Brief Biographies of Center for Educational Assessment Staff

Ronald K. Hambleton, Executive Director

Ronald K. Hambleton holds the titles of Distinguished University Professor, Co-Chairperson of the Research and Evaluation Methods Program, and Executive Director of the Center for Educational Assessment at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the USA. He earned his B.A. degree (with Honors) in 1966 from the University of Waterloo in Canada with majors in mathematics and psychology, and an M.A. in 1968 and Ph.D. in 1969 from the University of Toronto with specialties in psychometric methods and statistics. He is a Fellow of Divisions 5 and 15 of the American Psychological Association (APA) and an active member in the American Educational Research Association, the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), the International Test Commission (ITC) and the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP).

Professor Hambleton teaches graduate-level courses in educational and psychological testing, introductory and advanced item response theory and applications, classical test theory models and methods, and educational research methods including survey research, and offers seminars in applied measurement practices and special measurement topics. He has directed recently or co-directs currently, research contracts with the College Board, Educational Testing Service, Harcourt Educational Measurement, Microsoft, Massachusetts Department of Education, and Pearson Educational Measurement.

Professor Hambleton is the author or co-editor of eight books, and author or co-author of more than 600 research papers, reports, and reviews. He is currently conducting research on a number of topics: computer-based testing issues (e.g., detecting item exposure), new test designs (specifically, multi-stage test designs), validity of emerging item formats for assessment, development and validation of new methods for setting standards on performance assessments, methods and guidelines for adapting tests from one language and culture to another, design and field-testing of new approaches for reporting test scores, and technical issues in large-scale assessment programs (e.g., score reporting, and evaluation of standards). Professor Hambleton has presented (or co-presented) over 500 papers at regional, national, and international conferences and has been invited to give keynote addresses at meetings of the AERA, NCME, APA, NERA, NEGEA, NIH, FERA, IAAP, CLEAR, ATP, and EAPA, and several international assessment conferences sponsored by the International Test Commission.

Professor Hambleton served as editor or co-editor of many special issues of journals including the European Journal of Psychological Assessment in 1997 on the topic of advances in assessment practices. In 2000, he served as guest editor for an issue of Applied Psychological Measurement on the topic of performance assessment. He served as co-editor of recent issues of Language Testing (with John de Jong) on the topic of test adaptation and Applied Psychology: An International Review (with Tom Oakland) on the topic of international advances in assessment, in 2004. He is currently co-editing a special issue of the Journal of International Testing (scheduled for publication in 2008) with Jacques Gregoire on the topic of test adaptation methodology. A book, co-authored with H. Swaminathan and H. Jane Rogers, entitled Fundamentals of Item Response Theory, was published by Sage in 1991; an edited book with Jac Zaal, entitled Advances in Educational and Psychological Testing: Theory and Applications, was also published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1991. A co-edited book with Professor Tom Oakland entitled International Perspectives on Assessment was published by Kluwer in 1995. A co-edited book with Professor Wim J. van der Linden from the Netherlands entitled Handbook of Modern Item Response Theory was published by Springer-Verlag in 1997. A co-edited book with Peter Merenda and Charles Spielberger entitled Adapting Educational and Psychological Tests for Cross Cultural Assessment was published by Erlbaum in 2004. An edited book with David Bartram entitled Computer-Based Testing and the Internet was published by Wiley in the fall of 2005. Professor Hambleton is currently working with Bruno Zumbo and Steve Sireci on a graduate level text on the topic of psychometric methods and practices that will be published in 2009 by Erlbaum.

Professor Hambleton received the Career Achievement Award from the National Council on Measurement in Education for outstanding contributions to measurement theory and practice and leadership in the measurement field in 1993. Professor Hambleton was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Umea in Sweden, and received the Chancellor's Medal from the University of Massachusetts for distinguished scientific research contributions in 1994. He received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts in 1997. He was promoted to the rank of Distinguished University Professor in 1998. In 2001, he was recognized by the International Test Commission for his 20 years of service and his contributions to improving testing practices around the world. He received the Outstanding Career Achievement Award from the Association of Test Publishers and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oviedo in Spain in 2003. In 2005, he was awarded the E. F. Lindquist Award from AERA and ACT for distinguished contributions to the field of educational assessment, and in 2006, he received the APA Division 5 Samuel J. Messick Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions.

