New faculty in GSE for 2016-17 school year

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Welcome to these exceptional new teaching faculty who have joined GSE this fall. 

Todd Cherner (CI) is an assistant professor in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), focusing on secondary education. He received his PhD in 2012 from the University of Tennessee with a concentration in secondary education English, and a cognate in cultural studies in education. He holds a master’s degree from Clemson University and a BS in English language arts from the University of Central Florida. He most recently was an assistant professor of English education and literacy at Coastal Carolina University. His focus is on technology and education, and he has expertise and interest in online education and digital literacy that will deepen departmental work in these areas.

Deanna Cor (COUN) is an assistant professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She holds a BA in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of Central Florida. She earned her MA in clinical mental health counseling from Rollins College and completed her PhD in counselor education and supervision from the George Washington University. Cor’s passion centers on facilitating multicultural counseling competencies and social justice advocacy skills among future counselors. Her research follows this vein by focusing on ways to assess and enhance knowledge, awareness, and skills in counseling trainees working with trans and gender-nonconforming clients.

Rana Houshmand (CI) is an assistant professor of practice who is leading a two-year cohort in the secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) as well as teaching in the GTEP and the Curriculum and Instruction (CI) master’s program. She holds a BA in English literature from the University of Oregon, and an MEd in education from Portland State University. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Portland State University in 2014. Houshmand’s focus is on all things literacy, with a specific focus on writing literacy and the Socratic method. Prior to joining the GSE and CI faculty, she taught English language arts at the high school level for 10 years. Her research interests include writing literacy, social dimensions of the K–12 classroom, teacher preparatory mentorship, and social justice. 

Karen Kennedy (CI) is an assistant professor of practice for the secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP). She teaches math methods and courses for the Deepening Mathematical Understanding certificate and supervises for the GTEP. Enhanced by her passion for mathematics education, educational leadership, and literacy, she has expertise in curriculum design and pedagogy, academic language development, literacy, and research on children’s mathematical thinking. Kennedy has served as a math consultant, middle school principal, school counselor, instructional coach, and high school math teacher. More recently, she worked as a professional learning partner for UCLA Center X and adjunct professor for the University of Southern California (USC). Kennedy received her doctorate of education in educational leadership from USC, her master’s in school counseling from Azusa Pacific University, and her bachelor of science in applied mathematics from the University of California at Irvine.

Jada Phelps Moultrie (ELP) is an assistant professor of education leadership. She is from Indiana University, where she completed her PhD in urban education studies with a silo in educational leadership and policy studies. Her dissertation was a two-year qualitative study focused on how Black parents are involved in schools. She used critical race theory as a framework and critical ethnographic methods to explore their involvement. Her current research agenda expands this line of inquiry. She explores the phenomenon known as racial battle fatigue and its influences on “parenting while Black.” At the school level, she is interested in how school leaders perpetuate or disrupt factors that marginalize Black children.

Shaheen Munir-McHill (SPED) is an assistant professor of practice and the coordinator of the part-time and full-time special education programs. Munir-McHill holds a BA in psychology from the University of Southern California. She earned her MS in special education and a PhD in school psychology from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the GSE, Munir-McHill was a practicing school psychologist in the Eugene/Springfield area, and coordinated the University of Oregon Center on Teaching and Learning reading clinic. Munir-McHill’s interests include the development and use of formative assessment tools, early literacy support and intervention, linking assessment and intervention, and systematic implementation of multi-tiered instructional service delivery models.

John Nimmo (CI), assistant professor, is working in early childhood education. He is an internationally known scholar who brings over 35 years of experience and leadership in the early childhood field. His most recent work is at the University of New Hampshire. His expertise is broad and theoretically grounded, with extensive practical experiences in teaching and teacher education, including interests in Reggio Emilia, diversity, and child development. His PhD in early childhood development is from the University of Massachusetts. He has an MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California, and a bachelor’s degree and teaching license from South Australian College and Kelvin Grove College in Australia.

Melissa Pebly (SPED) is a special education instructor and supervisor and is co-leading the full-time special education cohort. Her areas of interest are in literacy for students with significant disabilities and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In addition to teaching courses related to severe disabilities and literacy methods, Pebly is pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership with a specialization in special education.

Amanda Sugimoto (CI), assistant professor, is working in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) focusing on elementary education. She is completing her PhD at the University of Arizona in teacher education. She has focused her PhD coursework and research on best practices for preparing prospective elementary teachers to work with diverse students in a socially just manner, looking at second language acquisition, and qualitative research methods. She has an MA in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University and a BA in elementary education from the University of Arizona. She has worked as an elementary classroom teacher and taught ESL in China.

Maika Yeigh (CI), assistant professor, is an instructor and cohort leader in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), specializing in secondary education. Her focus is on supporting teacher candidates through preparation and into their induction years, with the hope that future educators will fulfill their goals of providing K–12 children with an empowering education. Yeigh has taught in elementary, middle, and high schools in California, Oregon, and Washington. She has a focus in literacy education and humane assessment practices, and a strong commitment to quality teacher education, partnerships, and social justice. Yeigh is a 2014 graduate of the PSU Doctorate in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction.

Rana Yaghmaian (COUN) is an assistant professor of practice and program coordinator of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor and received her PhD in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in rehabilitation counseling. Her dissertation is entitled: Predicting Subjective Well-Being in Women with Fibromyalgia: An Application of a Feminist, Biopsychosocial Framework of Chronic Illness and Disability.

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