CANVAS

College Autism Network Virtual Association of Scholars

The College Autism Network Virtual Association of Scholars (CANVAS) invites individuals from around the world, who conduct research on and/or work with postsecondary students with autism, to communicate and collaborate with one another. Established in February 2018, CANVAS extends the work of the College Autism Network to a global level, welcoming faculty, researchers, student affairs practitioners, students, and others to capitalize on their talents and work toward making college more accessible, inclusive, and rewarding for students with autism. 

To join a live meeting, please email Brett Nachman (bnachman@wisc.edu) or join the CANVAS listserv to get detailed reminders about upcoming meetings. 

 

Upcoming Meetings & Presenters

2022

Fri, Jan 21 at 11 am ET

  • Helen Rottier (PhD Candidate and Research Assistant at the University of Illinois Chicago/Institute on Disability and Human Development)
  • Presentation Title: Constellation Mentoring- Evaluating a Novel Approach to Support Autistic College Students
  • Description: Peer mentoring is among the most popular supports offered to autistic college students. However, “peer mentoring” takes many shapes and sometimes relies on ableist assumptions about autistic students, for instance positioning autistic students as incapable of supporting one another. Rottier will present her novel mentoring framework, constellation mentoring, and share initial findings from her dissertation research unpacking assumptions about mentoring autistic college students.

Fri, Feb 18 at 3 pm ET

  • Dr. Sally Reis (Letitia Neag Morgan Chair in Educational Psychology, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor), Dr. Joseph Madaus (Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Director, Collaborative on Postsecondary Education and Disability), and Dr. Nicholas W. Gelbar (Associate Research Professor); all at the University of Connecticut
  • Presentation Title: Understanding the Academic Success of Academically Talented Students with ASD
  • Description: In this session, the team will present an overview of new research about students who are academically talented with ASD (2e/ASD). The focus of this research was interviews with 40 2e/ASD college students attending or recently graduated from highly competitive universities or colleges and the strategies and experiences that supported their academic success in both high school and college. Specific research results will be shared about what we learned and how educators can support the academic strengths and interests of this group of students to help them realize their academic potential.

Fri, March 18 at 12 pm ET

  • Dr. Jill Underhill (Associate Professor, Communication Studies & Director, Writing Across the Curriculum, Marshall University)
  • Presentation Title: Autistic Student Success in Public Speaking Courses
  • Description: Most colleges require students to take oral communication courses within general education requirements. Presentations are also frequently required within disciplines. These requirements can pose unique challenges for students on the autism spectrum. In this presentation, Dr. Underhill will discuss her research on how peers can support students on the autism spectrum within public speaking classrooms. Dr. Underhill will also discuss practical strategies for success within oral communication contexts.

Fri, April 29 at 2 pm ET

  • Dr. Brittany Jackson (Online Learning Manager, Hiram College)
  • Presentation Title: Postsecondary Social Support Programs for Students with ASD as Described by Students, Directors, and Staff
  • Description: In this presentation, Dr. Jackson will present her recent study, which surveyed students, directors, and staff at 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions known to have a social support program (SSP) for students with ASD. The study sought to learn how students, directors, and staff described why students decided to attend their institution and the SSP. It also examined the advantages, disadvantages, challenges, and areas of improvement that those surveyed felt described their SSP. Dr. Jackson will discuss the survey responses and the insight the responses provided about SSPs from this study, which will be relevant for institutions that currently have SSPs and institutions that are considering implementing SSPs on their campus.

Fri, May 20 at 1 pm ET

  • Kayden Stockwell (PhD Student, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia)
  • Presentation Title: Understanding the Experiences of Autistic Undergraduates at the University of Virginia
  • Description: Using a mixed-methods approach, we are interested in understanding what it’s like to be an autistic undergraduate at UVA. The experiences students share with us will be used to provide feedback to the university on where support has been working and recommendations on how it could be improved.

