Students

Brielle Babcock is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology as well as a FIREFLIES fellow. Brielle’s research interests include the implementation of evidence-based reading interventions. Brielle is most interested in supporting preschool and early elementary teachers. Her accompanying interests include language acquisition, classroom management, and applied behavior analysis.


Re'Shaun Blake is a FIREFLIES fellow & McKnight Affiliate pursuing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Reading Education and Language Arts. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the Florida A&M University. Before starting the Ph.D. program, Re'Shaun worked as an early childhood educator, teaching children from age 3rd to 1st grade. Her research interests include culturally responsive teaching, early literacy development, and research-practice partnerships.


Denisha Campbell is a Ph.D. student in the college of Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University and a junior researcher under the Triple L (Leadership in Language & Literacy) grant. Her research interests include the impacts of non-mainstream American English on literacy in culturally and linguistically diverse populations, the school to prison pipeline and family engagement for literacy interventions. 


Christopher DeCamp is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology, as well as a FIREFLIES fellow. Christopher is interested in intervention efficacy, with a specific focus on improving outcomes for children with reading disabilities, as well as executive function's role in academic achievement.


Denise is a RAISE doctoral candidate in Special Education. Her current research is focused on educational equity and disproportionality as it relates to behavior and discipline.


Coretta Doss, M.A.

Doctoral Candidate

Coretta Doss is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as an R2D2 fellow. Coretta has an interest in dyslexia and how teacher preparation programs train teachers to work with students with reading disabilities. She is interested in the community and its role in literacy acquisition. Through R2D2, she is also pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia at the University of Florida.


Jordan Dozier is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education and an R2D2 Fellow under Dr. Laura Steacy. Jordan’s research interests include Dyslexia intervention at the middle and high school level.


Lexi Elara, M.S.

Doctoral Student

Lexi Elara is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology department Learning and Cognition program, as well as a FIREFLIES fellow. She is interested in early language and literacy development and interventions for students at-risk for reading disabilities.


Stephanie Estrera is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology and a FIREFLIES fellow. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Computer Science in 2018 at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to starting her Ph.D. program, she served in the Philippines with the Peace Corps as an education volunteer, focusing on community-based literacy projects. Stephanie is interested in the genetic and environmental factors that impact reading, open science practices, and science communication.


Marie Fraser is a Ph.D. student in Special Education, as well as a FIREFLIES fellow working with Dr. Jenny Root. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2018 with a Master's in Teaching, specializing in English Education. Before beginning her Ph.D., she taught Middle School Language Arts in Tallahassee where she grew a passion for working with students with specific learning needs. Marie's research interests include reading motivation and using novels to build social-emotional skills and community culture in neurodiverse classrooms.


Chelsea Funari is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology program at Florida State University’s College of Education. She is interested in enhancing early elementary teacher practice through factors inside and outside of the classroom, classroom environment and instruction, and building connections between research, schools and staff involved in early elementary students’ education. Her main goal is to help determine how school and community resources can be maximized to enhance teacher practice and student learning.


Miguel Garcia-Salas is a doctoral student in the School of Communication Science and Disorders and a Florida Interdisciplinary Research Fellow in Education Sciences (FIREFLIES). His overarching focus lies in collaborating with families to promote the language and literacy development of children in vulnerable communities. Additionally, Miguel is interested in exploring innovative training methods and approaches within the field of communication science and disorders.


Deidre Gilley, M.S.

Doctoral Candidate

Deidre Gilley is doctoral candidate supported and funded through Project RAISE (Research-based Academic Interventions for Students with Extensive Support Needs) at Florida State University. Beyond being a doctoral student in special education at FSU, Deidre directs a Summer Transition Program for young adults with disabilities within the Tallahassee community. She previously was a self-contained classroom teacher in Knoxville, Tennessee and taught abroad in Madrid, Spain. Deidre received her B.A. at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina (2017) and her M.S. at Florida State University in Florida (2018). Her research interests include targeting functional academics for students with extensive support needs. Deidre works within the General Curriculum Access (GCA) lab for Dr. Jenny Root. She is assisting in research targeting mathematical problem solving for students with extensive support needs.


