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People

Faculty

JamilFaiza Jamil

Dr. Jamil (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is an assistant professor of child development at Clemson University and the founder of the CLAD Lab. Her research follows two complementary strands: 1) understanding the underlying psychological processes – cognitive, social, and emotional – that influence teachers’ classroom behaviors and career decisions, and 2) understanding the ways in which teacher-child interactions influence children’s learning and development. More specifically, Dr. Jamil conducts research that leverages her expertise in measurement, assessment, and professional development to better understand and improve the educational experiences of teachers and students within these two broad strands. Dr. Jamil is an affiliate faculty member of Clemson’s Learning Sciences Doctoral Program and Undergraduate Teacher Education Program, to which she brings her own experiences as a K-12 teacher in three countries.

Luke RapaLuke Rapa

Dr. Rapa (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is an assistant professor of adolescent development at Clemson University. Rapa's research rests at the intersection of developmental and educational psychologies. Broadly, Rapa studies how contextual, sociocultural, and sociopolitical factors—including socioeconomic disadvantage, structural constraints, and societal inequality—shape key developmental and psychological processes and promote or constrain adolescents’ development and academic success. More specifically, Rapa's program of research examines (1) how adolescents critically analyze societal inequities and develop the motivation and agency to redress such inequities, or develop “critical consciousness”; (2) how youth navigate structural constraints or marginalizing systems (e.g., institutional racism, discrimination, stereotypes in school) to achieve academic success and well-being; and (3) how social identity threats shape development and how and social-psychological interventions can bolster academic performance and promote well-being.

Graduate Students

Amanda Bennettbennett

Amanda is a doctoral student in the learning sciences program with a focus on early childhood learning and development. Amanda’s research interests include self-regulated learning, social developmental play, and executive functioning skills in young learners. Amanda’s current work as a graduate assistant addresses early childhood teachers’ professional learning and development in relation to format, implementation, curriculum, and improving student achievement. Amanda has five years prior experience as an early childhood teacher.

DeOnte Brownbrown

DeOnte is a doctoral student in the learning sciences with an emphasis on human development through schooling. DeOnte’s research interests are the academic skill development and learning experiences of adolescents and emerging adults that identify as a person of color. Primarily this research is in the context of social learning environments at the collegiate level. DeOnte’s current work focuses on understanding the use of peer groups as academic support spaces for the development of self-regulated learning skills in black college students. Additionally, he works with peer mentoring programs that aide in the college transition for students of color which also supports his research agenda. DeOnte has prior experience working with adolescents through a high school college access program.

Joseph MyerJoseph Myer

Joseph is a doctoral student in the learning sciences program with an emphasis on methods and pedagogy in online environments.  His research interests include assessment design, improvement and innovation of virtual school environments and using digital tools to enhance online learning communication.  Joseph currently works as a graduate assistant performing data assessment and survey design for accreditation purposes.  He has 20 years of teaching experience in secondary mathematics.

Abby StephanAbby Stephan

Abby is a doctoral student in the learning sciences program. Broadly, her research interests include self-directed learning, motivation, and learning within communities of practice, as well as cultural influence on informal and formal learning. Abby currently works as a graduate assistant for the General Engineering Learning Community, which supports freshmen engineering students in building effective learning strategies that are transferable to the workforce, including collaboration, self-regulation, and reflection. 

Kris TaylorKris Taylor

Kris is a first year doctoral student in the learning sciences program and Coordinator of Assessment and Analytics for the College of Education. Kris also has extensive experience coordinating early field experiences for pre-service teachers which inspired his emerging research agenda. Kris’ research interests include moral development across the life-span, moral reasoning and professional ethics, and learning environments that foster individuals’ personal and professional development.

Samuel WilkesSamuel Wilkes

Samuel is a doctoral student in the learning sciences program with a focus on critical pedagogy. His research interests include educational linguistics, particularly as it relates to developing critical language awareness in marginalized language students, culturally sustaining pedagogies, and conceptualizations of democracy in education. Samuel's current work looks at the ways writing centers can orient themselves to promote critical language awareness in students and tutors through student-led, tutor-scaffolded participation. Prior to graduate school, Samuel served as a writing fellow for four semesters at his undergraduate university's writing center.