Currently, we are witness to profound educational progress: technological advancements, growing student diversity, and revamped accountability systems, for example. In this era of flexibility, we have a golden opportunity as cognitive scientists to take what we've learned about human learning and memory and apply it to education.

Laboratory research is critical for the development of evidence-based strategies, and these strategies can then be applied in the real world to confirm whether they work. Most all of my research on learning has been conducted “in the wild,” while maintaining scientific rigor. As any scientist can explain, applied research is tough. It's "messy." And while it is messy, confirmation that laboratory-based strategies remain effective in authentic educational settings is gratifying. Applied research is not only doable – it's vital.

Here are a few highlights about my research experience:

  • I completed my Ph.D. with generous support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow program
  • For more than a decade, distinguished memory scholar Henry L. Roediger, III (author of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning) continues to serve as my primary mentor and collaborator
  • My research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Educational Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, and the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
  • I served as Guest Editor for a special issue of Educational Psychology Review, entitled “Advances in cognitive psychology relevant to education” (September 2012), and I continue to serve as a reviewer for nearly 20 peer-reviewed journals