“I’m interested in enhancing equity and parity in educational opportunities through research, training, and outreach,” says Dr. Kimberly Vannest. “My professional goals focus on contributions to the improvement of society through science and synergistic collaborations.”
Coming to the University of Vermont from Texas A&M, she began her role in July as Chairperson of the Department of Education in the College of Education and Social Services. “I was attracted to the unique opportunities in the College, including partnerships and collaboration across departments, agencies, and schools,” she explains.
Vannest is an internationally recognized author, teacher, and speaker with numerous books, manuscripts, book chapters, parent guides, online progress monitoring systems in academics and behavior, and online single-case effect size calculators.
Her primary areas of scholarship include prevention and service for students and families with social, emotional, and behavioral health risk, challenge, and disability. “I am also keenly interested in how we measure progress in these areas, and how we identify growth and change,” she says.
One part of her research agenda includes prevention practices and evidence-based intervention for students with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. A related line of her research addresses the design and analysis of single-case experimental research for determining treatment effects.
Over the past two decades, Vannest developed more than a dozen graduate and undergraduate courses. She frequently reviews for a number of journals and grant agencies, and she currently serves as Vice President for the for the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Vannest also serves as a co-principal investigator for an Institute of Educational Sciences grant.
Most notably she served as an editor for the Encyclopedia of Special Education, and as lead author for the Intervention Guide and Parent Tip Sheets for the Behavior and Assessment System for Children (Reynolds & Kamphaus).
Looking back, Vannest recalls her experiences as she began her career as a general education high-school teacher in the mountains of Southern California. “Quickly I learned that I needed more training to reach and teach the students who most challenged and fascinated me, those with disabilities. In pursuing my Masters and then PhD, I was fortunate enough to meet fabulous mentors and advisors along the way. These fabulous people helped shape my knowledge and my experiences.”
Vannest firmly believes that schools are the bedrock and future of our communities.
“We absolutely must prioritize public education as the most fundamental leveling opportunity in our society. When and how we reach and teach individuals and families to provide awareness, prevention, skills, and strategies across so many domains of learning will be the determinant of all our futures.”
Looking ahead, Vannest is excited about the variety of interdisciplinary research projects involving UVM colleagues and collaborators locally, nationally, and globally. “We have a clear vision and strategy to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. I’m so proud to be working with faculty, staff and partners who share this commitment. This is what synergy is all about, and I couldn’t be more optimistic about our direction moving forward.”