Jennifer Cromley

My research focuses on two broad areas: 1) reading comprehension of illustrated scientific text and 2) cognitive and motivational predictors of STEM students' achievement and retention. My research includes both studies of basic processes (how learning works) and classroom interventions (how to help students learn better). I use a variety of research methods, including questionnaires, think-aloud protocols, eye tracking, analyses of student work products such as sketches, and analyses of computer logfiles. My research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation.

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Martin Van Boekel

Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams finished a Master’s program at UIUC in Secondary Science Education. Taylor worked in the Cromley Lab for 2 years working on various projects related to science learning throughout the grade levels. She completed a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology from UIUC where she worked in the Exercise Psychophysiology Lab.  Both experiences have inspired her to delve more deeply into the learning process and how children learn science. She currently teaches middle school science.

Rachel Bentivenga

Rachel Bentivenga is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in English as a Second Language.  At UIUC, Rachel works as an undergraduate research assistant in the Cromley Lab.  Her research revolves around comprehension and common misconceptions in various subjects in a classroom setting.  She also works at the University of Illinois Foundation as the Coordinator of Hiring and Recruitment.  Rachel’s goals for the future are to teach at the elementary level and promote a classroom environment that is inclusive and values the differences among all students.

Chelsea Oleson

Priyanka Chopra

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Nur Dane

Nur Dane is a Doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the department of Counseling Psychology. She graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s in Genetics and her involvement on campus and a minor in Psychology allowed her to choose to do race related research, specifically racial bias, during her graduate work. Nur currently works as a research assistant at the Cromley Lab. She plans on working as a faculty researcher once she is done with her degree.

LuEttaMae Lawrence is a Master’s student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the department of Curriculum and Instruction, Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, and Agency program. At UIUC, LuEttaMae works as a research assistant in the Cromley Lab and the Collaborative Learning Lab. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Iowa State University, which inspired her interest in the visual design of educational technology. Her research currently explores how incremental design modifications of multimedia tools impacts learning. LuEttaMae’s goals are to continue creating and researching multimedia tools in industry or complete further research at the doctorate level.  

Colin Castleberry

Colin Castleberry is a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the departments of Bioengineering and Engineering Education. At UIUC, Colin works as a research assistant in the Cromley Educational Psychology Lab, The Imoukhuede Systems Biology Lab, and Amos Engineering Education Lab. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which inspired his interest in complex biological system control, and his recent experiences in teaching and mentoring as a teaching assistant sparked his passion for education. His research currently explores complex system design, analysis, and control in both adaptive teaching applications and in biological systems for therapy. Colin’s goals are to continue enhancing system control methods to effectively adapt curriculum instruction to individual student needs, and to facilitate the development of life-saving therapies.

Yang Du

Yang Du is a doctoral student in the Queries division in the Department of Educational Psychology. She joined the Cromley lab in spring of 2018. Yang earned her master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and taught ESL classes in various educational settings. Her master’s research on language assessment leads to her current study about educational measurement. Particularly, she is interested in computerized adaptive testing (CAT), item response theory (IRT), and differential item functioning (DIF). Yang’s short-term goal is to continue exploring realistically optimal algorithms in CAT and to apply them in test industry. In the long run, Yang plans on working as a faculty researcher and implementing more cutting-edge projects.

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Nikita Raheja

Nikita Raheja is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign majoring in Psychology on the pre-Healthcare track.  Nikita works as a research assistant in the Cromley Lab where she works to transcribe interviews in order to further the understanding of learning in humans.  In the future, Nikita hopes to continue her studies by going to PA school or Medical school.  

Juhi Shah

Juhi Shah is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champign. She is currently undeclared but is pursuing to major in Dietetics. Juhi is a research assistant in Dr. Cromely's lab where she works to transcribe the interviews and questions that were taken. She hopes to gain research experience and a better understanding of how the human brain learns during this lab. 

Elizabeth Zelenka

Elizabeth Zelenka is a first-year undergraduate studying at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from Chicago, pursuing a major in Statistics. Elizabeth is a research assistant in Dr. Cromley’s lab as well as Dr. Neville’s. Through this lab experience, she hopes to go into education research in the future with the intent to improve city schooling.

Shelana Martin

Shelana is an undergraduate majoring in Learning Educational Studies with a concentration in Digital Environments for Learning Teaching Agency and a Minor in Informatics. Originally from Chicago, she is a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship and is the president of two registered student organization on campus. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, which centers around Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service, and Sistas In STEM, that caters to the professional and academic needs of minority women in STEM Majors here at the university. She is also a research assistant for the GRASP project here at the university.

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Avi Kaplan 

Temple University


Tony Perez

Old Dominion University


Ting Dai

University of Illinois Chicago 


Yona Davidson

Temple University

Wanda Brooks

Old Dominion University


Eboni Zamani-Gallaher

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Julie L. Booth

Temple University 

Tia Fechter 



Frank Nelson

Temple University


Arianna White

Old Dominion University


Kyle R. Mara

University of Southern Indiana


Michael J. Balsai

Temple University


Natasha Beretvas

University of Texas at Austin


Nora S. Newcombe

Temple University