Past Meeting Minutes & Author Presentations

2021

November

  • Dr. Mary Baker-Ericzén (San Diego State University) College SUCCESS
  • Meeting Minutes (Coming soon)
  • Recorded Presentation Video (Coming soon)

October

September

  • Dr. TC Waisman (Doctor of Innovation at Autism Training Academy) – How higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for Autistic students 
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

August

  • Dr. Jane McLeod (Associate Executive Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Provost Professor of Sociology; Indiana University) – College and Beyond for Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

July

  • Dr. Amelia Anderson (Assistant Professor of Library & Information Studies Darden College of Education and Professional StudiesOld Dominion University) – The Intersection of Libraries and Autism
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

May

  • Dr. Jess Monahan (Research Manager, Spectrum Scholars; University of Delaware), Cherie Fishbaugh (Director of Autism Services; West Chester University), & Laurie Ackles (Director, Spectrum Support Program; RIT) – Uniderstanding Autistic College Students’ Needs in the Times of COVID-19
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

April

  • Dr. Jess Monahan (Research Manager, Spectrum Scholars; University of Delaware) and Dr. Brian Freedman (Associate Director, Center for Students with Disabilities & Director, Spectrum Scholars; University of Delaware)Social Skills Interventions for Young Adults: Fitting into a Neurotypical World?
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

March

February

  • Dr. Laura Graham Holmes (Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate; Boston University) & Dr. Emily Rothman (Professor, Community Health Sciences; Boston University) Using Formative Research to Develop HEARTS: A Healthy Relationships Promoting Intervention for Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

January

  • Courtney Butler (Program Coordinator, College Support Program; Rutgers University) – An Individualized Approach to Teaching Adults with Autism to Successfully Navigate Job Interviews via Remote Instruction
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

2020

November

  • Cheryl Widman (University of Illinois at Chicago) discussed “Understanding Parent Participation in the Postsecondary Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder”
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

October

September

  • Jonathan Vincent (York St. John University) discussed “Transitions from higher education for autistic students and graduates: qualitative insights from the UK context
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

August

  • Eilidh Cage (University of Stirling) and Jack Howes (Autistic Writer and Fundraiser) discussed “Dropping out: Understanding the university experiences of autistic students who could not complete their studies.”
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

July

  • Alexandra Sturm (Loyola Marymount University) discussed her recently-published journal article: “Academic and Psychosocial Characteristics of Incoming College Freshmen with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Comorbidity and Gender”

May

April

  • Presenter: Sean LaRoque (Mansfield Hall)
  • Topical Focus: Measuring autistic college students’ journeys to adulthood using the Pathway to Independence Inventory: Development, results and lessons learned at Mansfield Hall – a residential college support program for students with learning differences.
  • Meeting Minutes

March

  • Presenters: Jodi Duke and Grace Francis (George Mason University) 
  • Topical Focus: Research on autistic college students and co-occurring mental health disorder; discussions on the impact of needs and coping strategies.
  • Meeting Minutes

February

  • Featured Presenter: Amy Radochonski (College Living Experience)
  • Topical Focus: “Crosswalks” between postsecondary education institutions and independent autism programs
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recorded Presentation Video

January

  • Featured presenter: Brad Cox (Florida State University | College Autism Network)
  • Meeting Minutes

2019

November

October

  • Meeting Minutes
  • Featured presenter: Kimberly Ha (Organization for Autism Research)

September

  • Meeting Minutes
  • Featured presenter: Fred Volkmar (Yale University | Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders)

August

  • Meeting Minutes
  • Featured presenter: Valérie Van Hees (Artevelde University College Ghent)

July

May

April

March

February

January

 

2018

November

October

September

August

 

Ways to become involved:

  1. Check out the minutes, presentations, and articles from previous monthly meetings (see links on this page).
  2. Click here to sign up for our autism/higher ed list serv (here where we share news articles, research, events, and other content related to college students with autism). Click “join group” to start receiving emails.
  3. Once you’ve joined the listserv, you can share articles, presentations, and other news by sending an email tocan-canvas@collegeautismnetwork.org
  4. Contact Brett Ranon Nachman (bnachman@wisc.edu) to get updates about upcoming CANVAS meetings.
  5. Visit our CANVAS Google Drive (here we share our meeting agendas, minutes, and other CANVAS content; you can even post a profile about yourself and your work)

    Questions about CANVAS?