Meet the Team

Dr. Penny A. Pasque (she/her) is a professor in Educational Studies and Director of Qualitative Methods & QualLab in the Office of Research, Innovation and Collaboration (ORIC), College of Education and Human Ecology. Her research addresses complexities in qualitative inquiry, in/equities in higher education, and dis/connections between higher education and society. She “works with” qualitative methodologies as well as “studies” qualitative methodologies that work toward social justice and educational equity. Pasque’s research has appeared in approximately 100 journal articles and books, including in The Review of Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, Qualitative Inquiry, Diversity in Higher Education, among others. Pasque is editor of The Review of Higher Education (with Dr. Thomas F. Nelson Laird). RHE is considered one of the leading research journals in the field and is the official journal of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Rhodesia McMillian (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of educational policy and a nationally certified school psychologist. She serves as QualLab’s NVivo expert. Utilizing critical methodologies and theories, she is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research bridges K-12 education reform law, education policy, elementary and secondary educational governance, special education law, and sociology. Dr. McMillian’s primary scholarship investigates how federal, state, and local education policies impact the educational experiences of students of color and students with disabilities, as well as the ways in which educational disparities persist in k-12 public education.

Hannah Reyes (she/her) is a first-generation Latina scholar currently pursuing her doctorate in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Hannah attended Mississippi State University (MSU) for her B.S. in Kinesiology before then working professionally for MSU’s multicultural center. There, she advised groups like the Latino Student Association, cultivated her passion for student affairs, and subsequently attended Auburn University for her master’s. Committed to underserved student issues, Hannah incorporates equitable frameworks like Community Cultural Wealth and intersectionality in her own praxis and research. Hannah is a Graduate Research Associate for the QualLab as well as the Office of Inclusion and Diversity.

Mianmian Fei (she/her/) is a PhD student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program and a Graduate Research Assistant in QualLab. She has a background in anthropology and sociology and believes in the potential of interdisciplinary research. She is still exploring her research interests as a first-year but is particularly drawn to internationalization of higher education and comparative higher education. She spent her formative years in China, United States, and Switzerland and strives to become a responsible researcher with cultural sensitivity and competence.

A headshot of Tessa Smith

Tessa Smith (she/her) strives to cultivate critical consciousness in education through interdisciplinary research, collaborative pedagogy, and experiential learning. Tess is a third-year PhD student in the Philosophy and History of Education program, and her current research interests include the ethics of censorship and the role of education in addressing and normalizing death, mortality, and grief.

Photo of Chelsea Gilbert with a rainbow flag in the backgroundChelsea Gilbert (she/her) is an educator, scholar, and activist committed to critical, transformative research, pedagogy, and praxis. She is a third-year PhD student in the Higher Education & Student Affairs program and is particularly interested in critical approaches to trauma and trauma-informed practices in higher education settings. In her role with QualLab, she supports consultations as well as the Advanced Methods Institute

Dahianna Ontaneda (she/her/ella) is a second year Morrill Scholar studying Biochemistry at Ohio State. She is passionate about opening doors to Limited English Proficiency families within the medical field and hopes to one day become a Bilingual Nurse Practitioner. In her role in the QualLab, Dahianna looks forward to further expanding her knowledge while simultaneously connecting with other scholars who participate in QualLab events, services, and research toward equity and social justice. 

Jennifer Watley (she/her) is first year a MA student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University. She currently serves as an Assistant Hall Director in the department of Housing & Residence Education and acts as a practicum student in QualLab. She graduated from Bowling Green State University, where she served as an orientation leader, academic coach, and minority student mentor while earning her Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies. Overall, she is passionate about the intersections of education, culture, and media.




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Past QualLab contributors: Dr. Ruth Lu (Graduate Research Associate), Faustina Mensah (QualLab Intern), Dr. e alexander (Graduate Research Associate & Post-Doctoral Researcher), J-Mi DeLeon (Social Media Extraordinaire), Adrian Bitton (Graduate Research Associate), & Bakari Lumumba (Graduate Research Associate).