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Goldman, Juárez honored for disabilities service, research

Dec. 10, 2015, 9:08 AM

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) recognized the contributions of Vanderbilt University’s Pablo Juárez, M.Ed., and Samantha Goldman at its recent 2015 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Juárez received the 2015 Young Professional Award and Goldman received the inaugural 2015 CORE Research Award.

Juárez is director of the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) and is a behavior analyst in Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

He has been instrumental in establishing a family-centered training model of service delivery for families of young children on the autism spectrum. He launched TRIAD’s Community Engagement initiative, in which TRIAD partners with cultural and educational organizations to provide training and support to enable them to be welcoming to the autism community. He also is co-investigator on four autism-related research projects.

Samantha Goldman, left, and Pablo Juárez, M.Ed., with Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D.

“Pablo has helped change the landscape for individuals with autism and their families,” said VKC director Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Annette Schaffer Eskind Professor. “In all that he does, he builds bridges to communities, across the state and nationally.”

Goldman received the first Network Trainee Research Award of AUCD’s Council on Research and Evaluation (CORE). This award recognizes outstanding research accomplished by a current or recent AUCD trainee and the AUCD Center/Program in which the research was accomplished.

Goldman recently completed her third year in the Department of Special Education’s doctoral program in severe disabilities and is a long-term trainee in the VKC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Early in her doctoral program, Goldman assisted with a UCEDD project to determine types of services most needed for family of children with autism in different parts of Tennessee. For the past three years she has led a team to examine the short- and long-term effects of the UCEDD’s Volunteer Advocacy Project.

“Samantha sees herself and her ‘job’ as helping anyone interested in studying, teaching or learning about students with disabilities and their families,” said her doctoral adviser, Robert Hodapp, Ph.D., professor of Special Education and UCEDD director of research.

The AUCD CORE Research Award recognizes Goldman as “an accomplished researcher who skillfully uses a variety of research methods to understand and help children with disabilities, their families, and parent-school partnerships.”

AUCD is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. Network members consist of 67 UCEDDs, 43 LENDs (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities), and 15 IDDRCs (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers). The Kennedy Center has all three of these national developmental disabilities programs for research, training, service and dissemination.

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