Interested in being part of our research team and expanding our knowledge of how to improve learning environments for students in STEM disciplines? Contact Mark Baillie at

Mark Baillie: Assistant Professor

I am a discipline-based education researcher (DBER), which means that I conduct research to better understand teaching and learning at the undergraduate level within a discipline. I do so by drawing on training in both chemistry and the social sciences. Read more about my research interests on the Research page.I am extremely fortunate to work with the research team (current and past) you find below, along with incredible colleagues in the STEM Education Center on the Learning Assistant program and the STRIVE project. When not working, you’ll find me on my mountain bike!

Stephanie Feola: Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral researcher and discipline based education researcher. I recently graduated from the University of South Florida with my PhD in Chemistry focused on chemistry education and a certification in educational program evaluation. My main areas of focus are biochemistry education, instructor professional development, and institutional change in STEM education in higher education.

Ronia Kattoum: Graduate Student

I am Ph.D. candidate in Applied Sciences: Chemistry with a concentration in Chemical Education Research (CER). I earned my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry: Biochemistry in 2007 from Loyola University Chicago and two master’s degrees at UA of Little Rock in 2013 in Chemistry and Higher Education. I worked as a full-time Instructor of Chemistry at UA of Little Rock for nearly a decade, where I was awarded the STEM College Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and named the Next Woman to Watch at UA of Little Rock in 2021. My love of teaching inspired me to pursue a Ph.D. where I  focus on building mathematical models to help understand how the learning environment in chemistry classrooms impacts students’ success, especially for students from Historically Underserved Groups (HUGs). I am currently in my fourth year of graduate school and have recently resigned from my position as an instructor to focus full-time on my dissertation. I am pursuing a tenure-track position or post-doc position in the Chicago land area, where I moved to be near family. My long-term career goal is to help contribute to reforming higher education in the sciences by training undergraduate/graduate teaching assistants and faculty in inclusive and evidence-based teaching practices.

Current Undergraduate Team Members

The Baillie Group is fortunate to recruit and retain excellent undergraduate researchers.

Cole Dwyer

I am a Molecular Biotechnology student at UA Little Rock minoring in Anthropology. Although I am the first in my family to pursue STEM, my mom was an English intervention teacher who gave me an inside perspective on the schooling system and the massive impact a single educator can have. I have been engaged in STEM Education Research since the end of my freshman year, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be a part of. As a part of the Baillie Research Group, I have examined implicit theories regarding intelligence and how they influence the learning environment. Following graduation, I plan on pursuing a PhD in Biochemical Education to continue my research and teach at a college level.

Maria Waite

Maria WaiteI am an undergraduate student at UA Little Rock, and I’m majoring in Environmental and Organismal Biology and minoring in Chemistry. Currently, I am involved in the Donaghey Scholars Program, American Chemical Society, and the Learning Assistant Program. During my first two semesters at UA Little Rock, I was fortunate to experience the outcomes of STEM Education Research which began my interest in education research. In the Summer of 2023, I was privileged to join the Baillie Research team where I focused on quantitative analysis of instructor practices. After graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in Oceanography to teach and perform research at the college level while utilizing the techniques and knowledge that I have obtained from doing research with this team.

Baillie Group Alumni

The following researchers have moved on to other opportunities to make the world a greater place! The Baillie Group is fortunate to have been able to work with them.

Ruby Viera Corral

Ruby Viera CorralI am a recent alumna of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Class of 2022), where I pursued bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and World Languages – Spanish. Throughout my time at the University, I was fortunate to participate in Chemistry Education research surrounding perceptions and measured outcomes of active learning in the Baillie Research Group, as well as bone tissue regeneration research at the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences. I am currently studying at the UTHSCSA Long School of Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, and carry with me these experiences from my undergraduate career.

Khristina Huff

Khristina Huff

Since birth, I grew up in the little town of Scotland, Arkansas and after graduating from Clinton High School in 2018, I started college at UA Little Rock. Here, I was involved in various activities, all including the Learning Assistant Program, Donaghey Scholars Program, VEX Robotics, and the American Chemical Society. In addition to this, I did research with the Chemistry Department as well as the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences. I then graduated from UA Little Rock in May of 2022, majoring in Biology (BS) and Chemistry (BA). Now that college is over, I have since been accepted into the University of Arkansas for Medical Science’s Class of 2026 and am working towards receiving my MD to go into Primary Care!

Ibraheem Abbood

Bio: Since graduating, I’ve been on a fulfilling journey to apply my education to the field of Dentistry and to positively impact people’s overall health.  I graduated from UA Little Rock in 2022 with a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in chemistry. I choose to join Dr. Baillie and Mrs. Kattoum’s research because of my strong desire to impact the education field.  I was so fortunate to learn potential ways to innovate teaching methods and enhance educational outcomes under them.  My passion for pursuing education research was given by a genuine passion for chemistry and dedication to equity in education.  I’m currently studying at UTHSC School of Dentistry in Memphis, Tennessee.

Josh Henrich

Bio: I am a graduate of UA Little Rock obtaining bachelor’s degrees in both chemistry and biology. Having originally planned on pursuing a career in medicine, my involvement with the Baillie Research Group and UA Little Rock Learning Assistant (LA) Program ignited a passion for chemistry education and teaching. I am in the process of applying to graduate programs in chemistry with an emphasis on educational research. When not involved with the UA Little Rock LA Program, you’ll find me in the gym or exploring the Arkansas outdoors.

Akeia Joyner

Bio: I am a 2019 alumna of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. During my time there, I had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Mark Baillie on his research concerning the pedagogy of STEM courses and the learning processes involved. It was through this research that I gained valuable insights that solidified my decision to transition from pursuing a career in the medical field to pursuing one in education. Following my experience teaching high school physical science and mathematics, I made the decision to further my education by pursuing a master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education at the University of Oklahoma (OU). I will commence my Ph.D. program in Adult and Higher Education at OU in the Spring of 2024.

Kalia Foster

Bio: In December 2021, I completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Bachelor’s of Arts in Chemistry at UA Little Rock. During my time at the university, I received the opportunity to join the Baillie Research Group, researching pedagogy of STEM courses. In addition, I helped to study the social networks existing between teachers and their effects on information dissemination. Through this work as well as undergraduate coursework, I really began to enjoy analysis. Following graduation, I used my experience and interest in data analysis to start working in Information Security.