Monique Harris is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as an R2D2 fellow. She has served as a special educator for twenty years in public schools and is a licensed reading specialist. Monique is interested in equity issues around language, reading instruction, and interventions. Through R2D2, she is also pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia at the University of Florida.


James Hernández is a Ph.D. student in the Learning and Cognition Program in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at Florida State University. As a former teacher James’ program of research is founded in supporting teachers in adapting their practices to maximize learning. At FCRR, James has contributed to the “Summary of 20 years of Research on the Effectiveness of Early Literacy Curricula and Instructional Practices." He has also assisted on the “Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Language and Vocabulary Project," a professional development state-wide coach and teacher training in both Mississippi and Florida. He is interested in innovative schools, classroom management, adaptive education, and assessment design.


Kiana Hines is a Ph.D. student in the School of Communication Science and Disorders, as well as a FIREFLIES & McKnight fellow. Before starting the Ph.D. program, Kiana worked as a bilingual school-based Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) in Atlanta, GA where she served culturally and linguistically diverse students. Kiana is interested in identifying and improving language and reading difficulties in English Language Learning Students.


Rachelle Johnson is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology, as well as a FIREFLIES fellow. Rachelle’s goal is to further our understanding and support of students with learning disabilities. Her research focuses on the role psychological factors, particularly motivation, play in the academic achievement of students with learning disabilities.


Madison Kellenberger is a Ph.D. student in Special Education and R2D2 fellow. Before starting the Ph.D. program, she served as a special educator and general education teacher in Florida public schools. Madison has an interest in research-practice partnerships and ways to ameliorate inequities that exist around reading instruction and achievement in schools. She is also interested in early identification and interventions for students who are at-risk for or identified with reading disabilities.


Shaylyn King is a Ph.D. student in the School of Communication Science and Disorders, as well as a FIREFLIES & McKnight fellow. She is interested in contextual factors that influence language development, literacy skills of linguistically diverse and vulnerable populations, cultural dialect, and policy related to reading and special education. Shaylyn has previous work experience as a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist in Title 1 schools in Central Florida.


Victor A. Lugo is a Ph.D. student in Communication Science and Disorders and a Triple L: Leadership in Language and Literacy fellow. Victor studies the intersection of teacher activism, education policy, and student achievement in U.S. public schools. He also has experience studying team science as well as language and literacy assessment and intervention for school-age students.


Nancy Marencin is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as an R2D2 fellow. She is an ASHA Certified Speech Language Pathologist, Certified Wilson Dyslexia Therapist, and Board Certified Telepractice Specialist. Through R2D2, she is also pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia at the University of Florida. Nancy completed her graduate studies in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Georgia State University, where she was a fellow in the inaugural Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) program through the Maternal Child Health Bureau.


Peter Marti is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education under Dr. Laura Steacy and Dr. Kelly Whalon. He is also a R2D2 fellow. Peter is interested in researching ways to increase literacy for students with autism, dyslexia, and from culturally & linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Cynthia Norris is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology, as well as a FIREFLIES & McKnight fellow. Before starting the Ph.D. program, she worked in the field of public health. Her research focuses on individual differences in reading development and the contextual environmental and genetic factors influencing learning. Cynthia has a strong interest in using quantitative methods and interdisciplinary research to understand problems in achievement.


Youngmin Oh

Doctoral Student

Youngmin is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Educational Psychology in the Learning and Cognition program. She was an elementary school teacher in Seoul of Korea before starting her Ph.D degree. She is interested in elementary students' reading development and reading intervention to facilitate their reading for understanding.


C.J. Partington is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as an R2D2 fellow working with Dr. Sonia Cabell. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 with her masters degree in early childhood education. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked in Miami-Dade county as a 2nd grade reading teacher and a preschool teacher. C.J.’s research interests include early literacy prevention and intervention for high-risk populations, as well as bridging the gap between research and practice for early-childhood stakeholders. Through R2D2, she will also be pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia at the University of Florida.


