June 2016 Awards

Brittany Brakenhoff

Brittany Brakenhoff

Principal Investigator: Brittany Brakenhoff, Human Sciences (Graduate Fellow)
Co-Investigators: Natasha Slesnick, Human Sciences

Project Dates: 7/01/2016 – 6/30/2017
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $54,000
Project Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH

Understanding HIV risk behaviors of homeless youth

Homeless youth report high rates of risky sexual behavior and are at an increased risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). While previous research has developed sexual health interventions for homeless youth, these interventions have had little success at changing youths’ behaviors. Little is known regarding homeless youth’s perception of the benefits and risk of their sexual behaviors; it is possible that youth perceive that the benefits outweigh the risks. The current study proposes utilizing a mixed method approach to address this gap in the literature. In the first phase of data collection, homeless youth (N=30) will be interviewed regarding their sexual behaviors and their perception of the risks and benefits of these behaviors and associated consequences (HIV, STIs, pregnancy, etc.). Grounded theory coding procedures will be used to analyze the qualitative data and develop a tentative theory. Then, self-report surveys will be administered to a sample of homeless youth (N=100) to further substantiate the findings from the qualitative portion of the study. Findings from this study will provide knowledge regarding how homeless youth perceive sexual risk behaviors and the associated consequences, which can provide insight for future intervention development.


Matthew Brock

Matthew Brock

Principal Investigator: Matthew Brock, Educational Studies

Project Dates: 7/1/2016 – 6/30/2017
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $399,968
Project Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education

Promoting system-wide implementation of evidence-based practice for students with severe disabilities through multi-tiered professional development

The Principal Investigator (PI) will conduct a program of research for improving the instructional strategies of paraprofessionals working with students with severe disabilities, and will participate in activities to develop expertise in randomized controlled trials with growth modeling, single-case designs, and grant writing. Previous research has identified three key features of professional development that promote fidelity; professional development must include effective training strategies (e.g., modeling, performance feedback, and self-monitoring), be sustained over time, and emphasize generalization of implementation fidelity to authentic contexts. However, there is currently no efficient and effective way to use these features to train large groups of paraprofessionals. The PI intends to develop and test the promise of a multi-tier system of training to improve paraprofessional implementation of systematic instructional strategies (i.e., simultaneous prompting, least-to-most prompting, and data collection and graphing) as well as outcomes for students with severe disabilities, preschool through high school.

Principal Investigator: Gwendolyn Cartledge, Educational Studies
Co-Investigators: John Fosler-Lussier; Ralph Gardner, Educational Studies

Project Dates: 1/01/2016 – 12/31/2016
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $112,843
Project Sponsor: Carney Labs

STTR: Commercializing reading RACES

Traci Lepicki

Traci Lepicki

Principal Investigator: Traci Lepicki, CETE
Co-Investigators:Robert Mahlman

Project Dates: 7/01/2016 – 6/30/2017
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $829,500
Project Sponsor: Ohio Department of Higher Education




Shayne Piasta

Shayne Piasta

Principal Investigator: Shayne Piasta, Crane Center for Early Childhood Research
Co-Investigators: Jessica Logan

Project Dates: 7/1/2016 – 6/30/2021
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $3,299,902
Project Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences

Efficacy of the BrightStart! Program for promoting the emergent literacy skills of prekindergarten children at risk for reading difficulties

The purpose of this project is to test the efficacy of the Nemours BrightStart! program for prekindergarten children who need additional support in order to enter kindergarten with emergent literacy skills similar to their peers. While practitioners and researchers recognize early childhood as a key period of literacy development, many students who enter kindergarten do not demonstrate the literacy skills necessary to learn to read and write. Research shows that the reading achievement gap is evident before kindergarten and that children who enter kindergarten with lower emergent literacy skills are unlikely to catch up to their peers. BrightStart! is a fully-developed, commercially available small-group literacy program that supplements regular classroom instruction for prekindergarteners and is aimed at improving the emergent literacy skills of students who are at risk for reading difficulties in kindergarten and beyond.