Dr. Sarah Vess
Assistant Professor, Special Education
352 Roberts Hall
Prior to joining the HPU faculty in Fall 2011, Dr. Vess worked as a school psychologist for Guilford County Schools where she served as a Responsiveness to Instruction (RtI) coach, a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports coach, an Intervention Support Team trainer, and a member of the Autism team. Dr. Vess is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a Licensed Psychologist in the state of North Carolina. Prior to working with Guilford County Schools, Dr. Vess worked as a Clinical Therapist at Children’s Hospital in Greenville, SC for the Autism Program where she specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Vess also has advanced training in working with children with pediatric cancers, blood disorders, developmental delays, genetic disorders, social-emotional concerns, and ADHD.
Dr. Vess has presented her research on the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders at the International Meeting for Autism Research, the American Psychological Association conference, and at the National PCIT Conference. Additional research interests include observational analysis of the components of instructional time, service learning, implementation of RtI practices, and the use of teacher-child interaction techniques to facilitate learning and improve teacher-child relationships. Dr. Vess was awarded a 2012-2013 Silvershein/Gutenstein Family Faculty Development Grant to develop an education service learning course offering at HPU. She presented research on the use of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) by school psychologists at the National Association of School Psychologists conference in February 2012.
Dr. Vess is committed to involving undergraduate students in research and serves on HPU’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Works committee. Dr. Vess earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Georgia where she was a Presidential Fellow. She was awarded an Organization of Autism Research (OAR) Student Research Grant to help support her dissertation research. Dr. Vess spent a year in Spain as a Fulbright Scholar after earning her undergraduate degree in psychology from Western Carolina University.