PACT welcomes Dr. Laura Bray
We’re delighted to announce Dr. Laura Bray will become an Associate Director of PACT effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Bray is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at Penn State University Park. Dr. Bray received her Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Learning Sciences and Policy in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research draws from various theoretical frameworks and mixed methods to examine issues of practice and policy pertaining to children with disabilities and their families. She aims to understand and attend to complex issues, which demand insights into the interconnectedness of the actions, beliefs, and artifacts of different stakeholders, organizations, and institutions. While her research interests are diverse in nature, they speak to the nuanced and multifaceted ways that people, learning, resources, institutions, and policy impact one another.
Dr. Bray is currently involved in four distinct threads of research involving special education policy and practice.
1. Implementation of Policy and Reform Initiatives: This work explores how schools implement Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and the role of school administrators in supporting inclusive reform. Dr. Bray is also designing interventions to improve the implementation of IEPs and inclusive reform.
2. Pre-Service and Teacher Training: Dr. Bray is examining the development of special education teachers' professional identities, as well as the influence of learning environments on these identities.
3. Policy Formation: In this work, Dr. Bray examines the role of system and non-system actors in the reauthorization of special education legislation.
4. Families' Access to Support: This research explores how to support families who have a child identified with a disability. Dr. Bray is also designing interventions to better connect families to resources, as well as training them in the implementation of evidence-based practices.
We welcome Dr. Bray to the PACT family!