Scott P. Merydith, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of School Psychology
Dr. Merydith continues to be involved in research activities that blend community involvement with opportunities for students to enhance their clinical skills. He currently has two projects underway, (a) a transition grant with a local high school that provides career exploration evaluations for seniors with disabilities and (b) a pilot project that addresses transition services for RIT freshman who are on the Asperger spectrum. With the career exploration evaluations, seven school psychology graduate students used a personality and career interest battery that Dr. Merydith compiled to enhance high school students' self-awareness in terms of the fit between their personality and various work environments. The school psychology students administered the test battery, wrote career assessment reports, and disseminated the results to the high school students, their parents, and the transition specialist. We expect to continue this line of action research in the 2008-2009 academic year. With the Asperger spectrum support pilot, six school psychology students administered career assessments and served as peer coaches to 12 RIT freshman who have self-identified that they have been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. The peer coaches meet weekly with their freshman students and help them in their adjustment to college. This has been a great experience for both the school psychology students and the freshman undergrad students. Dr. Merydith plan to continue this pilot program with our Academic Support Center next year as well.
Another research project that Dr. Merydith is completing is a result from a thesis he directed with a former school psychology graduate student. This research investigated the personality profiles of over 170 college students who had difficulty with academic retention. The results are interesting insofar as they revealed how personality traits moderate academic behaviors that lead to success or lack of success in college.
Dr. Merydith would like to add that none of the above projects could have been undertaken without RIT school psychology students willingness to be involved in additional learning opportunities. RIT’s students are bright, energetic, and highly competent, which tells Dr. Merydith that RIT is a great place to train students to become school psychologists.
Jennifer Lukomski, Ph.D.
Since last year Dr. Lukomski has had two chapters published. The citations are as follows.
Hauser, P., Lukomski, J., & Hillman, T. (2008). Development of deaf and hard of hearing students’ executive function. In M. Marschark & P. Hauser (Eds.), Cognitive Underpinnings of Deaf Learners. (pp. 286-308). Oxford University Press.
Lukomski, J. (2008). Best practices in planning effective instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best Practices in School Psychology V. (pp. 1819-1822). Maryland: NASP publications.
Dr. Lukomski also continues to mentor students through thesis. Two of her thesis advises presented at the National Association for School Psychologists in New Orleans, Louisiana last February of 2008.
Lesio, C. & Lukomski, J. (2008). Progress Monitoring of Mental Health Services in the Schools. Poster presented at National Association of School Psychologists, New Orleans.
Mowell, R. & Lukomski, J. (2008). Assessing ADHD in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals. Poster presented at National Association of School Psychologists, New Orleans.
Furthermore, Dr. Lukomski is very excited to have presented at two conferences this past Fall. She was the Keynote speaker at the conference in Leipzig, Germany.
Lukomski, J. (2008, November). BRIEF/Executive Functions and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals. Paper presented at the Making Connections: Neuropsychological Assessment and Applications with Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Gallaudet, Washington D.C.
Lukomski, J. (2008, October). Aktuelle Trends in der psychologischen Dienste von gehorlosen und schwerhorigen Kindern und jungen Erwachsenen in den USA. [Current Trends in the Psychological Assessment of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students]. Keynote address to the 23rd Annual Conference of German Speaking Psychologists who work with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Leipzig, Germany.
Suzanne Graney, Ph.D.
This year Dr. Graney announced that she was selected as the new Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. She assumes these new responsibilities on December 1st. The College of Liberal Arts is at an important juncture, as a new Dean was hired and a new Strategic Plan was adopted, and Dr. Graney is eager to be a part of moving the College forward for the benefit of RIT and its students. Dr. Graney will be moving to a new office in Building 6, which is part of the Dean’s suite on the second floor. She will remain a member of the School Psychology department but her duties in the program will be greatly reduced as she takes on more College-level responsibilities.
Dr. Graney will continue to teach the Alternative Assessment course every year and evaluate the portfolio product that goes along with that course. She will continue to supervise thesis completion for the students already working with her, although she will not take on new thesis advisees. Dr. Graney will continue to be part of major program events such as the applicant Open Houses, the graduation pre-hooding ceremony, and the graduation ceremony. Furthermore, Dr. Graney continues to be active conducting research and mentoring students in reading and reading assessment. She has three articles accepted for publication, citations as follows.
