Nominations & Elections

Our Current Officers are:

Donna Johnson, Tulane University, for Action Research SIG Chair

Debby Zambo, Arizona State U., for Secretary/Treasurer

Linnea Rademaker, Northcentral University, for Program Chair,

Candidates for 2016 are listed below and voting will be open on April 1, 2016 (no joke). 

AERA Elections – Action Research SIG





Donna Johnson

Cowen Institute for Research in Public Education

I would be honored to serve as Action Research SIG Chair. I have been involved in Action Research for almost decade. As a long time AERA member, I have served as reviewer, chair and discussant, and have presented multiple papers. I have also published books and journal articles.


I presently work as a researcher and Teacher Education Program faculty member at Tulane University where I strive to strengthen the field through rigorous scholarship. In 2008, I received a Research Excellence Award from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at the City University of New York for my Inside and Out Action Research Project. I also taught Action Research.


I co-chaired the Girls Caucus at the National Womens Studies Association for three years. During my tenure, I published an anthology of conference papers, and organized an international summit to improve research and scholarship. I also worked with my co-chair to govern and organized peer review and panel processes.

I believe that the Chair’s primary function is ensure the continued operation and viability of the SIG. The chair promotes the SIG’s mission, is the chief liaison between the SIG and others, is responsible for ensuring that members adhere to bylaws, and is responsible for managing operations.




Barbara Kawulich

U. of W. Georgia

Barbara Kawulich, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Research in the College of Education at the University of West Georgia. She has authored/edited two research texts and has authored numerous publications from her work in qualitative research, action research, and evaluation. Her personal and collaborative research have used a variety of approaches, including ethnography, phenomenology and phenomenography, and narrative approaches, along with numerous quasi-experimental designs. Action research incorporating both quantitative and qualitative approaches has been part of her teaching load and research agenda.  Barbara has been a member of the AR SIG for more than ten years and has served in leadership roles for the SIG, including Chair and Secretary-Treasurer. "I would be honored to continue to serve our SIG over the next year, as we mentor new members to serve as future SIG leaders."  



Jennifer Robins

U. of Central Missouri

Jenny Robins is a Professor of Library and Information Science in the College of Education at the University of Central Missouri.  She teaches and researches in the field of K12 school librarianship.  She is currently leading 40+ practicing school librarians in action research projects in their schools.

Dr. Robins is also exploring the many ways response to intervention (RtI) and action research intersect. RtI is supported with federal funds from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004). It aligns with the requirements for federal Race to the Top grant funding. As of July 2011, 48 states had an RtI task force, and 40 provided training in RtI. RtI is practiced in 70% of the elementary schools nationwide, in 47% of the middle schools, and 30% of the high schools.



Program Chair

Megan Manfra


North Carolina State U.

Dr. Meghan McGlinn Manfra is an assistant professor in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on digital history, technology integration, and action research for the professional development of teachers. She is a former high school history teacher and holds a doctorate in education and a master’s degree in history. She is the co-editor of the technology section of Social Education and the social studies section of the Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE) journal. She is the past program chair and  chair of the Social Studies Research SpecialInterest Group of the American Educational Research Association (AERA)
and serves on the Executive Board of the College and University
Faculty Assembly (CUFA) of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). She has contributed to Theory and Research in Social Education, the Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Social Studies Research and Practice, the Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, Computers in the Schools, and Social Education. She teaches graduate courses on curriculum theory, action research methodology, and social studies theory and research. She can be contacted via email at:



Program Chair

Linnea Rademaker

North Central U.

One of my passions is to support the advancement of practitioner knowledge in the form of action research.  I have been teaching action research for seven years.  I have completed collaborative action research studies with teachers, and completed action research studies on my own teaching.  I have been an active member of AERA and of several SIGS for over a decade. I have presented papers, served as both chair and discussant for sessions, and reviewed for several SIGS for the past ten years.  I am a member of the School/University Collaborative Research SIG, in which I have served as newsletter editor for the past two years.  As a member of the Professors of Educational Research SIG I served as co-chair of the “Best Paper Award” for 2013.  I would welcome the chance to become more involved in the Action Research SIG and serve as the program chair.

