Student & Alumni Profiles - University of Houston
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Meet some of the students and graduates of our measurement, quantitative methods and learning sciences Ph.D. program! Feel free to reach out with questions.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS

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Taylor Alexander

Education background: B.S. in mathematics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; I started UH doctoral program in fall 2019.

What drew me to UH? The MQMLS program offered a diverse environment where I could pursue my combined interests in education, psychology and statistics.

My research/career interests and inspiration: My research interests include ethnic and gender disparities in STEM and the complexities of student athlete transitions. I hope to pursue a career in program development and use my skills to create and improve relevant programs.

What I enjoy in my free time: I enjoy partaking in the creativity of styling/fashion, as well as the art of movement such as dancing, skating and volleyball.  

Advice to prospective students: Allow yourself to explore different research interests, labs, teaching experiences, mentors, etc., because that is how you figure out what you like and don’t like.

Contacttmalexa4@cougarnet.uh.edu

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Kahyun Lee

Education background: B.S. in psychology, Sungshin Women’s University; M.A. in psychology, Sungkyunkwan University; I started the UH doctoral program in fall 2021.

What drew me to UH? Research at UH drew me. Dr. Master’s growth mindset studies and Dr. Kim’s multilevel modeling and longitudinal studies drew me to UH.

My research/career interests and inspiration: My research interests are applied statistical modeling. Specifically, I’m interested in applying statistical models to the growth mindset or emotional punctuality (applied research). My research goal is to gather and analyze growth mindset and emotional stability with a diary survey and intensive longitudinal modeling.

What I enjoy in my free time: I’m an energetic person. I enjoy swimming, pilates, yoga, etc. Also, I enjoy socializing with other people.

Advice to prospective students: Keep learning and going! Achieve what you have wanted with fluent faculties’ knowledge and excellent teaching!

Contactklee46@cougarnet.uh.edu

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Shaila Sharmin

Education background: B.S. and M.S. in applied statistics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh; M.S. in statistics, University of Toledo, Ohio; I started the UH doctoral program in fall 2020.

What drew me to UH? My interest in conducting research related to educational, psychological health and other societal aspects and how these interplay with policy and economics.

My research/career interests and inspiration: My research interest is in application of statistical methodology such as mediation and moderation analysis, survival analysis, longitudinal data analysis, multilevel modeling and measurement theory (e.g., item response theory) to understand complex real-life problems in psychological and educational assessment. Before arriving at UH, I worked as a researcher at a specialized agency of United Nations (UNFAO). Currently, I am involved in active research with my advisor, Dr. Han Joe Kim, and collaborating with other researchers on various projects. Having done some research into the content of social facts using quantitative methods, my interest grew towards building up my career in faculty teaching and conducting research in psychology and education.

What I enjoy in my free time: I enjoy spending my free time with family and friends, exploring new restaurants and playing board games.

Advice to prospective students: The MQMLS doctoral program broadens the perspectives of using both quantitative methods as well as implementing different learning theories in content areas. Building up profound knowledge to design, conduct and use research in educational and psychological fields will enhance the opportunity for the students to be involved in making changes on society’s greatest challenges.

Contactssharmin@cougarnet.uh.edu 

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Daijiazi Tang

Education background: B.S. in general studies — early childhood education, University of Central Oklahoma; M.Ed. in elementary education, University of Nevada, Reno; I started the UH doctoral program in fall 2018.

What drew me to UH? MQMLS offered great research opportunities with broad concentrations. This supported both my personal research interest and my career goal in academia. Faculties have their own expertise and are very supportive. Houston is one of the most habitable cities, full of surprises and sunshine.

My research/career interests and inspiration: My research interests focus broadly on achievement motivation, behavioral well-being, learning engagement and achievement-related outcomes in STEM education and other scenarios.

What I enjoy in my free time: Outside of the academic environment, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, painting, reading, interior design and playing billiards. I am a dog and coffee person.

