The Badar-Kauffman Conference (BKC) began in 2017 as an event for critical discussion of special education research and the application of such research to practitioners in the field. The inaugural event featured a select group of researchers and school leaders that were brought together to discuss the latest in research surrounding Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and the ways in which MTSS is impacting the field of special education. Since this time, BKC has grown into a research intensive conference attended by highly sought after scholars nationally and internationally. While the focus still remains on special education research, BKC is marked by highly interactive presentations of work that  challenging, innovative, controversial, or otherwise interesting. 

The goal of BKC is to simultaneously improve the overall quality of special education research writ large and provide a high impact event for researchers to hone their skills. BKC welcomes contributions from experienced and early career researchers alike. All attendees can expect to engage in critical conversations that help to build their network of professional resources in a fun and non-traditional conference format. Anyone with an interest in research in special education and related fields is encouraged to attend. 

BKC is made possible by a generous gift from Drs. Jeanmarie Badar and James M. Kauffman to the Special Education Program in the College of Education Health and Human Services at Kent State University. The BKC Executive Committee would like to thank Jeanmarie and Jim for their generosity and continued support for this event.


Jeanmarie Badar, Ph.D.

Jeanmarie Badar
Jeanmarie Badar holds a B.A. in Elementary/Special Education from Boston College, a M.Ed. in Special Education from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Virginia. For over 25 years, Jeanmarie taught Special Education at the elementary, middle, secondary, and collegiate levels. She has received numerous local, state, and national awards for excellence in teaching. She has coauthored several journal articles and book chapters about the central role of instruction in determining a student's placement, the value of preserving the full continuum of placement options, and the barriers to prevention of EBD. Jeanmarie is also a coauthor of two books published in 2018, The Scandalous Neglect of Children’s Mental Health: What School Can Do and Special Education: What It Is and Why We Need It. She is currently a second grade teacher at Charlottesville Catholic School.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D.

James M. Kauffman
James M. Kauffman is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Virginia. His awards include the 2006 award of the Society for Applied Behavior Analysis for Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media and the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Education of the University of Kansas. His primary interests are emotional and behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, and history and policy in special education. He has published over 100 articles in refereed journals and is co-author or co-editor of more than 20 books. Among his most recent books are Characteristics of emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth (11th ed., 2018), Exceptional learners: Introduction to special education (14th ed., 2019), Special education: What it is and why we need it (2nd ed., 2018), The scandalous neglect of children’s mental health: What schools can do (2018), and Handbook of special education (2nd ed., 2017).