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Scholar Awards

Senior Scholar Award 2012: Disability Studies in Education
Susan L. Gabel and Scot Danforth


Susan L. Gabel, PhD, is a Professor in Disability and Equity in Education at National Louis University where she teaches critical policy analysis, disability studies seminar, and contemporary curriculum theory. With Scot Danforth, she is the co-founder of the Disability Studies in Education special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. She is co-editor, with Scot Danforth, of the Peter Lang book series Disability Studies in Education. She is the editor Disability studies in education: Readings in theory and method, and two books with Scot Danforth, Vital questions facing disability studies in education and Disability and the politics of education: An international reader. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Disability and Society, Disability Studies Quarterly, Curriculum Inquiry, and others. Currently, her research focuses on global issues of access and equity in education. She enjoys collaborating on projects with other disability studies colleagues and mentoring doctoral students.



Scot Danforth, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the School of Teacher Education, San Diego State University. He is co-editor, with Brenda Brueggemann, of Disability Studies Quarterly, the official journal of the Society for Disability Studies. With Susan Gabel, he is the co-founder of the Disability Studies in Education special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. He and Professor Gabel are also co-editors of the Peter Lang book series Disability Studies in Education. He is author of numerous books, including The Incomplete Child: An Intellectual History of Learning Disabilities. His articles have appeared in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Learning Disability Quarterly, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Disability and Society, Disability Studies Quarterly, Remedial and Special Education, and Educational Theory. He is currently writing a mystery novel for pre-teens that features a protagonist who has multiple disabilities.




Junior Scholar Award 2012: Disability Studies in Education
Joseph M. Valente and Kathleen M. Collins

Joseph Michael Valente is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Pennsylvania State University, serving as a core faculty member in the Comparative and International Education program. In collaboration with faculty from the School of Visual Arts, Joe is launching an inclusive summer laboratory school for children, where classes will be taught by students in the newly designed M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education with a specialist certificate in "Multimodal Literacies and Communication," which merges coursework in art education, childhood studies, disability studies in education, and multimodal pedagogies. Currently, Joe is the co-Principal Investigator of the Spencer Foundation funded video ethnography project, "Kindergartens for the Deaf in Three Countries: Japan, France, and the United States," which is the first cross-cultural, comparative study of how deaf schools enculturate children into Deaf culture. In 2011, Joe published his research-novel d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero in the Disability Studies in Education Series (Peter Lang). His journal articles have appeared in Qualitative Inquiry and Teachers College Record, and his creative non-fiction work anthologized in Deaf American Prose published by the Gallaudet Deaf Literature Series. Joe was also awarded the 2012 Ping Fellowship by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to participate in the seminar "Disability in Situation: French Notions of Disability and Difference" and study educational inclusion policy in Paris, France. 



Kathleen M. Collins is an Assistant Professor of Language, Culture and Society in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Kathleen's program of research aims to identify and interrupt deficit discourses surrounding children who are positioned as struggling with traditional school literacies. Much of her work does this by providing counter stories depicting children's capabilities in multimodal instructional contexts. Kathleen is currently pursuing these research interests within two active research projects, A Reading Camp (Not a Reading Clinic) with Patrick Shannon and Kathleen Shannon, and [Dis]ableing Education with Joseph M. Valente.  Her first book, Ability Profiling and School Failure, is in its second edition (Routledge, July 2012) and the prospectus for her second book is presently in review with Teachers College Press's Disability, Culture and Equity series edited by Alfredo Artiles and Elizabeth Kozlewski.  Kathleen's previous research has appeared in English Journal, Language Arts, Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, Teachers College Record, Urban Education, and Young Children.

Kathleen M. Collins and Joseph M. Valente are Co-Directors of Penn State's Center for Disability Studies.  Housed within the College of Education, the Pennsylvania State University Center for Disability Studies (CDS) is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary center with three key purposes:

  1. To conduct research and creative activities through grantsmanship, publications, and performances/public and academic talks
  2. To offer both undergraduate and graduate programs with minors and dual-degree options for students
  3. To carry out critical public pedagogy activities designed to inform public policy on education, health, and welfare

Penn State's CDS includes affiliate faculty and both undergraduate and graduate students across all colleges and departments in arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.  Via its various scholarship and outreach activities, the CDS examines the values and assumptions involved in various explanatory and applied frameworks for disability such as the medical, social, cultural, and historical models of disability. Disability Studies scholars at CDS aim to question the illusion of the perfected body/mind, and to argue that a just and inclusive society must provide for the full and equal social participation of all individuals, regardless of their place in the continuum of abilities and disabilities.

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Disability Studies in Education Conference 2012: CONTEMPLATING DIS/ABILITY STUDIES IN EDUCATION THROUGHOUT LIFE: IN SCHOOL, AND BEYOND website contact: webmaster