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Recent Post Doc Researchers:
The Post-Doctoral training program at Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, Special Education Research in Urban Communities: A Research to practice Model, profiles of its 4 most recent research candidates.
He comes to Juniper Gardens as a RTI post-doctoral fellow in order to further develop his grant writing and methodological skills as well as knowledge of RTI. He plans to use these skills to design/refine interventions that early childhood practitioners can use during naturally occurring classroom activities and routines to improve the relationships children at-risk for or with disabilities have with their peers and teachers.
Rose is passionate about identifying practical and functional interventions for schools, teachers, and parents that naturally lend themselves to implementation fidelity in an effort to enhance the life of children with disabilities. Her current research focus is the implementation of video modeling to address social-communicative deficits for secondary and postsecondary individuals with ASD. Her research agenda includes filling gaps in the video modeling literature, including the use of video modeling with individuals with high incidence disabilities.
She comes to Juniper Gardens as an Early Intervention Post-doctoral Fellow funded by IES. The purpose of the fellowship is to prepare new researchers to do innovative, rigorous work in early intervention. Constance’s goals are to develop her research skills and use her experience and passion for improving the outcomes of all of children to continue in the tradition of excellence at Juniper Gardens.
Education Postdoctoral Researcher, Juniper Gardens Children’s Project,
University of Kansas PhD, Western Michigan University M.S., Florida Institute
of Technology B.A., Eckerd College
Carla completed her doctoral studies in Behavior Disorders with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders at the University of Missouri in 2010. After completing her degree, she joined Juniper Gardens Children’s Project as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. Since joining Juniper Gardens, she has collaborated closely with her mentor Dr. Debra Kamps and her research team to conduct applied intervention research with children with disabilities from diverse ethnic and socio-economic groups. During her time at Juniper Gardens she has written and published four articles in scholarly journals, presented at professional conferences, and taken part in workshops and seminars. A key component of the post-doctoral experience was the conceptualization and independent completion of an IES Goal 2 grant application. This grant seeks to secure funding for the development of instructional and assistive technologies for delivering evidence-based interventions to individuals with ASD who might not otherwise have access due to being in rural or economically disadvantaged areas. Carla is currently completing her postdoctoral fellowship from a distance in Hawaii where she is adjunct faculty at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. After completion of her postdoc position, she hopes to secure a tenure track position at a research institution where she can further pursue her research goals.
Past Post Docs’ Perspectives:
Below are candid survey comments from past post docs about their experiences in the Post Doctoral Leadership Training Program in Intervention Research for Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students with Disabilities at Juniper Gardens Children’s Project.
How would you describe your overall post doc experience?
I feel my post doc experience has been most helpful in beginning to establish my career. I’ve had the opportunity to coordinate a project that is the perfect extension to the research I have done thus far, and this provides me with a place from which to develop my own line of research in parenting interventions for families at risk for child maltreatment.
Having Judy as a mentor has been wonderful because our research interests are very similar and she is very generous with her knowledge and experience. She is very approachable and always makes the time to talk whenever I’ve asked for her time.
It’s been like a dream come true. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from the top researchers in the early childhood field. My mentors have been very supportive of my research interests and have found ways to help me fulfill my goals. They’ve nurtured my abilities while challenging me to reach my potential. Judy, my primary mentor, has truly been a role model—her personal integrity, her passion for her research, her humility, and her genuine concern for the well-being of those around her inspire me to be the best person and researcher that I can be. My support mentor, Mary, has really pushed me to take on more of a leadership role. She knows my aspirations and thus provides me with the opportunities and responsibilities to help me reach my goals. Other Juniper staff have been there for me whenever I needed advice on research designs or career decisions. The people at Juniper have taught me about mutual respect, collaboration, and consideration—not just as colleagues, but as friends and family members. Even though I’m just a post-doc associate who has been here for less than a year, the PIs and directors at the center have treated me like one of their own—and that’s awesome.
What aspects of your post doc experience do you feel were/or are the most meaningful and why?
The outstanding research competencies of Drs. Greenwood and Carta made it easier to translate previous research knowledge to evidence based practices research on a contemporary basis.
The most meaningful aspect of my experience was the freedom I was given to pursue my own interests and create my own plan. I was able, with the support of my mentor, to outline a detailed plan to make my year as productive as possible. Five articles that I wrote during my post-doc year are either in-press or published. As a current faculty member with a full teaching load, I miss having that time to write! After five years working on my MS and PhD, it gave me to an opportunity to step back, reflect, and evaluate my future priorities. If I had taken a faculty position instead of doing my post-doc, I am positive I would have gone in the wrong direction! A year at Juniper really helped me figure out where I wanted to go with my career.
I feel the most meaningful aspect of the post doc experience has been the opportunity to coordinate the Promoting Positive Parenting project (cell phone project), and bring together, the work I had done in the past before coming to Juniper, with the ideas and expertise within Juniper to build upon my own line of research.
Was there anything you would have liked to experience (but haven’t or didn’t) that might have been more helpful to you in your current or future career?
At times I felt a little lost—I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing! But after a while, I just realized that I needed to be self-motivated and choose the best way for me to spend my time and energy. And that worked for me!
I would have liked to get more involved with other projects at Juniper, but I feel very satisfied with the involvement I have had with other projects and know that the opportunity is always there. It’s always difficult to balance the desire to get involved with many projects and the need to stay focused on a few primary goals.
Please list and describe any shortcomings you experienced for consideration for program changes for future post doc associates.
It was discouraging that when it came to issues like email and library access I was not considered to be a KU employee—and it took until November before I had a KU email address and could check out books at the library.
I would also consider how much time a person has to be a mentor before allowing a post-doc to work with them. My mentor was great, but she was also incredibly busy.
Please list any other comments that you wish to convey about your post doc experience.
The post doc, and Juniper Gardens in general provides a unique opportunity to pursue my own research interests. I don’t feel that I’m limited in any way in what I would like to pursue, and that I receive all of the support and guidance I’ve needed from such a talented and well-rounded group of researchers.
I think the post-doc experience is the best professional decision I’ve ever made. This experience has allowed me to transition smoothly, on my own time and in my own way, from a student’s way of thinking to a researcher’s frame of mind—all of which have been taking place in a nurturing, yet challenging, environment.
Would you personally recommend the Juniper Gardens’ post doc leadership training program to others, and why or why not?
Definitely. For those who are interested in applied research with children and families within the community, there are not many other places like Juniper Gardens. The opportunity has been great, and the support to pursue my goals has been invaluable.
I definitely think it’s a worthwhile learning experience for anyone who wants to further his/her career in educational research, as long as money is not an issue. I think that the lack of benefits and relatively low pay may hinder new graduates, who have student loans, from applying for this position. I’ve been looking at other post-doc positions (in education) around the country and they all provided health benefits and more pay (around $50,000/year).
Yes, I would recommend this post-doc. However, if you come into the post-doc waiting for people to hand you opportunities and give you directions, you will not get very far. You have to make your post-doc your own and make it a success.
Definitely yes! JGCP has excellent research personnel and a history of ongoing
research is Special Education that has made it a signpost in the academic
world throughout the United States and other countries. I have no regrets
about my decision to become a post-doc at JGCP.
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