Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Faculty
Jennifer Grisham-Brown is a professor and program chair in the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program and faculty director of the Early Childhood Laboratory school. She is co-author of two books on blended education in early childhood education (Blended Practices in Early Childhood Education and Blended Assessment Practices in Early Childhood Education – in press). Her research interests include authentic assessment, tiered instruction, and inclusion of children with significant disabilities. Dr. Grisham-Brown is co-founder of a children’s home and preschool program in Guatemala City called Hope for Tomorrow, where she accompanies students for the education abroad program.
Katherine McCormick, Ph.D.
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 a number of program, department, college and university initiatives at UK. She has served as Program Chair and Chair of the College of Education Faculty Council. University service has included Senate Council membership, and chair and member of the Senate’s Retroactive Withdrawal and Appeals Committee. She currently serves on the Graduate Council, the Academic Area Advisory Committee for the Social Sciences and the University Appeals Board, and is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Work Team for the new University Financial Model.
Dr. McCormick came to UK in 1998 from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She attended Auburn University for her Ph.D. and the University of Alabama Birmingham for advanced degrees in School Psychology. While in Alabama Dr. McCormick worked as a classroom teacher of young children with developmental delays and also worked as a school psychologist. She also directed a rural migrant program, and taught at-risk adolescents and youth in an alternative school program.
Dr. McCormick is active in teaching, research and service. While in Georgia, Dr. McCormick was appointed by the Governor to chair the Georgia Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention. In Kentucky, Governor Beshear appointed her to the Early Childhood Authority. She serves on numerous college and university committees as well as state and national boards including editorial board membership for the premier journal in her discipline, the Journal of Early Intervention.
Dr. McCormick is 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. Research with other colleagues at UK includes a 3-yr research and evaluation project of the Kentucky primary program and a 7-yr federally funded project to study transition for young children with disabilities and their families across the early childhood years. She disseminates her work regularly through publications and presentations.
Current research interests include transition for young children, assessment and accountability practices, community engagement, and service-learning.
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 joins 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. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in early childhood education at Asbury University for four years.
In 1999, Ms. Sampson incited and led an Early Childhood Focus Group consisting of thirty community members, parents, educators and administrators. The group conducted an in-depth self-study of all district early childhood programs and culminated in setting the vision and strategy for what became the Jessamine Early Learning Village which Ms. Sampson led for 14 years.
While serving as principal, Ms. Sampson 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 since 2007. Ms. Sampson has twice led a team of educators to Hong Kong to model developmentally appropriate teaching practices for early childhood schools. She and the team also conducted professional development for local educators and provided parent education for families.
Her interests center on the inclusion of students with disabilities and the development and implementation of successful co-teaching strategies and collaboration.
Ms. Sampson received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Administrative degree and certification from Eastern Kentucky University.
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’s clinical background includes rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation psychology and neuropsychology in physical medicine and rehabilitation and other health care settings, and vocational assessment. Dr. Bishop has authored over 100 journal articles and book chapters in health care and rehabilitation counseling. He conducts research in psychosocial and employment-related aspects of chronic neurological conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and brain injury; quality of life and adaptation to disability; self-management; and developmental disabilities. Dr. Bishop is a five-time recipient of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association’s Research Award, and the 2015 recipient of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education Researcher of the Year award.
Dr. Crystal is the Rehabilitation Counseling Program Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pace University (1970), master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from New York University (1972), and doctoral degree in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1977).
After completing his master’s degree he worked at a facility serving persons with physical, mental, and learning disabilities with regarding to vocational assessment, vocational counseling, job training, and job placement. After completing his doctoral degree he was employed at the University of Michigan where he served as research director of a rehabilitation research institute with a focus on the evaluation of public rehabilitation programs. He was also on the faculty of the rehabilitation counseling program.
In 1981, Dr. Crystal was appointed as coordinator of the rehabilitation counseling program at the University of Kentucky. In 1995, Dr. Crystal was instrumental in establishing a distance education program in partnership with the two state rehabilitation agencies in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This program has evolved into a nationally recognized web based master’s degree program.
Dr. Crystal oversaw the reaccreditation of the Rehabilitation Counseling program in 2013. He is currently leading the faculty initiative to obtain accreditation for the program as a duly accredited Clinical Mental Health Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program.
Dr. Crystal has published in the area of rehabilitation program evaluation, consumer satisfaction, healthcare and disability, and forensic rehabilitation. Dr. Crystal is a Commissioner with the Council on Rehabilitation Education and reviews Rehabilitation Counseling programs for accreditation. Dr. Crystal also maintains a private rehabilitation practice.
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.
