Greetings! I am an assistant professor of early childhood and special education. I am a lifelong learner who is passionate teaching teachers how to interact with students with neurological and physical differences as well as how to develop instruction that is engaging for students. My educational journey began with my family. I am the oldest of eleven children (yes, you ready that right) and I have two siblings with Down Syndrome. They awoken my passion for working as an advocate and eventually why I pursued the field of special education. I obtained my B.S. Ed. in Special Education and Elementary Education from Millersville University. Post graduation from Millersville University, I spent time working as a Family Supports Specialist, providing in-home and community based services to individuals with neurological differences prior to becoming a learning support teacher. I worked at both the elementary and high school level in providing direct instruction and co-teaching instruction to help students find the most success. Based on student needs, I decided to pursue my M. Ed. in Reading Instruction from Edinboro University becoming a specialist in reading. I decided to pursue my Ph.D. after that in Special Education from Penn State University to further my passion in preparing future teachers.
After I take my professor hat off, I wear several other hats. I am a parent of three and a guardian to my one sibling with Down Syndrome. I am a gamer and creator, always looking for new ways to create something beautiful. My siblings and I grew up playing games and when I began to learn about gamification of education, I was hooked.
My areas of research has been around my passions: Teacher Wellbeing & Preparation, Gamification in Special Education, and Family Involvement. I am fascinated in these because the field of special education needs hardworking and determined teachers who are ready to work with families with diverse needs, especially since that can be an overlooked area of focus. My recent research has focused on understanding how gamifying a higher education special education course compares to a traditional lecture special education course on the outcomes of student engagement, academic achievement, and perceptions on including students with neurological and physical differences.
Are you thrilled with teaching students in inclusive environments utilizing unique and engaging formats? I am eager to chat with current and prospective students about our Westminster School of Education programs. Feel free to reach out!!!