Mary Styers, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher and Evaluator

Mary Styers

Dr. Mary Styers’s passion for research was ignited as a summer intern in 2001, when she helped scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke map mechanisms of cognitive processing in adults with and without brain injury. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in lifespan development psychology from North Carolina State University in 2009, with work that centered on how children, adolescents, and adults interpret everyday negative experiences. She has a special interest in research and evaluations examining resiliency, self-efficacy, empowerment, and positive coping strategies across all age groups.

Using various research designs and methodologies, Mary has served as an evaluator on studies sponsored by Pearson, Inc.; National Geographic School Publishing; Study Island; Learning for Life; NASA, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Labor, among others. Her evaluations have included studies of:

  • Math, science, and reading curricula for pre-K through grade 12
  • Community college programs
  • Social and emotional learning programs
  • Online learning and mentoring platforms
  • School improvement and systemic reform interventions
  • NASA education and outreach programs, activities, and websites

Mary joined Magnolia in 2007. Her areas of expertise include designing, leading, and conducting studies; aggregating and analyzing large qualitative and quantitative datasets; conducting site observations, interviews, and focus groups; running qualitative and quantitative analyses; compiling literature reviews; writing reports; and presenting findings.


In her free time, Mary enjoys exercising; painting; and spending time with her husband, their two boys, and their two dogs.

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