Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.
Zora Neale Hurston


Scholar-Practitioner Research Lab

The Scholar-Practitioner Research Lab (SPRL) is a research group composed of staff from different departments across the UMB campus. We work together to develop relevant research questions, design and conduct studies, analyze data, present findings, write manuscripts, and publish.

Current Projects

Accepted for Publication

The Influence of Academic Discipline, Race, and Gender on Web-use Skills among Graduate-Level Students

Submitted to Journal

Empathy for Other Races among Graduate Medical, Health Sciences, and Human Services Students

Where do I stand? The Association of Subjective Social Status and Depression among Graduate-Level College Students

The Influence of Racial Microaggressions and Social Rank on Depression among High-Achieving Minorities

In Preparation

Educational Determinants of Subjective Social Status among Graduate and Professional Students

Learn about SPRL 

Research vs. Assessment

While many of the processes in assessementt and research may be similar, there are two important distinctions:

  • Assessment guides good practice and typically has implications for only one institution.
  • Research guides theory, tests concepts, and has broader implications for higher education (Erwin, 1991).

Learn more

Time Commitment

The recommended commitment is at least one year or until a specific project is complete. Depending on the project, it can take more than one year to complete a study, write a manuscript, and potentially publish the results. It is important that members of SPRL stick with the group until the project they are working on is complete.

As a larger goup, SPRL meets as a group every six weeks for one hour. If separate groups are formed around specific research topics, those groups may meet more frequently. 

Professional development sessions centered around research skills also are incorporated into the larger group meetings. 

Current Members

Dr. Flavius Lilly, Office of Academic Affairs and Graduate School

Whitney Brown, Student Engagement and Assessment

Bill Crockett, Office of Academic Affairs and University Recreation and Fitness (URecFit)

Dr. Jenny Owens, Student Engagement and Assessment and Graduate School

Dr. Michelle Pearce, School of Medicine

Amy Ramirez, Office of International Services 

Phallon Perry, Office of Academic Affairs

Matt Lasecki, Human Resource Services

David KlocHuman Resource Services

Dr. Mary Jo Bondy, Graduate School

Dr. TaShara Bailey, Office of Academic Affairs

Steven Deck, Environmental Services

Emilia Petrillo, Student Counseling Center

Dr. Jenna Silverman, Student Counseling Center

Dawn Shafer, School of Social Work

Dr. Larissa Odessky, Graduate School

Dr. Isabell May, Office of Academic Affairs and Graduate School

Research Topics

Chosen research topics vary based on the interests of the group. Here are a few examples: student learning, graduate students, under-represented students, mental health and well-being, technology and online learning, student affairs administration and practice.

Benefits of Participating

SPRL is an opportunity for you to be exposed to/gain skills in the following areas: research methods (theoretical and practical), manuscript writing, submitting manuscripts for publication, IRB process/IRB proposal writing, data collection and management methods, basic data analysis, critical thinking, problem solving, and research ethics. 

As a group, we also have the opportunity to inform future practices at UMB. Our research may help guide recruitment processes, impact student persistence through programs, create avenues for new degree programs, uncover important missing pieces in the education of health professionals, provide support for the development of new programs for student health and wellness, etc.

We can put UMB on the map! We have a unique population and a great opportunity to contribute the body of research on student affairs topics and contribute to the student affairs community. 

How do I join?

SPRL is currently at 17 members! We are not taking on new members at this time, but if you are interested in learning more, please contact Whitney Brown