Dr. Harley received her bachelor’s degree in psychology (1981) and master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling (1983) from South Carolina State University. After completing her master’s degree, she worked as an employment counselor and a rehabilitation counselor in South Carolina. Dr. Harley received her doctoral degree in special education with concentrations in early childhood and in rehabilitation counseling from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1992). Before joining the faculty at the University of Kentucky (UK) she taught at Eastern Illinois University.
Her research foci include cultural diversity, gender issues, LGBTQ, substance abuse, aging, and ethics. Dr. Harley has authored 85 refereed journal articles; 45 book chapters; 29 book reviews, editorials, and comments; 9 conference proceedings, and 2 books in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, LGBTQ elderly, offender populations, and disability and race. She is past editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation Administration and the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling. She is a Mary E. Switzer Scholar and recipient of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education Educator of the Year Award (2006) and the Sylvia Walker Education Award (2001). Dr. Harley hold the distinction of Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor and received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching as a Tenured Faculty (2002). She is a former Chair of the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling at UK. In 2006 she was an inaugural inductee into the South Carolina State University Rehabilitation Counseling Program Hall of Fame.
Dr. Harley is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She served as a Commissioner for the Council on Rehabilitation Education and Commissioner and Board Member for Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Dr. Harley is affiliated with the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, the African American Studies and Research Program, and the Center on Research on Violence Against Women at the University of Kentucky. In addition to being a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Counseling, Dr. Harley has taught in the Honor’s Program, the Discovery Seminar, Women’s Studies, and Special Education.
Dr. Maxwell is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling program. She is a three-time alumni 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 and Human Services 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, and program and course development and evaluation.
Her professional experiences include working as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in the field of Mental Health at both a county mental health center and the county jail, providing solution-focused crisis mental health interventions and counseling, crisis stabilization planning and coordination of services, and time-limited case management.
Other related professional experiences include work with local Community Support Programs and at an internationally accredited Clubhouse Model clubhouse for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. Dr. Maxwell has also worked with veterans in the nationally recognized Compensated Work Therapy Program (Department of Veterans Affairs), at an intensive outpatient program for adults with substance use disorders, and at a youth services agency providing job skills training to adolescents (many with involvement in the justice system) at a youth job center.
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 Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. He has 25 years experience in the public school system as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI). Gerald received his undergraduate degree in Art Education from the University of Kentucky (UK), a Masters in Visual Impairments from the University of Louisville, and an Education Specialist degree in Assistive Technology from UK.
Mr. Abner has taught assistive technology classes at the university level and currently conducts professional development trainings at the local, state and national level. Combining his interest of assistive technology and visual impairments, his current focus is working with the new certification program for teachers of the visually impaired.
In 2004, Mr. Abner was named Special Educator of the year from the Kentucky State Department of Education. Together with a colleague, he has created and trademarked “Buckets of Literacy” which is an innovative way to create literacy experiences for inclusive classrooms using a variety of both instructional and assistive technologies. Following the Universal Design for Learning framework the Buckets allow teachers to create a print rich environment for all learners regardless of disability.
Mr. Abner also serves on a team of educators from Jessamine County Schools that travels to Hong Kong as part of the International Alliance for Invitational Education. This team spends time teaching in primary schools in Hong Kong to provide professional development and model teaching evident of Invitational Education practices.
Kera Ackerman’s lifelong focus has been on increasing academic and social outcomes for children with disabilities. She holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in special education, and has earned National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. The first 11 years of her career were spent as a special educator in public schools in four states.
After settling in Kentucky, Ms. Ackerman began her career in higher education first at Midway College (2006-2013) and now at the University of Kentucky. As a lecturer at UK, she teaches several lecture classes and is the student teaching supervisor. Her research interests include systematic instruction and evidence based practices in co-taught and general education settings. She has presented to teachers, colleagues, and pre-service teachers on topics related to special education such as: (a) Social Skills Development, (b) Legal Issues in Special Education, (c) Differentiated Instruction, (d) Restraint and Seclusion, and (e) Systematizing the Common Core through Graphic Organizers.
Ms. Ackerman is the secretary for the Kentucky Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, and has served on the standard setting committee for the PRAXIS Series assessments. In the community, she serves as a KTIP teacher educator and has mentored more than thirty KTIP interns in Fayette and Woodford counties.
R. Allan Allday is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky. His professional focus is working to improve outcomes of children and youth who exhibit behaviors that interfere with their social functioning. Dr. Allday provides consultation, using principles of applied behavior analysis (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 a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Kentucky.
