As AnLar’s Director of Research, Laura spends her days looking for patterns in numbers to help districts, states, and other education stakeholders find answers to their questions. She is a skilled program evaluator, and enjoys figuring out why things work in some settings or with some populations and not others. She is interested in education technology and STEM education and brings expertise in transitions from secondary to postsecondary education and in career and technical education.
At AnLar, she leads the evaluation of the Niswonger Foundation’s Rural LIFE program which uses personalized learning strategies to improve literacy in middle schools. She also directs projects using NCES datasets to answer pressing policy questions. Prior to joining the AnLar team, Laura spent over a decade conducting educational research and program evaluations. She used a randomized controlled trial design to evaluate a professional development program and a quasi-experimental design to evaluate a network of shared services across multiple school systems aimed at increasing student access to college level courses. She spent many years working in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky under REL Appalachia. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Virginia where she also completed an IES Doctoral Training Program in Education Science.
When Laura isn’t working or obsessing about beagles, pandas, and sasquatches, you can find her running long distances on the Mount Vernon Trail (and then eating copious amounts of cheese). She is working on mastering the art and sport of land navigation. She enjoys adventure races, and rides her magenta beach cruiser to show others what a serious rider she is.