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Co-Principal Investigators

Dr. Matthew Mayhew

William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration at The Ohio State University

Matthew Mayhew is the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher professor of educational administration with a focus on higher education and student affairs at The Ohio State University. He is interested in how collegiate conditions, educational...

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Matthew Mayhew is the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher professor of educational administration with a focus on higher education and student affairs at The Ohio State University. He is interested in how collegiate conditions, educational practices, and student experiences influence learning and democratic outcomes. He has received over 17 million dollars in grants for exploring the impact of college on student outcomes, including, but not limited to, moral reasoning, spirituality, high-risk drinking, and innovative entrepreneurship. Dr. Mayhew has published over 80 articles, is lead author on the most recent volume of How College Affects Students: 21st Century Evidence that College Works, and has contributed to a variety of media outlets, such as The Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Conversation, and BusinessInsider. In addition to serving as co-principal investigator of the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS), he directs the College Impact Laboratory where he oversees the Assessment of Co-Curricular Residential Experiences and Outcomes (ACREO) survey. ACREO is designed to measure the associations between residential environments and student achievement of timely and relevant outcomes, such as intention to innovate, bystander intervention, and financial health and wellness. Dr. Mayhew earned his doctorate in higher education administration with a focus on research, evaluation, and assessment from the University of Michigan in 2004.

mayhew.65@osu.edu

Dr. Alyssa Rockenbach

Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University

Alyssa Rockenbach is professor of higher education in the department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University. Her interdisciplinary research centers on the effects of college environments and...

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Alyssa Rockenbach is professor of higher education in the department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University. Her interdisciplinary research centers on the effects of college environments and experiences on student learning; religious and worldview diversity issues in higher education; intergroup dynamics, cooperation, and attitudes; young adult psychosocial development; and gender and LGBTQ equity issues in education and society. She is co-principal investigator of a five-year national study, the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS), which explores how educational experiences affect college students’ capacity to engage and cooperate with people of diverse worldviews. Dr. Rockenbach has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters, reports and monographs, and other scholarly works. She is co-author of the 2016 book, How College Affects Students: 21st Century Evidence that Higher Education Works, a synthesis of over 1,800 research studies of college impact conducted from 2002 to 2013, and she co-edited the 2012 volume, Spirituality in College Students’ Lives: Translating Research Into Practice. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, and The Conversation. She was named Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor and University Faculty Scholar at North Carolina State University, and received the Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Award from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Rockenbach received her B.A. in psychology from California State University, Long Beach and her M.A. and Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Los Angeles.

alyssa_rockenbach@ncsu.edu

Research Team

Janett I. Cordovés

Director of Higher Education Partnerships

Janett works with professionals across the country to design and implement innovative learning strategies through digital learning platforms and education technology and is responsible for developing and leading key aspects of strategic...

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Janett works with professionals across the country to design and implement innovative learning strategies through digital learning platforms and education technology and is responsible for developing and leading key aspects of strategic planning initiatives within higher education, including The Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-wide Interfaith Excellence in partnership with The Association of American Colleges and Universities. Prior to joining IFYC, Janett worked in academia for over a decade, elevating the importance of engaging worldview identity and creating religious policies. Janett holds an EdD in Ethical Leadership, an MS in Higher Education, and a BA in Applied Mathematics. Her research interests include first-generation college students, #digitalfaith, leadership development, and online pedagogy. Janett serves as the Associate Editor for the Journal of College and Character and is an active member of NASPA, Campus Compact, LeaderShape, and NODA.

Lori E. Durako Fisher

IDEALS Graduate Research Associate at North Carolina State University

Lori E. Durako Fisher is a doctoral student at North Carolina State University in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development department, focusing on higher education. At N.C. State, she works as a graduate research associate with...

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Lori E. Durako Fisher is a doctoral student at North Carolina State University in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development department, focusing on higher education. At N.C. State, she works as a graduate research associate with the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS). Lori received her B.A. in sociology from Purdue University and her M.A. in leadership in student affairs from the University of St. Thomas. Before starting at N.C. State, Lori worked with leadership development, student organizations, and student activism as the senior assistant director within the Center for Student Involvement at Santa Clara University. Her research interests include student activism, organizational growth and learning at colleges and universities, and the impact of campus climate on student development and engagement.

ledurako@ncsu.edu​

Mary Ellen Giess

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Driven by her Unitarian Universalist values and personal experiences in college to build interfaith cooperation, Mary Ellen joined IFYC in 2008. She currently oversees innovative and strategic partnership opportunities for the organization, as...

