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Lisa Shah, Research Assistant Professor

Lisa Shah

B.S. New York University 2007
Ph.D. Stony Brook University 2016

Room 437
Phone: (631)632-2043

Group website 

Research Interests

Chemical Education; Diversity & Inclusion in STEM; Undergraduate Science Curricular Reform

Building departmental and institutional capacity to improve student outcomes in chemistry

As colleges and universities nationwide begin to acknowledge the critical role that students’ academic environment can play in promoting or hindering success, there has been a shift toward efforts to build the capacity of departments and/or institutions to better serve an increasingly diverse student body. However, there is little empirical evidence available to guide the efforts of motivated individuals and/or institutions in this regard. In this research area, we analyze two decades worth of data to document the specific instructional, curricular, and institutional changes at Stony Brook University in the past two decades that have been correlated with observed improvements in student outcomes in chemistry. Findings from these analyses ought to more strategically inform the actions of institutions looking to promote inclusive excellence. 

Domain-specific psychosocial interventions aimed at improving performance of at-risk students in chemistry

The positive impact of psychosocial interventions on the academic performance of historically at-risk students has been well-documented. However, research has shown that an individual’s domain-general psychosocial perceptions (e.g., intelligence mindset broadly speaking) are not necessarily consistent with their domain-specific perceptions (e.g., intelligence mindset about chemistry). In this research area, we target and evaluate the impact of growth mindset, sense of belonging, and role model interventions embedded within the disciplinary context of chemistry on the outcomes of at-risk students. These results should better inform faculty, departmental, and institutional efforts to improve chemistry success rates for this important population of students. 

A competency-level analysis of pre-health admissions exams to inform undergraduate STEM teaching and learning reform

In response to the recent revisions of several high-stakes pre-health admissions exams (e.g., MCAT), national documents have emphasized the pressing need for undergraduate STEM curricular reform. These documents, though, do not offer any prescription for how to accomplish such a daunting goal, leaving these decisions to be made by motivated, but under-informed, departments or faculty. In this research area, we focus on a competency-level evaluation of student performance on several relevant exams, which should more accurately guide reform efforts that are already underway. 

Selected Publications

Shah, L.; Schneider, J.; Fallin, R.; Linenberger Cortes, K.; Ray, H.E; Rushton, G.T. What Prospective Chemistry Teachers Know about Chemistry: An Analysis of Praxis Chemistry Subject Assessment Category Performance (2018) Journal of Chemical Education, 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00365.


Shah, L.; Hao, J.; Rodriguez, C. A.; Fallin, R.; Linenberger-Cortes, K.; Ray, H. E.; Rushton, G. T. An Analysis of Praxis® Physics Subject Assessment Examinees and Performance: Who Are Our Prospective Physics Teachers? (2018) Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14, 010126.


Shah, L.; Hao, J.; Schneider, J.; Fallin, R.; Linenberger-Cortes, K.; Ray, H. E.; Rushton, G. T. Repairing Leaks in the Chemistry Teacher Pipeline: A Longitudinal Analysis of Praxis® Chemistry Subject Assessment Examinees and Scores. (2018) Journal of Chemical Education, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00837


Shah, L.; Rodriguez, C. A.; Bartoli, M.; Rushton, G. T. Analysing the Impact of a Discussion-Oriented Instructional Curriculum on First-year General Chemistry Students’ Conceptions of Relative Acidity. (2018) Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 19, 543-557.


Rushton, G. T.; Dewar, A.; Ray, H. E.; Shah, L.; Rosengrant, D.; Sheppard, K.; Watanabe, L.Towards a high quality high school workforce: A longitudinal, demographic analysis of U.S. public school physics teachers. (2017) Physical Review Physics Education Research, 13, 020122.


Rushton, G. T.; Dewar, A.; Ray, H. G.; Criswell, B.; Shah, L. (2016) Setting a Standard for Chemistry Education in the Next Generation: A Retrosynthetic Analysis. ACS Central Science, 2(11), 825–833


Shah, L.; Laughlin, S. T.; Carrico, I. S. (2016) Light-activated azide ligation within living animals. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138(16), 5186–5189