Graney, S. B., Martinez, R. A., Missall, K. N., Aricak, T. (in press). Universal screening of reading in late elementary school: R-CBM versus CBM Maze. Remedial and Special Education.
Graney, S.B., Missall, K., Martinez, M., & Bergstrom, M. (in press). A preliminary investigation of within-year growth patterns in reading and mathematics curriculum-based measures. Journal of School Psychology.
Martinez., R. A., Missall, K. N., Graney, S. B., Aricak, T., & Clarke, B. (in press). Technical adequacy of Early Numeracy Curriculum-Based Measurement in kindergarten. Assessment for Effective Intervention.
Vincent Pandolfi, Ph.D.
Since last year, Dr. Pandolfi has continued to focus his research on: (a) identifying evidence based assessment practices for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; and (b) better understanding the nature of co-occurring emotional and behavioral disorders in children with ASD, to help inform intervention practices. Dr. Pandolfi is also researching post-secondary support needs and personnel preparation issues. He is currently supervising seven students with thesis. Students are working on such topics related to autism spectrum disorders such as personnel preparation issues for school psychologists, and issues related to best practices in assessment and intervention. One student is conducting a purely psychometric study: assessing the factor structure of the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-II, Teacher Rating Form across different age ranges of the standardization sample. Listed below are his most recent presentations, papers, and grant applications.
Pandolfi, V. & Magyar, C.I. (2008). Mental health issues in autism spectrum disorders: Considerations for assessment and intervention. Presentation given at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.: May, 2008.
Magyar, C.I., Pandolfi, V., & Dill, C.A. (2008). Utility of the Child Behavior Checklist 6-18 in screening for psychopathology in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research. London, U.K.: May, 2008.
Magyar, C.I. & Pandolfi, V. (2008). A preliminary investigation into the transition preparation needs for college-bound students with autism spectrum Disorders. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association conference. Boston, MA: August, 2008.
Pandolfi, V., Magyar, C.I., & Dill, C.A. (2009). Confirmatory factor analysis of the CBCL 1.5-5 in a sample of children with autism spectrum disorders. Poster to be presented at the National Association for School Psychology conference. Boston, MA: February, 2009.
Papers submitted for publication
Pandolfi, V., Magyar, C.I., & Dill, C.A. (in review). Confirmatory factor analysis of the CBCL 1.5-5 in a sample of children with autism spectrum disorders. Manuscript submitted to Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Magyar, C.I., McMahon, M., & Pandolfi, V. (in review). A descriptive analysis of disability specialists supporting college students with autism spectrum disorders: Implications for personnel preparation. Manuscript submitted to Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability.
Pandolfi (PI) Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Autism: Evaluation of Diagnostic Measures (R03). NIH/NIMH.
This project proposes psychometric evaluations of two widely used diagnostic measures for children: the CBCL 1.5-5 and CBCL 6-18. The project aims to build on previous work, by examining various indicators of reliability and validity of these measures in samples of children with ASD.
Magyar (PI). Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (RO3). NIH/NIMH.
This project aims to determine the prevalence of emotional and behavioral disorders in children with ASD across three age cohorts, and explore potential developmental risk and protective factors associated with diagnostic status
Papers in development
Pandolfi, V., Magyar, C.I., & Dill, C.A. (in prep). Constructs assessed by the GARS-2: Factor analysis of data from the standardization sample.
Pandolfi, V., Magyar, C. I., & Dill, C.A. (in prep). Confirmatory factor analysis of the CBCL 6–18 in a sample of children with autism spectrum disorders.
Magyar, C.I., Pandolfi, V., & Bender, R. (in prep). Evaluating the student and determining family priorities: Considerations in psychoeducational assessment practices in ASD. In T. Smith (Ed.) Supported inclusion for school-age children with autism spectrum disorders: An evidence-based guide for practitioners.
Magyar, C.I., Pandolfi, V., Bender, R., McMahon, M., Gilmour, N., & Watts, E. (in prep). Personnel preparation needs of school psychologists in Assessment, intervention planning, and consultation for students with autism spectrum disorders.
Additional publications for Dr. Pandolfi include:
Pandolfi, V. (2008). Ask the expert: Anxiety and autism. Invited column for the Rochester Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Newsletter: May, 2008.
Pandolfi, V. (2008). Research update. Invited column for the Rochester Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Newsletter: Fall, 2008.