George Siemens
George Siemens on Google Scholar  George Siemens on Twitter  George Siemens' Website
George Siemens, Ph.D. | Executive Director
Dr. Siemens is an internationally renowned author, researcher, and theorist in the field of learning, knowledge management, and technology. Prior to his move to the United States, he was Associate Director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University and Associate Director of Research and Development at the Learning Technologies Centre of the University of Manitoba. He has organized and presented numerous open online courses including two entitled Connectivism and Connective Knowledge. He is a highly sought consultant and keynote presenter, having shared his expertise in over 30 countries. Dr. Siemens holds a doctorate from the University of Aberdeen and a Master of Arts in Distributed Learning (Leadership and Technology) from Royal Roads University. Dr. Siemens oversees all LINK research projects.
T. Lisa BerryT. Lisa Berry on Twitter  T. Lisa Berry's Website  T. Lisa Berry on LinkedIn T. Lisa Berry | Director
Lisa Berry joined the LINK Research Lab in 2015. In addition to her administrative role, she is actively engaged in teaching and learning research projects. Lisa’s research explores how knowledge is shaped, transmitted, and acquired through teaching and learning. Research questions address how classroom dialogue influences student performance, how and what types of student feedback influence motivation and academic performance, and how technology can be harnessed to motivate and provide opportunities for life-long learning. Prior to her move to LINK, she served as Coordinator of Graduate Student Success programs in the Office of Graduate Studies and as Coordinator for undergraduate tutoring and Supplemental Instruction programs in SOAR (now University Tutorial). Lisa serves as the administrative co-leader of the CIRTL-UTA program (part of the NSF-funded Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning – CIRTL) whose mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners. LINK Research Projects: CIRTLSHEILA, OnTask, InterLab.

Justin T. Dellinger on Facebook Justin T. Dellinger on Twitter Justin T. Dellinger's Website Justin T. Dellinger on LinkedIn
Justin T. Dellinger | Associate Director
In addition to his administrative role in the LINK Research Lab, Justin actively engages in research on digital teaching and learning. His current projects focus on learning analytics adoption and policy, organizational leadership, institutional change, and multiple-pathways learning. He also serves as an instructor in the Learning Analytics Series in edX. Prior to his current position, Justin worked as LINK’s Research Coordinator and as an instructional designer/programmer in UTA’s Center for Distance Education. Justin has taught in both K-12 and higher education, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the K16 Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at UT Arlington. He also earned his Master of Arts in History from the university. LINK Research Projects: COCOA, dLRN, K-12 Learning Analytics, Learning Analytics Series, MOOCs
Matt Crosslin
Matt Crosslin on Facebook  Matt Crosslin on Twitter  Matt Crosslin's Website   Matt Crosslin on LinkedIn
Matt Crosslin, Ph.D. | Learning Innovation Researcher
Matt’s current research activities focus on learning theory, innovation, learner empowerment, and learning analytics. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning.  He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process. Before coming to UTA, he worked in innovative learning centers as well as forward thinking education companies that looked to expand the limits of formal and informal learning. After LINK Lab, Matt began working on the instructional design team at Orbis Education. LINK Research Projects: Chatbots and AI, Virtual Reality, MOOC Design, OnTask, Learning Analytics Series
Barbara Crow Barbara Crow | Administrative Assistant
In February 2013, I began my career at UTA as an Administrative Assistant I in the Admissions, Records & Registration Department (February 2013). I accepted the position of Administrative Assistant II in the LINK Research Lab in December 2015. I am a native Texan, born in El Paso but grew up in the DFW Metroplex. I began my administrative career working for the City of Irving, Texas, as a records clerk. My goal with each new position is to learn new skills, gain new knowledge, and always aim to be the best at what I do, knowing at the end of the day, I have given my all to my job. From 2011 to 2013, I volunteered at FBC-Grapevine, assisting International students get acclimated to the United States by tutoring them in reading, writing and speaking English. While rewarding to watch them blossom in their new homeland, the knowledge I gained of their home cultures and countries will always influence my life. During my time away from UTA, I enjoy photography (beginning), all sorts of ‘hands-on’ crafts (wood-working, painting, doll making), reading, relaxing in the Colorado mountains with my husband (of 32 years), and being around animals (dogs, cats and horses).

