Benita Bellrichard Munson, MS, CRC, LPC, CADC I, is an assistant professor of practice in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program, in the Counselor Education Department. She is also a member of the Graduate Certificate in Addictions faculty. She obtained her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Portland State University. She maintains a private practice where her clinical specialties include working with individuals and couples adjusting to chronic illness/disability, relational improvement, and addiction. She has previous experience working in an inpatient alcohol and drug treatment program and a history of both social work and career counseling in Canada. She is interested in multicultural issues in counseling and the intersection among couples, families, and their adjustment to disability.
Helen Gordon Child Development Center
Mary Schumacher-Hoerner, MA, is the new head of PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC). Schumacher-Hoerner was previously an associate professor of early childhood education and director of the Child and Family Development Center at San Juan College (SJC) in New Mexico, where she supervised for the past six years. Schumacher-Hoerner has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and an MA from the University of New Mexico and has done doctoral work in curriculum and instruction.
Curriculum and Instruction
Alex “Xander” Davies, PhD, is a new assistant professor of ESOL and elementary education in the Curriculum and Instruction Department. Prior to coming to Portland State University, Davies earned his doctorate in education–TESOL from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. His research interests include ESOL infusion in teacher-preparation programs using interactive avatars and simulated classrooms; dual-language education with emphasis placed on curriculum and program implementation; ESOL methods among both preservice and in-service teachers; family and community involvement in K–12 schools; and second-language and cultural identities among first-generation immigrants and persons of refugee and asylum backgrounds. Davies has worked closely with administrators and content area teachers in local school districts throughout the Orlando area to provide professional development in both ESOL methods and dual language. Additionally, he worked with resettlement agencies as a cultural broker and language specialist to various families from refugee backgrounds.
Mary E. Morningstar, PhD, is the new co-director of PSU’s ThinkCollege Inclusion Oregon project in the Special Education Department and will teach courses for preservice students focused on transition and postsecondary outcomes. She has a BSEd in special education from the University of Georgia, an MEd in special education from the University of Maryland, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. Morningstar’s research encompasses three interrelated concentrations: college and career readiness for youth with disabilities, teacher education and professional development, and secondary inclusive educational reform. She is the author of The Educator’s Guide to Implementing Transition Planning and Services (2017) and over 40 peer- reviewed journal articles and numerous book chapters, monographs, and technical reports.
Maria Gilmour, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, is an assistant professor of practice in the Graduate School of Education and head of the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) program in the Special Education Department. Gilmour is an educator who has extensive experience consulting with parents and families, teachers, educational leaders, and school administrators in both public and private programs for educating children and adults with special needs. Gilmour received her master’s degree in Special Education at Gonzaga University and her PhD from the University of Georgia, focusing on applied behavior analysis and autism, learning and cognition, and educational administration and policy. She has been working with families since 1998.