Faculty and Staff



Dr. Amanda Bozack (University of Arizona)
Office: Peters Hall A015
Phone: 540-831-5736
Email: abozack@radford.edu

Dr. Bozack obtained her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Arizona in 2008. Her research interests include the development, support, and retention of new teachers through high-quality induction programs. Dr. Bozack served as the lead external evaluator for Connecticut’s Teacher Education and Mentoring [TEAM] program in 2013 and as a co-PI for the multi-year Science Induction for the Next Generation Teacher Quality Partnership award in Connecticut (2014-2016). Dr. Bozack is co-PI on a $13.8M US Department of Education SEED grant, Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training, a competency-based professional development program designed to help general education teachers develop skills for working with diverse student populations. She has worked on a federal OERI grant studying comprehensive school reform as well as on a Carnegie Foundation grant studying the teaching practices and beliefs of beginning teachers. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, and The High School Journal.

At Radford University, Dr. Bozack Directs the School of Teacher Education and Leadership, housed in the College of Education and Human Development. The school is comprised of 36 faculty members and offers 19 programs.


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Assistant Director


Dr. Brenda-Jean Tyler (University of Texas at Austin)
Associate Professor
Special Education
Office: Peters Hall C158
Phone: 540-831-5868
Email: bjtyler@radford.edu

Dr. Brenda-Jean Tyler teaches introductory special education courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her students come from a variety of programs. Dr. Tyler has gone through several levels of Quality Matters training for online instruction, and she teaches her master-level courses in an asynchronous online format. She has been a co-director and director of personnel preparation grants, as well as a grant focused on the comprehensive examination process in special education.

Her interests center on the unique challenges that students with disabilities who are non-native speakers of English confront in school, including challenges arising from differences in cultural norms and expectations and how these differences intersect with reading disabilities as well as other learning differences. Dr. Tyler’s teaching experience is primarily in culturally and linguistically diverse middle-school classrooms.

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Administrative Assistants

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Lin Martin (New River Community College)
Administrative Assistant
Office: Peters Hall C147
Phone: 540-831-5058
Email: lmartin103@radford.edu

Lin Martin is an administrative assistant to the Master’s and Certificate in Math Education Program. She has been with Radford University since January 2018.

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Kara Pfaff (Radford University)
Administrative Assistant
Office: Peters Hall A004
Phone: 540-831-7153
Email: khall62@radford.edu

Kara Pfaff has been an administrative assistant for the School of Teacher Education and Leadership since 2008. She is the retired Staff Senate President for Radford University (2013-2015); member of various university committees; the Public Relations Officer for Phi Kappa Phi; and a member of the Virginia Governmental Employees Association (VGEA), serving as Radford University’s VGEA Connect representative.

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Gwen Sowers (New River Community College)
Administrative Assistant
Office: Peters Hall C171
Phone: 540-831-5331
Email: gsowers@radford.edu

Gwen Sowers is an administrative assistant to the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. She has been with Radford University since March 2015, and previously worked in Student Support Services. She has a 15-year background in customer service purchasing.

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Lisa Aker headshot

Dr. Lisa D. Aker (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Literacy Education
Office: Peters Hall A044
Phone: 540-831-5359
Email: laker1@radford.edu

Dr. Lisa D. Aker is a literacy faculty member in the School of Teacher Education at Radford University. Lisa teaches face-to-face pre-service undergraduate courses and online graduate courses in the Master of Science in Literacy Education program.  She is a former elementary classroom teacher, reading specialist, and literacy coach. She received her Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 

Dr. Aker’s research focuses on professional learning, literacy coaching, and early literacy. Before joining the Radford University faculty, Lisa was a faculty member at Clemson University, where she began her current work investigating how in-service teachers enrolled in the online Literacy M.Ed. program use nonviolent communication in their literacy coaching practicums and the impact of cycles of professional learning across the undergraduate literacy courses in early childhood education programs.

Her work has been published in The Reading Teacher, Reading in Virginia, Effective Practices in Online Teacher Preparation for Literacy Educators, Social Studies and the Young Learner, and Best Practices for Literacy Leaders Key to School Improvement: 2nd Edition. Dr. Aker is also the co-editor of Literacy Matters: The Journal of the Palmetto State Literacy Association.


