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Postdoctoral Fellows

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Josh Polanin

PolaninJoshua R. Polanin, PhD, is an Institute of Education Science’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Research Institute. Dr. Polanin completed his doctoral degree in Research Methodology from Loyola University in May 2013. He has extensive training in quantitative methodology, especially in meta-analysis, multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, and causal inference analysis. While at Loyola University, Dr. Polanin was extensively involved in collecting and analyzing large scale, publicly available datasets for a meta-analytic project that investigated the impact of school resources on student achievement. His methodological research has recently focused on the use of statistical significance testing in meta-analysis and investigating the potential publication bias of grey literature. Dr. Polanin is the managing editor of the Campbell Collaboration’s Methods Group, providing methodological expertise to potential Campbell Collaboration reviewers. As the managing editor, he has taught meta-analytic courses at the past two Campbell Collaboration colloquia. In addition, Dr. Polanin serves as the methodological expert and statistician for a large-scale, cluster-randomized trial of bullying prevention programs. As part of the research team, he has recently published the first in a series of outcome analyses from this project in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Dr. Polanin’s work has also been successfully published in the Journal of Community Psychology, Research Synthesis Methods, and Educational Researcher.

Asha Spivak

SpivakAsha Spivak's work is supported by an Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship in Field Based Research Methodology (R305B100016). She received her Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has had experiences working as a research director, assessment developer, practicum supervisor, teaching assistant, youth librarian, and literacy coordinator. Dr. Spivak has research interests in prosocialization, altruism, mutually beneficial conflict resolution, reconciliation, negotiation, empathy, social pretend play, and social benefits of diversity. Her main focus is on studying the teaching practices and relational influences within the school community that engender children’s and adolescents’ learning of and engagement in prosocial action. Currently, she is working on several projects at PRI including the Effectiveness of Rehabilitation Programs for Juvenile Delinquents and the Experimental Validation of the Tools of the Mind Pre-K Curriculum. Some of her planned work includes a meta-analytic review of the types of teaching strategies that engender children’s prosocial action and an investigation of the association between children’s social pretend play and their socioemotional competencies.

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

Mary Fuhs

Dr. Fuh's work was supported by an Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship in Field-Based Research Methodology (R305B100016). Fuhs completed her doctoral work in Developmental Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Dayton.

Kimberly Nesbitt

Dr. Nesbitt received her Ph.D. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology at North Carolina State University and was an Institute of Educational Sciences' Postdoctoral Research Fellow at PRI (R305B100016) before transitioning into her current position as Research Associate at PRI.

Molly Rubin

Dr. Rubin received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Sociology. Her research interests are rooted in public education, the study of social problems, social inequality, and qualitative research methods. Her current work focuses on teachers working in urban schools that serve economically disadvantaged students. She is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Peabody College.