Faculty members with expertise in intensive intervention across academics and behavior at seven universities serve as NCLII consortium members.
PEABODY COLLEGE AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
Eight faculty from the Department of Special Education at Peabody College are members of NCLII. Learn more about the special education program here.
During his time at Vanderbilt, Dr. Wehby has received over $30 million in federal grant money for research and training. Currently, he is a co-principal investigator on two Goal 2 grants from the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) that are focused on developing Tier 2 interventions for school-age children with behavior challenges. In addition, he directs two doctoral training grants from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and is the Director of the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention. Dr. Wehby is a Senior Advisor for the OSEP funded National Center on Intensive Intervention. His recent research efforts have focused on evaluating the effectiveness of a multi-component mental health and academic tutoring intervention for students with identified behavior difficulties (NIMH) and investigating the impact of a classroom management program on the social and academic behavior of students with and at-risk for behavior problems (IES, Goal 3). During his time at Vanderbilt, he has been active on a number of department, college, and university committees. Dr. Wehby received an Affirmative Action Award for promoting disability awareness on campus, received the Butch Hill Award for Outstanding Teaching in Special Education, and was named as the 2014 Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Cup recipient for contributions to students outside the classroom. In 2015, he received the Outstanding Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children.
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (1990)
M.Ed., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (1987)
B.S., Special Education, Memphis State University (1982)
JOE WEHBYDirector, NCLII
Dr. Lemons received his doctorate from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 2008. He is a recipient of the Pueschel-Tjossem Research Award from the National Down Syndrome Congress. In 2016, Dr. Lemons received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, from President Obama. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Lemons taught in several special education settings including a preschool autism unit, an elementary resource and inclusion program, and a middle school life skills classroom. His areas of expertise include reading interventions for children and adolescents with learning and intellectual disabilities, with a focus on interventions for individuals with Down syndrome; data-based individualization; and intervention-related assessment.
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2008)
M.A., Special Education, University of Texas – Austin (2000)
B.S., Applied Learning and Development (Special Education), University of Texas – Austin (1999)
B.A., Psychology, University of Texas – Austin (1996)
CHRIS LEMONSCo-director, NCLII
Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota (1978)
M.S., Elementary Education, University of Pennsylvania (1973)
B.A., Psychology, Johns Hopkins University (1972)
DOUG FUCHSCo-director, NCLII
Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota (1981)
Ed.S., Education Psychology, University of Minnesota (1977)
M.S., Elementary Education, University of Pennsylvania (1973)
B.A., Humanities, Johns Hopkins University (1972)
LYNN FUCHSCo-director, NCLII
Ph.D., McMaster University (1988)
B.A., Psychology, McMaster University (1981)
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2007)
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, DePaul University (2002)
B.S., Human Development and Family Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1999)
Dr. Lloyd is also a Co-Investigator on the Tennessee Behavior Supports Project, a technical assistance grant supporting multi-tiered systems of behavior support in Tennessee schools.
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2013)
M.S., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2011)
B.S., Psychology, Davidson College (2006)
Ph.D., Special Education, University of Texas at Austin (2005)
M.S., Special Education, Northern Illinois University (2000)
B.S., Special Education; Elementary Education, Northern Illinois University (1995)
SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY
Five faculty from the Simmons School of Education & Human Development at Southern Methodist University are members of NCLII. Learn more about the university’s Ph.D. in Education program here.
STEPHANIE AL OTAIBA
Dr. Al Otaiba’s research interests include school-based literacy interventions, response to intervention, learning disabilities, diverse learners, and teacher training. She has published over 120 journal articles and book chapters related to these interests. She has also developed reading curricular materials. Her line of research has been supported by several federally funded grants from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, the Office of Special Education Programs, and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Her dissertation was awarded the 2001 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Reading Association, and in 2010 she was the recipient of The Council for Exceptional Children Division for Research Distinguished Early Career Research Award. She also received the Developing Scholar Award and the Graduate Faculty Mentor Award at FSU in 2010. In 2017, she received the Distinguished Career Award from the Special Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. In addition, SMU awarded her with a Ford Senior Research Fellowship.
Dr. Al Otaiba has served on review panels for grants for the Institute of Education Science and has reviewed for the Office of Special Education Programs. She is the current President of the Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning Disabilities. Previously, she served as an Associate Editor of Education Researcher and the Elementary School Journal and also serves on numerous editorial boards for scholarly journals in the field of education. Dr. Al Otaiba has consulted nationally and internationally related to early literacy intervention and assessment.
