About Us

Research Collaboration is directed by Drs. Amy Gaumer Erickson and Pattie Noonan. They are supported by staff with expertise in evaluation design, qualitative and quantitative methods, marginalized populations, self-determination, multi-tiered instruction and interventions, secondary school reform, college and career competencies, graphic design, and programming. Additionally, our office collaborates with a variety of diverse consultants across the country in order to expand our capacity and meet each project’s unique needs. 

Research Collaboration
researchcollab@ku.edu - Office: (785) 864-0517 - Fax: (785) 864-6421
Rooms 702 & 704, Joseph R. Pearson Hall, 1122 W. Campus Rd., Lawrence, KS 66045


Program Staff

Pattie Noonan, Ph.D.,
Associate Research Professor
E-mail: pnoonan@ku.edu 
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Pattie Noonan centers her work on providing and evaluating professional development related to improving education for all students. She holds a firm belief in the capacity of students with and without disabilities to achieve positive post-school outcomes through college and career competencies. Much of her work entails providing utilization-focused evaluation by working in close collaboration with State Departments of Education to create comprehensive evaluation plans and data systems. Her research often focuses on measuring collaboration, then using the results to improve teaming—a critical yet elusive component of educational improvement. To this end, she has published a book, many articles, and an integrated framework, all of which translate research results into practical applications. Throughout this process, Dr. Noonan continually improves her interactive, adaptive professional development practices in both virtual and face-to-face settings. She lives in Lawrence with her husband, John, with whom she enjoys remodeling old homes and exploring the world.

Amy Gaumer Erickson, Ph.D.,
Associate Research Professor
E-mail: agaumer@ku.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Amy Gaumer Erickson focuses on comprehensive evaluation of educational initiatives that improve in-school and post-school outcomes for students. Her work centers on the implementation of instructional strategies within a Multi-Tiered Instruction and Intervention (MTII) framework that enable students with and without disabilities to become college and career ready. Her research targets the impact of educational improvement strategies in rural communities. Through her collaboration with State Departments of Education, Dr. Gaumer Erickson designs high-quality professional development and implements evaluation plans that track fidelity of implementation as well as short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes for students. To support continuous educational improvement, she has developed evaluation instruments that provide a school-wide perspective on educator implementation. She has also published books and articles that provide practical assessment and instructional strategies to support the cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal growth of students. Dr. Gaumer Erickson and her husband apply these strategies to support the college and career competencies of their three teenaged children. 


Jane Soukup, Ph.D.,
Associate Researcher
E-mail: jsoukup@ku.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Jane Soukup’s responsibilities include facilitating Arizona College and Career Competency Team Training and the Missouri Post-Secondary Success project. Dr. Soukup's interests focus on the principal's connection to special education services, the opportunity to access general education curriculum for students receiving special education services, and strategies to enhance the self-determination of youth. Her work is driven by her Teach for America Corp experience and work as a classroom teacher/administrator in Texas and Kansas. She lives in Phoenix with her husband, two sons and dog named "Buddy." Her pastimes include waterskiing and fishing. Yes, there really are lakes in Phoenix!

Marilyn Ault, Ph.D.,
E-mail: mault@ku.edu

Dr. Marilyn Ault's more than 30 years of work have focused on adult learning, particularly the instructional use of existing and emerging technologies to support the improvement of teaching and learning. She has been a member of multi-state, research, professional development, and product development grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. These projects required her to participate in the design, implementation, research, and evaluation of professional learning activities, both face-to-face and online, taking into consideration the unique requirements of the adult learner. As an external evaluator she observes and evaluates professional development opportunities, providing an analysis of the quality of online and face-to-face learning opportunities using research-based metrics. 

Elise Heger
Associate Researcher, Ed.D.,
E-mail: eheger@ku.edu

Elise Heger has worked in the field of education for the past 16 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, building administrator, and district administrator. Elise holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. She is a doctoral candidate at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and a research focus in mathematical practices. Elise is married to Kirk Heger. They have a son, Wade and a daughter, Marlyn. Both children attend KU and in their free time, Kirk and Elise attend as many KU football and KU basketball games as possible.

Michelle Loewenstein
Project Coordinator
E-mail: mloewenstein@ku.edu

Michelle's responsibilities include providing support for Arizona College and Career Competency Team Training and the Missouri Post-Secondary Success project. Michelle earned her bachelor’s in English at the University of Kansas in 2009, and her master's in Higher Education Administration in 2017. Michelle has worked at the University of Kansas since 2010, and has supported the Research Collaboration PD projects since 2015.


Margo Lauer
Administrative Assistant
E-mail: mlauer@ku.edu

Margo graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has previous experience working with children in many settings, from the community mental health center to foster care services. She believes we can improve the lives of children with education that goes beyond the general required curriculum.


Leland Peterson
Graphic Designer
E-mail: leland@ku.edu

Leland brings years of graphic design experience to Research Collaboration. His background in both print and digital design enable him to create evaluation reports and professional development materials for the entire group.


Kasey Monroe
Assistant Researcher
E-mail: kam3797@ku.edu

Kasey began working for the Center for Research on Learning as a KU undergraduate student in 2004. After earning his degree, he transitioned to a staff position as a research assistant on grant-funded projects. He accepted a position with Research Collaboration in the fall of 2015. 

Sara Spencer
Research Project Specialist
E-mail: sspencer@ku.edu

Sara has worked in project management since 2012 at the University of Kansas. She is excited to be part of such a dedicated and hard-working team as she appreciates working in an environment that fosters education.



Lauren Enlow
Administrative Assistant
E-mail: lenlow@ku.edu

Lauren graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Public Policy. She has experience working with a variety of organizations that leverage community partnerships for the betterment of learners, working to improve academic outcomes by addressing non-academic barriers.


Ellen Horn
Office Assistant