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Associate Director for Assessment Operations; Professor of Graduate Psychology
Contact Info

Full Curriculum Vita (PDF of vita)
Google Scholar Page 


  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin (2001) Concentration: Educational Psychology/Measurement and Statistics
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin (1995) Concentration: Psychology

Scholarly Interests/Research Topics

  • Examinee and respondent behavior in low-stakes assessment
  • Civic engagement assessment in higher education
  • Teaching and application of: multilevel modeling, mixture modeling, and categorical data analysis.
CARS Faculty/Assessment Specialist Role:

As the Associate Director of Assessment Operations in the Center for Assessment and Research Studies, Dena Pastor oversees JMU’s biannual Assessment Days, which are used to collect longitudinal data on student learning and developmental outcomes. Because each Assessment Day assesses over 3700 students, Dena relies on the help of other CARS staff members and a team of graduate students (known as the Assessment Day/Data Management Team) to coordinate logistics and manage all resulting data. In addition, Dena provides guidance on the university’s civic engagement assessment endeavors as the assessment liaison to the Madison Center for Civic Engagement.  

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