Ph.D., Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University (2000)
M.A., Special Education, St. Mary’s College (1993)
B.S., Political Science, Ursinus College (1979)
STEPHANIE AL OTAIBALead Representative
Dr. Allor is the author or co-author of numerous articles and several curricular materials. She was awarded the 2000 Award for Outstanding Research by the Council on Learning Disabilities and is the co-recipient of the Best Article in Learning Disabilities Research and Practice for 1999. She is also the co-recipient of the 1999 Outstanding Proud Project, which was awarded by the Learning Disabilities Association of America. She has delivered numerous teacher/staff development programs on a wide variety of topics, including peer tutoring, early literacy development, phonemic awareness instruction, literacy assessment, and other literacy instructional techniques.
Ed.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (1996)
M.Ed., Special Education (1992)
B.A., Elementary and Special Education, Southeastern Louisiana University (1988)
Dr. Jones’ research interests center on the behavioral needs of students and how those needs relate to their ability to read. She also has an interest in adolescent reading, social skills, and educational statistics. Her many presentations focus on behavioral interventions for students with emotional and behavioral disorders and quantitative statistical research methods. Her publications focus on the classroom needs of teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders and the status of education for these students.
Ph.D., Special Education, University of North Texas (2005)
M.A., Early Childhood Education, Vanderbilt University
B.A., Government and History, University of Notre Dame
AMY GILLESPIE ROUSE
Dr. Rouse’s research focuses on understanding and developing effective writing interventions for struggling writers and students with disabilities. Her approach has been multifaceted and includes (a) meta-analyses to examine effective writing interventions documented in existing experimental studies, (b) analysis of interview responses to understand students’ knowledge of the writing process and different writing genres; (c) surveys to document teachers’ use of evidence-based writing instruction, and (d) professional development to assist teachers in implementing evidence-based writing instruction in their classrooms. Dr. Rouse has also examined elementary students’ use of writing as a tool for learning information in science. She continues to develop interventions to promote elementary-aged students’ use of writing to facilitate their learning across the content areas.
In addition to bringing a researcher’s perspective to the courses she teaches, Dr. Rouse also brings an understanding of what it is like to work in a classroom, including the challenges and triumphs associated with being a special educator. In her courses, she couples teaching about research and evidence-based instruction with opportunities to apply newly learned skills in the classroom or classroom simulations (e.g., case studies, role plays). Dr. Rouse believes in an apprenticeship model for mentoring doctoral students. She provides doctoral students increasing research and teaching responsibilities that approximate the work of a professor and offers support with these tasks until students are confident and capable of completing them independently.
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2014)
MAT, Special Education, University of Virginia (2003)
B.A., Sociology, University of Virginia (2003)
AMY GILLESPIE ROUSE
Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Oregon (1992)
M.A., Special Education, University of Oregon (1980)
B.A., Learning and Behavioral Disorders, State University College in Buffalo, NY (1977)
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
Five faculty from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut are members of NCLII. Read more about the Neag School’s special education program here.
Ph.D., Special Education, University of Oregon (2001)
M.T., Special & Elementary Education, University of Virginia (1994)
B.A., Music and Political Science, Williams College (1989)
MICHAEL COYNELead Representative
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
M.A., Grand Valley State University
B.A., Calvin College
help struggling readers learn strategies to help them read polysyllabic words better.
Dr. Kearns’s academic work has appeared in journals like Exceptional Children, the Journal of Educational Psychology, the Journal of Learning Disabilities, the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, and Reading Research Quarterly. Dr. Kearns has 7 years of classroom experience, working in elementary education as a general-education teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. He has provided professional development and done curriculum design for federally-funded centers, universities, and schools and districts across the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Kearns was a Learning Sciences Institute and Institute of Education Sciences Fellow, and he was the 2010 recipient of Vanderbilt University’s Robert Gaylord Award for Writing Excellence. Dr. Kearns is associate editor for Assessment for Effective Intervention and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2010)
M.A., Elementary Literacy and Language Arts, Loyola Marymount University (2004)
B.A., History and Government, Georgetown University (1998)
Ph.D., Learning Disabilities, Vanderbilt University (2006)
M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, Michigan State University (1999)
B. S., Mental Impairment/Elementary Education, Eastern Michigan University (1990)
Currently, Dr. Simonsen conducts research, publishes, teaches, and provides training/technical assistance in the areas of (a) school- and class-wide PBIS, (b) positive and proactive professional development supports for teachers, and (c) applications of PBIS in alternative education settings. In addition, Dr. Simonsen coordinates UConn’s Graduate Certificate Program in School-wide Positive Behavior Support.
