Karen O'Connor

Assistant Professor of Special Education

Education

Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri, 2012
ME.d., University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri, 2007
B.S., Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 2006

Associated Academic Programs

Special Education

“Studying Applied Behavior Analysis is vital to helping communities flourish as the primary focus is how we can improve the lives of others. We focus on how we can help others accomplish their goals.”

Dr. Karen O’Connor focuses primarily on understanding how people learn and using these skills to improve the lives of individuals in special education. “I want students to know that each one of us can make socially significant change and improve the inclusion of all people in our communities,” she said.

What drew her Trinity:
As she and her family relocated to Chicago, it was important to her to find a supportive professional community. “I have absolutely found this here at Trinity,” O’Connor said. “The faculty, staff, and students have been welcomed me to this engaging and passionate academic community. I love being in a community that values professional and personal growth.”

Research interests:
As a special educator and behavior analyst, O’Connor has always been interested in understanding what interventions work and why. “I am interested to know what is the most effective way to provide instruction and how to best support those that we work with. This is an interest that I am passionate about with both the children I work with as well as the teachers I coach,” she said.

When she’s not teaching:
O’Connor loves to listen to podcasts.

Publications
Cheak-Zamora, N., Teti, M., Maurer-Batjer, A., O’Connor, K.V., & Randolph, J. (in press). Sexual and relationship interest, knowledge and experiences among adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Christ, S. E., Stichter, J. P., O’Connor, K. V., Bodner, K., Moffitt, A. J., & Herzog, M. J. (2017). Social Skills Intervention Participation and Associated Improvements in Executive Function Performance. Autism Research and Treatment2017, 5843851. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/5843851.

 

Stichter, J., Christ, S., O’Donnell, R.M., Herzog, M. & O’Connor, K.V. (2016). Exploring the role of executive functioning measures for social competence research. Assessment for Effective Intervention, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1534508416644179

 

+ Expertise

Dr. Karen O’Connor focuses primarily on understanding how people learn and using these skills to improve the lives of individuals in special education. “I want students to know that each one of us can make socially significant change and improve the inclusion of all people in our communities,” she said.

What drew her Trinity:
As she and her family relocated to Chicago, it was important to her to find a supportive professional community. “I have absolutely found this here at Trinity,” O’Connor said. “The faculty, staff, and students have been welcomed me to this engaging and passionate academic community. I love being in a community that values professional and personal growth.”

Research interests:
As a special educator and behavior analyst, O’Connor has always been interested in understanding what interventions work and why. “I am interested to know what is the most effective way to provide instruction and how to best support those that we work with. This is an interest that I am passionate about with both the children I work with as well as the teachers I coach,” she said.

When she’s not teaching:
O’Connor loves to listen to podcasts.

+ Courses, Publications & Research

Publications
Cheak-Zamora, N., Teti, M., Maurer-Batjer, A., O’Connor, K.V., & Randolph, J. (in press). Sexual and relationship interest, knowledge and experiences among adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Christ, S. E., Stichter, J. P., O’Connor, K. V., Bodner, K., Moffitt, A. J., & Herzog, M. J. (2017). Social Skills Intervention Participation and Associated Improvements in Executive Function Performance. Autism Research and Treatment2017, 5843851. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/5843851.

 

Stichter, J., Christ, S., O’Donnell, R.M., Herzog, M. & O’Connor, K.V. (2016). Exploring the role of executive functioning measures for social competence research. Assessment for Effective Intervention, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1534508416644179