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Ding Receives 2020 Distinguished Research Award in Interdisciplinary Studies


The Fordham Graduate School of Education is pleased to announce that Yi Ding, Ph.D., Associate Professor of School Psychology, is the 2020 recipient of the Distinguished Research Award in Interdisciplinary Studies. The award is presented to a faculty member based on the merits of their research productivity over the past three years.

Since 2017, Ding has published 29 refereed journal articles with a focus on STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and learning and training issues in school psychology and pupil related services. She has also received external funding from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $1,249,614 as a co-principal investigator. Her interdisciplinary research interests include learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, STEM learning, and special education and school psychology issues based on a multicultural perspective.

According to the Fordham University Office of Research, “Dr. Ding’s research and grant activities have made a remarkable contribution to the Graduate School of Education and the field of education at large. Her work largely enhances the visibility of Fordham University’s scholarly work at the federal level and makes a notable contribution to the greater community of education.”

During the course of the past three years, Ding’s research projects have primarily focused on the STEM population with a special emphasis on mathematics, which is her passion. Her interest in STEM began when she was working in a learning disabilities clinic early in her academic career. Ding often evaluated children with both reading disabilities and math learning disabilities. However, her true interest was mathematics, and as a result of her documented work, 16 of her studies on mathematics learning have been published in well-recognized journals such as Learning Disability Quarterly.

In recent years, Ding’s passion for mathematics learning has extended to the college-level STEM population. She explained, “Through collaboration with engineering educators, I have systematically applied theories from the learning and cognitive sciences to engineering-specific contexts and conducted a series of empirical studies with college engineering students, including working memory and automaticity in problem solving, general personality and vocational personality in college engineering students, and professional formation of engineers.” One of Ding’s most recent papers was published in the Journal of Engineering Education.

Conducting research takes a great deal of time and immersion into a topic. For educators who have a passion for finding solutions, Ding explains her own pathway into research: “My diverse research interests reflect the evolutionary history of my development as a school psychologist and a researcher, which began with a narrower domain of research and has expanded to a wide range of research areas through an interdisciplinary approach. Thus, I view my path into research as a process. It takes time to develop one’s own research interests and expertise.”


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