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Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Massachusetts Boston

Dr. Murphy has over fifteen years of experience in Special Education in varied teaching, research, and policy roles. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Special Education at University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research primarily focuses on teacher quality and professional development for teachers and administrators in exclusionary school settings including juvenile corrections, hospital, and alternative school settings, primarily alongside practitioners serving as co-researchers. She is dedicated to utilizing qualitative research methods to explore the experiences of teachers and school leaders, in addition to providing mentorship to graduate students on qualitative research. She has served as a researcher on two different federal grants funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. She has experience teaching coursework at both the undergraduate and Master's level in Special Education in addition to supervision of Master's students in Special Education pursuing initial and professional licensure in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 and 5-12 in Massachusetts. She has published about teacher and school leader preparation and professional development in Special Education and experiences at work in Teacher Education and Special Education, Focus on Exceptional Children, Journal of Special Education Leadership, and Preventing School Failure. Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Murphy worked for the New York City Department of Education for five years, first as a Special Education teacher and then on No Child Left Behind related operations and dissemination that pertained to students with disabilities. She holds a permanent teaching certificate as a Special Education Teacher K-12 in New York State.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Special Education , University of Massachusetts Boston


  • 2014 
    University of Florida , PhD/Special Education