Associate professor Jessica Scher Lisa, Psy.D., and assistant professor Harry Voulgarakis, Ph.D., BCBA, who teach in SJC Long Island’s Child Study department, spent the better part of the last year researching and presenting on neurodiversity and inclusion.
They presented in June 2021 at The Teaching Professor Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on supporting neurodiverse students in higher education settings. They gave a similar talk earlier this year with Assistant Professor of Child Study Kerry Ann Conde, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, to the St. Joseph’s College community through the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
“Finding ways to continue to promote a sense of inclusion and belongingness for neurodivergent students, especially in the wake of the pandemic, was really important to us,” said Dr. Voulgarakis, a psychologist and behavior analyst who sits on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at St. Joseph’s and the Inclusion Council at Fielding Graduate University, where he earned a Ph.D. He is also a fellow at the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding.
Applying Their Research in the Classroom
With expertise in behavior analysis, clinical psychology and education/special education, Drs. Voulgarakis, Scher Lisa and Conde continue to seek to develop innovative and new ways to include students from different backgrounds in the classroom.
Their recent research has focused on diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders, parenting and caregiver experiences, and supporting learning for complex cases. Their work has been published in Child Care in Practice, Integrative Pediatrics and Child Care, Children’s Health Care, Global Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders, and Autism Spectrum News.
“We are really excited to continue this initiative during the upcoming academic year, as we examine innovative ways to support neurodivergence in the classroom, from both research and clinical perspectives,” Dr. Scher Lisa, a clinical psychologist, said.