Larisa A. White, M.S.Ed., Ph.D.
(née Larisa Naples)
Educator, author, and independent scholar with 25+ years combined experience in curriculum design, teaching, mixed-methods sociological research, and educational evaluation. My work has focused on the neurobiology of learning, and on the ways in which people learn, grow, and change under the influence of changing educational contexts and cultures.
I also do a fair bit of creative work, on the side.
Ph.D. in Engineering & Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University (1996)
M.S. in Education
SUNY College at Brockport (1993)
B.S. in Materials Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1988)
Founder and Headmistress
Quercus Academy (2016-present)
Stay-at-Home Mom (2011-2016)
Playwright & Radio Drama Producer
Belmont, CA (2008-2011)
Educational Evaluation Consultant
d.b.a. Larisa M Naples, Ph.D.; and
d.b.a. LMN Evaluations
Pittsburgh, PA & Belmont, CA (1996-2007)
Learning Research & Development Center (LRDC),
Pittsburgh, PA (1996–1997)
Teaching Assistant & Instructor
Carnegie Mellon University,
Pittsburgh, PA (1993–1996)
Adjunct Professor of Physics
Rochester Institute of Technology,
Rochester, NY (1992–1993)
Secondary Science & Technology Teacher
Dundee Public School,
Dundee, NY (1991–1992)
Past Clients for Educational Evaluation Work
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
Kentucky Center for the Arts
National Conference of Governors’ Schools (NCoGS)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences (PGSS)
Pennsylvania State University (PSU)
San Francisco State University (SFSU)
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE)
University of Pittsburgh
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSMT)
Past Projects in Educational Evaluation
Interdisciplinary Math & Science Initiative - Program Evaluation:
Assessed the effectiveness of a new instructional model and curriculum for improving student interest levels and educational outcomes in technical disciplines. Evaluated the processes by which the new instructional model and curriculum were designed, implemented, and supported. (Chabot College, 8/02–1/07)
Mechanics Courseware Evaluation
Evaluated user-interface quality, pedagogical soundness, and educational outcomes for a suite of mechanics-of-materials software modules. Worked with software developer to integrate educational assessment and diagnostic sub-routines. (CMU, 9/99–8/02)
Critique of Evaluation Plan for ABET Accreditation
Critiqued evaluation design and outcomes-assessment methods used by the College of Engineering, to prepare for accreditation under ABET Criteria 2000. (SFSU, 1/02)
Analysis of STAR Program Test Results
Performed statistical analyses of STAR Program test results and other public school data for Immediate Intervention/Under-performing Schools Program schools in Santa Clara County. (SCCOE, 10/01–1/02)
Faculty Workshop on Preparing for ABET Accreditation Review
Designed and taught half-day workshop on how to define and prioritize measurable educational objectives, as required under ABET Accreditation Criteria 2000. (Santa Clara University, 12/01)
‘Engineering Education Scholars Workshop’ - Program Evaluation:
Evaluated the curriculum, pedagogy, educational outcomes and long-term impacts of a workshop program designed to teach pedagogy fundamentals & mentoring skills to new engineering faculty. (CMU, 5/96–4/01)
‘Kentucky Institutes for Arts in Education’ Program Evaluation
Evaluated the short-term educational outcomes and long-term impacts on faculty attitudes and classroom teaching methods of a series of summer arts institutes for public school teachers of all subject areas. (Kentucky Center for the Arts, 5/00–2/01)
‘Design Complexes’ Project Evaluation
Evaluated educational impacts of having students use an Internet-based meeting “space” and information repository for team-based design projects in undergraduate engineering courses. (CMU, 8/98–5/01)
‘Recognition Award for the Integration of Research and Education’ Project
Documented the educational inputs and processes, and evaluated the educational outcomes for three courses and an undergraduate research initiative which won an NSF “Recognition Award for the Integration of Research and Education.” (CMU, 8/97–11/00)
‘Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems’ (ICIS) Center Site Visit
Served on NSF’s annual site-visit team for the New York City based ICIS Center. Evaluated the Center’s effectiveness in meeting stated goals and objectives. Recommended improvements to their educational and assessment activities. (NSF, 7/00)
‘Computer Science in the Community’ Project Evaluation
Helped faculty to self-evaluate educational outcomes and community impacts of training undergraduate student-consultants for small, community businesses. Helped faculty develop assessment rubrics and surveys, and properly interpret data. (CMU, 9/99–5/00)