I also try to participate in a number of other endeavors to support action research.  I am active as a founding member in the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA), serving as one of the webmasters (  I am also a co-editor of the open, online, peer-reviewed journal i.e.: inquiry in education (, which is devoted to publishing work on and about practitioner research (broadly defined).  We publish twice yearly.  Two of my teacher/researcher collaborators and I recently completed two chapters for a volume about action research in practice, edited by Stacy Caillier and Heather Lattimer, due for publication soon.



Program Chair

Chastity Williams-Lasley


Dusquene U.

Dr. Chastity Williams-Lasley is a wife and mother of one son. She holds an Ed.D. in Teacher Leadership from Walden University, Minneapolis, MN., an M.Ed. from the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia, and a B.S. degree from Shorter University in Rome, Georgia.  She also holds a current professional teaching certificate (gr. 7-12). With thirteen years of experience in education, Dr. Williams-Lasley has worked as a lead teacher in one of the largest urban school districts in Atlanta, Georgia. In her role as a high school lead teacher and site coordinator, she implemented action research helping transform a large comprehensive high school into four smaller learning communities (SLC).


Currently, Dr. Williams-Lasley works as an adjunct faculty professor in the Educational Foundations and Leadership department at Duquesne University teaching graduate qualitative research methods. Her area of expertise is qualitative research. Re-branding herself as an Education Consultant, she founded Scholars for Change providing dissertation coaching and encouraging rising education scholars to utilize their doctorate degree for a greater purpose. As an agent of social change, her drive is to impact the education field from a broader perspective.




Meagan Call-Cummings

Indiana U.

I am a fourth year doctoral student at Indiana University, majoring in Inquiry Methodology and International/Comparative Education Policy, and currently working on my dissertation, “Exploring the Intersections and Implications of Pedagogies of Empowerment and PAR through Youth Research on Racism in Schools.” Because of my extensive coursework in critical research methodologies, my experience conducting action research projects, and my commitment to and success serving my institutional and wider community, I am a highly qualified applicant for the position of AERA Action Research SIG Secretary/Treasurer. 


Service to both my university and wider community is important to me both personally and professionally. Acting as Conference Organizer I am currently leading an effort to hold the 2014 Midwestern Regional Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society at Indiana University. I also serve as the President of the School of Education Graduate Student Association and have served as a representative to bodies as diverse as the School of Education Policy Council, the Indiana University Graduate Student Organization, and the Inquiry Department Brown Bag Seminar Series.


I believe the AERA Action Research SIG would be an ideal environment in which to grow as a methodologist dedicated to community engagement – at all levels. Also, my diverse research experience with a strong emphasis in critical- and action-oriented methodologies, as well as my strong background in service will make me an asset to the AERA Action Research SIG.  I look forward to working with you.


Secretary- Treasurer

Bernd Ferner

Portland State U.

Bernd Ferner, EdD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Portland University. He received his doctorate in 2013 as well as his MS in Curriculum and Instruction in 2009 from Portland State University. Dr. Ferner currently teaches courses in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) on multicultural education, reflective practice, as well as courses on action research and curriculum theories in the MA/MS program in Curriculum and Instruction. As a cohort leader and supervisor coordinator for GTEP, Dr. Ferner considers creating strong relationships with and among students to be a key element in creating a safe and productive learning environment. Ask Dr. Ferner how we can see the whole child both as a learner and a person in a culturally and linguistically diverse classroom?

Focusing on culturally responsive pedagogy, Dr. Ferner taught mathematics and science for many years in public and private K-12 schools in the U.S. and his home country, Germany. He established and coordinated a German for Adults program and is co-founder of a German Saturday School in Portland, OR. In his research, Dr. Ferner focuses on teacher candidates’ perceptions of mathematics and the learner, and how to best prepare teacher candidates to teach using a culturally responsive framework. His most research focuses on using action research to foster multicultural education in mathematics classrooms.



Secretary- Treasurer

Ellen Reames

Auburn U.