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Driven by her Unitarian Universalist values and personal experiences in college to build interfaith cooperation, Mary Ellen joined IFYC in 2008. She currently oversees innovative and strategic partnership opportunities for the organization, as well as organizational evaluation, both of which include high-level management of the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) research partnership. Her eleven years at IFYC have also included overseeing strategic engagement of student affairs and religious life professionals, serving as the organization’s executive vice president, and partnering with the Obama administration to create and implement the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Having edited Educating About Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement: A Handbook for Student Affairs (2019), she has also published articles for the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and has presented on panels across the country. After completing her undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mary Ellen received her Master’s degree in religion and government from Harvard Divinity School. Outside of work, she can be found chasing her husband and three daughters around town and serving on the board of her Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Gordon Maples

Research Associate at North Carolina State University

Gordon Maples is a PhD student in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (Higher Education) at North Carolina State University, and holds an MEd in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of...

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Gordon Maples is a PhD student in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (Higher Education) at North Carolina State University, and holds an MEd in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development.  Presently, he sits on the ACPA Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning, serves on the Board of Directors of Convergence on Campus, works on the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS), and acts as a writing and speaking tutor for North Carolina State University’s Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes.  Prior to graduate school, Gordon worked for 5 years at the national Secular Student Alliance as their Senior Campus Organizer, where he provided leadership training and organizational support to atheist, agnostic, and humanist student groups around the country. His research interests include the college experiences and development of students with marginalized religious, secular, and spiritual identities, organizational theory, college athletics, and the public perception of higher education.

Shauna Morin

Research Fellow

Shauna Morin is a higher education scholar-practitioner committed to fostering spirituality, meaning-making, and interfaith competencies among college students and young adults. Over the past five years, Shauna has been involved in...

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Shauna Morin is a higher education scholar-practitioner committed to fostering spirituality, meaning-making, and interfaith competencies among college students and young adults. Over the past five years, Shauna has been involved in administering the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS), which examines interfaith engagement and worldview diversity in college. Prior professional experiences include community outreach and service-learning, co-curricular campus programming, and undergraduate and graduate-level teaching. Shauna holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master's in College Student Affairs from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from North Carolina State University. Outside of work, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, exploring local hiking trails, and volunteering at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, her faith community in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Kevin Singer

IDEALS Graduate Research Associate at North Carolina State University

Kevin Singer is a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University studying higher education. Before coming to NC State, Kevin earned an M.A. in systematic theology at Wheaton College (IL) and a B.A. in media studies from Northern Illinois...

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Kevin Singer is a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University studying higher education. Before coming to NC State, Kevin earned an M.A. in systematic theology at Wheaton College (IL) and a B.A. in media studies from Northern Illinois University. Kevin enjoys finding ways to make IDEALS data accessible and useful to everyday people. He writes pieces on IDEALS findings for popular online spaces and helps run social media for the project. Kevin is a big fan of qualitative research, and hopes to become a faculty member in higher education.

Dr. Ashley Staples

IDEALS Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Ohio State University

Ashley Staples is a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Study (IDEALS). She completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University in 2019 and has been a...

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Ashley Staples is a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Study (IDEALS). She completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University in 2019 and has been a member of CoIL since 2016. Her research interests include connections across worldview difference, critical sensemaking, the process of academic resilience, and innovations of practice and policy to support college students.  She received her Master’s in Higher Education from North Carolina State University and earned Bachelor’s degrees in Logistics and International Business from the University of Maryland – College Park.

Mian (Helen) Wu

IDEALS Graduate Research Associate at North Carolina State University

Mian (Helen) Wu is a Ph.D student in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development department at North Carolina State University. She currently serves as a graduate research associate for IDEALS. Helen received her master’s degree...

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Mian (Helen) Wu is a Ph.D student in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development department at North Carolina State University. She currently serves as a graduate research associate for IDEALS. Helen received her master’s degree in East Asian studies at Duke University, where she also worked as staff assistant to the Director of International Research at the Duke School of Nursing. Prior to coming to the U.S., she studied four years in international journalism at Hong Kong Baptist University. Helen values creativity through interdisciplinary and intercultural collaboration. She is also a music and dance lover. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of financial socialization, financial literacy, and the role of higher education in social stratification.

mwu11@ncsu.edu​