We were delighted to receive a robust set of applications (51 applications, representing 6 countries, 43 institutions, and an array of disciplines), and the strength of the applications made the selection process extremely difficult. Ultimately, we selected applications that raised research topics in line with the goals of the research seminar and that paired well with other applications to facilitate the formation of multi-institutional research cohorts. Our acceptance rate was 47%. 

Catherine Clepper – Rutgers University – Newark, United States

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Catherine Clepper is a Asst Professor of Professional Practice within the P3 Collaboratory at Rutgers University – Newark. She holds a PhD in Screen Cultures (Media Studies) from Northwestern University and has been teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses for 10+ years. Her work at the P3 Collaboratory focuses on measuring and fostering students’ positive sense of belonging in college learning environments, improving learning outcomes for neurodiverse students, deepening students’ and instructors’ understanding of metacognition and furthering the use of metacognitive strategies in higher ed, and training current and future faculty in best pedagogical practices. 

Emily Murphy Cope – York College of Pennsylvania, United States

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Emily Murphy Cope is the director of York College of Pennsylvania’s Center for Faculty Excellence and an associate professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies. Emily is an experienced qualitative researcher interested in understanding how undergraduates with identified executive functioning differences experience writing and communication situations and how to make rhetorical education more inclusive and accessible for neurodivergent students.

Emily Dickman – Air Force Academy, United States

Kimberly Dickman is an assistant professor at the Air Force Academy where she gets to help young, future leaders thrive in their personal and professional lives. She has worked for the military for over 20-years as a civilian and spent 12 years in the sexual assault prevention and response field. Kimberly teaches classes in Human Sex, Reproduction, and Sexuality and Applied Positive Psychology. She conducts seminars and workshops in healthy relationships, emotional intelligence, compassion, connection, love, culture, and leadership.

Shannon Dowling Ayers Saint Gross, United States

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Shannon Dowling, MA, AIA, LEEDAP, is an architect, educator, and Learning Environments Strategy Principal at Ayers Saint Gross. Through a fellowship with the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), Shannon published a playbook titled The Planning and Design of Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Campus Environments. The playbook culminated 18 months of research in partnership with more than two dozen institutions and over 200 students to collect evidence around student preferences for welcome and inclusive learning spaces. Since its publication, Shannon has spoken and written on the topic of inclusive learning environments for over 50 outlets worldwide, including the International Learning Spaces Summit, Educause, the Mosaic Initiative at Indiana University, Learning by Design Magazine, Planning for Higher Education Journal, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Shannon is the 2023 recipient of the Award for Distinguished Achievement from the Virginia AIA for her research and work on belonging and inclusion.

Jeni DulekPacific University, United States

Jeni Dulek is an Assistant Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at Pacific University. She worked as an occupational therapist in psychosocial practice prior to becoming an educator, and holds a post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy and a master’s in instructional design. In her current role, Jeni teaches foundational occupational therapy courses and serves as an advisor for several student groups and organizations. Her previous scholarship has explored the application of Universal Design for Learning, methods that support student belonging, and best practices for reducing resistance to learning by involving students as partners in their learning and professional growth. Jeni is excited to bring her lived experience as a neurodivergent learner and her previous experience supporting learners from diverse backgrounds to this research seminar. She is particularly interested in better understanding the perspectives and experiences of neurodivergent students in leadership roles in student organizations and other extra-curricular activities.

Christena GuntherAdler University, United States

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Christena Gunther has served in the inaugural position of Assistant Director of Disability Services and Student Affairs at Adler University since 2021.  As the only disability services staffer, she works with over 300 graduate students from the Chicago and Online campuses to provide accommodations and support, and strives to ensure Adler’s social justice mission also encompasses disability justice.  She is a board member of AHEAD’s ILLOWA (Illinois/Iowa) affiliate.

Christena is the founder and president of Cultural Access Collaborative, a volunteer-run nonprofit established in 2013 with a mission to empower Illinois’ cultural spaces to become more accessible to visitors with disabilities.  Dismantling systemic ableism to make academic and the arts more inclusive and accessible to people with any disability or neurotype is her passion.  She has her BA in Art History and French from University Wisconsin and an MA in arts administration from NYU.

Keiran Higgins – Ulster University, United Kingdom

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Keiran Higgins is a Lecturer in Higher Education Practice at Ulster University (UU), where he leads the university’s strategic portfolio on Education for Sustainable Development, as well as other curriculum enhancement initiatives. Prior to this, he was a lecturer and Programme Director of the MSc Leadership for Sustainable Development at Queen’s University Belfast, and before that a Lecturer in Special Needs Education at Belfast Metropolitan College, teaching and supporting neurodiverse students. He is a psychologist by training, with broad research interests in its application to the environment, health, and education.

