NASHVILLE, Tenn. ñ Lynn S. Fuchs and Douglas Fuchs, professors of special education and John F. Kennedy Center investigators at Vanderbilt University, will share the Nicholas Hobbs Chair in Special Education and Human Development, a newly endowed faculty chair in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education.
"Lynn and Doug Fuchs are two of the leading faculty members whose scholarly work enabled Peabody to be ranked number one in the country in special education this year by U.S. News & World Report. It is very fitting that they be the first to hold Peabody’s newest endowed chair," said Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at Peabody College.
The husband-wife research team was asked by Benbow to name the chair after someone who had a profound influence on his or her professional lives. The two suggested the chair be named for the late Nicholas Hobbs, a psychologist who helped establish special education as a distinct discipline at Peabody in the 1950s and 60s.
Donors for the new chair are anonymous.
Members of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1985, the Fuchs have pioneered innovations in reading, math, assessment and learning disabilities. Their concept of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) has been widely disseminated. The two, along with colleagues Donald Compton and Dan Reschly, chair of the Department of Special Education, direct the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities at Vanderbilt. Earlier this year, the Fuchs received the Career Research Award of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Under Nicholas Hobbs’ leadership, Peabody became an early national leader in special education. Hobbs also was instrumental in securing funding that led to the establishment of the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. The center’s donor society is named in his honor. He was the center’s first director and was later provost of Vanderbilt and a founder of the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies.
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