Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests

Critical race theory in education


Before joining St. Mary’s, Rick Sperling, Ph.D., attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he was enrolled in a doctoral program and studied educational psychology. Sperling is a published author. His latest research is focused on exploring how HSIs selectively apply Latino-centric methods in living up to their federal designation. He believes statistics is one of the most important subjects he teaches because it allows students to overcome cognitive heuristics that impair their ability to reason about the social world around them. Sperling’s goal for each student is that they will emerge with an increased need for cognition and attributional complexity. When he is not teaching, Sperling enjoys playing Wiffle ball.


Sperling, R. & Vaughan, P. W. (2009). Measuring the relationships between attributions for “the gap” and educational policy attitudes: Introducing the ASO-B. Journal of Negro Education, 78, 146-158.

Sperling, R. (2007). Service-learning as a method of teaching multiculturalism to White college students. Journal of Latinos in Education, 6, 309-322.

DeFeo, D. J., Sperling, R., & Bernin, C. M. (2009). Structure-blaming and perceived obstacles among Latino community college students. Poster presented at the Teachers College Winter Roundtable. New York, NY



  • Advanced Statistics
  • Applied Program Evaluation
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Race, Class, and Gender in Community-based Research
  • Survey Development


  • Advanced Statistics
  • Applied Program Evaluation
  • Chicano Community Psychology
  • Development
  • Focus of the Social Sciences
  • Grant Writing
  • Introduction to R Software for Statistical Computing and Graphics
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Political Psychology
  • Psychology of the Minority Student
  • Race, Class, and Gender: Intersections and Conflicts
  • Social Cognitive and Critical Race Applications to Contemporary Education
  • St. Mary’s Core: Civic Engagement
  • St. Mary’s Core: Others Tests and Measurement
  • The Socio-Political Context of Educational Psychology
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