The University of Vienna in Austria has selected University of New Orleans education professor Linda Flynn-Wilson to serve as a visiting professor this summer. Flynn-Wilson will provide instruction for undergraduate and graduate students in special needs and inclusive education. In addition, Flynn-Wilson will serve as the UNO faculty representative to establish a special education conference called Behinderten Symposium, which will be a collaborative effort between UNO and the University of Innsbruck. The conference will be a symposium with researchers across the U.S. and Europe. Logistical support in conference preparation will be provided by Center Austria at UNO and Center New Orleans in Innsbruck.
Flynn-Wilson goes to Vienna having recently consulted on a local public safety initiative. She and other UNO College of Education and Human Development faculty worked with the New Orleans Police Department to evaluate its education, training and recruitment division. After observing how recruits were trained, faculty members provided extensive feedback and recommendations for improvement.
Flynn-Wilson earned her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Illinois in 1990 with an emphasis on early childhood special education. She chairs UNO’s Department of Special Education and Habilitative Services within the College of Education and Human Development and serves as coordinator of an early intervention program for children aged birth-to-five years old. As part of her graduate studies, she has directed several federal and state projects on the topics of inclusive education, cross-cultural competence, teaming and collaboration, program development and personnel preparation. Flynn-Wilson has experience as a preschool teacher and has worked with infants and toddlers through community-based programs. Her research focuses on concerns, priorities and resources of families who have young children with disabilities.
Collaboration between UNO and Austrian universities dates back to 1976 with the launch of an international summer school program for UNO students at the University of Innsbruck. By 1983, UNO had a formal partnership agreement in place to support the summer school program, which is administered by UNO’s Division of International Education. Center Austria was launched in the fall of 1997, and it functions as a research and discourse hub for Austrian and European Studies at UNO and in New Orleans. Center Austria builds on the more than three decades of cooperation between UNO and the University of Innsbruck and a sister city agreement between the Cities of Innsbruck, Austria and New Orleans.