Rodney Andrews, PhD, Director of Research
Greg Branch, Director
Janie Jury, Administration
Zhixiang (Mark) Lu, Data Management
Katie Patterson, Communications
Graduate Research Assistants


Rodney Andrews

Rodney Andrews, PhD, Director of Research

Phone: (972) 883-2548 | [email protected] | CV

Rodney Andrews is the Director of Research for the Texas Schools Project and a scholar with the Kain Center. In these roles he collaborates with principal investigators, participates in the federally-funded National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), and performs independent research with data housed at the UT Dallas Education Research Center. He is also an associate professor of economics at the UT Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

Dr. Andrews’ areas of expertise include economics of education, labor economics, public finance, and applied microeconometrics.

Rodney received his doctoral degree in economics from the University of Michigan.


Greg Branch

Greg Branch, Director

Phone: (972) 883-2377 | [email protected]

Greg Branch is the director of the Texas Schools Project, where he has served in a variety of capacities since 2002 and has been involved with Texas’ Education Research Center program from its inception. In addition to overseeing the organization’s activities generally, his role includes the management and coordination of the UT Dallas Education Research Center.

Greg received a master of science degree in applied economics from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2003.


Janie Jury

Janie Jury, Administration

Phone: (972) 883-2555 | [email protected]

Janie Jury has been the administrative services officer for Texas Schools Project since 2001.

In this position she manages the office affairs of the organization including account management, documentation, and reconciliation.

Janie has been with UT Dallas for 15 years, previously working in a variety of departments including the Graduate Dean’s Office and the School of Human Development (renamed the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences in 2003).

A native of Pennsylvania where she worked in the music field, Janie moved to Dallas in 1994. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Seton Hill College.


Zhixiang (Mark) Lu

Zhixiang (Mark) Lu, Data Management

Phone: (972) 883-5478 | [email protected]

Mark Lu is the manager of data resources and research support operations at the Texas Schools Project. As such, he is responsible for downloading data and managing data organization, translation, and verification.

Mark joined the Texas Schools Project in 2006 as a research assistant while he was working on his master’s degree in geospatial information science at The University of Texas at Dallas, which he received in August 2008.

He also holds a master’s degree in computer science from Prairie View A&M University.


Katie Patterson

Katie Patterson, Communications

Phone: (972) 883-6424 | [email protected]

Katie Patterson serves as communications officer for the Texas Schools Project. In this capacity, Katie is responsible for the organization’s external communications including website, e-newsletter, news releases, and collateral pieces.

Prior to joining the Texas Schools Project, Katie spent 19 years in marketing for a national franchisor managing brand identity, e-mail strategy, collateral development, and more.

Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.

Graduate Research Assistants

  • Sebastian Montenegro
  • Jin Luo
  • John Thompson