More than a dozen faculty, postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students affiliated with the UF Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies recently contributed to a national conference focused on sharing innovative research for the benefit of children and families in the field of early intervention.
The UF scholars attended the Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention forum held in San Diego Feb. 11-13, a biennial research conference devoted to early intervention for young children with or at risk for disabilities from birth to age 8, their families and the personnel who support them.
The meeting attracted more than 150 attendees who participated in 16 panel discussions related to research procedures, processes and innovations, and nearly 120 poster presentations. Every conference attendee conducted either a poster or panel session, which created a highly interactive and stimulating environment focused on research innovations in the field. Anita Zucker Center members and affiliates participated in five panels and 11 posters at the meeting.
“We were pleased to contribute to the meeting’s success,” said Anita Zucker Center Director Patricia Snyder, “and to see and hear from our research partners and from those who previously studied with us and now are building strong academic careers in this field.”
Snyder, also the David Lawrence Jr. Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Studies, and Maureen Conroy, the Anita Zucker Professor of Early Childhood Studies, consider this gathering as an opportunity to showcase the research occurring at UF, engage in thoughtful discussions and build collaborations with colleagues from other major institutions.
Brian Reichow, an associate professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies, and a member of the UF Anita Zucker Center served on the conference planning committee. He also was a panel facilitator and participated in a panel session.
Graduate students, who made up more than 25 percent of attendees, also had a unique opportunity to present their works-in-progress and receive guidance from researchers who are leaders in the field. Among the participating graduate students was Emily Luo, a doctoral student in special education and early childhood studies and a student affiliate in the Anita Zucker Center. She presented findings from her recently completed meta-analyses of classroom-wide social-emotional competence interventions for preschool children in an interactive student methodology session, which was chaired by two leading researchers in the field. She received extensive feedback from researchers on her work.
This year’s conference was supported by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. FPG Director Samuel Odom served as conference coordinator and UIUC Professor Michaelene Ostrosky served as the program chair.