by Claire Miller
When she was in fifth grade, Maggie Renken’s teacher asked her to tutor other students in her class – a task that first piqued her interest in education.
She started a literacy program for at-risk students when she was 15 years old and knew even then that she wanted to understand more about how people learn.
“I was really interested in teaching other people and how they learn what you teach them,” said Renken, who has been appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University in 2005 and received both her master’s degree and her doctorate in psychology from the University of Wyoming in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
Prior to coming to Georgia State University, Renken traveled to India to research Tibetan students’ attitudes toward science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Her research focuses on scientific reasoning, prior belief bias, adolescent development, cognitive development, physics misconceptions, and attitudes toward science.
This semester, Renken is teaching an advanced developmental psychology class to graduate students and will teach human growth and development to undergraduates in the spring. She also hopes to work with the COE’s Educational Research Bureau and other faculty members on campus in developing her research agenda.
“Georgia State has a climate that supports research,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to start forming my research career and I’m excited about the potential for collaboration with others at GSU.”
This story is one in a series designed to highlight the College of Education’s newest faculty members and their contributions to the field of education.