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Associate Research Fellows

Monica D'Antonio

Monica D'AntonioMonica D’Antonio is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Under the guidance of her advisor and mentor Dr. Avi Kaplan, Monica has been conducting research on community college students’ identity exploration/development and motivational processes within developmental writing courses. She is currently working on her dissertation and hopes to complete her degree by the end of the spring 2018 semester. In addition to her doctoral work, Monica also teaches developmental writing courses at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. She lives in Norristown with her husband, Hal, and cat, Jeter.

Research Summary
The purpose of my qualitative research study is to examine community college students’ experiences in a developmental writing course that includes an identity exploration intervention targeted at enhancing students’ motivation, writing skills, and identity development as writers and as students.

Data has been gathered from 15 developmental writing students (60% female, 40% male; 30% White, 30% Black, 10% Asian, 10% Latinx; 20% other; Mean age = 20.3) in two developmental writing courses over the 2016-17 academic year.

In this study, I conceptualize student identity according to the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (DSMRI)—a multidimensional dynamic model of identity development and motivational processes—to investigate the motivational, engagement, and learning processes elicited by a pedagogical approach that I designed and applied to course activities on the basis of four complementary principles for promoting students’ identity exploration around academic writing: promoting self-relevance, triggering identity exploration, enhancing a sense of safety, and scaffolding exploration strategies (PRESS model).

In using the PRESS model to facilitate identity exploration in the class and the DSMRI model to evaluate students’ experiences, the study aims to acquire a better understanding of developmental writers’ complexity, dynamism, and uniqueness.

Lauren Gih

Lauren GihBorn and raised in Torrance, CA, Lauren has worked with students in special and general education, as well as at the post-secondary level.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology from California State University Channel Islands and a M.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California. 

Currently, Lauren is a Doctoral Candidate of Education at Concordia University Irvine and a Teacher Credential Candidate at California State University Long Beach.  Lauren’s doctoral research expertise includes educational equity, specifically the investigation of how campus climate contributes to the performance of minority students. 

Research Summary

Lauren’s doctoral dissertation investigates the role of campus climate on the undergraduate experience using an adapted questionnaire, The Perceived Campus Climate Inventory. 

The research questions guiding this study examine the relationship of perceived discrimination on student performance, compared by group demographic variables, such as gender, ethnicity, and religious affiliation.

This study is interested in discovering if students feel they are being discriminated against, how discrimination is expressed, and the effects of a perceived hostile campus climate on student outcomes. 

Furthermore, discrimination as a cyclical entity is explored to gain insight into if students who feel discriminated against hold higher discriminatory feelings against their peers and faculty. 

The importance of this research is supported by the significant discrepancies in post-secondary degree attainment between students based on ethnicity and socioeconomic status. 

Thus, this study aspires to grant insight into the experiences of diverse students based on their demographic profile. 



Transition – College - Career Success

Lindenwood University
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