Graduate-level teacher candidates in the Exceptional Education Department will showcase their research projects and share effective practices with colleagues and community educators during the Dr. Horace “Hank” Mann Graduate Research Symposium, Saturday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Bulger Communication Center.
This year, to extend the incredible legacy of Dr. Horace “Hank” Mann, the sixth annual symposium will officially be named in his honor. Mann joined Buffalo State in 1953 as the director of the Exceptional Children Education Division. Under his leadership, the college’s exceptional education undergraduate and graduate programs rose to prominence and became among the largest in the United States. Mann passed away in November 2010 at the age of 88.
“Dr. Mann was always a humanist at heart. He always thought about doing the right thing for the right reason,” said Warren Gleckel, associate professor of exception education, whom Mann hired in 1975. Gleckel noted that Mann was more than a mentor; he served as surrogate father to his wife, Linda, and grandfather to their children. “Without question, he was one of the most nurturing people I’ve ever known.”
Mann also advocated for the rights of people with disabilities long before the Americans with Disabilities Act was even on the radar. Gleckel recalled Mann’s belief in integrating children and adults with cognitive disabilities into the community at a time when this population typically was shuttered for years in huge institutions.
“He understood what was needed to disband the warehousing of people,” Gleckel said. “He said we need group homes, work, and educational opportunities, a setting akin to a reasonable family life.”
The 2012 Dr. Horace Mann Graduate Research Symposium will feature 18 projects representing the research of more than 50 graduate students. “Central to this event is the notion of using data to determine efficacy of instruction; and to use data to align instruction to the unique needs of students with special needs,” said Kevin Miller, professor and chair of exceptional education. “We have received overwhelmingly positive response from participants of the past five symposiums.”
Michael S. Rosenberg, '75, '79, professor and associate dean for research in the Department of Special Education, John Hopkins University’s School of Education, will deliver the keynote address. "Developing, Implementing, and Sustaining Comprehensive Culturally Responsive Behavior Management Systems: Using Data to Bridge the Research-to-Practice Gap."
Rosenberg completed his undergraduate and graduate special education studies at Buffalo State and doctoral studies at Penn State, which is also where Mann completed his doctoral program.
The symposium was initiated through the collaborative efforts of faculty in the Exceptional Education Department and the School of Education.
"By sharing and discussing results of their research projects with others, graduate students learn from each other and broaden their perspectives about research," Miller said. "A secondary intent of the symposium is to cultivate healthier, more positive attitudes toward research."
The event is free of charge and open to educators in the community. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register for the event at http://alumni.buffalostate.edu/ExEdsymposium, although walk-ins will be welcome.
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