Jennifer Passalacqua is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as an R2D2 fellow. She is focusing on reading disabilities and dyslexia. Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree and master’s degree at FSU, focusing on Elementary Education and Reading/Language Arts. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked as a General Education teacher in Leon County, FL. Jennifer’s research interests include early reading intervention and bridging the gap between research and classroom practices. Through R2D2, she is also pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia at the University of Florida.


Rhonda Raines is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as a R2D2 fellow. She is also a licensed reading specialist in the state of Virginia and certified in Orton Gillingham through the Association of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. She completed her graduate studies in Reading Education at the University of Lynchburg. Rhonda’s experience includes working as a reading specialist with students at both the elementary and middle school levels, providing specialized intervention for students with dyslexia, and teaching preservice teachers methods of reading instruction. Through R2D2, she is also pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia at the University of Florida.


Anne Reed is a Ph.D. student in Communication Science and Disorders, as well as a FIREFLIES fellow. Anne brings experience as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in public and private schools as well as a specialized school for learners with dyslexia to her research. Research interests include the effects of therapy dosage and intensity on speech sound production outcomes, school-based SLP eligibility decision-making and self-efficacy, and early screening for dyslexia. Anne currently serves as the secretary for the Florida chapter of The Reading League.


Leah Register

Graduate Research Assistant

Leah is a Ph.D. student in the Education Policy and Evaluation program in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Before attending FSU, she worked as a middle school teacher in the metro-Atlanta area and credits her students for inspiring her to pursue her dreams of obtaining a graduate degree. Leah's research interests include teacher working conditions, teachers' perspectives of discipline practices, and increasing and diversifying the teacher pipeline.


Jessica Ritchie is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology. Jessica’s research interests include the implementation of evidence-based mental health instruction for K-5th teachers. Jessica is most interested in promoting positive mental health classroom environments. Her accompanying interests include implementation science, teacher attitudes and biases surrounding mental health.


Deborah Slik is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as a FIREFLIES fellow. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, she taught special education. Over the years she has taught in multiple states, and she currently holds a Florida teaching certificate with reading and ESOL endorsements. Deborah’s teaching experience ranges from preschool through high school. Her research interests are in reading intervention and early childhood literacy.


Jasmine Smith is a Ph.D. student in the School of Communication Science and Disorders, as well as a FIREFLIES & McKnight fellow. Jasmine is interested in language and literacy development in linguistically diverse and vulnerable populations. Jasmine has previous work experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist in public schools.


Christy Timm Fulkerson is a doctoral student and certified speech-language pathologist studying under the supervision of Dr. Hugh Catts. Her clinical and research interests include language and literacy disorders in culturally and linguistically diverse students. She is interested in developing better literacy assessment and treatment measures for multilingual students.

 


Michelle Torres-Chavarro is a Ph.D. student in the School of Communication Science and Disorders and a Spanish/English bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist for school age children. Her teaching and research interests focus on training and program development for educators working with bilingual populations and child language and literacy development, with specific interests in family based language and literacy interventions for families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Rebecca Vasile is a Ph.D. student in Reading Education and Language Arts, as well as an R2D2 fellow working with Dr. Sonia Cabell. She graduated from Florida State University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Through R2D2, she will be pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia at the University of Florida. Currently, Rebecca’s research interests are early intervention and prevention of reading disabilities. She also studies the role of teacher knowledge in the prevention and identification of reading disabilities.


Cristian Vazquez

Doctoral Student

Cristian Vazquez is a developmental psychology PH.D. student working with Dr. Christopher Schatschneider and Dr. Don Compton. Cristian is a FIREFLIES fellow & McKnight Affiliate and has a strong interest in research design, measurement, and statistical methodology. He is interested in educational psychology, learning disabilities, and reading and language comprehension.


Christine White is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology and a FIREFLIES fellow. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include evaluating, comparing, and improving school-based dyslexia screening systems, creating free online tools to support educators' evidence-based decision-making, open science, and advanced data analysis/visualization.


Alice Williams

Doctoral Candidate

Alice Williams is a doctoral candidate in Special Education. Alice's research interests include teaching reading to students with extensive support needs and improving interventions utilizing augmentative and alternative communication.