Researchers at the MCPER Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute have published a major review of interventions to teach play skills to children with autism. More information about the paper and the ways in which institute faculty members are working in the autism spectrum disorders community can be found on the institute’s webpage.
Project GOAL (Dropout Prevention) Field Trips
November 9, 2009
MCPER’s Preventing School Dropout With Secondary Students project is exposing students at risk of dropping out to several potential career paths via a series of field trips throughout the school year. Students will be visiting six Austin venues from November 2009 through the end of the school year in 2010. Venues and dates are listed on the project’s page.
MCPER’s Dr. Anna-Mari Fall has won this year’s Council for Exceptional Children Teacher Education Division (TED) Dissertation Award for Doctoral Level Research for her dissertation Disparities in Teacher Quality Among Early Career Special Educators in High- and Low-Poverty Districts. Fall will receive the award at this year’s TED Kaleidoscope, where she will be a featured speaker.
The purpose of the award is “to recognize doctoral students who have focused their research on the preparation of pre-service and in-service educators serving students with disabilities or who have conducted related research having clear implications for the preparation of educators serving students with disabilities,” according to the TED Web site.
Dr. Kevin Stark’s treatment program for depressed children has been adopted by the health ministries of Belgium and the Netherlands as the only state-approved treatment for children in their countries. It seems likely that other Western European countries will follow suit. MCPER extends its heartiest congratulations to him and looks forward to the continued advancement of his work with children suffering from depression.
Psychologists from Rome visit MCPER Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute
September 10, 2009
Camilla Ferrara and Giorgia Carradori, graduates of La Sapienza University currently specializing in psychotherapy at the Walden Institute in Rome, Italy, will be joining researchers in our Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute for 2 months this fall. At their home institute, Ferrara and Carradori are involved in research on cognitive behavioral psychotherapy and are particularly interested in MCPER’s work on applied behavior analysis (ABA) and autism. We at MCPER appreciate this opportunity for international collaboration and welcome these two researchers to the heart of Texas. We hope they find their stay with us both informative and enjoyable.
Sharon Vaughn, executive director of MCPER, was selected as the Special Education Department Dean’s Fellow for the 2009–2010 academic year. She will serve as the Fellow during the spring 2010 semester. MCPER extends its heartiest congratulations to her!
MCPER graduate research assistant Jin Ok earns doctorate
August 9, 2009
Jin Ok successfully defended his dissertation on August 4, 2009. Ok is a graduate of the Special Education Department of UT’s College of Education. He has been at MCPER for 6 years, working on the Higher Education Collaborative project, which is part of the Texas Reading First Initiative. Please join us in wishing him well as he heads to a new job in Korea and his next adventure.
Colleen Reutebuch, Michael Solis, and Leticia Martinez attended the Word Generation professional development at Harvard University in June. A modified version of Word Generation will be part of the CREATE research study to take place in the Austin Independent School District.
Our 2008 Meadows fellow, Dr. Angie Hairrell, was recently selected to attend the 2009 IES Summer Research Training Institute: Cluster Randomized Trials from June 21 to July 3 on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. The purpose of the institute is to increase the national capacity of researchers to develop and conduct rigorous evaluations of the effectiveness of education interventions. Invitations were based on a selective application process. The institute is hosted by the National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.
The 2009 College of Education National Rankings, recently released by U.S. News and World Report, lists UT Austin’s College of Education as third in the nation among public colleges and schools of education and seventh in the nation overall, tied with Johns Hopkins, Northwestern University, University of California-Berkley and University of Wisconsin-Madison. MCPER and its partner centers, the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts and the Texas Child Study Center, are acknowledged as “nationally and internationally acclaimed programs and research that fuel the college’s continuing success” in a press release from the College of Education.