Dr Marino


Dr. Matthew Marino – Principal Investigator 

Associate Professor 


Preview Dr. Marino’s Research 

Dr. Marino is an associate professor of Exceptional Education at the University of Central Florida and a former secondary teacher. His research, which has been supported in part by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), focuses on the design and implementation of technology-enhanced STEM curricular materials for use in inclusive classrooms. He is currently the Principal Investigator of research examining how Universal Design for Learning can increase educational outcomes for students with executive function disorders (NSF # 1505203). He was a featured STEM research scientist by the Family Center on Technology and Disability. He has conducted large-scale intervention research in 14 states with over 2000 students during the past decade. Dr. Marino is on the editorial review board for a number of special education and science education journals. Dr. Marino is a technical reviewer for the NSF and IES. He is also a member of the leadership team for the Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network.

Dr Vasquez


Dr. Eleazar Vasquez – Co-Principal Investigator 

Associate Professor 


Preview Dr. Vasquez’s Research 

Dr. Eleazar “Trey” Vasquez III, associate professor for the Department of Child, Family, and Community Sciences Exceptional Education Program at UCF. He earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and Ph.D. from Utah State University. Dr. Vasquez is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and has practiced in the field of education as a teacher and school psychologist the last 15 years.

His current research focuses on the evaluation of academic and behavioral outcomes for students with autism utilizing technology to enhance instruction. Dr. Vasquez was recipient of the inaugural Reach for the Stars Award (2014) and has been recognized as a Teaching Academy and iSTEM Fellow at the University of Central Florida. Recently his research has expanded from K-12 schools to postsecondary institutions and other venues to prepare students who are traditionally marginalized, such as those with executive functioning disorder, for careers in STEM related fields.

Dr. Vasquez has published several manuscripts also reflected on his curriculum vitae. His publications and presentations include quantitative, mixed methods, and single case designs utilizing technology to impact student performance. His research has been supported in part by $6.5+ million dollars from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and National Science Foundation.

Nationally Dr. Vasquez serves as the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children Technology Chair, Treasurer for the Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network, and Technology Chair for the American Council for Rural Special Education.

Expertise: Applied Behavior Analysis, Technology, Autism, Severe or Profound Disabilities

Dr. Moore


Dr. Brian Moore – Co-Principal Investigator 

Associate Professor – Department of Mathematics, UCF 


Preview Dr. Moore’s Research 

After completing an M.S. degree in mathematical and computer sciences at Colorado School of Mines, Brian Moore earned his Ph.D. in applied mathematics at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom in 2003. He held a postdoctoral research position at McGill University in Quebec, followed by a visiting assistant professorship at the University of Iowa. He is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Central Florida. His research interests are in numerical analysis and differential equations with emphasis on structure-preserving algorithms and lattice equations. His work has contributed to several scientific applications in neuroscience, material science, wave mechanics, and computer vision. [Curriculum Vitae]

Dr. Banerjee


Dr. Manju Banerjee – Co-Principal Investigator 

Vice President for Educational Research and Innovation /  Director of the Landmark College Institute for Research  and Training – Landmark College 

Preview Dr. Banerjee’s Research 

Manju Banerjee, Ph.D. is Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation, and Director of Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT). Dr. Banerjee has over 29 years of experience in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD, and postsecondary disability services. She is a certified diagnostician and teacher-consultant on learning disabilities. She has published and presented extensively, both nationally and internationally, on topics such as: disability documentation and accommodations, technological competencies for postsecondary transition, online learning, and universal design. She has been and currently is PI/Co-PI on multiple federal, foundational, and NSF grants. She teaches a graduate level online course on Universal Design: Principles and Practice. Manju Banerjee is an editorial board member of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability; LD: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal, Professional Advisory Board member to the Learning Disability Association of America, and a consultant to Educational Testing Service. She received her doctoral degree from the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, on the application of universal design to high stakes assessment. See Dr. Banerjee’s clip on UDL at Landmark College:

Dr. Gallegos


Dr. Benjamin Gallegos 

Postdoctoral Scholar 


Ben received his PhD in special education from the University of Central Florida. He received his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree in early childhood to fourth grade teaching and a Master of Education degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of Texas at El Paso. His teaching experience began as a Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities teacher in Sunland Park, New Mexico, and later as a fourth grade teacher in El Paso, Texas. His research interests include providing students with and without disabilities, especially from low socioeconomic communities, academic supports using virtual learning environments.

Dr. Koch


Dr. Aaron Koch – Senior Research Assistant 


Aaron is a doctoral candidate and graduate researcher in Exceptional Education at the University of Central Florida. His recent dissertation, Project iCAN: A STEM learning and persistence model for postsecondary students with disabilities, investigated Project iCAN interview data from Landmark College with the intent of informing future digital models. Aaron has worked for over 10 years in special education as an instructional paraprofessional and education specialist, primarily serving children with moderate and severe disabilities. He is passionate about the role of technology in improving educational outcomes for educators, parents, and students. Aaron specializes in research and development in technology products and services that facilitate professional development, behavior management, social skills, and cognitive behavioral therapies for individuals with disabilities.

Aaron has worked cooperatively with UCF’s TeachLivE and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct nationwide research on effective teacher training in a mixed virtual reality classroom simulator. His work with TeachLivE led him to further research pursuits involving physical virtual avatars and social skills in children with ASD. He has served as a university intern supervisor for pre-service teachers seeking accreditation in special education licensure. Aaron resides in Northern California and enjoys the great outdoors, golfing, BBQ, and being on the water with his friends and his German Shepherd, Hesse.

Ms. Parsons


Christine Parsons 

CoEHP-Science Education Major 

iCAN Project-Research Assistant 

NSTA@UCF-Vice President 


I came to teaching unconventionally. I started my first career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. After high school, I attended the local community college and received an Associate Degree in medical technology. I was then hired by a company that was producing products for cancer diagnosis and research. The technology was on the cutting edge of research. I needed to teach my customers the technology, and it was here that I learned how to communicate so others could learn.

After our third son was born, my husband and I decided that I should change careers and raise our family. I retired from my company and began the greatest journey of my life. We added a little girl right after I retired. My focus became providing the best education for my children. I became involved in their schools as a class helper. That evolved to becoming a substitute teacher. I took this job very seriously. I made sure that the students stayed on task and completed the assignments the teacher provided.

I became passionate about being in the classroom. Soon I was hired as a paraprofessional to work in the classroom full time. My duties included assisting teachers in the intensive math and reading classes. I was helping students who were having difficulties I had in school and I was able to guide them to be successful. This is when I decided I needed to become a full time certified teacher. I wanted to make an impact on the future of education.

My family and I decided I would go to school full time to obtain my teaching degree in
education. Having a lifetime of experience gives me a different perspective
than most undergraduates. I know the importance of research in making change. Policy
makers need information provided by education researchers to make decisions that
impact every student. My goal is to have a positive impact not just in the
classroom, but on the education system. Educational research will provide an avenue for me to reach student, teachers and policy makers, to help them all have a positive educational experience.