LRDC Alumni

More Than 50 Years of Graduate Students and Post-Docs

Alumni graphLRDC has been home to hundreds of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows whose careers have included research at the Center. The graph shows the number of students and postdocs entering the Center over the past 50 years.

LRDC has compiled the names of the many  graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who began their careers here before moving on to academic and non-academic positions. The link below contains alumni information. Please send additions or corrections to

LRDC Alumni Information

LRDC Distinguished Alumni Award

To recognize the accomplishments of the many graduate students who, over the years, have earned their PhDs while at the Center, LRDC instituted the Distinguished Alumni award, to be given to a former graduate who has demonstrated excellence in research of significant impact and other indicators of national and international recognition. The award is given every two years.

2019 Awardee

Vincent Aleven

Ashley, Aleven, Perfetti
L-R: Ashley, Aleven, Perfetti
Vincent Aleven (PhD, 1997, Intelligent Systems Program), Professor, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Institute, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Pittsburgh, has been named the 2019 LRDC Distinguished Alumnus. He presented "Personalizing Classroom Instruction with AI: Progress and Open Challenges" on January 22, 2020 in the LRDC's Glaser Auditorium. Vincent's research advances the science of how people interact and learn with advanced learning technologies. He aims to incorporate the enormous promise of these technologies in helping learners reach their full potential. Vincent earned his Ph.D. from Pitt in 1997 under his mentor, Kevin Ashley. Upon graduation, he continued his career at CMU and is very involved on campus not only as a professor but also as a member of the Steering Committee (CMU's PIER pre-doctoral scholarship program in educational research) and the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the HCI Institute. Read more about his research here. Dr. Aleven's CV

See video of lecture: Personalizing Classroom Instruction with AI: Progress and Open Challenges

2018 Inagural International Awardee »

Dr. Yao-Ting SungYao-Ting Sung (Post Doctoral Fellow, 2002-2004), Chair Professor and Executive Vice President at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), has been named the inaugural LRDC Distinguished International Alumnus. Dr. Sung's research focuses on educational psychology, psychological and educational assessment, computer-assisted learning and testing, and Chinese text analysis. The goal of his research is to improve automated assessment, readability prediction, and automated essay scoring.

Prior to becoming vice president of the university Dr. Sung served several administrative positions at National Taiwan Normal University, including the director of the Research Center for Psychological and Educational Testing, the director of Office of Research and Development, and the Chief Executive Officer of Aim for the Top University Project.

Dr. Sung is the first international recipient of the award, presented at the 6th International Workshop on Advanced Learning Sciences (IWALS) at the University of Pittsburgh, June 8, 2018. The LRDC Distinguished Alumnus award was established in 2011 to recognize the accomplished of the many scholars who demonstrate excellence in research. The award is given every two years. Read more about his research here. Dr. Sung's CV

Previous Distinguished Alumni Awardees »


Mauricio Delgado Mauricio Delgado (PhD, 2002, Neuroscience), Associate Professor, Psychology, Rutgers University, Newark, and Associate Director, Rutgers University Brain Imagining Center, has been named the 2017 LRDC Distinguished Alumnus. Mauricio’s research focuses on the interaction of cognition and emotion in the brain for learning and decision-making. He earned his Ph.D. from Pitt in 1998 in Julie Fiez’s lab, joined Rutgers-Newark’s Psychology Department in 2006, and in December 2010, was honored with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Barack Obama, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. Read more about his research here. Dr. Delgado’s CV

See video of lecture: Reward Processing in the Human Brain


Jeffrey H. Bisanz (PhD, 1979, Psychology), the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, is a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta. Jeff has been awarded the Inaugural Pickering Award for Outstanding Contributions to Developmental Psychology in Canada (2010) and the Distinguished Academic Award from the Conference of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA), (2010) which recognizes academic staff members who have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university. The 2015 Distinguished Award ceremony was held on April 30, 2015, with a lecture and reception. See video of lecture:
video clipThe Long-Term Effects of Early and Intense Exposure to LRDC on the Study of Number-Line Estimation and Arithmetic Equivalence in Children, Jeffrey H. Bisanz


Drew Gitomer (PhD, 1984, Psychology), the Rose and Nicholas DeMarzo Chair in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, was the 2013 LRDC Distinguished Alumni. Drew was named a University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate and delivered the lecture titled "Improving Teaching through Better Evaluation Measures: Lessons from Algebra Classrooms" in Glaser Auditorium on October 14, 2011. Drew received the 2013 LRDC Distinguished Alumni Award at the "New Directions in Research on Learning and Education: A Symposium Celebrating 50 Years of LRDC"  on May 16, 2013.


Susan R. Goldman (PhD, 1978, Psychology), Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Psychology, and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Co-director of UIC's Learning Sciences Research Institute, was the Inaugural Awardee in 2011. Susan delivered her Distinguished Alumni Lecture, "Assessing Multiple Source Comprehension: Implications for Instruction and Theory," at 3:00 pm, May 3, 2011, in LRDC's Glaser Auditorium. See video of lecture:
video clipAssessing Multiple Source Comprehension: Implications for Instruction and Theory, Susan Goldman

University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate

The Legacy Laureate program was developed to recognize alumni for their personal and career achievements, while at the same time providing them with an opportunity to contribute to the success of today's University of Pittsburgh students. The program is designed to stimulate activity, identity and relationships among prominent alumni and the University of Pittsburgh community. Legacy Laureates are individuals who have achieved exceptional success in pursuit of their life goals and who continue to inspire us by their example. The goal of the program is to recognize these individuals as living examples to our students of the potential for excellence. In 2011, Drew Gitomer, the Rose and Nicholas DeMarzo Chair in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, was named a University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate and delivered a talk at LRDC titled, "Improving Teaching through Better Evaluation Measures: Lessons from Algebra Classrooms."