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Dr. Elizabeth Altieri (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Special Education – Visual Impairment and Adapted Curriculum
Office: Peters Hall C156
Phone: 540-831-5590
Email: ealtieri@radford.edu

Dr. Altieri co-supervises the special education/elementary education collaborative co-placement cohort in Montgomery County, VA. She teaches courses in special education and adapted curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She also advises undergraduate students in the five-year special education program and graduate students in the adapted curriculum and visual impairment concentrations.

Dr. Altieri has published on co-teaching, views on disability, reforms in special education, and portfolio assessment. She has been a participant and recipient of numerous personnel preparation grants in special education and special education/general education collaboration dating back to 1999. She has authored or co-authored, and received funding for numerous state and federal grants, and has significant not-for-profit and higher education administrative experience with grants management and program supervision. Dr. Altieri has a long time interest in the skills needed by general and special educators in supporting the academic success of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Prior to entering higher education, she was a classroom teacher for students 3-21 with severe disabilities and a behavior support specialist.

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Dr. Brad Bizzell (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Educational Leadership
Contact for the Master of Science in Educational Leadership Program
Office: Peters Hall A013
Phone: 540-831-5140
Email: bbizzell@radford.edu

Dr. Bizzell’s work in the field of educational leadership focuses on the development of school leaders, both initial development and ongoing development, and comprehensive approaches to school improvement.  He teaches courses in both the Master’s and Doctoral programs.  Dr. Bizzell’s areas of research interest include place-based education and leadership development, including the leveraging of technology for leadership development.

Dr. Bizzell serves as the Director of Publications for the International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership. He has several book chapters and books published on global education, online learning, and technology. He has been published in the International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, Journal on Computing, and Educational Leadership Review, as well as other professional publications. Prior to coming to Radford in 2012, Dr. Bizzell served in K-12 public schools as a teacher, elementary principal, and school improvement coordinator.

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Dr. Carol Bland (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Associate Professor
Elementary Education
Office: Peters Hall C161
Phone: 540-831-5782
Email: cbland@radford.edu

Dr. Bland’s interests include inclusive practices in the primary grades, collaboration among school professionals, and co-teaching. Ahe regularly presents her work on the representation of disability in picture books at local, regional, and national conferences. Dr. Bland teaches courses in instructional methodology and instructional design. She also supervises and mentors pre-service elementary teachers in co-placed, co-taught settings in public schools.

Dr. Bland has been published in Early Childhood Research & Practice and Childhood Education. She also has a chapter in A Survival for New Special Educators. She holds a Postgraduate Professional License to teach in Virginia with endorsements in Early Childhood Special Education and Early/Primary Education, PreK – Grade 3. Over the course of her teaching career in public schools, she has worked in literacy labs, school libraries, special education, a Virginia Preschool Initiative classroom, and first grade.

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Dr. Edwin Nii Bonney (University of Missouri)
Assistant Professor
Doctoral Program
Office: Peters Hall A028
Phone: 540-831-5244
Email: ebonney@radford.edu

Dr. Bonney earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri in 2021. His research centers on how educational leaders and educators disrupt and/or reinforce the marginalization of their minoritized, vulnerable, and racialized students’ languages, cultures, and histories. Dr. Bonney pays particular attention in his research to moments of disruption in and beyond educational spaces where students and community members are centering their own languages, cultures, and histories and are reshaping what is considered “normal” or standard. He has published several articles, book chapters, and policy briefs on decolonizing educational leadership, discourse analysis of educational policies and programs, refugee and immigrant education, school-community partnerships, and school-family engagement.

Dr. Bonney teaches courses and advises students in the doctoral education program. He is interested in learning and working alongside educational leaders in tackling problems of practice so that their students can be equitably served.

