2015 Research Awards Recipients

DR is pleased to announce recipients of its 2015 research awards. Recipients will be recognized on April 10, 2015 at the DR Business Meeting and Reception to be held during the CEC Convention and Expo in San Diego, CA.

This year awards were made in the following categories:

 Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award   
Dr. Karen Harris (Arizona State University)
Dr. Steve Graham (Arizona State University)
Distinguished Early Career Research Award

Dr. Kent McIntosh (University of Oregon)
Dr. Karrie Shogren (University of Kansas) 
 Early Publication Award

Dr. Christina Yuknis (Gallaudet University)
 Student Research Award

Dr. Amber Benedict
Dr. Stacey Hardin
Dr. Adrienne Anderson

Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award

The Division for Research is pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Harris and Dr. Steve Graham are the recipients of the 2015 Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award. This award recognizes individuals or research teams who have made outstanding scientific contributions in basic or applied research in special education over the course of their careers.  The award, co-sponsored by Routledge, a leading academic publisher, includes $1,000 to be presented at the CEC-DR Reception and Awards Ceremony at the 2015 CEC Convention and Expo and an invited presentation at the 2016 CEC Convention and Expo. Drs. Harris and Graham are Professors of Special Education at Arizona State University.
Drs. Harris and Graham are particularly deserving of the Kauffman-Hallahan award in that their work represents not only exemplary science in the establishment of an evidence base, but specific efforts to develop and validate the means of translating that research into practice.  Their work on written expression, including most notably the self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) model-- is widely known within the special education research and practice communities, and includes dozens of studies, ranging from early descriptive studies to single case design intervention studies, and finally to large scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs).  As Dr. Don Deshler noted, “during the course of nearly three decades, they have built one of the most impressive and influential programs of systematic research that exists in the field of special education.”

As importantly, the work of Drs. Harris and Graham has focused not only on the development and validation of specific interventions and instructional practices, but also on the development and refinement of professional development models that would facilitate the translation of that research into practice.  One member of the Kauffman-Hallahan award committee noted, “I think their body of work on writing, and SRSD in particular, from initial small n studies through to large scale studies, and then specific work on scaling up or translating this research into practice, stands out as among the most cohesive and comprehensive bodies of research I can think of.  In fact, I'm not sure I can think of another individual (or team in this case), that is more associated with the establishment of an evidence base.”

Finally, as Dr. Deshler concluded, “Their work has had a profound and sustained impact on how to teach writing to students in grades K to 12 in both special and general education. Without a doubt, they are the most highly recognized researchers in the area of written expression in education.”  It is for these reasons-- the depth, breadth, and methodological rigor of their programmatic lines of research, coupled with defined efforts to make their research impactful-- that the Kauffman-Hallahan Award Committee believed that Dr. Karen Harris and Dr. Steve Graham are highly deserving of the 2015 Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award.

Karen R. Harris
Mary Emily Warner Professor
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Arizona State University
Steve Graham
Warner Professor
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Arizona State University

Distinguished Early Career Research Award

This year, DR honors two exceptional early career researchers with the 2015 Distinguished Early Career Research Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions in basic and/or applied research in special education within the first 10 years after receiving the doctoral degree. The award, co-sponsored by the Donald D. Hammill Foundation, includes $1,000 to be presented to each recipient at the DR reception at the 2015 CEC Annual Convention and an invited presentation at the CEC convention the following year. The recipients of this award are Dr. Karrie Shogren and Dr. Kent McIntosh.
Associate Professor at the University of Kansas, Dr. Shogren received her Ph.D. in special education in 2006 from the same university. Dr. Shogren has contributed to the field through her research on self-determination and the application of positive psychology to disability contexts. She has 62 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences. As a young scholar, she has made research and theoretical contributions to multiple areas, including self-determination and the application of positive psychology to disability contexts, supports conceptualization and measurement, and defining and understanding intellectual disability. The amount and quality of her work is breathtaking. According to Google Scholar, she has been cited 2,275 times. Dr. Shogren is also emerging as a prolific grant writer; she has been awarded both US Department of Education funding to support her research and the development of future doctoral leaders.  Dr. Shogren is active in professional organizations, collaborates with numerous colleagues in the social sciences, and has mentored and advised graduate students. For her leadership efforts, she won the Presidential Award from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for “outstanding leadership to AAIDD at the state, regional, and national levels.” Dr. Shogren was the 2009 recipient of DR's Early Career Publication Award.

