Five researchers at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities were among those honored on April 8 at USU 2104 Research Awards Gala.
Faculty members who received more than $1 million in external funding in 2013 included John Copenhaver, Bryce Fifield, Judith Holt, Mark Innocenti and Cyndi Rowland.
Copenhaver is the director of the Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education (TAESE) at the CPD. TAESE is located at the Innovations Campus and has contracts to provide technical assistance in special education to twenty states across the country, from Georgia to Alaska. He has been at TAESE for the past 22 years. He has also served in many capacities, including special education teacher, school psychologist, and school administration. He has extensive experience working with children with disabilities and Native American children. He serves on several state and national advisory boards.
Fifield is the director of the CPD. His research focuses on developing effective approaches to increase the inclusion and independence of people with disabilities and their families. Among his current efforts are projects providing disability services to Native American children and youth in the Four Corners area, developing habilitative environments using smart home technologies, and documenting the lives and experiences of early Utah pioneers who had disabilities. Fifield also serves on several local, state, and national advisory and governance committees serving the disability community.
Holt was appointed as the director of the Interdisciplinary Training Division in March 2000. She has extensive experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating supports and services for children, youth and adults with disabilities and their families and support systems. Holt is a strong advocate for consumer direction and choice. She has developed numerous educational materials that focus on the key concepts of independent living. She currently directs numerous grants and contracts including the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND).
Research & Evaluation
Innocenti is a director for the Research and Evaluation Division at the CPD, and an associate professor in psychology. Innocenti has over 30 years of experience working with infants and young children at-risk and with disabilities. He also works with their families. He has headed up multiple research projects and has conducted research and evaluation on various aspects of home visiting and preschool intervention services.
CPD Associate Director
Rowland is the associate director at the CPD, where she has engaged in research, tool development, education and policy and standards work at both the national and international level for more than 20 years. She is the director of the New Mexico i3 validation project “StartSmart K-3 Plus,” which is assessing outcomes of an innovative educational program. As part of the National Center of Disability and Access to Education, Rowland is principal investigator on a project to assist postsecondary institutions as they make a decision to commit to enterprise-wide web accessibility.
In addition to the research awards, faculty authors were also honored at the gala. Authors included Gina Cook (CPD), Mark Innocenti (Psychology), Robert L. Morgan (CPD Faculty Fellow in Special Education and Rehabilitation) and Lori A. Roggman (CPD Faculty Fellow in Family, Consumer, and Human Development).
In other Research Week news, Biologic Engineering students Annalise Dykes and Taylor Eggertsen presented posters based on research they conducted with Dr. Anthony Torres, director of the CPD’s Biomedical Lab.