National Governors’ Schools Program Evaluation Planning
Designed and taught a 2-day intensive workshop to help Governor School Directors from 35 states plan a coordinated, nation-wide evaluation of Governors’ Schools Programs. Helped identify and prioritize shared evaluation goals, to plan rigorous data-gathering strategies, to prepare work-plans, and develop instruments. (NCoGS, 9/99–10/99)
‘Tackling the Engineering Resources Shortage’ Conference Evaluation
Evaluated conference effectiveness in changing participants' attitudes and activities regarding the retention of women in engineering programs. (PSU, 6/98–3/99)
‘Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences’ (PGSS) Program Evaluation
Evaluated the impacts of the PGSS program on participants’ self-concept, social interactions, and level of preparation for college and careers. (PGSS, 6/98–12/98)
Faculty Workshop on Curriculum-Embedded Assessment
Designed and taught a 1-day intensive workshop on evaluation and assessment methods, to assist engineering faculty in planning assessment strategies which would integrate with existing curricula. (SDSMT, 10/97–11/97)
‘Common Knowledge: Pittsburgh’ (CK:P) - Project Evaluation:
Managed the CK:P project evaluation, studying the educational, social and political issues surrounding the integration of Internet-based activities into K-12 education. (University of Pittsburgh, 8/96–8/97)
K-16 Curriculum Design & Teaching Projects
‘Carnegie Mellon Action Plan’ (CMAP) Summer Program:
Designed and taught a five-week, transition program for engineering freshmen from ethnic minorities. Integrated discovery learning, cooperative learning, and journaling strategies to foster the development of problem solving skills, team work skills, and a process of self-reflection about the learning process. (CMU, Summer ‘95)
‘Careers in Applied Science and Technology’ (CAST) Summer Program:
Designed and taught workshops for an NSF summer program for high school teachers and gifted high school students in science, technology and society. Organized debates, case studies and role-playing scenarios.
(CMU, Summers ’94, ’95)
University Freshman Physics - Curriculum Design:
Introduced discovery learning and portfolio-based assessment activities into university physics lab curricula, resulting in significantly increased quality of student work. (Rochester Institute of Technology, ‘92–’93 school year)
Seventh & Eighth Grade General Science
Used mastery learning strategies and discovery learning activities in secondary science classes, increasing the interest and achievement levels of non-Regents tracked students. (Dundee Central School District, ‘91–’92 school year)
“Engineering Education in the United States.” Society for Women Engineers Western Pennsylvania Division, Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, 11/96.
“EC-2000 - A Paradigm Shift to Outcome Based Engineering Education – What does it mean?” International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Expo., Dallas, TX, 11/97.
Academic Papers & Publications
P.S. Steif and L.M. Naples. (2003). “Design and Evaluation of Problem Solving Course Modules for Mechanics of Materials,” Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 92, No.3.
Murphy, Kelly; Naples, Larisa; Schofield, Janet; Davidson, Ann; and Stocks, Janet. (1997) “Internet and Inter-Group Relations: A Quick-Fix Myth” Presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, APA Convention, Chicago, IL, 8/97.
Murphy, Kelly; Naples, Larisa; Schofield, Janet; Davidson, Ann; and Stocks, Janet. (1997) “Difference Blindness/Blindness Difference: Student Explorations of ‘Disability’ over the Internet.” Presented at the AERA Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 3/97.
Naples, Larisa M. (1996) Outcomes-Based Evaluation for Educational Programs In Engineering: A Focus on the Construction Industry’s Needs. (Doctoral Dissertation) Pennsylvania: Carnegie Mellon University.
Naples, Larisa M. (1997). “Carnegie Mellon's 'Engineering Education Scholars Workshop’ Program: Merits, Flaws and Short-term Impacts”. Proceedings of the 1997 Frontiers In Education Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, 11/97.
Naples, Larisa M. (1997). "First Year Evaluation of Carnegie Mellon University's NSF Engineering Education Scholars Workshop Program." Proceedings of the 1997 International Conference on Engineering Education. Chicago, IL, 8/97.
Naples, Larisa M. (1995). “Evaluating Engineering Education: A Stakeholder-Driven, Outcomes-Based Approach.” Proceedings of the 1995 ASEE Conference on Engineering Education. Washington, DC: ASEE.
Naples, Larisa M. (1993). A Study of the Parallels Between Expatriate Culture Shock and the Reactions of Students Entering the Scientific Community (Masters Thesis). New York: SUNY College at Brockport.