Research, Inclusion & Innovation Speaker Series

As part of ongoing efforts to promote research culture and inclusive excellence by the College of Professional Education, COPE presents the annual Research, Inclusion & Innovation Speaker Series. The lineup for this year's series includes speakers with wide-ranging backgrounds and topics so do not miss out on the right experience(s) for you.

Register below for the Zoom session(s) you would like to attend.

Speaker Series Lineup

Spring 2023

Elizabeth Murakami

January 26, 2023 - 12 p.m.
Old Main Building (OMB) - Room 257

Elizabeth Murakami, PhD
Professor of Educational Leadership, Texas A&M University - San Antonio

Faculty Development in the Era of Equity and Inclusion

Elizabeth Murakami, PhD is a professor of educational leadership and assists the president on special projects in the Office of Equity and Inclusive Excellence at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Under her leadership, the university was recently awarded the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for its efforts in serving a highly Hispanic institution.

Murakami's activities include advising, fostering programs, and promoting university activities for faculty, staff, and students, while affirming a broad campus culture of inclusive excellence within the university’s institutional goals for equity mindedness and inclusive excellence. She also serves as co-chair of the President’s Commission on Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

Research focus for Murakami lies in K-12 and Higher Education facets of race, gender and social justice in Latinx education. Her research articles include higher education faculty and school district leaders, and have appeared in journals such as Academe, Journal of Studies in Higher Education, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of School Leadership, Educational Management Administration and Leadership (EMAL), and the Journal of School Administration and Supervision.

Brenda Barrio

February 8, 2023 - 10 a.m.
Old Main Building (OMB) - Room 257

Brenda Barrio, PhD
Associate Professor, University of North Texas

Addressing Disproportionality in Special Education through a Social Justice Lens

Brenda Barrio, PhD is an Associate Professor of Special Education - Critical Perspectives at the University of North Texas.

Her research focuses on areas of disproportionality of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education, culturally responsive teaching, bilingual special education, and pre-/in-service teacher preparation. Barrio has more than 19 years of teaching experience including graduate and undergraduate special education courses and K-5th bilingual and inclusive education in Texas.

Currently, she is the Faculty Fellow in the Division of Research and Innovation at UNT and the assistant department chair in the educational psychology department. Barrio is also the co-founder of the UNT ELEVAR and WSU ROAR post-secondary education programs for young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and is the current President of the Council for Learning Disabilities.

Anne Ittner

April 26, 2023 - 12 p.m.

Anne Ittner, PhD
Assistant Professor, St. Cloud State University

Using Design-Based Research to Advance Social Presence in Online Learning Communities

Anne Ittner, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Her research interests include promoting linguistically and culturally sustaining literacy education for multilingual students in elementary grades, professional learning and literacy coaching, and topics related to working alongside teacher education programs to create equitable and inclusive experiences for all students.

In her research and scholarly activities, she utilizes goal-oriented approaches to investigation including Design-Based Research and Improvement Science. Her professional experiences include working with in-service and pre-service teacher candidates at Western Oregon University and the Minnesota Center for Reading Research at the University of Minnesota. 

Inspired by the challenges of online learning during the pandemic, a small group of faculty began a peer review process to innovate and study engagement and equity in their online learning environments. As a member of the faculty group, Ittner will explore in her presentation how they used Design-Based Research (DBR) with the pedagogical goal of creating equitable online learning for pre-service teachers through attention to social presence. 

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Fall 2022

Donald Easton-Brooks

September 8, 2022 - 12 p.m.

Donald Easton-Brooks, PhD
Dean of the College of Education & Human Development, University of Nevada, Reno

Equity in Education

Donald Easton-Brooks is an award-winning author, leader, researcher, and advocate in diversity, equity, inclusion and culturally responsive practices. After earning his PhD in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Educational Research and Culturally Responsive Practice at the University of Colorado at Denver, he went on to produce award-winning research and create programs to address academic challenges of minoritized communities by using quantitative methods to show the impact systematic barriers play.

Based on his research, Easton-Brooks helped create the Oregon Teacher Pathway and South Dakota Teacher Pathway programs designed to promote equity in education by diversifying the educator workforces and developing culturally responsive teachers. Elected to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) national board and the executive board of The Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADRE), he also was a member dean of the Learning and Education Academic Research Network (LEARN). He has been awarded for his leadership at the International Urban Education Conference and served as a mentor for the Committee on the Senior Scholars of Black Education (CSCE) through the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

 Michael Kennedy, PhD

October 5, 2022 - 12 p.m.

Michael J. Kennedy, PhD
Professor, University of Virginia

Building Declarative, Procedural, and Conditional Knowledge: The Elusive Pursuit of All Three

Michael J. Kennedy, PhD, has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles. Along with colleagues, he received a 2018 doctoral level and 2019 masters level training grant from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education. Kennedy and colleagues have won two grants from OSEP's Stepping Up Technology Implementation competition. He was an inaugural winner of the early career research and mentoring grant competition from the Institute for Education Sciences in 2013 and is Co-Editor of the Journal of Special Education Technology. Kennedy was awarded the 2021 TED/Pearson Excellence in Teacher Education Award, and he heads the STORMED Lab (Supporting Teachers through cOaching, obseRvations, and Multimedia to Educate students with Disabilities). 

Kennedy's main area of research is design, implementation, and experimental testing of multimedia-based interventions to support pre- and in-service teacher knowledge and implementation of evidence-based practices. Innovations include Content Acquisition Podcasts (CAPs) — instructional vignettes intended to support teacher knowledge and readiness to implement evidence-based and high-leverage practices and other uses. In addition, along with Rachel Kunemund, PhD, Kennedy created the COACHED (Capturing Observations and Collaboratively Sharing Educational Data) web app — a free resource to support researchers, teacher educators, school leaders, teachers, and other education stakeholders. 

 Natalie Danner, PhD

November 18, 2022 - 12 p.m.

Natalie Danner, PhD
Early Childhood Content/Engagement Coordinator, Illinois Early Learning Project, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Joyful Inclusion in Montessori Education

The work of Natalie Danner, PhD, focuses on education and care of young children with and without disabilities. With a PhD in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Danner is an American Montessori Society-credentialed Montessori early childhood educator. She believes Montessori environments with multi-age classrooms and opportunity for choice and individualized hands-on learning offer ideal opportunities for all children to learn. 

Her research explores the inclusion of young children with disabilities in preschool classrooms, the development of early childhood special education teacher education standards, and the professional development needs of in-service and pre-service teachers surrounding inclusion.

2021-22 Speakers

Page last updated 10:04 AM, March 17, 2023