A powerful mix of expertise.

The R4S team includes experts in the production and dissemination of research, and the use of data and research evidence by schools and school leaders. Together they form a powerful mix of complementary expertise to support a comprehensive study of both researchers and practitioners.


Dr. Henry May
Principal Investigator
University of Delaware

Henry May, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics and Director of the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development. Dr. May’s primary areas of expertise include methods for program evaluation, experimental and quasi-experimental design, causal inference, multilevel modeling, longitudinal analysis, item response theory (IRT), and missing data theory. He has extensive experience collecting and analyzing survey data and activity log data from large samples of students, teachers, and schools, and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals including: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Education Finance and Policy, Education Administration Quarterly, the Elementary School Journal, Education Policy, the Journal of School Leadership, the American Journal of Evaluation, and the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. His current and recent research projects include leading the R4S research project funded by IES, the $4 million randomized evaluation of the i3 Scale-Up of Reading Recovery, a randomized evaluation of the Ohio Personalized Assessment Reporting System, a longitudinal study of the International Baccalaureate Students’ access, persistence, and performance in postsecondary education as well as a regression discontinuity study of the America’s Choice Ramp-Up to Mathematics program. Dr. May was a senior statistician and psychometrician on the IES-funded validation of the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) involving over 300 schools nationwide. Dr. May was also the primary author on Using State Tests in Education Experiments: A Discussion of the Issues, from the Institute of Education Sciences, a National Center for Education Evaluation technical methods report on the use of state test scores in education experiments from the Institute of Education Sciences. Since 2003, Dr. May has taught advanced statistics and research methods courses to graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware. As a leader for measurement studies, May works closely with Rebecca Maynard, Horatio Blackman, Sara Chapman, Kalyn McDonough, Kati Tilley and Jim O’Toole on tasks that include survey development, pilot design, data collection and analysis, and fielding the main survey.  He will also collaborate on technical reports and writing products for publication in the near future.


Dr. Elizabeth N. Farley- Ripple
Co-Principal Investigator
University of Delaware

Dr. Elizabeth Farley-Ripple, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy in the School of Education and an affiliate of the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware. Her research expertise is in policy analysis and evidence-based decision-making, and she has worked on a range of educational and social policy issues, including research use in all levels of the system, administrator mobility, school and teachers’ use of data, teacher quality and effects, and issues of equity in a variety of student outcomes. Currently, she is co-leading R4S funded by IES and a Spencer-funded project examining teachers’ use of data for instructional decision-making. Dr. Farley-Ripple is an experienced mixed methodologist, with expertise using large administrative data sets, multi-level models, survey research, and social network analysis as well as engaging in large-scale qualitative data collection and analysis. She is also an active member of the policy and practice communities through research partnerships with districts and community organizations, coordinating and advising in education leadership programs, working with the Delaware Department of Education around assessment and data use, and participating in Delaware’s cohesive leadership system for statewide leadership preparation reform. As the Co-Principal Investigator, and leader of the qualitative portion of the measurement studies, Dr. Farley-Ripple works with her team on coding the qualitative data for survey development and manuscript writing. She has also led the center’s outreach and engagement activities, and collaborations with numerous organizations focused on research use.


Dr. Allison Karpyn
University of Delaware

Allison Karpyn, Ph.D. is the Senior Associate Director of the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) and Assistant Professor of Education. For more than 15 years, Dr. Karpyn has developed and lead research and evaluation efforts in education and the social sciences, particularly in low-income communities. As Associate Director of CRESP and Assistant Professor of Education, Dr. Karpyn often works to guide and support the implementation and execution of high-quality research, both qualitative and quantitative. In this project Allison will contribute skills as a mentor and mixed-methods researcher, her experience guiding the development of protocols, and her experience conducting qualitative data analysis. As a Co-Investigator, Dr. Karpyn has assisted with the development of measurement instruments, and supports writing projects around study findings to help further the field of knowledge utilization.



Dr. Rebecca Maynard
University of Pennsylvania

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Rebecca Maynard, Ph.D. recently returned to the University of Pennsylvania, where she is University Trustee Chair Professor of Education and Social Policy, following a two-year leave to serve as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) at the Institute of Education Sciences. She is a leading expert in the design and conduct of randomized controlled trials in the areas of education and social policy, has conducted influential methodological research, recently published open-ware tools to support the efficient deign of rigorous impact evaluations, and is widely acknowledged as an accomplished translator of technical research into the language of policymakers and practitioners. She has been a leader in the development and application of methods for conducting systematic reviews of evidence on program effectiveness, including serving on the technical review team during the design and development of the What Works Clearinghouse, a leader in the workgroup that laid the groundwork for the Campbell Collaboration, and a prominent member of a federal interagency workgroup tasked with initiating the development of a common evidence platform to support more and better use of evidence to inform policy and practice. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA); past president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM); Recipient Peter H. Rossi Award for Contributions to the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation (2009); co-recipient of the Society of Prevention Research (SPR) Public Service Award (2008); and recipient of the Best Book Award: Society for Research on Adolescents (SRA) (1998). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, she was Senior Vice President at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. As a Co-Investigator, Dr. Maynard is actively involved in item writing, survey development, and overall direction of the study.


Dr. Lynn Okagaki
University of Delaware

Lynn Okagaki, Ph.D. is Dean of the University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development. Prior to this appointment, she served in leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). As the first IES Deputy Director for Science, she established the IES scientific peer review system. As Commissioner for Education Research and Acting Commissioner for Special Education Research, she oversaw the development of the IES research grant programs. She designed the IES research goal structure, which creates a stream of research from applied exploratory research through intervention development to efficacy and effectiveness evaluations. Okagaki is focused on solution-driven research to address the challenges faced by schools and the implementation of research-based interventions. Under her leadership, NCER developed two of the first IES practice guides, worked with the U.S. Department of Education’s Doing What Works initiative to translate IES- research for practitioners, and began the first summaries of IES research for practitioners. As a Co-Investigator, Dr. Okagaki has assisted with development of measurement instruments. She has been an integral part in helping to develop the center’s future vision.