As an institution, UU is particularly interesting in how to reimagine the institutional level experiences and policies to be more affirming for the diverse range of students, all the way from individual interactions between staff and student, through to how faculty approaches teaching, learning and the student experience strategically.

Jasmine Hill Evans – Elon University, United States

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Jasmine Hill Evans, holding a B.A in Psychology (Duke University ‘18) and M.A in Medical Sciences (Liberty University ‘22), serves as a Residence Life Community Director at Elon University. In her current role, she oversees the administration of a first-year residential neighborhood. Jasmine’s passion for holistic student development drives her research interests, particularly in creating inclusive co-curricular environments for marginalized student populations. Jasmine has a history of supporting neurodivergent students within educational settings, including as a social skills coach for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and as an elementary school teacher. Her perspective considers how students navigate campus life and seek belongingness. Jasmine brings valuable insights into student behavior and interactions outside of structured programs, along with expertise in supporting student well-being and growth. She is enthusiastic about contributing to research that will inform practices to enhance the educational experiences of neurodivergent students and promote inclusivity across higher education institutions. 

Melvin (Jai) Jackson – North Carolina State University, United States

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Melvin (Jai) Jackson leads as the interim associate vice provost for inclusive excellence and strategic practice in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity at North Carolina State University.

His research centers around developing and sustaining inclusive learning environments for student, academic, and institutional success.

Erin M. Kenney – Hartwick College, United States

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Erin M. Kenney, PhD  is an Assistant Professor of psychology at Hartwick College. Having spent the last two decades as a practitioner working in a variety of early care and education settings, Dr. Kenney’s interdisciplinary work includes time as an early childhood teacher, administrator, professor, and researcher. She earned her B.S. from the University of New England and her MEd from the University of Hartford. She earned her MA and PhD in developmental psychology from the University of New Hampshire. Kenney’s dedication to bridging the gap between developmental science and developmentally appropriate practice includes a commitment to research practices that center participants as knowledge producers and values community engagement. Kenney also serves as the program development and evaluation fellow for the Center for Montessori Studies at the University of Hartford and is a contributor to national research as URBAN Connecticut’s officer of communications and online presence.

Anne Kresta – Level It Up, Canada

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Anne Kresta – Supporting her autistic sons through childhood, adolescence and adulthood has led Anne to become a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in our communities across the lifespan, especially those on the autism spectrum.  Anne has led and contributed to academic and community-led research projects examining progress towards inclusive and accessible education across elementary, high school and post-secondary experiences. With the goal of increasing the employment and employability of neurodiverse job seekers, Anne works locally, with Level It Up, a non-profit promoting the mutual benefits of hiring skilled autistic job seekers, and globally, with Neurowrx (www.neurowrx.org), an international alliance promoting and supporting increased employment of people with Autism Spectrum in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math.  She also sits on the board of the Autism Alliance of Canada where she brings her experience and perspectives forward as Canada implements its National Autism Strategy.

Anne E. Marshall – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

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Anne E. Marshall, Ph.D. is an Associate Director of Research and Evaluation in MIT’s Teaching + Learning Lab. She designs and conducts studies on educational programs and initiatives covering a wide range of topics at MIT.  Several of these studies have sought to understand how MIT students explore and ultimately choose their major/career by assessing the efficacy of experimental academic policies and engaged learning programs intended to facilitate this exploration. Her current interest is in working to understand how neurodivergent students in particular are affected by these programs and policies and to identify the practices that best facilitate or frustrate these students’ success.

Chris Ostrowdun – University of Leeds, United Kingdom

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Chris Ostrowdun (PhD) is a Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Leeds (UK).

He earned a PhD in Learning Sciences from the University of Calgary (Canada) and has been involved in SoTL and ISSOTL in various capacities since 2015. His research interests are in inclusion, disability, social justice, and equity in education.

Etain Quigley – Maynooth University, United Kingdom

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Etain Quigley is a lecturer in law, specializing in criminology, at Maynooth University in Ireland. Her research focuses on neurodiversity, inclusive education, mental health, and youth justice, with a particular interest in the intersection of these areas. Employing the Socratic method in both teaching and research, Dr. Quigley aims to explore and challenge presuppositions as a means to facilitate inquisitive dialogue and advance knowledge.

Tara Ronda – Princeton University, United States

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Tara Ronda is the Program Manager for the Prison Teaching Initiative at Princeton University, where she supports volunteer instructors and tutors in providing high-quality postsecondary educational opportunities to incarcerated learners. She is also a long-time adjunct professor of writing and research. Tara obtained her bachelor’s degrees in Literature and Philosophy at Stockton University and her M.A. in Counseling in Educational Settings at Rowan University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Higher Education Research, Enhancement, and Evaluation at Lancaster University (UK). Her dissertation research focuses on how to employ UDL effectively for neurodivergent incarcerated learners, who largely live, work, and study in tech-deprived environments.