Advice to prospective students: Keep climbing. Finished might be more important than perfect.

Contact: dtang6@uh.edu   

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Minh-Hao Tran

Education background: B.S. in psychology, Oregon State University; M.S. in applied psychological sciences, Pacific University; I started the UH doctoral program in fall 2020.

What drew me to UH? The opportunity to stay in Houston and the ability to keep a good work-life balance.

My research/career interests and inspiration: Statistics and quantitative methods, biopsychosocial factors that impact academic achievement, behavioral economics and decision-making

What I enjoy in my free time: Baking, weightlifting, tending to my plethora of plants, hiking and hugs and kisses from my puppy  

Advice to prospective students: Be realistic with your workload and manage your time wisely.

Contactmdtran5@uh.edu 

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Weiwei Wu

Education background: B.S. in information engineering, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications; Ph.D. in electrical engineering, University of Houston; I started the UH doctoral program in fall 2019.

What drew me to UH? Diverse and friendly environment, outstanding professors and professionally designed course structure

My research/career interests and inspiration: Outcomes of developmental offending trajectories from juvenile to adults; health factors of Hispanic males and females

What I enjoy in my free time: Reading books, hanging out with family and friends and traveling

Advice to prospective students: Everyone is amazing! Prepare to learn and keep open-minded!

Contact: wwu13@cougarnet.uh.edu 

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS

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Rebecca George

Education background: B.S. in curriculum and instruction, Texas A&M University; M.A. in mathematics, University of Houston; Ph.D. in MQMLS, University of Houston (2021).

Employment: Quantitative Methods Lecturer for School of Psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology

What drew me to UH? Location and MQMLS program

My research/career interests and inspiration: Student success in STEM; attitudes towards learning; statistical methods

What I appreciated about this program: Approachability of faculty and the curriculum

Contactrageorge@central.uh.edu 

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Caroline Kuno

Education background: B.Sc. in statistics and mathematics, Makerere University; M.Sc. in public policy (statistical methods), University of Texas at Dallas; Ph.D. in MQMLS, University of Houston (2022). I started the UH doctoral program in fall 2017. I am originally from Uganda and moved to the USA for graduate school in 2014.

Employment: Assistant Professor, Virginia State University Department of Psychology

What drew me to UH? The courses offered caught my attention, especially the use of quantitative methods to explore different societal problems, hence informing policies and decision-making.

My research/career interests and inspiration: My main research is the application of quantitative methods in education and health research. Other research interests include schooling outcomes, obesity, eating habits and physical activity.

What I appreciated about this program: The MQMLS degree path allowed me to take courses in a variety of related disciplines to really tailor my learning toward my interests, which I found very motivating. What I do/did appreciate most about the MQM-LS program are/were the professors, they were very supportive from the beginning, especially my academic advisors. Also, the courses (statistics) offered were of interest to me, and I was able to take courses from other departments/colleges which were useful to me.

What I enjoy in my free time: I love to run, read fiction novels (especially by African writers) and listen to music.

Advice to prospective students: UH is a great place to be a student. There are many learning and professional development opportunities. Dare to dream big for the sky is the only limit.

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Krysti Turnquest

Education background: B.A. in sociology, The University of Texas at Austin; M.A. in urban and environmental policy and planning, child studies and human development, Tufts University; Ph.D. in MQMLS, University of Houston (2022).

Employment: Principal User Experience Researcher at Optum (UnitedHealth Group) and Lecturer in the University of Houston College of Education

What drew me to UH? I was initially drawn to UH because it was close to home. Meeting with the faculty, it also became clear that I would be able to have a really individualized experience which I was very interested in given my unique work and education experience.

My research/career interests and inspiration: My research interests are in higher education and achievement motivation particularly for adult learners.

What I appreciated about this program: The MQMLS degree path allowed me to take courses in a variety of related disciplines to really tailor my learning toward my interests, which I found very motivating.

Contactknturnqu@cougarnet.uh.edu