College of Education Graduate Student invited to join Division for Research Doctoral Student Scholars (DRDSS)

Chevonne Sutter, graduate student in Special Education, has been invited by the Council for Exceptional Children to join the 12th cohort of DRDSS

Chevonne Sutter in a snow covered landscape

College of Education Graduate Student invited to join Division for Research Doctoral Student Scholars (DRDSS)

Chevonne Sutter, graduate student in Special Education, has been invited by the Council for Exceptional Children to join the 12th cohort of DRDSS

Chevonne Sutter in a snow covered landscape

Each year, the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Research invites a select number of emerging scholars to participate in a series of student seminars on special education research.

The College of Education proudly announces the selection of Chevonne Sutter to join the 12th cohort of the Division for Research Doctoral Student Scholars (DRDSS). She will be the first student to represent the University of Nevada, Reno in this program. Sutter is currently a doctoral student in the Special Education and Disability Studies Ph.D. program.

Only ten advanced doctoral students from a competitive international pool of candidates are selected into the DRDSS cohort. Doctoral students are selected based on a faculty nomination that indicates the candidate’s excellent academic performance, active engagement scholarly activities, and prospects for a successful career in research.

Sutter was also required to submit a research proposal as part of the application process. Her proposed research focuses on identifying evidence-based practices for deafblindness- focused instructional strategies to be used with children in need of intensive support.

The selected cohort, all of which are scholars hailing from top-tier research universities, have been invited to participate in a series of seminars and forums with peers and distinguished researchers in special education. Sutter will gain professional development, training in research practices, and will foster connections amongst doctoral students and research professionals from various universities.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in discussions about current issues in research practices, methodology, and dissemination within my field,” said Sutter. “I am also looking forward to meeting new potential research colleagues by increasing my professional network.”

It was no surprise that Sutter was selected as an outstanding scholar through this internationally competitive review process. Maryann Demchak, Associate Dean, stated that “as a doctoral student, Chevonne already has a strong research record. Currently, she has five publications on which she is co-author, including one on which she is the lead author; four of these publications are in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to these publications, she has 20 national and international peer-reviewed conference presentations.”

In addition to her strong track-record of exceptional scholarly work, Sutter is passionate about conducting research on understudied samples within the population of those with severe disabilities. 

“Ms. Sutter is conducting intervention studies with children who have severe, multiple disabilities that include impairments in both vision and hearing. This is a target population which has received very little research to identify effective instructional practices,” said Demchak.

Sutter stated, “There really aren’t many people conducting intervention research in this field and I look forward to networking with potential future collaborators and discussing evidence-based practices for children with comorbid severe disabilities with professionals in my field”

The invitation to join the DRDSS provides Sutter with a unique opportunity to improve upon her existing research skills and develop research relationships that can help propel her work in the field. As Demchack indicated, “Sutter has the potential to make a significant contribution to the field of severe disabilities.”

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