A natural synergy has developed such that faculty, graduate students and the Comers are working together to further the professional work in the MR/DD field. The Comers decided that they would like to support the research being conducted in the Psychology Department by providing monies to help cover the research expenses of graduate students conducting research in public sector psychology and the MR/DD field. Their very generous contribution to this endeavor takes on a very personal meaning, as they have a son, Jamie, who has a developmental disability.
Dr. Cynthia Dulaney noted, “We are very appreciative to have established the professional and personal ties with Ed and Carol Comer to enable this meaningful relationship to develop and to have the opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways to the MR/DD literature and the available community services.”
The Jamie-Comer Grant was created to provide financial assistance to support graduate research projects conducted at Xavier University. The focus of the grant is to support research in public sector psychology, with a priority given to research in the area of mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Two recipients were selected for the
Fall of 2005.
Suzanne Bull Bailey was awarded $500 for her research project entitled, Peer Perceptions of Autism: A Theory-based Intervention. Suzanne is honored to receive the grant and has been working with several children with DD since her acceptance at Xavier. Her experiences led her to her dissertation research which involves the development and assessment of an educational intervention designed to improve typically developing students' perceptions of children with autism within fully inclusive classrooms.
Suzanne said, “The financial support of the Comer Grant has enabled me to purchase supplies and develop my educational intervention in ways that otherwise would not have been possible. I am very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Comer.”
Heather Johnson was also awarded $500 for her project, an Evaluation of an In-Home Computer Intervention: Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Recognize and Predict Emotions in Others. Her project adapted a computer program usually used in schools for in-home use. The adaptation of the program involved a great deal of expenses and the Comer Grant helped fund this important work.