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.
Sophie graduated from the University of Maryland in 2013 with a degree in psychology and a minor in human development. Now in her sixth 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.
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 fourth-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.
Anisha graduated with a master’s degree in English from the University of Delhi, India. She moved to the United States in 2013 to pursue a second Masters in International Education from the George Washington University. Now as a doctoral student, her research focuses on reading across different media (with a special interest in audiobooks), multiple source use in online environments, and the effects of multilingualism in digital communication.
In the free time she gets as a doctoral student she likes to kick back with a good book or amble through a city.
Eric graduated with a Liberal Arts and Sciences bachelor degree in Psychology, Cognitive neuroscience, Linguistics, and Statistics, from University College Roosevelt [Utrecht University] honors college in The Netherlands. Then, he discovered the field of Educational Psychology, which allows him to pursue all four of these interests. He studied Human Learning and Performance at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and he researched the motivational construct “relevance”, together with Sofie Loyens and Fred Paas. Now, as a first-year doctoral student, he hopes to further define his research interests.
In his free time, he can be found swimming in UMD’s whopping pool, ambling across DC’s National Mall, or spending an excessive time ringing his family and friends.
In 2017, Julianne graduated with Honors from University College Roosevelt, a small Liberal Arts & Sciences College in Middelburg, the Netherlands. She majored in Linguistics and Religion and pursued an Educational Minor under the supervision of Remy Rikers and Sofie Loyens. During that Minor, she discovered her true interests: teaching, learning, and learning about learning. She is now enrolled in her first semester as a doctoral student in the Disciplined Reading and Learning Research Laboratory.
In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching good movies, and singing in a choir.
Jannah is currently an undergraduate at California State University, Chico. After completing her Bachelor's degree in Psychology this December, 2018, she plans on attending a doctoral program in Educational Psychology. Her current research focuses on the effects of visuals on reading comprehension. In her free time, Jannah enjoys spending time with family and traveling with her significant other, Jay.