10/27/17 - Challenging Behavior Conference

Challenging Behavior Conference
10/27/2017, 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM
October 27
2017/10/27 08:00
Friday, October 27, 2017
08:00 AM
04:00 PM
  • The conference at Oakland University is sold out. 
  • Livestream version of the conference is available. (SCECH'S are not available for the Livestream version)  Registration
  • Livestream registration ends October 25th!

"Research to Practice: Evidence-Based Practices for Addressing Challenging Behavior, Teacher Well-Being, and Family Engagement in Early Childhood Settings"

Presented by the Department of Human Development and Child Studies and partially funded by Oakland University Meadow Brook Hall Research Conference Grant.

Co-sponsored/co-organized by Oakland University School of Education and Human Services, Oakland Schools, Michigan Department of Education, HighScope Educational Research Foundation.

Research shows that preschool children are expelled or suspended at an alarming rate, i.e., three times those in K-12. A disproportionate number are boys and African-Americans, and teachers’ implicit bias may partially explain the overrepresentation. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including poverty and violence in homes and neighborhoods, have also been found to increase young children’s challenging behaviors. Consequently, children who are most at risk for school failure and need high quality early programming are being deprived of the opportunity.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education released a joint policy statement. The statement called for prevention and reduction of preschool expulsion and suspension, providing guidance and resources to help state, program administrators, teachers, and parents address challenging behaviors in young children (US HHS & USDE, 2014). In December of 2016, the Michigan State Board of Education approved the “Statement and Guidance on Developing a Policy for Prevention of Suspension and/or Expulsion of Children Birth through Age 8 in Early Education and Care Programs,” to begin to address this issue. [1] In addition, over 30 national organizations have recently signed on to support and disseminate the urgent message of preventing and reducing expulsion and suspension in early childhood (NAEYC, 2016).

There are multiple research studies that support approaches to positively impact classroom management, teachers’ well-being, and children’s positive behaviors to help prevent and reduce the need for undesirable preschool disciplinary decisions. Despite existing research and widely supported calls for action, early childhood educators continue to report that they feel ill-equipped to support young children who exhibit problem behaviors beyond the expected range (Fox & Lentini, 2006; Fox, Smith, Hemmeter, Strain & Corso, 2015). Similarly, there is a discontinuity between what policy-makers advocate and the reality in the classrooms. The proposed conference will provide an opportunity for an in-depth conversation between prominent researchers in the field, policy makers and practitioners to encourage critical reflection, and to bridge the research-policy-practice gap.

The research conference brings together researchers, policy makers, and practitioners to share cutting-edge research on the topic of challenging behavior in early childhood, and identify evidence-based and culturally responsive policy and practices ready for implementation. We invite national and international level experts with a focus on Michigan to discuss what we as early childhood stakeholders can do to support teachers and families of our most vulnerable children.

View flyer for more information

Are you a student or a novice teacher/researcher?

Submit a proposal by August 31 to share your research or innovative practice. If accepted, primary author’s registration fee is waived.

Local Information for those travelling.

[1]  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Item_K_suspension_policy_birth_through_eight_543802_7.pdf

Presenter Profiles
Keynote Speaker:
Walter Gilliam Headshot Walter S. Gilliam, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology Director, Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy Yale University Child Study Center

Walter S. Gilliam is the Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center. He is a member of the board of directors for ZERO TO THREE, Child Care Aware of America, and the Irving Harris Foundation; a research fellow of the National Institute for Early Education Research; and former Senior Advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Dr. Gilliam is co-recipient of the prestigious 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the coauthored book A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. His work has frequently been covered in major national and international news outlets, and he actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers in the U.S. and other countries.

Invited Speakers and Panelists (alphabetical order

Jennifer Champagne HeadshotJennifer Champagne, Ph.D., IMH-E ®, Early Childhood Consultant, Oakland Schools and Co-Chair, Diversity Committee for the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health

Jennifer Champagne, Ph.D., IMH-E ® is an early childhood consultant at Oakland Schools and the co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.  Her work focuses on promoting social and emotional competence and addressing challenging behaviors in early childhood settings.  In this role she provides support, resources, and consultation to professionals and families.  She received her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education in 2015.  Her research interests include early childhood mental health consultation and reflective practice in early care and education. 

Sandra HulmeSandra Hulme, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate, Oakland University and Owner/Director, White Rose Academy, Rochester, Michigan

Sandra Hulme MEd is the owner/director of White Rose Academy Child Care Center, Rochester Hills, Michigan. Sandra Hulme is a PhD candidate at Oakland University in her data gathering stage of her dissertation.  She has co-authored an article on the use of therapy dogs for persons with ASD in the work environment.  Sandra has also presented at a conference on the same topic.  Her dissertation research has a focus on promoting a mental health wellness approach for toddlers in early childhood settings.

Jessica Korneder Head ShotJessica Korneder, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of Applied Behavior Analysis Clinic, Oakland University

Jessica Korneder received her B.S. in Psychology in 1997 and her M.A. in Behavior Analysis in 1999 from Western Michigan. In 2001, she became a BCBA and in 2014 completed her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University. From 1999 through 2014, Ms. Korneder worked as a Director in two different in-home behavior therapy companies. She has supervised and trained dozens of M.A. students while they were working towards their BCBA certificates. She has assessed and designed curricula for hundreds of children with special needs.  Ms. Korneder has provided trainings and professional presentations in behavior analysis both domestically and abroad. Additionally, she has instructed courses in behavior analysis for parents, undergraduate students, and graduate students. Courses instructed include research methods, basic principles of behavior analysis, developmental disabilities, and application of behavior principles.

