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Dr. R. A. McWilliam is one of the nation's leading researchers in early intervention/early childhood special education, directs the Siskin Center for Child and Family Research in Chattanooga, Tennesee, and serves as the Siskin Endowed Chair of Research in Early Childhood Education, Intervention and Development. He is the foremost investigator of engagement in children with disabilities. Dr. McWilliam is a Past President of the CEC Division for Research and is on the steering committee for CEC's efforts to define and identify evidence-based practices in special education. Most recently, he was the director of the Center for Child Development at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville. He also served as division chief for developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he was a tenured professor of pediatrics. He held a secondary appointment as a professor of special education at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Dr. McWilliam served for 12 years at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at the University of North Carolina
Bryan G. Cook is presently a Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He earned his PhD in special education at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Cook and his colleagues have guest edited a number of special issues of journals on topics related to research-based practices in recent years, including of a 2003 special issue of Journal of Special Education, a 2008 special issue of Intervention in School and Clinic, a 2009 special issue of Exceptional Children, and a 2010 special issue of Intervention in School and Clinic. Dr. Cook is currently the chair of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Workgroup on Evidence-based Practices and President of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Research, as well as Associate Editor of the journal Remedial and Special Education. He is the recipient of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Research 2007 Distinguished Early Career Research Award and the 2008 James M. Kauffman Publication Award (with Melody Tankersley).
Melody Tankersley, PhD, is a professor of special education at Kent State University. After earning her doctorate degree from the University of Virginia, she was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, a program affiliated with the University of Kansas. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Dr. Tankersley taught students with emotional and behavioral disorders, a population of students who continue to be the focus of her instructional and scholarly endeavors. Dr. Tankersley focuses her scholarship on issues related to identifying and using evidence-based practices, academic and behavioral interventions, the prevention of emotional and behavioral disorders, and parent interventions. Dr. Tankersley and her colleague from the University of Hawaii, Dr. Bryan Cook, were recently awarded the James M. Kauffman Publication Award, presented by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education for a scholarly work that results in knowledge leading to exemplary special education practices.