Wednesday Workshop

Doctoral Students and Beginning Special Education Faculty Networking Workshop

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


This workshop is intended for both doctoral students who are planning to join the faculty at a college or university, and for tenure accruing faculty in their first three years as a college or university faculty member. The workshop will focus on strategies for becoming tenured, publishing papers, writing grants, establishing a network of colleagues, preparing teachers, supporting service providers (e.g., schools, customized employment, independent living), establishing a research/scholarship agenda, and balancing professional and personal lives. These and other topics will be discussed by and with nationally-recognized special education faculty members with successful records as college and university faculty members.


10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Establishing a professional identity as demonstrated through research agenda, teacher preparation and professional service

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Pre-service teacher preparation program development / Interfacing of “service” and professional development activities

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: Developing and sustaining a research agenda

12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Lunch-time discussion on getting through doctoral programs, accessing experiences that are specifically related to severe disabilities

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.: Grantsmanship: Seeking External Funding / Publishing articles in RPSD and other journals

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Promotion and tenure issues


Fred Spooner
University of North Carolina Charlotte

Fred Spooner is Professor in the Department of Special Education, and Child Development and Principal Investigator on a Personnel Preparation Project involving distance delivery technologies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Co-Principal Investigator on an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Project for determining evidence-based practices in the area of intellectual disability, and Co-Principal Investigator on an IES Project focusing on high quality mathematics and science instruction for students who participate in alternate assessments judged against alternate achievement standards (the 1%). Dr. Spooner has held numerous editorial posts, including Co-editor of Teaching Exceptional Children, Co-Editor of Teacher Education and Special Education and currently, is the Co-editor for The Journal of Special Education, and Associate Editor for Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities. His research interests include instructional procedures for students with severe disabilities, alternate assessment, and validating evidence-based practices.

William Sharpton
University of New Orleans

Dr. William (Bill) Sharpton is an Associate Dean and Professor of Special Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of New Orleans. He coordinates a graduate teacher education program for instructional personnel serving students with severe and multiple disabilities. Bill is the Co-Principal Investigator of a funded project focused on shifting the teacher education program in special education – significant disabilities to a synchronous distance education format. His research interests include inclusive models of special education, transition services for young adults with severe disabilities, and developing effective models of teacher education.

John McDonnell
University of Utah

John McDonnell is the Interim Dean of the College of Education and a Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Utah. Dr. McDonnell’s research is focused on curriculum and instruction, inclusive education, and transition programs. He has published extensively in these areas and is the author or co-author of eight books. He has been awarded a number of federal and state grants and contracts to support is research, teaching, and outreach activities. He serves on the editorial boards of several of the top journals in special education and is an Associate Editor of Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities.

Donna Lehr
Boston University

Donna Lehr is the Coordinator of the Special Education Program at Boston University and is responsible for the design, implementation and evaluation of the undergraduate and graduate teacher and administrator preparation programs leading to degrees and licensure. Her particular interest is the preparation of teachers of students with severe disabilities for roles as collaborators in the education of students in inclusive settings.

Victoria F. Knight, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky

Dr. Victoria Knight is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Knight has over ten years of experience working with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and students with moderate/severe disabilities. She has worked in inclusive and self-contained settings as a teacher and behavior specialist in various states. Dr. Knight received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education Severe Disabilities from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, and a Doctorate in Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2010. Dr. Knight’s research interests include general curriculum access, evidence-based practices for individuals with ASD and moderate/severe disabilities, applied behavior analysis, and technologies for students with autism. Dr. Knight has authored book chapters and publications pertaining to these topics, and has presented her research at state and national conferences.

Carolyn Hughes
Vanderbilt University

Carolyn Hughes is Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Hughes’s research program extends over 25 years in the areas of transition to adult life, self-determination, support strategies for students with intellectual disabilities and autism, and social interaction among general education high school students and their peers with disabilities. Dr. Hughes has published numerous books, chapters, and articles addressing social interaction and self-directed learning skills among high school students with disabilities and mentoring programs for high-poverty youth. She is on the editorial board of many journals in the developmental disabilities field and is Associate Editor of Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities.

