Miriam C. Boesch, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Special Education. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Special Education with an emphasis in Severe Disabilities and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) from Purdue University. Her dissertation was awarded the College of Education Outstanding Dissertation Award. Her research focuses on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Specifically, she engages in AAC research to assess teacher preparation needs, compare strategies suitable for individuals with autism and complex communication needs, and reduce challenging behaviors. Dr. Boesch teaches courses pertaining to autism, intervention strategies, and behavior management. She is also the co-author of the book: Implementing Effective Augmentative and Alternative Communication Practices for Students with Complex Communication Needs: A Handbook for School-Based Practitioners. Dr. Boesch also publishes in peer-reviewed journals, presents at national and international conferences, and currently serves on the editorial board for the journals Communication Disorders Quarterly and TEACHING Exceptional Children. She is the recipient of the 2014 College of Education Junior Faculty Research Award and the 2017 College of Education Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from UNT.
Melissa Savage earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from Purdue University in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, Dr. Savage was an IES postdoctoral research associate at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and spent four years as a secondary Special Education teacher in Indiana. She holds degrees in both Special Education and Exercise Science.
Her research focuses on the use of technology to increase engagement and independence in healthy behaviors and community participation for adults and transition-age youth with developmental disabilities. Along with mentor Kara A. Hume, Dr. Savage received a grant from the Organization from Autism Research for her Step It Up project, focusing on increasing physical activity for adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. She has published in journals such as Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal ofIntellectual and Developmental Disability, and TEACHING Exceptional Children.