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Dr. Theresa L. Burriss (Union Institute & University)
Associate Professor
Director of Appalachian Studies and the Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center
Director of Academic Outreach for the Southwest Higher Education Center-Abingdon
Contact for Undergraduate Minor 
Office: Cook Hall 228
Phone: 540-831-6857
Email: tburriss@radford.edu

Theresa L. Burriss has a B.A. from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, an M.S. from Radford University in Radford, VA, and a Ph.D. from the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH. She teaches multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate classes in Appalachian Studies, Appalachian Literature for the Department of English, and a place-based education class and critical theories class in the School of Teacher Education & Leadership’s Ed.D. program.

Theresa was awarded a Fulbright Teaching & Research grant to Romania for fall 2021. She will teach Appalachian literature with a coal focus to English and American Studies students at Transilvania University in Brasov and conduct ethnographic research in the Jiu Valley, Romania’s coalmining region.

Theresa has published literary criticism on the Affrilachian Writers, including chapters in An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature (Ohio UP 2005) and Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region (Ohio UP 2013), for which she served as co-editor with Patricia Gantt. Her chapter, “Ecofeminist Sensibilities and Rural Land Literacies in the Work of Contemporary Appalachian Novelist Ann Pancake,” is part of the collection, Ecofeminism and Literature: Intersectional and International Voices (Routledge 2018), edited by Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey. Her photos and contextual essay, “Benham, Kentucky, Coalminer and Wise County, Virginia, Landscape” are included in Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy (West Virginia UP 2019), edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll. “Raven, Woman, Man: A/Religious Ecocritical Reading of Jim Minick’s Fire Is Your Water” will appear in Appalachian Ecocriticism (Louisiana UP 2022), edited by Jessica Cory and Laura White.

She was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam to serve a two-year term on the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice from 2021 – 2023. She was awarded an NEH Summer Institute Grant for the 2015 “Transcendentalism and Reform in the Age of Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller” in Concord, MA. Theresa is a board member for the nonprofit organization Appalachian Sustainable Development, and serves on the steering committee for Opportunity SWVA.

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Dr. Sarah Capello (University of Pittsburgh)
Assistant Professor
Doctoral Program
Office: Peters Hall A025
Phone: 540-831-6580
Email:  scapello@radford.edu

Sarah Capello earned a Ph.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies in 2018 from the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh and has nearly ten years of experience teaching in higher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. One strand of Dr. Capello’s research focuses on transformative EdD education and supporting the growth and development of educational leaders who are scholarly practitioners through practitioner inquiry, doctoral assessments, and dissertation writing. A second strand of research focuses on instructional supervision for pre-service and in-service teachers.

Dr. Capello has published articles in the Journal of Educational Supervision, Action in Teacher Education, College Teaching, Impacting Education, and has a forthcoming article in Teaching and Teacher Education. She currently teaches practitioner inquiry courses in the EdD program as well as chairs and serves on EdD dissertation committees.

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Dr. Darryl L. Corey (Florida State University)
Math Education
Contact for the Online Masters in Mathematics Education
Office: Peters Hall C147A
Phone: 540-831-7322
Email: dcorey3@radford.edu

Dr. Corey has more than 20 years of experience developing and coordinating distance-delivered graduate programs designed for practicing secondary mathematics teachers. These experiences include converting face-to-face programs into distance-delivered programs while creating and supervising the development of more than 20 new online and hybrid courses. He has also taught more than 70 sections of online and hybrid mathematics content and pedagogy courses.

Dr. Corey has published and presented regionally, nationally, and internationally on online/distance education, mathematics problem solving, and minority students’ learning of mathematics and has won two paper awards. He is committed to providing quality teacher professional development and has served as principal investigator, project director, and budget manager for multiple externally funded outreach programs for urban and rural ethnically diverse school districts. Dr. Corey has worked extensively in mathematics education, online teaching, and graduate programs.

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Dr. Gaston Dembele (Michigan State University)
Associate Professor
Elementary Education and Literacy
Office: Peters Hall A038
Phone: 540-831-7152
Email: gdembele@radford.edu

Dr. Dembele teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy and multicultural education. He also leads and supervises a cohort of elementary preservice teachers in Pulaski County. Dr. Dembele has served as President of the Virginia Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (VA-NAME) and currently serves as Co-Editor of the chapter’s newsletter, Educating for Equity: A Forum of VA-NAME. He also serves as a reviewer for Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, The White Privilege Conference Journal.

