Meet Our Team

Martha Mock, Ph.D. Martha Mock, Ph.D. 585-276-3363
mmock@warner.rochester.edu

Martha Mock, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute for Innovative Transition (IIT) a partnership of the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation and the University of Rochester. She is also an Associate Professor at the Warner School of Education. She has worked with and been an advocate with people with disabilities and their families for over 25 years in educational and community based settings. Under her direction, the Institute has secured grants focusing on adolescent transition for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities from federal, state, and private foundation funders totaling more than $6 million dollars. Her research interests include, college for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, transition, employment, and policy. She is a former special education teacher and holds her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mary Judge, M.S. Mary Judge, M.S. 585-275-2454
mjudge@warner.rochester.edu

Mary Judge, M.S., is the Assistant Director for the Institute for Innovative Transition. She brings over 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities and their families in the greater Rochester community. Mary has an MS degree from Saint John Fisher College in Human Service Administration. She facilitates a number of the Institute initiatives including the coordination of partnerships and development of trainings.  Mary is committed to individuals with disabilities having opportunities to further their education after high school, self-advocacy, policy and systems change.

Nicholas Palumbo, M.S. Nicholas Palumbo, M.S. 585-276-7079
npalumb2@u.rochester.edu

Nicholas Palumbo, M.S., is a Graduate Assistant for the Institute for Innovative Transition and a Ph.D. student in Human Development at the University of Rochester. He brings experience working as an inclusive special educator with both middle and high school students across content areas. Paulmbo has an M.S. degree from Syracuse University in Inclusive Special Education. His research interests include: Self-Efficacy, The Social Construction of Dis/ability, Resilience, Adolescent Identity Processes, Students’ Perceptions of Dis/ability, The Influence of Cultural Hegemony on Ethnic Minority Youths, The Impact of Adult Relationships on Adaptive Youth Behaviors, and Outcomes for Ethnic Minority Youth Involved in After School Programming. Nick is devoted to providing students with dis/abilities opportunities to further their education after high school.

Christine Isselhard, M.S. Christine Isselhard, M.S. 585-276-7079
cisselha@u.rochester.edu

Christine M. Isselhard, M.S., is a Graduate Assistant for the Institute for Innovative Transition, and a Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership: Higher Education. She employs a utilization-focused evaluation approach to data gathering, analysis, and reporting to inform program improvement. Isselhard’s research interests explore issues of policy and finance to address educational efforts focused on college access, student experiences, human capital theory, and inequity.

Michael McCarthy, M.A. Michael McCarthy, M.A. 585-276-7079
Michael.McCarthy@warner.rochester.edu

Michael McCarthy, M.A., is a Graduate Assistant for the Institute for Innovative Transition and a Ph.D. student in Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Rochester. Michael’s research experiences have brought him to Peru, Uganda, and Jordan as he worked with the Yale Child Study Center and UNICEF Jordan to explore access, quality, and equity within early childhood development. Michael’s research interests include addressing how early childhood education for children with intellectual and physical disabilities can affect future post-secondary and occupational roles.

Emma Overby, M.S. Emma Overby, M.S. 585-276-7079
eoverby@u.rochester.edu

Emma Overby, M.S., is a Graduate Assistant for the Institute for Innovative Transition. Her research interest is a qualitative look at self-determination of black males with disabilities in advanced education. Emma taught in the Rochester City School District for 20 years as a Special Education Teacher. During that time,  she worked with all students with disabilities.  She received her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration/Special Education from the College at Brockport, Brockport, New York. Emma obtained a Master of Science Degree in Special Education/General Education from Nazareth College in Rochester,  New York. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bloomfield College of New Jersey, Bloomfield New Jersey.