*The admissions and application process is currently underway for NCLII-2’s first cohort of 12 scholars, to begin in the fall of 2020. For more information on applying, please reach out to the contacts listed here at the NCLII-2 partner university that you are interested in attending.
NCLII-1 SCHOLARS (2014-2019)
Christy received a B.A. in humanities from Trinity University, where she played college tennis and was a two-time All-American doubles player. She received a M.Ed. in special education at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. She is particularly interested in research in the area of reading interventions.
CHRISTY AUSTINUniversity of Texas at Austin
KRISTI BAKERSouthern Methodist University
Gina’s current research focus is two-fold. Focused on reading comprehension, she works on systematically intensifying interventions as well as preparing and supporting teachers who teach literacy to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aside from being a student, Gina enjoys spending family time with her husband Erik, and charming and rambunctious toddler, Anden.
GINA BRAUNUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
After college, Britta spent 6 years teaching junior high special education in Iowa City, Iowa. As a teacher, Britta was privileged to work with students with learning disabilities and emotional & behavioral disorders. In her most recent year of teaching, she took on the leadership role of Instructional Design Strategist, working in a collaborative coaching relationship with both general and special education teachers. In this role, Britta helped develop and provide a variety of personal professional development and supported teachers to use data to drive instructional decisions focused on increasing student achievement. Britta also served on many building and district level leadership teams as well as coached junior high volleyball and track & field. Britta enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports, being outdoors, reading, crafting, and spending time with her husband, Jace.
BRITTA BRESINAUniversity of Minnesota
CHRISTERRALYN BROWNUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
CARLIN CONNERSouthern Methodist University
Lisa’s current research focus is centered around investigation of data use, both by students for their own self-monitoring and teachers for instructional decision making. Specifically, she is focused on self-determined learning practices to improve academic and behavior outcomes for students with high-incidence disabilities. Also, Lisa is interested in teacher learning, specifically in how to provide teachers with supports to use data to inform instruction in order to deliver effective intensive interventions for improved student outcomes.
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys cooking, biking, yoga, camping, and visiting her family in St. Louis.
LISA DIDIONUniversity of Texas at Austin
After graduating, Rachel worked as an elementary special education teacher in inclusion and resource settings. During her time as a teacher, Rachel collaborated with other special education teachers in her district to support their implementation of various academic interventions. She also worked at the district level as an instructional coach for special education teachers at the elementary and middle school level. In this role, she designed and provided teacher trainings and in classroom support focused on reading intervention. Most recently, Rachel served at Vanderbilt University as a project coordinator for a reading intervention research project under Dr. Jeanne Wanzek.
In her spare time, Rachel enjoys running, trying new recipes, and teaching her dog, Gus, new tricks.
RACHEL DONEGANVanderbilt University
Sam began her Ph.D. program in Fall 2015, under the supervision of her advisor, Dr. Chris Lemons. With a minor area in Research Methods, Sam has been trained in advanced statistical methodology and research design (group and single case). During her time at Vanderbilt, she has worked on faculty-led research grants related to reading interventions for students with or at-risk for disabilities. Sam has begin her own research line related to intensive interventions and data-based decision-making in reading. She has presented her research at national and international research conferences. Sam is especially interested in training teachers to use data-based individualization (DBI) in practice, identifying barriers to implementation, and supporting continued use of these practices. Recently, Sam completed a meta-analysis of the effect of teacher training in DBI on teachers’ DBI knowledge and skills. Currently, Sam is completing her dissertation study, which is a replication study examining the relative accuracy and timeliness of different reading progress monitoring schedules, one component of the DBI process. In addition to her research work, Sam values her experiences in teaching and service. Sam is a member of the Council for Learning Disabilities and the Council for Exceptional Children (general member and member of Divisions of Research and Learning Disabilities). She has also served as a mentor for newer Ph.D. students. Most notably, Sam recently received the Shores Award for Teaching Excellence, a departmental award recognizing her achievements related to teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students.
SAMANTHA GESELVanderbilt University
MARIA LEMLER HUGH
MARIA LEMLER HUGHUniversity of Minnesota
Skip obtained his Master’s in Education from National-Louis University and his B.S. in Aviation from the University of Dubuque.
SKIP KUMMUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
During her time in the classroom, Rachel also completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) program through Virginia Commonwealth University. While in the LEND program, she presented a poster on specific academic interventions in the classroom for children with Autism using observational learning strategies. Rachel received her M.Ed. in Special Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and her B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.
