Alumni Profile: Alissa Lange
I graduated from Queen's with my PhD in Psychology in 2007. My focus was on technology and reading in school settings.
In addition to the program itself, related experiences while at Queen's also set me up for my future. I worked as a research assistant on the Early Years Enriched Curriculum Project and gained valuable classroom experience as an adjunct professor at the Upper Bann Institute of Further & Higher Education; all while I was a doctoral student. I was also part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership which allowed by doctoral work to be embedded within an organisation.
I still tell colleagues and students here in the United States about how the structure of the program at Queen's University Belfast prepared me well for a career in academia.
After graduation, I returned to the United States to work as a US Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow in Buffalo, New York. As part of that 2-year position, I was able to lead large, multi-million dollar grant-funded studies in education, and thus began my career path focused on teaching, development, and professional learning in early childhood science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
After leaving the University at Buffalo, I took a position as a Research Professor at Rutger's University's National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER). My colleagues and I ran two research projects funded by the National Science Foundation focused on professional development for preschool teachers.
In 2017, I brought my NSF grant to East Tennessee State University where I am currently an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education. I teach education and research courses to undergraduate and graduate students, conduct research on professional learning, present nationally and internationally, and publish articles and books in my field. Colleagues and I recently published our first book, Teaching STEM in the Preschool Classroom: Exploring Big Ideas with 3- to 5-Year-Olds, published by Teachers College Press.
I am very grateful for my time at Queen's. There were lovely people and top-notch resources, and I always received the necessary support required to be successful.