Christopher L. Thomas, M.A., is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at Ball State University and a current fellow in the Research Design Studio. His areas of work include exploring the determinants of academic help-seeking behavior, the neural underpinnings of maladaptive and adaptive perfectionism, and the development of techniques to identify test anxious learners. He has expertise in research methodologies, statistical analyses, and cognitive dissonance theory and currently supports several research initiatives examining optimized student learning.
Jerrell Cassady is a professor of psychology at Ball State University. His areas of work include exploring the impact of academic anxieties (e.g., test anxiety) on learner outcomes in standard educational settings. This line of work has produced the Academic Anxiety Research Consortium, which he directs. He also has studied emergent literacy development trends with topics such as phonological awareness acquisition – with a particular focus on the impact of using technology support tools to advance children’s successes. In another line of research support, Cassady has worked with colleagues in the field of gifted studies to examine the social and emotional needs of gifted adolescents and the effects of instructional differentiation on elementary students’ learning for math and language arts. Cassady is also a recognized expert in program evaluation for educational programs. His work in this domain has led to several external grants examining the efficacy of funded programs through federal agencies and foundations.