He was a Voluntary Worker/Teacher at the Sheiling Community in Ringwood, Southern England (16-25 year-old youth with severe learning disabilities) and a French Language Assistant at St. Bartholomew's Comprehensive School in Newbury, Southern England (Grades 6-12).

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Dr. Karen Douglas (University of Georgia)
Contact for Graduate Program for Special Education
Office: Peters Hall C162
Phone: 831-5313
Email: kdouglas13@radford.edu

Dr. Douglas teaches special education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in positive behavior supports and adaptive curriculum. She also supervises students in placements at the secondary level. Prior to teaching in higher education, she taught high school students with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder for four years in Georgia. She promoted inclusion, community-based instruction, and vocational-based instruction as a special educator.

Her research interests include using technology, literacy, and communication supports to enhance the academic and functional skills of individuals with severe disabilities. She conducts intervention studies using single-case research methodologies in school, university, and community settings. She contributes to the field by writing articles published in professional journals such as The Journal of Special Education, TEACHING Exceptional Children, The Journal of Special Education Technology, and Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She also writes book chapters and presents at state, national, and international conferences.

Dr. Douglas received her Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Georgia.

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Dr. Tricia Easterling (University of Memphis)
Elementary Science Education
Office: Peters Hall A030
Phone: 540-831- 5468
Email: easterling@radford.edu

Dr. Tricia Easterling currently teaches the introductory methods course for students in five different programs. A high priority for Dr. Easterling is to have students design instruction that is easy to follow and helps students make connections on their own. It is her belief that if students can figure information out on their own, they will feel successful and will likely want to continue learning. She strives to provide students with authentic experiences that mirror what occurs in successful area classrooms. Dr. Easterling has published on various topics including influence of time on task to learning, critical thinking, classroom management, and teaching science.

Dr. Easterling was an environmental educator for the State of Tennessee for seven years. As an environmental educator, she taught in 32 school districts and enjoyed entertaining and educating students ranging from pre-school through college. Her teaching experiences range from large urban systems like Tampa, FL, which included many diverse cultures, to smaller, rural school systems.

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Dr. Wendy Eckenrod-Green (University of North Carolina)
Educational Research and Foundations
Office: Peters Hall C159
Phone: 540-831-5835
Email: weckenrodgre@radford.edu

Dr. Wendy Eckenrod-Green has taught courses related to research, human development, and school and community relations. She is an active member of several professional associations and serves as a consultant for university, public schools and nonprofit organizations. She has also been the recipient of several awards including the Teacher of the Year for the College of Education and Human Development (2009), Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from the Radford University chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (2010), and an Emerging Leaders Award for the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (2010).

She has been published in the Journal of School Counseling and Counseling Today. Dr. Eckenrod-Green’s previous work experience is as a high school counselor, as well as providing individual counseling in areas of substance abuse, family dysfunction, and various mental health issues. 

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Dr. Antonio L. Ellis (Howard University)
Assistant Professor
Special Education
Office: Peters Hall C154
Phone: 831-7161
Email: alellis1@radford.edu

Dr. Ellis teaches special education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds academic degrees in educational leadership and policy, theological studies, higher education administration, and special education. Dr. Ellis is named a 2021 Emerging Scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. His research has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of African American Males in Education, Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships, Journal of Educational Foundations, and Perspectives on Urban Education Journal.

In addition, Dr. Ellis has written numerous book chapters, book reviews, expert opinion commentaries, and published four books. His two most recent books are titled Teacher Educators as Critical Storytellers: Effective Teachers as Windows and Mirrors and The Impact of Classroom Practices: Teacher Educators’ Reflection on Culturally Relevant Teachers. Dr. Ellis's forthcoming book is titled Critical Literacy and Its Impact on African American Boys’ Reading Readiness: Implications for Special Educators.

He has served as an inclusion teacher, central office administrator, and school building administrator with the District of Columbia Public Schools. Dr. Ellis's passion is advocating on behalf of persons with disabilities, with a special emphasis on African American males who are speech impaired. His research interests include social equity, pastoral care, pastoral ethics, educational leadership, multicultural education, critical race theory, and special education.

