Sarah J. PearsallResearch Associate


    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 research associate at CCL on the Insights & Impact and Societal Advancement teams. She supports internal evaluation and research projects as well as external client work. She also provides psychometric support, validating and refining measurement tools, preparing norm reports, and creating technical manuals for assessments. Sarah manages data collection, analysis, and reporting for multiple projects. She is actively engaged in ongoing professional development related to data science/analytics, data visualization, and leadership. Through this work, she developed a machine learning model to predict which program registrants will cancel. She serves on a team responsible for improving efficiency related to data analytics and reporting within the organization in addition to co-leading a group to advance our leadership analytics work.

    Educational Background

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

    Professional Affiliations

    Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists (SSSP); Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); 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 developed 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 stereotyping and prejudice, culturally relevant pedagogy, positive psychology, reading instruction, and neuroscience.

    Download Sarah’s full CV

    Select External Publications

    • Developing and leading collaborative school cultures. [Book chapter]
    • Williamson, P., Letson, S. J., & Carnahan, C. (2017). Improving instruction for students with autism: A framework for collaboration. Principal Leadership, 18, 10-13.

    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

    Motivation & Engagement, Networking, Research Methodology, Quantitative & Qualitative Data Analysis, Stereotyping & Prejudice, Culturally Relevant Education

    Charles J. PalusSunil Puri