Professor Hambleton serves currently as a member of the editorial boards for Applied Measurement in Education, Applied Psychological Measurement, Educational Research Quarterly, Educational and Psychological Measurement, and six international journals - Indian Journal of Vocational Education, Psicothema, Metodologia de las Ciencias del Comportamiento, International Journal of Testing, European Journal of Psychological Assessment, and Methodology, he was President of the NCME in 1990 and served as a member of their Board of Directors from 1983 to 1989; he is a Past-President of the ITC (1994-1998) and a Past-President of Division 5 of the APA (1997-1998); and he served as President of the Division of Measurement and Evaluation of the IAAP (1998-2002). Professor Hambleton served as chairperson (1993-1997) of an international committee of psychologists to develop guidelines for translating and adapting educational and psychological tests, and as chairman (1999) of the cultural review panel for an international project to assess school achievement (OECD/PISA 2000 project). Currently, he is chairing a new committee of the ITC to develop the second edition of guidelines for test adaptation (2005-2007), and serving as secretary and a member of council of the ITC.

Professor Hambleton serves currently on the national technical advisory committee to Pearson Educational Measurement and the international scientific board to the SHL Group (in England); the technical advisory committee to NORC's Early Childhood Longitudinal Study; the technical advisory committees on assessment to the Alaska, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Departments of Education; and as past-Chairperson of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) technical advisory committee for the Uniform Certified Public Accountancy Examination. He also is a past-chairperson of the NCME Career Achievement Award Committee.

Professor Hambleton serves or has served as an author or a consultant to a number of organizations including Alpine Media, Blanchard Training and Development, Cisco, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the New York Stock Exchange, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, the National Board of Medical Examiners, Professional Examination Service, Graduate Management Admissions Council, the Law School Admissions Council, Educational Testing Service, American College Testing, College Board, National Center for Education Statistics, National Opinion Research Council, New England Research Institute, the SweSAT examination program in Sweden, the National Institute for Tests and Evaluation in Israel, the National Assessment Governing Board, and the National Examination Center in Indonesia.

Stephen G. Sireci, Director

Stephen G. Sireci is Professor of Education and Co-Chair in the Research and Evaluation Methods Program and Director of the Center for Educational Assessment in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He earned his Ph.D. in psychometrics from Fordham University and his master and bachelor degrees in psychology from Loyola College in Maryland. Before UMASS, he was Senior Psychometrician at the GED Testing Service, Psychometrician for the Uniform CPA Exam, and Research Supervisor of Testing for the Newark, NJ, Board of Education. He is known for his research in evaluating test fairness, particularly issues related to content validity, test bias, cross-lingual assessment, standard setting, and sensitivity review. He is the author of over 100 publications and conference papers, including articles in Applied Measurement in Education, Applied Psychological Measurement, Educational Assessment, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, the Journal of Educational Measurement, the International Journal of Testing, and Multivariate Behavioral Research. He currently serves on several advisory boards including the Graduate Management Admissions Council Technical Advisory Committee, the Technical Advisory Panel for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, and technical advisory committees for Puerto Rico, Texas, and New York. He is a Fellow of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association, Past-President of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, a Senior Scientist for the Gallup Organization, and a member of the Board of Directors for the National Council on Measurement in Education. In 2003 he received the School of Education's Outstanding Teacher Award and in 2007 he received the University of Massachusetts Chancellor's Medal (listen to related NPR radio interview). Professor Sireci reviews articles for over a dozen professional journals and he is on the editorial boards of Applied Measurement in Education, Educational and Psychological Measurement, the European Journal of Psychological Assessment, and Psicothema, and he is the co-editor of the International Journal of Testing. Professor Sireci's current interests focus on issues related to test development, equity issues in testing, and the evaluation of educational programs. His specific research activities include creating procedures and models for evaluating test score reliability and validity (including differential item and test functioning), problems and issues related to computer-based testing, evaluating different language versions of tests, and test development issues such as standard setting and sensitivity review. Professor Sireci's personal home page, containing information on his courses, his CV, and links to other sites of psychometric interest can be found here.

