Meet Our Team

Office of Research Development

Dr. Alexis Petri, EdD, is an educational leader passionate about social justice, inclusion, access, and public policy. Alexis has extensive experience with transitioning to college and careers for non-traditional students and taking leadership roles in building and directing university-wide high-impact learning programs and the campus-community partnerships that are their foundation. Alexis directs the Office of Research Development and is the pillar lead of Research and Creativity at the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE).

Alexis is an experienced researcher who has participated in over thirty funded projects from federal, state, and local sponsors. Dr. Petri is also an associate research professor in the School of Education, Social Work, and Psychological Sciences. Dr. Petri's research focuses on access to postsecondary education, urban education, civic engagement, service-learning, storytelling, and broadening participation in STEM. 


Office of Research Development - Research Team

Nichole Stahly is a Strategic Communications Specialist whose primary focus is on supporting the backbone of NSF's Eddie Bernice Johnson INCLUDES Initiative: TAPDINTO-STEM Alliance. Prior to this role, Nichole served one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member as a content creator for Clio, a public history tool. She comes to communications work from the corporate world and blends her creativity, writing skills, and ability to create clarity surrounding large group processes. Nichole is an alumna from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, earning her bachelor's in Communication Studies and Interpersonal and Public Communication.

Dr. Jeff Traiger is a Senior Research Associate for the newly created UMKC Office of Research Development responsible for organizing the UMKC’s campus and Midwest Hub activities for the NSF TAPDINTO-STEM Alliance. Jeff’s career at UMKC includes serving a decade in the career services office and for the Missouri State Career Options Project and later as Assistant Dean of Students before becoming an Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management responsible for student conduct, counseling, health, testing, career services, and disability services and later serving as the campus chief student affairs personnel officer.  Jeff has created and taught various for-credit classes and workshops and conducted research on bullying behavior in higher education, employee engagement, and career development. He held a national board mental health counselor certification and a current Kansas teaching license in secondary social studies.

Skye VanLanduyt is a Research Associate with the Office of Research Development. Her focus is supporting, advocating, and educating students in the TAPDINTO-STEM Program, building relationships with faculty, and supporting and contributing to disability research. Skye is also an assistant project researcher the Center for Excellence in Spatial Computing. Skye has a strong passion and background in social justice, with experience in women’s equity research, Human Interest politics, and domestic violence prevention. Skye received a B.A in English and Creative writing from Baker University in 2019 before starting as a blog editor for the UMKC Women’s Center. She fell in love with the UMKC community and has been a Roo ever since. Skye is currently a graduate student at UMKC working toward a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration.

NSF's Eddie Bernice Johnson INCLUDES Initiative: TAPDINTO-STEM Alliance Research Team

Persons with disabilities are one of the most significantly underrepresented groups in STEM education and employment, comprising a disproportionately smaller percentage of STEM degrees and jobs compared to their percentages in the U.S. population. The NSF INCLUDES Alliance: The Alliance of Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM (TAPDINTO-STEM), will employ a collective impact approach with dozens of partnering organizations to increase the number of students with disabilities (SWDs) who complete associate, baccalaureate and graduate STEM degrees and enter the STEM workforce.

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