Kelly S. Mix Appointed Associate Dean for Research, Innovation and Partnerships


The 含羞草研究所 College of Education has named Kelly S. Mix as its next associate dean for research, innovation and partnerships, effective August 1. In this role, Dr. Mix will support our efforts to establish school and community partnerships, coordinate and share research funding opportunities across the college, and develop new collegewide efforts to support EdTerps鈥 research.

鈥淚 am delighted that Dr. Mix will be serving as the College of Education鈥檚 next associate dean for research, innovation and partnerships,鈥 said Dean Kimberly Griffin. 鈥淎s a proven leader and accomplished scholar who is deeply committed to advancing research that will transform teaching and improve how all children learn, Dr. Mix is an ideal choice to take on this role. I am also sincerely grateful to Dr. Taboada Barber for her outstanding leadership as associate dean over the past three years.鈥

Since joining the College of Education鈥檚 Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM) as a professor in 2016, Mix has served in key leadership roles, including as department chair of HDQM from 2016 to 2021, chair of HDQM鈥檚 Faculty Promotion Subcommittee from 2022 to 2023, and founding chair of HDQM鈥檚 Diversity & Inclusion Committee from 2020 to 2022. She is currently interim director of the Human Development graduate program.

As director of UMD鈥檚 , Mix researches the development of number concepts and mathematical reasoning, with a particular interest in the use of cognitive science principles to improve children鈥檚 learning. Many prominent agencies and foundations have funded her work, including the National Science Foundation, the Heising Simons Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Spencer Foundation. In addition, she has received several honors including an early career award from the American Psychological Association, Division 7, in 2002. 

After spending several years as an elementary teacher in Livermore, California, Mix decided to pursue a career in academia so that she could increase understanding of how learning processes work and why some instructional approaches work better than others, with the goal of using that knowledge to influence policy. Before arriving at UMD, she was a faculty member in the College of Education at Michigan State University and in the Department of Psychology at Indiana University.

As a prolific writer, editor, consultant and advisor, Mix has shared her expertise in early childhood mathematics widely. She recently co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Intelligence on spatial intelligence and learning, and is currently a member of the editorial board of Review of Educational Research. She was associate editor of the Journal of Cognition and Development from 2016 to 2021. Mix co-authored the 2002 book Quantitative Development in Infancy and Early Childhood, co-edited two books (Spatial Visualization in Mathematics in 2018 and The Spatial Foundations of Language and Cognition in 2010), and has contributed dozens of book chapters and journal articles. In addition, she has served as a consultant for PBS Kids and Save the Children Network and as a member of several advisory boards on early mathematics learning at the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences.

鈥淲ith its vibrant research community and deep commitment to improving 含羞草研究所 close to home and worldwide, UMD鈥檚 College of Education is uniquely positioned to make meaningful change,鈥 said Mix. 鈥淎s a former elementary teacher, I鈥檝e always believed strongly in the power of 含羞草研究所 to transform lives, and it was this shared sense of purpose that drew me to UMD as a faculty member. I am honored and delighted to contribute to the college鈥檚 important work in my new role as associate dean, and I look forward to broadening both our research impact and our collaborations with 含羞草研究所 stakeholders throughout the state.鈥

Mix will succeed Ana Taboada Barber Ph.D. 鈥03, who has served as the college鈥檚 associate dean for research, innovation and partnerships since 2021.