Join a Team


Graduate students on the GSIRI teams must represent more than one department, program, or discipline in order for the team to qualify for funding. It’s not always easy for graduate students to meet across disciplines, so the GSIRI website offers you the opportunity to share your ideas with others. Once your idea is posted other students with similar interests can connect with you to explore the possibility of working on your research team. You can also review ideas from other GSIRI posts to seek out others.

Do you want to join a team? Please see the list of project ideas below and click on them to learn more. If you are interested in joining a research team, contact the team leaders.

Project Title: A Post Pandemic Study Examining Inequality Issues in Online Learning for Students with Disabilities in K12 Environment


Primary Research Aim: Our goal is to document the learning experiences and challenges that students with disabilities in the general education classroom face with engagement in Online Learning during the CODVID-19 Epidemic. The study will document their experiences with instruction, feedback, student teacher interaction, on task behavior, etc. during online instruction by interviewing students and teachers. This will form the basis for recommending strategies and guidelines for online activities within the classroom.

Abstract: With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions worldwide had to make changes to their mode of teaching as in-person instruction moved to virtual instruction for all students, inclusive of students with disabilities (SWD). In spite of this, schools were still expected to provide this particular group with the appropriate education; thus, continuing to be educated in the general education classroom to the maximum feasible extent with their peers without disabilities. Our goal is to document the experiences of SWD’s that qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), who receive their education in the general education classroom. The study will seek to answer the following questions: a) What is the level of feedback that SWD gets during online instruction? b) Are there differences in the student-teacher interaction, communication and collaboration during online learning? c) What is the level of support provided to the students by the school district during online instruction? d) What strategies can be adopted to enhance the online learning experience of SWD. The study will adopt a mixed method approach whereby data will be collected through the use of surveys and structured interviews with participating students and education officials. Based on the documented experiences, the study will provide strategies that will guide teachers as they provide classroom instruction online for students with disabilities.

Contact the Research Team: Babatunde Akinkuolie (, Abena Anyidoho, Tolulope O. Sulaimon, Kui Xie (Faculty Mentor)

Our Team is Looking For:

Data Collectors (Graduate Students)

Experience working with students in the fields of education, special education or related fields

Quantitative/ Mixed-methods Specialist

Experience with analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data

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Project Title: Fighting Oppression with Unity: Building a Coalition of Solidarity and Community Among Women of Color Graduate Students in EHE in the Time of COVID-19


Primary Research Aim: This project aims to document the experiences of women of color (WOC) graduate students in EHE to develop a coalition that works toward educational equity. WOC often face various obstacles due to biases that result from intersecting systems of oppression. Often within minoritized communities, divisive strategies (e.g., Oppression Olympics) are implemented even if unintentional, that inhibit coalition building from combating oppressive forces.

Abstract: Academia can be a hostile environment for graduate students of color. Graduate school is often embedded with racist, sexist, and other forms of oppression that inhibit the success of students of color. Additionally, women of color (WOC) must navigate political landscapes immersed with strategies that steer them away from the collective community in which they thrive. Strategies such as Oppression Olympics, a concept placing groups in competition to determine who is most oppressed, and Divide and Conquer, used to divide marginalized groups to prevent unity, pose threats for universities to become inclusive. Through coalition building, WOC can unite to combat oppressive forces in solidarity. An intersectional approach allows the researchers to examine the various forms of oppression faced by WOC graduate students. This project aims to elevate WOC graduate students’ voices in EHE and build a coalition to identify and promote the success of WOC. This study seeks to answer the following questions: (a) What are the experiences of WOC graduate students in EHE and what strategies can be used to enhance their experiences? (b) How does coalition building among WOC graduate students in EHE relate to those strategies? (c) What components are essential for coalition building among diverse groups? (d) How is the COVID-19 pandemic uniquely affecting WOC graduate students? The mixed-methods study will provide strategies to develop steps towards holistic development for WOC graduate students.

Contact the Research Team: Jessica Rivera (, Ruth Lu, Susan Talley, Marc Johnston Guerrero (Faculty Mentor)

Our Team is Looking For:

Quantitative Researcher

Skills in developing surveys and other assessment measures

Qualitative Researcher

Experience with interviewing, research experience conducting focus groups

Experienced Scholar

Experience with a background in theoretical frameworks that focus on feminist perspectives, coalition building, leadership development, intersectionality, and communities of color, virtual engagement and the online environment

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Project Title: Globalizing College Admission Counseling: When International School Counseling Programs Stop Privileging US Admissions


Primary Research Aim: The goal of our research is to discover whether US diploma-granting international school counseling programs are shifting from US-centric to more globally-inclusive approaches to university admission advising. If programs are making this shift, we are curious about counselor perceptions of how these shifts are happening and why. We intend to explore implications for US and international universities, international school counselors and counselor training programs.

