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New Faculty: Elizabeth Sanders

Elizabeth Sanders has been appointed assistant professor in the area of measurement and statistics in Educational Psychology. Sanders received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Washington.

liz sandersSanders specializes in statistical methods, which was the focus of for her dissertation, titled Multilevel Modeling Methods for Partially Nested Cluster Randomized Trials. Her dissertation featured modeling approaches to an experimental designcomparing small groups with individuals. Sanders’ intellectual passion is fueled by experimental designs in educational research.

As Sanders explains, “Unlike psychological research that can be conducted in a laboratory, educational research is more typically situated in the field – where nesting, implementation fidelity, attrition, and human subjects issues abound. As such, educational researchers often need to utilize more sophisticated methods of experimental design and analysis to carry out their research, with careful consideration given to unit of analysis and handling missingness.”

Within her own research, Sanders focuses on experimental design, multilevel modeling, and structural equation modeling. She has taught basic educational statistics, advanced correlational techniques/multivariate statistics, educational research methods, and survey research methods.

Over the past decade, Sanders has served as research analyst for Patricia Vadasy at the Washington Research Institute, a nonprofit research organization centered on improving the lives of children with or at risk for cognitive disabilities. Her collaboration with Dr. Vadasy will continue into the future.

Early in her academic career, Sanders was awarded the National Undergraduate Research Award from the American Psychological Society for her undergraduate work on the malleability of episodic memory (in collaboration with Jacqueline Pickrell and Elizabeth Loftus). She continues to this day to collaborate with Dr. Pickrell on research in cognitive psychology.

Sanders has been a husky for several years and looks forward to her new role at the College. “Simply put, I love the UW College of Education,” Sanders states. “It is a diverse collection of students and professors from a wide variety of substantive and methodological backgrounds, and this diversity not only promotes a holistic view of education as a discipline – it also gives rise to lively debates. I have had the unique experience of having been both a student and instructor at the COE, and transitioning into the assistant professorship role is an enormous honor.”

Though Sanders spends the bulk of her time teaching or researching, she hikes and skis, and enjoys watching performing arts and football games.

“I am excited to carry on the history and vision of the measurement and statistics area that was set forth by my predecessors,” Sanders enthuses, “while simultaneously incorporating new coursework and seminars that will meet the ever-changing needs of our students. Oh, and did I mention that the UW COE is ranked number nine amongst all colleges of education in the 2012 US News and World Report ratings?”

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