RACHEL KUNEMUNDVirginia Commonwealth University
Upon graduating with her bachelor’s degree and teaching certification in 2009, Katherine taught a self-contained high school classroom for students with autism and emotional and behavioral disorders for 3 years. Katherine then began working as a Graduate Research Assistant at Texas State University’s autism clinic while completing her master’s degree. Katherine has designed and implemented individualized educational and behavioral programs for children with autism in clinic, home, and school settings. She has provided training to clinicians, teachers, and parents in the implementation of applied behavior analytic techniques. Katherine has also published research related to improving academic and safety skills for individuals with autism and presented at national and international conferences for special education. Katherine’s primary research interests include interventions designed to improve the communication and academic skills of children with autism while evaluating collateral, or untargeted, changes in additional behaviors.
KATHERINE LEDBETTER-CHOUniversity of Texas at Austin
Kaitlin enjoys spending time with her husband, Justin, daughter, Maura (8), and son, Will (6).
KAITLIN LEONARDUniversity of Connecticut
Caitlyn holds both a Bachelor’s in Elementary/Special Education and a Master’s of Education in Special Education from Vanderbilt University. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Upon graduation, Caitlyn is currently a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University, pursuing her passion for research and teacher preparation. Her research interests center around increasing teacher use of data-based decision-making to adapt and intensify behavioral interventions. More specifically, she is interested in utilizing student characteristics (e.g., function of behavior) to more efficiently and effectively inform the selection and/or adaptation of Tier 2 behavioral interventions.
Gilmour, A., Majeika, C. E., Sheaffer, A., & Wehby, J. H. (accepted for publication). Teacher evaluation and student behavior: Are evaluation rubrics designed to support teacher development in classroom management? Submitted to Teacher Education and Special Education.
Kunemund, R., Majeika, C., Mellado De La Cruz, V., & Wilkinson, S. (2017). Practice Guide: Check-In Check-Out for Students with or At-Risk for Emotional or Behavioral Disabilities. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.
Majeika, C. E., Walder, J. P., Hubbard, J. P., Steeb, K. M., Ferris, G. J., Oakes, W. P., & Lane, K. L. (2011). Improving on-task behavior using a functional assessment-based intervention in an inclusive high school setting. Beyond Behavior, 20, 55-66.
Majeika, C.E., Van Camp, A.M., Wehby, J.H., Commisso, C., Gaier, K., & Kern, L. (2018, March). Enhancing Tier 2 Behavioral Interventions with an Adaptive Intervention Framework. Presented at the annual International Conference on Positive Behavior Support, San Diego, CA.
Wilkinson, S., Majeika, C.E., Kumm, S., & Sterrett, B. (2018, March). Intensifying Behavioral Interventions Through a Data-Based Decision-Making Process. Presented at the annual International Conference on Positive Behavior Support, San Diego, CA.
Chauvin, C. B., & Majeika, C. E., LeJeune, L.N., Wilkinson, S., & Zimmerman, K. N., (2018, February). Teach Like Skinner Is Watching: Embedding Operant Learning Strategies within Explicit Reading and Writing Instruction. Presented at the annual conference of the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders, Kansas City, KS.
Van Camp, A. M., Majeika, C. E., Chauvin, C.B. Wehby, J.H., Commisso, C., Gaier, K., & Kern, L. (2018, February). When Standard Protocols Don’t Work: Adapting Check-In/Check-Out to Meet Individual Student Needs. Presented at the annual conference of the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders, Kansas City, KS.
Zimmerman, K. N., Chauvin, C. B., & Majeika, C. E. (2018, February). Adapting Classroom-Based Antecedent Interventions for Diverse Students. Presented at the annual conference of the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders, Kansas City, KS.
Majeika, C.E., Van Camp, A.M., Sheaffer, A. W., & Wehby, J.H., Commisso, C., Gaier, K., & Kern, L. (2017, October). The Current Landscape of Tier 2 Behavior Interventions: Evaluating the Use of Data and Clinical Judgement to Make Decisions. Presented at the annual conference on Advancing School Mental Health, Washington, DC.
Commisso, C. E., Gaier, K. L, Kern, L., Majeika, C. E., Van Camp, A. M., Wehby, J. H. (2017, October). A Review of Check-in/Check-out (CICO): Components, Evaluated Adaptations, and Implications for Use with Students. Presented at the annual conference on Advancing School Mental Health, Washington, D.C.
Majeika, C.E., Van Camp, A.M., Wehby, J.H., Commisso, C., Gaier, K., & Kern, L. (2017, October). Adapting Tier II Behavior Interventions. In B.P. Lloyd (Chair) Adapting and Intensifying Behavioral Supports Along a Tier II—Tier III Continuum. Symposium presented at the annual conference of the Tennessee Association of Behavior Analysts, Nashville, TN.
CAITLYN MAJEIKAVanderbilt University
Prior to beginning the doctoral program, Brittany began her teaching career as an Intensive Academics teacher and Inclusion Specialist at a Title 1 school in Southwest Florida. During this time, she worked with children with severe academic and behavioral challenges in self-contained and inclusive settings. After relocating to middle Tennessee, Brittany worked as a Resource Teacher and Response to Intervention (RtI) Coordinator at the school-wide level at a rural school outside of Nashville. In this role, she was responsible for providing individualized interventions in reading and math in the general education setting. Her time spent working in the RtI field prompted her to pursue her Ph.D. to study the Response to Intervention process and research more intensive interventions for students with math disabilities.