Ellen H. Reames serves as an associate professor in educational leadership in the College of Education at Auburn University. She received her B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Georgia and her Ed. D. from Auburn University in 1997.  Ellen spent thirty years as a public school teacher and administrator before transitioning to higher education.  Her research interests include educational leadership partnerships, data informed decision making, and educational leadership program design.  Ellen is the immediate past president of the Alabama Association of Professors of Educational Leadership (AAPEL), a board member of Southern Regional Council of Educational Administration (SRCEA) and a member of the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA). In addition, she is a Division A member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and serves as the program co-chair for the LTEL SIG.  Ellen is also a member of the Action Research SIG.  Ellen has published in journals such as Journal of Research on Educational Leadership (JRLE), The High School Journal and Educational Administration Management.  As the educational leadership program coordinator she has been instrumental in establishing a partnership with Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia and has led graduate students in exploring Australian K-12 schools and higher education institutions. She is in the planning stages of a 4th leadership experience to Australia beginning Summer, 2014.




Debby Zambo

Arizona State U.

I am currently an Associate Professor at Arizona State University and the Program Coordinator of our Educational Doctorate program. While at the university I have had the opportunity to teach action research to undergraduate students and students in masters and doctoral programs. I have also conducted research on action research at various levels. For example one article published in Teaching Educational Psychology, 2(1) pages 2-12 titled, The fuel of educational psychology and the fire of action research explains how theories of educational psychology fuel the action research undergraduates conduct. At the doctoral level I have authored or co authored the following works:


Zambo D. & Isea S. (2013) Action Research and the Educational Doctorate: New Promises and Visions . Journal of Research on Leadership Education. 8(1) 97– 112

            DOI: 10.1177/1942775112464960


Zambo, D., & Isai, S. (2012) Lessons learned by a faculty member working in an education doctorate program with students performing action research Educational Action Research, 20(3), 471477


Zambo, D. (2011). Action research as signature pedagogy in an Education Doctorate program:

The reality and hope. Innovative Higher Education, 36(4). DOI: 10.1007/s10755-010-9171-7



Nominees for the 2012 Election

Please scroll through and get to know our nominees for the 2012 elections. We are still encouraging self-nominations for this election year. Please contact Carrie Rogers at if you are interested! Thank you.

Our current nominees are:

Chair: Dannelle Stevens, Portland State University

Program Chair: Lonnie Rowell, University of San Diego ; Joyce Pittman, Drexel; Ellen Reames, Auburn 

Secretary/Treasurer: Crystal Jensen, Pepperdine and Barbara Kawulich, West Georgia



SIG Chair Nominees: Dannelle Stevens and

Dannelle Stevens

I am Dannelle Stevens, a full professor at Portland State University.  I received my doctorate from Michigan State University in educational psychology. I have taught action research at Portland State for over 15 years.

I have been involved in the action research SIG for 15 years as well as secretary, treasurer and most recently program chair.  After working with Art Bangert on the program for several years, I became sole program chair for the last two years.

During these years of service, I have learned that the learning curve for program chair is very steep. I have created a wiki for program chair so that the learning curve is not quite so steep for the person who takes over in the future.  In addition, I added items to the review criteria about whether the proposal is about action research or is an example of action research.

American Educational Research Association, a conference that has the word, "research" in its title, should be a model for all the different research paradigms.  Yet, traditional research paradigms from the experimental to the descriptive tend to prevail.  By offering valid, alternative ways to do research, the Action Research SIG among several others plays a very important role at AERA.  Through the work of Margaret Riel, our past chair, and others, the SIG has used different research methods like the Delphi Technique to find a consensus on a definition of action research.  I will continue this work of clarifying action research.  

 I teach in the Graduate School of Education at PSU. I have a long-standing interest in faculty and educator professional development. Action research and reflective practice as the keystones of my work. My research and publishing seek to assist educators in their work as teachers as well as members of an academic community. I am on the editorial review board for the journal, Reflective Practice. I have co-authored a best selling book, Introduction To Rubrics: An Assessment Tool To Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning with Antonia Levi. In June of 2009, my co-authored third book was published, Journal Keeping: How to Use Reflective Writing for Learning, Teaching, Professional Insight and Positive Change with Joanne Cooper.  Currently I am working on the second edition of the rubrics book. After that, I expect to publish a visual and digital action research book



Program Chair Nominees: Lonnie Rowell, Joyce Pittman and Ellen Reames

Lonnie Rowell

Lonnie Rowell, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Director of the School Counseling Program at the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES). I also am founding chair of the SOLES’ Action Research Committee and direct the school’s newly established Action Research Office. I have been involved with action research since 1999, when I began developing a model for collaborative action research in school counseling. I used the model for ten years in conjunction with training graduate students in school counseling and supporting the efforts of local school counselors to strengthen practice. I supervised more than 40 collaborative action research projects based on this model.