Prior to completing his Ph.D. at Auburn University in 2004, Dr. Allday served as a special education teacher to students with emotional/behavioral disorders and as a behavioral consultant. He served in 2008 and 2010 as a Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine, where he provided instruction and consultation to universities, schools, and rehabilitation centers on how to work with children and youth with behavior challenges and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Dr. Allday’s research focuses on how adult behavior affects child behavior. He focuses on finding simple changes to adult behavior that improves a child’s outcomes. His research has been published in a variety of journals such as Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Education and Treatment of Children, Behavioral Disorders, and Teacher Education and Special Education. Dr. Allday primarily teaches courses related to ABA and behavioral consultation. He has also taught courses related to classroom and behavior management, characteristics of emotional/behavioral disorders, single subject research, ASD, and instructional methods for mild/moderate disabilities. Dr. Allday is the contact for the University of Kentucky’s approved course sequence for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Education and Treatment of Children, Journal of Disability Policy Studies, and Journal of Special Education Technology and has been a reviewer for Remedial and Special Education, Behavioral Disorders, Journal of Educational Psychology, NASSP Bulletin, and Family Relations.
Melinda Jones Ault is an assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Before coming to the university, Dr. Ault taught students with moderate and severe disabilities in rural Kentucky for 4 years. Dr. Ault served for many years as a research associate at the University of Kentucky, working on federally-funded research projects related to systematic instruction of students with moderate to severe disabilities, single subject research design, and early childhood special education. Most recently she served as the Project Director for the National Assistive Technology Research Institute, a federally funded project designed to examine factors related to the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of assistive technology services in schools.
Dr. Ault has co-authored a book related to systematic instruction for students with moderate to severe disabilities, an environmental assessment instrument for early childhood K-3 classrooms, a computer program for single subject research design, an instructional material for the implementation of assistive technology in schools, and over 35 journal articles related to her work. She regularly presents at national and international professional conferences.
Dr. Ault received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Special Education and a Masters degree in Special Education from the University of Kentucky. She received her Doctorate in Special Education from the University of Kentucky in 2010.
Her current research interests are in systematic instruction, communication, and technology applications for students with significant disabilities, and inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in their faith communities.
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.
Dr. Justin D. Lane is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. He received his doctorate in special education from the University of Georgia and a Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt University, he completed the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) training program.
Dr. Lane has experience teaching children in preschool classrooms, as well as providing educational and behavioral supports to families, practitioners, and young students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disabilities in classrooms, homes, and the community.
Dr. Lane’s research focuses on designing and evaluating individualized interventions for young children with low-incidence disabilities using single subject research methodology. His specific area of research is instruction for young children with ASD and related disabilities with a focus on increasing communication skills, social interactions with peers, and related functional behaviors in typical settings. In addition, Dr. Lane studies effective and efficient methods for measuring and evaluating observational data.
Donna Brostek Lee is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Prior to starting at UK, Dr. Lee was an assistant professor and the co-coordinator of the Teaching Children with Visual Impairments and Orientation & Mobility with Children programs at Western Michigan University. Her specialty is working with children who are blind and visually impaired. Dr. Lee established the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments which started admitting graduate students in the fall of 2013. She is currently working on the undergraduate aspect of the program.
Dr. Lee is very active in the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) and is currently the chair for the Personnel Preparation Division. She also has been a co-director of the Michigan Sports Education Camp for Youths with Visual Impairments for the past three years. Her research interests include sleep problems in young children who are blind and electronic travel aids for the blind. Most recently, Dr. Lee helped to develop an iOS app (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) called ViA with the Braille Institute of America and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). Dr. Lee provides training across the country on the use of iOS devices with the blind and visually impaired.
Dr. Lee received her doctorate from the University of Louisville and was honored to be a National Leadership in Visual Impairment (NCLVI) fellow during her doctoral program. Her master’s degree was in Orientation & Mobility and her bachelor’s degree in teaching was in elementary education and visual impairment. Both degrees were from Western Michigan University.
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.
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.
Dr. Shepley taught adolescents with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in public school prior to earning her doctorate. Dr. Shepley 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 Spriggs is an assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. She received her Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, and Doctorate Degrees in Special Education at the University of Georgia. While pursuing her degrees, Dr. Spriggs taught in the public schools, giving her over ten years of experience working with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and students with moderate/severe disabilities. During this time, she secured grant monies to be used in her classroom. Her research focused on student needs including practical systematic instruction implementation in the classroom, strategies to increase independence, access to recreation and leisure activities, and video modeling. Dr. Spriggs has authored book chapters and publications pertaining to these topics, and has presented her research at state and national conferences.
Dr. Spriggs is currently the Program Faculty Coordinator for the Moderate and Severe Disabilities (MSD) program. She advises all undergraduates and teaches MSD courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Research interests include practical systematic instructional strategies for individuals with ASD and moderate/severe disabilities, increased independence, evidence-based practices, and technology.