Graduate Students

Yewon Lee
Yewon Lee

Yewon is a fifth-year doctoral student and a part-time instructor in the Special Education program at the University of Maryland, College Park. In her previous life, she was a preschool teacher and a special educator in a self-contained classroom. Her experiences as an educator fueled her passion for understanding and remediating the learning needs of at-risk students. In particular, she is fascinated by the structures and forms of language that are used in academic disciplines such as science and their potential to inform future intervention work for students who struggle with writing. She is currently exploring science writing interventions for at-risk populations such as students with learning disabilities (LD) and students who are English learners (EL) with her adviser, Dr. Susan De La Paz. 

Jarae Kelly
Jerae Kelly

Jerae is a third year doctoral student in the Special Education program at the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed two master’s degree in Elementary and Special Education while teaching Special Education in Baltimore City through a partnership between her alternative teaching program, Urban Teachers, and Lesley University. Jerae is currently exploring the relation between Theory of Mind and students narrative reading skills. Her adviser is Dr. Kelli Cummings,and she also works closely with Dr. Ana Taboada-Barber.

Cameron Butler
Cameron Butler

Cameron Butler is a second-year graduate student in the CHSE department at the University of Maryland.  He is currently working with Dr. Susan De La Paz on a number of projects centered around writing intervention.  His interests include the motivation of students with special needs toward writing.  In his free time, Cameron likes to play basketball and catch up with friends.  

Brittany Patrick
Brittany Patrick

Brittany Patrick is a third year doctoral student in the department of Special Education at the University of Maryland, under the advisement of Dr. Ana Taboada-Barber. Her current research interests center around developing language and literacy supports for high-need students with or at risk for learning disabilities. Brittany has served as an elementary special and general education teacher in Washington, DC and San Antonio, TX; where she developed a passion for educating culturally and linguistically diverse students. She has also served as an independent curriculum consultant for non-profit organizations, public, and private schools in the DC Metropolitan area. 

Jennifer McCatharn
Jennifer McCatharn

Jennifer is a third year doctoral student in the ProPELL cohort and Dr. Rebecca Silverman is her adviser. She previously taught 3rd and 1st grade in Southeast D.C., as a resident and fellow with Urban Teachers. She earned a Masters in Elementary and Special Education from Lesley University while teaching. In 2014, she studied counseling, and risk and resilience at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in the Prevention Science and Practice program. In 2015, she returned to D.C. as a founding 5th grade reading specialist at a residential boarding school. She currently supports social-emotional learning in a part-time role at two charter schools in D.C. Jennifer's research interests include: executive function interventions, social emotional learning, reading development, student motivation, and teacher training.

Alexandra Shelton
Alexandra Shelton

Alexandra Shelton is a third-year doctoral student in Special Education. Before arriving at the University of Maryland, she was a special education teacher and IEP chair in a Baltimore City public high school. Alexandra’s current research interests include adolescent literacy instruction and reading comprehension interventions for individuals with mild intellectual disabilities. With her advisor, Dr. Jade Wexler, Alexandra is studying the effects of a school-wide literacy program that provides teachers with professional development and coaching to help improve the reading outcomes of middle school struggling readers.

Erin Clancy
Erin Clancy

Erin is a PhD candidate in Special Education. Her research interests include investigating the services students with Learning Disabilities or Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities receive in Tier 1 or general education, settings. She has over 15 years of experience working with students in typical classroom settings as well and hospitals and alternative settings including juvenile justice centers. She is passionate about assuring all students can access and acquire the knowledge necessary for success in the classroom, and desires an equitable education system that respects and is responsive to the diversity of the student population. Along with her advisor, Dr. Jade Wexler, Erin is exploring literacy practices and co-teaching methods in the secondary setting. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between student engagement and co-teaching models. 

Jennifer Llewellyn
Jen Llewellyn

Jen Llewellyn is a second-year doctoral student in Special Education. She spent 10 years working in student support as a special education teacher and guidance counselor. Jen now supports medical students in developing study skills, board preparation, and accessing accommodations at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she is also actively involved in diversity efforts on the campus. Her research interest include: adult learners, diversity and inclusion, school climate, and teacher education. She is also a member of the Lavender Leadership Honor Society.

Jose Ortiz
José A. Ortiz

José A. Ortiz is a speech-language pathologist, a faculty member in Hearing and Speech Sciences, and a doctoral student in Special Education in the at the University of Maryland, College Park. José serves as the director of the Language-Learning Early Advantage Program (LEAP), and the coordinator of the Bilingual Certificate Program. He received his B.A. in Linguistics & Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2004, and his M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2007. He has long had an interest in the processes of communication development, with a focus on bilingual language development, and disproportionality in special education. As a clinician and clinical supervisor, he has worked with a variety of different populations in a range of settings. José continues to be active in the local community, helping to facilitate educational workshops for caregivers of individuals with communication disorders and serving as an advocate for bilingual education.