In 2004, my students and I organized the first University of San Diego Action Research Conference. The initial focus of the conference was presenting the school counseling projects completed by USD graduate students. By 2007, however, we began working to expand the conference from a school counseling focus to an education focus, to, ultimately, a cross-disciplinary and international focus. The Annual School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) Action Research Conference now has become a major North American conference for action research practitioners, university faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students interested in action research and is attended by more than 100 participants each year.

In conjunction with the 2010 conference, I facilitated planning the first ever North American CARN Study Day, which was provided as a free pre-conference event featuring visits to action research sites in the local community. I also am currently co-director of a statewide action research initiative for school counseling – the California Action Research Collaborative (CAL ARC) – established in partnership with our state school counseling association and am serving as co-advisor to a local group – The San Diego Action Research Association.

I have been an AERA and Action Research SIG member for a number of years and have been a proposal reviewer for the Action Research SIG for the past four years. Last year I served the SIG as Chair of AR Community Development, and in this capacity organized a Community Sharing event that included a visit to a local New Orleans’ school at which teachers are engaged in a university-school collaborative action research project.


Ellen Reames

I believe I have the necessary skill set to be a productive member in our organization.  First, I have assisted other organizations in similar capacities. I have worked with the Southeastern Regional Council of Educational Administration (SRCEA) as a board member and have assisted the Program Chair with their responsibilities since 2008.   In 2005 I supported the UCEA Program Chair with planning and organizing the Annual Conference.  Secondly, I want to become more involved in the Action Research SIG.  I believe strongly in the work of this SIG and would like to make a stronger commitment to the organization.

I have been an assistant professor at Auburn University for the past 4 years. I am the Program Coordinator for the Educational Leadership Program. I am also a sitting board member for SRCEA and the Vice President of the Alabama Association of Professors of Educational Leadership (AAPEL).  In my past life as a 30 year veteran teacher and school administrator I have also had many opportunities to engage in activities similar to what I think the expectations will be for this position.

Thank you again for considering me as a candidate for the Action Research Program Chair position.


Joyce Pittman

I am Dr. Joyce Pittman and I want to be your next AERA-Action Research SIG Program Chair. I am highly motivated and qualified to lead the Research and Outreach agenda of AERA and this SIG. If elected or appointed to this position I will uphold the intellectual, ethical and integrity of this SIG by promoting the highest standards of scholarship and solution-oriented approaches to examining important issues facing education today. I appreciate this opportunity to be a nominee.

Dr. Joyce Pittman, a former ISTE Board member (2002-2006) is an associate clinical professor of educational leadership, curriculum and instructional design and a consultant to educational reform efforts in the United States and overseas. Dr. Pittman’s 40-year career in K-16 education has ranged from high school business teacher to franchise consultant for the Sylvan Learning tutoring chain, to roles in teacher educator development (four professorships), digital education, educational reform, applied science research and leadership issues in the United States and overseas. Her research, teaching and leadership portfolio incorporate educational transformation efforts as diverse as computerizing the Praxis teachers’ test at Educational Testing Service to being a writing team member for the ISTE technology standards to guide teacher education programs, to preparing veteran educators to incorporate ubiquitous technologies. She has been principal investigator for over $30M to support applied, empirical research supported by education, business, industry, government and private sectors. She has extensive experience in action research, advising educational authorities domestically and overseas on leveraging digital technology and research in the learning sciences that aim to help educators and learners perform beyond their perceived abilities and limits.
In 2006, she coordinated the direction for six education reform research teams in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that produced a needs assessment and a plan to redesign schools and retrain teachers. Dr. Pittman was the co-founder and director of a doctoral program in Education and Knowledge Technologies and has directed applied science research for Nova Southeastern University since 2003. She continues to direct, chair and supervise graduate level research and dissertations in the Educational Leadership and Management program at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She has published widely in books and journals including: Transforming Future Learning Environments: Classrooms for Tomorrow (in press), Demystifying Educational and Digital Equity: Global Perspectives (in press), Critical Success Factors In Moving Towards Digital Equity, International Handbook of Information Technology In Primary and Secondary Education, Preserving Human Foundations Of Education In Technology Environments, and Connecting Students to Advanced Courses Online U.S. Department Of Education. 
Research Interest: Globalization, distance education, mobile learning, computerizing the service industry, learning environments, leadership, practitioners

