I began my career in education as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Initially, I intended to pursue a career in engineering. One day, while sitting in a math classroom, I looked around and saw a sea of male faces, most of whom were wearing slide rules (yes, I'm that old!) on their belts! I just couldn't see myself as fitting in to that crowd for the bulk of my professional career! I went back to my dorm, asked one of my friends what she was planning to do, and she indicated that she was pursuing a career in special education to work as a teacher with students who were deaf. It just so happened that I grew up very, very close to a family in which both the mother and father were deaf! So, I thought, "why not?"
I completed my B.A. and an M.A. at U. of M. with credentials in elementary and special education, with a focus on deaf education. Upon my graduation, I received a scholarship from Rotary International to attend the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. While there, I earned a Diploma of Educational Studies in Special Education for Students in Overseas Countries (I also traveled... a lot!).
Once back in the U.S. I took at position at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Alabama (home of the Talladega 500 and Talladega College). I taught across three major programs: a) a parent-infant program; b) in the Helen Keller School (elementary and secondary); and finally, c) in an adult rehabilitation center, serving individuals with sensory impairments. I was also fortunate to have been awarded and worked on several national grants. While in Alabama, one of my major supervisors encouraged me to apply for my doctorate. I ended up at the University of Alabama and earned an Ed.D. in Special Education Research and Administration. During those years, in addition to working and attending school, I served as an educational consultant across the country on issues of transition, assessment, curriculum and instruction for students who were hearing impaired/deaf, deaf/blind and/or who were visually impaired/blind.
I moved to Colorado in 1985 (that's another story) and took a position at the University of Northern Colorado working on a grant in which I supported the educational needs of students with significant support needs. Concurrently, I worked to develop and then went to work for a statewide, collaborative consulting organization, continuing my work with transitions, curriculum, assessment and instruction, and expanded my work to consider quality of life issues for individuals with disabilities.
I accepted a position at CU Denver in 1987. Since then, I have taught in the special education, general teacher education and doctoral programs. One of the most satisfying roles in which I have served was as a Site Professor in our teacher education program – working inside of a school one day a week, sharing and learning with teacher candidates and school faculty. Over time I assumed my current position as the Associate Dean for Research and Professional Learning.
My students at University of Colorado Denver:
I believe profoundly that students are at the heart of the lives of faculty in the School of Education and Human Development at CU Denver! My life is continually stimulated and enriched through my teaching and research with students. I believe deeply in the notions that we are all learners and always learning. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't learn something with or from students - it makes for a professional life that is truly invigorating, challenging, stimulating, and collaborative!
Sample classes I have taught at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
- Exploring Diversity in Curriculum and Pedagogy I and II - IPTE 4020 and 4021
- Learning Theory and Learners - EDLI 7712
- Doctoral Research Lab on Urban Schools - EDLI 7605
My research interests:
- Student self-determination
- Student voice and engagement
- Assessment, particularly student-engaged formative assessment
- Curriculum, especially integrated approaches
I love the outdoors! I am a swimmer, hiker, skier, walker/trotter (my knees no longer like me to run), yogi, bicyclist, weight-lifter, and just in general, a stare-at-the-mountains- or lake or ocean type of girl. I also love to sew and yearn to become a jeweler – making all kinds of things with beads, metals, and fabric!
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