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Denise Drane

Denise Drane
Senior Associate Director of Research and Innovation
Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching

Denise joined the Searle Center as a part time Graduate Research Assistant in 2001 becoming a full time Research Associate in 2003, Director for Research and Evaluation in 2006 and Senior Director in 2019. Denise earned a Doctorate in Speech and Language Pathology from Northwestern University in 2003. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Applied Science (with distinction) in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Sydney.

Denise has led and collaborated on a wide range of projects at Northwestern. These include co-developing and evaluating the Gateway Science Workshop Program in Gateway STEM courses at Northwestern which gave rise to the peer-support programs now offered by Northwestern’s Center for Academic Support and Learning Advancement (ASLA); design and evaluation of the NSF funded Science Research Workshop Program; evaluation of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsored redesign of the introductory biology curriculum, the NSF funded Critical Thinking in STEM faculty development initiative at Northwestern and evaluation of initiatives such as the Inclusive Teaching Practicum. Denise has supported Northwestern faculty on scholarship of learning and teaching projects and program evaluation and is a long-time mentor in the Searle Center’s Searle Fellows program. She has led several USAID funded initiatives supporting learning and Teaching in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.

Denise currently teaches MSCI 445 Writing and Peer Reviewing in Medical Publication in Northwestern’s Feinberg Schools of Medicine and has taught Statistics in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Evidence-Based Practice in Northwestern’s School of Communication.

Denise’s current scholarly interests include critical thinking, program evaluation, developing centers to support learning and teaching in low-income countries, global health education and global learning.