Congratulations and best of luck to Eric Oslund, postdoctoral fellow in MCPER's Reading Institute, who has accepted an assistant professor position at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Oslund will begin his work in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in literacy studies program within the Department of Elementary and Special Education on August 1.
Several current and former researchers with the MCPER Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties—along with colleagues from MCPER, UT Austin, and other institutions—have published three research papers in peer-reviewed journals.
The Journal of Learning Disabilities accepted for publication a paper authored by Mathematics Institute Fellow Brian R. Bryant and Director Diane Pedrotty Bryant, UT Austin Department of Special Education graduates Jennifer Porterfield and Minyi Shih, MCPER Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute Fellow Terry Falcomata, UT Austin Department of Educational Psychology students Courtney Valentine and Chelsea Brewer, and independent consultant Kathy Bell. "The Effects of a Tier 3 Intervention on the Mathematics Performance of Second Grade Students With Severe Mathematics Difficulties" examines an intensive intervention program that proved successful in helping young children with serious mathematics difficulties learn fundamental numeracy skills.
The Journal of Behavioral Education accepted for publication an article by Brian Bryant, Department of Special Education graduate student Min Wook Ok, Mathematics Institute researcher Eunyoung Kang, MCPER Reading Institute researcher Min Kyung Kim, Autism Institute Fellow Russell Lang, Diane Bryant, and Mathematics Institute Principal Investigator Kathleen Pfannenstiel. Their article, "A Multi-Dimension Comparison of Mathematics Interventions for 4th Grade Students With Learning Disabilities," compared mathematics teacher-direct instruction, iPad applications, and a combined approach with fourth-grade students with mathematics learning disabilities. Findings showed that teacher-direct instruction and the combined approach produced more favorable results, but student social validity data supported the iPad applications.
Ok, Brian Bryant, and first author Kavita Rao of the University of Hawaii published an article in Remedial and Special Education. "A Review of Research on Universal Design Educational Models" provided a critical analysis of universal design for learning research conducted with school-age and postsecondary students.
Christy Murray, project director of the Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI), will serve as a panelist at the 2014 Building a GradNation Summit from April 27 to 29 in Washington, DC. In the session “The Class of 2020: Betting on Middle School,” Murray will present an overview of Middle School Matters, discuss the research-based practices in the Middle School Matters Field Guide, and share the experiences of schools that participated during the 2013–2014 school year. Other organizations represented in the session will include Spark, the National Human Services Assembly, and After-School All-Stars.
Jacob Williams, MSMI deputy director, will facilitate a roundtable discussion at the International Reading Association 59th Annual Conference on May 11 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Williams will share information on using MSMI Implementation Plan Templates for reading and reading interventions.
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.