Lab Team

stem-perl TEAM

Mark Graham

Research Scientist and Director


Mark Graham directs STEM program evaluation and research initiatives as part of a national effort to transform undergraduate science teaching and student learning. He is principal investigator for a National Science Foundation supported investigation of the Summer Institutes’ on Scientific Teaching impact on faculty teaching and student achievement. In addition, Dr. Graham provides program evaluation expertise to other NSF and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) principal investigators on how to evaluate the success of a program or initiative.

He received a B.A. in economics with honors (magna cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. His prior experience includes a National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported post-doctoral traineeship in biomedical informatics, and then director of education research at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. At Yale since 2011, Mark Graham has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on evaluation, assessment, and student persistence.

Julia Gill

Project Manager

Julia Gill serves STEM-PERL as a project manager working on NSF- and HHMI-funded research projects about course based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), student trust, among others.  She also assists in evaluation/assessments projects of educational programs.

She received a B.A. in American Studies from Amherst College in 2020. Her undergraduate research focused on the history of collegiate coeducation. Julia has been with STEM-PERL since September 2020.

Lia Crowley

Data Manager

Lia Crowley serves STEM-PERL as a data manager working on NSF- and HHMI-funded research projects about course based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), and student trust, among others.
She received a B.A. in Psychological Sciences in 2020 from the University of Connecticut Honor’s Program and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Data Science with the long term goal of pursuing graduate work in psychology.

Undergraduate research assistants

Lazaros Efthymiou (2020-2022)

Zaid Fattah (2022-present)

Steven Kao (2020-2022)

Serena Ulammandakh (2021-present)

Henry Wagner (2021-present)


Former Postdoctoral Researchers

Alita Burmeister

Former Associate Research Scientist (2020-2021)

Alita Burmeister is a research-based course designer, educator, and scientist at Yale. Burmeister’s course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) integrates her microbial evolution research into the classroom, focusing on mentored student projects that advance basic science while developing student-scientists. Her work in STEM-PERL researches the core components of CUREs important for student-scientist development, including the attitudes and values important to research careers. See more at

Cong Wang

Former Postdoctoral Research Associate (2020-2020)

Cong Wang served STEM-PERL as a postdoctoral researcher across several NSF- and HHMI-funded grant projects. Collectively, she studied the impact of innovative pedagogical approaches in undergraduate education on STEM learning and persistence. For example, she examined the activities and outcomes of authentic course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). She also investigated the immediate and longer-term impacts on students of having instructors trained in evidence-based teaching practices such as active learning, formative assessment, and inclusion/diversity.

She received a B.S. in psychology from Sun Yat-sen University, a M.Ed. in educational psychology from Beijing Normal University, a M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Purdue University-West Lafayette. Her research focused on college students’ motivation and learning in classrooms. She utilized the framework of self-determination theory to study the impact of autonomy-supportive teaching approaches and self-generated rationales on student learning within the context of higher education. As a second line of research, she collaborated widely on studies where she employed complex statistical techniques to address educational research questions. Her primary tools were structural equation modeling (SEM) with latent variables, multilevel modeling, and meta-analysis.

Meghan Bathgate 

Former Postdoctoral Researcher via the Center for Teaching and Learning (2016-2018)

Andrew Cavanagh 

Former Postdoctoral Researcher via the Center for Teaching and Learning (2015-2017)

Oriana Aragon 

Former Postdoctoral Researcher via the Center for Scientific Teaching and Yale University Department of Psychology (2014-2016) 

Former Program Managers

Melanie Bauer

Former Assistant Director of STEM-PERL (2017-2020)

Aiyanna Bobrownicki  

Former Evaluation Project Manager and Program Manager (2014-2017)