Who we are

Research group
The [RI]² team is made up of a group of science teachers (past and present), teacher educators, and researchers interested in advancing the use of issue-based teaching and learning materials and approaches. We draw upon the expertise and experience of classroom teachers, who have implemented issue-based teaching, researchers and curriculum developers, who have explored development and use of issue-based materials, teacher educators, who have supported development of teaching professionals at multiple career stages, and learning technologists, who explore and build online learning supports. The [RI]² program is an effort established by the ReSTEM Institute: Reimagining & Researching STEM Education, a research and outreach center at the University of Missouri College of Education. It is supported by the Missouri Transect project, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation (IIA-1355406).

Research Group at an NSTA conference. Photo credit: Carol Robertson

The mission of the [RI]² program is to advance the use of issue-based materials and pedagogies to support 3D science learning for all students. Underlying this mission is an assumption, based on empirical evidence and our experiences as educators, that 3D science learning in the context of compelling and significant socio-scientific issues can help students become 1) more informed about their lives and the world they live in, 2) better decision-makers in terms of their own personal needs as well as the needs of society, and 3) better equipped to participate in science. Goals of the program include creation, dissemination and supporting the use of issue-based curricula and strategies.

The RI² Team

Troy Sadler is a faculty member in science education and Director of the ReSTEM Institute. Troy began using SSI-based teaching strategies as a high school teacher. When he transitioned his career to focus on research, SSI became a primary focus of his research agenda. 





Patricia Pat Friedrichsen is a faculty member in science education and biology. As a high school teacher, she taught genetics using a SSI-based approach. Her research focuses on teacher learning across the professional continuum.

E-mail: friedrichsenp@missouri.edu






Laura Zangori is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at the University of Missouri. She teaches and works with students ranging from elementary through undergraduate classrooms. Her work focuses on how to support teachers and their students in using the practice of modeling to understand biological systems.

E-mail: zangoril@missouri.edu






Kerri Graham has taught Biology, Honors Biology, and AP Biology at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, MO, for 13 years.  Originally from Green Bay, WI, she earned her B.A. in Biology and Theatre Secondary Education from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  She then earned her M.Ed. in Administration from William Woods University in Fulton, MO.  Kerri is passionate about helping her students develop 21st Century Skills by connecting learning to relevant, cross-curricular issues and maintaining high levels of rigor.




Hai Nguyen is a PhD student in Science Education and working as Graduate Research Assistant at The ReSTEM Institute, College of Education, University of Missouri. He hold a BS in Biotechnology, an MS in Plant Sciences from Mizzou. He is interested in active learning, service learning, STEM education, and socio-scientific issues research. He has almost 4 years of teaching at college level and working as a coordinator at the Center for Educational Excellence in Vietnam. 

E-mail: htnb6f@mail.missouri.edu



Andrew Kinslow is a National Board Certified Teacher with 16 years teaching experience. He currently is completing a Ph.D. in science education at the University of Missouri.   His research interests center on socio-scientific issue based instruction situated in authentic field research contexts. 



Jaimie Foulk is a PhD student in Science Education. She hold a BS in Food Science & Human Nutrition and an MS in Education. She taught high school  science for ten years, in both traditional and online classrooms. She joined the staff of MU's Physics First Program, where she worked as a curriculum editor. 

E-mail: jafoulk@mail.missouri.edu




Mandy Peel is a Ph.D student in Science Education.  She holds a B.S. in Agricultural Biology and a M.S. in Molecular Biology from New Mexico State University.  She was a National Science Foundation in the Gk-12 DIScovering SciencE through Computational Thinking (DISSECT) Fellow for two years, and worked with sixth grade science students.  She also teaches high school and middle school students every summer in the White Sands Missile Range Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program. Her research interests involve socio-scientific issues in secondary science and college science classrooms.


E-mail: anpn98@mail.missouri.edu


David Owens is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Science Education at the ReSTEM institute. He holds a Master’s in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education at Middle Tennessee State University. His experiences as an educator include teaching high school and undergraduate biology courses and instructing outdoor education courses. He is interested in better understanding the aspects of learnign contexts that enhance motivation to consider contentious environmental issues and develop scientific literacy.

E-mail: owensdc@missouri.edu



[RI]2 Research Group (2018). Photo credit: Hai Nguyen



Project Alumni
  • Deanna Lankford

E-mail: lankfordd@missouri.edu

  • Sara Ringbauer 

E-mail: ringbauers@missouri.edu

  • Suleyman Cite