Maureen Conroy, co-director of the University of Florida Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, has received the 2016 Outstanding Leadership Award from the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.
CCBD, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children, presents the award to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of behavioral disorders in the areas of research, leadership, teacher education and policy. Conroy was recognized April 14 at the CEC’s annual conference in St. Louis.
Conroy, the Anita Zucker Professor in Early Childhood Studies, has advanced research and practice in the field of behavioral disorders through her work in early identification, prevention and intervention. Over the past 35 years, her work has garnered more than $15 million in research and training grants, produced 90 peer-reviewed publications and trained the next generation of leaders. A member of CCBD since 1981, Conroy has served in a number of leadership roles, including co-editor of its flagship journal, Behavioral Disorders.
Brian Boyd, who received a doctoral degree at UF under Conroy’s mentorship, nominated her for the award, citing her years of research, practice and teaching.
“I can attest to the importance she feels in ensuring her students acquire the ability to conduct sound research that contributes to the field and, importantly, educators, families and children,” said Boyd, now an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Boyd, also recognized at the conference, received the CEC’s 2016 Distinguished Early Career Research Award. The 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.
Independent of her award selection, Conroy was invited by the Institute of Education Sciences to present her research at the conference. She and her colleague, Professor Kevin Sutherland of Virginia Commonwealth University, shared findings from their recent investigation of an early childhood classroom-based intervention. Developed to support early childhood teachers’ use of effective practices, the intervention is designed to improve the social/emotional and behavioral competence of young children at risk for behavioral disorders. Their large-scale, four-year study was funded by the institute, which is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
The CEC is an international professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities through advocacy, standards and professional development. The mission of the CCBD is to improve the educational practices and outcomes for children and youth with emotional and behavior disorders.