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Mary Evans (University of Virginia)
Special Education
Office: Peters Hall A043
Phone: 540-831-6207
Email: mlcoyle@RADFORD.EDU

Ms. Mary Evans has been an instructor at Radford for the past four years and teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Course topics include Introduction to Students who Access Adapted Curriculum; Characteristics of Learners with Disabilities who Access the General Education Curriculum; IEP, Assessment and Program Planning for Adapted Curriculum; Characteristics of Students with Severe Disabilities; and Collaborative Consultation and Communication Skills for Special Education. She also supervises students in the field during their graduate internships in special education. Ms. Evans has a special interest in inclusive education with a focus on best practices and instructional programming for students who access adapted curriculum. She has presented about best inclusive practices locally, nationally and internationally.

Previously, Ms. Evans taught for 27 years in Montgomery County Public Schools as a special education teacher, two years as a coordinator of special education (positive behavior supports and adapted curriculum), and two years as an adapted curriculum coach, supporting special education teachers in the county with programming and best inclusive practices for students accessing adapted curriculum. Ms. Evans also taught classes as an adjunct instructor in special education at Radford University for eight years. 

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Dr. Roofia Galeshi (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Associate Professor
Mathematics Education
Office: Peters Hall C147B
Phone: 540-831-7661
Email: rgaleshi@radford.edu

Dr. Galeshi’s teaching responsibilities include issues of equity in mathematics education and educational research. Her research interests include issues related to metacognition, teaching, learning, and educational assessment with psychometrics approach; measurement issues in psychological and achievement testing including validity and standard setting; and designing models for science, engineering, and math (STEM) faculty development for training students equipped with 21st century skills. She has worked on National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research experience for undergraduate to train and prepare STEM students for 21st century careers.

Dr. Galeshi has been published in multiple journals including International Journal of Quantitative Research and Education, Global Education Journal, and The Journal of Sustainability Education. She has four years of experience teaching in middle school and has co-taught multiple subjects, mainly mathematics and science.

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Dr. Sharon L. Gilbert (Auburn University)
Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education
Contact for Master of Science in Special Education, emphasis on Early Childhood Special Education, (Birth-Age 5) and Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Program
Office: Peters Hall C160
Phone: 540-831-7117
Email: sgilbert13@radford.edu

Dr. Gilbert teaches graduate and undergraduate courses such as assessment, program management, language development, and introduction to early childhood special education. She supervises interns completing their early intervention placement, working with children under the age of three with disabilities in home, childcare and school settings. She also supervises student teachers in their early childhood special education placements, which are always in public school settings working with children between three and five years of age with disabilities.

She has extensive experience in grant work, having successfully written and received grant funding for over $538,000 for personal research, personnel development, and training. Dr. Gilbert has published an Early Start Infant-Toddler Curriculumand an instructor’s manual for Communication Sciences and Disorders: A Clinical Evidence-Based Approach (3rd ed.). She has also completed two book reviews and is the APA editor for the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Her work experience was as an early interventionist and speech therapist in South Alabama.

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Dr. Katie Hilden-Clouse (Michigan State University)
Literacy Education
Contact for Master of Science in Literacy Education
Office: Peters Hall A017
Email: kclouse@radford.edu

Dr. Katie Hilden-Clouse’s research interests are informational text comprehension and reading assessment. She is active in the Virginia State Reading Association. Dr. Hilden-Clouse enjoys working with elementary teachers in Southwest Virginia through her grant work and the professional development that she provides.

She has been published in Reading in Virginia, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, and Reading and Writing Quarterly. Dr. Hilden-Clouse has also published multiple book chapters.

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Dr. Whitney Idol (University of North Carolina - Greensboro)
Assistant Professor
Early Childhood Special Education/Special Education
Office: Peters Hall C170
Phone: 540-831-7650
Email: widol@radford.edu

Dr. Whitney Idol teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in both the special education and early childhood special education programs. Her interests include students with emotional and behavioral disorders, behavioral crisis intervention, policy in special education, and teacher preparation. Dr. Idol’s areas of research include crisis interventions in the instructional setting, behavioral interventions, and teacher preparation practices.

