Keynote Speaker and Presenters

Keynote Speaker, Karen Harris, Ed.D.

Mary Emily Warner Professor of Education at Arizona State University

Karen Harris, Ed.D.

Dr. Karen R. Harris is the Mary Emily Warner Professor of Education. She has worked in education for more than 40 yeas. Her research focuses on validating instructional approaches derived from integrating multiple theoretical views and evidence-based practices, as well as effective PD for these approaches. Dr. Harris developed the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model of strategies instruction, which has been deemed evidence-based in both special and general education.

She is a former editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology and was lead editor of the APA Educational Psychology Handbook. She has authored 14 books and more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in special education, general education, and educational psychology. She is a Fellow of both the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association and has served in leadership roles for AERA, APA, and CEC.

Awards include the Council for Exceptional Children Career Award for Research, the AERA Division C Scribner Award for a program of work that has significantly influenced thinking and research in the field of learning and instruction, the AERA Division K Exemplary Publication Award for research in professional development, and the Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award from the Division for Research of CEC. 

Learn more about Dr. Karen Harris


BKC Early-Career Researcher Award Winner Dr. Samantha Gesel

Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Dr. Samantha Gesel

Dr. Samantha A. Gesel is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Special Education and Child Development at UNC Charlotte. Her research focuses on intensive interventions and data-based decision-making in reading, particularly for students with the most persistent reading difficulties.

She is especially interested in training teachers to effectively navigate multi-tiered systems of support and use data-based individualization (DBI) in practice. This includes working with schools to identify barriers to DBI implementation and support the continued use of these practices. Dr. Gesel teaches undergraduate courses related to reading assessments and using data to inform instructional practices.

Learn more about Dr. Samantha Gesel