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Exceptional Ed Graduate Students Share Research in Mann Symposium

Exceptional Ed Graduate Students Share Research in Mann Symposium

Posted: May 3, 2018

Thirty-six graduate students in Buffalo State’s Exceptional Education Department will showcase their research involving students with disabilities and those considered at-risk during the 12th annual Horace “Hank” Mann Symposium on Saturday, May 5, from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Rockwell Hall. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

“Candidates in our programs work in collaborative research groups to complete their master’s projects. This format parallels the type of data-based, decision-making teams that special education teachers often work on in practice-based settings,” said Lisa Rafferty, associate professor and chair of exceptional education.

“The groups design and implement studies with the focus on identifying solutions to problems that affect students with disabilities in pre-k-12 settings. The symposium provides the candidates the opportunity to disseminate the results of their research with the community and to learn from each other.”  

William Heward, an award-winning educator and textbook author in the special education field, will deliver the keynote address, “Next Year Is Now.” Student presentations will follow.

A professor emeritus with the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University, Heward trained special education teachers for 30 years. He also served as a senior Fulbright scholar in Portugal, visiting scholar at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, and visiting professor of psychology at Keio University in Tokyo and the University of São Paulo. A past president and fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, his research interests include “low-tech” methods for increasing the effectiveness of group instruction.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Heward has agreed to share his worldview and his wisdom with our teacher-candidates and symposium attendees,” Rafferty said. “This is a pivotal time for special education. As a greater number of students with a range of disabilities are integrated into general-education classrooms, the expertise of exceptional education teachers are more imperative than ever.”

Faculty in the Exceptional Education Department and the School of Education started the annual symposium as a way to share the research of graduate students and to inspire those working in the field. In 2012, the college named the symposium in honor of Mann, who joined Buffalo State in 1953 as the director of the Exceptional Children Education Division. Under his leadership, the exceptional education undergraduate and graduate programs rose to prominence and became among the largest in the United States. Mann passed away in November 2010 at the age of 88.

The event is free of charge and open to educators in the community. For additional information or to attend, contact Rafferty at or call (716) 878-3038. 

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