Before joining the faculty at University of Connecticut, Dr. Simonsen was the director of a non-public (alternative) school serving students with disabilities who presented with challenging educational and behavioral needs. In addition to serving as an administrator and clinician, Dr. Simonsen has previously been certified as a teacher of elementary general education and middle-secondary special education.
Ph.D., Special Education: Exceptional Learner, University of Oregon (2002)
M.S., Special Education: Exceptional Learner, University of Oregon (1999)
B.A., Elementary Education and Psychology, William and Mary (1998)
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO
Four faculty from the special education department at the University of Illinois at Chicago are members of NCLII. Learn more about UIC’s special education program here.
Dr. Maggin serves as an Associate Editor for Behavioral Disorders, the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, and Remedial and Special Education. In addition, he sits on the editorial boards for Intervention in School and Clinic, the Journal of School Psychology, and School Psychology Review.
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2009)
MA, Special Education, Bank Street College of Education (2005)
BA, Religious Studies, Lafayette College (2002)
DANIEL MAGGINLead Representative
Ph.D., Special Education, University of Oregon (2000)
M.Ed., Special Education, University of Hawaii (1995)
B.A., Political Science, University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana (1990)
MARIE TEJERO HUGHES
Ph.D., Reading and Learning Disabilities, University of Miami (1995)
M.S.Ed., Elementary Education, University of Miami (1989)
B.S.Ed., Early Childhood/Elementary Education, University of Miami (1987)
MARIE TEJERO HUGHES
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Seven faculty from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota are members of NCLII. Learn more about the university’s special education program here.
Dr. Symons has two current specific areas of interest. One is the development, assessment, and treatment of problem behavior among children and adults with a range of neurodevelopmental and emotional/behavioral disorders. The other is the problem of pain among children and adults with significant cognitive impairments and associated developmental disabilities. Related areas of interest include observational research methods.
In terms of problem behavior, areas of specific research interest include (a) characterizing self-injurious behavior in more detail descriptively (form, location, intensity) and experimentally (function); (b) examining the intersection of behavioral and biological mechanisms underlying chronic self-injury by incorporating sensory (e.g., pain sensitivity, peripheral innervation) and autonomic (e.g., sympathetic/parasympathetic, HPA axis) nervous system variables, and (c) translating findings from basic research into treatment applications.
In terms of pain, areas of specific research include (a) the reliable and valid assessment of pain in children and adults with significant cognitive, communicative, and motor impairments associated with intellectual disability; (b) the relation between behavioral and biological variables as markers for altered pain; (c) modifying/adapting quantitative sensory testing for individuals with specialized needs; and (d) the relation between pain and problem behavior, specifically self-injury.
Ph.D., Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University (1997)
M.Ed., Educational Psychology, University of Alberta (1992)
B.A., Psychology, University of Manitoba (1989)
FRANK SYMONSLead Representative
Dr. Fleury’s research is focused on helping us understand how to facilitate learning of individuals with ASD, specifically (1) exploring how core characteristics of ASD promote or inhibit students’ ability to participate in classroom activities, (2) identifying and validating instructional strategies to address early academic and social-communication difficulties for young children with ASD, and (3) understanding how to support parents and educators to implement evidence-based practices with high fidelity in their home and school settings.
Ph.D., Special Education, University of Washington (2012)
M.Ed., Early Childhood Special Education, University of Washington (2006)
B.A., Psychology, Scripps College (2001)
Her research interests are intervention-oriented with a focus on improving outcomes for a range of preschool and elementary school-aged children who are at high risk given social, emotional, behavioral, and communication needs. My interests are focused on creating the next generation of intervention studies that support more rapid adoption and high fidelity implementation of evidence-based interventions within tiered intervention and prevention models. This includes research projects that are designed to help us (1) develop data collection tools to support teachers in summarizing, visualizing, interpreting, and using data to engage in a precision oriented problem solving process, (2) improve the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices in the natural environments of young children through understanding how beliefs and values interact with knowledge and skills within professional development systems, and (3) explore and improve the efficacy of behaviorally based interventions through systematic adaptation and intensification.