Charles Dukes
Florida Atlantic University

Charles Dukes is associate professor and doctoral coordinator in the department of Exceptional Student Education at Florida Atlantic University where he teaches courses in general special education, disability studies, and applied behavior analysis. Dr. Dukes is an active member of the Council for Exceptional Children and TASH. He is the current editor of the TASH publication, TASH Connections, a professional magazine published by TASH for researchers, practitioners, families, and self-advocates interested in issues related to persons with severe disabilities. His research interests include linking multicultural and special education, social and intimate relationships for persons with severe disabilities, concept maps as a research and assessment tool, and educational supports for persons with severe disabilities.

Stacy K. Dymond, Ph.D.
University of Illinois

Stacy K. Dymond, Ph.D., is an associate professor of special education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests focus on curriculum and instruction for students with severe intellectual disabilities in inclusive school and community settings. She is particularly interested in the use of service learning as a form of pedagogy for promoting access to instruction on academic and life skills. She has directed grant funded projects related to service learning, access to the general curriculum, and personnel preparation. Dr. Dymond serves on the editorial board of several journals and currently teaches courses on curriculum development at the University of Illinois.

Susan Copeland
University of New Mexico

Dr. Susan Copeland is an Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico. Her primary research interest is in developing strategies that allow individuals with disabilities to provide their own supports, direct their own lives, and enhance their active participation in their families, schools, and communities. Dr. Copeland teaches courses in reading/literacy instruction, advocacy and empowerment, applied behavior analysis, and history and current understandings of intellectual disability. She serves on the editorial board of several journals and is an Associate Editor for Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities and Remedial and Special Education.

Fredda Brown
Queens College, City University of New York

Dr. Fredda Brown is Professor in the Programs in Special Education at Queens College, City University of New York. In addition to Dr. Brown’s work as a Professor and teacher educator, she has spent many years providing educational and behavioral consultation to individuals with severe disabilities and their families. She is the editor of five books, and author of numerous journal articles and book chapters relating to the education of individuals with severe disabilities. Most recently her work focuses on the relationship between problem behavior, communication, and self-determination, and professional attitudes regarding behavioral treatment acceptability. Dr. Brown is past Editor-in-Chief of Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (RPSD), and currently serves on several Editorial Boards, including the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (JPBI), and RPSD. She has sat on the National Board of Directors of the Association for Positive Behavior Supports (APBS) and TASH. She presents her work and ideas nationwide to professionals and families, advocating for positive, dignified and effective methods of addressing the learning and behavioral needs of individuals with disabilities.

Jacki Anderson
California State University East Bay

Dr. Jacki L. Anderson, Coordinator of the Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Credential and Master’s Degree Program at CSU East Bay, has over thirty years’ experience conducting in-service training activities around the country and has taught for 28 years in Special Education teacher training programs at the University of Wisconsin, San Francisco State University, and CSU East Bay. Dr. Anderson’s areas of specialization include Teacher Training, Inclusive Education/Life for individuals with Severe Disabilities, and Positive Behavior Support. She has been awarded federal funds to pursue all of these interests via research, training, and model demonstration projects and has published the results in textbooks, chapters, training manuals and journal articles. Dr. Anderson is actively involved in a variety of local, state and national organizations and policy making committees. Examples include: founding member, Vice President and board member of APBS, chair of the Executive committee and Executive Vice-President of the International TASH organization during 10 years on the board; past president and current board member of CAL-TASH, the California chapter of TASH; President of the Board for Casa Allegra Community Services (providing supported living, integrated work & microenterprise services for individuals with severe disabilities) and membership in several advisory committees to local school districts.

Marty Agran
University of Wyoming

Dr. Martin Agran is a nationally recognized researcher in the area of special education. He is a professor and former department head in the Department of Special Education at the University of Wyoming. Additionally, he served as a professor in the Special Education Departments at Utah State University and the University of Northern Iowa (where he also served as department head), respectively. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Martin’s research specialty is the education of students with severe disabilities. In particular, he was a pioneer researcher in self-determination for students with cognitive disabilities, i.e., teaching students how to direct and manage their behavior. He has published extensively and has authored or co-authored 13 books. He is presently the Editor-in-Chief of Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities and is a member of the TASH National Board of Directors.