Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs


People


Photo of Diane Pedrotty Bryant

Diane Pedrotty Bryant

Dr. Diane Pedrotty Bryant is a professor of learning disabilities in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and director of the Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs at MCPER. Bryant holds the Mollie Villeret Davis Professorship in Learning Disabilities. She received her doctorate from the University of New Mexico in 1986. She has taught students with learning disabilities and has served as a special education teacher and an administrator in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, public schools. Currently, she is the principal investigator of an Institute of Education Sciences-funded Goal 2 grant (R324A120364) that focuses on the development and field testing of interventions for Tier 2 sixth- and seventh-grade students who have mathematics difficulties and receive instruction in math intervention classes (Project AIM). She served as the principal investigator for a multiyear Institute of Education Sciences-funded grant (Goal 2) that focused on the development and validation of early numeracy assessment and intervention materials in local schools and in a 2-year state-funded scale-up project for early numeracy progress-monitoring and intervention materials (English and Spanish). She also served as the principal investigator of the Middle School Teachers Algebra Readiness intervention grant, which involved lesson development and piloting in middle schools. She was the principal investigator for the 3-Tier Mathematics Project, including interventions and the Texas Early Mathematics Inventories, which were funded by the Texas Education Agency. Most recently, she has been involved in research studies focusing on early numeracy instruction with students with autism, word problem solving strategy intervention with students who have learning disabilities, middle school Tier 2 rational numbers interventions, and writing instruction for primary grades studies. She is the co-editor-in-chief of Learning Disability Quarterly, the author or co-author of textbooks and articles, and serves on the editorial boards of special education journals. For more information, read Bryant's full bio



Photo of Chris Doabler

Chris Doabler

Dr. Christian T. Doabler is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Doabler’s research focuses on designing and testing intensive early mathematics and science interventions for students with or at risk for learning disabilities in mathematics, reading, and science. He also investigates teachers’ use and uptake of evidence-based teaching practices. As a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI, he has been awarded more than $22.5 million in federal research funding. He currently serves as PI on two Discovery Research prekindergarten to grade 12 design and development projects funded by the National Science Foundation. The primary aims of these projects are to design and test innovative mathematics (Precision Mathematics: 2015–2019) and science (Scientific Explorers: 2017–2021) interventions for struggling learners in first and second grades. He also serves as PI on an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Goal 1 exploration grant (Project CIFOR: 2015–2018), investigating associations between malleable factors of instruction and student academic outcomes within an archival, multi-intervention observation data set collected during four IES-funded efficacy trials. He serves as a co-PI on two IES-funded Goal 3 efficacy trials (Fusion: 2016–2020 and NumberShire Level 1: 2016–2020) to test the impact of Tier 2 mathematics interventions on student mathematics outcomes. Additionally, he serves as a co-PI on a Stepping Up Technology Implementation grant funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (Project NS-ITS: 2016–2021). He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and led the design and development of four IES-sponsored Tier 2 mathematics interventions. He earned his Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon. To contact Doabler, visit the UT Austin College of Education website.


Photo of Barbara J. Dougherty

Barbara J. Dougherty

Dr. Barbara Dougherty is a professor and the Richard G. Miller Endowed Chair of Mathematics Education in the College of Education at the University of Missouri. Dougherty's research areas include using measurement to develop mathematical concepts for grades 1–5 and prekindergarten number concepts; exploring strategies to support struggling learners in mathematics, including tiers 2 and 3 in the response to intervention process; and developing assessments that support the progress-monitoring system for learners in algebra. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in curriculum and instruction – mathematics education, an M.A. from Northeast Missouri State University in mathematics, and a B.S.E. from Northeast Missouri State University in special education. She has authored several books and chapters on mathematics acquisition and instruction and has won several awards for her work, including the Outstanding Research Award, School of Education, 2009; Outstanding Grant Writer Award, School of Education, 2006; Outstanding Faculty Researcher, Phi Delta Kappa, Ole Miss Chapter, 2006; and Best Paper Award for "Unpacking the Content to Find the Pedagogy," co-authored with Kerry Holmes, College Teaching Methods and Styles Conference and Journal, fall of 2005. She was nominated for the 2006 Frist Faculty/Staff Service Award, spring of 2006.


Photo of Leanne Ketterlin Geller

Leanne Ketterlin Geller

Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller is an associate professor in education policy and leadership at Southern Methodist University. Geller's research focuses on the development and validation of formative assessment systems in mathematics that provide instructionally relevant information to support students with diverse needs. Her work centers on using technology to provide flexible assessment systems through the integration of accommodations and principles of universal design. She disseminates her research findings through publications and presentations in the areas of mathematics education, measurement and assessment, and special education. Her experience as a science teacher in public high schools and her training as a K–12 administrator inform her research. To contact Geller, visit the Southern Methodist University website.


