NDPC Research and Practitioner Fellows

In 2012, the National Dropout Prevention Center announced the creation of the NDPC Research Fellows Program to contribute to the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network's mission of reducing the incidence of dropout and increase high school graduation rates nationwide through research and evidence-based solutions.

“These Fellows will broaden the impact of the Center and Network through efforts such as collaborative research projects, public speaking including keynotes and serving on panels, and the development of practical resources for the field,” stated then Interim NDPC/N Director, Dr. Sam Drew. “Indeed, their initial plans include providing a regular meta-analysis of the latest research on dropout risk factors and effective programs, building on the NDPC’s 2007 report, Dropout Risk Factors and Exemplary Programs, and an Annual Report that will highlight the latest in effective strategies.”

The Fellows program will expand to include a NDPN Practitioner Fellows program. Those individuals selected for NDPN Practitioner Fellows will provide the practical outreach through the Network, based on the NDPC Fellow’s research findings and their own work in dropout prevention efforts at the local level. The two groups will work together and be known as the NDPC/N Fellows.

June 2012 Press Release

NDPC Research Fellows Meta-Analysis


Current Fellows

View Inaugural Fellows

Dr. Greg Hickman

Core Faculty/Program Coordinator
Department of Human Services
Walden University
Editor of the Journal of At-Risk Issues

Dr. Dr. Greg Hickman served as a referee for The Journal of At-Risk Issues (JARI) from 2004 to 2008 and as an assistant or associate editor from 2008 to 2016 before becoming editor of JARI in 2017. Dr. Hickman has won numerous teaching and research awards. His research interests include program evaluation, ed-psych, developmental psychology, family science, and for-profit education. Greg has taught courses related to methods of research, statistics, assessment, life span development, adolescent development, and civic leadership. He has served as chair and methodologist on numerous student dissertations. The Journal of At-Risk Issues is a biannual, scholarly journal that has been published by the National Dropout Prevention Center since 1994. It is an important vehicle for dissemination of research for practitioners, policymakers, and other researchers in the field of at-risk issues. Through the networks and collaborative work of the NDPC Research Fellows, the journal should continue to grow and bring new perspectives to these issues.

Dr. Shanan Chappell

Research Assistant Professor, The Center for Educational Partnerships, Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University

Dr. Chappell holds a Ph.D. in Education Curriculum and Instruction from Old Dominion University, a Master of Education from Regent University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Virginia Wesleyan College. Currently, Dr. Chappell is co-principal investigator serving as analyst and consultant on a variety of projects:

    • Student Growth Percentile Professional Development, Virginia Department of Education
    • Troops to Teachers Program Evaluation, U.S. Department of Defense
    • A Scale-up of Power Teaching Math in Middle Schools, U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Investing in Innovation

She also serves as a member of the Regional Education Lab – Appalachia’s Southern Virginia College and Career Readiness Alliance and as an adjunct instructor in the Educational Foundations and Leadership department at ODU.

She previously served as an analyst for a randomized-controlled trial conducted by the Regional Education Lab – Appalachia, as Research Analyst in the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economics Research at the University of Memphis, as adjunct professor in the Computer Information Services and Computer Technology Services departments at the College of the Albemarle in northeast North Carolina, as Research Assistant for educational policy studies at the Old Dominion University Research Foundation, and as instructor in the Old Dominion University’s Darden College of Education. She has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports, including publications in the Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk, Preventing School Failure, and the NAASP Bulletin. She has experience teaching at the elementary level and as a Computer and Technology Skills curriculum designer. Her research interests include educational policy studies, teacher preparation programs, and educational technology initiatives.

Dr. Jennie Farmer

Assistant Professor of Special Education
Department of Education and Human Development
Special Education Program
College of Education
Clemson University

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education and Human Development at Clemson University where I teach courses in the Special Education and Educational Foundations Programs. My research interests include improving educational and quality of life outcomes for students with high incidence disabilities, particularly those with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and those who are twice exceptional. My research within special education primarily focuses on the intersection of academic and social-emotional needs through the use of learning strategies, self-determination, and positive psychology. I also conduct research related to research methodology and analysis in the area of single-case designs.