Abstract: The author-practitioners have observed a trend in recent years of international school counseling programs increasingly globalizing their approaches to university admissions advising through such steps as diversifying college fairs, changing the way programming and counseling is presented to students, and uncentering US destinations as a default option for university admissions. At the same time, countries are aggressively seeking international applicants and have adopted recruitment approaches that differ from US university practices. This study explores the school side of this phenomena and seeks to confirm whether a de-centering of US college admissions is underway amongst international high school counseling programs, and if so, how and why from counselors’ perspectives. This mixed-methods study incorporates a survey of US diploma-granting international schools complemented by website reviews and narrative interviews with a sample of the survey respondents to further explore counselor perceptions of how and why a shift may be taking place. The authors are interested to uncover counselor intentions, perceptions of agency, behavior changes and assigned meanings. Where possible, international schools’ proprietary application and matriculation data is analyzed in conversation with the counselors. The study proposes implications for US universities, international universities, international school counselors and counselor education programs.

Contact the Research Team: Renee Bowling (, Patrick Cunningham, Tatiana Suspitsyna (Faculty Mentor)

Our Team is Looking For:

Quantitative Analyst

The team member should have background developing and analyzing survey data and have familiarity with other types of quantitative analysis. We are seeking individuals who are interested in or have experience with international schools or international college admissions, and are particularly interested in diverse perspectives.

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Project Title: The Influence of Student Evaluations of Teaching on Perceived Teacher Quality in U.S. Higher Education


Primary Research Aim: This study aims to determine how the creation, implementation, and interpretation of SET impact teachers and influence the perceived effectiveness of teaching across U.S. universities. This study will better understand patterns within and correlations between (Creation-Quantitative) individual question type, SET form type, SET question content, and number of SET questions. It aims to understand the validity, reliability, effectiveness, and impact of SET across U.S. higher education.

Abstract: The benefits of quality educational institutions span well beyond educational programs themselves, impacting society as a whole through both the governmental and public domains (Leeuwenkamp, Brinke and Kester, 2017). The purpose of this study is to determine how the creation, implementation, and interpretation of Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) influence the perceived effectiveness of teaching across U.S. higher educational institutions. This project will examine correlations in SET question type, question content, number of questions, mandated SET, timing of SET, and grade-dependent SET completion to perceived teacher effectiveness. Qualitatively, this project will examine the underlying purposes of the creation, distribution, and analyzation of SET at the individual university level, and use this to better understand the direct impact on teachers and the perceived influence on teacher quality.To ensure a more thorough understanding, this project aims to understand how universities use additional data sources to supplement understanding of teacher quality. This research project will inform better design, implementation, and interpretation of SET data that will provide increased validity in understanding teacher effectiveness. This project hopes to not only bring current SET practices to light, but also to practically build on those in a way that will provide additional support to teachers, administrators, and universities.

Contact the Research Team: Bethany Martens (, Shantanu Talik, Irina Kuznetova, Mitchell Short, Logan Pelfrey

Our Team is Looking For:

Testing or Assessment Researcher

Someone with an expertise in Assessment or Testing and Measurements

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Project Title: Examining the Experiences of International Students Related to Institutional Policy of a University: A Critical Analysis of Educational Policy Implications


Primary Research Aim: The primary aim of this research is to examine how English as a Second Language (ESL) policy for international students, in particular one ESL program known as the Oral Proficiency Assessment (OPA) shapes othering, motivation, and sense of belonging on Ohio State University campus for international students. Often these policies hinder self-perception and socio-emotional integration of international students within and outside campus communities.

Abstract: This research examines how English as a Second Language (ESL) policy for international students, in particular one ESL program known as the Oral Proficiency Assessment (OPA) shapes othering, motivation, and sense of belonging. English is a global language; many English varieties are developed all over the globe. The globalization of English blurs the boundaries between native and non-native speakers. International students may not be fluent in the American accent but maybe fluent in Chinese, Hong Kong, Indian or British accent. OPA policies may be ignoring a wide range of cultural backgrounds, language ideologies, and accents in English. Therefore, we will explore the argument that homogeneity in OPA policies based on American English may deter intercultural communication on campus. Therefore, this study’s primary research question is How does the policy impact international students’ academic motivation (e.g., self-efficacy, values, and attribution), and sense of social belonging?

Contact the Research Team: Khizar Nasir (, Xingfeiyue Liu, Zilu Jiang, Jan Nespor (Faculty Mentor)

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