Participating Scholars

Photo of Rene Grimes

Rene Grimes

K. Rene Grimes is a Ph.D. student at The University of Texas Austin. She received her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington in mind, brain, and education with a focus on the cognitive and psychological aspects of learning. She received her undergraduate degree from the The University of North Texas with a focus on early education and English as a second language and has an additional certification in special education. She is interested in the cognitive and neurological aspects of mathematical learning difficulties. In particular, she is interested in identifying classroom prevention and intervention methods for early childhood through blended learning. She previously worked in public and private schools in both general education and co-taught classrooms for preschool children with disabilities, and for prekindergarten, first-, and second-grade students. She has worked with adults and children on the autism spectrum, and their families, in private education settings and in their homes. She is a member of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Autism Advisory Board, which supports the museum in implementing programs for families of children with autism.

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Amanda McClelland

Amanda M. McClelland is a Ph.D. student at The University of Texas Austin and a recipient of an Office of Special Education Programs grant. She received her master’s degree from Simmons College in severe disabilities and her undergraduate degree from the University of Maine at Farmington in both K–8 special education and theater arts. She is interested in the perceptions of students with learning disabilities and/or emotional and behavioral disorders within the classroom at all levels of schooling. Specifically, she is looking at the relationship between classroom climate and academic success for students with disabilities along with their relationships with their teachers. She previously worked with students with mild to severe disabilities and behavioral disorders in both public and private schools. 

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Paul K. Steinle

Paul K. Steinle is a graduate research assistant on the Reading Enhancements for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders project (Project READ). For the project, he adapts and revises instructional materials such as reading passages and measures, presents intervention components to teachers, and performs site visits. He received his M.A. in special education from National-Louis University and his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame. He previously was a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools. His research interests include intensive interventions and response to intervention.

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Alicia A. Stewart

Alicia A. Stewart received her B.A. in sociology, M.A. in special education, and education specialist credential (mild/moderate) from California State University Channel Islands. She was a special education teacher in a learning center for students in grades 6–8 for 4 years and a special education teacher in a classroom for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) in grades 9–12 for 1 year. Her current research interests include reading outcomes for students with learning disabilities, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, EBD, and all students at risk for reading difficulties; teacher perceptions of students with EBD; and effective, evidence-based academic interventions for students with EBD.

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Marissa Filderman

Marissa Filderman received her B.A. from the University of Maryland and M.Ed. from American University. She has submitted presentations for the 2017 Council for Exceptional Children Annual Convention. She served as a university field supervisor in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 and previously was a K–5 special education teacher. Her current research interests include data-based decision-making and elementary reading interventions.