Dr. Idol has worked as a special education teacher, behavioral consultant, and crisis intervention specialist/trainer. Additional experiences include teaching and supervising pre-service teachers. She has presented at national conferences including; Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), CEC-Teacher Education Division (TED), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP, DOE), and American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).    

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Dr. Brian Kitts (Radford University)
Educational Leadership
Office: Peters Hall A011
Phone: 540-831-5118
Email: bkitts@RADFORD.EDU

Dr. Brian Kitts joined the Radford University faculty after two decades of K-12 experience within Montgomery County Public Schools, serving as principal at both the elementary and secondary levels. Dr. Kitts’ educational work focuses on the development of comprehensive academic settings and servant school leadership. He teaches courses in the Educational Leadership Master’s program and supervises field experiences for aspiring school administrators. His research interests include student performance data in face-to-face versus virtual learning environments, school and community partnerships, and Virginia’s tiered systems of intervention and support. 

Dr. Kitts serves on the cabinet of Virginia Virtual and assists with academic assessment and testing coordination. He has served as a member of the College Board at New River Community College and the State Advisory Board for Youth of Virginia Speak Out (YOVASO).

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Dr. Melissa Lisanti (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Associate Professor
Elementary Education
Office: Peters Hall A012
Phone: 540-831-5438
Email: mlisanti2@radford.edu

Dr. Lisanti’s interests include professional learning in education, discourse, inclusive practice, and universally accessible curriculum and instructional design.  She is currently President-Elect for Learning Forward Virginia, a professional association that connects leaders in professional learning for educators around the state. She teaches classes in instructional methods for language arts and social studies and mentors pre-service teachers, allowing her to integrate all of her experiences and the things she loves most. Dr. Lisanti has been published in Social Studies and the Young Learner, Social Studies Research and Practice, Theory & Research in Social Education, and Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual. She also has several chapters in books.

Dr. Lisanti has had the privilege of working in public school and university settings in education for over 15 years.  Prior to joining the faculty at Radford University, she earned a National Board for Professional Teaching certification, served as a project coordinator for various K-12 professional development grants, and mentored pre-service and new teachers in the field.  Most recently, her work as a Project Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Center at Radford University afforded her diverse opportunities to work with school leaders, teachers, and students throughout southwest Virginia to enrich opportunities for students with disabilities.

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Kristy McCowan

Mrs. Kristy McCowan
Special Education
Office Peters Hall A021
Phone: 540-831-5843
Email: kmccowan@radford.edu

Kristy McCowan teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Course topics include: Introduction to Students who Access Adapted Curriculum, Introduction to Students with Diverse Learning Needs and the Special Education Process, and Proactive Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support. She also supervises students during their internships in special education.

Previously, Mrs. McCowan has taught as an elementary, general education teacher in Buchanan County Public Schools and as a secondary, special education teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools. While working in Montgomery County, Mrs. McCowan has served as a cooperating teacher for student teachers in the Radford teacher education program, mentor teacher to new special education teachers, and a scorer for the Virginia Alternative Assessment Program. She was also a dedicated member of the Positive Behavior Supports and Interventions Committee, partaking in roles such as the minute keeper and as the lead teacher.

Mrs. McCowan has collaborated and worked as a teacher’s assistant to professors at both Radford University and George Mason University for the past two years.

Mrs. McCowan has a specialized interest in inclusive education. She has presented about best inclusive practices within Montgomery County, Virginia, the TASH International Conference (2017), and for the Virtual Teaching Panel for the Virginia Council for Learning Disabilities and The Virginia Council for Exceptional Children (2020).

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Dr. Darren Minarik (Virginia Polytecnic Institute and State University)
Associate Professor
Special Education
Office: Peters Hall A007
Phone: 540-831-7660
Email: dminarik@radford.edu

Darren Minarik has spent over 25 years in social studies and special education advocating for inclusive practices that open opportunities for young people and adults to become active, responsible, and independent citizens. Dr. Minarik currently serves as graduate advisor for students in the five-year special education program and he teaches courses and does field supervision at the undergraduate and graduate level. Course topics include introduction to special education for secondary educators, collaboration for diverse learners, teaching and transitioning exceptional learners in the secondary general education curriculum, and characteristics of students with disabilities who access the general curriculum. He also works in collaboration with the secondary social science teacher education program, supporting pre-service secondary social studies teachers who work in inclusive educational settings.

