Research Faculty & Staff

Bryan G. Cook, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Bryan G. Cook, Ph.D., is a Professor in Special Education at UVA with expertise in standards for conducting high-quality intervention research in special education, replication research in special education, and open science. He co-directs, with Dr. Therrien, the Consortium for the Advancement of Special Education Research (CASPER) and is an ambassador for the Center for Open Science. He is Past President of CEC’s Division for Research, chaired the working group that developed CEC’s (2014) Standards for Evidence-Based Practices in Special Education, coedits Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, and is coauthor of textbooks on special education research and evidence-based practices in special education. Cook plays an integral role in developing infrastructure and supports for SERA, conducting the pilot study, and assessing the usability and feasibility of using SERA to conduct future replication pilot studies.

William J. Therrien, Ph.D., BCBA

Co-Principal Investigator

William J. Therrien, Ph.D., BCBA, is a Professor in Special Education at UVA. He is an expert in designing and evaluating academic programming for students with disabilities, particularly in science and reading. Along with co-directing CASPER, Dr. Therrien co-edits Exceptional Children, the flagship journal in special education, and is Research in Practice Director for UVA’s Supporting Transformative Autism Research (STAR) initiative. Therrien assists Cook with developing infrastructure and supports for SERA, conducting the pilot study and assessing the usability and feasibility of using SERA to conduct future replication pilot studies.

Vivian C. Wong, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

Vivian C. Wong, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Research, Statistics, and Evaluation at UVA. Dr. Wong’s expertise is in improving the design, implementation, and analysis of experimental and quasi-experimental approaches. Her scholarship has focused recently on the design and analysis of replication research. Dr. Wong has authored numerous articles on research methodology in journals such as Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Psychological Methods. Wong is primarily responsible for developing the methodological infrastructure and supports for SERA, assisting with methodological components of the pilot study, and conducting exploratory analyses of SERA.

Christina Taylor, M.Ed.

Project Manager

Christina Taylor, M.Ed., is the SERA Project Manager. She earned her M.Ed. with a concentration in research, statistics, and evaluation at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the SERA team, she worked as a project manager of multiple research projects related to early childhood education policy and initiatives, preservice teacher education, and research methodology. Taylor oversees workflow and protocol development, manages relationships with research partners, and is involved in all aspects of the pilot study.

Ling Chen, M.A.

Data Specialist

Ling Chen is a data specialist at UVA, overseeing data management for the SERA project. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education at UMass Amherst. Her research focuses on college access and equity, application behaviors, higher education policy issues, and the intricate dynamics between education systems and student characteristics influencing college access. Ling holds a Master of Arts in Social Research Methodology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Graduate Students

Danielle Waterfield, M.T.

Doctoral Student

Danielle A. Waterfield is a Special Education Ph.D. student in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education program in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. Danielle is co-advised by Drs. Michael J. Kennedy and Bryan G. Cook. Her primary research interests include the intersection of inclusion, technology, policy, and teacher development in the field of special education. Danielle is currently exploring artificial intelligence applications in special education teacher development. A former special education teacher and administrator, Danielle is passionate about the development, implementation, and application of evidence-based and research-based practices. As a doctoral student, Danielle has contributed to grant-funded research focusing on evidence-based strategies and technologies in special education teacher development through initiatives such as Dr. Kennedy’s Supporting Teachers through cOaching, obseRvations, and Multimedia to Educate students with Disabilities (STORMED) team and Dr. Cook’s Special Education Research Accelerator (SERA) initiative.