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Special Education students with teacher
Master of Education in
Special Education

Faculty

Ph.D., Disability Disciplines and emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, Utah State University
Special Education Credential, Chapman University
B.A., Psychology, University of California at Berkeley

Dr. Mary Katherine (Katie) Harris is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral Level and assistant professor of special education. She has worked with children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities in a variety of educational and community-based settings. She is passionate about supporting teachers and providing instruction in the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. She teaches courses in Ethics, Foundations, Concepts & Principles, and Behavior Change Procedures & Management in the Verified Course Sequence for the Applied Behavior Analysis program.

Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Clemson University
M.Ed., Special Education, Clemson University
B.A., Elementary Education and Human Development, Boston College

Dr. Elizabeth M. Hughes is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State. Her scholarship focuses on the role of language when learning mathematics, specifically for students with learning disabilities. Her research evaluates mathematical writing strategies, vocabulary supports, and video modeling as evidence-based practices to support learning mathematics.

Ph.D., Special Education, Ohio State University
M.A., Special Education, Ohio State University B.A., Psychology/Sociology and Women’s Studies, Youngstown State University

Dr. Rick Kubina, BCBA-D, is a professor of special education at Penn State and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with doctoral designation. Dr. Kubina's research focuses on the science of individual measurement and performance/learning improvement. He is the co-author of The Precision Teaching Book and the co-founder of Chartlytics, a web application system for precisely pinpointing and recording behavior for making decisions and using repeated problem-solving to help learners experience effective and efficient learning outcomes.

Ph.D., Special Education, Purdue University
M.Ed., Special Education, California University of Pennsylvania
B.S., Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. David Lee, BCBA-D, is a professor of special education. The focus of Dr. Lee’s research is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate programs to support students with or at risk for emotional/behavior disorders. His research draws upon a behavior analytic framework to create positive, function-based interventions for students, primarily in middle/high school.

Ph.D., Early Childhood Special Education, University of Pittsburgh
M.Ed., School Consultation, University of Pittsburgh
B.S., Special Education/Elementary Education, Penn State

Dr. Kate McKinnon is an associate professor of special education at Penn State where she serves as the undergraduate program coordinator and director of field experiences for special education majors. Her areas of expertise and research interests include early intervention and pre-service teacher preparation and supervision.

Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State
M.S., Special Education, Penn State
B.Ed., Special Education, University of Windsor

Dr. David McNaughton is a professor of special education at Penn State. His teaching and research focuses on the development of effective educational programs for individuals with severe disabilities. He is especially interested in the effective use of technology by individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and how AAC can be used to achieve important educational and vocational outcomes.

Ph.D., Applied Behavior Analysis, Columbia University
M.S., Applied Behavior Analysis, Columbia University
B.S., Psychology, Fordham University

Dr. Kelly Mercorella, BCBA-D, is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State and teaches a variety of courses for the online M.Ed. program in Special Education. Dr. Mercorella's research interests center around facilitating reading comprehension for elementary students with disabilities, particularly designing interventions to instruct students on visualization strategies related to reading. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Mercorella was a special education teacher in both self-contained and inclusive settings, serving students from Pre–K through fifth grade.

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Oregon
M.Ed., Special Education, Texas State University
B.S., Special Education, Texas A&M University

Dr. Tracy J. Raulston, BCBA, is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at Penn State. Her scholarship focuses on the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practices for children with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental delays/disabilities. Specifically, she is interested in supporting caregivers to implement behavioral interventions in home, community, and school settings.

Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State
M.Ed., Special Education, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Mathematics, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Paul J. Riccomini, an associate professor of special education at Penn State, began his career as a middle and high school general education and special education math teacher. His research focus is on effective instructional strategies and assessments for students with dyscalculia and students with learning disabilities in mathematics. He is a co-author of Response to Intervention in Math (Corwin, 2010) and Building Number Sense through the Common Core (Corwin, 2013), as well as three math intervention programs targeting fractions, integers, and algebraic equations.

Ph.D., Special Education, Auburn University
M.Ed., Collaborative Teaching and Special Education, Auburn University
B.A., Mental Retardation Education, Tuskegee University

Dr. Jonte Taylor (“JT”) is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State. He taught for approximately 10 years with a variety of populations from pre-K to adult in settings ranging from inclusive classrooms to residential treatment facilities. His research interests include science education for students with disabilities, evaluating innovative classroom practices, and bullying issues for students with autism, learning disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disorders.

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Virginia
M.S., Special Education, University of Kansas
B.S., Special Education, University of Kansas

Dr. Pamela Wolfe is an associate professor of special education at Penn State and the director of the Educating Individuals with Autism certificate program. Her teaching and research center on work with persons having autism spectrum disorders (ASD), severe disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. Her research includes interventions related to social skills and sexuality for persons with ASD, as well as advocacy and transition. She has presented at international and national conferences on topics such as teacher training, application of evidence-based instruction, and intervention models. 

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