Current Research

Arts & Health Sciences -AhRT grant

The AhRT grant is a  interdisciplinary research endeavors of students and faculty in Music Education, Counseling Psychology, Leadership, and Health Sciences. It fits the mission of the Institute for Arts and Health. The overarching objective of this research endeavor, aptly titled "Mindful Music," revolves around examining the merits of utilizing musical interventions as efficacious mental health treatment options, and effective tools to enhance work readiness. Specifically, the study targets a cohort of 20 young adults enrolled in the TigerLife program at The University of Memphis. Click here to view the abstract.

Project: FIRST (Finding Innovative Rehabilitation Services Training)

Project FIRST aims to address the shortage of qualified vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors and pre-employment transition service (Pre-ETS) specialists working with transition-age youth (14 to 30 years old) with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) by engaging employers in in-demand fields and STEM. Project FRIST will develop an innovative in-service training program that in collaboration with participating state VR agencies and CRCC, we will use database techniques to link VR counselor/Pre-ETS specialist data with youth clients with IDD data on a large scale.

Peer Mentor Study

The goal of the study is to see what motivates students to become peer mentors of TigerLIFE students. It also examines what kinds of changes, difficulties, and benefits mentors experience over the course of an academic year. This research is being conducted in conjunction with 5 other institutions in Tennessee that have similar programs to TigerLIFE. In the first year of the study, we collected data from about 250 peer mentors across all locations and expect the first set of results to be available in August 2017.

Family Well-Being Study

TigerLIFE changes the lives of not just the students but also their entire families! In this study we are collecting data from TigerLIFE parents of to determine how their financial and subjective well-being has changed since their son or daughter graduated from TigerLIFE. Parents are interviewed when students enter TigerLIFE, upon graduation from the program, and every 6-months after graduation for a period of 24 months. Initial results are expected in the latter half of 2018.

Jun , C., Goodwill, M. L., Harms, B., Krolik , P., Nandiki , S., Schiro-Geist, C., & Tippireddy, J. R. (2023). Family Quality of Life. The Journal of Forensic Vocational Analysis, 31(2), 23–34.

Previous Research

Faculty Study

This study examines the attitudes and apprehensions university faculty have toward students with intellectual disabilities and, more broadly, towards programs such as TigerLIFE. The study will be conducted along with LeMoyne-Owen College and Alabama A & M University, both of which are launching programs similar to TigerLIFE. It is noteworthy to point out that these will be the first programs at institutions regarded as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), so there is a high need for data collection. The study is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2017.

VR Counselor Credentials Study

The goal of this line of research is to determine whether Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors who have master's degrees have better client outcomes than counselors with only bachelor's degrees. We are working with the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation to gather this data. Analyses are expected to occur in July 2017 with an aim of publication in the fall. Once we complete analyses of the Utah data, our goal is to receive a multi-year NIDLRR grant to replicate the study throughout the United States.

Studies in Planning

A randomized-controlled-trial examining the efficacy of the TigerLIFE program. The study will examine whether TigerLIFE graduates have higher rates of employment, self-efficacy, and subjective well-being than adults who are assigned to a minimal-intervention control group.

Validation of the Attitudes Toward Intellectual Disability (ATTID) Questionnaire. The study will use a sample of university students and sample of online-sourced adults throughout the United States to determine whether the proposed scale structure is supported when used in an online setting.

Published Research

Brown, S., Geist, C. S., Krolik, P., Cai, J., Tippireddy, J. R., Davis, A. L., White, J. M., & Nandiki, S. (2023). Multicultural Intersection With Disabilities. In K. Wilson & S. Chao (Eds.), Facilitating Social Justice, Service Delivery, and Advocacy Through Multicultural Counseling Competencies (pp. 106-131). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-6684-6155-6.ch005

Hunter, W. C., Davis, L. L., Hsu, S., Schiro-Geist, C., & Williams, M. (Winter 2019). Building the Bridge to Support Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Post-Secondary Programs. The Journal of Forensic Vocational Analysis, Volume 19(2).

