Maria Hugh, PhD, BCBA

Postdoctoral Fellow, SMART Center
  • Biography
  • Projects
  • Publications

Dr. Hugh is an IES postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington SMART Center. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Special Education emphasis) from the University of Minnesota, where she studied special educators’ decision-making around evidence-based practices and ecological measurements of early childhood special education learning contexts. As a special educator and behavior analyst (M.Ed., BCBA; Vanderbilt University), she focuses on improving outcomes for students with autism through studying the development, measurement, and implementation of interventions that are feasible and effective. Currently, to support generalized and sustained use of effective practices for autistic students, her work aims to 1) identify individual and organizational factors that can be used to tailor implementation supports and 2) test implementation supports that facilitate pre- and in-service educators’ adoption of evidence-based practices.

The goal of this study is to adapt and test the feasibility and potential efficacy of a theory-driven pre-implementation intervention to address individual-level barriers to evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation – Beliefs and Attitudes for Successful Implementation in Schools (BASIS) – designed to improve school-based mental health providers’ implementation of EBP. The BASIS-T project will develop a teacher-focused pre-implementation motivation enhancement intervention that will be tested in the context of universal social, emotional, and behavioral program implementation.
The HELM project will adapt and test an existing leadership-focused implementation strategy (Leadership and Organizational Change for Implementation; https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13012-014-0192-y) for use with elementary school principals in buildings where universal social, emotional, and behavioral program are being implemented. For more information about this project, click here.
The purpose of this study is to identify which evidence-based practices (EBPs) teachers and paraeducators use to more meaningfully include and retain autistic children in general education settings; and the malleable individual and organizational characteristics that increase EBP use. Click here for more information.
(non-research) The SMART Center Postdoctoral Research Training Program in School Mental Health is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES).The fellowship’s areas of focus align with those of the SMART Center and include research-based school behavioral health strategies and policies, implementation science, educational equity, clinical research methodology, and understanding and reducing ethnic and racial disparities.
Dissemination and decision-making: factors related to pre-service practitioners’ selection of practices for students with autism(2020)Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Professional development to support teachers’ implementation of intensive reading intervention: a systematic review(2020)Remedial and Special Education
Exploring engagement in shared reading activities between children with autism spectrum disorder and their caregivers(2018)Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities48:3596-3607.