Who We Are

Dr. Ryan P. Bowles

Principle Investigator
Ryan P. Bowles is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. He is the Principal Investigator of the NAP project. Dr. Bowles's research focuses on how to use simple and fun assessments to understand how children develop the skills necessary for reading. He has expertise in early childhood language and literacy development and in the statistical analyses we are using for the project. Dr. Bowles is a father of four kids and three dogs. In his spare time- what little there is- he enjoys hiking and biking.

Dr. Laura Justice

Principle Investigator
Laura Justice is EHE Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the Schoembaum Family Center & Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at Ohio State University. Justice is committed to advancing our understanding of how to address the developmental needs of children who live in poverty and who exhibit disabilities. She is the principal investigator of a number of research projects supported by such agencies as the National Institutes of Health, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences. Like her colleague, Ryan Bowles, Laura also has three dogs (as well as two children) – two labradoodles (one of which is defective and sheds) and a shih tzu. In her free time, Justice tends to work.

Dr. Lori Skibbe

Principle Investigator
Lori Skibbe, Ph.D., focuses on how children develop early literacy skills and how caregivers in schools and homes can support this learning. She also researchers the long-term consequences of language impairment on early literacy skills, and works to develop appropriate assessment techniques for assessing children's learning in this area, with a focus on children who are typically developing as well as those with special needs.

Dr. Shayne B. Piasta

Principle Investigator
Shayne B. Piasta is an assistant professor at The Ohio State University and an associate faculty member of the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy. She is a co-investigator on the NAP project. Her research primarily focuses on early literacy development and how such development is best supported during the preschool and elementary years. Her work emphasizes the use of rigorous empirical methods to identify and evaluate educational programs, practices, and assessments. Outside of her professional duties, Shayne enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with friends, family, and her puppy, Lucy.

Dr. Kiren Kahn

Principle Investigator
Kiren Khan is a post-doctoral researcher working at the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at The Ohio State University. During her doctoral studies, she worked on developing and testing new methods to improve storytelling and other language skills in preschool aged children. Her involvement on the NAP project includes developing the training protocol for scoring children's narratives, as well as designing and implementing a series of studies to test the usability of the NAP. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and singing.

Lisa Coyle

Project Staff
Lisa is the NAP Project Manager. She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2008 and an MBA from Spring Arbor University in 2015. Lisa worked as a foster care and adoption specialist for 7 years prior to joining MSU. She is passionate about youth advocacy and trauma and attachment issues within the foster care system. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys gardening, cooking, arts and crafts, and 90’s music.

PLUS: Numerous undergraduate students without whom the project would not have happened.
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