University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Current Students

 Master /Sixth-Year Students

Doctoral Students

  Rasis Alanazi Cody Hatcher
Nicholas Lezynski   Paul Barnett  Clint Kennedy
 Ashley Muraczewski   Beomkyu Choi  Ben Lai
Xinran Zhu   Andrew Cochran  Lindsey Le-Gervais
    Elijah Clapp  Xiaochen Liu
     Anna Dilley  Shiyu (Sheila) Song
    Charles Dye  Meng (Simon) Wang
     Jiajun Guo  


Student Profiles


Anna Dilley
Advisor: Dr. Ronald A. Beghetto

Research Interests: Anna is interested in creativity, particularly the development of creativity, but hasn’t focused her research yet.

Academic Background: She has a BS in Psychology, and a BA in Fine Arts from Purdue University.

Rasis headshot

Rasis Alanazi
Advisor: Dr. Scott W. Brown

Research Interests: Implementations of multimedia in teaching graduate students; Distance learning and training programs

Academic Background: Received a BA in English Literature from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. Received MA in E-Distance Learning & Training from Arabian Gulf University where she also received a certificate of High Diploma in E-Distance Learning & Training.

Graduate Assistantship: Has a half-time graduate assistantship working with Dr. Scott Brown on the GlobalEd2 Project.

Paul Barnett

Paul Barnett
Advisor: Dr. James C. Kaufman

Research Interests: Creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking across domains; Creativity in technical applications including design & fabrication and computer science
Academic Background: Paul earned a Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology and a dual bachelor of arts in Philosophy and Theatre from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. His emphasis in Philosophy is in logic and ethics. Paul spent two summers studying Italian at the Centro Culturale Giacomo Puccini in Viareggio Italy.
Professional Background: Paul has been a professional designer and fabricator for almost 20 years. He has served as the scenic designer, technical director, and props master in academic, professional, and corporate venues. In addition to his professional work Paul has taught technical theatre classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level including Introduction to Design for the Theatre, Stagecraft, and Plastics and Alternative Construction Materials.

Beomkyu Choi

Advisor: Dr. Michael F. Young

Research Interests: Instructional design through emerging technologies; the role of technology in knowledge construction; Using game-based mechanics, aesthetics to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems

Academic Background:  Beomkyu is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He received his B.A. in Elementary Education from Chuncheon National University of Education, South Korea and M.A. in Educational Technology from Korea National University of Education. He worked as an elementary school teacher for eight years in South Korea.

Graduate Assistantship: Holds a full-time assistantship with the UConn Two Summers Masters in  Educational Technology Program under the direction of Dr. Michael Young.


Elijah Clapp
Advisor: Dr. Michael F. Young

Research Interests: ole of technology in elementary education; gaming and its applications in education; application of assistive technologies in universal design

Professional Background: Elijah is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Elijah received his Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Carleton College and his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota. Elijah has taught and continues to teach as an elementary classroom educator for 14 years in Minneapolis, the Bahamas, Luxembourg, and Connecticut. Elijah has served as webmaster for a number of schools around the worlds, and acted as coordinator for an after-school program funded through a CHOICE grant.

Graduate Assistantship: Elijah holds a part-time assistantship with the UConn Two Summers Program under his advisor, Dr. Michael Young.


Charles Dye
Advisor: Dr. Scott W. Brown

Research interests: Assessment of unstructured and structured constructivist learning; virtualization technology & its impact on learner behaviors and expectations; structured modeling for return on investment in educational technologies; combinatorial uses of educational technologies to facilitate particularized learning trajectories/outcomes.

Academic Background: Juris Doctor (Intellectual Property Certificate Program) with Honors, University of Connecticut School of Law, 2004; B.S., Mathematics & Computer Science, Cornell University, 1987.


Meng (Simon) Wang
Advisor: Dr. Scott W. Brown

Research Interests: Personality, self-regulated learning, online learning, instrument design, technology affordances in second language acquisition

Academic Background: Simon is a Ph.D candidate in in the Cognition, Instruction, and Learning Technologies program at the University of Connecticut. He earned his M.A. degrees respectively from Eastern Michigan University in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Tianjin Foreign Studies University, China, in English/Language Arts Teacher Education. He received his B.A. in English Language and Literature from Tianjin Foreign Studies University. He served as part-time English lecturer for two years prior coming to the U.S, and taught beginning level Chinese classes full time in Michigan for six months.

Graduate Assistantship: Currently a full-time research assistant working with Dr. Scott Brown for the GE2 project and other faculty members in the CILT program. Simon is also a part-time instructor at the University of Connecticut American English Language Institute.


