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Contact Details

Aderhold Hall 110 Carlton St. Athens, GA 30602

The PIPs project will prepare highly qualified professionals to work with young children with complex needs and their families. PIPs scholars will receive interdisciplinary training through a variety of opportunities and experiences both on and off campus.

Graduates will be eligible for certification in speech language pathology or early childhood special education and will be prepared for positions serving children with disabilities eligible for Part C or Part B preschool services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The inaugural group of PIPs scholars will begin their program in June 2018.

If you have questions about this project, feel free to contact us:

Meet the Team

Portrait of Rebecca Lieberman-Betz, PhD

Rebecca Lieberman-Betz, PhD

Associate professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education (Special Education)

Research interests:

  • Play and communication development in young children with developmental delays
  • Parent-implemented intervention
  • Part C service delivery
Portrait of Jennifer Brown, PhD, CCC-SLP

Jennifer Brown, PhD, CCC-SLP

Assistant professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education (Communication Sciences and Disorders)

Research interests:

  • Collaborative intervention practices in natural environments
  • Communication development and intervention
  • Professional development
Portrait of Cynthia Vail, PhD

Cynthia Vail, PhD

Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education (Special Education)

Research interests:

  • Teacher preparation and peer coaching
  • Part C policy
  • Arranging play environments to promote pro-social behavior
  • Exercise as an antecedent intervention
Portrait of Sarah Wiegand, MEd

Sarah Wiegand, MEd

Doctoral student, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education

Research interests:

  • Parent and caregiver coaching in early intervention
  • Part C practices
  • Knowledge and perceptions of autism spectrum disorder

Meet the Advisory Council

PIPs stakeholders

Angie Dudley

Parent representative

Laura Nichols, EdS, CCC

Assistant clinical professor

Carol Darrah, MS

Early childhood coordinator, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project

Martha Veto, MEd

Coordinator, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project

Laura Carpenter, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant professor, Brenau University School of Occupational Therapy

Lynn McFarland, MSEd

INSITE/VIISA coordinator, Georgia PINES

Alyssa LaForme Fiss, PT, PhD, PCS

Associate professor and director of physical therapy research, Department of Physical Therapy College of Health Professions, Mercer University

Christine Spratling, EdS

Technical assistance specialist, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project

Elizabeth "Elisa" T. Kennedy, PT, PhD, PCS

Associate professor emeritus of physical therapy and adjunct faculty of developmental-behavioral pediatrics, University of South Alabama's Strada Patient Care Center

Meet the Scholars

Portrait of Casey Baldwin

Casey Baldwin

  • Undergraduate major: Communication disorders, minor in music
  • Program: Speech language pathology
  • Dream job: Certified auditory-verbal therapist
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: The additional learning opportunities!
Portrait of Megan Boyd

Megan Boyd

  • Undergraduate major: Communication sciences and disorders
  • Program: Speech language pathology
  • Dream job: I'd love to work as an SLP in a school setting with young kids!
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: I like the fact that PIPs is so collaborative, and I've really enjoyed getting to know my future colleagues.
Portrait of Ciera Hutchins

Ciera Hutchins

  • Undergraduate major: Communication sciences and disorders
  • Program: Speech language pathology
  • Dream job: To work as an SLP in a public-school setting with preschool and elementary age students.
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: The opportunity to collaboratively work with my peers in both in the SLP program and the B-K program.
Portrait of Sarah Manning

Sarah Manning

  • Undergraduate major: Communication sciences and disorders
  • Program: Speech language pathology
  • Dream job: To own a multidisciplinary pediatric clinic.
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: The emphasis we put on families. They are the experts on their children, and we are learning how to treat them.
Portrait of Cedar Hawks

Cedar Hawks

  • Undergraduate major: Psychology
  • Program: Birth-kindergarten (ECSE)
  • Dream job: To eventually start my own special education school in Honduras.
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: The community and having familiar faces in my classes.
Portrait of Sara Russell

Sara Russell

  • Undergraduate major: Communication sciences and disorders
  • Program: Speech language pathology
  • Dream job: To own a private practice working with young children.
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: The amazing hands-on experiences.
Portrait of Cara Goldberg

Cara Goldberg

  • Undergraduate major: Early childhood education
  • Program: Birth-kindergarten (ECSE)
  • Dream job: Early interventionist
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: Seeing familiar faces in Aderhold and in class.
Portrait of Sarah Knapp

