Featured Scholar: Cristina Santamaria Graff, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Special Education, IUPUI School of Education
Family as Faculty! A Project to Authentically Engage Parents, Students, and Community Partners in Meeting Common Goals
For over fifteen years, Professor Santamaria Graff's scholarship has focused on working with Latinx immigrant families of children with disabilities. "Family as Faculty!" is a healthcare approach to working with families of children with disabilities who, through this model, are positioned as leaders who share their expertise with those providing care to their children.
Adapted for education, and specifically for special education teacher preparation programs, "Family as Faculty!" is an innovative approach for family members to be co-instructors in university or college courses aimed to prepare future special education teachers. Latinx immigrant family members of children with Down Syndrome and Autism led preservice teachers in small group discussions about their child. These discussions were guided by hands-on activities we, as co-instructors, developed and led.
Professor Santamaria Graff's translation of research into beneficial health and educational outcomes for students with disabilities is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.