Myrna E. Libby Scholar Award

4.1.2013
Jacqueline Marra and Ashley Palmeri announced as 2013 Myrna E. Libby Scholar Award winners

In 2009, a scholar award was established to honor NECC's long time friend and colleague Dr. Myrna E. Libby.  The Myrna E. Libby Scholar Award is presented yearly to two NECC master's degree students whose
work most exemplifies Myrna's vision that research guides the education and treatment of individuals with autism and so improves their lives.  The 2013 scholar awards were announced and given to two graduate
students at an all-school event by NECC's Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Vincent Strully, Jr.   Award Scholar Jacqueline Marra is a Western New England University graduate who has impressed the
graduate faculty and her clinical supervisors with her passion for learning, her creativity and her professionalism. As a graduate student, she was one of the top performers in the class, frequently
contributing to class discussion and demonstrating her skills as a writer and presenter.  She impressed her professors with her ability to critically evaluate research methods.   Her graduate thesis involves
a procedure shown to be effective in treating a student's severe self-injury, a project that exemplifies the important combination of research informing best practice advocated by Myrna.  Jackie is currently
the Residential Coordinator on Saddle Hill Road and throughout the year has shown herself to be bright, motivated, and conscientious in the execution of her job responsibilities.  Having very quickly
established herself as a leader on the team, she sought out additional responsibility in the form of clinical supervision for one student on the team, designing and implementing assessments and disseminating
subsequent behavioral programming.  Jackie exemplifies many of the qualities that Myrna desired in teachers and graduate students and so we are extremely pleased to present her with this award.


Award Scholar Ashley Palmeri is a Simmons College graduate who has always demonstrated her commitment to becoming the best teacher she could be.  She has excelled in applying the principles of behavior
analysis to solve the clinical and educational challenges her students present. Ashley was in the top tier of students in all of her Simmons classes (clearly evidenced by her 4.0 GPA).  Her BABAT
presentation on observational learning during group instruction was both engaging and informative.  Her research supports the idea that our students can exhibit observational learning during group lessons
and she subsequently modified the groupings in her classroom to take advantage of this finding.  Ashley is in all ways an exemplary teacher and supervisor.  She has an impressive ability to multitask, always
meeting deadlines yet always taking time to provide training and feedback to her teachers.  Ashley  has volunteered for and has assumed responsibility for clinical supervision of a case, presenting at peer
review and med meeting. In Myrna's spirit, Ashley is receiving this award for her exceptional work as a teacher and supervisor and her continued pursuit in improving services to our students through her
research.