photo of Shannon Sampson


Shannon Sampson, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Evaluation Center Director
Department of Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation
143D Taylor Education Building

Shannon Sampson, Ph.D., is Director for the Evaluation Center. Dr. Sampson’s doctorate is in Educational Policy and Evaluation with an emphasis in Assessment and Evaluation related to Foreign Language and English Language Learners. She worked in Fayette County Public Schools as a Spanish teacher and later a District-wide resource specialist for Foreign Language and English Language teachers. She has taught graduate courses in evaluation, measurement, research methods, quantitative methods, and foreign language pedagogy at the University of Kentucky and Georgetown College Graduate School. She has also provided professional development for teachers in Temuco, Chile, on the assessment of student learning. Dr. Sampson is a member of the graduate faculty in the Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation department in the College of Education.


photo of Josh Parsons


Josh Parsons, M.A., Ed.M.

Associate Director
Evaluation Center
143 Taylor Education Building

Josh Parsons is the Associate Director of the Evaluation Center. Josh received his Master of Arts in English Literature from Mississippi State University, and he earned his Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Boston University while also working full time at Boston University. Before joining the Evaluation Center in 2017, Josh served as Director of Student Affairs at MCPHS University in Boston, managing division operations and finance. His professional experiences include assisting in university accreditation reviews, working as a full time lecturer, editing scientific journal articles and technical reports, managing curricular assessment, assisting in departmental strategic planning, and coordinating academic and administrative projects. His primary responsibilities include managing the Center, its projects, and the Center’s graduate research assistants.

Graduate Research Assistants

The Evaluation Center has supported the work of 15 research assistants since 2014.


Jie “Grace” Dai is a doctoral student in the Quantitative and Psychometrics Methods program in the Department of Education Policy Studies and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky. She received her Masters of Arts in Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Shanghai University (2015). At the Evaluation Center, Jie “Grace” has worked on the 2016-17 New Opportunities Yielding Classroom Excellence (NOYCE) project. She is currently working on If I Had A Hammer and NOYCE projects.





S. F. Means Sheryl Felecia Means (S. F. Means) is a doctoral candidate in the College of Education at University of Kentucky. Means is originally from Newark, New Jersey and is a graduate of Spelman College, a  member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., published author but, most importantly, a woman of God. Means aspires to pursue a number of professional and entrepreneurial endeavors, including running the organization she co-founded, MAGIC, a mentoring toolkit for young girls of color.





Magen Murphy is an Ed.S. student in the University of Kentucky School Psychology program. Magen is also earning a certificate in working with individuals with developmental disabilities through the Human Development Institute at University of Kentucky. She earned her BA in psychology at Cleveland State University. During her time at Cleveland State, she completed her senior thesis in the Language Research Laboratory. At the Evaluation Center, Magen has worked on the 2016-17 Read to Achieve project. This year she will be working on the STEAM Academy project, the Research Experiences for Undergraduates at University of Kentucky project, and the If I Had a Hammer project.





Andrew Nelson is a doctoral student in the Department of Education Policy Studies and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky. Specifically, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Sciences with a specialization in educational evaluation. Andrew recently received his M.A. in Experimental Psychology from the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, and during that process, he became impassioned by program evaluation as a utilization-focused approach to social science. This will be Andrew’s first year volunteering in the Evaluation Center, and his primary focus will be working on the STEAM Academy geoscience project.





Todd Ryser-Oatman is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Kentucky. He is currently doing a practicum rotation at the UK Counseling Center and at the Graham Office of Career Management. His research interests focus on the how sexual minority men use cell phone applications and the internet to foster positive psychological outcomes. Todd is a first-year student at the Evaluation Center. He will be working primarily with ECTC and Clarksville County schools to evaluate programs and outcomes for Veteran students.





Jennifer Stuck is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Kentucky. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College (2015) and a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky (2017). This is Jen’s third year as a Research Assistant with the Evaluation Center. She has experience in Qualitative research methods and report writing. Jen is currently working on the Read to Achieve and Victimization Survey projects. She has worked on the NASA, ECTC Veterans’ Center, and Engineering FYE projects previously.



Advisory Board

The Advisory Board has actively supported the Evaluation Center from its founding in the fall of 2013. The Advisory Board is comprised of members from various College of Education departments and provides planning, oversight, and administrative and sustainability guidance.

Allan Allday, Ph.D., Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling
Dr. Margaret BauschEd.D., Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Student Success
Susan Cantrell, Ed.D., Research Director of Collaborative Center for Literacy Development
Sycarah Fisher, Ph.D., Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
Beth Goldstein, Ph.D., Department Chair of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation
George Hruby, Ph.D., Executive Director of Collaborative Center for Literacy Development
Mindy Ickes, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion
Jane Jensen, Ph.D., Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation
Cindy Jong, Ph.D., Department of STEM Education
Joan Mazur, Ph.D., Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Lu Young, Ed.D., Department of Educational Leadership Studies