"As a professor, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that all students I work with become smart consumers of educational practices, understand the importance of and how to implement practices with fidelity, and know how to advocate for appropriate services for students with disabilities."
- PhD, Education: Exceptionalities
How did you become interested in the field of special education?
When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), I had an amazing opportunity to work on a project that helped students with learning disabilities transition from high school to one of the City Colleges of Chicago. I had several roles on the project as an undergraduate research assistant and these experiences helped me find my passion for both working with students with disabilities and special education research.
What is your philosophy of teaching?
My philosophy revolves around my mission to effectively translating research to practice in order to ultimately improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities. As a professor, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that all students I work with become smart consumers of educational practices, understand the importance of and how to implement practices with fidelity, and know how to advocate for appropriate services for students with disabilities.
What types of candidates do you recommend to pursue the MEd: Interdisciplinary, Leadership & Research program?
The MEd Leadership and Research track is for those with some background in special education (e.g., special education teacher) and are interested in developing and strengthening their knowledge in order to advocate and ensure students with disabilities are provided effective and meaningful special education programming. Our MEd programs allow students to dive deep into special education literature and research and consider how to improve student and family experiences through a leadership lens. Ultimately, this track is an excellent option for special educators who may be or are interested in serving in leadership positions (department chair, resource teacher, coach) in their school, district, and/or community.
How does this MEd program best support and prepare its students?
Students in the Leadership and Research track take a variety of courses that will allow them to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of trends and issues, law and compliance, research, evidence-based practices, and leadership. One of the unique aspects to this track is that courses are intentionally designed to allow each student opportunities to explore specific areas they are interested in which allows them to develop their own areas of expertise.
What are your research interests?
Identification and dissemination of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for secondary students with high incidence disabilities; integration of EBPs in co-taught settings.
What do you like to do outside of education?
My heart is full when I am with my kids and husband. We all love road trips, eating at local restaurants, camping, and watching movies together at home. I also enjoy reading memoirs, listening to podcasts, hiking, and taking the occasional yoga class.