Qunshan (Twinkle) Zheng

Post-Doctoral Associate
Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies


Qunshan Zheng, also known as Twinkle, is a Postdoctoral Associate working with the Center, primarily supporting the state-wide implementation of Florida Embedded Intervention and Practices with Caregivers (FL-EPIC) and the efficacy trial of FL-EPIC. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Florida. Her major area of study was special education with a concentration in early childhood studies and a minor in research evaluation and methodology. Her research interests primarily focused on supporting caregivers and early childhood education and early intervention practitioners to support young children’s development and learning using evidence-based practices, self-determination skills of young children, and assessment and related measurement considerations in early childhood and special education field. Her dissertation was tittled as Characterizing Preschool Teachers’ Use of Practices to Promote Young Children’s Self-Determination Skills. She was awarded Graduate School Preeminence Award (GSPA) in Early Childhood Studies at University of Florida.

She began work with the Center as a doctoral student. During her five years in the doctoral program, she worked as a research assistant for two efficacy research projects funded by the Institution of Education Sciences and one early intervention state-wide implementation project. She co-taught two courses for undergraduate students, presented at several national and international conferences, and co-authored scholarly papers.

Prior to her doctoral program, She earned her master’s degree with a major in special education from Beijing Normal University in China. She and her colleagues published several research articles in Chinese special education journals during her master program and co-published one book about embedding instruction and learning opportunities within LEGO® activities to help young children with disabilities. Her master thesis was published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, using peer-mediated LEGO® play intervention to improve social interventions for Chinese children with autism in an inclusive setting.

Selected Publications

* Master’s, doctoral student, or post-doctoral fellow co-author

Peer-Reviewed Publications and Journal Articles

Guerrero, F., Zheng, Q., Kramer, J., Reichow, B., & Snyder, P. (2022). A systematic review of the measurement properties of the Family Empowerment Scale. Disability and Rehabilitation,1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2023.2178528  


Hu, X., Zheng, Q., & Lee, G. T. (2018). Using peer-mediated LEGO® play intervention to improve social interactions for Chinese children with autism in an inclusive setting. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 2444–2457. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3502-4 

Qunshan “Twinkle” Zheng


  • Ph.D. in Special Education
  • Concentration in Early Childhood Studies
    Minor in Research and Evaluation Methodology (Quantitative)
    University of Florida, 2023
  • Master of Arts in Special Education
    Beijing Normal University, 2017