Dr. Minarik is the co-director of the Virginia Inclusive Practices Center at Radford University and is a senior staff member for the American Civics Center, a nonpartisan civic education organization based in Washington, D.C. He has presented at the state, national, and international level and has numerous publications including the book, Social Studies and Exceptional Learners, the first comprehensive guide to teaching students with disabilities in inclusive K-12 social studies classrooms. His current research addresses educational intersections between the social sciences and special education, with an emphasis on inclusive educational practices, self-determination, transition to adult life, collaboration, disability history, and citizenship education. 

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Dr. Kristan Morrison (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Educational Research and Foundations
Office: Peters Hall A034
phone: 540-831-7120
Email: kmorrison12@radford.edu

Dr. Kristan Morrison teaches foundations of education courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Her research focus is on student-directed learning.  Dr. Morrison has widely published and presented on schools and homeschool learning environments which allow children high levels of autonomy in what they study and how, and she also consults regionally, nationally, and internationally with schools seeking to develop such approaches.

Dr. Morrison has published a book (Free School Teaching with the State University of NY Press), book chapters (in Democracy and Decency and Hollywood Goes to College), and in numerous journals including International Journal of Multicultural Education, Journal of Thought, Educational Horizons, Rethinking Schools, and Equity & Excellence in Education.

Dr. Morrison has taught in both public and private middle schools (7th grade Social Studies and Language Arts, 8th grade History, 6th-8th grade gifted support specialist).  In 2015, Dr. Morrison received the Donald N. Dedmon Distinguished Teaching Professor award from the Radford University Foundation. Watch the video profile of Professor of Education Kristan Morrison as she describes her role as an educator.

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Dr. Boyoung Park (University of Georgia)
Early Childhood
Office: Peters Hall C163
Phone: 540-831-7118
Email: bpark3@radford.edu

Dr. Boyoung Park teaches early childhood education and human development courses and supervises undergraduates in childcare and Head Start settings. Her scholarly and professional endeavors relate to young children’s development and learning, teacher education, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation, and family involvement.

Dr. Park has been published in Upcoming Generation, School Community Journal, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Focus on Pre-K & K, and Dimensions of Early Childhood. She also has two book chapters. She used to teach children, birth to four years old, in Korea.

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Dr. Jennifer Jones Powell (University of Virginia)
Literacy Education
Office: Peters Hall A019
Phone: 540-831-5311
Email: jjones292@radford.edu

Dr. Jennifer Jones Powell teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, which focus on research-based ways to assess, teach and support the teaching of reading in the K-12 academic setting.  She has specific interests in the areas of literacy assessment and intervention within a Response-to-Intervention framework, as well as in the clinical setting; reading comprehension; and effective, ongoing professional development. Dr. Jones Powell, in collaboration with colleagues from Radford University and Virginia Tech, has been awarded over $800,000 in grants, internal and external, which have been primarily dedicated to the professional development of teachers.    

Dr. Jones Powell has published articles in such venues as The Reading Teacher, Reading Research Quarterly, and Science and Children, and she has co-authored two books, as well as invited chapters for various books. She has served on the board of the Literacy Research Association (LRA) as Field Council Chair and currently serves as the Chair of the Albert J. Kingston Committee for LRA. Dr. Jones Powell currently serves on the International Literacy Association’s Standards Revision Committee. Dr. Jones Powell has also served as President of the Virginia College Reading Educators (VCRE), President of the Virginia State Reading Association (VSRA), and on the Board of Directors of the Roanoke Valley Reading Association.  Dr. Jones Powell served as Editor of Reading in Virginia, Journal of the Virginia State Reading Association, and as Editor of Educational Practice & Reform, the College of Education and Human Development’s online journal at Radford University.

