Project Team

Dr. Deborah L. Hanuscin


Dr. Hanuscin is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in Science Education and Physics. A former elementary teacher, she has dedicated her career to strengthening elementary teachers' knowledge and abilities to teach science. She founded the MU QuEST program along with Delinda van Garderen in 2008, and serves as the PI for the program.


Dr. Delinda Van Garderen


Dr. van Garderen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at MU. Her work has focused on students with special needs in the areas of science and mathematics. She is committed to strengthening teachers' knowledge and abilities to teach subjects such as science to all learners including students with special needs.


Dr. Cathy Newman Thomas


Cathy Newman Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri.She will serve as a co-investigator on the QuEST project. Her contributions will focus on professional development, universal design for learning, and providing access to the general curriculum for diverse learners.


Dr. Mark Ehlert


Dr. Ehlert is a Research Associate Professor in the Economics Department at MU with more than 25 years of experience working with Missouri education data and conducting related research. Mark will be primarily involved in designing and conducting statistical analyses of teacher and student data from relevant assessments and surveys.


Dr. Karen King


Karen King is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at MU. She is director of the PhysTEC program, which aims to recruit and prepare physics teachers to address a national shortage.


Dr. Zandra de Araujo


Dr. de Araujo is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Missouri. Her work focuses on the preparation of teachers and the mathematics education of English language learners. Dr. de Araujo is collaborating with graduate students and faculty in order to investigate the impact QuEST has on teacher and student learning.

Dante Cisterna


Dante Cisterna is a postdoctoral scholar with the MU QuEST Program. He recieved his PhD from Michigan State University, and is interested in teachers' formative assessment practices.



Tracy Hager


Tracy Hager is a National Board Certified teacher at Shepard Boulevard Elementary in Columbia Public Schools. She has been a Teaching Fellow with the QuEST program since its inception, faciltiating professional development sessions and supporting project dissemination activities.



Betsy O'Day


Betsy O'Day is an elementary teacher in the Hallsville School District. She is a Past President of the Science Teachers of Missouri, was a member of the NGSS writing team for Missouri, and is an NSTA NGSS Curator.



Kelsey Gillstrom


Kelsey Gillstrom is a doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Missouri. She is a former elementary teacher for the Hazelwood School District in St. Louis, Missouri where she taught fifth grade for three years. Kelsey is working towards a PhD in Science Education and is interested in making science enjoyable and accessible for all learners. While she had the opportunity to be a QuEST participant in years past, she is looking forward to being a part of the other side.


Kate Sadler



Kate is a doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Missouri. She is working toward a PhD in Special Education, and serves as a graduate research assistant on the project.


Jesse Kremenek


Jesse is a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences at MU, and is working toward a PhD in Physics. He serves as a facilitator in our summer institute.




Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill serves as our Project Manager for the QuEST program. She has many years of experience working in this capacity on funded projects, and is an invaluable asset to our team, and to our teachers.










Funded by National Science Foundation [Grant# DRL-1316683]
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