Research Assistants

Hernan Cristobal Castillo Hermosilla

Hernan Cristobal Castillo Hermosilla, MeS

Hernán Castillo-Hermosilla is a PhD student and research assistant at Purdue University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Universidad de los Andes, Chile, and a master’s degree in Strategic Brief Therapy, Giorgio Nardone Model from the didactic headquarters in Chile of the Scuola di Specializzazione of the Centro di Terapia Strategica (CTS) of Arezzo, Italy. His research interests include cross-cultural studies, social justice in education, overcoming inequities and gaps, intersectionality, and identification and intervention.

Tugce Karatas

Tugce Karatas, MsEd

Tugce Karatas is a PhD student and graduate research assistant in Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies at Purdue University. She received her bachelor’s degree in physics education from Dokuz Eylul University (Turkey), and master’s degrees in nuclear physics from Ege University (Turkey), curriculum and instruction from Cukurova University (Turkey), and gifted education from Purdue University. She worked as a physics and math teacher of grades 4-12 in Turkey, and she is currently the program coordinator of the Summer Residential Camp for gifted youth in grades 5-12 at Purdue’s Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute (GER2I). Her research focuses on STEM talent development, curriculum development, and instruction for students with gifts and talents.

Zafer Ozen

Zafer Ozen, MsEd

Zafer Ozen is a PhD student in Educational Studies at Purdue University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics specializing in teaching from Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey. He has two master’s degrees, one in physics specializing in teaching from Dokuz Eylul University and the other in gifted education from Purdue University. His research interests are in STEM enrichment for gifted and talented students.

Brenda Cavalcante Matos Vieira

Brenda Cavalcante Matos Vieira, MsEd

Brenda C Matos Vieira is a PhD student and graduate research assistant in Gifted and Talented Education at Purdue University. Brenda completed a master’s degree in Science Teaching and created an ebook to support teachers of enrichment classes in science themes. She is the vice-president of the Brazilian Council for Giftedness. Prior to becoming a doctoral student, Brenda worked with gifted and talented students in Brazil through enrichment clusters in a special school. She is a specialist in special education and has taught undergraduate and graduate-level classes in special education. She coordinated the Summer Program for Gifted students at Universidade Católica Dom Bosco (Brazil). Her research interests include summer programs for gifted students, twice-exceptional students, and underachievement in gifted youth. 

Yuxiao Zhang

Yuxiao Zhang, MsEd

Yuxiao Zhang is a PhD student in Educational Psychology & Research Methodology at Purdue University. He earned his B.Ed. in Pedagogy at Beijing Normal University in China and his M.Ed. in Educational Statistics and Measurement at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He then worked for two years as a full-time research assistant at HKU. Yuxiao’s research is situated in educational measurement, focusing on cognitive diagnostic modeling and item response theory. He is interested in developing, refining, and extending psychometric methods, as well as applying statistical methods (e.g., structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, latent class analysis) to education, psychology, and other social science research.