Ph.D., Educational Psychology/Special Education, University of Minnesota (2004)
M.Ed., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (1995)
B.A., Special Education, Michigan State University (1994)
Ph.D., Educational Psychology/Special Education, University of Minnesota (2015)
M.A., Special Education, University of St. Thomas (2007)
B.A., Elementary Education/Special Education, University of Iowa (2003)
Ph.D., Special Education, University of Iowa (1994)
M.A., Special Education, University of Iowa (1992)
B.A., Special Education, University of Iowa (1989)
Ph.D., University of Oregon (1982)
M.S., Educational (School) Psychology, University of Oregon (1980)
B.S., Psychology, Portland State University (1978)
KRISTEN MCMASTER, Ph.D. is a Professor in the special education program at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests involve creating conditions for successful response to intervention of academically diverse learners, including students at-risk, students with disabilities, and students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She has been PI or co-PI on four OSEP or IES-funded projects and serves as a trainer and technical advisor to the National Center for Intensive Intervention. Dr. McMaster has numerous publications and national presentations related to Curriculum-Based Measurement, data-based decision making, and intervention for students at risk or with disabilities. She received a Distinguished Early Career Award from the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children in 2011.
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2002)
M.Ed., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (1998)
B.S., Special Education and Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University (1995)
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
Seven faculty from the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin are members of NCLII. Learn more about the university’s special education program here.
Dr. Vaughn is currently the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on several Institute for Education Sciences, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and U.S. Department of Education research grants investigating effective interventions for students with reading difficulties and students who are English language learners. Her areas of expertise include learning disabilities, reading problems, self-concept, diverse learners, and inclusion practices.
She is the author of more than 35 books, 250 peer-reviewed research articles, and 65 chapters that address issues related to research and practice with learning problems. She has worked nationally and internationally with educators from Japan, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Portugal and Australia.
Ph.D., Education and Child Development, University of Arizona (1982)
M.Ed., Education, University of Arizona (1976)
B.S., Education, University of Missouri (1973)
SHARON VAUGHNLead Representative
As part of her early career in special education, Dr. Bryant taught students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders in Chelsea, MA; Crown Point, NM; and Albuquerque, NM. Further work in Albuquerque included working as a coaching specialist to assist special education teachers with instructional and behavioral issues in their classrooms. She also served as the District Coordinator for Special Education Staff Development and the principal for an intensive summer school program for students with special needs.
Ph.D., Special Education, University of New Mexico (1986)
M.A., Learning Disabilities, University of New Mexico (1980)
B.S., Elementary Education and Psychology (1974)
TERRY FALCOMATA, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Falcomata’s research emphasis is in the area of applied behavior analysis and the application of ABA technologies in the home and school. His research focuses primarily on the assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior displayed by individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Specifically, this research has focused on the use functional analysis methods and functional communication training (FCT) in the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior. His areas of interest include methods for increasing behavioral variability in individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, factors the impact the re-emergence of challenging behavior following treatment, and methods for preventing clinical relapse pertaining to challenging behavior.
Ph.D., School Psychology, University of Iowa (2008)
M.S., Behavior Analysis and Therapy, Southern Illinois University (2001)
B.S., Middle School Education, Illinois State University (1997)
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University (2009)
M.S.Ed., School Administration, Vanderbilt University (2001)
B.A., Elementary Education, Centre College (1999)
In the community, Dr. Toste serves on the Board of Directors and National Advisory Council of GLSEN (www.glsen.org). She is also on the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Texas (www.disabilityrightstx.org), federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. She also volunteers with CASA Travis County, as a court-appointed special advocate and guardian ad litem for children who have been abused and neglected.
Ph.D., Educational Psychology, McGill University
M.A., Education Psychology, McGill University
B.S.Ed., Elementary Education, McGill University
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY
Three faculty from the Department of Counseling and Special Education at Virginia Commonwealth University are members of NCLII. Learn more about VCU’s special education program here.
Ph.D., Education Psychology, University of Minnesota (2008)
M.Ed., Special Education, National Taiwan Normal University (2001)
B.A., Special Education, National Taipei Teachers College (1998)
CHIN-CHIH CHENLead Representative
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2016)
M.S.Ed., Special Education, Bay Path College (2012)
B.A., Psychology, Syracuse University (2008)
Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University (2000)
M.Ed., Special Education, College of William and Mary (1994)
B.A., History, Wake Forest University (1989)
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