Craig S. Wells, Associate Director

Dr. Wells is an Assistant Professor in the Research and Evaluation Methods Program in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his Ph. D. and M. S. in psychometrics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his B. A. in psychology (honors) from Castleton State College. He is an active member of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Psychometric Society, and American Educational Research Association. Dr. Wells' research interests center on the development and application of quantitative methods in the behavioral sciences. His research has largely been motivated by measurement problems he experienced, both as an educational testing practitioner and in consultation with colleagues in other substantive areas. He is particularly interested in the area of item response theory, especially as related to differential item functioning, assessing model fit, and modeling item response functions nonparametrically, and more generally in the areas of nonparametric statistics and the theory of hypothesis testing. In addition, he is interested in the philosophy of science and its implications for the work of educational statisticians and psychometricians.

Lisa A. Keller, Assistant Director

Dr. Keller is an Assistant Professor in the Research and Evaluation Methods Program in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She earned her Ed. D. in psychometrics and her M.S. in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002, and her B.S. in mathematics (magna cum laude) from St. Michael's College in 1993. Dr. Keller has expertise in multivariate statistics, Bayesian analysis, and psychometrics. Her recent work includes serving as a statistical consultant for the All Kinds of Minds Institute, the UMASS Center for Education Policy, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Harcourt Educational Measurement. Her primary research interests focus on equating methodology and parameter estimation in Item Response Theory.

Jennifer Randall, Assistant Director

Dr. Randall received her Doctorate from Emory University in Atlanta in 2007, and was a graduate student fellow at ACT in 2006. She earned a BA in Psychology and History, and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Duke University. Dr. ThomasŐ recent research has focused on factors teachers use to assign grades to students, test accommodations for students with disabilities, and applications of the Rasch IRT model. Her areas of specialization include research methodology, classroom assessment, and statistics.

Drey Martone, Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Martone completed her doctorate in the Teacher Education and School Improvement (TESI) program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2007, and received her B.A in Economics and Sociology from Amherst College and her M.S.T. from Fordham University. Her doctoral dissertation evaluated the impact of teachers' participation in a standards-assessment alignment study. She has presented her research related to this topic at regional and national conferences. Drey is a Senior Research Fellow and Project Manager for the Center for Educational Assessment at UMass, where she is currently working on the development of the Massachusetts Adult Proficiency Test (MAPT) for Mathematics and Reading. Drey's research interests include teacher education, standardized and classroom based assessment, and methods of improvement for schools labeled as underperforming.

April L. Zenisky, Director of Computer-Based Testing Initiatives

April received her doctorate in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst; prior to that, she completed her undergraduate studies in English and psychology at Amherst College. Her specialty area is psychometrics and her doctoral dissertation evaluated the effects of selected multi-stage testing design variables on the psychometric quality of licensure exams. She is a nationally renowned expert in the areas of large-scale assessment and computer-based testing. Her research has been published in Applied Measurement in Education, the Journal of Educational Measurement, and in several books and encyclopedias related to measurement and educational research. Currently, she is a Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Educational Assessment at UMass, and Director of Computer-Based Testing Initiatives, where she is currently working on the comprehensive evaluation of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and assists with work on the development of new computer-based tests for adult basic education programs in Massachusetts. April's research interests include innovative item types for computer-based testing, performance assessment, and computerized test designs.

Affiliated Faculty

James M. Royer, Ph.D. (emeritus) (Illinois, 1970). Professor of Psychology and Education. Reading Comprehension, Memory, Prose Learning.

Aline Sayer, Ed.D. (Harvard University, 1992). Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology. Developmental Psychology, Hierarchical Linear Models, Structural Equation Modeling.

Stanley E. Scarpati, Ed.D. (University of Northern Colorado, 1980). Associate Professor of Education. Assessment of Special Needs Individuals, Applied Behavior Analysis, Alternative Assessment.

Senior Research Assistants

Nina Deng
Leah Kaira
Wendy Lam
Tie Liang
Polly Parker
Christine Shea
Zachary Smith

Research Assistants

Jenna Copella
Yu Meng
Jeffrey Patton
Jason Schweid
Tia Sukin
Hanwook Yoo
Kelly Smiaroski, Office Manager

Updated: September 11, 2008.


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