Richard Lower HeadshotRichard Lower, M.A., Director of Preschool and Out-of-School-Time Learning, Office of Great Start, Michigan Department of Education

Richard Lower is the director of Preschool and Out-of-School Learning within the Office of Great Start of the Michigan Department of Education. Lower is responsible for the administration of the Great Start Readiness Program, Early Childhood Special Education, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers that provide programs and services to a variety of school entities and community-based organizations statewide. Prior to joining the Michigan Department of Education in 2008, Lower served as the executive director of the Michigan Head Start Association and has also worked in the nonprofit sector, focusing on children, youth, and family budget and policy development. In these roles, he has been a developer of Michigan’s early childhood system and now uses past experiences in being a partner to develop and bridge with Michigan’s emerging out-of-school time system. In addition, Lower was an adjunct faculty in psychology for Lansing Community College for more than 10 years. Lower holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in human ecology with an emphasis in family studies, as well as an endorsement in applied developmental science.

Mary Mackrain HeadshotMary Mackrain, M.Ed., IMH-E® (IV), Infant Mental Health Mentor (Policy) & Early Childhood Consultant, Mental Health Services to Children and Families, Michigan Department of Community Health; Oakland University Ph.D. Student.

Mary Mackrain, MEd, IMH-E® (IV). Through her role as Senior Project Director at Education Development Center, Mary is involved in developing and managing Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) work to advance efficiency, effectiveness and capacity of systems supporting infants, young children and their families. Mary also serves as a senior advisor to the Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. Additionally, Mary is a member of the RAINE group, Advancing Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Practice, Policy and Research. Mary is a consultant to Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health Services to Children and Families and a member of the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and past Board Member.  

Julie Ricks-Doneen, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education, Oakland University

Dr. Ricks-Doneen is an associate professor in Human Development and Child Studies and faculty director of the Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She has been involved in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years, working with and studying economically and culturally diverse populations of children and families in Head Start, Migrant Head Start, refugee programs, overseas teacher education programs, and two college laboratory schools.  Dr. Ricks-Doneen focuses on linking community service with her teaching and research. Her service on local and state advisory boards – Early On Center for Higher Education Advisory Board, Great Start Oakland Strategic Leadership Committee, Michigan Division for Early Childhood Professional Development Committee – supports and enriches her teaching and research.  Collaboration with key groups has resulted in grants and research studies that will further knowledge of early childhood providers educational needs in the area of early childhood special education and inclusion. 

LeShorage Shaffer HeadshotLaShorage Shaffer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Michigan at Dearborn in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

Dr. LaShorage Shaffer is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she teaches early childhood and early childhood special education courses. Dr. Shaffer serves as a Special Education consultant to the Early Childhood Education Center on campus and on various committees across the community. She serves the field in a variety of capacities including on boards of professional and community organizations, presenting at conferences, and as a reviewer for both journals and textbooks. Dr. Shaffer earned her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Special Education. Her research interests and publications span from challenging behavior, social emotional development for children with and without disabilities, using evidenced-based practices to enhance development and learning, culturally responsive and competent pedagogy, personnel preparation, and policy.

Organizing Committee:

Ambika Bhargava, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Human Development and Child Studies, Oakland University

Jennifer Champagne, Ph.D., IMH-E ®, Early Childhood Consultant, Oakland Schools and Co-Chair, Diversity Committee for the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health

Vicki Gossett, Administrative Secretary, Human Development and Child Studies, Oakland University

Katherine Homant, Ph.D. Student, Human Development and Child Studies, Oakland University

Carol Markley, Special Projects Coordinator, HighScope Educational Research Foundation

Sherri Oden, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Coordinator of Early Childhood Education Ph.D. Program, Oakland University

Julie Ricks-Doneen, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education, Oakland University

Donna Simons, Office Assistant, Human Development and Child Studies, Oakland University

Tomoko Wakabayashi, Ed.D. (Chair of the Organizing Committee), Associate Professor of Education, Oakland University

Session Topics and Schedule
The conference will:
  1. Provide researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and students with the opportunity to learn from nationally and internationally renowned researchers and practitioners;
  2. Provide students and emerging scholars with the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field during the Lunch with the Leader session.
  3. Provide students and emerging scholars the opportunity to present their research in a non-threatening environment; and
The conference will end with discussions and reflections of the day, which will culminate into tangible resources such as conference proceedings or handouts.

View Schedule

How to Register

Main Registration (including SCECH's) - SOLD OUT

For registration questions, please contact Donna Simons at dksearig@oakland.edu.

  • Conference Registration Fee: $110 Regular/$45 Student
  • SCECHs Fee: Additional $10
  • No cancellation/refund after Monday October 16 (Space is limited)
  • Parking is free. Follow signs – Enter off of Adams Rd.
  • Continental Breakfast (8 - 8:45 a.m.) and lunch will be provided to all participants

For more information, please contact:
Donna Simons
(248) 370-2623


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Contact Information
Donna Simons