Mary Alice Varga, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Alice Varga is an Associate Professor of Educational Research in the Department of Leadership, Research, and School Improvement in the College of Education. She is also the Director of the School Improvement Doctoral Program. Dr. Varga teaches graduate-level courses on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methodology; program evaluation; and school and classroom assessment. She also serves on doctoral dissertation committees throughout the College of Education. Her primary research focuses on student grief and bereavement. She also examines online learning environments and computer-mediated communication. Dr. Varga is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs. She is also an Associate Editor for the College Student Affairs Journal and serves on the Editorial Board for Illness, Crisis, and Loss.

  • B.S., Biology, Shenandoah University, 2005
  • M.Ed., College Student Personnel, Western Carolina University, 2008
  • Graduate Certificate, Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2012
  • Graduate Certificate, Qualitative Research Methods in Education, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2012
  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology and Research, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2013

Spring 2021 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • CEPD-8156 (Designing Effective Programs) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E23

Fall 2020 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E02
  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E26

Summer 2020 Sections

  • EDSI-9171 (Program Evaluation) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9901 (Doctoral Seminar) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E23

Spring 2020 Sections

  • CEPD-8156 (Designing Effective Programs) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E23

Fall 2019 Sections

  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E25

Summer 2019 Sections

  • EDSI-9960 (Research Design) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9964 (Advanced Research Seminar) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E25

Spring 2019 Sections

  • MEDT-8480 (Program Evaluation) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E16

Fall 2018 Sections

  • MEDT-8480 (Program Evaluation) Section: E01
  • MEDT-8480 (Program Evaluation) Section: E02
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E18

Summer 2018 Sections

  • EDSI-9960 (Research Design) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9964 (Advanced Research Seminar) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E18

Spring 2018 Sections

  • CEPD-8194 (Resch: Mixed Methods Analysis) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9903 (Dissertation Mentoring Sec 3) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9962 (Qualitative Research Methods) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E19

Fall 2017 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • CEPD-8184 (Research Quantitative Analysis) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E19

Summer 2017 Sections

  • EDSI-9960 (Research Design) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9964 (Advanced Research Seminar) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E19

Spring 2017 Sections

  • CEPD-8194 (Resch: Mixed Methods Analysis) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E21

Fall 2016 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • CEPD-8184 (Research Quantitative Analysis) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E19

Summer 2016 Sections

  • EDSI-9960 (Research Design) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9964 (Advanced Research Seminar) Section: E03
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E19

Spring 2016 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • CEPD-8194 (Resch: Mixed Methods Analysis) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E20

Fall 2015 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • CEPD-7185 (Research: Quant. Analysis) Section: E03
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E26

Summer 2015 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9960 (Research Design) Section: E01
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E26

Spring 2015 Sections

  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E01
  • EDRS-6342 (School and Classroom Assess) Section: E02
  • EDSI-9998 (Research for Doc Dissertation) Section: E25

Varga, M. A., Bordere, T. C., & Varga, M. D. (Accepted for publication). The holistic grief effects of bereaved Black female college students. OMEGA Journal of Death and Dying.

Varga, M. A. (2020). The impact of loss characteristics on grief effects in bereaved college students. In S. Lee (Ed.), Exploring the opportunities and challenges of college students (pp. 321-337) Nova Science Publishers.

Varga, M. A., Lanier, B. A., Biber, D., & Stewart, B. (Accepted for publication). Holistic grief effects, mental health, and counseling support in bereaved college students. College Student Affairs Journal.

Dilling, J. L., Varga, M. A., & Mandernach, B. J. (2020). Comparing teaching presence and social presence in traditional and online learning environments. Community College Journal of Research and Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/10668926.2020.1752852 [View Publication External Resource]

Varga, M. A., Varga, M. D., Balentyne, P., & Lanier, B. A. (2020). Holistically understanding and supporting bereaved emerging adults. Mortality. doi: 10.1080/13576275.2020.1732315 [View Publication External Resource]

Kimbrel, L., & Varga, M. A. (2020). Predicting Ed.D. applicant potential using structured behavioral interviews during the application process. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice. https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2020.109 [View Publication External Resource]

