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Mandy McCormick Smith, Ph.D.

Director of Research

(Wizard of Wonder)

Dr. Mandy McCormick Smith is the PAST Foundation’s Director of Research. Mandy has 10+ years of experience in research and evaluation with purposeful skills that intersect in numerous areas, including research design, evaluation, statistical analysis, testing and assessment protocols. Mandy utilizes qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methodology approaches to research. Mandy’s research experience includes digital narrative/storytelling, identity, youth voice and activism, informal learning space design, community-informed partnerships, self-efficacy, conceptual understanding, item response theory, quasi-experimental studies, and research synthesis.

Her work spans numerous areas of education, including informal education contexts, PreK-16 education, play-based and problem-based learning, teacher effectiveness and value-added analysis, professional learning communities, school improvement, adult and workforce literacy, post-secondary success, and college readiness.

Prior to her work at PAST, Mandy was an Assistant Professor of STEM Education at The Ohio State University, previous experiences teaching in Ohio and California, and as an Assistant Professor at Capital University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, but most of all, spending time with her husband, Travis, their two children, dog, Honu, and pet tortoise, Cinnamon.


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