Dr. David Fleming

Associate Dean
Clemson University’s Graduate School
College of Education
Clemson University

Dr. Fleming is an expert at integrating subject matter content into out-of-school education programs for at-risk youth. As one of the 15 strategies for dropout prevention identified by the NDPC, before and after school as well as summer programs have great potential for addressing the needs of students in underperforming schools and underserved communities.

Dr. Fleming has taught at the elementary, high school, undergraduate and graduate levels and currently teaches research methods at Clemson. He has an extensive publication and presentation record and has secured over $4 million in externally funded grants to support his work. In addition, he has held leadership positions in professional organizations at the local, regional and national levels such as the Out-of-School Time SIG in the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE America) as well as volunteering with American Legion sponsored summer leadership programs.

Currently, Dr. Fleming is the Principal Investigator for GoalPOST (Goal-Oriented Performance in Out of School Time), a partnership between Clemson University and Anderson School Districts #1 and #4 and Pickens County School District. Among the emphases of GoalPOST is to integrate project oriented activities with goal-setting skills to improve academic achievement. The program also incorporates physical activity as a lifelong practice. The project involves over 450 elementary students and their families and is funded by the US Department of Education. The GoalPOST Project received the College Award of Excellence at Clemson University in 2012.

Dr. Eurmon Hervey

Catapult Learning
Jacksonville, FL
National VP and Superintendent of Schools
Former Chairman of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network

Dr. Eurmon Hervey is National Vice President and Superintendent of Schools for Catapult Learning. He is an accomplished educational executive with a comprehensive blend of non-profit, government, and academic management experience. He has served in senior leadership positions in colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern geographical regions. In Washington DC, he served as Assistant State Superintendent and Deputy Chief State School Officer, where he worked directly with District of Columbia Public Schools. Dr. Hervey earned the Doctor of Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and the Master of Education from Harvard University. He also earned two degrees in pure mathematics; the Master of Science from Clark Atlanta University and the Bachelor of Science from Edward Waters College.

Dr. Patrick O'connor

Dr. Patrick O’Connor

Associate Professor in the College of Teaching Learning and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University

My primary duties at Kent State University are to coordinate teacher education programs in Career-Technical Education. The program prepares teachers for secondary education teaching and we also offer an endorsement for teachers with academic licenses who wish to work with students identified as dropout potential. In addition, my scholarly interests are in workforce and economic development especially the role of literacy and life-long learning. As employers demand more of employees, students must be better prepared to meet the demands of the current and future workforce.

I view both areas as contributing to keeping students in school. Career-Technical Education has a long history of appealing to students who prefer more contextual types of learning. And, as the workforce becomes more sophisticated, entering employees will need greater academic skills which require improved literacy. We have infused instruction for Career-Technical teachers in how to support their student’s reading and academic abilities.

Dr. Robert Shumer

Research Associate University of Minnesota

Little did I know more than 40 years ago when I started as a Reading Teacher at a high school in L.A. County working with students who were poor readers and hated school that I would spend the majority of my educational career dealing with all kinds of initiatives involved in dropout prevention and school change. I was involved with the Career Education movement in the 1970s and 1980s, the experiential education movement in higher ed/k-12 as Director of Field Studies at UCLA (and as a board member for the National Society for Internships and Experiential Education), and later as Director of the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse at the University of Minnesota.

Professionally, I am currently a Research Associate/Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota where I have taught courses on service-learning, experiential education, vocational and technical education, curriculum, and participatory evaluation. I am currently serving as the lead internal evaluator for the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education at the University of Louisville, have conducted more than 30 research studies on various topics, from service-learning and national service, to intergenerational programs, civic engagement initiatives, career and technical education, and youth led evaluation. I have published several books and more than 50 book chapters, articles, and monographs on a multitude of topics.

Almost all of my work has centered on two themes: student engagement and community connected learning. Overall, these are two of the most important topics related to dropout prevention and student retention in school and college. So, after all these years, I’m still working in the same issues I did when I began: making learning interesting, exciting, and meaningful for both students and the larger society.

Dr. Dolores Stegelin

Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education
College of Education
Clemson University

The academic success of students depends on the early foundations of education that take place in the preschool years. Research continually shows that children who engage in quality early childhood programs are more likely to succeed in their later academic efforts, particularly young children from low-SES homes or homes that are experiencing parental and life stressors. One of the 15 strategies for dropout prevention is early childhood education, and this strategy helps to set the stage for success in school attendance, school success, and long-term economic gains for both the student and society.