Assistant Professor

Shelly Huntington

"My first job was working with a young child with ASD... From that experience, I was inspired to pursue Special Education & continue working with and learning from individuals with disabilities."

Hometown

Salt Lake City, Utah

Department

Special Education

How did you become interested in the special education field?

My first job when I was 15 was working with a young child with ASD. He was a brilliant, kind, and wonderful person and taught me so much about myself and the field as a whole. From that experience, I was inspired to pursue Special Education and continue working with and learning from individuals with disabilities.

What is your philosophy of teaching?

My philosophy of teaching relies on the idea that both teachers and students have expertise and that collaboration is key to a successful learning environment. I believe that good teaching in higher education builds on previous knowledge, allows for sharing of that knowledge, and provides hands-on practice opportunities.

Briefly describe your own road to higher education.

I started in the field as a special education teacher. I struggled my first year managing the challenging behavior in my classroom and was inspired to pursue my BCBA to become a better teacher. While doing this coursework, I found a passion for working with the “difficult students” and decided to pursue Behavior Analysis and a PhD to improve the lives of those negatively impacted by a disability or behavioral challenge.

What are your research interests?

I am interested in a number of areas of research for individuals with disabilities, including socially valid practice, choice and preference, and decreasing challenging behavior. I am also interested in training and coaching and improving the experiences of students in higher education.

What do you like to do outside of education?

I love to travel and explore new places. I love to everything to do with cooking, eating, and good food. Most of all, I love to hang out with my husband and kiddos!

Anything else you would like to share?

I’m so excited to be a new member of the UH community!

I'm interested in learning more about a degree or certificate in Special Education.

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