Contact: Harriet Laird
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State Assistant Professor Kasee Stratton-Gadke, an internationally recognized children’s disabilities scholar, is the incoming director of the university’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability.
The school psychology researcher, known around the world for her groundbreaking work with children with CHARGE Syndrome, succeeds longtime director Janie Cirlot-New who is retiring this month. One of the center’s inaugural employees, Cirlot-New has dedicated her career to the innovation-driven facility, initially serving as a speech pathologist and communication specialist before becoming director in 2001.
MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner, said, “We greatly appreciate the leadership Janie Cirlot-New has provided to T.K. Martin. She is greatly loved and has done an extraordinary job working with both the children and their families for so many years.”
Opened in 1996, the research center works with individuals with disabilities to help them benefit from technological solutions and innovative assistive technology. The center continues to serve children and their families through programs in the Project IMPACT Preschool, Assistive Technology Services, Express Yourself! Art, IGNITE Dyslexia Services, and Camp Jabber Jaw that introduces augmentative and alternative communication devices to campers and their families. The center operates within the MSU College of Education.
Bonner said of Stratton-Gadke’s new appointment, “We are very excited to have her serve as director of the T.K. Martin Center. Her record of success working with children and adults with disabilities will prove invaluable as she continues to lead the important work that the center offers across the state and region.”
Stratton-Gadke is founder and director of the Bulldog CHARGE Syndrome Research Laboratory at MSU, one of only two international sites focused on educational, behavioral, and quality-of-life research for individuals with the disorder and their caregivers.
She also is co-founder and co-director of the university’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, which provides individualized behavioral, academic and life skill services to individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. It also delivers training to parents, community members, and MSU undergraduate and graduate students, and conducts research on developing better evidenced-based interventions for individuals with disabilities.
With well-documented, successful experience in service to children with disabilities, Stratton-Gadke has secured, along with co-principal investigators, more than $3.3 million in grant funding and approximately $375,000 in training grants in the past few years. Through her work, the autism clinic has acquired $325,000 in private donations.
Her 33 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, technical briefs and more, also are other examples of the knowledge and skill she brings to the position.
In 2012, Stratton-Gadke was selected for the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine/Kennedy Krieger Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship, which provides intensive training in applied behavior analysis, developmental disabilities, behavioral pediatrics, and family therapy. There, she worked with more than 400 children during her two-and-a-half-year stint. She holds doctoral and master’s degrees in school psychology, and a bachelor’s in graduate prep psychology, all from Central Michigan University.
In 2015, Stratton-Gadke, a licensed psychologist and National Certified School Psychologist, was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to serve a one-year term on the Mississippi Autism Board and was re-appointed in 2016 to a four-year term with the regulatory agency for applied behavior analysis, currently serving as chair.
Along with her instructional duties in MSU’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations, the Pittsford, Michigan, native is a consultant to the university’s ACCESS program for students with intellectual disabilities and the Autism Liaison program, serving degree-seeking college students with autism.
This year’s president-elect of the national Trainers of School Psychologists (TSP), she is the 2019 recipient of the organization’s Presidential Award for contributions and service to TSP and the school psychology field. The College of Education awarded her the 2018 Herb Handley Research honor, and she is listed in Central Michigan’s 10-in-10, which includes the 10 most successful and influential graduates in the past decade.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.