Research Spotlight: Melinda Leko

Q & A with Melinda Leko, Ph. D., Professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies

What research are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Development project in professional development to support students with disabilities. My colleagues and I are developing a professional development (PD) innovation for emergency-certified special educators working in rural settings. The PD is being delivered remotely and includes individualized coaching and a community of practice. The PD content centers on social/emotional/behavioral high-leverage practices (HLPs) to support the needs of students who exhibit challenging behaviors. Read more


Research Spotlight: Ashley Pennypacker Hill

Q & A with Ashley Pennypacker Hill, Ed. D., Director of Elementary Programs and Associate Professor at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School

What research are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on building student leadership opportunities, increasing positive family engagement, building systems of support for students, co-facilitating teacher learning communities, developing strategies to support school climate, and implementing restorative practices with students, teachers, and families.

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Awarded Projects for September 2022

Congratulations to Mary Bratsch-Hines, Paige Pullen, Walter Leite, and Wei Li for their award from the U.S. Department of Education; Carla-Ann Brown for her award from the National Education Association Foundation; Elif Ackali and Elayne Colón for their award from the National Science Foundation; Holly Lane, Kristi Cheyney-Collante, Vivian Gonsalves, and Valentina Contesse for their award from the U.S. Department of Education/OSEP; Holly Lane, Kristi Cheyney-Collante, Kathrin Maki, Vivian Gonsalves, Valentina Contesse, and Lee Purvis for their award from the U.S. Department of Education/OSEP; Kathrin Maki for her subcontract U.S. Department of Education flow through award from Ball State University; Erica McCray, Margaret Kamman, and Melinda Leko for their award from the U.S. Department of Education/OSEP; Philip Poekert for his subcontract DHHS flow through award from Florida’s Office of Early Learning; Paige Pullen and Philip Poekert for his award from the Florida Department of Education; Paige Pullen for her award from the Jefferson Parish Public School System; Tina Smith-Bonahue, Elayne Cólon, Lori Dassa, and Rochelle Warm for their subcontract Florida Department of Eduction flow through award from Seminole State College of Florida; and Ross Van Boven for his two subcontract U.S. Department of Education flow through awards from the Florida Department of Education.

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Submitted Projects for September 2022

Best wishes to Carla-Ann Brown for her proposal to the National Education Association Foundation; Maureen Conroy for her subcontract IES flow through proposal to the University of Nevada Las Vegas; Zandra de Araujo for her proposal to Alachua County Public Schools; Christy Gabbard for her three subcontract U.S. Department of Education/ESSER flow through proposals to the Florida Department of Education; Elyse Hambacher for her proposal to the Spencer Foundation; Wei Li for his subcontract NSF flow through proposal to the University of Cincinnati; Justin Ortagus, Frank Fernandez, and Lindsay Lynch for their subcontract NSF flow through proposal to South Florida State College; Philip Poekert, Paige Pullen, and Shaunte Duggins for their proposal to the University of Florida Foundation; Paige Pullen and Philip Poekert for their subcontract U.S. Department of Education flow through proposal to Pinellas County Schools; Paige Pullen and Philip Poekert for their DHHS flow through proposal to Florida’s Office of Early Learning; Paige Pullen and Philip Poekert for their Florida Department of Education flow through proposal to Monroe County School District; Paige Pullen for her two proposals to the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough and Early Learning Coalition of Miami-made/Monroe Counties; Matthew Schmidt for his U.S. Department of Defense flow through proposal to the Memorial Hermann Foundation; Ayanna Troutman for her proposal to the American Education Research Association; and Wanli Xing for his proposal to the National Science Foundation.
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UF Invites Internal Nominations for ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards

UF seeks internal nominations for the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards, which supports research and career advancement for junior faculty at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) member institutions by awarding $5,000 in seed money. Furthermore, award recipients at will receive an additional matching fund of at least $5,000 from their department or college. More information on eligibility and internal submission guidelines can be found here. The internal deadline to submit nominations is Sunday, October 23, 2022.

Nominations for 2023 AERA Awards Now Open

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) invites nominations for the 2023 AERA awards, which honors excellence in education research. To learn more about this year’s awards, nomination criteria, or submit a nomination, please click here. The nomination portals for all AERA awards close Thursday, October 13, 2022.

UF Research Promotion Initiative

UF’s Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing (SCM) is accepting submissions for its Research Promotion Initiative (RPI). The RPI supports researchers by sharing works that have been accepted but not yet published to be featured on UF news and social media platform, as well as pitched to external media organizations. Additionally, winners of the RPI will receive a funding award of $1,000 for research-related activities. Research from all areas is invited to apply, and research related to artificial intelligence is strongly encouraged to enter. Every two weeks, the RPI committee selects a winner to be highlighted on UF news and marketing channels. Entries that are not selected for the funding award may still be considered to be promoted by SCM and/or the applicant’s college or unit communications office.

IES Announces New Research and Development Center Competition

The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) released a funding announcement for the 2023 fiscal year inviting applicants to submit research proposals to the new Research and Development Center (R&D) Center on Supporting Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education – the Postsecondary Center. The competition is working to establish the Postsecondary Center as a program of exploratory research and conducting national leadership and capacity-building activities, seeking to provide an evidence base and the research capacity capable of addressing the most pressing needs of postsecondary students with disabilities. More information regarding the IES programs, application process, and deadlines can be found here.

  • Applications are available Friday, September 30, 2022
  • Letters of intent are due Friday, October 21, 2022
  • The application deadline is Thursday, January 12, 2023

LEARN NCADE Faculty Input Request

The Learning and Education Academic Research Network (LEARN) Coalition are currently engaging with House and Senate appropriators regarding the interest in expanding the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES) with the creation of the National Center for Advanced Development in Educational Research (NCADE). The LEARN Coalition NCADE response letter can be read in full here. If you would like to share any comments or input of your own, please contact Ana Puig at anapuig@coe.ufl.edu.