Rebecca Frausel


Dr. Frausel is an experienced applied researcher and program evaluator with strong knowledge of education systems and quantitative methods (e.g., descriptive, inferential, multilevel, causal). She has extensive experience preparing written reports, briefs, and presentations for diverse audiences, including government agencies, education agencies, nonprofits, community organizations, and academics.

A developmental psychologist by training, Dr. Frausel has deep subject-matter expertise in cognitive development, language development, and early childhood education. Her academic research draws on socio-cultural theories of development to examine how children’s early language and home environments impact their later outcomes in school and beyond. Other research areas include personal narrative/storytelling, empathy, socio-emotional learning, school climate, and peer mentoring.

Dr. Frausel worked at Penn State Behrend as an assistant research professor prior to coming to PPA, where she lectured and served as the associate director of research and evaluation at the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation (CORE). She has also worked as a consultant and freelance researcher for the nonprofit organization Narrative 4, for which she helped design a measurement framework that quantifies the impact and value of the nonprofit’s activities for desired outcomes.

Across her projects, Dr. Frausel emphasizes the applicability of research findings to real-world settings. In addition, she is deeply committed to promoting educational access and equity.


Dr. Frausel holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in comparative human development from the University of Chicago. As an undergraduate, she double-majored in English and psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Also notable

Dr. Frausel taught graduate-level statistics at the University of Chicago and Penn State Behrend. She is an active member of the Cognitive Development Society, and regularly organizes symposia for national conferences such as the Association for Psychological Science.

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