Dr. Stephanie Gerow, Assistant Professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology, received the Baylor Outstanding Faculty Award for Research / Tenure-Track Faculty. Gerow has earned $1.8 million in competitive grant awards and received the Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES).
Gerow’s research explores interventions for children with autism and other developmental disabilities, addressing problem behaviors and teaching intervention strategies to parents and teachers to improve educational and social outcomes for children. Her external grant awards have funded five PhD students and a post-doctoral fellow. With 30 publications since 2015, she has involved 12 SOE students as co-authors on scholarly publications and presentations.
SOE Dean Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke said Gerow’s professional accomplishments and service exemplify Baylor’s high standards. “Her service and outreach to children with disabilities and their families — particularly those who have limited access or means to support — reflect the intersection of her Christian commitment, her gifts of helping others, and her professional expertise,” Hagan-Burke said. She also noted that Gerow’s research citation levels surpass those of other assistant professors in the nation’s top ranked psychology programs, using metrics from Holosko & Barner’s analysis of research productivity. Hagan-Burke said Gerow’s research is both needed and consequential.
“I’m incredibly humbled and honored by this award,” Gerow said. “The purpose of my work is to improve the lives of children with autism and other developmental disabilities, and I feel fortunate to conduct research at Baylor University, with incredible colleagues and students who share that same goal.”
Gerow’s grant funding includes the impressive IES Early Career Award, which provides $493,412 in research funding and is the first of its kind awarded to a Baylor faculty member. She has also received four competitive grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)*, three as the lead principal investigator and a fourth as co-principal investigator.
“The new knowledge generated through her research will lead to improvements in the quality of services delivered to children with developmental disabilities,” Hagan-Burke noted. “So far, Dr. Gerow and her research team have served more than 90 children with autism and their families in Waco and across Texas.”
Dr. Grant Morgan, Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Psychology, said, “Dr. Gerow’s research record is impressive and clearly suggestive of prominence in the field of ABA. She has a great record of publication in high quality, peer-reviewed outlets. The rate and trajectory of her scholarship is outstanding.”
Gerow’s dissertation mentor, Dr. Mandy Rispoli, Professor at Purdue University, said Gerow’s research is impressive by any measure. “It is important to note that her research involves the evaluation of educational and behavioral interventions for children with developmental disabilities,” Rispoli said. “One study may require hundreds of hours with children and families implementing intervention. Applied research is vital to the development of our field, but it is time consuming. Considering the nature of her work, Dr. Gerow’s productivity is astounding.”
Gerow is a generous mentor to graduate students and has also garnered stellar reviews in her teaching evaluations, with comments praising the way she runs class, provides relevant and engaging lectures, and prepares students for research or practice in the field.
“Dr. Gerow makes all her advisees work hard, but she works twice as hard to make sure that we have the tools and resources to become excellent researchers,” said Supriya Radhakrishnan, a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology. “She is exceedingly adept at knowing when to step in and when to let us problem-solve independently. Whatever I know about my field and research, I owe it all to Dr. Gerow. For me, she has been more than an advisor. She has been a mentor who has guided me in the right direction, has willingly shared her skills, knowledge, and expertise, and has always shown confidence in my abilities. I am grateful to have a mentor and a friend for life.”
Gerow came to Baylor in 2016 after earning both her master’s degree and PhD at Texas A&M in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Special Education. She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Davidson College.
Gerow is one of three School of Education faculty members to receive a Baylor Outstanding Faculty Award for 2021. Dr. Laila Sanguras received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching for non-tenure-track faculty, and Dr. Lakia Scott received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching for tenure-track faculty.
*This work was supported in whole or in part by a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The opinions and conclusions expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policy of the THECB.
For more than 100 years, Baylor educators have carried the mission and practices of the School of Education to classrooms and beyond as teachers, leaders in K12 and higher education, psychologists, academics/scholars and more. With more than 50 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice. Visit www.baylor.edu/SOE to learn more.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.