Maria Hernandez Finch
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology
Department of Educational Psychology
About Maria Hernández Finch
Dr. Maria Hernández Finch is the director of the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) and Masters (MA) Programs in School Psychology. She is the editor of Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education, a peer-reviewed journal published through Pace University Press, and serves on several editorial boards for other peer-reviewed journals. She is a research affiliate with the Ball State Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD) and a board member with the BSU Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Dr. Hernández Finch has a very active program of research and always seeks to involve her Ed.S. and doctoral students in all phases of the research process. Currently, she researches the intersection of equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice with assessment, prevention efforts, and consultation. She is particularly interested in the young learner and current research efforts with this population include gifted/high ability, culturally and linguistically diverse early learners, and the impact of parental education/income/cultural assets on assessment with the young learner. Her most recently funded grant project (2022), The Parent Play Lab, investigates ways to partner with parents to use the healing power of play across school Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) frameworks to enhance relationships, optimize educational and social outcomes, and to create a more inclusive, empowering, and affirming school and home experience for children.
University Professional Experience
- MA/Ed.S. School Psychology Program Director (2014 - present). Department of Educational Psychology
- Associate Professor of Educational Psychology (2017 - present; Assistant Professor 2012-2017; Contract Assistant Professor 2010-2012). Department of Educational Psychology, Ball State University
- Research Affiliate Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD; 2013 - present). The CASD strives to generate cutting-edge applied research and innovative, time-efficient, cost-effective, co-created interventions that work, so that Autistic individuals can reach their self-defined full potential and so that systems can better appreciate and champion neurodiversity. https://www.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/teachers/aboutus/outreach/center-for-autism-spectrum-disorder
Research and Publications
Sample Recent Publications (see Vita for comprehensive list) * School Psychology Student **Former School Psychology Student +Grant-related
+Hernández Finch, M. E., **Trammell, B., **Hulse, A. R., *Wildrick, A., Finch, W. H.,
**Freeman Floyd, L., *Pittenger, J., & McIntosh, D. E. (2022). Relationship of
autism symptomology and adaptive functioning: Implications for reducing
future underemployment. Psychology in the Schools.
Speirs Neumeister, K., Hernández Finch, M. E., Finch, W. H., *Spoon, R., Burney, V.,
& **Smith, V. (2022). Markers of At-Risk Literacy Development in Gifted
Students. Journal for the Education of the Gifted.
Finch, W. H., & Hernández Finch, M. E. (2022). The relationship of national, school,
and student SES with academic achievement: A model for PISA reading and
mathematics scores. Frontiers in Education, 7.
Finch, W. H., Hernández Finch, M. E., *Avery, B. (2021). The impact of national and
school contextual factors on the academic performance of immigrant
students. Frontiers in Education, 6, 5-32.
Sample Recent Book Chapters
Hernández Finch, M. E., *Wildrick, A., & *Pittenger, J. (2022). Core Academic Skills
Considerations, Evaluation Methods, and Intervention Approaches for Autistic
Adolescents. In K. D. Viezel, A. S. Davis, & S. Wilczynski (Eds.)
Postsecondary Transition for Students with High-Functioning Autism.
Fraser-Burgess, S., Warren-Gordon, K., Hernández Finch, M. E., & Sciuchetti, M. B.
(2019). Higher Education Faculty Countering Systemic K-12 Racism: Critical
Reflexivity, Black Girls, & Excessive School Discipline. In J. A. Heybach & S. Fraser Burgess (Eds.) Making Sense of
Race in Education: Practices for Change in Difficult Times. Myers Education Press.
***Please note that the book this chapter is in won both the 2021 American Educational Studies Association (AESA) Critics’ Choice Book Award and the 2021 Society of Professors of Education (SPE) Outstanding Book Award.
Select Recent Conference Presentations
+*Atchison, K. M., & Hernandez Finch, M. E. (2023). Empowering Parents to
Participate in MTSS through Filial-Play Therapy Training. Presented at the
annual National Association of School Psychologists Convention. Denver,
*Pscheid, K., Pierson, E. E., Finch, W. H., Hernández Finch, M. E. (2022).
Disproportional impact of community factors on adolescent TBI educational
outcomes. Presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists.
+Hernández Finch, M. E., Fletcher, K. L., & Finch, W. H. (August, 2021). Benefits of
shared book readings for dual-language learning mother-child dyads.
Presented at the 2021 APA Annual Convention (virtual) Division 15
Hernández Finch, M. E., *Larsen, C. M., & Finch, W. H. (August, 2021). Relationship
of poverty to corporal punishment, restraint, and seclusion by state.
Presented at the 2021 APA Annual Convention (virtual) Division 16 (School
Finch, W. H., Hernández Finch, M. E., *Mytych, K., *Larsen, C. (2021). Impact of the
COVID-19 pandemic on Americans’ mental health: A textual analysis of
interview data. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for
Psychological Science, May.
*Law, S., Hernández Finch, M. E., & Davis, A. S. (2021, April). Do Nonverbal Tests
Reduce Minoritized Disproportionality in Gifted Programs? Poster presented
virtually at the 2021Annual American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology
+Kandiah, J., McIntosh, C., Hernandez Finch, M. E., & *Boucher, N. (2020). Dietetic
professionals role in nutrition care of a simulated pediatric patient with autism
spectrum disorder. Presentation at the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
FNCE 2020 Food & Nutrition Conference, Virtual October 2020.
*Wildrick, A. A., & Hernández Finch, M. E. (2020). Academic profiles, interventions,
and assessments for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Presented at
the annual convention of the American Psychological Association,
*Satmare, G. A., Hernández Finch, M. E., & Finch, W. H. (2020). Suicidality among
racially ethnically diverse sexual minority adolescents. Presented at the
annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington,
Finch, W. H., *Smith, K., *Mangino, T., & Hernández Finch, M. E. (2020). Using
generative adversarial models to improve identification of those at-risk for
suicide. Paper presented at the annual convention of the American
Psychological Association, Washington, DC/Virtual.