A former middle-school teacher, Dr. Alexander received her reading specialist degree from James Madison University in 1979 and her Ph.D. in reading from the University of Maryland in 1981. Her research focuses on literacy and reading comprehension, learning and academic development, critical and relational reasoning, epistemic beliefs, and expertise. After completing her Ph.D., she joined the faculty at Texas A&M University before returning to UMD as a professor in 1995.
Recently named as one of the most influential educational psychologists of the past decade (Patterson-Hazly & Kiewra, 2012), Dr. Alexander has served as President of Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the APA, Vice-President of Division C (Learning and Instruction) of AERA, and Past-President of the Southwest Educational Research Association. Since receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Alexander has published over 270 articles, books, or chapters in the area of learning and instruction. She has also presented over 400 invited addresses or papers at national and international conferences. She currently serves as the senior editor of Contemporary Educational Psychology, was past editor of Instructional Science and Associate Editor of American Educational Research Journal-Teaching, Learning, and Human Development, and presently serves on over 10 editorial boards including those for Learning and Instruction, Educational Psychologist, and the Journal of Educational Psychology.
Courtney graduated from Marquette University in 2006 with degrees in political science and theology, and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2012 with a Master of Science in Education. Before starting her graduate studies at UMD, Courtney taught elementary and middle school Language Arts and Social Studies. As a doctoral student, she now studies prior knowledge activation and relational reasoning, particularly when learners are engaged in text processing. In her free time, Courtney enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with her husband, Kevin.
Sophie graduated from the University of Maryland in 2013 with a degree in psychology and a minor in human development. Now in her fourth year as a doctoral student at Maryland, Sophie studies relational reasoning and its manifestations in the discourse of both individuals and teams. She also contributes to ongoing efforts to develop new, psychometrically sound measures of relational reasoning. Sophie is an avid sports fan and can often be found playing roller hockey at the nearby rink.
Lauren graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University in 2013 with degrees in Special Education and Educational Psychology. She now is a fourth year doctoral candidate focusing her research on the nature, context, and processes underlying reading comprehension. Lauren resides in Baltimore, MD with her husband, Gary, and their puppy, Malia.
Yuting graduated from Tsinghua University in Beijing in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures with a specialization in linguistics. As a doctoral student, she is interested in studying patterns of relational reasoning in classroom discourse. Yuting enjoys traveling and practicing yoga in her free time.
Hongyang graduated from Shandong University in China in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in Translation and Interpretation, and graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2014 with a master's of Education in Learning and Teaching. She is now a second-year doctoral student focusing her research on relational reasoning and language learning. In her free time, Hongyang enjoys taking care of her plants and flowers at home.