Dr. Maher's areas of expertise include cross-disciplinary graduate student development, in which she investigates the transformation from student to scholar, assessment in higher education, in which she emphasizes students' involvement in authentic assessment-in-action, and faculty development, with a specific focus on bullying in the American academic workforce.
She is the author or co-author of over 40 publications, book chapters, and case studies, as well as over 60 conference presentations at venues such as American Educational Research Association and American Society for Engineering Education. She recently completed a NSF-funded study undertaken to investigate the development of science, engineering, technology and mathematical (STEM) graduate student teaching and research skills.
Currently, she is funded by the Engineering Information Foundation to investigate the development of research skills among undergraduate and graduate engineering student populations.
Dr. Maher is active in the AERA Special Interest Group Doctoral Education Across the Disciplines and serves as the incoming Program Coordinator. Her research on STEM graduate student development, published in Science, was awarded the 2012 Best Publication by this Special Interest Group.
Recent and Forthcoming Conference Presentations Include:
Researcher Education: Writing groups for the 21st Century, to be presented at the February 2014 Writing Research Across Boarders conference, l’Université Paris-Ouest – Nanterre La Défense (with Cally Guerin, Claire Aitchison, and Doreen Starke-Meyerring).
Hardee, M., Benjamin, S., & Maher, M. (2014, February). A Cross-Disciplinary Consideration of Purpose, Placement, and Content of College Teaching Courses for Novice and Future College Instructors. Instruction session presentation to be given at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Virginia Tech University.
Maher, M. (2014, February). Practices to Support Students as Disciplinary Writers. Instruction session presentation to be given at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Virginia Tech University.
Platt, C. S., Davis, T., Ford, M. & Maher, M. (2013, November). The role of mentoring in minority professional identity development. Paper presented at the UNM Mentoring Institute, Albuquerque, NM.
Maher, M., Platt, C. S., & Davis, T. (2013, November). Developmental relationships underpinning collaborative writing. Paper presented at the UNM Mentoring Institute, Albuquerque, NM.
Maher, M., Newton, D., & McLain, T. (2013, October). Using holistic, authentic programmatic assessment as a student affairs pedagogical approach: Promises and potential pitfalls. Presentation given at the Emory University Student Affairs Assessment Conference.
Gassman, S., Maher, M., Timmerman, B., & Pierce, C. (2013, June). Pedagogical techniques to promote development of graduate engineering students as disciplinary writers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Engineering Educators, Atlanta, GA.
Maher, M., Feldon, D., Timmerman, B., & Chao, J. (2013, April). Learning to write for publication: Exposing common challenges encountered by novice doctoral writers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.
Recent and Forthcoming Publications Include:
Maher, M. A., Gilmore, J. A., Feldon, D. F., & Davis, T. E. (accepted). Cognitive apprenticeship and the supervision of science and engineering research assistants. Journal of Research Practice.
Maher, M. (forthcoming). Transparent transactions: When doctoral students and their supervisors write together. Book chapter to appear in C. Aitchison & C. Guerin (Eds.), Writing groups for doctoral education and beyond: Innovations in theory and practice. New York: Routledge.
Gilmore, J., Maher, M., Feldon, D., Timmerman, B. (accepted). Exploration of factors related to the development of STEM graduate teaching assistants’ teaching orientations. Studies in Higher Education.
Maher, M., Feldon, D., Timmerman, B., & Chao, J. (accepted). Faculty perceptions of common challenges encountered by novice doctoral writers. Higher Education Research and Development.
Keeling, S., Woodlee, K., & Maher, M. (2013). Assessment is not a spector sport: Experiencing authentic assessment. Assessment Update, 25(5), 5-6, 14..
Gassman, S., Maher, M., & Timmerman, B. (2013). Supporting students’ disciplinary writing in engineering education. International Journal of Engineering Education,29(5), 1270 - 1280.
Maher, M. (2013, September). In her own words: How to avoid joining a campus bullying culture. Women in Higher Education, 22(9), 20 - 21. Available at:
Maher, M.A., Fallucca, A.C. and Mulhern Halasz, H. (2013) ‘Write On! through to the PhD: Using writing groups to facilitate doctoral degree progress’, Studies in Continuing Education, 35(2), 193 - 208.
Timmerman, B., Feldon, D., Maher, M., Strickland, D., & Gilmore, J. (2013). Performance-based assessment of graduate student research skills: Timing, trajectory, and potential thresholds. Studies in Higher Education, 38(5), 693 – 710.
Maher, M., Timmerman, B., Feldon, D., Strickland, D. (2013). Factors affecting the occurrence of faculty-doctoral student coauthorship. Journal of Higher Education, 84(1), 121 - 143.
Maher, M. & Burson, T. (2012). Helen Michaels: The decision. Journal of the Southeast Case Research Association, 9(1), 94 – 100.
Dr. Maher's work can also be found in European Journal of Engineering Education, Innovative Higher Education, Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education, Research in Higher Education, and Science.