Faculty News

Nianbo Dong selected as research affiliate for UNC system initiative

Nianbo Dong

Nianbo Dong, associate professor of quantitative methods, has been selected by the University of North Carolina system to serve as a research affiliate in a new initiative that will work to fund and evaluate innovations that improve college student outcomes.

The Student Success Innovation Lab, funded with $3 million in grants from the ECMC Foundation and the John M. Belk Endowment, will work to develop rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of student success interventions, increase collaboration and communication across UNC system institutions, and assemble the data needed to evaluate the interventions.

Dong, who joined the School of Education this year, has led research focused on the development and application of quantitative methods to important education research problems, such as evaluating the effects of educator professional development, early childhood education programs, and analysis of power in multi-level experimental designs. His work has been supported by more than $4 million in funding from the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation.

The Student Success Innovation Lab will pilot promising ideas at all of the system’s 17 member institutions and connect other UNC institutions to evaluate them. Successful strategies will be shared with other campuses in the UNC system.

Dong’s work will be focused on evaluation of the interventions during Phase One of the initiative.

Prior to joining Carolina, Dong served as an assistant professor of statistics, measurement, and evaluation in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Missouri. Previously he was a research associate at the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University. In 2017, he received an NSF Faculty Early Career award. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania.