Meet Our Experts

ACT Research

The ACT Research team, led by Angie McAllister, is comprised of a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, offering a wide spectrum of knowledge in support of our high-quality, high-impact products and services. Our mission-driven team provides policymakers, educators, parents, and learners with research-based insights to inform their decisions. We deliver educators and workforce development professionals with tools and services needed for exploring and navigating education and career pathways.

Angie McAllister

Senior Vice President, Research

Angie McAllister, senior vice president of Research, is a leader in personalized learning and analytics, and helps to lead ACT's efforts in next-generation assessment and learning technologies. As a researcher and former educator, she has a long track record of innovation focused on helping people around the world achieve education and career success.

Wayne Camara

Horace Mann Chair

Wayne Camara is ACT’s Horace Mann Chair. He has served as SVP of Research at ACT, Vice President of R&D at College Board and Associate Executive Director of Science at the American Psychological Assoc. His research spans issues of validity, fairness, and utility of assessments in admissions, accountability, and employment.

Assessment Transformation

Melinda A. Taylor, PhD

Melinda Taylor is senior director of ACT Assessments in the Assessment Transformation department. She works on operational psychometrics related to the ACT and PreACT and is focused on modernizing techniques and processes related to the maintenance of large-scale operational assessment programs.

Benjamin Andrews, PhD

Benjamin Andrews is a senior psychometrician in the Assessment Transformation department. His research interests include equating, computerized adaptive testing, and reliability.

Ann Arthur, PhD

Ann Arthur is a research scientist in the Assessment Transformation department. Her research interests include incorporating process data into psychometric processes, latent variable models, and instrument development.

YoungWoo Cho, PhD

YoungWoo Cho is a principal psychometrician in Assessment Transformation at ACT specializing in scaling and equating, item-response theory, and classical test theory.

Minh Q. Duong, PhD

Minh Duong is a senior psychometrician in Assessment Transformation specializing in classical testing theory, item response theory, automatic test assembly, test equating, computerized adaptive testing, test security, data forensics, and statistical analysis and modeling.

Samuel Haring, PhD

Samuel Haring is a senior research scientist in the Assessment Transformation department. His research interests are in adaptive testing, automated test assembly, and item response theory.

Xin Li, PhD

Xin Li is a senior psychometrician in Assessment Transformation at ACT. Her research interests include computer adaptive testing, statistical modeling, and practical issues in testing.

Kristin Morrison, PhD

Kristin Morrison is a research scientist within the Assessment Transformation team. Her research interests include adaptive testing, difficulty modeling, item generation, and digital device interactions.

Shichao Wang, PhD

Shichao Wang is a psychometrician in the Assessment Transformation department specializing in test equating and scaling and supports for automatic test assembly.

Center for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning

Jeremy Burrus, PhD

Jeremy Burrus is the senior director of ACT’s Center for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning (SEAL). Before coming to ACT, he was a principal research scientist at ProExam’s Center for Innovative Assessments, and prior to that he was a research scientist at Educational Testing Service. He graduated with a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2006, and was a post-doctoral research scholar at Columbia Business School in New York City from 2006-2008.

Cristina Anguiano-Carrasco, PhD

Cristina Anguiano-Carrasco is a research scientist in the Center for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning (SEAL). Her research focusses on the measurement, assessment development, and associated response biases of Social and Emotional skills.

Dana Murano, PhD Candidate

Dana Murano is a research scientist in ACT's Center for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. Her research focuses on the development and assessment of social and emotional skills in students.

Kate Walton, PhD

Kate Walton is a principal research scientist in ACT's Center for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. Prior to joining ACT in 2017, she was Associate Professor of Psychology at St. John's University. She specializes in personality assessment and development.

Jason Way, PhD

Jason Way is a senior research psychologist in the Center for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. His research focuses on the assessment of the social and emotional skills that impact important academic and work outcomes.

Credentialing Advisory Services

Sandy Greenberg, PhD

Sandy Greenberg is vice president of Credentialing Advisory Services – specializing in designing, developing, and enhancing valid and defensible credentialing programs for organizations that offer licenses, certifications, assessment-based certificates, and digital badges to recognize competence. She has worked across health and non-health areas of practice conducting national and international studies. She is active in credentialing industry organizations such as ATP, CLEAR, and ICE, and is on the CLEAR Board of Directors.

Carla Caro, MA

Carla Caro is a program director in Credentialing Advisory Services and specializes in research activities supporting US-based and international credentialing organizations. Areas of expertise include practice analysis, development of assessment-based certificate programs, feasibility studies, meeting facilitation, and survey research. She is a frequent presenter at ICE and provides leadership on the development of credentialing industry accreditation standards.