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Sarah Gorsky

Sarah is pursuing her Ph.D in Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Dallas,TX, she is a graduate from Southern Methodist University and The University of Texas at Austin (M. Ed. in Special Education-Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders in 2014). Following graduation, Sarah taught special education at the elementary level, working at schools in Downtown Dallas for three years and then in East Austin for two years. Sarah has experience teaching students with a range of disabilities in both the inclusive and self-contained settings. Her research interests include mathematics interventions for culturally and linguistically diverse learners with disabilities, efficacy of interventions for students with disabilities in rural areas, and supporting special education and general education practitioners in implementing evidence-based practices in schools. 


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Eric Knuth

Dr. Eric Knuth is a professor of STEM Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and director of the STEM Center at The University of Texas at Austin. His research concerns the meaningful engagement of students in mathematical practices and their development of increasingly more sophisticated ways of engaging in those practices. His research focuses, in particular, on practices related to algebraic reasoning and to mathematical argumentation (justifying and proving). A primary goal of his work is to develop sufficiently detailed accounts of learning and instruction in classroom contexts to guide the development of instructional practices, curricular materials, and teacher education and professional development aimed at facilitating students' mathematical development. His work has been supported by numerous federally funded grants—most recently, a series of projects related to early algebra (Project LEAP). He is the former co-chair of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group in Mathematics Education and former member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Research Committee.


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Jihyun Lee

Jihyun Lee is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in special education with a concentration in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders at The University of Texas at Austin. Lee earned her B.A. in elementary special education and rehabilitation psychology from Deagu University in South Korea. She worked as a special education teacher in South Korea for 6.5 years, teaching students with disabilities in public elementary schools and a special education school. While working as a special education teacher, she earned her M.Ed. in education administration from Korea National University of Education. After moving to the United States, she earned her M.S. in special education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently interested in research on teaching mathematics to students with learning disabilities. She is a graduate research assistant working on project AIM2 at MCPER, visiting middle schools in Austin and San Antonio to provide professional development and mathematics intervention materials and to measure the fidelity of the intervention.


Photo of Maryam Nozari

Maryam Nozari

Dr. Maryam Nozari is a Research Associate in the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. Nozari's research focuses on cognitive assessment and developing interventions for students with mathematics difficulties from diverse backgrounds. Her research in early mathematics focuses on developing and testing interventions that address both the mathematical and cognitive difficulties of young children at-risk for mathematics difficulties.  She successfully defended her dissertation on the integration of learning principles and early explicit strategic intervention for students at-risk for mathematics difficulties. Currently, she is the Project Manager of  "Algebra-readiness Intervention Modules for sixth- and seventh-grade students who have mathematics difficulties (Project AIM)" which is a randomized control trial study and funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. She disseminates her research findings through publications and presentations at several educational conferences. Nozari is currently a member of the Leadership Academy in the Council for Learning Disabilities. She is also the president of the Texas chapter of Council for Learning Disabilities. She is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in education through her teaching, research and service activities."


Photo of Sarah Powell

Sarah Powell

Dr. Sarah R. Powell is the principal investigator of the Developing Connections Between Word Problems and Mathematical Equations to Promote Word-Problem Performance Among Students With Mathematics Difficulty Institute of Education Sciences Goal 3 efficacy study. Powell is also a recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Greater Texas Foundation Faculty Fellowship. For more information, read Powell's full bio.



Photo of Chris Doabler

Chris Doabler

Dr. Christian T. Doabler is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Doabler’s research focuses on designing and testing intensive early mathematics and science interventions for students with or at risk for learning disabilities in mathematics, reading, and science. He also investigates teachers’ use and uptake of evidence-based teaching practices. As a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI, he has been awarded more than $22.5 million in federal research funding. He currently serves as PI on two Discovery Research prekindergarten to grade 12 design and development projects funded by the National Science Foundation. The primary aims of these projects are to design and test innovative mathematics (Precision Mathematics: 2015–2019) and science (Scientific Explorers: 2017–2021) interventions for struggling learners in first and second grades. He also serves as PI on an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Goal 1 exploration grant (Project CIFOR: 2015–2018), investigating associations between malleable factors of instruction and student academic outcomes within an archival, multi-intervention observation data set collected during four IES-funded efficacy trials. He serves as a co-PI on two IES-funded Goal 3 efficacy trials (Fusion: 2016–2020 and NumberShire Level 1: 2016–2020) to test the impact of Tier 2 mathematics interventions on student mathematics outcomes. Additionally, he serves as a co-PI on a Stepping Up Technology Implementation grant funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (Project NS-ITS: 2016–2021). He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and led the design and development of four IES-sponsored Tier 2 mathematics interventions. He earned his Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon. To contact Doabler, visit the UT Austin College of Education website.


