Vanderbilt awardees recognized for disability service and research

Vanderbilt awardees recognized for disability service and research

By: Jan Rosemergy

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) recognized the contributions of Vanderbilt University’s Pablo Juárez and Samantha Goldman at its 2015 Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

At the AUCD Honors Celebration on November 15, Juárez received the 2015 Young Professional Award and Goldman received the inaugural 2015 CORE Research Award.

Juárez, M.Ed., BCBA, is director of the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) and is a behavior analyst in Pediatrics and Psychiatry. Juárez, who joined TRIAD in 2008 as an educational/behavioral consultant, quickly evolved into the leader of TRIAD’s training programs for Tennessee educators and for families, which have grown rapidly with the support of the Tennessee Department of Education. Similarly, Juárez has been instrumental in establishing a family-centered training model of service delivery for families of young children on the autism spectrum. He launched TRIAD’s Community Engagement initiative, in which TRIAD partners with cultural and educational organizations to provide training and supports to enable them to be welcoming for the autism community. He also is co-investigator on four autism-related research projects.

“Pablo has helped change the landscape for individuals with autism and their families,” said VKC Director Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair and professor of Psychology. “In all that he does, he builds bridges to communities, across the state, and nationally.”

Dykens emphasized that Juárez’s contributions benefit not only the autism community but also individuals with other developmental disabilities and their families.

Samantha Goldman received the first-ever Network Trainee Research Award of AUCD’s Council on Research and Evaluation (CORE). This award recognizes outstanding research accomplished by a current or recent AUCD trainee and the AUCD Center/Program in which the research was accomplished.

Goldman recently completed her third year in the Department of Special Education’s doctoral program in severe disabilities and is a long-term trainee in the VKC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Early in her doctoral program, Goldman assisted with a UCEDD project to determine types of services most needed for family of children with autism in different parts of Tennessee. For the past 3 years, she had led a team to examine the short- and long-term effects of the UCEDD’s Volunteer Advocacy Project.

“Samantha sees herself and her ‘job’ as helping anyone interested in studying, teaching, or learning about students with disabilities and their families,” said her doctoral advisor Robert Hodapp, Ph.D., professor of Special Education and UCEDD director of research.

The AUCD CORE Research Award recognized Goldman as “an accomplished researcher who skillfully uses a variety of research methods to understand and help children with disabilities, their families, and parent-school partnerships.”

AUCD is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. Network members consist of 67 UCEDDs, 43 LENDs (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities), and 15 IDDRCs(Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers). The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has all three of these national developmental disabilities programs for research, training, service, and dissemination.

Last Updated: 11/16/2015 2:37:44 PM

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