Rodney Andrews, PhD, Director
Greg Branch, Deputy Director
Janie Jury, Administration
Zhixiang (Mark) Lu, Data Management
Katie Patterson, Communications
Priyanka Singh, PhD, Research
Yu Xue, Research
Graduate Research Assistants
Rodney Andrews is the director of Texas Schools Project and The University of Texas at Dallas Education Research Center. As such, Rodney leads the Texas Schools Project and UT Dallas Education Research Center teams in their work to conduct independent research to benefit education in Texas.
In addition to his responsibilities as director, Rodney is also a senior researcher with Texas Schools Project where he collaborates with principal investigators, participates in the federally-funded National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), and performs independent research with data housed at the UT Dallas Education Research Center. He is also an assistant professor of economics at the UT Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.
Rodney's areas of expertise include economics of education, labor economics, public finance, and applied microeconometrics.
Rodney received his doctorate degree in economics from the University of Michigan.
Greg Branch is the deputy director of the Texas Schools Project, where he has served in a variety of capacities since 2002 and has been involved with Texas' Education Research Center program from its inception. In addition to assisting the director in the oversight and conduct of the organization's activities, Greg's role includes managing and coordinating the state-commissioned Education Research Center, which is operated by the Texas Schools Project.
Along with his experience in data intensive education research and evaluation, Greg brings expertise in managing the data systems that are necessary to the work of the organization.
Greg received a master of science degree in applied economics from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2003, and bachelor of science degrees in economics and information systems from Arizona State University in 1995. Prior to returning to university, he worked as a consultant, business analyst and project lead for an information systems integrator.
Janie Jury has been the administrative services officer for Texas Schools Project since 2001.
In this position she manages the office affairs of the organization including account management, documentation, and reconciliation.
Janie has been with UT Dallas for 15 years, previously working in a variety of departments including the Graduate Dean's Office and the School of Human Development.
A native of Pennsylvania where she worked in the music field, Janie moved to Dallas in 1994. She holds a bachelor's degree in music from Seton Hill College.
Zhixiang Lu is the data manager at Texas Schools Project.
As such, he is responsible for downloading data and managing data organization, translation, and verification.
Zhixiang joined Texas Schools Project in 2006 as a research assistant while he was working on his master's degree in geospatial information science at The University of Texas at Dallas, which he received in August 2008.
He also holds a master's degree in computer science from Prairie View A&M University.
Katie Patterson serves as communications officer for Texas Schools Project.
In this capacity, Katie is responsible for the organization's external communications including website, e-newsletter, news releases, and collateral pieces.
Prior to joining Texas Schools Project, Katie spent 19 years in marketing for a national franchisor managing brand identity, e-mail strategy, collateral development, and more.
Katie holds a bachelor's degree in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.
Priyanka Singh is a research scientist at Texas Schools Project. In this role, she conducts analyses on a variety of topics, including arts impact on student achievement and college transitions.
Prior to joining Texas Schools Project, Priyanka worked as a senior evaluation specialist with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), leading their College and Career Readiness program evaluation.
Additionally, she was the lead evaluator for DISD of project Destination Graduation, a project managed by United Way, and also worked on the evaluation of the Thriving Mind project, managed by Big Thought and funded by the Wallace Foundation. The Thriving Mind project focused on enriching the cultural capital of students in DISD schools and stimulating creativity and learning in students.
In addition to her work with DISD, Priyanka has been a part-time lecturer at UT Dallas, teaching several courses in microeconomics and labor economics.
Priyanka earned both her doctorate degree in economics and master's degree in applied economics from The University of Texas at Dallas. She also holds a master's degree in corporate management.
Yu Xue is a research scientist with Texas Schools Project. In this role, she conducts analyses on a variety of topics, including developmental courses and community college transitions.
Prior to joining Texas Schools Project in a full-time capacity, Yu worked as a graduate research assistant at Texas Schools Project while completing her doctorate degree.
Yu earned both her master's degree in applied economics and her doctorate degree in public policy and political economy from The University of Texas at Dallas.
- Greg Phelan
Page last updated on November 15, 2013.