Photo of Sarah Powell

Sarah Powell

Dr. Sarah R. Powell is the principal investigator of the Developing Connections Between Word Problems and Mathematical Equations to Promote Word-Problem Performance Among Students With Mathematics Difficulty Institute of Education Sciences Goal 3 efficacy study. Powell is also a recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Greater Texas Foundation Faculty Fellowship. For more information, read Powell's full bio.




Photo of Jenna Alyea

Jenna Alyea

Jenna is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Counselor Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to entering the program, Jenna worked as a special education teacher working with students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities. Jenna has also always enjoyed teaching math and working with students with Learning Disabilities in mathematics. Presently, Jenna's research interests involve the intersectionality of special education and mental health assessment and interventions for elementary-aged students in school settings. 


Photo of Kate Berry

Kate Berry

Dr. Katherine Berry recently received her doctorate in special education from The George Washington University with a focus on elementary-aged students with learning disabilities. Berry also holds a master of arts in teaching in special education from Trinity Washington University and a bachelor of arts in art history from the University of Virginia. She has served as a special education teacher and instructional coach for K–8 students with a range of disabilities in high-needs schools in the Washington, D.C., area. She also has worked on federally funded education grant projects, trained teachers and school leaders on strategies for supporting students with learning disabilities, and presented at numerous national conferences.


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Suzanne Forsyth

Suzanne recently received her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on interventions for students who struggle with mathematics. She has served in public schools in special education roles across the continuum: inclusion, resource, and life skills classrooms as well as at a special school for students with severe/profound disabilities. She has also worked on federally funded research projects in special education, presented for school districts and at national conferences, and provides consulting services on various projects.


Photo of Sarah Gorsky

Sarah Gorsky

Sarah is pursuing her Ph.D in Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Dallas,TX, she is a graduate from Southern Methodist University and The University of Texas at Austin (M. Ed. in Special Education-Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders in 2014). Following graduation, Sarah taught special education at the elementary level, working at schools in Downtown Dallas for three years and then in East Austin for two years. Sarah has experience teaching students with a range of disabilities in both the inclusive and self-contained settings. Her research interests include mathematics interventions for culturally and linguistically diverse learners with disabilities, efficacy of interventions for students with disabilities in rural areas, and supporting special education and general education practitioners in implementing evidence-based practices in schools. 


Photo of Rene Grimes

Rene Grimes


Photo of Meijia Liu

Meijia Liu

Meijia Liu is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in special education at The University of Texas at Austin. Previously, Liu earned an M.Ed in special education with a focus on early childhood at The University of Texas at Austin. She has worked in special education class rooms in Austin at the pre-K and elementary levels. She is particularly interested in research on mathematics interventions for students with and at risk for learning disabilities.


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Maria Longhi

Maria Longhi is project director for the Scientific Explorers (Sci2) grant. Longhi has served as associate director of the Texas Literacy Initiative and program director of the Literacy Achievement and Reading to Learn Academies. She has provided high quality professional development and technical assistance at the state, district, and campus levels in the areas of leadership, assessment, evidence-based literacy practices, and response to intervention. With more than 20 years of experience in the field, she has worked closely with directors, administrators, literacy coaches, and teachers to build capacity and implement sustainable literacy practices. She holds an M.Ed. in elementary reading and a B.B.A. in mangement.  Prior to her work at MCPER and VGC, she served for 15 years as a bilingual teacher and district literacy coach. Her interests include implementation science, teacher effectiveness, and second-language aquisition.


Photo of Steven Maddox

Steven Maddox

Steven Maddox is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Special Education (with a concentration in Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders) at The University of Texas at Austin. Steven also earned his M.Ed. in Special Education (with a concentration in Mild/Moderate Disabilities and Diversity) from UT-Austin. He has worked in both elementary Resource and Life Skills classrooms. His current research interests include improving upper elementary and middle school students' mathematics problem-solving skills, and addressing the research to practice gap.


Photo of Jiyeon Park

Jiyeon Park

Jiyeon Park is currently in the Ph.D. program of Special Education at UT Austin. Her major research interests are related to students with learning disabilities and effective mathematics interventions. Also, she is interested in assistive technology using mobile devices to increase the accessibility and academic performance for students with disabilities, as well as instructional technology.
 


Photo of Le Tran

Le Tran

Le recently received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on Equity and Diversity. Her current research focuses effective math word problem solving skills and IEP development for emerging bilinguals with disabilties. Before joining The Meadows Center, she served as a field supervisor to interns/student teachers in the field, provided professional development, and taught in a variety of special education classrooms. 


Photo of Brenda Zaparolli

Brenda Zaparolli

Brenda is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in special education at The University of Texas at Austin, Brenda also completed her Master's degree in Special Education here at UT Austin. Her experience includes working in special education at the elementary level. She has also worked on federally funded research projects in special education and provides consulting services on various projects. Her research interest includes mathematics interventions for (1) students with and at risk for learning disabilities, (2) cultural and linguistically diverse populations experiencing learning disabilities.