Carter, E. W., Gustafson, J. R., Mackay, M. E., Martin, K. P., Parsley, M. V., Graves, J. a. M., Day, T. L., McCabe, L. E., Lazarz, H., McMillan, E. D., Schiro-Geist, C., Williams, M. A., Beeson, T., & Cayton, J. (2019). Motivations and Expectations of Peer Mentors Within Inclusive Higher Education Programs for Students With Intellectual Disability. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 42(3), 168–178. https://doi.org/10.1177/2165143418779989

Martz, E., Schiro-Geist, C., Broadbent, E. D., & Crandall, L. A. (2010). Predicting employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities: Attitudes and perceived barriers to work. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 41(4), 36-41.

Kundu, M., Dutta, A., Schiro-Geist, C., & Crandall, L. (2003). Disability-Related Services: Needs and Satisfaction of Postsecondary Students. Rehabilitation Education, 17, 45-54.

Schiro-Geist, C., Cardador, M. & Broadbent, E. (2003). A tribute to Jack Duncan's contributions to rehabilitation policy, education and training. Rehabilitation Education, 17, 190-199.

Dutta, A., Schiro-Geist, C., Kundu M., & Broadbent, E. (2001). Status of women professionals in rehabilitation professionals in rehabilitation education. Journal of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, 9(4), 37-40.

Healy, M., Bruce, A., Crandall, L., Schiro-Geist, C., & Broadbent, E. (1999). The future of training: An international distance learning model for forensic vocational specialists. The Journal of Forensic Vocational Assessment, 3 (1), 20-32.

Williams, B., Schiro-Geist, C., & Garske, G. (1999). The financial costs of mental illness. Journal of Rehabilitation, 65(4), 39-44.

Select Conference Presentations

Applying the Lessons of Distance Learning in a European Context for Higher Education Students with Intellectual Disabilities Poster

Schiro-Geist (2023). Perspectives on Inclusion, University of Memphis. The State of the Art Conference (SOTA) Conference, Colorado Springs, CO.

Kundu, M., & Schiro-Geist, C. (September 2021). Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Training Needs Assessment and Competence Measure: An Exploratory Factor Analysis. 24th RI World Congress, Aarhus, Denmark.

Schiro-Geist, C. Suedmeyer, E., Hatcher, S., Sanders, S., & Williams, M., (2016). E-Learning Community for Transition from School to Work, Poster session at the European Distance and E-learning Network Conference, Budapest, HUN.

Williams, M., Suedmeyer, E., Sanders, S., Harris, M., & Schiro-Geist, C. (2016). Diversity and Sustainability in PSE. Presentation at the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Atlanta, GA.

Williams, M., Suedmeyer, E., Sanders, S., & Schiro-Geist, C. (2016). Sustainability for Career Development & Transition Programs. Presentation at the South East Post Secondary Education Alliance Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Harris, M. Casey, L., Hunter, W., Miller, N., Holmes, A., Suedmeyer, E., & Williams, M., (2015) Utilizing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in a Post-Secondary Education program for students with disabilities. Poster session presented at the meeting of Council for Exceptional Children Conference, Nashville, TN.

Schiro-Geist, C., Suedmeyer, E., Hatcher, S., Sanders, S., Harris, M., & Williams, M. (2015) Post-secondary transition. Poster session presented at the meeting of the European Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Jerusalem, Israel

Hatcher, S., Suedmeyer, E., Sanders, S., Schiro-Geist, C., & Williams, M. (2015) User perceptions of a postsecondary education program for adults with developmental disabilities. Poster session presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ont

Suedmeyer, E., Hatcher, S., Sanders, S., Schiro-Geist, C., & Williams, M., (2015) Preliminary vocational outcomes of hybrid model mid-south PSE transition program. Poster session presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ont.