Jacqueline Carpenito, MA

Jacqueline Carpenito is a program director in Credentialing Advisory Services and specializes in credentialing research activities such as practice analysis and role delineation studies, feasibility studies, and other research to support a broad range of credentialing organizations. She is an expert facilitator capable of leading groups through complex decision making in support of valid and defensible credentialing programs. She also frequently presents at industry conferences and serves on volunteer committees.

Patricia Muenzen, MA

Pat Muenzen is a director in Credentialing Advisory Services with 26 years of experience. She has expertise in conducting practice analysis/role delineation, competency modeling, and feasibility studies; developing learning objectives; determining rational and defensible criteria for credential eligibility and continuing competence. She is an expert facilitator for a wide variety of engagements with credential sponsors, including setting strategic direction. Pat leads the R&D committee for the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

Innovative Research Design and Consultation

Paul Nichols, PhD

Paul Nichols (PhD, The University of Iowa) has more than 25 years of experience in the design and development of assessment in the service of learning. Paul is currently a Vice President in the Research Division of ACT, Inc., where Paul supports principled assessment and product design, the development of validity arguments and the use of methods such as protocol analysis and eye movement tracking. Paul’s research integrates the most recent findings from research in learning science, assessment and measurement and technological innovations with best practices in applied studies and the design of assessments and other products.

Alex Casillas, PhD

Design Based Research

Alex Casillas is a principal research psychologist in Design Based Research specializing in assessment design and behavioral predictors of performance and persistence in education and work settings.

Becky Bobek, PhD

Learning, Assessment, and Navigation Experiences Research

Becky Bobek is director of the Learning, Assessment, and Navigation Experiences Research department, where she supports the scientific understanding of conditions and processes that influence people’s education and work experiences. With a research and practitioner background, her work focuses on how people navigate their education and career transitions successfully – what individuals know about themselves and their environments, and how they use this information to make informed decisions, plan actions, and move along their different paths.

Maria Ofelia Z. San Pedro, PhD

Learning, Assessment and Navigation Experiences

Maria Ofelia "Sweet" San Pedro is a research scientist in the Learning, Assessment and Navigation Experiences group at ACT specializing in learning science and learning analytics. She researches on K-12 learning experiences, assessment and instruction within digital learning environments.

Joyce Yile Zhou, PhD

Learning, Assessment, and Navigation Experiences

Yile (Joyce) Zhou is a research scientist I in the Learning, Assessment, and Navigation Experiences Research department at ACT. Her research interests include K-12 learning experiences and young people’s education/career navigation.

Krista Mattern, PhD

Validity and Efficacy Research

Krista Mattern is a senior director in Validity and Efficacy Research specializing in the validity and fairness of assessment scores as well as more general issues in higher education such as enrollment, persistence, and graduation.

Jeff Allen, PhD

Validity and Efficacy Research

Jeff Allen is a statistician and director in Validity and Efficacy Research. He specializes in longitudinal research of educational outcomes, student growth models, and validation of college readiness measures.

Ty Cruce, PhD

Validity and Efficacy Research

Ty Cruce is a principal research scientist in Validity and Efficacy Research at ACT.

Jizhi Ling, MS

Validity and Efficacy Research

Jizhi Ling is a data analyst in Validity and Efficacy Research working on postsecondary outcomes research.

Joann Moore, PhD

Validity and Efficacy Research

Joann Moore is a senior research scientist in Validity and Efficacy Research specializing in prediction of secondary and postsecondary outcomes from academic and non-cognitive factors.

Justine Radunzel, PhD

Validity and Efficacy Research

Justine Radunzel is a principal research scientist in Validity and Efficacy Research specializing in postsecondary outcomes research and validity evidence for the ACT test.

Edgar Sanchez, PhD

Validity and Efficacy Research

Edgar Sanchez, a senior research scientist in the Validity and Efficacy Research department at ACT, works on predictive modeling of student educational outcomes such as enrollment, persistence, and graduation. His current research focus is on the efficacy of test preparation.

Jeffrey Steedle, PhD

Validity and Efficacy Research

Jeffrey Steedle is a senior research scientist in Validity and Efficacy Research specializing in educational and labor market outcomes research and validity evidence for ACT's workforce assessment programs.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Helen Palmer, PhD

Helen Palmer is director of Industrial-Organizational Psychology at ACT. Her work involves a variety of issues related to the use of assessments in the workplace.

