Joint Quantitative Brownbag


Viji Sathy Abigail Panter

Dr. Viji Sathy & Dr. Abigail Panter
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Viji Sathy is an Associate Dean for Evaluation and Assessment for the College of Arts & Sciences, Director of the Townsend Program for Education Research, Director of the Academic Leadership Program at the Institute for Arts & Humanities and Professor of the Practice in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She is actively involved in instructional innovation and faculty development engaging in evidence-based educational practices. She is a national expert on inclusive teaching, speaking widely round the country, writing on the topic and co-founder of Her research involves evaluating the impact of innovative teaching techniques as well as retention in STEM. She directs multiple evaluations and assessments of educational programs and curricula. She leads the evaluation of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars an adaptation of the Meyerhoff Scholarship at the University of Maryland Baltimore County that has successfully increased representation of underrepresented students in STEM PhDs. She teaches undergraduate quantitative courses as course-based research experiences: statistics and research methodology, as well as maker courses. She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the Chapman Family Award, the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and the campus’ Student’s choice for Best Professor at UNC. Prior to her current position at UNC, she worked at the College Board conducting research on the SATs and non-cognitive predictors of college success. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC (B.S.1996) and her doctorate in psychometrics from UNC-Chapel Hill (Ph.D. 2003). She was born in India but grew up in a small town in NC and is a proud recipient of public education (K-PhD) in NC.

Dr. Abigail Panter (B.A., Wellesley College, 1985; Ph.D., New York University, 1989) is the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and a professor of psychology in the L. L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is past president of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division on Quantitative and Qualitative Psychology. As a quantitative psychologist, she develops instruments, research designs and data-analytic strategies for applied research questions in higher education, personality and health. She serves as a program evaluator for UNC’s Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program, a multisite adaptation of the successful Meyerhoff Program. She is also principal investigator for The Finish Line Project, a $3 million First in the World grant from the U.S. Department of Education that systematically investigates new supports and academic initiatives, especially for first-generation college students. Her books include: The APA Dictionary of Terms in Statistics and Research Methods (2013), The APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology (2012), The Handbook of Ethics in Quantitative Methodology (2011), The Sage Handbook of Methods in Social Psychology (2004), as well as volumes on program evaluation for HIV/AIDS multisite projects.

At the undergraduate level she teaches statistics, research methods and a first-year seminar on communicating research results to others (“Talking about Numbers”). At the doctoral level she teaches courses in research design, classical and modern approaches to instrument/survey design, and test theory and multivariate methods. Panter received numerous awards for her teaching and mentoring, including the Tanner Award, the J. Carlyle Sitterson Award, a Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professorship and APA’s Jacob Cohen Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring. She is an APA fellow, a member of the Graduate Record Examination Advisory Board, a former member of a Social Security Administration advisory panel related to disability determination and a member of APA’s Committee on Psychological Testing and Assessment. She regularly provides services for federal agencies, national advisory panels and editorial boards.


Using a Quantitative Mindset to Advance DEI in Higher Ed


This session will illustrate systems-level approaches to advance equity and inclusion in undergraduate education using a quantitative mindset. Drawing upon our leadership experiences in the Office of Undergraduate Education at UNC-Chapel Hill, we will share some of the innovative projects we’ve undertaken to promote equity in student success. First, we will share projects we have undertaken to increase student engagement and learning for all our students. Next, we will discuss programmatic efforts to support faculty in their teaching and scholarship of teaching, as well as administrators in monitoring efforts to help students succeed. Finally, we will share some research projects we are currently undertaking to advance the scholarship of inclusive teaching and provide evidence of the educational benefits of diversity.