Past LINK Researchers

Laurel Mayo Laurel Mayo
Laurel Mayo founded the LINK Research Lab with Dr. Pete Smith in Fall 2013. As director, she was instrumental in bringing Dr. George Siemens to the University of Texas at Arlington, helping grow the lab’s support staff, crafting a vision for LINK, and securing research grants. She also developed the Professional Learning Community program in 2012 with the goal of innovating pedagogy through digital technology. Laurel retired from the university September 2015. Projects: dLRN, MOOC Research Initiative, PLC
Pete Smith Pete Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Pete Smith founded the LINK Research Lab with Laurel Mayo in Fall 2013 while serving as Vice Provost for Digital Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas at Arlington. In July 2016, he became the Chief Analytics Officer and Senior Associate Vice President. Dr. Smith has collaborated with LINK on a number of projects, such as the Professional Learning Community program. He has also taught Natural Language Processing and Understanding in Educational Research in the UTAx Learning Analytics Series. Projects: Learning Analytics Series, PLC
"Goutam Goutam Sarker
Goutam is providing leadership to CIRTL-UTA Learning Community leaders, maintaining on-going communication with the CIRTL-UTA community, CIRTL Network community, and local program leadership team members. Goutam is also working on the OnTask project where he analyzes students’ activity data to equip Instructors to design personalized feedback to the students with suggestions about their learning strategies so that the students can adjust their learning progressively.
Ryan Hulla Ryan Hulla
Ryan is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology and is interested in health and personality psychology, specifically on migraine disorder and personality characteristics that predict trauma and growth. He is currently conducting research on teamwork for UTA’s Quality Enhancement Program, working with Andrew Clark and Justin T. Dellinger, and supporting CRTLE initiatives. His prior research project for LINK was with Boeing, working with George Siemens, Angelia Liegey-Dougall, and Cory Newell.
Cory Newell Cory Newell
Cory is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology with a background in health, research design, and statistics. Broadly, Cory is interested in the physical and mental health implications of an increasingly connected and technological society. His current research aims to understand the impact of increased connectivity by exploring how smartphone and social media use relate to a variety of health, cognitive, and social factors.
Sasank Peri Sai Santosh Sasank Peri, Ph.D.
Dr. Peri served as a graduate research assistant with the LINK Research Lab and the Department of Electrical Engineering, with a research focus on semiconductor sensors for nanotechnology and biomedical applications. Dr. Peri’s research interests while with LINK included predicting student engagement using psycho-social characteristics and predicting lifespan of ideas through networks using epidemic models.
Dr. Heather Burte Heather Burte, Ph.D.
Dr. Brute’s LINK research focused on educational interventions and assessments, STEM education, spatial cognition, and individual differences. Before coming to UTA, she worked as a post-doctoral scholar at Tufts University. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alberta. In August 2019, Dr. Burte accepted a Research Assistant Professor position with the Psychological & Brain Sciences Department at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Catherine Spann Catherine Spann, Ph.D.
Dr. Catherine Spann started in the LINK Research Lab in July 2015 as a graduate research assistant for the dLRN grant. After completing her Ph.D. in Psychology in May 2016, she joined the lab as a research scientist where she investigated self-regulatory behavior, with particular focus on the role of mind-body practices in digital environments. She also served as a lead instructor for the course “The Science and Practice of Yoga.” In August 2017, she accepted a postdoctoral research position at the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado. Projects: aWEAR Conference, Self-Regulation Study, Emotional Learning Analytics, Social Media and Smartphone Use, YogaMOOC, InterLab, dLRN
Throy Campbell Throy Campbell, Ph.D.
