100% of funding ($1,975,000/year)
is from federal sources.

ISU Evaluation Staff - Meet the Team

Dr. Gary  Cates
Co-Principal Investigator
(309) 438-3123

Dr. Gary Cates is Co-Principal Investigator for the Illinois SPDG external evaluation contract and Associate Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University.  He currently teaches and conducts clinical supervision of graduate students related to assessment and intervention of academic and social behavior problems.  He also coordinates the Academic Intervention and Consultation Service at the Psychological Services Center at ISU.  Dr. Cates has authored and coauthored numerous research studies and national…

Dr. April Mustian
Co-Principal Investigator
(309) 438-5752

Dr. April Mustian is Co-Principal Investigator for the Illinois SPDG External Evaluation contract.  She is an assistant professor of Special Education at Illinois State University.  As a higher education faculty member, she provides in-depth instruction to pre-service teachers and graduate students in special education on RtI/MTSS, including how to deliver effective research-based instruction, the importance of fidelity, continuous progress monitoring, and making data-based decisions at the classroom and school-wide levels. 

Lisa Hood, M. Ed.
Project Staff Manager

Lisa Hood is a policy analyst and researcher in the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. Currently, she is the project director for the Leadership to Integrate the Learning Continuum (LINC) project. This project brings together stakeholders from the early childhood and K-12 education systems to study the policies and practices of creating a seamless P-12 education system. Currently, staff with the LINC project are…

Dr. Dianne Renn
Project Staff Member

Dr. Renn is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. In addition to teaching, Dr. Renn is a member of American Educational Research Association and the American Evaluation Association. From the mid 1990s to the present, she has served as a designer and evaluator of teacher professional learning systems in Wisconsin and Illinois. She is currently an evaluation consultant…

Leah  Cohen
Project Graduate Assistant

Leah Cohen is a first year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at Illinois State University. Leah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and History from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. There she worked in the Early Emotion Lab under Dr. Sarah Mangelsdorf and the Infant Cognition Lab with Dr. Reneé Baillargeon. Additionally, Leah spent a year working for Early Head Start in the Chicago suburbs before beginning…

Alexandria Fladhammer
Project Graduate Assistant

Alexandria (Lexie) Fladhammer is a graduate assistant on the ISU Evaluation Team. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Ripon College in Wisconsin and is in her second year as a graduate student, completing her doctorate in school psychology at Illinois State University. She is interested in conducting research on children with ADHD and peer relationships.

Marissa Green
Project Graduate Assistant

Marissa Green is a graduate assistant on the ISU Evaluation Team. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology at The University at Buffalo in New York and is in her second year in the doctoral program in school psychology at Illinois State University. She is interested in conducting research in the area of self-efficacy as it relates to intervention integrity.