Abigail Panter (photo by Steve Exum)
Abigail Panter (photo by Steve Exum)

Dr. Abigail Panter (B.A., Wellesley College, 1985; Ph.D., New York University, 1989) is the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and a professor of psychology in the L. L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is past president of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division on Quantitative and Qualitative Psychology. As a quantitative psychologist, she develops instruments, research designs and data-analytic strategies for applied research questions in higher education, personality and health. She serves as a program evaluator for UNC’s Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program, a multisite adaptation of the successful Meyerhoff Program. She is also principal investigator for The Finish Line Project, a $3 million First in the World grant from the U.S. Department of Education that systematically investigates new supports and academic initiatives, especially for first-generation college students. Her books include: The APA Dictionary of Terms in Statistics and Research Methods (2013), The APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology (2012), The Handbook of Ethics in Quantitative Methodology (2011), The Sage Handbook of Methods in Social Psychology (2004), as well as volumes on program evaluation for HIV/AIDS multisite projects.

At the undergraduate level she teaches statistics, research methods and a first-year seminar on communicating research results to others (“Talking about Numbers”). At the doctoral level she teaches courses in research design, classical and modern approaches to instrument/survey design, and test theory and multivariate methods. Panter received numerous awards for her teaching and mentoring, including the Tanner Award, the J. Carlyle Sitterson Award, a Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professorship and APA’s Jacob Cohen Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring. She is an APA fellow, a member of the Graduate Record Examination Advisory Board, a former member of a Social Security Administration advisory panel related to disability determination and a member of APA’s Committee on Psychological Testing and Assessment. She regularly provides services for federal agencies, national advisory panels and editorial boards.

Panter has been a member of the University faculty since 1989. As senior associate dean, she oversees all of the College’s programs in undergraduate education: Academic Advising, Undergraduate Research, Student Success and Academic Counseling (including Learning Center, the Writing Center, Peer Mentoring and Summer Bridge), Student Retention (including Transfer Coordinators, Carolina Firsts), Undergraduate Curricula (including First Year Seminars), the Office of Innovative Instruction, Robertson Scholars and Honors/the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence (including Distinguished Scholarships). Among her active work on campus, she has been involved in reviews of the undergraduate curriculum, student learning outcomes for the University system and programs to increase the high impact academic experiences for all undergraduate students.

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