Picture of Dean Peter Hlebowitsh

Our College is merging its considerable research assets with its efforts to engage the public and its problems.

In this way, we are moving in the lives of young adults with cognitive disabilities by offering programs that result in the promise of a job and the possibility for independence. Professor Kagendo Mutua’s CrossingPoints program continues to gain national attention as a model program for the education of young people with intellectual disabilities.

We are moving in the lives of schoolchildren in the hope of increasing literacy across the State of Alabama. Professors Carol Donovan and Nicole Swoszowski are active in helping to bring attention to the issue of reading achievement. Focusing much of their work on the schools of the Black Belt, Professors Donovan and Swoszowski work actively with parents and school professionals on reading achievement concerns.

We are moving in the lives of classroom teachers who struggle to deal with behaviorally challenging students. Professor Sara McDaniel is leading the Alabama Positive Behavior Support Office in its mission to help school professionals rethink the manner in which children are disciplined. She is also bringing important attention to the role that disciplining behaviors play in the school-to-prison pipeline.

We are moving in the lives of incarcerated adolescent youth, whose future is still very much dependent on the quality of their educational experiences. Professor Kristine Jolivette is working with incarcerated adolescents, offering academic interventions for imprisoned youth and bringing attention to important risk factors.

We are moving in the lives of athletes, bringing new insights on physical fitness and training programs.  Professor Michael Esco’s research is focusing on internal responses to stress. He uses heart variability measures to determine if an athlete is fatigued or alternatively ready to perform and is also developing various methods to measure key parameters of physical fitness.

We are moving in the lives of young adults with ambulatory disabilities. Under the leadership of Professors Brent Hardin and Margaret Stran, the University built and recently opened a $10 million  sports arena dedicated to the education and livelihood of athletes with ambulatory disabilities. No other campus in the nation has a comparable facility.

And we are moving in the lives of very young children with disabilities. Professor Robin McWilliam is investigating how best to help very young children with disabilities and their families. His Routines-Based Model is internationally-renown and offers interventions for children and their families rooted in their daily routines.

In all these ways, we are serving the people in the State of Alabama and the nation by advancing research insights that engage problems and bring lift and improvement to the lives of our citizens.

Peter S. Hlebowitsh
Dean and Professor