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Special ed. alumni cited for early research success



Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd

A pair of College of Education alumni have been selected for prestigious national honors from the Council for Exceptional Children for their outstanding research.

Brian Boyd won the 2016 Distinguished Early Career Research Award and recent graduate Elizabeth Bettini won for the best student-initiated research study.

The Arlington, Virginia-based Council for Exceptional Children is the world’s largest organization of special education professionals and educators. CEC will present the awards in April in St. Louis at the group’s annual convention.

Elizabeth Bettini

Elizabeth Bettini

Boyd’s honor recognizes scholars who have made outstanding scientific contributions in basic or applied research in special education within 10 years after receiving their doctoral degree.

Boyd now is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received a doctorate in special education in 2005 from UF under mentorship of Maureen Conroy, Ph.D., who now serves as co-director of the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies.

UF Special Education Professor Mary Brownell said: “The Early Career Award is one of the most significant awards recognizing the promise of young scholars in special education.”

The official language from the award said: “Dr. Boyd is considered one of the most promising scholars in early childhood and autism. He has published 46 papers in top-tier journals, such as the Journal of Child Psychology and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and his work is cited frequently.”

Bettini won for quantitative design for her research paper titled: Novice Special Educators’ Perceptions of Workload Manageability: Do They Matter and Are They Influenced by Novices’ Perceptions of Their Social Context?

Selected through a confidential review process, the award recognizes high-quality scholarship across multiple research methodologies conducted by students in the course of their undergraduate or graduate special education training program.

Bettini earned a doctorate in special education from the College of Education in 2015 and now is an assistant professor of special education at Boston University.

“Elizabeth was an outstanding student who continues to be devoted to conducting research on working conditions for special education teachers,” Brownell said. “She won the Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award for our College of Education in 2015.”