Dr. Throy Campbell served as a postdoctoral researcher for the LINK Research Lab from June 2015 until August 2016. His research focused on the interactions between universities and the workplace, with particular focus on STEM education. In August 2016, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor in Finance at Oakwood University.
Andy Berning Andy Berning, Ph.D.
Dr. Andrew Berning joined the LINK Research Lab in March 2016 as a K-12 research affiliate. Before leaving in July 2017, Dr. Berning developed and instructed in the edX course “What Now? Emerging Technologies and Their Practical Application in K12 Teaching and Learning” and created the PK-12 Analytics Research Consortium. In July 2017, he became president of the Renaissance Institute. Projects: PARC, What Now? MOOC
James Schaeffer James Schaeffer, Ph.D.
Dr. James Schaeffer worked as a graduate research assistant in the LINK Research Lab from August 2016 until he completed his Ph.D. in Psychology in May 2018. His primary research investigated psychological attributes and profiles of online learners for LINK’s COCOA grant and he also helped conduct the Social Media and Smartphone Use study. In August 2018, he began working at Stephen F. Austin University as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. Projects: Social Media and Smartphone Use, COCOA
Kyle O’Connell Kyle O’Connell, Ph.D.
Dr. Kyle O’Connell served as a graduate research assistant in the LINK Research Lab from January 2016 until May 2017 where he worked on the CIRTL and OnTask projects. Upon finishing his Ph.D. in Biology, he accepted a postdoctoral research position at the Smithsonian Institute. Projects: CIRTL, OnTask
Christopher Abrego Christopher Abrego, Ph.D.
Dr. Christopher Abrego worked as the CIRTL graduate research assistant in the LINK Research Lab from June 2017 until May 2018. After graduating with his Ph.D. in Engineering, he started working as a systems engineer at DENSO in Michigan. Projects: CIRTL
Afshan Boodhwani Afshan Boodhwani, Ph.D.
Dr. Afshan Boodhwani joined the LINK Research Lab as a graduate research assistant for the COCOA grant from June 2016 until May 2017. Upon graduation, she accepted a position as a business analyst in University Analytics at UTA. Projects: COCOA
Iris Howley Iris Howley, Ph.D.
Dr. Iris Howley shared a joint postdoctoral researcher appointment with Candice Thille at Stanford University and the LINK Research Lab from October 2015 until July 2017. During that time, her research primarily focused on analytics and collaboration in online learning environments. After wrapping up her appointment, she started working as an assistant professor of Computer Science at Williams College. Projects: dLRN, InterLab
Miguel Andres-Bray Miguel Andres-Bray
Miguel Andres-Bray is a doctoral student at the Penn Center for Learning Analytics, under the direction of Dr. Ryan Baker. He has collaborated and shared joint funding with the LINK Research Lab where he has worked to develop the MOOC Replication Framework (MORF), which can help scholars integrate new research with multiple existing MOOC data sets. Projects: dLRN, InterLab
Bhanu Jain Bhanu Jain
Bhanu Jain was a graduate research assistant for the COCOA grant from June 2016 until May 2017. After her time with LINK, she became a graduate assistant in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Arlington. Projects: COCOA
Zhijia Mou Zhijia Mou, Ph.D.
Dr. Zhijia Mou was a visiting researcher from China from August 2015 until August 2016. While at the LINK Lab, he worked on his dissertation, examining engagement patterns in the What Now? Emerging Technologies and Their Practical Application in K12 Teaching and Learning MOOC. After returning to China, he began teaching at the School of Humanities at Jiangnan University. Projects: What Now? MOOC

Past LINK Staff

Amber Patterson Amber Patterson
Amber Patterson worked as the marketing and outreach coordinator for the LINK Research Lab from August 2016 until December 2017. At that point, she went to work as the marketing coordinator for the City of Mesquite, TX.
Holly Zander Holly Zander
Holly Zander joined the LINK Research Lab in March 2015 as administrative assistant. In November 2017, she moved into the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Arlington to serve as the administrative services officer.
Brett Behnam Brett Behnam, Ph.D.
Dr. Brett Behnam served as technical media coordinator at the University of Texas at Arlington from May 1997 until his retirement in January 2016. After Laurel Mayo and Pete Smith founded the LINK Research Lab in Fall 2013, Brett helped support the lab’s events, facilities management, web presence, and Professional Learning Community program.