In her free time, Brittany enjoys traveling, reading, crafting, and spending time with her husband, Tom, and daughter, Sadie!
BRITTANYLEE MARTINVanderbilt University
AMANDA MARTINEZ-LINCOLNUniversity of Texas at Austin
VERONICA MELLADO DE LA CRUZ
Since becoming a doctoral student in fall 2015, Veronica has been working under the direction of her advisor, Stephanie Al Otaiba. Experiences include work on a project exploring early literacy curriculum based assessments used to identify children at risk for future reading difficulties. In addition to data collection and project support, Veronica conducted analyses to compare the relative utility of assessing growth on English and Spanish language versions for emerging bilingual kindergarteners. Her efforts honed an interest in investigating assessment at the intersection of bilingualism and high-incidence disabilities (i.e., LD, EBD). Such work is critical to extending evidence-based practices in data-based instruction to dual language learners.
Veronica looks forward to opportunities to explore a secondary interest in behavioral and psychosocial aspects of learning. A Mindset Study exploring mindset training paired with intensive reading intervention beginning fall 2017 promises to provide relevant experience.
Veronica is bilingual (Spanish-English) and enjoys exploring literary works in her native language from time to time. A native of Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, she is a long time Texan and currently resides with her family in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
VERONICA MELLADO DE LA CRUZSouthern Methodist University
Brittany enjoys traveling, reading, and running, and as a new Minnesotan she is learning to cross-country ski. She coached Girls on the Run and volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
BRITTANY PENNINGTONUniversity of Minnesota
BETH POKORSKIVanderbilt University
KATHERINE SARGENTVanderbilt University
Brittany received her B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies from Virginia Tech. She earned her M.Ed. in Special Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. In the spring of 2014, Brittany represented VCU and presented at the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Poster Presentation Session. She is now a member of the SEALS II program, which seeks to develop and implement a professional development and consultation model to support teachers in their efforts to promote students’ adjustment across the middle school years. Her focus will include the development of protocols for intensifying interventions for students with significant academic and behavioral difficulties.
BRITTANY STERRETTVirginia Commonwealth University
Jennifer holds a Bachelors of Arts in Education and Theatre from Saint Louis University and a Masters of Education in Special Education from Southern Methodist University. Prior to teaching in the school setting, she worked as an educational intern with the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis and Nashville Children’s Theatre. Out of the classroom, Jennifer can be found singing, seeing live theatre, training for her next race, and volunteering as a member of the family selection committee for Habitat for Humanity- South Collin County.
JENNIFER STEWARTSouthern Methodist University
ALYSSA VAN CAMP
ALYSSA VAN CAMPVanderbilt University
Outside of the school setting, Samantha has worked in therapeutic recreation settings, coached Special Olympics, assisted adults with disabilities living in group homes, run weekend structured weekend social groups for children with autism, and implemented in-home Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy. She also enjoys yoga, biking, hiking, and food.
SAMANTHA WALTEUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Outside of work, Tori enjoys reading, hiking with her dog, and attending theater and other arts events.
VICTORIA WHALEYUniversity of Connecticut
Sarah is pursuing her doctoral studies in Educational Psychology (Special Education) at the University of Connecticut. She plans to focus her work on behavior supports at the secondary level.
SARAH WILKINSONUniversity of Connecticut
Originally from Indiana, JESSICA WRIGHT earned a Bachelor’s in Science in Special Education and her Master’s of Education in School Administration and Supervision at Indiana State University. In Indiana, Jessica taught students with special needs grades Pre K-12 in a variety of settings, writing individualized education plans, tracking, writing, and facilitating behavior plans, and differentiating instruction. Jessica also played the role of department chair for her middle school and served as the committee chair for Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) and Response to Intervention(RTI). She served on a goals committee, which was instrumental in self auditing the Individual Education Plan goals to ensure they were in compliance with the state and government criteria.
After moving to Virginia, Jessica collaboratively taught special education, general education, and then moved into an administrative role in a public middle school. While teaching, Jessica was a mentor to other special education teachers about progress monitoring and data collection. She also served as a consultant to general education teachers about differentiation and trait writing. As an administrator, Jessica was a liaison for Project SEALS. She also was instrumental in initiating the PBIS program at her middle school working to increase positive student/ teacher interaction and decreased office discipline referrals.
Jessica is pursuing her Ph.D in the department of Special Education and Disability Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University. She intends on focusing her research on the successful application of a tiered intervention system in the conjoined area of academics and social/ emotional behaviors.
JESSICA WRIGHTVirginia Commonwealth University
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