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Sharon Raver-Lampman Spends Spring Semester in Armenia on Fulbright Scholarship

By Kara Haberbosch

This spring, Sharon Raver-Lampman, a professor of communication disorders and special education at Old Dominion University, is taking part in a research project at Armenian State Pedagogical University thought the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship program.

Raver-Lampman is working with the Armenian Ministry of Education and the Departments of Special Education, Occupational and Speech Therapy and Special Psychology at ASPU to develop a collaborative research project that examines the country's in-service and pre-service training needs for preparing special education teachers for inclusion classrooms in the next decade.

She's also teaching advanced-level courses as well as giving special guest lectures and workshops to school administrators, general and special education teachers and families who have children with special needs throughout the region and in Yerevan, the country's capitol.

"I am thankful the U.S. Fulbright program, the Armenian Ministry of Education and Armenian State Pedagogical University have given me the opportunity to move Armenian special education in the direction the country has stated it would like to go," Lampman said.

According to Lampman, Armenia began moving some students with special needs into general education classes about eight years ago. Like most countries attempting to improve classroom inclusion, it has encountered many roadblocks and challenges.

"I am loving the work I am doing and have been received with consistent warmth," Lampman said. "I am excited about the projects and I am convinced that my presence will have a positive effect on special education in Armenia."

Lampman, an expert in early childhood special education (birth-8 years) focusing across disability areas, began teaching at Old Dominion in 1985. She has written more than 130 publications, developed assessment tools, published extensively and received numerous research and teaching awards.

Fulbright honorees address critical global needs in all disciplines while building international relationships, knowledge and leadership skills in the long-term interests of the United States. The ranks of Fulbright alumni include Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners and 37 heads of state or government.

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