IMBES is also very pleased to have a Trainee Board. Elien Bellon and Kathryn deVries serve as the co-trainee representatives to the IMBES Board and co-presidents of the IMBES Trainee Board. In these roles they articulate a vision for the trainee board and manage it, liaise between the Trainee Board and the main IMBES board, serve as the voice for the trainee community, and promote the interests and engagement of trainees.
Elien Bellon is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Parenting and Special Education Research unit of the KU Leuven, Belgium, working with Prof. Dr. Bert De Smedt (KU Leuven) and Prof. Dr. Wim Fias (Ghent University). With her doctoral dissertation, Elien aimed to further our understanding of individual differences in children's mathematical skills and the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie mathematical skills and development. Her research primarily focuses on the role of metacognition in arithmetic and she uses both behavioral and neuroimaging methods to answer her research questions. Eventually, based on her research findings, Elien aspires to design targeted training and/or intervention for primary school children who struggle with mathematics.
Kathryn deVries is currently completing her doctorate at Temple University. Her research interest is studying the use of heart rate variability (HRV) in the classroom to identify students who are struggling with physiological, emotional, and cognitive integration due to adverse childhood events (ACEs). She performed a pilot study with college students using exercise watches to examine HRV in and outside of math class in 2019-2020 which is in preparation. Kathryn is currently working on a similar study with 4th and 5th graders for her dissertation. She is also a licensed professional counselor with a specialty in trauma. Kathryn has studied the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) with the Child Trauma Academy led by Dr. Bruce Perry.
Matthew Shackley is a PhD student in Education with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Cognitive Science at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara, working with Dr. Julie Bianchini. His research applies educational psychology to better understand student perceptions of climate change mechanisms, and student willingness to engage in pro-environmental behavior. He hopes to use this work to inform the development of environmental science curricula, more effective at promoting environmental stewardship and sustainable development. Prior to graduate school, Matthew worked as a middle school science teacher in his hometown of Las Vegas, NV after receiving his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and M.S. in Teaching and Learning from Colorado State University.
Yunji is a PhD student in the educational psychology department at UW-Madison working with Drs. Percival Matthews and Edward Hubbard. Her PhD work focuses on understanding children’s structural and functional brain development and how it interplays with learning. Currently, she is also collaborating with Drs. Douglas Dean III and Andrew Alexander in the medical physics department of her university for her diffusion MRI work. She is particularly interested in understanding developmental changes in the relationship between white matter connectivity and math learning. Yunji’s research is all about attempting to bridge the fields of mind, brain, and education!
Brian Gearin is a research assistant at the University of Oregon’s Center on Teaching and Learning. He also co-leads dissemination efforts at the National Center on Improving Literacy and the Lead for Literacy Center. Brian received his PhD in quantitative research methods in education from the University of Oregon. He is interested in educational policies aimed at improving reading and mathematics acquisition in elementary school children. Brian is a former high school English and social studies teacher.
Anna E. Levy is currently a research coordinator at Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center at UC San Francisco. Anna is interested in researching innovative interventions for making education more accessible for children from vulnerable backgrounds. At Neuroscape, she researches the influence of digital training games on children’s cognitive development. Anna is also a research fellow at Educators Thriving, a non-profit dedicated to supporting educators with common challenges they face through evidence-based interventions. Anna received her B.A in Psychology from Lafayette College where she studied the influence of role models for counteracting stereotype threat for women in STEM.
Rich Daker is a PhD student in the Psychology Department at Georgetown University working with Dr. Ian Lyons and Dr. Adam Green. His research uses a combination of behavioral, psychophysiology, and neuroimaging methods to understand the role that anxiety about math, creativity, and spatial reasoning plays in shaping academic achievement and is broadly interested in exploring ways that psychology and neuroscience can help students succeed. Before starting graduate school, Rich worked at ideas42 where he helped apply findings from psychology to improve graduation rates among community college students. He completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University with concentrations in psychology and neuroscience.