University of Calgary

Erica Makarenko

  • Director - Integrated Services in Education

Profile

Erica Makarenko (nee Backenson) grew up in southern New Jersey and completed her undergraduate work at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in School Psychology and an advanced degree as an Educational Specialist from Rowan University in New Jersey. After completing her first two graduate degrees, Dr. Makarenko worked as a School Psychologist for the Greenwich Township School District in New Jersey and the Brandywine School District in Delaware before undertaking her doctoral work. She completed her Doctor of Psychology degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012 with a specialization in School Neuropsychology.

Dr. Makarenko came to the University of Calgary in 2012 to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in School Neuropsychology with the Werklund School of Education. In her role as a postdoc in the BrainGain Laboratory, Erica was responsible for identifying and serving children with multiple learning disability subtypes, teaching, research, and service delivery in the School and Applied Child Psychology program and in the University of Calgary’s Integrated Services in Education clinic (formerly UCAPES).  Upon completing her postdoc in 2013, Erica continued to teach in the School & Applied Child Psychology program as an instructor. From 2013 until 2016, Dr. Makarenko worked as the Director of Instructional Impact for the James Chaput Centre for Educational Research Applications in Calgary, where she collaborated with a team of professionals to develop and pilot 21st century learning tools and academic programming.

In her current role as an Instructor in the Werklund School of Education and the Academic Coordinator of both the Master of Education in School & Applied Child Psychology program and the Master of Counselling program, Dr. Makarenko is responsible for overseeing the administration and delivery of these programs as well as supporting students in the programs. As well, Dr. Makarenko is the Co-Academic Coordinator of the graduate certificate program in Educational Neuroscience: Applications for Teaching & Learning and the Manitoba First Nations cohort of the Master of Education in School & Applied Child Psychology program.

In 2018, Dr. Makarenko assumed the role of Director of the ISE. In this role, Erica is focused on maximizing client experience and providing high quality graduate student training within the ISE. Dr. Makarenko is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist in the United States. Dr. Makarenko is married and lives in Calgary with her husband, Dustin, and step-daughter, Leanne.

Education

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Educational Specialist
Rowan University

Master of Arts
Rowan University

Bachelor of Science
St. Joseph’s University

Publications

Makarenko, E. M. & Andrews, J. J. W. (2017). An empirical review of the mental health and wellbeing of online instructors. Journal of Educational Thought, 50(2&3), 182-198.

Backenson, E. M., Holland, S. C., Kubas, H. A., Fitzer, K. R., Wilcox, G., Carmicheal, J. A., Fraccaro, R. L., Smith, A. D., Macoun, S. J., Harrison, G. L., & Hale, J. B. (2015). Psychosocial and adaptive deficits associated with learning disability subtypes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(5), 511-522.

Wright, P. W. D., Hale, J. B., Backenson, E. M., Eusebio, E. C., & Dixon, S. G. (January 2013). Forest Grove vs. T.A. Rejoiner to Zirkel: An attempt to profit from malfeasance?. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 31(3), 317-324.

Kubas, H. A., Backenson, E. M., Wilcox, G., Piercy, J. C., Parker, D. J., & Hale, J. B. (2012). The effects of methylphenidate on cognitive function in children with attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Postgraduate Medicine, 124(5), 33-48.

Presentations

Schroeder, M., Makarenko, E. M., & Warren, K. (October 2018). Using a student-centered teaching strategy to support learning in online graduate programs. Presentation at the 15th Annual International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference, Bergen, Norway.

Makarenko, E. M., Schroeder, M., & Warren, K. (June 2018). Designing graduate psychology courses to improve student self-efficacy and reduce course-related stress: The implementation of a late bank policy to allow flexibility in submission deadlines. Presentation at the 29th Annual International Congress on Applied Psychology, Montreal, Canada. 

Craig, H. & Makarenko, E. M. (June 2018). Prospective memory in children: Considerations for assessment and interventions. Presentation at the 29th Annual International Congress of Applied Psychology, Montreal, Canada. 

Schroeder, M., Makarenko, E. M., & Warren, K. (January 2018). Designing and teaching courses that promote student well-being and mental health. Presentation at the 16th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Watts, D., Heudes, A., Johnston, H., Makarenko, E., & Wilcox, G. (June 2017). Implementing progress monitoring for a community-based reading intervention. Presentation at the 77th Annual Canadian Psychological Association 2017 National Convention, Toronto, Canada. 

Carmichael, J. A., Kubas, H. A., Fitzer, K. R., Backenson, E. M., & Hale, J. B. (June 2013). Comparing neuropsychological and behavioural methylphenidate response in ADHD. Presentation at the 74th Annual Canadian Psychological Association Convention, Quebec City, QC. 

Hale, J. B., & Backenson, E. M. (May 2013). Brain literacy in the classroom: The neuropsychology of literacy. Presentation at the Innovators, Designers & Researchers: Leading a New Knowledge Network Conference, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. 

Backenson, E. M., Hale, J. B., Kubas, H. A., Fitzer, K. R., & Carmichael, J. (February 2013). Specific psychosocial deficits associated with learning disability subtypes. Presentation at the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) Annual Conference, Waikoloa, Hawaii. 

Hale, J. B., Kubas, H. A., Backenson, E. M., Fitzer, K., & Carmichael, J. (February 2013). Differentiating frontal subcortical circuit dysfunction in ADHD medication response. Presentation at the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) Annual Conference, Waikoloa, Hawaii. 

Kubas, H. A., Fitzer, K., Carmichael, J., Hale, J. B., Backenson, E. M, & Wilcox, G. (February 2013). Neuropsychological impairment and ADHD: Do teacher ratings determine medication response? Presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Conference, Seattle, WA. 

Hale, J. B., Kubas, H. A., & Backenson, E. M. (February 2013). Concordance-discordance model: Empirical specific learning disability identification and intervention. Presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Conference, Seattle, WA. 

Hale, J. B., Backenson, E. M., & Kubas, H. A. (November 2012). Using the Concordance-Discordance Model (C-DM) for specific learning disability subtype identification and intervention. Presentation at the British Columbia Association of School Psychologists Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 

Photograph of Erica Makarenko

Curriculum Vitae

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