- Ph.D. in education, concentration in special education and disability policy, Virginia Commonwealth University
- M.Ed. in special education, concentration in early childhood special education, Virginia Commonwealth University
- B.S. in biology, Virginia Commonwealth University
Trauma-informed care in early intervention/early childhood special education, early intervention/early childhood special education personnel preparation, emergent literacy for English/dual language learners
- Awarded a VCU Dissertation Assistantship for her 2013 dissertation, “The Cross-linguistic Effects of Dialogic Reading on Young English Language Learners”
- Selected as a Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Research/Doctoral Student Scholar for 2011-12
- Serving as coordinator of the early childhood special education concentration of the M.Ed. in special education program
- Serving as co-primary investigator for Project KSR: Preparing Knowledgeable, Skilled, and Responsive Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Personnel for High-Need Communities.
- Huennekens, M. E., & Xu, Y. (2010). Effects of a cross-linguistic storybook intervention on the second language development of preschool English language learners. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38, 19-26.
Dr. Mary Ellen Huennekens is an assistant professor and coordinator of the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy’s early childhood special education concentration, where she teaches, advises students and assists in the development of curriculum for the ECSE program. Her professional interests include second language acquisition, literacy and language development, and social/emotional development and young children with or at risk for delays.
In addition to her work at VCU, Huennekens is involved in a community collaboration to bring awareness of the importance of trauma-informed care and emotional response practice to state policymakers, school administrators, and educators. She received the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) Spirit of Advocacy Award in 2015.