Research Team

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Emilia Askari is interested in technology, learning and civic engagement. As a third-year doctoral student in EPET, Emilia is polishing her practicum, which encouraged 8th graders to think like news entrepreneurs. Emilia also is a journalist, a lecturer at the University of Michigan, and the mother of two teens. She’s won more than 20 prizes and fellowships and served on the national boards of several professional organizations, including the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Emilia earned a bachelor’s in economics and creative writing from Brown University, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in information studies from the University of Michigan. In 2012, she spent a month in Mongolia working to preserve digital news stories.

Amy Chapman has two primary research interests:  social media and social justice.  She is particularly concerned about the use and effectiveness of both in adolescent populations.  Recent scholarship has included a piece on the best practices for using Twitter in higher education.  Currently, Amy is working on her practicum for the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) doctoral program at Michigan State University; the practicum will be examining the effects of a social justice curriculum on the religious identity of Catholic adolescents.  In addition to her work at MSU, Amy is employed full time at the largest Catholic Church in West Michigan, where she serves as the youth minister for high school students.

Benjamin Gleason

Dr. Jiahang Li is an assistant professor and the associate director at the Confucius Institute at Michigan State University. Dr. Li earned a Ph.D. degree in Reading Education from University of Maryland College Park, his research interests include the impacts that social media has on teaching and learning, educational technology, teacher education, teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and multicultural literature. He earned M.A. and B.A degrees in Chinese Classical Philology from Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University, China. He prefers a communicative approach in language teaching with a focus on providing meaningful and comprehensive input in real life context. He believes the proliferation of technology can benefit students in multiple dimensions, especially in an online or distance environment.

Holly Marich. Holly’s research interests include traditional and New Literacies development among children, specifically K-5 elementary students. Currently, she is investigating second-grade student development of traditional and New Literacy skills as they tweet in their class Twitter account about the “what” and “why” of their daily classroom learning. She is also interested in how to support teachers and their development of Technological-Pedagogical-Content knowledge, TPACK, exploring the affordances of supporting teacher TPACK development through the facilitation of teacher action research communities as professional learning. Holly is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, EPET hybrid program. In addition to her work at MSU, Holly serves on the executive committee as director of membership for the Action Research Network of the Americans and  is employed full time for the State of Nevada as a professional development provider working with teachers across the Northeastern region of the state around topics of literacy and technology.

Dr. Jessica Wicks’ research interests include the design of technology-enhanced, social systems for education and staff training.  In particular, her recent research has focused on the use of natively-hosted social networking solutions and learning management systems to support the organizational socialization of community college adjunct faculty members.  Jessica is employed full-time as the Director of Distance Learning, Multimedia, and Instructional Design at Mid Michigan Community College in Mt. Pleasant, MI where she has spearheaded projects such as the initiation of the Action Committee Coordinating Electronic Student Services (ACCESS).  She is a 2015 graduate of the hybrid Ph.D. program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University.  She also holds both M.A. and B.S. degrees in Human Development & Family Studies from Central Michigan University, for whom she still instructs courses on an adjunct basis.