Dr. Karen Seashore Louis
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Karen Seashore Louis, Ph.D. is Regents Professor and Robert Holmes Beck Chair of Ideas in Education at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. She has studied knowledge utilization, organizational change, and school leadership, improvement, and reform since the 1970s. Beginning with her dissertation, Dr. Louis analyzed data from the Pilot State Dissemination Project. She was the PI on the RDDU and Labs studies in the late 70s early 80s, and was involved in the Expansion of ERIC and the Pilot State Dissemination Project, the National Diffusion Network, the Research Development, Dissemination and Utilization Project, and investigations of the dissemination and use of knowledge generated by the Regional Educational Laboratories. More recently, she has conducted studies and published numerous articles on organizational learning and dissemination of research knowledge. Recent books include Organizing for School Change (2006), Professional Learning Communities: Divergence, Depth and Dilemmas (with Louise Stoll, 2007), and Building strong school cultures: A guide to leading change (with Sharon Kruse, 2009). She has served as the President of Division A (Educational Administration) of the American Educational Research Association, received the lifetime Contributions to Staff Development award from the National Staff Development Association in 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the University Council for Educational Administration. As a Co-Investigator, she has been involved with manuscript writing, supporting the team in development of the supplemental study proposal, and overall direction of the center.

Researchers & Support Staff


Dr. Sara Grajeda
Research Associate
University of Delaware

Sara Grajeda, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware. She earned her doctoral degree from Brigham Young University in Educational Inquiry, Measurement and Evaluation and her master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation focused on modeling growth in academic achievement for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in math, reading, and English language arts. Her research experience and interests also include measurement development and validation through factor analysis, item response theory, and generalizability theory. Dr. Grajeda is involved with item writing, survey development and data analysis for the center.


Dr. Horatio Blackman
Research Associate
University of Delaware

Horatio Blackman, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Education Policy. His work focuses on identifying and bridging the gap between academic research and practice in schools and districts. His dissertation centers on the intersection between policy and practice, applying cognitive theories of adoption and adaptation to the study of the implementation of a school reform model. Prior to this appointment, he was a research assistant with the Shared Solutions Partnership, which was the first formal research-to-practice partnership between the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Research and Evaluation.


Layne Humphrey
Senior Researcher
University of Delaware

Debora (Layne) Humphrey, M.S.Ed. is the Assistant Director of the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware. She is an accomplished researcher and program manager with over 20 years of experience. Her work has primarily focused on urban, educational, and community settings. Prior to her time at the University of Delaware, Layne managed research for Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine and School of Public Health including a 3-year project seeking to understand and measure the experiences of unstably housed youth in Baltimore City. Her work led the launch of the first count of unstably housed high school aged youth.  For this project she will contribute expertise in qualitative research methods and analysis, and user feedback and survey design. Layne holds a Masters of Education from Shenandoah University. On R4S, Layne assists with coding, cognitive interviews, and manuscript writing as a part of the qualitative portion of the measurement studies.


Kati Tilley
Research Assistant
University of Delaware

Kati Tilley is a doctoral student in Education specializing in Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics at the University of Delaware. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in Psychology in January 2014. She has several years of experience working as a research assistant. She worked as a research assistant in the Psychological and Brain Sciences department at UD as an undergraduate. After graduation Kati worked as a research associate in the Center for Training, Evaluation, and Community Collaboration (CTECC) conducting a mixed methods evaluation study. Currently, she has a research assistantship with the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy in the College of Education and Human Development.  As a member of both the qualitative and quantitative teams, Kati’s role on the Research4Schools project includes survey development, data collection and analysis, qualitative data coding, and manuscript writing.


Rui Wang
Research Assistant
University of Delaware

Rui Wang, M.A. is a doctoral student in Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics at the University of Delaware. He graduated from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics with B.A. in Education, and minor in Finance. He also earned his master degree in Education and Social Policy from New York University. He was involved in several research projects in the field of education, transportation, health, and public policy. He is now a research assistant at CRESP. His primary interest is to use statistics, large datasets, and research designs to analyze different programs. His work on this project will be survey building and data analysis. On R4S, Rui’s work is primarily focused on quantitative data collection and analysis; specifically survey development, distribution, and analysis.

Debbie Micklos

Deborah Amsden Micklos 
Research Coordinator
University of Delaware

Deborah (Debbie) Amsden Micklos, M.S., is the Research Coordinator for the Center for Research Use in Education at the University of Delaware.  She has been involved in research projects for over ten years, most of which occurred in schools or early childhood settings.  Her goal has been to implement the research within the schools with the least disruption to the schools’ routines.  While at the University of Delaware, she managed the Baseline Longitudinal Study of Early Care and Education Programs in Delaware, Full-Day Kindergarten Study, and Improving Students Understanding of Fractions.  Previously, she consulted with the Delaware Department of Education developing statewide curriculum in Family and Consumer Sciences.  She began her career teaching family and consumer sciences in middle school and high school.  She has also worked in Cooperative Extension, disseminating research-based information to those living in Northern Delaware.  For this project, Debbie will coordinate many of the logistics for meeting the timelines and goals of this project.  She also maintains the website, supports the social media and oversees the dissemination of the projects many publications.  She holds a Masters of Science from the University of Delaware.