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CiC Team

We are researchers from the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University who are passionate about making education engaging and effective for all learners. Our backgrounds include cognitive and developmental psychology, educational psychology, K12 teaching experience, and a range of research and practice related expertise. Our goal is to find likeminded educators to partner with to work toward the goal of centering curiosity and creativity in education and learning for all students.


Jamie Jirout, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia

Meet the Research Team


Virginia Vitielo, Ph.D. 

Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia


Sharon Zumbrunn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University

Jamie earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the director of the Curiosity in Classrooms Project and the Research in Education And Learning lab. Her research takes place in classrooms, in the lab, and out in the community, such as at children's museums. Her research focuses on two areas of children's learning: (1) children's curiosity and question asking, and (2) children's spatial reasoning skills.

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Natalie S. Evans, PhD. 

Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Virginia

Natalie is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia. She is involved in coordination, data collection, and data analysis for the Curiosity in Classrooms project. Her research investigates how educational experiences impact students’ curiosity and creativity.

Virginia's research interests are focused on Early childhood education, Self-Regulation, Classroom Quality.

Sharon holds a Ph.D. in psychological studies in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a former elementary school teacher, Sharon's broad research interests include understanding student learning and motivation, and the contexts that foster student success. | 804-827-2625


Angeline Lillard, PhD.

Psychology Professor, University of Virginia

Dr. Angeline Stoll Lillard is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, where she directs the Early Development Laboratory, one of four child development laboratories in the psychology department at the university.


Karime Cameron, M.Ed.

Research Project Associate

Karime is as a research associate at School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. She support projects that seek to support teachers’ well-being, students’ social and emotional learning, and children's curiosity. 

Our Partners

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