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Who We Are   Melinda C. Bier , Ph.D.

Melinda C. Bier, PhD
Principal Investigator

Laura Harrison, LCSW, MPA
Project Director

Edie Barnard, MS

Steve Sherblom, PhD

David Shields, PhD

Mark Hallett
Video Specialist

Spring Schmidt
Doctoral Student


  Melinda C. Bier is currently a Research Scientist in the Division of Educational Psychology, Research and Evaluation, College of Education, University of Missouri, St. Louis. Dr. Bierís expertise spans the fields of Character Education, teacher preparation and professional development, and the design and use of instructional technology for enhanced teaching and learning. She has extensive experience in the adoption of K-12 educational innovations, providing and managing professional development for geographically and culturally diverse teachers, and in the philanthropic sector.

Dr. Bier currently serves as a principal investigator and/or project director for $3.5 Million in active grants. These projects all involve assessing the impact of school-based positive youth development interventions on student outcomes – health, character, and academic achievement. She has served as a consultant to US Department of Education, Mathmatica Policy Research, Character Education Partnership, and Caliber Associates on issues related to program evaluation.

Dr. Bier recently co-authored a comprehensive and interdisciplinary review of the scientific literature supporting the development of character in school age students with Marvin W. Berkowitz, Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis. This work was funded by grants from the Character Education Partnership, US Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, and The John Templeton Foundation.

In her previous positions as Visiting Research Fellow and Program Officer with the James S. McDonnell Foundation she administered the Cognitive Science in the Classroom Program, reviewed scientific research proposals, and investigated ways in which educational institutions and not-for-profits could make use of the Internet to more efficiently achieve their goals.

In her dissertation research she spent more than 3 years investigating the ways in which low-income families could make use of home computers and high speed Internet access to strengthen the school-home-community connection. This research won a NSF Dissertation Improvement Award and was highlighted in scholarly publications including Nature and The Scientist as well as in popular media such as USA Today, National Public Radio and local newspapers. She has been an advisor to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and NSF on issues related to ethics in cyberspace and the use of human subjects in educational research. 

Youth Empowerment in Action!
College of Education
University of Missouri - St. Louis
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