Pamela Bell, director of MCPER's Response to Intervention Institute; Theresa Clarke of the CEEDAR External Evaluation; and Carlos Treviño of MCPER's Productions Team will each receive a UT Staff Service Award in recognition of their many years of excellent work at The University of Texas at Austin. Bell will be recognized for 15 years of service, and Clarke and Treviño will be recognized for 10 years of service. The Staff Service Awards Program "celebrates and recognizes the contributions of committed staff who are responsible for transforming lives for the benefit of society," according to the UT website. Both the centers and the university thank Bell, Clarke, and Treviño for their valuable contributions to our success.
Tags: Response to Intervention Institute
MCPER Dropout Prevention Institute Fellow Andrea Flower, former Mathematics Institute researchers John McKenna and Colin Muething, and current Mathematics Institute Director Diane Bryant and Fellow Brian Bryant have published findings that suggest the Good Behavior Game can be used in high school classrooms to reduce classwide off-task behavior. “Effects of the Good Behavior Game on Classwide Off-Task Behavior in a High School Basic Algebra Resource Classroom” was published online ahead of an upcoming print version of the journal Behavior Modification. Flower, Bryant, and Bryant are faculty members in the UT Austin Department of Special Education, and McKenna is a recent graduate. Muething is a student in the UT Department of Educational Psychology.
Staff members from the George W. Bush Institute, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, and the Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI) eight-member Advisory Board met on February 25 in Austin, Texas, to review this year’s accomplishments and plan for the upcoming year. The meeting was productive, and MSMI looks forward to implementing the valuable feedback.
The following serve on the MSMI Advisory Board:
Tags: Middle School Matters Institute
MCPER congratulates and wishes the best of luck to Farah El Zein, Audrey Leroux, Kristie Metz, and Michael Solis as they begin new positions at universities across the country and a research center overseas.
El Zein, a graduate research assistant with MCPER's Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute, has accepted a senior research associate position at the Awsaj Center for Education Research and Development in Doha, Qatar. Leroux, a graduate research assistant with the MCPER Reading Institute, has accepted an assistant professor position at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Metz, a former graduate research assistant with the Reading Institute, is completing her internship and will begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Solis, also a researcher with the Reading Institute, has accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties has posted online and made available for download its intervention modules on critical algebra-readiness concepts and skills for educators to use when teaching students with mathematics difficulties. Visit the Mathematics Institute website to learn more about and download the Middle School Students in Texas: Algebra Ready (MSTAR) modules. MSTAR materials available online include lessons, vocabulary activities, and progress-monitoring measures.
Researchers Leanne Ketterlin Geller and Rebecca Kopriva will present "Issues in Designing Accessible Assessments for Students With Disabilities and English Language Learners" from 1 to 2 p.m. on February 21 in Room 324 of the Sanchez Building at UT Austin. To attend, send an e-mail with "Accessible Assessments" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geller, a fellow in MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, is an associate professor of education policy and leadership in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Kopriva is director and senior scientist at the Institute for Innovative Assessment in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jennifer Esterline has joined the MCPER team as the center’s first translational research coordinator.
Esterline is responsible for promoting the integration of MCPER research findings and evidence into education policy and practice. She will be the liaison between MCPER and other education stakeholders, such as policymakers, state agencies, private and corporate grantmakers, and education-related nonprofits and community organizations. She will also work directly with individual school districts across the state to establish closer ties of communication.
Esterline has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 15 years, first as a program manager and development director for both large and small nonprofit and higher education institutions and later as a program officer and executive director for the KDK-Harman Foundation in Austin for 6 years. Her primary work most recently has been as a consultant to nonprofits, focusing on encouraging private grantmakers across the state to promote, protect, and improve Texas public education through advocacy and public policy. She also has worked with national and statewide nonprofits in the areas of resource development, program evaluation, strategic grantmaking, board development, strategic planning, and advocacy.
Esterline received a B.A. in Latin American studies from The University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in public affairs with a concentration in nonprofit and philanthropic studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
In the past decade, Esterline has volunteered for a variety of nonprofits in the fields of education and health and human services. Currently, she serves on the board of Texas Partnership for Out of School Time. She lives in Austin with her husband and two sons, Gabriel and Leo. She hopes to carry on the family tradition by inspiring her two young boys with a passion for nonprofit work and a commitment to public service.
Russell Lang, a fellow in MCPER's Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute, has been selected to serve as co-editor of Developmental Neurorehabilitation, a peer-reviewed journal published by Informa Healthcare. Developmental Neurorehabilitation "aims to enhance recovery and rehabilitation in children with brain injury and neurological disorders," according to the journal's website. Lang is an assistant professor of special education at Texas State University – San Marcos and a board-certified behavior analyst.
Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute
Diane Pedrotty Bryant, director of MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, was an invited speaker at a regional conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in November in Louisville, Kentucky. Her presentation, "RTI: Tier II Intervention Lessons for Elementary Students," explored evidence-based instructional practices for elementary students who struggle to learn essential mathematics concepts. For more information, visit the conference website.
Educational Access Research Institute Director Stephanie Cawthon and Fellow Katie Dawson have been selected to deliver a master class at the 27th American Alliance for Theatre and Education national conference next summer in Denver, CO. The master class, "Nailing Jello to the Wall: Measuring the Impact of Your Arts Programming," will explore how to develop a research and evaluation plan for arts and arts-integrated programming. For more information, see the conference program.
The American Alliance for Theatre and Education "works to ensure that every young person experiences quality theatre arts...provided by proficient, talented artists and educators," according to the alliance website.