Sarah Knapp

  • Undergraduate major: Communication sciences and disorders
  • Program: Speech language pathology
  • Dream job: SLP in a school setting contracting in a pediatric hospital.
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: I have truly loved collaborating, working, and learning with students and professionals from other disciplines.
Portrait of Amanda Freeman

Amanda Freeman

  • Undergraduate major: Adapted curriculum SPED
  • Graduate major: Adapted curriculum SPED
  • Program: Birth-kindergarten (ECSE)
  • Dream job: Someday, I think it would be awesome to be a director/supervisor of a handful of early interventionists.
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: Having another cohort and learning about development.
Portrait of Saori Sakuragi

Saori Sakuragi

  • Undergraduate major: Communication science and disorders
  • Program: Speech language pathology
  • Dream job: To work as an SLP in early intervention or in a nursing home.
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: Collaborating and learning from other students in related fields.
Portrait of Eleanor Xiaoxiao Mehta

Eleanor Xiaoxiao Mehta

  • Undergraduate major: Elementary education
  • Program: Birth-kindergarten (ECSE)
  • Dream job: To open a special education training center and clinic in China one day!
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: The Play Assessment Collaborative Project.
Portrait of Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson

  • Undergraduate major: Early childhood education
  • Program: Birth-kindergarten (ECSE)
  • Dream job: Preschool special education teacher
  • Favorite thing about PIPs: I really like learning things I know I will use in the future and can apply to my work with children with special needs.

Scholar Funding

  • The PIPs project will accept 12 new scholars who will begin their program in the summer of 2020.
  • Those interested in applying for funding through PIPs must also apply for the CMSD or B-K master's program. PIPS funding is contingent upon acceptance into one of these graduate level programs. Click here for more information regarding application requirements.
  • Scholars who are funded through PIPs will fulfill a service obligation following the completion of their program. The service obligation entails working in a professional capacity with young children with disabilities for two years for every year of funding.
  • Potential students will need the following information and materials when applying for PIPs funding:
  1. Undergraduate GPA
  2. Graduate GPA if applicable
  3. GRE scores or MAT scores
  4. A statement of purpose addressing their philosophy of working with young children with disabilities and their families, as well as their educational and professional goals (2-3 pages)

Apply for Funding

News

Focus on Faculty: Katy O'Brien

August 12, 2019
O’Brien conducts research that helps people who have sustained concussions and other traumatic brain injuries maximize their learning potential.

PIPs News

June 2019: The PIPs project's inaugural Summer Institute was held in Dawsonville, Georgia, May 31–June 2. Over the course of two days, UGA PIPs scholars worked with Mercer University physical therapy students and Brenau University occupational therapy students, building interdisciplinary collaboration skills to support young children with complex needs and their families using evidence-based practices. Six interdisciplinary student teams engaged in case-based learning through the application of new content presented by interdisciplinary faculty and family representatives, who facilitated students' learning and engagement throughout the weekend. Faculty and family representatives included: Philippa Campbell, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University; M. Irma Alvarado, PhD, and Laura Carpenter, PhD, Brenau University; Alyssa Fiss, PhD, Mercer University; Elizabeth 'Elisa' Kennedy, PhD, University of South Alabama; Rebecca Lieberman-Betz, PhD, Cynthia Vail, PhD, Jennifer Brown, PhD, Laura Nichols, EdS, Sarah Wiegand, MEd, and Emily Adams, MDE, UGA; Angie Dudley; and Harper Calhoun.

March 2019: All 12 PIPs scholars were enrolled in a one-credit interdisciplinary practicum, where they worked together in teams of two to three to plan and implement interventions for young children with complex needs and their families with guidance from a professional mentor in home, classroom, and community settings. Each team will present their projects for discussion with PIPs scholars and faculty in April.

September 2018: Linda Hagood, a speech language pathologist with experience working with students who have visual impairment and additional disabilities, including autism, deaf-blindness, and intellectual disability visited the University of Georgia on Thursday, Sept. 20, for a breakfast with PIPs scholars. Her evening seminar entitled, "It Takes a Village: Working Together to Support Students with Complex Needs," was a collaboration between the PIPs grant and the Georgia Sensory Assistance Project (GSAP; Vail, project director).

June 2018: The inaugural group of PIPs scholars has started their program with an Infants and Toddlers Methods course, a course emphasizing collaborative and interdisciplinary services for infants toddlers with high-intensity needs and their families.

May 2018: The PIPs Advisory Council had their first meeting to discuss program goals, next year's Summer Institute, and course syllabi.