Department Head, Research & Development
Research & Development
What is your role and function at WPS?
I am responsible for heading up the Research and Development department at WPS along with Sheri Stegall. My Department Head role involves mentorship and supervision of colleagues, and strategic planning/decision making.
As a test developer, I do everything involved in creating a test, including idea/item generation, research study design and preparation, author collaboration, data analysis, manual writing, and product support. For the past 6 years, I’ve focused on tests of language and have acquired a deep appreciation for the complexity of language development.
What issues or needs are you an advocate for inside the company?
In and out of work, I value open lines of communication and creating an environment in which people feel free to express ideas and be heard.
How long have you been at WPS?
I’ve been at WPS since 2005, and countless things have changed, although the friendly and supportive atmosphere hasn’t.
Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I’m a Valley Girl (San Fernando Valley, in northern Los Angeles). I went to Santa Barbara for undergraduate and graduate school and said I’d never move back to the Valley. But then I did and I find it to be a great place to raise my family.
What are three personal things about you people probably wouldn't know?
I sometimes have Poison and other ’80s hair bands playing on my computer when I do data analysis. I went skiing in the Austrian Alps many years ago—it was a very mild winter in Europe, so they had to make snow! My personal willpower is weakest when it comes to good fiction. I’ve been known to stay up far too late finishing a book, put off important tasks to read, and even spend a whole weekend doing nothing but reading a new book (yes, I’m talking about you, Harry Potter).
What's a big obstacle you've had to overcome in your life or career?
I’ve struggled with this question and don’t really have a good answer. I’ve been fortunate in my life and grateful for the path it’s taken. Of course, there have been ups and downs, but no “big obstacle.”
What is your personal connection to the WPS mission?
I want to help the people who help people. I studied to be in direct service and to be one of those helpers. But then I found that I was better suited to research in test development (and it was better suited for me), so I moved to indirect service. But my passion for helping children and families hasn’t diminished, nor has my commitment to working to improve the lives of young people.
What is your educational background?
PhD in counseling/clinical/school psychology with an emphasis in school psychology from the beautiful UC Santa Barbara.
What is something you are currently studying or learning?
I’m currently learning how to keep up with two children. They grow and change incredibly fast.
What do you enjoy most about working at WPS?
Coffee. No, not really. (Though the free coffee is lovely.) My favorite thing about working at WPS is that I work with amazing people. It’s so much fun to work with others who have differing skills, and for us all to collaborate by bringing our own talents to the table and creating something incredible.
What did you used to do before WPS?
I always worked with kids. When I was younger, I babysat, tutored, and worked as a camp counselor. As an adult, I worked as a special education aide, therapist, and assessor. My favorite aspect of being a psychologist was doing assessment—I liked trying to solve the puzzle. Now the puzzle is about putting together the pieces to build the best test for our customers.
Where can we contact you?
You can email me here