Joy Thompson has a background in applied developmental psychology. To date, she has served on projects related to preschool program evaluation, school start time change, and post-care services for families exiting the child welfare system. Responsibilities have included supervision of data collection, quantitative data analysis, and project planning and management. Her graduate work has involved studying the various interdependent contexts that affect prek-12 educational outcomes, including school and home-based interventions, parents’ beliefs and practices, and teacher-child interactions. Joy is in progress of completing her dissertation which will examine the demographic, motivational, and contextual factors that relate to high school math course-taking among high achieving students, an important step in understanding pathways to STEM and maximizing human capital in related fields. Joy is particularly interested in informing educational policy with sound research as a means of strengthening outcomes for all students through cultivation of their skills, motivation, and interests.