Ph.D., Philosophy of Education. Curriculum & Instruction/Technology, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, AMES IOWA. Dissertation: A study of professional development, research, practices, and policies to prepare in-service teachers in new technologies: Implications for training standards in new technologies. Published w/ProQuest Dissertation Abstracts. Michigan.


M.S., Occupational and Career Assessment /Technology Education, CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY, Chicago, IL Thesis: A study of word processing in 40 selected banks in Chicago


B.S., Business Education, Chicago State University, Chicago, IL and UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS (HBCU), Pine Bluff, AR


Secretary/Treasurer Nominees: Crystal Jensen and Barbara Kawulich
Crystal Jensen

My name is Crystal Jensen and I am honored to be an AERA - AR SIG Secretary/Treasurer nominee.

Crystal Jensen is the Founder and President of Integrity Technologies, an organization which empowers Native American, Indigenous, and other communities in need with technology utilizing collaborative action research and communities of practice as guiding principals. Ms. Jensen’s current Doctoral of Learning Technology research at Pepperdine University addresses the core issues in the information and communication technology (ICTs) gap experienced by Native Americans, other national and International Indigenous populations, and communities in need, especially those in rural areas.

Ms. Jensen attended AERA 2011 and began her experience with Action Research over ten years ago at California Lutheran University where she earned her Master of Education (M.Ed) degree with an Educational Technology specialization and teacher credential. Her M.Ed thesis topic was "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Technology Training for Teachers in the Rio School District.” The Rio School District is approximately 90% Latino, Title I, and has a high percentage of ELL Migrant families.  Ms. Jensen has also coordinated and taught technology in rural and urban, public K-12 schools for the past 10 years. Her focus was connecting empowering communities with technology, within the school setting as a focal point, while utilizing action research as a foundation.
Ms. Jensen currently serves as the founder of the Community Empowerment Resource Center (CERCle) – Pepperdine.  She is the president of the Pepperdine student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and vice-president and grant coordinator of the East Bay Computer Using Educators.  Most recently, she was honored as a 2011-2012 Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) Emerging Leader and a 2011-2012 American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) Fellow.


 Barbara Kawulich

I am Barbara Kawulich, Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Educational Innovation at the University of West Georgia (UWG). After teaching graduate Action Research (AR) and Ethnography at Georgia State University for 5 years, I was hired into a tenure track position at UWG in 2003 to teach graduate AR and Qualitative Research Methods. My publications include a co-authored book, Teaching Research Methods in the Social Sciences (Ashgate Publishing), and numerous journal articles and book chapters related to methodology, theory, data analysis, and ethics. Action Research has been the focus and/or the methodology of my research presented at conferences (i.e., Italy), workshops (i.e., Georgia), and keynote speeches (i.e., Scotland).  I tend to define AR broadly to encompass various uses and approaches, including: teachers investigating their own practice in collaboration with others, including students and other stakeholders; researchers exploring their own values reflectively and reflexively; collaborative efforts to improve or change the world around us; and systematic study of educational practices to increase student achievement or otherwise bring about educational reform.


Having served previously as Secretary/Treasurer, I have the experience needed to represent the SIG in this capacity and would be honored to serve the SIG again in whatever way its members deem appropriate.

An Election Year!

posted Sep 1, 2010, 11:25 AM by Carrie Rogers   [ updated Aug 28, 2011, 6:39 AM ]

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