Katie Roquemore – Landmark College, United States

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Katie Roquemore (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Education at Landmark College and a former K-12 educator.

As a disabled scholar, her research interests include disability identity development, disability as diversity, and inclusive and equitable pedagogy. She is excited to critically examine neurodivergent students’ perspectives and experiences with engaged learning as part of the Research Seminar on Affirming and Inclusive Engaged Learning for Neurodivergent Students.

Sarah Silverman –  University of Michigan – Dearborn and Goodwin University – Connecticut, United States

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Sarah Silverman is an educator focusing on disability studies, instructional design, and educational technology. She teaches disability studies at University of Michigan – Dearborn and Goodwin University in Connecticut. Having worked as a faculty developer, instructional designer, graduate student mentor, and faculty member, Sarah is interested in understanding neurodiversity in many different areas of higher ed. Sarah’s research interests are neurodiversity history and politics, the experiences of disabled and neurodivergent faculty, and the harms and alternatives to academic surveillance technology.

Emma Smith – Humber College, Canada

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Emma Smith is the Associate Dean of Research and Development in Humber College’s Office of Research and Innovation. She received her PhD from Toronto Metropolitan University and York University’s Communication and Culture program where she employed a cultural criminology perspective in evaluating the news media’s representations of a notorious serial killer. Emma has lectured in the fields of research design and methodologies, gender studies, sociology, criminology, and professional development at the undergraduate level. Co-receiving the Research Excellence Award by the President of Humber College in August 2023, Emma is currently a Co-Investigator on a multi-method evaluation of the Toronto Police Service’s Neighbourhood Community Officer Program. The development of diverse and accessible research opportunities, for faculty, staff and students, remains central to her current role at Humber College.

Antonella Strambi – University of South Australia, Australia

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Antonella Strambi is a Lecturer: Academic Development in the Teaching Innovation Unit at the University of South Australia (UniSA). In this role, she provides advice and support to university leaders and educators on matters of curriculum and learning design, and teaching practice. Prior to joining UniSA in 2018, Antonella worked as a lecturer and researcher in applied linguistics, intercultural communication, and Italian language at Flinders University. Antonella is passionate about empowering educators to design and deliver outstanding learning experiences for all students, while finding meaning and satisfaction in their work. Her research interests and expertise are primarily in the areas of: socio-emotional learning; student and educator wellbeing; interpersonal communication and text analytics; and innovation in teaching and learning design.

Teresa Swan – Vancouver Island University, Canada

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Teresa Swan is a settler and educator who resides on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. She teaches in the Educational Assistant and Community Support program Vancouver Island University (VIU) and is Member-At-Large for STEPS Forward, BC Initiative for Post-Secondary Education. Teresa’s areas of research interests include: interpretive methods, disability issues, social justice, and inclusive post-secondary education. Currently she is working on a VIU funded research partnership with STEPS Forward exploring inclusive trades training and co-authoring a book on inclusive post-secondary education.

Pamela Terrell – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, United States

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Pamela Terrell is a professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she is currently serving as interim chair. She primarily teaches courses in pediatric language disorders and counseling, as well as supervising student clinicians in the university speech, language, and hearing clinic. As a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist, Pam has facilitated a weekly self-help/mutual aid group for neurodivergent adults (college students and community members) for almost 15 years. She is particularly interested in research centered around supporting neurodiverse students to succeed in college and helping them transition to work in their chosen field.

Kari Weaver – Cleveland Institute of Art, United States

Dr. Kari Weaver is the Director of the Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She is primarily interested in research that centers the student voice and supports the development of students’ self-advocacy and agency. She is curious how processes of disability accommodations in college could be investigated and adjusted to both foster self-advocacy in spaces outside of the classroom and disrupt potential stigma and deficit perspectives inherent to the accommodations process.

Catherine Webb – Augustana College, United States

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Catherine Webb is an assistant professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders and the coordinator of the Disability minor at Augustana College, a liberal arts college in Illinois.  As a Disability Studies scholar who identifies as disabled, Catherine works to bring her lived experience in conversation with her teaching and research.  She is excited to join the Research Seminar on Engaged Learning for Neurodivergent Students in order to examine the perspectives of neurodivergent students around their experiences in engaged learning, as this should provide valuable first-hand information that can inform future practice.

Corinne Woodfine – Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

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Corinne Woodfine is the Deputy Head of the School of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, where she provides academic leadership and management of teams delivering teaching, research, and professional practice across undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes. During her 12 years of Higher Education experience, she has led both undergraduate and postgraduate primary education programmes. Her career began teaching and then leading within varied primary schools in the UK. Her personal pedagogy and education values are of inclusion and equity, with a focus on the development of inclusive learning communities, where all students feel that they not only belong but matter. Her current cross-institutional UK research seeks to explore the factors that influence students’ engagement with academic advising/tutoring using friendship pairs as a method.