"Meeting the needs of special learners in the 21st Century"



A public conversation presented by the Fairfield University Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions

Fairfield University's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) continues its series of "Community Dialogues: Conversations in Education and Allied Professions" on Thursday, August 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield. The public reception and conversation will center on "Reimagining Education: Meeting the Needs of Special Learners in the 21st Century."

The event, hosted by GSEAP Advisory Board member Susan Carroll, will focus on the educational and counseling needs of children and young adults with identified learning challenges and disabilities. How should schools respond to meet the needs of students under emotional stress or with attention deficit or autism spectrum disorders or other challenges that impair the learning process? How can parents work with schools and agencies to assure the best for their children?

Image: Susan FranzosaThe series was initiated last summer to foster a wider and more accessible community discussion on issues of importance in education and the human services. This summer's dialogue on special learners "is a topic of critical importance to parents, educators and policy makers," said Dean Susan Franzosa. "Our Fairfield faculty members are deeply engaged in research that has relevance for the welfare of children and their families and they can make a valuable contribution to community dialogue."

Dean Franzosa will lead a discussion that will feature Dr. Christine Siegel, associate dean and associate professor of school psychology, and Dr. Evelyn Bilia Lolis, assistant professor of special education and school psychology.

Dr. Siegel worked as a school psychologist and, prior to joining Fairfield University in 2005, was an assistant professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga., where she was an active member of the Georgia Association of School Psychologists and reviewer for the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation. As an Associate Professor of School Psychology, Dr. Siegel is the principal investigator on a grant-funded research project investigating stress and coping among mothers of adolescents with disabilities. She has taught classes in psychological assessment, behavior therapy, developmental psychology, and learning theory.

Dr. Bilias Lolis has worked in adolescent mental health for over ten years, helping to design numerous therapeutic programs for at-risk youth with a concentration in crisis counseling and intervention in the schools. She is a practicing school psychologist who has more recently served as the District Department Chair of Psychology for the Stamford Public Schools as well as the district leader for the Stamford Public School's Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Leadership Team. Her research efforts focus on school climate reform and the implementation and assessment of positive behavioral support mechanisms that enable safe and inclusive learning environments. She has taught courses in personality theory, developmental psychology, diagnostic procedures in youth with disabilities, and behavioral statistics.

This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Seating is limited. To R.S.V.P, please go to www.fairfield.edu/gseapreception by Aug. 1. For more information, please call the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 254-4280.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 20, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 9