Gena Barnhill, PhD

Associate Professor
Program Director for MEd in Special Education

Gena Barnhill


Thompson 210

Experience and Background

Dr. Barnhill taught the Introduction to Autism course at Lynchburg College as an invited guest lecturer for the summers of 2004, 2005, and 2006 before joining the Lynchburg College faculty full time in August of 2006. Prior to coming to Lynchburg College, she taught as an adjunct professor at Avila University in Kansas City, the University of Kansas in Overland Park, Kansas, and at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. Dr. Barnhill was the autism coordinator for the North Kansas City School District in Kansas City, Missouri, and also held the position of school psychologist before becoming the school district’s autism coordinator. She has worked as a school counselor in New Jersey. Other previous experiences include working as a pediatric Registered Nurse in Ohio and New Jersey.


  • PhD in Special Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
  • BS in Nursing, Hunter College – Bellevue School of Nursing, New York City, New York
  • MA in Counseling Services, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
  • MA in School Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
  • EdS in School Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida


  • Pupil Personnel Services License in Virginia as a School Psychologist
  • Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D)

Professional Interests/Research

Dr. Barnhill’s professional interests are related to assessment and outcomes of individuals on the autism spectrum. Most of her research has focused on Asperger Syndrome. She is the author of the book Right Address… Wrong Planet: Children with Asperger Syndrome Becoming Adults and she co-authored Parents of Children with Disabilities: A Survival Guide for Fathers and Mothers with Press Barnhill. In addition, Dr. Barnhill has contributed three book chapters and has published more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles in the areas of autism spectrum disorder. She has presented at more than 100 conferences, including the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Autism Society of America’s (ASA) annual conventions.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Instructional and Behavioral Assessment and Programming for Students with ASD
  • Medical and Sensory Aspects of ASD: Collaboration among Parents, Educators and Related Service Providers
  • Field Experience with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Foundations and Methods in Special Education
  • Survey of Special Education
  • Positive Behavior Interventions
  • Psychoeducational Assessment
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Behavior Modification
  • Ethics and Professional Conduct for Behavioral Analysis