We asked Shayne a few questions about her position at TPI, and about her research interests.

Please share what has lead you to this position with the Thompson Policy Institute (TPI)?

After completing the my Master’s and credential I chose to return to Chapman because of the knowledge and support that the faculty have to offer. Each staff member has unique research expertise, which allows students to explore a variety of aspects related to disability. As a classroom teacher, I have had experience including students with disabilities, so I was excited at the chance to work with Dr. Lambert on her project involving the inclusion and participation of students with disabilities in mathematics.

What does your role encompass and how do you believe your experience as a GRA will influence future positions and opportunities in academia?

This is my second year working with Dr. Lambert on her project so I have had a variety of experiences, including filming in the classroom and writing conference proposals. Through this invaluable experience I have been able to see how the process of research occurs and evolves. This has been greatly influential and as I work along side of her and the rest of our team I continue to add and hone my skill set, making me a better researcher.

What current project are you involved in with TPI?

Since returning to Chapman, I have strived to maintain a balance between teaching courses and doing research with the faculty. This has limited my involvement with TPI to only the research I do with Dr. Lambert.

What areas of research do you focus on outside of your work with TPI?

Outside of TPI I am interested in the perception of disability by students and teachers. Specifically, I have explored how student’s self-concepts are impacted by disability labeling and how this label impacts their access to supports at the community college level. In the near future I plan on exploring teacher perceptions on disability.

What has been the best part of working as a GRA at the Thompson Policy Institute?

Working as part of the Thompson Policy Institute has been great at allowing me to make connections with faculty and other Graduate Research Assistants. This is very valuable, as it allows me to stay up to date on the most current research and find connections to my own research in other areas that I have not yet explored. I look forward to continuing these relationships as I finish here at Chapman and beyond.

Shayne Brophy, is a doctoral student in the Disability Studies emphasis and a special education teacher. She began her career while at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she earned her B.A. in Psychology. While there, she worked at the Koegel Autism Center as a clinician. This work continued when she relocated to Orange County, both in private and school settings. During her time as a paraprofessional she pursued her teaching credentials and a M.A. in Special Education at Chapman University. Since completing her credentials she has worked in both the self-contained and inclusive settings. At her current school site, she developed two classes which focus on her passion: supporting students in transitioning from high school to post-secondary institutions or into the workforce. Currently at Chapman, Shayne works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in master’s and credential level courses for both general and special educators. She also works as a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Lambert, exploring mathematical access and participation in students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms.