Department Chair Named 2023 AERA Fellow

Photo of Laura Stapleton

Laura Stapleton, chair of the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology and professor of measurement, statistics and evaluation, has been named a 2023 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow. The AERA Fellows Program honors scholars for their exceptional contributions to, and excellence in, education research.

“Being named an AERA Fellow is an incredible honor,” said Stapleton. “It is a testament to the important and impactful work that we do here at the University of Maryland and the support, both professionally and intellectually, that the university provides. I am particularly glad that AERA values my and other colleagues’ work as methodologists and understands the role we play in developing statistical and psychometric models and research frameworks that can be used to advance research in educational contexts.”

This year, Stapleton will be one of 24 exemplary scholars inducted during a ceremony at the 2023 annual AERA meeting in Chicago on April 14.

“AERA Fellows demonstrate the highest standards of excellence, and we are pleased to welcome this year’s class,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “The 2023 AERA Fellows join a prestigious group of exceptional scholars and deserve this honor because of their significant contributions to the field.”

Stapleton’s research focuses on evaluating existing, and developing new, statistical models necessary for turning data into information for shaping education and policy research. She has garnered over $8.5 million in federal grant funds and over $500,000 in contracts. Cementing her methodological expertise, she has authored or co-authored 60 journal articles, co-edited two books, and contributed to over a dozen book chapters. 

She has been actively engaged with AERA for over 20 years. She has been elected as chair of two of AERA’s largest quantitative SIGs (Educational Statisticians and Structural Equation Modeling), program chair of AERA’s Division D (section 2) and most notably, as a member of the prestigious Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology, which admits only 65 leading methodologists world-wide. 

Stapleton has also served on the faculty of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences’ Summer Institute on Cluster Randomized Trials for over a decade and currently serves as the Director of the National Science Foundation Quantitative Research Methods for STEM Education Scholars Program. She has held Associate Editor positions with leading education journals and has served on, and chaired, many federal agency review panels including those of IES, National Science Foundation, and NIMH. She was appointed by former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to the Accountability and Implementation Board that will oversee the progress of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. In 2000, she received the coveted Educational Testing Service’s Gulliksen Psychometric Fellowship and was elected to the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology in 2016.

“Dr. Stapleton does remarkable work as a scholar and a leader.  She has effectively leveraged her skill and brilliance as a methodologist to advance education equity and address the grand challenges of our time,” said College of Education Dean Kimberly Griffin. “She is highly recognized in her field and truly deserving of this honor. I am incredibly proud to have her as a leader within our college and I  look forward to the impact she will have on schools and society for years to come.”

Stapleton is the College’s 12th current or emeritus faculty member to be named a Fellow, joining Peter P. Afflerbach, Patricia Alexander, Alberto Cabrera, John T. Guthrie, Gregory R. Hancock, Jeff MacSwan, Jennifer King Rice, Sylvia Rosenfield, Judith V. Torney–Purta, Kathryn R. Wentzel, and Allan L. Wigfield.