Robbins, S.H., Bucholz, J., Varga, M.A., & Green, K. (2019). Promoting inclusion in preschool with program-wide positive behavior supports. International Journal of Inclusive Education. doi: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1666169 [View Publication External Resource]

Varga, M. A. (2019). Reflections on grief research interview participation. Death Studies. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2019.1648334 [View Publication External Resource]

Green, K. B., Robbins, S. H., Varga, M. A., Head, C. N., Davis, E., & Houze, W. (2019). Individualized professional development using the Pyramid Model with Head Start teachers. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education. doi: 10.1080. [View Publication External Resource]

Varga M.A. & Varga, M.D. (2019). Grieving college students use of social media. Illness, Crisis, & Loss. doi: 10.1177/1054137319827426 [View Publication External Resource]

Balk, D. E. & Varga, M. A. (2018). Attachment bonds and social media in the lives of bereaved college students. In D. Klass & E. Steffen (Eds.), Continuing Bonds (2nd ed.) New York, NY: Routledge.

Varga, M. A. (2017). Grief interactions among emerging adults on college campuses. In A. Copone & V. Parvaresh (Eds.), The pragmeme of accommodation in connection with interaction around the event of death ˆ(pp. 83-94). Springer Publications. [View Publication External Resource]

Pollard, B. L., Varga, M. A., Wheat, L. S., Balentyne, P., & McClam, T. (2017). A quantitative study of graduate counseling student grief experiences. Illness, Crisis, and Loss. Available online at http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/TaybSGsenVHVek4QAfxc/fu

Balentyne, P. & Varga, M. A. (2017). Attitudes and achievement in a self-paced blended learning mathematics course. Journal of Online Learning Research, ) 3(1), 55-72. [View Publication External Resource]

Whisenhunt, J. L. & Varga, M. A. (2017). Methodological issues. In C. J. Sheperis, J. S. Young, & M. H. Daniels (Eds.), Counseling Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods (2nd Ed., pp. 58-75). Boston, Ma: Pearson.

Balentyne, P. & Varga, M. A. (2016). The effects of self-paced blended learning of mathematics. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 35(3), 201-223.

Varga, M. A. (2015). A quantitative study of graduate student grief experiences. Illness, Crisis, & Loss. doi: 10.1177/1054137315589700 [View Publication External Resource]

Varga, M. D. & Varga, M. A. (2015). Prescription stimulant use by graduate students. Journal of College Student Affairs, 33(1), 124-145. [View Publication External Resource]

Paulus, T. M. & Varga, M. A. (2015). Please know that you are not alone with your pain: Responses to newcomer posts in an online grief support forum. Death Studies, 39(10), 633-640. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2015.1047060 [View Publication External Resource]

Varga, M. A. (2015). Death and dying, Psychology of. In: James D. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 5. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 860-864. [View Publication External Resource]

Varga, M. A., McClam, T. M., & Hassane, S. H. (2015). Grief experiences among female American and Arab college students. OMEGA Journal of Death and Dying. doi: 10.1177/0030222815574834 [View Publication External Resource]

McClam, T. & Varga, M.A. (2014). Grieving students in helping professions. Journal of Human Services, 34(1), 94-99. [View Publication External Resource]

Davis, C. A. & Varga, M. A. (2014). Performing professor. Polymath: Special Issue, On Being a Professor, 1(14). [View Publication External Resource]

Varga, M. A. & Paulus, T. P. (2014). Grieving online: Newcomers' constructions of grief in an online support group. Death Studies, 38(7), 443-449.. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2013.780112 [View Publication External Resource]

Varga, M. A. & Paletti, R. (2013). Life span issues and dying. In D. K. Meagher & D. E. Balk (Eds.), Handbook of Thanatology: The essential body of knowledge for the study of death, dying, and bereavement (2nd Ed, pp. 25-31). New York, NY: Routledge. [View Publication External Resource]

Paulus, T., Phipps, G., Harrison, J., & Varga, M. A. (2012). Re-envisioning instructional technology research in higher education environments: A content analysis of a grant program. Journal of Computing in Higher Education 24(3), 164-181. doi: 10.1007/s1 [View Publication External Resource]

Woodside, M., McClam, T., Diambra, J., & Varga, M. A. (2012). The meaning of time for human service professionals. Human Service Education, 32(1), 4-20. [View Publication (PDF)]

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