Jiajun Guo
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Plucker

Research Interests: Developing measures or techniques to assess critical components (person, process, product and environment) of creativity as well as the interaction among these components; Cognitive/neurological processes underlying creative thinking; Development of creative ability and its implications for instruction in the classroom as well as training in other educational settings.

Academic Background: Received Bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Education from School of Preschool Education and Special Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, MA in Special Education with a concentration in Autism from School of Preschool Education and Special Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. He studied for one year as a doctoral student in the Educational Psychology program, Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology, School of Education, Indiana University before transferring to the University of Connecticut to join his advisor, Dr. Jonathan Plucker.

Graduate Assistantship: Holds a full time graduate assistantship working with Dr. Richard Gonzales and Dr. Sarah Woulfin in the Department of Educational Leadership on projects related to leadership & creativity.


Clint Kennedy
Advisor: Dr. Donald Leu

Research Interests: Learning, literacy, networks, teacher education, emerging technologies.

Academic Background: BSE in Systems Engineering from UPenn. MA in Educational Psychology from UConn. PhD candidate in Educational Psychology, Cognition, Instruction, and Learning Technologies at UConn.

Professional Background: Chief Technology Officer for Branford Public Schools since 2008.  In Branford, Clint oversees the districts technology department, manages technology related staff, and directs the school’s various educational technology initiatives including 1-to-1 initiatives at the elementary and middle school levels. Prior to working in Branford, Clint worked as the Director of Technology for 9 years for Stonington Public Schools.

Ben Lai
Advisor: Dr. Michael F. Young
Research Interests: Anonymity in online teaching and learning, game-based learning, online education, online threaded discussions

Academic Background: Ben is a doctoral student in Educational Technology at University of Connecticut. He has a B.A. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University, Teachers College.

Graduate Assistantship: Holds a full-time assistantship with the UConn Two Summers Masters in Educational Technology Program under his advisor, Dr. Michael Young.


Lindsey K. Le-Gervais
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Plucker

Research Interests: Teacher-efficacy in using higher-order thinking skills pedagogy in the classroom, supplemental instruction, the role of teaching expertise on choices of pedagogy,  and systemic issues and cultural perspectives in teaching and learning.

Academic Background: M.A in Educational Psychology, B.A in Psychology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (minor in Classical Languages). Has worked as a teacher and assistant for students with learning and emotional disabilities in grades K-4 for three years.

Shiyu S.

Shiyu (Sheila) Song
Advisor: Dr. Scott W. Brown

Research Interests: Motivation and self-efficacy of student in classroom, problem-based learning and learning science.

Academic Background: Sheila is now a Ph.D student in the CILT program. Department of Educational Psychology. She earned her B.S. with Honors in Psychology and Cognition Science from East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. She is a junior-level School Counselor and has served as a telephone consultant in HuaDa Institute of Applied Psychology in Shanghai since 2011.

Graduate Assistantship: Holds a research assistantship working on the GlobalEd2 project lead by Dr. Scott Brown.

Xinning C.

Xinning  Cui 
Advisor: Dr. Scott W. Brown

Academic background
: Xinning(Jean) is a Masters student in the Cognition, Instruction, and learning Technology program and received her B.A. in English Education in Capital Normal University, Beijing, 2012. She worked in Beijing Chaoyang Foreign Language School as a seventh-grade English teacher for one year. She holds the Chinese teacher certificate (senior level).
 Ryan Hatcher

Cody Hatcher
Advisor: Dr. Ronald A. Beghetto

Research Interests: motivation, creativity, self-efficacy, second language acquisition
Academic Background: B.S.  Biology, Virginia Tech; M.A. Curriculum and Instruction, Virginia Tech
Ashley Muraczewski

Ashley Muraczewski
Advisor: Dr. Donald Leu

Research Interests:  Child Development, Teacher Development, Cognition, Emerging Technologies
Academic Background:  I have a BA in Psychology from Saint Anselm College 2013 and I am currently working towards my Master’s in the Cognition, Instruction, and Learning Technology program.

Nicholas Lezynski
Advisor: Dr. Scott W. Brown


Research Interests: As an aspiring college football coach, I am interested in Learning and Cognition as it relates to teenagers and young adults. More specifically, I am focused on the Zone of Proximal Development and how it applies to teaching and coaching.

Academic Background: In 2011, I received an Undergraduate Business degree from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in addition to a Theology minor. This is my 2nd year in the Educational Psychology program here at UConn. I was an assistant football coach at the College of the Holy Cross for 2012 and 2013.

Graduate Assistantship: I am a Graduate Assistant for the UConn football program and studying the Educational Psychology program.

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Xiaochen Liu
Advisor:Dr. Donald Leu

Research Interest: Cognition, teaching technology, peer study, school psychology
Academic Background: Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology, China University of Political Science and Law, 2014