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

Pattie Noonan, Ph.D. is an associate research professor at the University of Kansas where she 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 readiness. Much of her work entails providing schoolwide professional development and coaching to trainers, leadership, instructional coaches, and educators while working in close collaboration with state departments of education. 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 three books, numerous 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.

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.


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

Dr. 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.

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. 

Tammy Haught, Ed.D.,
Associate Researcher
E-mail: tammy.haught@ku.edu

Dr. Tammy Haught is an associate researcher at the University of Kansas. Her experiences come from working in elementary education where she focused on collaboration and co-teaching to meet the diverse needs of her students. She served as a co-teaching coach for an urban school district where she collaborated with general education teachers, special education teachers, paraeducators, and teachers for English Learners to ensure research based instructional strategies were used to best meet the needs of all learners. She has an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Special Education. Her organizational skills come in handy while living life with her husband, 3 children, 2 grandchildren, and many exchange students.

Christy Calvert, M.Ed.,
Associate Researcher
E-mail: ccalvert@ku.edu

Christy holds a master’s degree in education and has over 20 years of academic and applied research and evaluation experience as both an evaluation consultant and staff member. She has worked in partnership with a wide range of programs, non-profit organizations, collaborative partnerships, and communities throughout Kansas and beyond. With a special interest in utilization-focused and empowerment evaluation approaches, she has helped project partners plan and use evaluation to guide their initiatives, demonstrate the impact of their efforts, and realize meaningful social change.


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.

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. 


Lauren Enlow
Assistant Researcher
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.

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.


Whitney Hersh
Research Project Coordinator
E-mail: wlhersh@ku.edu

Whitney earned a Bachelor of General Studies (Historical Studies) from Fort Hays State University in 2013 and is working toward a Master of Arts in History. At both FHSU and KU she has previously worked as a tutor in English, communications, and history, with an emphasis on writing support for ESL students. She has worked at the University of Kansas since 2017.

Lonna Hersh
Administrative Assistant
E-mail: lonna.hersh@ku.edu

Lonna attended Washburn University (WU). She worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional for eight years in USD #345 (Seaman School District) and has experience with bookkeeping and clerical duties.


Ellen Horn
Office Assistant