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Students, faculty present at Council for Exceptional Children conference

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Posted on Friday, March 8, 2019

NEW WILMINGTON, PA – Westminster senior early childhood and special education majors Makena Baumgardner, Dante Greco and Rachel Moore presented research alongside members of Westminster’s education faculty at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2019 Convention and Expo on Feb. 2 in Indianapolis, Ind.

Baumgardner and Moore presented their research “Using Mindfulness with Pre-Service Teachers” with Dr. Amy Camardese, chair of the Westminster’s School of Education, and Jane Dean, education lecturer.

Their poster presentation discussed the burnout rate for special educators: approximately 50 percent of special educators leave their positions after five years. The research examined the results of using mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety in teacher candidates.

Baumgardner, Moore and Greco presented “The Power of Leadership: Cultivating Tomorrow’s Educational Leaders” with Dr. Alison DuBois, associate professor and director of Westminster’s Graduate School.

Their interactive presentation encouraged participants to identify their own leadership strengths and weaknesses, as well as their leadership traits and theoretical beliefs. The research enabled these students to share how they have cultivated their own leadership styles throughout their four years at Westminster.

Greco reflected upon his opportunity to work with DuBois for over a year on a number of research projects involving leadership and compassion fatigue in education.

“It’s one of the things that makes Westminster such a special place—opportunities like this to be mentored by such a positive leader in the field,” Greco said. “These types of learning experiences are lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom, but will have such a profound influence on the professional I become.”

Baumgardner of Summerhill, Pa., is a daughter of Joseph and Karmen Baumgardner and a graduate of Forest Hills High School.

Greco of New Castle is a son of David and Jill Greco and a graduate of Neshannock High School.

Rachel Moore of Greensburg, Pa., is a daughter of Kenneth and Terri Moore and a graduate of Greensburg Central Catholic High School.

The CEC Convention and Expo is an annual international conference. The CEC, the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education and the Indiana Individualized Education Program Resource Center worked together to organize this year’s five-day event. Students and faculty were able to attend a number of workshops, poster sessions, meetings and social events throughout these days.

For more information, contact Camardese at 724-946-7183 or or DuBois at 724-946-6039 or