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Dedicated faculty and staff are the foundation of the entire College of Education and Human Services experience. They are a diverse and experienced group committed to mentoring, outstanding teaching and serving as national leaders in their fields. 

Faculty Research Spotlights


Melissa Luna, Ph.D.

Dr. Melissa Luna's research regarding elementary science education led her to achieve the National Science Foundation Career Award in 2016. This honor is given to outstanding junior faculty members whose proposed research will contribute to NSF's mission to broaden STEM participation in underserved areas of the country. Dr. Luna's research utilizes wearable technology to capture teacher noticing in action.

Read more about Dr. Luna's research and award.


Melissa Sherfinski, Ph.D.

Sherfinski’s desire to study West Virginia’s universal pre-kindergarten program led her to participate in a six-year, longitudinal study focusing on the program. She is currently analyzing the third phase of data to examine how different stakeholders throughout the state view practices and policies related to universal pre-kindergarten. Through her research, Sherfinski has been able to identify some key areas of improvement for West Virginia’s universal pre-kindergarten program, with the ultimate goal of providing more opportunity for students from all backgrounds.                 

Read more about Dr. Sherfinski's research.                        


Lisa Platt, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Platt was selected as the first recipient for the SPECTRUM LGBTQ+ Award from the Association for Women in Psychology.The SPECTRUM Award is an award that recognizes research focused on addressing the psychology of gender and sexual minorities, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The research which led to this award focused on studying romantic partner relationships among transgender individuals, providing a more complete understanding of their unique challenges and experiences.

Read more about Dr. Platt's research and award.

Faculty Areas of Expertise 

Our faculty commit to a wide variety of research interests and areas of expertise. If you are looking for an expert in a specific area in your search for an academic mentor, a speaker for an academic event, or as a collaborator in a research project, please view the alphabetical list of research topics in which our faculty excel. 

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