all from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Most recently, Dr. Fisher taught mathematics and mathematics education courses at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. When she joined the faculty in 2009 she had six years of high school mathematics teaching experience, two years of high school online teaching experience, and three years of college-level teaching experience. Dr. Fisher’s research interests include studying the professional noticing of preservice elementary teachers as well as their understanding of early numeracy learning progressions such as the Stages of Early Arithmetic Learning (SEAL).  She also studies teachers’ stress, burnout, and coping skills, especially among beginning teachers. Dr. Fisher is the PI on the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program for STEM Education at the University of Kentucky where she oversees eight undergraduate research fellows each year as they participate in research projects with the STEM Education faculty.

Cindy Jong, Ph.D., Boston College
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Vita (PDF)

Dr. Jong joined the faculty in 2011 as an assistant professor in mathematics education. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Jong taught at the elementary level in the Clark County School District for a few years prior to earning her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Mathematics Education at Boston College. While at Boston College, she worked as a graduate assistant on the Teachers for a New Era Evidence Team, led by Dr. Marilyn Cochran-Smith. As a member of this interdisciplinary team, she examined the impact of teacher education on pupil learning and issues of social justice using various research designs. Prior to joining the STEM Education Department at UK, Dr. Jong worked as an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University for two years. Her current research interests include preparing elementary school teachers to teach mathematics effectively, understanding teachers’ ideas of teaching mathematics for social justice, and providing support for novice teachers in mathematics.

Rebecca McNall Krall, Ph.D., University of Virginia
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Vita (PDF)

Dr. Krall joined the faculty in the Department of STEM in fall 2003. Dr. Rebecca Krall came to the university after completing her doctoral degree in science education at the University of Virginia. She also holds a B.A. in elementary education from Virginia Tech and a M.Ed. in science education from the University of Virginia. She served as a classroom teacher in grades 6 – 8 for seven years in Virginia public schools prior to pursuing her graduate degrees. Dr. Krall’s current research interests include examining strategies for preparing preservice science teachers to effectively use educational technology in science instruction, exploring ways to use educational technology tools to support inquiry learning in elementary science, examining teachers’ content knowledge in science topics they are expected to teach, and exploring how professional development programs in science improve teachers content knowledge and teaching practice, and how teachers’ participation in such programs subsequently effects student learning.

 

Lisa Krause, Ed.D., University of Illinois
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Vita (PDF)

Dr. Krause joined the University of Kentucky faculty in 2014 as a clinical assistant professor of mathematics education. Dr. Krause holds a Masters in Educational Administration and a Masters in Mathematics Education, both from Eastern Illinois University.  Dr. Krause received her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois. Dr. Krause taught sixth grade mathematics in central Illinois for 10 years, where she worked with numerous pre-service teachers. She also taught one semester of middle level mathematics education at the University of Illinois, and earned her National Board Certification in 2010.  Her research interests include teacher professional development, assessment writing and analysis, and middle school mathematics education.

 

Xin Ma, Ph.D., University of British Columbia
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Vita (PDF)

Dr. Ma joined the faculty in 2003. He holds a Masters in Mathematics Education from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the same institution. Dr. Ma taught mathematics education and education statistics at St. Francis Xavier University and the University of Alberta in Canada before coming to the University of Kentucky. He became a Fellow of the ( U.S.) National Academy of Education in 2001 and received the Early Career Contribution Award from the Committee for Scholars of Color in Education, American Educational Research Association in 2003. Professor Ma holds an appointment in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology. Dr. Ma’s research interests include mathematics education, school effectiveness, policy research, and advanced quantitative methods.

 

Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
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Vita (PDF)
Website | About

Dr. Mohr-Schroeder joined the University of Kentucky faculty in 2006.  She is an associate professor of mathematics education where she is the chair of the secondary mathematics education program. She holds a BSEd and MS in Mathematics from Pittsburg State University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Mathematics Education from Texas A&M University. As a native of Kansas, she began her career as a junior high, high school, community college, and college mathematics instructor. Since her arrival to UK, Dr. Mohr-Schroeder has been involved in over $13 million in NSF funding, expanding STEM Education through various initiatives including the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI), and has been instrumental in garnering internal and external funding to support transdisciplinary teacher preparation. When she is not boating, camping, or using her mathematical abilities to remodel her home, she enjoys researching pre-service teacher Mathematics Education, Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching, and Assessment.