Dr. A. Nayena Blankson (Principal Investigator & Senior Mentor) is a tenured Full Professor of Psychology at Spelman College. She received her at PhD in quantitative psychology from the University of Southern California, where she studied with the late Dr. John L. Horn, an expert in the field of quantitative methodology. Her research interests straddle both quantitative and developmental psychology. Her research to date has focused on examination of cognition in young children as related to environment and socioemotional factors, including several first authored publications and federal grants to support this work. She has extensive expertise in the use of sophisticated quantitative methodology to address substantive research questions, including dynamic structural equation modeling and moderated mediation.
Dr. Blankson is the 2012 recipient of the Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award and 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship at Spelman. She is the director of the Cognition and Temperament (CAT) Lab at Spelman (Research funded by NIH R15HD077511 and NSF Award #1832090); she is Program Director of the Spelman RISE Program (NIH R25GM060566) and she is the Director of the INSPIRE U2 summer REU site (NSF Award #1852056). Dr. Blankson will serve as the Statistics Bootcamp instructor and a Senior Mentor.
Dr. Lisa C. Dierker (Senior Personnel & Senior Mentor) is a Professor of Psychology and has been PI on an NSF funded project-based introductory course (TUES0942246 and 1323084). With training in chronic disease epidemiology, her research focuses on the application of state-of-the-art statistical methods in understanding the natural history of development of nicotine dependence and other addictive behaviors. During 2008-2009, and again in 2017, she was in residence as a visiting faculty member at The Methodology Center at Penn State University, an interdisciplinary NIDA and NSF funded center focused on the development and dissemination of cutting-edge statistical methods. She has also previously received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to mentor underrepresented students through their summer research program. Dr. Dierker has shown an extraordinarily strong commitment to teaching undergraduate courses in the areas of statistics and research methods and she is the lead developer of the Passion-Driven Statistics curriculum.
Dr. Lisa L. Harlow (Senior Personnel & Senior Mentor) received her Ph.D. in Psychometrics from UCLA and is a Professor at the University of Rhode Island. She is a recipient of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 5 Jacob Cohen Distinguished Teacher and Mentor Award, two Scholarly Excellence awards, and a past president of the APA Division 5 and the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology. Her main focus is on increasing interest, diversity, understanding, and retention in quantitative science. She has 90+ publications and $8,300,000+ in grants on advancing science, health, and minority training in quantitative science. She is Editor of the Taylor & Francis/LEA Multivariate Application Book Series and the Psychological Methods journal; and co-organizer of Quantitative Training for Underrepresented Groups, funded by NSF (Grant #0720063). Previously, she was a Co-PI on NSF grants to Advance Women in STEM Disciplines (Grant# 0245039) and on Multidisciplinary Science and Engineering Learning Communities.