Team Members

Matthew J. Mayhew, Ph.D., is the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration. His research has focused on how collegiate conditions, educational practices and student experiences influence learning and democratic outcomes, including moral reasoning, pluralism, productive exchange across worldview differences, and innovation. To support the study of college and its impact on student development and learning, he has been awarded more than $20 million in funding from sources, including but not limited to, the U.S. Department of Education, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Merrifield Family Trust, and the National Science Foundation. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in journals as well as How College Affects Students: Volume 3. He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Laura S. Dahl, Ph.D., is the research director for CoIL. She previously worked as an assistant professor in the School of Education at North Dakota State University. Her research critically examines how collegiate environments can influence outcomes such as sense of belonging, self-authored worldview commitment, career outcome expectations, appreciative attitudes toward diverse others, and integrative learning. Laura earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. She has a master’s degree in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Emily Creamer, PhD., is a postdoctoral scholar at The Ohio State University where she manages a mix-methods study on community college students (Enhancing Diversity in Career & Technical STEM). She has worked in higher education for over 17 years. Her passions involve helping students with their mental health and balancing their academic, career, emotional, and social lives. Emily earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University. She also holds two master’s degrees from the University of Toledo: one in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the second in Higher Education Administration. Her bachelor’s degree is from Mount Union College with majors in psychology and sociology.

Jossie Muñoz is the lab director for CoIL. Jossie earned her B.A. from Dickinson College and her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University. Before joining CoIL, Jossie worked as a Senior Manager for a nonprofit that became the state of California’s college and career planning platform. Prior to that, she worked as an Assistant Manager of Academic and Alumni Affairs at New York University Abu Dhabi. Jossie is delighted to be working again with Dr. Mayhew and be a part of such a talented research team.


Renee L. Bowling is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education Student Affairs program. She previously served in U.S. higher education and K-12 administration in South Asia. Renee holds a B.A. in Sociology from The University of Akron, a M.A. in Counseling and Human Development from Walsh University, a postgraduate certificate in Religious Studies and Education from Harvard University and has completed The Ohio State University’s Accelerated Licensure Program for Superintendency. Her research interests include comparative international education, educational leadership, critical internationalization studies, religious literacy, and global education policy.

Yun-Han Weng is a second year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. She earned her B.Ed. in Civic Education and Leadership at the National Taiwan Normal University and completed her M.S. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin -Madison. Yun-Han has worked in the MBA and Master’s Career Management office at the Wisconsin School of Business. Her research interests include STEM, learning analytics, international student identity and experience.


Susannah Townsend is a second year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. After earning a B.S. in Biology from Emory University, she then earned her MPH in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology from UC Berkeley. She worked briefly in clinical trials data analysis before shifting to institutional research at the University of California system and then at Mount Carmel College of Nursing. Her primary research interest is understanding how institutions can better meet the needs of first-generation college students and ensure their first-year success.


Alan Sells is a second year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. Coming from Mobile, AL, their first degree in Secondary Education/General Science gave them a strong foundation in educational theory, while their M.Ed in Higher Education Leadership combined their passion for pedagogy with student service. Their research interests include student development theory and identity development, particularly in gifted, high achieving, and queer students. They have been working in higher education professionally for almost 10 years, advising honors college students for the past 5, and are excited to carry on student centric research.

 Kara Graham is a first year Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University and spent her early career working in the market research industry. After pivoting to the nonprofit sector and working with transition-age foster youth for ten years, she shifted her efforts to academia. Kara recently completed her M.Ed. in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on the mechanisms that enhance postsecondary experiences and close outcome gaps for students from underserved backgrounds such as former foster youth.