Meet the Mentors-in-Residence for February

Categories: Instruction, Other, Research, Research Design, Research Skills

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In the first quarter of 2021 we explore design steps, starting with a January focus on research questions. We’ll continue to learn about the design stage in February with a focus on Choosing Methodology and Methods.


It makes sense to learn from the authors of this new book!

This month the collaborative team behind Making Sense of Social Research Methodology: A Student and Practitioner Centered Approach will help us understand issues involved with the selection of the methodology as part of the research design stage. They will contribute posts this month, including:

  • A teaching activity around the topic of methodology and design
  • A blog post about how we see these broad issues (eg. research design) as interconnected with other things
  • A blog post on relevance for practitioner researchers
  • A collaborative research conversation

Follow this tag to find these and other posts about the process and experience of selection of research methodology for your research project.


Pengfei Zhao is an assistant professor of qualitative research methodology at the University of Florida. She has an interdisciplinary background in inquiry methodology, sociology, and cultural studies. In her theoretical and methodological work, she draws from a wide spectrum of theories—from critical theories to contemporary pragmatism, and feminism—to formulate a praxis- and social justice-oriented research methodology. In her empirical work, she primarily uses ethnographic, narrative, and action research approaches to address issues of universal significance, such as disadvantaged youth’s coming of age experience, student-centered teaching and learning, and sexuality education.

Karen Ross

Karen Ross is an Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.  Previously, she was an adjunct instructor at the Global & International Education Program at Drexel University and the Inquiry Methodology Program at Indiana University. Karen’s teaching and research focus on issues at the intersection of dialogue, peace-building, social activism, and education. She conducts basic and applied research to help understand the impact of grassroots peace-building interventions and the way these interventions fit into societal level peace-building efforts. Karen’s research also focuses on methodological issues related to how we conduct research about peace-building and social justice work, how we can do so in more inclusive ways, and how to broaden conceptions of expertise and legitimate knowledge in social inquiry.

Peiwei Li

Peiwei Li is an Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology and the Research Coordinator for the PhD program of Counseling and Psychology at Lesley University. Peiwei’s cross-cultural experiences as an immigrant and a Chinese woman growing up in the late socialist/ emerging capitalist era in China have fueled her interest in understanding the intersection of culture, class, race, gender, and complex power relations that fuel and reproduce social and systemic pathologies and psychological sufferings. Her scholarship is located in the borderland of critical psychology and critical qualitative methodologies, pertaining to identity development, emancipatory interest, consciousness-raising, recognition, solidarity, and potentials for liberatory actions. Substantively, she has engaged in research on diversity and social justice education, immigration and detention, gender equality, and spiritual development. 

Barbara Dennis

Barbara Dennis is a Professor of Qualitative Methodologies in the Inquiry Methodology Program at Indiana University’s School of Education. Her scholarship focuses on methodological concepts such as ethics and validity, while examining social justice possibilities in education. She is the author of (2020) Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise, focused on the education of transnational im/migrant students. She co-edited the text (2013) Qualitative research: A reader in philosophy, core concepts, and practice. Barbara is a founding member of the Feminist Research Collectivean activist-scholar, mom and granny.


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