A collage of two pictures: the Department of Education building and  Patricia Snyder.
Patricia Snyder, a professor of special education and early childhood studies at the University of Florida, is serving in a leadership role for the 2015 Institute of Education Sciences Principal Investigators Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The IES is the statistics, research and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its Principal Investigators meeting, to be held Dec. 10-11, was reformatted to encourage collaboration and networking among attendees. Among the changes, the appointment of three acclaimed principal investigators to lead the planning process may be the most notable difference.

Snyder, director of the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies at UF, was invited to serve as a meeting co-chair representing the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) based on her leadership and contribution to the field of special education and early intervention research. Her expertise contributed important insights into sessions that will be offered at the meeting, which serves to foster discussion, build connections and strengthen the work of more than 800 principal investigators and training fellows supported by the institute.

Panel sessions, presentations and roundtable discussions will address challenges and solutions in research and practice. Snyder also will co-facilitate a forum for NCSER investigators.

Joining Snyder in developing the meeting agenda and theme are Jorge Gonzalez from the University of Houston’s department of educational psychology and Kara Carpenter, co-founder of Teachley, LLC, a company that develops educational applications driven by cognitive science research for grades K-2. Gonzalez is a meeting co-chair representing the National Center for Education Research (NCER), and Carpenter chairs the IES Small Business Innovation Research program.

NCER Commissioner Thomas Brock and NCSER Commissioner Joan McLaughlin, say this year’s theme, Collaborations to Bridge High-Quality Education Research and Practice, reflects the importance of bringing together diverse perspectives to design, implement and disseminate education research that leads to improved student outcomes.

McLaughlin says she sees Snyder’s contribution as an opportunity to shape the conference in a way that will benefit the larger special education research community.