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News from April 2013

University of Virginia professor Vivian Wong to present on experimental, quasi-experimental designs
April 24, 2013

Vivian Wong—an assistant professor of research, statistics, and evaluation at the University of Virginia—will explore experimental and quasi-experimental designs at a MCPER-sponsored event on May 9. Wong will present "Better Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design" from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the Dean's Lounge (SZB 238). To RSVP, send an e-mail with "Wong" in the subject line to rsvp@meadowscenter.org.

Wong will discuss the basic features of and causal treatment effect produced by each of four research designs for assessing causal effects: randomized experiment, regression discontinuity, interrupted time series, and nonequivalent comparison group. Wong also will discuss common issues when using each design in the field and present examples of how to use the designs to assess program effects. Finally, Wong will examine the latest methodological developments for designing and implementing experimental and quasi-experimental designs in the field.

MCPER’s Jacob Williams completes doctoral degree
April 19, 2013

Congratulations to Jacob Williams for becoming MCPER's newest doctor. Dr. Williams, a member of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and Texas Literacy Initiative projects, successfully defended his dissertation, Administrator Perception of Threat From Students With Disabilities and Disciplinary Decisions. Williams earned the degree through the Special Education Administration Program in the Department of Educational Administration.

Tags: Reading Institute Dropout Prevention Institute  Texas Juvenile Justice Department Project 

Elizabeth Swanson featured in Voice of Literacy podcast
April 18, 2013

Elizabeth Swanson discussed her work with MCPER's Promoting Adolescents' Comprehension of Text project in a recent installment of the Voice of Literacy podcast series. The podcast, "Middle School Social Studies: Using the Text to Improve Reading Comprehension," also touches on a recent article by Swanson and MCPER colleagues in Reading Research Quarterly.

In the Voice of Literacy series, Elizabeth Baker of the University of Missouri interviews literacy researchers about the implications of their research. The series is posted biweekly from September to April. All previous talks are posted in the online archive.

Tags: Reading Institute  Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text 

Three MCPER staff members to receive UT Staff Service Awards
April 1, 2013

Christy Murray, a director of MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute; Greg Roberts, executive director of the Vaughn Gross Center and associate director of MCPER; and Debbie Van Loan of MCPER's Administrative Team will each receive a UT Staff Service Award in recognition of their many years of excellent work at The University of Texas at Austin. Murray will be recognized for 10 years of service, and Roberts and Van Loan will be recognized for 15 years of service. The Staff Service Awards Program "celebrates and recognizes the contributions of committed staff who are responsible for transforming lives for the benefit of society," according to the UT website. Both the centers and the university thank Murray, Roberts, and Van Loan for their valuable contributions to our success.

Tags: Dropout Prevention Institute Middle School Matters Institute Reading Institute Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties