New faces in the GSE

Welcome new hires to the GSE.

jean-aguilar-valdezJean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez is a new tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction working with the GTEP and BTP programs. She is originally from Miami, Florida, but most recently from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where she was an assistant professor and member of the Education, Latin American Studies, and Race and Ethnic Studies faculties. She received her PhD in teacher education in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where her emphasis was science education and equity in education. Dr. Aguilar-Valdez’s research interests include Decolonizing STEM Education, Critical Race Theory in STEM, Critical Pedagogy, and Chicana Feminism in STEM.

erin-bray-smallErin Bray, accounting support, Office of the Dean, provides accounting and administrative support for financial and grant-related functions. She holds a BS from Portland State and has worked for the university in the development department for the Graduate School of Education and School of Social Work since 2012.



tara-cooper-3Tara Cooper is the Teacher Diversity Support Services Coordinator for the GSE. Ms. Cooper runs the new Teacher Pathways Program that will solidify GSE connections to minority undergraduates. She earned her master’s degree in intercultural relations with an emphasis in higher education, and holds a bachelor’s degree in English and ethnic studies. Her areas of expertise include mentoring and supporting underrepresented students. Before coming to Portland in 2013, she had over 15 years of experience in higher education recruitment and student support, including a position as a matriculation specialist in the California community college system where she participated in statewide efforts to improve student learning outcomes and vocational training programs.

hollieHollie Hix-Small, Special Education Department, is the new program coordinator for the Early Intervention/Special Education (EI/SE) program in the Department of in Special Education. She received her PhD from the University of Oregon. Most recently, she has worked with the Open Society Foundation in London, England, where she managed the organization’s early childhood intervention and early childhood care work in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Peru.


Holly LawsonHolly Lawson, Special Education Department, is the new coordinator of the Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) program. Since 1994, she has worked in the VIL field, beginning as a residential instructor for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and then in the Peace Corps in Morocco. Her master’s and PhD are from the University of Arizona where she held several positions in teaching and research. Most recently, she was an assistant professor and the coordinator for the Virginia Consortium of Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment at George Mason University.

emily-scripter-smallEmily McNulty Scripter is the GSE development coordinator, providing project coordination and administrative support for GSE development efforts, including annual giving, major and special gifts, alumni relations, special events, and communications. She holds a BFA in painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Ms. McNulty Scripter is a Portland native and has worked in nonprofit administration and fundraising at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft, and Bitch Media. 

andi-pearson-smallAndria (Andi) Pearson is the new Field Placement Coordinator for Special Education and School Counseling. She is responsible for coordinating and securing all of the practicum and student teaching field experiences for special education, counseling, and speech and hearing. She will contribute to the partnership efforts the GSE is working on with local school districts. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education and early childhood teaching from Concordia University and a BS in speech communication from PSU. Prior to PSU, she coordinated mental health and disability services for Head Start of Lincoln County, taught third grade inclusive special education in Hawaii, and worked for the Reynolds School District.

Lauren SlyhLauren Slyh, Educational Leadership and Policy, provides coordination and administrative support. She is currently working toward her undergraduate degree at PSU. Ms. Slyh has worked in Oregon public education since 2010, most recently as the executive assistant to the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Oregon Department of Education.


Lisa ToddLisa Todd is the Licensure Programs Administrator for the GSE. As the liaison to Oregon’s educator licensure agency—Teacher Standards and Practices—Ms. Todd reviews students’ programs of study and recommends those that meet PSU program requirements. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Linfield College. Previously, she assisted with accreditation and assessment at Lewis & Clark College’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and managed Education Northwest’s research library.

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