Psychometric Research

Xiaohong Gao, PhD

Xiaohong Gao is a senior director in Psychometric Research specializing in research and analysis using generalizability theory, item-response theory, and classical test theory.

Hanwei Chen, PhD

Hanwei Chen is a principal psychometrician in Psychometric Research at ACT specializing in test equating, statistical analyses, psychometric supports for process improvement and pool managements.

Zhongmin Cui, PhD

Zhongmin Cui is a principal psychometrician in Psychometric Research at ACT specializing in educational measurement and statistics, computer programming, machine learning, and innovation.

Sien Deng, PhD

Sien Deng is a psychometrician in Psychometric Research at ACT specializing in psychometric methods and measurement, statistics, and programming.

Yu Fang, PhD

Yu Fang is a principal psychometrician Psychometric Research at ACT specializing in multidimensional IRT and equating.

Chi-Yu Huang, PhD

Chi-Yu Huang is a principal psychometrician in Psychometric Research specializing in research and analysis in educational psychometrics, data forensics, and accommodations.

NooRee Huh, PhD

NooRee Huh is a senior psychometrician in Psychometric Research specializing in research and analysis in educational psychometrics, data forensics, and accommodations.

Dongmei Li, PhD

Dongmei Li is a principal psychometrician in Psychometric Research at ACT specializing in test equating, scaling, and growth modeling.

Wei Tao, PhD

Wei Tao is a director in Psychometric Research specializing in statistical and psychometric methodologies involved in test equating, scaling, and scoring.

Jin Zhang, PhD

Jin Zhang is a senior psychometrician in Psychometric Research specializing in research and analysis in educational psychometrics. Her research interests include statistical modeling and Bayesian Networks with application to adaptive testing and learning.

Research Strategy and Services

Kurt Burkum, PhD

Kurt Burkum is senior director of Research Strategy & Services at ACT. His research specialty is in state and federal policy issues related to college readiness and transitions, particularly for underserved student populations.

Jeff Schiel, PhD

Jeff Schiel, director of survey research at ACT, specializes in the design and methodology of surveys and survey sampling. His interests also include SAS programming and statistical graphics.

Raeal Moore, PhD

Raeal Moore is a senior research scientist specializing in survey methodological research and research on education best practices in P-12 schools.

Research Technology, Data Science and Analytics

Michelle Barrett, PhD

Michelle Barrett is vice president of Research Technology, Data Science, and Analytics. Her teams provide cutting-edge analytic platforms with robust data pipelines to ACT researchers and integrate analytics into products and services that help people achieve education and workplace success.  Michelle’s research interests include response models, adaptive testing, near-real-time psychometric analytics, and the intersection of psychometrics and learning analytics.

Matt Harmston, PhD

Matt Harmston is a senior research scientist in Research Technology, Data Science and Analytics specializing in secondary research and report development.

Ruitao Liu, PhD

Ruitao Liu is a senior research scientist in Research Technology, Data Science, and Analytics specializing in Bayesian statistics, predictive modeling, and game-based assessment and learning.

John Whitmer, PhD

John Whitmer is a senior director for Data Science and Analytics at ACT. In this role, he leads a team of data scientists, psychometricians, and learning analytics researchers to conduct foundational research and to develop operational algorithms. These algorithms are embedded within ACT products and also power partner institutions and application. 

Heru Widiatmo, PhD

Heru Widiatmo is a senior psychometrician in Research Technology, Data Science and Analytics. His research interests include item response models, response times, item selection and item exposure control procedures. Solid computer programming skills (such as Visual BASIC, C/C++, R, and Python).

Scott Wood, PhD

Scott Wood is associate director of Machine Scoring in the Research Technology, Data Science, and Analytics department at ACT.

State & Federal Programs, Policy Research

Gretchen Guffy

Gretchen Guffy is senior director of policy in State & Federal Programs.

Michelle Croft, PhD/JD

Michelle Croft is a principal research associate in State & Federal Programs.

Shannon Hayes

Shannon Hayes is a policy analyst in State & Federal Programs, Policy Research.

Gregory Kienzl

Dr. Gregory Kienzl is a principal strategist in State & Federal Programs, Policy Research. His areas of interest include state and federal financial aid programs, interventions that promote the high school-to-college transition, and student equity and mobility.

Mary LeFebvre

Mary LeFebvre is a principal research scientist in State & Federal Programs, Policy Research. Her areas of interest include workforce research, employment and training policy evaluation, and competency supply/demand analysis.

Dan Vitale

Dan Vitale is a policy analyst in State & Federal Programs.