Press Release

Feds fund five Ph.Ds in new equity, ‘social-emotional’ program at UVM

UVM Faculty Awarded $1.25 Million Grant to Prepare Higher Education Faculty Specializing in Social, Emotional-Behavioral Health and Inclusive Education

A $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs will fund the launch of Project RESILIENCY at the University of Vermont. With a goal to train specialized and interdisciplinary leaders in the education of children and youth with or at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders, the project will fully fund five doctoral scholars in the newPhD in Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health and Inclusive Education (SHIE) program over the next five years.  

“We know that, increasingly, the need for mental health support among our children and families far exceeds what they can get outside of school,” says Justin Garwood, one of five core faculty leading the project in the College of Education and Social Services. “So, how do we meet these needs in school? We will train the future leaders who will help us answer that question.”

The PhD in SHIE will prepare future leaders in higher education through a rigorous pedagogical, theoretical, and methodological program anchored in community-engaged, equity-oriented, trauma-informed, and evidence-based practices. A comprehensive, cohort-based approach is designed to cultivate future faculty members who teach effectively and conduct high-quality research that is relevant, cutting-edge, and useful in supporting positive child outcomes.

CESS core faculty members leading the project with Garwood are Shana Haines, Bernice Garnett, Colby Kervick, and Jessica Strolin-Goltzman. The PhD in SHIE places intentional emphasis on scholarship activity and collaboration within the cohort and among the faculty’s professional networks. The core faculty represent the SHIE program’s interdisciplinary strength, as their expertise spans the fields of special education, social work, and public health. 

“Collaboration among families, communities, and schools is necessary to support the social, emotional, and behavioral health of our children,” says Haines. “There are examples of successful collaboration with great results, but a great deal of work is necessary to increase equity in these collaborative efforts. Scholars in our program will engage in communities to understand complex issues and apply cutting-edge methodology and evidence-based practices to spur meaningful change.”

Doctoral scholars in the program will engage with in-person seminars, online learning, and professional conferences that support their success while completing courses and fieldwork that prepare them to conduct rigorous and meaningful research. They will learn from a combination of SHIE coursework, doctoral methods classes, methodology institutes, mentorship with interdisciplinary faculty, and practicum experiences in the field involving research, teaching, service, and policy. 

Recruitment is now underway as the project seeks professionals ready to engage in full-time doctoral studies over four years aimed at creating proactive, innovative, and interdisciplinary solutions to complex issues affecting the social, emotional, and behavioral health of children and youth. 

Recruited as a cohort into the program for Fall 2023, RESILIENCY scholars will receive full tuition support along with a stipend, insurance, and financial resources for travel and other expenses related to the project. Applications are welcome from professionals who have experience working with students with disabilities in applied settings. Applicants must hold a master’s degree, preferably in a related field such as education, special education, social work, counseling, or cognitive science.

Categories: Press Release

10 replies »

  1. Well, they seem to have been very “inclusive” in the language of wokeness when naming this program the “equity, ‘social-emotional’ program”. Might I suggest that the “Groovy U. Vee change it’s name to “Snow Flake U. ?

  2. A complete, total waste of money. How about teaching and helping people learn to practice basic health habits, exercise responsibility, maintain a positive work ethic, effectively read and write, manage money (handle bills and balance a checkbook), develop basic social skills, etc.? But no, we have to be sure and fund Mr. Garwood’s and others’ fantasies for, “creating proactive, innovative, and interdisciplinary solutions to complex issues.”

  3. It is easy to be critical of programs like these. In fairness, I would like to point out that many of our children and youth face extraordinary challenges to their mental health: economic, social, political, and familial problems affect children and teens in ways that a lot of folks might not see. A lot of families are suffering. The economy is dire, money is tight, support systems are frayed, parents are trying to cope as best they can—and children grow into adults who carry their problems and trauma into adulthood, and often pass them on to the NEXT generation. We have more children and teens in our schools who have PTSD than ever before, more who are dealing with learning issues, more whose families are unable to provide the support they should have. A doctoral program is very hard to complete. Not only is there very challenging course work, one has to do original and meaningful research, and also present that research in a document that contributes to the field in measurable ways. Getting a PhD is very, very hard! Those of us who have survived to adulthood despite trauma, poverty, abuse, assault, and family strife might think that a person ought to just suck it up and drive on, but that is easier said than done. I have worked with too many young people whose lives would have been measurably improved if they had had resources that could really help them. I wonder if people who jump in to criticize this program actually take the time to understand what it is for and who it is intended in the long run to serve? School is the one place where our children and youth have an environment that is dedicated to their growth and even their survival. If we can make that better, why shouldn’t we? This is not a “snowflake” issue; it’s a lifeline that a responsible society should extend to anyone who needs it. People who are critical should spend some time dealing with a family with a suicidal child who has exhausted all of the available sectors of help—or been unable to access them. People are suffering. We should all do what we can to help.

    • Or we could stop praising single mothers, and end no-fault divorce, and stop rewarding women with cash, prizes & custody for filing divorce papers 80-90% of the time. By every statistical measure, single mothers raise children less well off and more damaged than do intact families, or single fathers for that matter. Keep fathers in the home and many of these issues resolve themselves.

  4. Rockerfeller funded the pro-nasi health organization in Germany called the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute. It looks as though history is repeating itself.

  5. The more that snowflake-helpless-coddled people are coddled, the more helpless they become. The left has utterly destroyed the positive attributes of the human individual and turned us into a spineless collective that is ultimately dependent on government or non-profit advocacies funded by taxpayers. This kind of a program is institutionalizing that demise at the academic level. What has happened to this once-great land grant university that focused on agriculture is PATHETIC.

  6. Anyone taking a guess what neighborhoods these profs will be living in? Somebody better give Shelburne and Charlotte a heads up. They ought to be able to work from home limiting any potentially distasteful contact with the people under study.

    Money well spent as our government keeps fanning the flames.

Leave a Reply