/ Education Department

Education Department Research

Dr. Susan Brondyk

Dr. Susan Brondyk's research examines both preservice and induction mentoring with publications in Teachers College Record, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, and an invited chapter in The Wiley-Blackwell International Handbook of Mentoring. She recently published a book with Professor Nancy Cook describing the transformation of Hope's mentoring program. In addition to a mixed-methods study on developmental mentoring and the ways that mentors scaffold student-teacher learning using Hope's Student Teaching Assessment Tool (STAT), Dr. Brondyk is currently working on two new studies:

  1. Analyzing intensive-support clinical experiences
  2. Examining student independence and autonomy as they monitor their progress toward mastery of specified targets in nature-based settings.
Dr. Jane Finn

Dr. Jane Finn researches in the following areas of Special Education:

Trauma and Compassion fatigue: Special Education teachers have had a high burnout rate and end up leaving the teaching profession. This rate is continually increasing due to the level of trauma and compassion fatigue in schools. Dr. Finn is researching this phenomenon through a mixed methods research study that looks at practicing teachers and asks them about compassion fatigue through using a standardized, reliable and valid protocol.

Dr. Finn is also researching independent living skills for post-school success with individuals with disabilities. This research is recognized for its focus on independent living for people with developmental disabilities and transition practices for those with disabilities. She has, to date, published over 10 articles on this specific topic.

Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes
Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes's research centers around math methods pedagogy — how to best teach secondary mathematics. Dr. Holmes conducts research projects that determine what instructional methods work best with special education students and secondary mathematics. She also looks at what a virtual mathematics classroom might look like, how to maintain classroom discipline in a virtual or hybrid setting, teaching algebraic concepts through technology, and successfully using data to drive instruction. Her research has started to include discussion on what characteristics of a "cheat sheet" for students might look like to aid students in math. Most of Dr. Holmes' student-collaborative research is published into articles or presented at conferences.
Dr. Elizabeth Horton

Dr. Elizabeth Horton's research addresses academic interventions, behavior interventions and transition skills. Her current research examines literacy interventions for English Language (EL) learners and students with disabilities and the use of naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBIs). Most recently, Dr. Horton has been looking at the use of the GRASP strategy to teach students with disabilities and EL learners to summarize expository passages. She presented her research with Dr. Finn at the 2021 Council for Exceptional Children Conference.

Dr. Yooyeun Hwang

Dr. Yooyeun Hwang's current research focus is memory strategies and single-case research design. Her recent studies are to feature an alternative randomized design that includes a mnemonic-numeric technique. Specifically, her single-case studies demonstrated that researchers could use innovative and scientifically rigorous methods to overcome limitations in conducting empirical research. When researchers work with rare (or low-incidence) populations or are unable to include a large enough number of participants for a conventional randomized-intervention study, their study may not then have enough statistical power to detect effects of interest regardless of the potential value of the intervention's impact. The successful results of Dr. Hwang's studies illustrated that single-case randomized experiments could be a promising alternative to larger-scale randomized experiments.

Dr. Laura Pardo

Dr. Laura Pardo's research interests focus on beginning teachers, mentoring and induction. She is currently studying alternative high schools and how to best support at-risk adolescents. Dr. Pardo is most interested in studying how teachers move from preservice to inservice, what it takes to support them, how to keep them in the profession, what makes them leave the profession, and how teacher preparation programs can help K–12 schools mentor beginning teachers. Much of her research has also focused on literacy education, particularly content area reading for high school teachers and language arts practices for middle grades teachers.

Dr. Deb Van Duinen

Dr. Deb Van Duinen is a sociocultural qualitative researcher whose work primarily focuses on adolescents' out-of-school literacy practices and in-school literacy development. She also conducts content analysis research on young adult literature and is currently collaborating on a book project about spirituality in young adult literature. She recently co-authored a featured article on preservice teachers' literacy learning in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.