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Usher_UKEllen L. Usher, Lab Director, was Chellgren Endowed Professor at the University of Kentucky from 2019-2022, and held joint appointments in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology and in Developmental, Social, and Health Psychology at the University of Kentucky since 2007. She completed her PhD in Educational Studies at Emory University in 2007. She holds a Master’s in middle grades education (Oglethorpe University) and a Bachelor’s in foreign language education (University of Georgia). She spent six years as an elementary and middle school teacher.

Dr. Usher’s research focuses on the sources and effects of personal efficacy beliefs. Rooted in social cognitive theory, her work examines the role that contextual and environmental factors play in the development of personal agency. She served as Associate Editor for the British Journal of Educational Psychology and is an editorial board member of the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Psychologist, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Contemporary Educational Psychology. At UK, Dr. Usher taught courses in educational psychology, learning theories, and motivation. She also directed a research course for undergraduate students interested in research in educational psychology.

In 2022, Dr. Usher joined the Office of Applied Scholarship and Education Science at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota, where she will continue her research in the new context of medical and health professions education. Email: usher.ellen [at]

Jaeyun Han will be leading the lab during Fall 2022. You can reach her at jaeyun.han[at]