In OUE Research, we take a scientifically rigorous approach to investigating the diverse processes that impact student success and well-being. We also provide leadership for research, assessment, and evaluation efforts in furtherance of OUE’s mission to cultivate transformative educational experiences for all undergraduates. A key aspect of our work is to collaborate with partners across campus to leverage research evidence to inform campus decision-making 

OUE Research provides a complement to the existing robust institutional research and assessment infrastructure at Duke, which includes the Office of Institutional ResearchTrinity College Office of Assessment, the assessment team in Student Affairs, and the Registrar, among others. A distinctive feature of OUE Research is that we take a holistic view of undergraduate student success, focusing not only on learning and academic performance, but also the broader socioemotional and institutional context in which students are living, learning, and developing. Within this holistic approach, our research centers on three domains that are foundational to student success: (1) relationships and social connection, (2) academic motivation and engagement, and (3) emotional well-being and mental health. 

Our Team


Molly S. Weeks, PhD

Director, OUE Research

Molly S. Weeks is the Director of Research for the Office of Undergraduate Education, providing leadership for research, assessment, and evaluation efforts in furtherance of our mission to deliver transformational educational experiences for all undergraduates.  Prior to joining OUE, Molly was a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke, and project director for the four-campus Student Resilience and Well-Being Project funded by The Duke Endowment. She received her B.A. in psychology with a minor in sociology from North Carolina State University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Duke University. As a psychological scientist with a background in human development, Molly takes a scientifically rigorous approach to understanding the factors that contribute to emotional and academic adjustment during the college years and beyond. This approach, coupled with over a decade of experience working with diverse stakeholders at Duke, facilitates the leveraging of data science to improve the undergraduate experience, as well as contributing to generalizable knowledge in higher education and psychology. Outside of work, Molly enjoys cooking, eating, reading novels, and spending time with her family.


Sarah Eisensmith, PhD

Student Success Data and Assessment Manager

Sarah Eisensmith is the Data and Assessment Manager for the Division of Student Success. She develops and implements data collection and assessment initiatives to facilitate informed, evidenced-based decisions to support goals of the division. Sarah received her B.A. in sociology from Duke University, her M.Ed. from Lesley University, and her MSW and Ph.D. in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is interested in identifying and leveraging relational, programmatic, and systemic approaches that promote equitable learning. It is her hope that all students feel heard, valued, encouraged, and supported as they forge their path as learners and in the world. Sarah's evaluation work is informed by experiences as an educator, researcher, and clinical and forensic social worker in public school, community, and university settings. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys creating obsessively specific playlists, reading moody novels, spending time in nature, and cooking with and for family and friends.


Marina Wagemaker, PhD

Research Analyst, OUE Research

Marina Wagemaker is a Research Analyst in the Office of Undergraduate Education Research group. She conducts statistical analyses, provides data visualization, and implements data collection and data management efforts supporting research, assessment, and evaluation furthering our mission to deliver transformational educational experiences for all undergraduates. Dr. Wagemaker received her B.A. in psychology and a B.S in Elementary Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her M.A. in Elementary Education and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from North Carolina State University. She has experience teaching and leading professional development for PreK through higher education in North Carolina and abroad in Argentina, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, and South Korea. Dr. Wagemaker views partnership among researchers and other stakeholders as essential to assuring intellectually rigorous, culturally sustaining, and humanizing education for all students, and is dedicated to contributing to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through her experience, research, and service. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Insights from OUE Research

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