Please join us in congratulating Dr. Laura Chezan for being selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for 2022-2023.

Dr. Chezan's accomplishments in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as her dedication and commitment to improving the interventions and services delivered to individuals with disabilities have contributed to her selection for this honor. Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations. Alumni include 61 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 76 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders and world-renowned experts in academia and many other fields across the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

Chezan has been working in academia since 2012, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in applied behavior analysis and special education, conducting scholarly activities, advising and mentoring graduate students, and engaging in professional service. In addition, she has over 18 years of experience working with and conducting research with children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities in various settings, including school, home, clinic, and residential settings. In 2013, she developed the Applied Behavior Analysis Program at Old Dominion University, and has served as program coordinator of the program over the last eight years.

Her research interests focus on social-communication, behavior support, and quality of life for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Over the last 10 years, she has diligently conducted research and published findings in peer-reviewed journals, pursued funding, and developed collaborative partnerships with researchers at prestigious universities in the U.S. She has over 30 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, invited commentaries, books, and book chapters. She has received funding from the Organization of Autism Research and the Virginia Department of Education to conduct research and train students in applied behavior analysis. In 2020, she received the Sarah and Rufus Tonelson Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Furthermore, she serves as the Associate Editor for the Preventing School Failure, and as an Editorial Board Member for several scholarly journals in her field

Chezan shared her overarching goals for the future with this award saying, "My overarching goal is to increase awareness of applied behavior analysis and the latest developments in services provided to children with autism spectrum disorder in the United States and, thus, shape the academic training and scholarly activities of students and faculty at my host institution of higher education (i.e., Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania). First, I anticipate having the opportunity to refine my collaboration skills with students and faculty from a culturally and linguistically diverse academic environment. Second, I expect to "problem solve" and brainstorm with other professionals to advance our knowledge in the field of service delivery for children with autism spectrum disorder. Third, I expect to refine my ability to adapt to a new academic environment characterized by a different pedagogic style, resources, and philosophies. I strongly believe that this experience will allow me to further my career and to grow both professionally and personally."

Congratulations, Dr. Chezan!