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Special Education News

Doctoral student's groundbreaking research topic leads to prestigious Doris Duke Fellowship

Mar. 19, 2014

Catherine Corr’s designation a first for College, Urbana-Champaign campus Read more...

UI study suggests autism can be discovered at earlier age

Mar. 17, 2014

A new study conducted by Dr. Laurie M. Jeans, Professor Rosa Milagros Santos Gilbertz, Daniel Laxman, Professor Brent McBride, and Dr. Justin Dyer suggests that many of the behavioral and cognitive characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can be identified when children are as young as age 2—earlier than was previously thought. Read more...

Program for children with disabilities finds new home in Special Education

Jan. 22, 2014

In dreaming of their future children, most expecting parents imagine red hair or blonde, blue eyes or brown, left-handed or right. For parents of children with disabilities, though, their time is often spent imagining a better world for their child. Read more...

Micki Ostrosky

Special Education professor offers ways to head off challenging behaviors in young children

Jan. 16, 2014

Preschoolers who engage in challenging behaviors – patterns of behavior that interfere with learning and social interaction – are at increased risk of academic failure and peer rejection, among other poor outcomes. Read more...

College of Education student receives prestigious Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award

Dec. 2, 2013

Amanda Rowland, a senior in Special Education from Burr Ridge, Illinois, received the 2013 Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award as the sole recipient from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This award seeks to recognize senior students from four-year, degree-granting institutions in Illinois for their excellence in curricular and extra-curricular programs, while honoring their contributions to the benefit of humanity in or on behalf of the state of Illinois. Read more...

Accomplished graduate drawn to special education from high school onward

Oct. 23, 2013

During Abbey Storey’s senior year of high school, she was selected to be a peer leader for an adapted physical education class for individuals with disabilities. Upon nervously entering the gymnasium, a girl with a severe form of autism grabbed Storey’s hand with a welcoming smile and led her through the gym. From that moment, Storey knew she wanted to pursue a career in special education. Read more...

Special Education doctoral student turns kindness into art with service-learning project

Oct. 17, 2013

Visitors, students, and staff walking through the College of Education's Student Academic Affairs Office can now enjoy a new, decorative piece of art on the office wall: the “Be Kind Illinois” mosaic, made by Michelle Bonati, a 2014 doctoral candidate in Special Education. Read more...

Special Education student receives DEC's Kathleen W. McCartan Award for making a difference in the lives of young children

Oct. 14, 2013

Kristen Lawrence, a second year master's degree student in the Department of Special Education, is the recipient of the 2013 Kathleen W. McCartan Award, bestowed by the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) to honor individuals who are making a difference in the lives of young children and their families. The award also recognizes outstanding scholarship, dedication to community and university programs, and professional leadership. Read more...

Reforms would benefit early childhood education programs in Illinois

Sep. 10, 2013

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013, UI NEWS BUREAU, CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Sharita Forrest — Illinois officials need to re-examine enrollment and funding policies for the state’s public early childhood education programs to eliminate barriers that may keep the neediest of children from attending. Read more...

Faculty, students, alumni have another banner year at AERA annual meeting

May 8, 2013

In its usual tradition, the College of Education had exceptional representation at the American Educational Research Association's 2013 Annual Meeting, held April 27 through May 1 in San Francisco. More than 130 faculty and students represented our College with superior papers and presentations. Read more...

Autism Program's Linda Tortorelli one of six academic professionals honored for excellence

May 1, 2013

APRIL 18, 2013, UI NEWS BUREAU, CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Six academic professionals were honored with the 2013 Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence awards at a reception held in April. Read more...

Special educators get new survival guide from SPED professor Maya Israel

Apr. 30, 2013

Maya Israel, assistant professor of Special Education, has recently coauthored a new book titled “The Beginning Special Educator's Survival Guide.” According to the authors, the book provides what every Special Education teacher needs to know "to survive and thrive.” Read more...

UI campus honors professors Stacy Dymond and Cris Mayo with teaching excellence awards

Apr. 26, 2013

Stacy Dymond, associate professor of Special Education, and Cris Mayo, professor of Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership, have both received 2013 campus teaching awards. They were recognized at the Celebration of Teaching Excellence with other teaching award winners from across campus on April 23. Read more...

Special Education alumna Barbara Bateman honored for lifetime achievement by Council for Exceptional Children

Apr. 11, 2013

Barbara D. Bateman (Ph.D. '62 Educ. Admin.) has been named the recipient of the J.E. Wallace Wallin Special Education Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). She was presented with the award at the Council's 2013 convention held earlier this month in in San Antonio. Read more...

College announces outstanding and distinguished faculty/staff awards for 2013

Apr. 2, 2013

The College of Education is pleased to announce the faculty, staff, and students who are recipients of the College's 2013 Faculty and Staff Awards. Recipients will be recognized at the spring faculty meeting, which will be held at 2:00 p.m. on May 2 in room 22 in the Education Building. Read more...

Special Education alumna Christie Gilson honored with UI Alumni Association humanitarian award for improving and enriching lives of others

Apr. 1, 2013

Christie L. Gilson, Ph.D. '08 SpEd, assistant professor of Education at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., has been selected to receive the 2013 Alumni Humanitarian Award by the University of Illinois Alumni Association (UIAA). Read more...

Service learning project unites Special Education students, others

Mar. 27, 2013

Ben's Bells, a service learning project in the Department of Special Education, was recently featured in postmarks, a publication for parents and friends at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, published by the UI News Bureau. Read more...

College of Education showcases research and community outreach in campus Public Engagement Symposium

Mar. 6, 2013

On February 28, 2013, the University of Illinois held its fifth annual Public Engagement Symposium to celebrate innovation in various fields through programs and organizations on campus. Students, faculty, and members of the community presented posters that displayed their projects and respective engagement with the public. The symposium was sponsored by the Office of Public Engagement and Online and Continuing Education. Read more...

Student Nicole Beck and Alumna Laura Taylor to be presented with McKinley Foundation's Social Justice Award

Feb. 21, 2013

Nicole Beck, a junior in Special Education, will be presented with the Individual Student Social Justice Award from the McKinley Foundation on March 9. Throughout her college career, Beck has worked with children with disabilities, including assisting with the Buddy Walk for families with a Down syndrome member and spending time with children at the Little Angels facility in Elgin. Read more...

Special Education graduate student Michelle Bonati 'takes action,' featured on WCIA news [video]

Feb. 6, 2013

FEBRUARY 4, 2013, WCIA NEWS, ILLINOIS HOMEPAGE.NET, CHAMPAIGN — A UI student, Michelle Bonati, is teaching people in the community to pay it forward. Her friend's son died suddenly in 2002. Now she, and people around the country, are Taking Action to honor his memory. Read more...

Bells ring for Ben and inspire kindness: Ben's Bells implemented via service-learning course at Illinois

Jan. 8, 2013

If you didn't know much about Ben's Bells, you might think it's a simplistic pay-it-forward campaign in which willing participants can feel better about themselves by performing a fleeting good deed—a warm and fuzzy moment in time. Read more...

Bureau of Educational Research holds seminar: 'Long but Fulfilling Journey to Distinguished Teaching and Advising'

Dec. 19, 2012

Students, faculty, and staff joined together to hear advice and reflections of College of Education teaching award recipients at the Bureau of Educational Research's fall seminar, held on December 6. After sharing a meal, attendees enjoyed hearing down-to-earth and practical teaching and advising insight from three panel members, all of whom won a 2011-12 outstanding graduate teaching award. Read more...

Special Education Professor Rosa Milagros Santos to receive Outstanding Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Leadership Award

Dec. 13, 2012

Rosa Milagros Santos, associate professor in Special Education, has been notified that she'll receive the Outstanding CEC Leadership award, an award that honors a Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) member who has made significant contributions to the council’s programs not only at the local and state/provincial level, but also on the national and international level, over an extended period of time. Award winners will be honored at CEC's annual convention that will be held next April in San Antonio, Texas. Read more...

UNC literacy expert Karen Erickson to give annual Goldstick Lecture

Nov. 2, 2012

NOVEMBER 2, 2012, UI NEWS BUREAU, CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Sharita Forrest — Karen Erickson, a literacy expert, will give the annual Goldstick Family Lecture in the Study of Communication Disorders at the University of Illinois on Nov. 8. Erickson’s talk is titled “Conditions of Literacy Learning Success for Students With Significant Disabilities.” Read more...

Students highlight Morrill Act in online project covering American education legislation

Nov. 2, 2012

As part of the campus-wide Morrill Act Celebration held in late October, clinical associate professor Johnell Bentz had her students create timeline projects to show how the Morrill Act and other legislation have impacted American education. Read more...

College announces promotions of faculty, staff

Oct. 30, 2012

At the College's fall faculty meeting held earlier this month, unit leaders announced changes of status and key accomplishments within their respective units. In addition, four faculty members from the College of Education have received promotions effective this academic year. Read more...

Rosa Milagros Santos to receive prestigious Merle B. Karnes Service to the Division award

Sep. 25, 2012

The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children has named Special Education Associate Professor Rosa Milagros Santos the 2012 recipient of the Merle B. Karnes Service to the Division award. This award is given to a DEC member who has made a significant contribution to the division in areas of leadership, service, research, advocacy, or publications. Read more...

College introduces new faculty for 2012-13 academic year

Aug. 29, 2012

The College of Education is pleased to announce new faculty for the 2012-13 academic year: Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky and Maya Israel have joined the Department of Special Education and Dan Berry has joined the Department of Educational Psychology. Read more...

Self-directed learning helps some students reach goals, study suggests

Jul. 24, 2012

July 24, 2012, CHAMPAIGN, Ill., News Bureau, Sharita Forrest — Students with cognitive and learning disabilities that engaged in a self-directed learning program were more likely to access mainstream instruction and achieve their academic or other goals, suggests research by Karrie A. Shogren, a special education expert at the University of Illinois. Read more...

Special Education professor Janet Gaffney lands literacy position in New Zealand

Jun. 4, 2012

Sometimes, a new job is just that—a new job. Maybe it's for the sake of a different job, or maybe it's a slightly better opportunity, perhaps a half-step up on the career ladder. Then other times, a job change is life-defining and life-altering; a most-of-my-life-has-led-me-to-this-moment job change. For Janet Gaffney, her new appointment as professor of Educational Psychology–literacy at the University of Auckland in New Zealand is definitely the latter. Read more...

Ben's Bells wind chimes symbolize kindness, service learning project

May 7, 2012

Editor's Note: The News-Gazette recently featured UI doctoral student Michelle Bonati and a project she started here called Ben's Bells. Bonati is co-teaching a service-learning class for future social studies, special education, and art education teachers with Stacy Dymond, an associate professor in the College's Department of Special Education. She wanted to bring Ben's Bells to central Illinois because she wants young people to understand the power they have to make their community a better place, "by practicing intentional kindness in their everyday lives." She said that through the service learning class, "students will have opportunities to gain knowledge and skills that can be applied in real world situations that meet a need or goal in their community. I also think getting out in the community and working on a hands-on project is a fun way to learn something new," Bonati explained. She said she would love to see other aspects of Ben’s Bells be introduced in the Champaign County area. "Several other kindness-related initiatives have been implemented in Tucson that I think would be relevant to Champaign students and the community, such as bystander intervention programs and kindness mosaic murals." Read more...

Special Education part of New IES grant to study Common Core State Standards for students with disabilities

Mar. 14, 2012

James Shriner, associate professor in Special Education, is the principal investigator for a new Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant titled “Implementing the Common Core State Standards for Students with Disabilities: Research and Development of Web-based Supports for IEP Team Decision.” Read more...

Alumna Christie Gilson appointed to White House key administration post

Mar. 14, 2012

Christie L. Gilson, Ph.D. '08 SpEd, assistant professor of Education at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., has been nominated by President Barack Obama to a key administration post. She will serve as a member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB), which was announced by the White House on March 2. She will serve a three-year term with the possibility of serving a second term. Read more...

Rosa Milagros Santos part of new IES grant to study men's parenting behaviors in families of children with disabilities

Mar. 6, 2012

Rosa Milagros Santos, associate professor in Special Education, is one of four investigators for a new Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant that will examine men’s parenting behaviors in families of children with disabilities. The four investigators learned that their grant received $375,513 funding in late January. The principal investigator (PI) of the grant is Brent McBride, professor in Human and Community Development in ACES and director of the Child Development Lab. Read more...

C&I students and fourth graders experience shared learning through 'Spirit of Uganda'

Mar. 2, 2012

Students from Liora Bresler’s C&I 581 class recently got the chance to see how fourth graders learn–not through typical classroom observation–but through a shared experience. Students from both the U of I and Thomas Paine Elementary School in Urbana attended "Spirit of Uganda" at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in February. About a week after seeing the show, they all met on a drab February afternoon to discuss the performance. Read more...

Special Education professor Jim Shriner interviewed on Chicago's WBEZ

Oct. 21, 2011

WBEZ-FM (91.5) (NPR; Chicago, Oct. 20) -- In an interview with WBEZ about Individualized Educational Plan or Programs (IEPs),Jim Shriner, professor of special education, says money and resources prevent most schools from providing for students with special needs. Read more...

Learning about disabilities fosters social acceptance, study finds

Jun. 26, 2011

Kindergartners who listen to stories about their similarities with children who have disabilities and engage in activities with peers who have special needs are more socially accepting, according to a new study by two special education professors. Read more...

Faculty Profiles: Bob Henderson

Feb. 1, 2011

PROFILE: Special Education Professor Emeritus Bob Henderson honored in Korea for Marine Corps Service; Continues His Support of Special Education. At age 17, Bob Henderson pledged "Semper Fidelis" to join the Marine Corp in 1943. Less than a decade later, his duties led him to one of the most pivotal engagements of the Korean War: the battle at the Chosin Reservoir. In service to his country and to those with special needs, now Professor Emeritus Bob Henderson has devoted his life to making a difference. Read more...

College of Education Junior Wins Prestigious Leadership Award

Jun. 21, 2010

Saying Caity Collins is an involved student would be an understatement. Her hard work, good grades, position as President of Epsilon Delta (a student group for future educators), and involvement in Student Alumni Ambassadors and the Champaign County Down Syndrome Network all culminated to win her the Barbara Seaquist Williams Leadership Award. Read more...

This is What it's Like to Teach

May 20, 2010

"Our students do rock!" says Cheryll Douglas, Director of the Office of Clinical Experiences, which coordinates field placements for student teachers. "We continue to prepare strong candidates for the teaching profession by making their career goal to teach so that all students are successful and to build a community within the classroom to foster a feeling of trust. Our students are strong in instructional knowledge of using universal and selected interventions to meet the needs of all learners and using methods of inquiry to develop higher thinking and achieving students." Read more...

After School Arts Program Introduces Local Students to 'Whole Different World'

May 20, 2010

West African drum beats emanated from the room as hundreds of parents and children watched, captivated by the intricate rhythms. Led by master drummer Bolokada Conde, around 20 drummers played together to create a sound unique to traditional African music. But unlike Conde, these drummers did not hail from West Africa. They were elementary students from the Champaign-Urbana area. Read more...

Herbert Goldstein, Pioneer in Special Education, Remembered

Feb. 15, 2010

Herbert Goldstein earned his Ed.D. in Special Education from the University of Illinois in 1957. During his time at Illinois, Goldstein became an associate professor, while also serving as a special consultant to the Illinois Department of Public Instruction. Goldstein worked on numerous projects for the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children (IREC), earning recognition as a pioneer in the field of Special Education. One of his major projects, with J.W. Moss and Laura Jordan, was published by the IREC in 1965, The Efficacy of Special Class Training on the Development of Mentally Retarded Children. Read more...