Sarah J. PearsallSenior Research Scientist


    Sarah has extensive research experience in the fields of psychology and education. During her undergraduate and master’s programs she studied multiple areas of psychology, but her research was based in social psychology involving stereotyping and prejudice. Following her master’s, she taught undergraduate distance learning courses in introductory psychology and ran her own tutoring business for students with and without disabilities while attending a doctorate program in special education.

    Prior to working at CCL, Sarah was a graduate research assistant at UNC Greensboro. In that role, she worked primarily as a research methodologist, data collector, and quantitative data analyst. She also co-authored a book chapter and an article in Principal Leadership on school reform to improve instruction for students with autism. Her dissertation focused on investigating flow experiences of high school students during reading activities in high poverty language arts classrooms. Overall, her indisciplinary background and varied research interests have helped her to become a more versatile researcher skilled in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods analyses.

    Current Role

    Sarah serves as a Senior Research Associate at CCL on the Insights & Impact team. She supports internal evaluation and research projects as well as external client work. She also provides psychometric support, developing, validating, and refining measurement tools; preparing norm reports; and creating technical manuals for assessments. Sarah leads multiple project teams and manages data collection, analysis, and reporting. She is actively engaged in ongoing professional development related to data science/analytics, data visualization, designing for accessibility, and leadership. She co-leads a group responsible for improving CCL’s analytics and reporting capabilities with a focus on efficiency.

    Educational Background

    Ph.D. in Special Education, minor in Educational Research Methodology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2018
    M.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University, 2012
    B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Florida, 2009

    Professional Affiliations and Certifications

    Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists (SSSP); Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); American Psychological Association; member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society since 2007.

    Curriculum Vitae

    Sarah completed her doctorate in special education with a minor in educational research methodology and specialization in cognitive neuroscience. In that time, she focused on her ability to bridge the research to practice gap throughout her work (e.g., developing an online module to support culturally sensitive supervision and coaching). She has also presented at multiple conferences including the Conference on Statistical Practice (CSP), Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists, and Council for Exceptional Children. Her research interests include equity, diversity, and inclusion; culturally relevant pedagogy, motivation and engagement, and neuroscience.

    Download Sarah’s full CV

    Honors, Awards, Grants

    • Reilly Scholarship recipient, 2017-2018.
    • Freeman Memorial Fund recipient, 2017-2018.
    • Emmie Dark Lane Scholarship recipient, 2014-2015 & 2016-2017.
    • Patricia R. Cross Scholarship recipient, 2015-2016.
    • Presidential Scholarship recipient, 2005-2009.
    • Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholars recipient, 2005-2009.
    Sarah J. Pearsall

    Contact Information


    Areas of Expertise

    Research Methodology, Quantitative & Qualitative Data Analysis, Stereotyping & Prejudice, Culturally Relevant Education, Data Visualization, Bridging the Research to Practice Gap

    Charles J. PalusMarian N. Ruderman