Dr. Kent McIntosh is an Associate Professor at the University of Oregon and the Associate Director of Educational and Community Supports, a research unit in the College of Education. Dr. McIntosh received his degree in 2005 from the University of Oregon in School Psychology and has gone on to be a highly productice scholar. He has published over 44 peer reviewed papers in widely respected journals in special education and school psychology, including the Journal of School Psychology Review, Journal of Special Education, Exceptional Children, and Journal of School Psychology. In addition, he has attempted to disseminate his research in a way that impacts practitioners. Specifically, he has published curricula, developed measurement of behavior, and made numerous keynote presentations. Additionally, he is a prolific grant writer, securing over 20 million dollars from the US Department of Education and private foundations. He was selected as an Early Career Scholar by the Society for the Study of School Psychology, and received honorable mention for the Lightner Witmer Award provided by the American Psychological Association.

Karrie A. Shogren
Associate Professor
Department of Special Education
School of Education
University of Kansas
Kent McIntosh
Associate Professor
Special Education and Clinical Services
College of Education
University of Oregon

Early Career Publication Award

Dr. Christina Yuknis is the recipient of the 2015 Early Career Publication Award. This award recognizes outstanding research publications by individuals who completed their doctorate within the last five years.
Dr. Yuknis received her Ph.D. in education policy with a specialization in curriculum theory and development from the University of Maryland in 2010. She is an assistant professor of education at Gallaudet University.  The following publication was nominated:  Yuknis, C. (2014). A grounded theory of text revision processes used by young adolescents who are deaf. Exceptional Children, 80, 307-322.

Christina Yuknis
Associate Professor
Department of Education
Gallaudet University

Student Research Award

Awards were made this year in each of the three categories DR recognizes in this awards program:  qualitative, quantitative and single subject design.  This program recognizes high-quality research conducted by students in the course of their undergraduate or graduate special education training program.

Qualitative Design 

Title: Learning Together: General and Special Education Teachers’ Evolving Understanding of Word Study Content during Ongoing Collaborative Professional Development

Abstract:  Providing teachers structured time to learn collaboratively in professional development efforts serves two important functions in schools implementing Response to Intervention frameworks. For one, structured collaboration provides teachers with a mechanism for situating knowledge and skills for integrating effective evidence-based practices into tiered instruction.  Second, this type of coordinated work supports teams of general and special education teachers in aligning instruction across the tiers of instructional support. This study examines the discussion of upper elementary school general and special education teachers (n = 7) within the context of literacy related lesson study collaborative planning sessions.  Constructivist grounded theory methods were employed to investigate how participation in this professional development innovation impacted teachers’ knowledge of effective literacy practices

Student Awardee: Amber Benedict, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Associate
Department of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood
University of Florida

Advisor: Mary Brownell, Ph.D.
Department of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood
University of Florida

Quantitative Design

Title: Predictors of School Engagement for Females with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities

Abstract:  The purpose of the current study was to build a foundation of knowledge and practices for educators and researchers to better support and educate this unique population of females.  To better understand females with EBD, the researcher imposed a study, situated in two frameworks—the Culturally Responsive Theory Framework (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 1995) and the Participation-Identification Model (Finn, 1989), to look into the predictors of school engagement for females with EBD. The researcher utilized quantitative data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 to build three structural equation models (SEM) on the predictors of school engagement for students with EBD. Results and procedures are discussed for each SEM created as well as suggestions for the field.

Student Awardee: Stacey Hardin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Illinois State University

Advisor: Lisa Dieker, Ph.D.
Pegasus Professor
University of Central Florida

Single-Subject Design 

Title: Effects of a Peer-delivered Computer-assisted Culturally Relevant Academic Vocabulary Intervention for Latino English Learners with Disabilities

Abstract:  This study examined the effects of a culturally relevant peer-delivered computer-assisted vocabulary instruction on the academic vocabulary acquisition and generalization of Latino English learners with disabilities. Using a reciprocal peer tutoring format, a total of six participants were each trained and served as both tutor and tutee during the intervention phase of this study. The vocabulary intervention consisted of 12 lessons across six instructional units of 10 words taught during each instructional session. Using a multiple probe across participants and a simultaneous treatment design, results showed all six participants demonstrated significant gains in academic vocabulary knowledge, and the ability to generalize learned vocabulary knowledge on grade-level passages, and, to a lesser extent, maintain learned vocabulary at the end of an 8-week maintenance phase. Cumulative data showed that all participants more accurately responded on culturally relevant passages than on the non-culturally relevant passages. Results of the social validity consumer satisfaction questionnaires showed positive reporting from the participants, teachers, and Latino family members.

Student Awardee: Adrienne Anderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Special Education
College of Education and Allied Professions
Western Carolina University

Advisor: Ya-yu Lo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Special Education and Child Development
University of North Carolina at Charlotte