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Sarah Irvine Belson Professor SOE School of Education

Send email to Sarah Irvine Belson
(202) 885-3714 (Office)
SOE - School of Education
Spring Valley Building - 445
drsarah (Google Talk)
Additional Positions at AU
Executive Director, Institute for Innovation in Education
Professor, Education
PhD, Arizona State University, 1995
MA, Arizona State University, 1992
BAE, Arizona State University, 1990

Favorite Spot on Campus
Fraley Pool, Reeves Aquatic Center
Book Currently Reading
Reading at the Speed of Sight
Dr. Sarah Irvine Belson holds a PhD from Arizona State University in Curriculum and Instruction with a cognate in Special Education. Her research explores educational opportunity for children with disabilities and teacher education policy. Her focus on applied interventions for children at risk attends to two major areas of research, namely special education technology and teacher education policy and practice. She is the author of over 50 research papers and chapters on practice and policy in special education and education reform. Dr. Irvine Belson’s experience as a K12 special educator and her focus on interventions designed to increase educational opportunity for children with disabilities is a cornerstone of her research and teaching. In addition to her work in policy and practice, she also collaborates with colleagues across departments at American University, including Anastasia Snelling (health studies) and Kiho Kim (environmental science) to inform policy and improve outcomes for children. Dr. Irvine Belson served as Dean of the School of Education, Teaching & Health from 2002-2015, a role in which she was pleased to support faculty and students in pursuit of excellence in the classroom, in the field, and in research.
See Also
sarahatau @ twitter
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2022

  • EDU-796 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Reading Sci School/Syst Ldrs

  • NEUR-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Summer 2022

  • EDU-790 Quantitative Research in Educ: Fam. Engagement/Interven. Mths

Fall 2022

  • NEUR-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Cruz, S.* and Irvine Belson, S. (2021, in press) The Role of School Leaders in Increasing Access to Literacy Intervention. In Robinson, S, and Ellis, A. Critical Literacy and Its Impact on African American Boys’ Reading Readiness: Implications for Special Educators. Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC.  

Irvine Belson, S., Snelling, A., & Young, J. (2019). A Community-Based Approach to Providing Health and Education Supports for Students with Disabilities in Affordable Housing. In Lo, L & Xu, Y (Eds.) Family, School, and Community Partnerships for Individuals with Disabilities. Springer Education & Language.

Irvine Belson, S. (2019) Hope Courage and Strength in Urban Special Education Classrooms”, In N. P. Gallavan & L. G. Putney (Eds.), ATE teacher education yearbook XXVI, building upon inspirations and aspirations with hope, courage, and strength (v.2): Tomorrow's leaders in classroom and schools (pp. 203-222), Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Hawkins, M., Fuchs, H.*, Watts, E., Belson, S.I., Snelling, A. (2021) Development of a nutrition literacy survey for use among elementary school students in communities with high rates of food insecurity. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.

Hawkins, M., Watts, E., Belson, S. I., & Snelling, A. M, (2020) Design and Implementation of a 5-year School Based Nutrition Education Intervention. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Kalicki, M. Belson, S. I., McClave R., & Snelling, A. M. (2019) Healthy Educators, Healthy Children: A Pathway to Lifelong Health Starts in Early Childhood. Journal of Education and Human Development. 8(4),

Irvine Belson, S., Snelling, A., & Heap, E.* (2018) Reconsidering Maslow: The role of the school health policy in a holistic approach to child health and wellness. Journal of Education & Social Policy, 5(4) .

Grants and Sponsored Research

National Science Foundation: Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program: Noyce Scholar Retention in Racially and Culturally Non-dominant Communities: Studying the Relationship between Partnerships and Persistence in the Teaching Profession, Role: PI. $800,000, October 2021 to September 2026

District of Columbia, Office of the State Superintendent for Education: Special Education Enhancement Fund (SEEF) Reading Science and Instructional Methods for Inclusive Classrooms Role: PI $513,689 March 2020 to September 2021

U.S. Department of Education: OSEP Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities: Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel (CFDA # 84.325D): Early Literacy Intervention Leadership (ELI-Leads) Role: PI $1,097,300 October 2019 to September 2024.

District of Columbia, Office of the State Superintendent for Education: Leadership Institute for Secondary Special Education (LISSE). Role: PI, $152,314 October 2019 – September 2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food & Agriculture: Healthy Schoolhouse 2.0: Teachers and Parents Working Together to Improve Student Health Role: co-PI with Anastasia Snelling, Department of Health Studies $900,000 March 2017 to February 2021.