Program Faculty

Tamara Walser
Program Coordinator
Professor, Department of Educational Leadership

Dr. Tamara Walser has worked in the field of evaluation for more than 25 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Research and Evaluation from Utah State University and teaches courses in evaluation, inquiry methods, and academic writing. Prior to coming to UNCW, Walser worked as an evaluator in non-profit and for-profit organizations. She has presented research and training on evaluation nationally and internationally, and co-authored the book, Evaluability Assessment: Improving Evaluation Quality and Use. She is also co-author of a forthcoming book, Completing Your Evaluation Dissertation, Thesis, or Culminating Project, which is currently in production.

Michele Parker
Professor, Department of Educational Leadership

Michele Parker’s doctorate is in Educational Research, Statistics, and Evaluation from the University of Virginia. She teaches research and evaluation courses for undergraduate and graduate students. For 15 years, she has worked on several large-scale research and evaluation projects for schools, school systems, and organizations including Earth Watch Institute and the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Currently, she is working with the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College. Parker’s co-authored book; Taking Flight synthesizes research on best practices for strategic initiatives within academia. The book covers conducting needs assessments, reporting, and using the results, as well as communicating with stakeholders. The book guides personnel in applying their knowledge and skills to play a pivotal role in translating visionary strategies into meaningful actions across organizations.

Satlaj Dighe
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership

Dighe_SatlajSatlaj Dighe has more than fifteen years of experience designing and implementing evaluation and action research projects for national and international organizations. Satlaj earned her Ph.D. in Evaluation Studies from the University of Minnesota. She has also completed a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. As an evaluator and evaluation researcher, Satlaj’s interests lie in the area of evaluation capacity building at the grassroots level. She is primarily involved in helping field-based organizations to implement and use program evaluation to improve their programs and articulate the significance of their work. Satlaj has worked on several complex evaluation initiatives in the field of health and education such as Check and Connect, Minnesota – a special educational program aimed at increasing high-school graduation rates of ethnic minority students with disabilities and an evaluation of the national community health worker program by the government of India. Satlaj is also interested in enhancing equity and diversity in evaluation. To that end, Satlaj’s research explores various dimensions of participatory, culturally responsive, and community-owned evaluation practice. Satlaj is engaged with various evaluation initiatives in the Global South. Translating her research on evaluation capacity into practice, she supports community-based organizations to design and implement strategic planning and evaluation capacity-building processes.

Karyl Askew
Part-time Faculty, Department of Educational Leadership

Dr. Karyl Askew is an educational psychologist with 14 years of research and program evaluation experience. Dr. Askew is owner and principal consulting of Karyl Askew Consulting, LLC. She applies culturally responsive methodology toward broadening participation in program evaluations and increasing individual and organizational evaluation capacity building. Overall, her body of work has centered on federal initiatives intended to broaden access for marginalized populations to innovative STEM education opportunities. Her work continues to diversify around issues of social justice to include wealth-building and child abuse prevention. Dr. Askew has co-authored peer-reviewed publications focused on gender differences in educational outcome and multicultural perspectives in evaluation, along with reports that aid program leaders to integrate findings into policy and practice.

NarayanKripa Sundararajan
Part-time Faculty, Department of Educational Leadership

NarayanKripa Sundararajan (Kripa Sundar) earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Washington State University. Dr. Sundar is passionate about enabling effective, efficient, and engaging learning. Most of her academic research has been focused on concept mapping, seductive details (i.e. interesting and irrelevant details) and meta-analyses and systematic literature reviews. She teaches educational research methods to graduate students and engages in other forms of work including authoring a picture book on learning for kids, bridging research to practice gap in education, and consulting for early and growth stage edtech start-ups to build better products.

Affiliate Faculty

Kristen DeVall
Professor, Sociology and Criminology

Christina Lanier
Professor, Sociology and Criminology

Christina Lanier is a professor of sociology and criminology and Co-Director of National Drug Court Resource Center (NDCRC) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Delaware. Her teaching includes courses such as criminal justice, research methods, intimate partner violence, and program evaluation. She has extensive experience in the area of grant writing and program evaluation. Her work has been published in The Journal of Drug Issues, The Prison Journal, Substance Use and Misuse, and Violence Against Women

Ray Pastore
Associate Professor of Instructional Technology

Ray Pastore has extensive corporate, government, K-12, and higher education experience. With a background in management consulting,  instructional design, and statistics and evaluation, he earned his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems including a minor in Educational Psychology from Penn State University in 2008 and is currently an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Instructional Technology master’s program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He has worked on projects for fortune 100 companies, the military, as well as a myriad of schools and universities. He also runs a technology Youtube channel which has over 4 million views.

Andrew Ryder
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership