Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Faculty
Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ed.D. is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program and faculty director of the Early Childhood Laboratory School at UK. Dr. Grisham-Brown is co-author of two books on blended practices in early childhood education (Blended Practices in Early Childhood Education (2017, 2005) and Blended Assessment Practices in Early Childhood Education [2011). Dr. Grisham-Brown has directed or co-directed numerous state and federal grants in the areas of personnel preparation, program evaluation, training and technical assistance, model development, and research. Her research interests include authentic assessment, tiered instruction, and blended practices. Dr. Grisham-Brown is a member of the Early Intervention Management and Research Group, where she is part of a team of professionals who are responsible for the development and research of the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System (Bricker, 2002). Dr. Grisham-Brown is co-founder of a children’s home and preschool program in Guatemala City called Hope for Tomorrow.
Dr. Sarah Hawkins-Lear is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program. She has an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders, a masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education and doctoral degree in Moderate to Severe Disabilities. Dr. Hawkins-Lear has been in the field of special education for over 20 years working as a preschool teacher, early interventionist, and researcher prior to higher education. Currently, her research interest areas include working with preschool teachers on using embedded instruction when working with young children with significant disabilities.
Dr. Katherine McCormick is a Professor in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and holds the James W. and Diane V. Stuckert Service-Learning Professorship. Dr. McCormick has been actively involved in program, department, college and university initiatives. She is currently the Chair of the University Senate Council. She has been the Chair of the College of Education Faculty Senate Council and also chaired the Academic Area Advisory Committee for the Social Sciences. She has served on the Graduate Council, and the University Appeals Board. Dr. McCormick is also a successful researcher in the fields of early intervention and early childhood special education. She has participated as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on numerous projects funded by private foundations or state and federal agencies. Her current research interests include transition for young children, assessment and accountability practices, community engagement, and service-learning. She is actively engaged in global initiatives for the university and college.
Early Childhood Lab
Charlotte Manno is the Staff Director of the University of Kentucky’s Early Childhood Laboratory. She is also a lecturer in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, teaching Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education courses. As the Staff Director, Ms. Manno supervises the teaching staff, manages the budget, coordinates the educational program, works with parents and ensures the Lab exceeds national accreditation and state quality regulations for child care centers.
Charlotte received her Bachelor’s Degree as well as her Master’s Degree from the University of Kentucky. She began working at the Lab while working on her Master’s Degree and taught full-time in the preschool program before becoming the Staff Director of the Lab.
Kelly Sampson is a lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program. She joined the University of Kentucky IECE program having served 30 years in public education holding positions as an early childhood educator, primary teacher, principal, and director of early childhood. Kelly received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Administrative degree and certification from Eastern Kentucky University.
While serving as principal, Kelly initiated and invested in the International Alliance for Invitational Education establishing and maintaining a partnership between Jessamine Early Learning Village and Anchors Schools of Hong Kong. Kelly has twice led a team of educators to Hong Kong to model developmentally appropriate teaching practices for early childhood schools. Currently Sampson’s area of interest is the inclusion of students with disabilities and the development and implementation of successful co-teaching strategies and collaboration.
Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Faculty
David Beach, Ph.D., CRC
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Dr. Beach received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2006, his M.R.C. from the University of Kentucky, and his B.A. from Georgetown College (Ky.). He is the current Director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Kentucky. Previous to this position, Dr. Beach served as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. He has served the profession in many roles, most recently as President of the National Rehabilitation Association.
Malachy Bishop, Ph.D. (Rehabilitation Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program and Coordinator of the Rehabilitation Counseling Doctoral Program. He also serves as Director of Development and Research for the University of Kentucky’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, the Human Development Institute. Dr. Bishop has authored over 100 journal articles and book chapters in health care and rehabilitation counseling. Recent funded research includes projects in psychosocial and employment-related aspects of chronic neurological conditions; quality of life and adaptation to disability; and multiple sclerosis health care and self-management.
Professor Crystal completed his bachelor’s degree at Pace University (Psychology), master’s degree at New York University (Rehabilitation Counseling), and doctoral at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (rehabilitation counselor education, research, and program evaluation). He is currently department chair and an Endowed Professor in Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Crystal is a past Coordinator of the Rehabilitation Counseling program and department Director of Graduate Studies. He previously served on the faculty of the Rehabilitation Counseling program and Research Director of a Rehabilitation Research Institute at the University of Michigan. He began his career at a rehabilitation facility providing counseling, evaluation, and employment services to persons with disabilities. He has served as a journal editor and reviewer and has published in the areas of program evaluation, client satisfaction, and forensic rehabilitation. He has been an accreditation site reviewer for rehabilitation counseling programs.
Dr. Feist-Price received her doctorate in rehabilitation counseling and administration from Southern Illinois University in 1992 with a specialization in gerontology. In 2006, Dr. Feist-Price completed a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Feist-Price has worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor serving an injured worker population and individuals with mental illness. Dr. Feist-Price is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Kentucky, and a Licensed Psychologist in Kentucky. Dr. Feist-Price research interests include caregivers of persons with disabilities, HIV prevention, and vocational rehabilitation among veterans with disabilities and ex-offenders with disabilities. Dr. Feist-Price has authored numerous scholarly publications and made invited and refereed presentations at international, national, and regional conference venues. She has been the recipient of awards acknowledging significant contributions to academic research and teaching, including the Rehabilitation Researcher of the Year, Exceptional Researcher of the Year, Teacher Who Made a Difference, and Adult Black Achiever. Presently, Dr. Feist-Price is the Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs. Prior to this position, she served as the University’s Academic Ombud for three years.
Debra A. Harley, Ph.D., CRC, LPC is a Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor and co-coordinator of the doctoral rehabilitation counseling program. She is a Mary E. Switzer Scholar and a recipient of the Educator of the Year Award from the National Council on Rehabilitation, and the Sylvia Walker Education Award from the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns. Dr. Harley has published books on the Contemporary Mental Health Issues Among African Americans, a Handbook of LGBT Elders, and Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation in Rural Communities. She is past editor of the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, and the Journal of Rehabilitation Administration, and a past commissioner of Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and member of Council On Rehabilitation Education. Dr. Harley teaches course on cultural diversity, substance abuse, supervision, and disaster recovery.
Dr. Maxwell is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling program. She is a three-time alumna of the Rehabilitation Psychology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Dr. Maxwell is currently developing an undergraduate rehabilitation program at the University of Kentucky. This will complement the existing master’s and doctoral programs.
Dr. Maxwell’s research interests include chronic pain, impression management, invisible disabilities, readiness, supervision of students completing clinical work, undergraduate rehabilitation programs, and program and course development and evaluation.
Dr. Rogers is the Rehabilitation Counseling Distance Education Program Coordinator. She completed her doctoral degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2001 and has a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and has over 20 years experience in both public and private rehabilitation agencies providing direct services to individuals with disabilities.
Dr. Rogers is the Co-Principal Investigator for the Master’s training grant for distance education students. Her research interests are in the area of employment of Social Security Disability recipients, job placement of individuals with disabilities, and vocational evaluation.
Kathy Sheppard-Jones, PhD, CRC
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Ph.D. (Educational Psychology, University of Kentucky) is an adjunct assistant professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling program. She is also the training and adult services director at the Human Development Institute, Kentucky’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. In that role, she oversees HDI’s Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities.
She is also responsible for several projects in collaboration with the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Kentucky Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Kentucky Department of Medicaid, and the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Her research interests include quality of life and consumer satisfaction. Dr Sheppard-Jones has received the AUCD Young Professionals Award for contributions to the field of developmental disability.
Special Education Faculty and Instructors
Gerald Abner is a Clinical Instructor in the Teacher Preparation Program for Visual Impairments. He received his undergraduate degree in Art Education from the University of Kentucky (UK), a Masters in Visual Impairment from the University of Louisville, and an Education Specialist degree in Assistive Technology from UK. Gerald served as an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired in Kentucky for 29 years and focuses on bringing his clinical experience to the university classroom. Currently, Abner’s area of interest is on the use of tactile symbols to increase literacy and communication for students with visual impairments and complex needs.
Kera Ackerman, Ph.D.
Dr. Kera Ackerman is an assistant professor of special education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. Her research interests include teacher productivity, training in co-teaching, evidence-based, and high leverage practices, and the use of these strategies in co-taught classrooms. Dr. Ackerman taught in P-12 schools for the first eleven years of her career and achieved National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. She is an active member of the CEEDAR state leadership team and the KACTE K-CEEDAR research committee, promoting the integration of evidence-based and high leverage practices into pre-service teacher training.
Allan Allday is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling as well as the director of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program at the University of Kentucky (UK). His professional focus is improving outcomes of children and youth who exhibit behaviors that interfere with their social functioning. Dr. Allday provides consultation, using principles of ABA, to schools and families to support their work with a child exhibiting challenging behaviors. He is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D) and the contact for UK’s Verified Course Sequence for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. He and colleagues recently received a five-year $1,245,180 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The grant will train behavior analysts and school psychologists to work collaboratively to serve children with disabilities exhibiting academic, behavioral and/or social challenges.
Dr. Melinda Jones Ault is an associate professor and the current Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Ault received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, and a Master’s degree and Doctorate from the University of Kentucky. Her expertise is in students with severe disabilities in which she focuses on systematic instruction. An additional research interest is related to including persons with disabilities in their places of worship. She has published 59 journal articles and co-authored a textbook related to systematic instruction for students with moderate and severe disabilities, an environmental assessment instrument for early childhood K-3 classrooms, a computer program for single case research design, an instructional material for the implementation of assistive technology in schools. She regularly presents at national and international professional conferences.
Margaret E. Bausch, Ed. D. is a professor in the University of Kentucky’s Assistive Technology (AT) Program and Director of the AT Certificate. She is co-chair of the Publications committee for the Technology and Media Division of CEC. She has authored publications in refereed journals and is the co-editor of the recently released book, Apps for All students: A Teacher’s Desktop Guide. She has 48 peer-reviewed and keynote presentations at national and international conferences. Dr. Bausch currently teaches courses in AT, AT Assessment, and Coordinating AT Programs.
Dr. Brian Bottge is the William T. Bryan Endowed Chair in Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Prior to his appointment at UK, he was Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he was given Emeritus status.
Dr. Bottge is best known for Enhanced Anchored Instruction (EAI), which is a strategy for teaching math to low-performing adolescents. EAI provides rich and engaging contexts (i.e., computer and hands-on applications) where students develop their computation and problem-solving skills. Dr. Bottge’s work has been supported by grants from the McDonnell Foundation Cognitive Studies in Educational Practice, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) (Cognition and Student Learning). Dr. Bottge’s research is highlighted in the U. S. Department of Education “Doing What Works” website and has been reported in various education and technology publications.
Channon K. Horn, Ph.D is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky. Her professional career has focused on advocating for appropriate educational opportunities for students with disabilities. Dr. Horn has extensive experience in the field of Special Education as it relates to individuals with Moderate to Severe Disabilities and individuals with Learning and Behavioral Disorders.
Her current research interests include: strategies to actively engage all learners in inclusive environments, the use of evidenced based instructional strategies, and the implementation of technology to positively impact learners with exceptionalities. Additionally, Dr. Horn is passionate about supporting pre-service teachers in their quest for effectiveness.
Dr. Justin D. Lane is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Lane’s research focuses on designing and evaluating individualized interventions for young children with low-incidence disabilities. His specific areas of research include: (a) naturalistic language interventions to improve expressive communication in young children who are minimally verbal, (b) promoting early social behaviors between children with social communication delays and same-age peers with typical social development (c) coaching indigenous implementers to conduct naturalistic procedures with fidelity during typical activities, and (c) systematically training pre-service professionals to visually analyze single case data.
Dr. Donna Brostek Lee is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. She oversees the Visual Impairment Program and has a background as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist. Dr. Lee received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University, followed by her doctoral degree from the University of Louisville.
Dr. Lee is deeply committed to improving educational services for children who are blind and visually impaired in Kentucky. She established the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments which began at UK in 2013 and is currently working to develop the O&M program. Her research interests include assistive technology, sleep programs in children who are blind, and tactile graphics.
Prior to receiving his doctorate at the University of Iowa in 1981, Dr. Robert McKenzie served as a public school secondary social studies teacher and special education resource teacher. Since arriving at the University of Kentucky in 2002, he has been a member of the Learning and Behavior Disorders program faculty and served as that program’s Faculty Chair from 2004 – 2008. Dr. McKenzie’s area of instructional expertise is the assessment of learning and other mild disabilities. His research focuses on improving the quality of collaborative, co-teaching models of instruction, and issues related to response-to-intervention models.
Rosemary Nave Stawasz, M.A
Clinical Assistant Professor
Rosemary Nave Stawasz is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. She received undergraduate degree in Special Education- Visual Impairment and a graduate degree in Orientation and Mobility. Rosemary has fourteen years of experience as an itinerant Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist and seven years as an adjunct instructor prior to higher education. She will be assisting with developing a new graduate program in Orientation and Mobility. Current research interests include the use of assistive technology devices and oral reading outcomes for students with low vision.
Dr. Sally B. Shepley is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst- Doctoral (BCBA-D). She received her Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, and Doctorate Degrees in Special Education at the University of Georgia.
Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Shepley taught adolescents with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the public school system. She also has experience training teachers and parents to implement behavior analytic strategies and assessing/treating severe problem behaviors in clinical settings.
Dr. Shepley’s line of research focuses on teaching procedures for adolescents and adults with disabilities as they prepare for the transition to post-secondary environments. Currently, her research focuses on teaching self-instructional skills using video technology presented on mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets) to adolescents with ASD and intellectual disability (ID).
Dr. Amy D. Spriggs is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Spriggs’ research focuses on designing and evaluating individualized interventions for individuals with moderate to severe disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. Her specific areas of research include: (a) technolgoy-based self-instructional strategies to promote independence and improve quality of life, (b) evaluating single case research studies for rigor when establishing evidence-based practices, (c) systematically training pre-service professionals to visually analyze single case data, and (d) skill acquisition for students and practitioners working with students moderate to severe disabilities and autism spectrum disorder