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Senior Researchers and Graduate Students

Senior Researchers

Dr. Narmada Paul is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Education, School, and Counseling Psychology. She earned her PhD in Educational Studies from the Ohio State University in 2018. Her research focuses on understanding the link between motivation and cognition in technology-infused learning environments. Dr. Paul has been actively involved in several collaborative research projects that developed her interest in the following areas: motivation, argumentation, collaborative learning and learning environments. She has a strong foundation in developing and implementing educational interventions with an emphasis on teacher-researcher partnership. At OSU, Dr. Paul taught educational psychology at the undergraduate level. In India, she taught several undergraduate courses in psychology. At the University of Kentucky, Dr. Paul teaches graduate level courses on cognitive development, life-span human development, and research methods. Email:



Dr. Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky. Dr. DiGiacomo received her PhD in Learning Sciences and Human Development from the University of Colorado Boulder. As a community- and design-based researcher, Dr. DiGiacomo’s work investigates how to design for more equitable teaching and learning relationships between adults and young people across various lines of difference. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Dr. DiGiacomo worked in secondary teaching, school administration, political asylum advocacy, and social work in the Bay Area. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from UC Berkeley and a Master’s in Development Studies from Cambridge University. Email: 





Dr. Matthew Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Developing Minds Lab at the University of Kentucky. He received his PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kim’s research examines how cognitive skills such as executive functions and motivation predict successful school transitions and academic success in childhood and adolescence.                Email: Website:



Graduate Lab Members

Calah Ford is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology.  She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Louisville and an M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky. Through teaching in both rural and urban settings as well as in low-income schools, Calah developed an interest in under-served student populations. Her research is focused on failure mindset, STEM self-efficacy, STEM motivation, and STEM education. Calah is a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellow.  Email: | CV September 2019



Jaeyun Han is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology. She graduated from Ewha Womans University in South Korea with a B.A. in Education in 2016 and a Master’s in Education in 2018. Her master’s thesis investigated the relationship between mindset, social comparison motives, and self-efficacy in the mathematics of middle school students in South Korea. She is interested in how social models might influence students’ self-beliefs in mathematics. Email: | CV August 2020




Caiti Griffiths is a second-year Masters student in Educational Psychology. She completed her undergraduate degree at UK in 2019. She is a current member of the P20 Motivation and Learning Lab, and holds a graduate assistantship with the department of Transformative Learning. She previously worked as an Academic Coach, and is now teaching as an Instructor for the APP Reading & Writing program while also assisting with UK 101. Her research focuses on improving educational equity for postsecondary students and uplifting student voice.





Kylie Pemberton is a first year master’s student in Educational Psychology originally from Crestwood, KY. After completing her B.S. in Kinesiology, she worked for 2 years at UK’s Christian Student Fellowship and 1 year at UK Graduate Housing. She hopes to work in academic advising and student affairs long term. She is interested in researching student success pertaining to belonging, motivation, identity, and self-efficacy especially in regards to the international student population. In her free time, Kylie enjoys traveling with her husband, being active, and grabbing coffee with friends.