A former third and fourth grade teacher, Jennifer Jones Powell has served as a literacy consultant in various school systems, grades K-12, with a focus on word study, as well as comprehension instruction.

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Dr. Holly Robbins (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Elementary Education
Contact for Certificate in Gifted Education
Office: Peters Hall A016
Phone: 540-831-6844
Email: hhrobbins@radford.edu

Dr. Robbins’ interests include gifted education, teaching writing, and preservice teacher development. She has 10+ years of experience supervising teacher candidates in inclusive, rural schools.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in gifted education, classroom management, and language arts instruction. She has served as a consultant on grants including Leading in Reading and Integration Station: Bridging Best Practices in Literacy and Science.

Dr. Robbins has published articles in Equity & Excellence in Education, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, The Teacher Educators’ Journal, and Reading in Virginia. She serves as the research section editor of Educational Practice & Reform, the online journal published by the Radford University - College of Education and Human Development. Dr. Robbins’ work experience includes being a first and fourth grade teacher, as well as a gifted education teacher.

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Dr. Ann Mary Roberts (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Secondary Social Studies
Contact for Secondary Social Studies Education Program
Office: Peters Hall A037
Phone: 540-831-7119
Email: aroberts@radford.edu

Dr. Ann Mary Roberts teaches the socials studies methods’ classes as well as the foundations of education classes. Dr. Roberts is heavily involved in the Peace Studies program at Radford University where she teaches introduction to peace studies and mentors peace minor students. She is also involved in the Malawi study abroad program since 2009, when she served as the faculty advisor for that year’s cohort.  Her research interests include social emotional learning in the schools, holistic education, creativity and teacher preparation, and spirituality and education.

Dr. Roberts has been involved with Social Emotional Learning since 1979 when she was a trainer at the RAFT Hotline in Blacksburg, VA.  She developed Social Emotional Learning programs for middle and high school students through the Montgomery Office on Youth. Dr. Roberts has been involved in middle schools since 1985 in a variety of capacities including student assistant counselor work in Hampton, VA, middle school social studies teacher, and teacher educator. She was a secondary social studies teacher at an alternative education program for Montgomery County Schools where students were trained in empathy skills and participated in outdoor experiential education.

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Dr. Greg Sherman (Arizona State University)
Technology Education and Foundations
Office: Peters Hall A042
Phone: 540-831-6859
Email: gsherman2@radford.edu

Dr. Sherman has contributed to the design and development of technology-supported and completely online coursework and programs in teacher education. He regularly conducts research and evaluation projects addressing problems associated with the systematic design and evaluation of effective technology‐supported learning environments. He has also worked as an instructional design and evaluation consultant for such organizations as the National Science Teachers Association, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, and Healthcare Education Online.

Dr. Sherman has been published in the Journal of Science Teacher Education, Journal of Science Education and Technology, and Technology and Education’s Edge, as well as other professional publications. He is a professional educator, initially prepared as a secondary science teacher during the 1980's. He taught secondary science for ten years.

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Dr. Ryan Smith (North Carolina State University)
Associate Professor
Math Education
Contact for Secondary Math Program
Contact for the Graduate Program for Education
Office: Peters Hall A006
Phone: 540-831-6158
Email: rsmith630@radford.edu

Dr. Ryan C. Smith teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses focused on the teaching and learning of mathematics and supervises prospective middle school and secondary teacher candidates in their field experiences. His research interests include the use of technology in the mathematics classroom and the factors that influence teachers’ decision when planning and implementing mathematics lessons involving the use of technology. He has worked on local and nationally funded projects focused on researching and developing teachers’ knowledge and skills in effectively integrating technology into the mathematics classroom.

Dr. Smith has published articles in Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Mathematics Teacher Educator, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education. Dr. Smith currently serves as a member of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators’ Technology committee.

Dr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Auburn University, his Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Houston, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University. His work experience was as a high school mathematics teacher in Houston, TX for five years.

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Karen Stinson (M.S. from University of Phoenix)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Contact for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education Program
Office: Peters Hall C157
Phone: 540-831-5549
Email: kastinson@radford.edu

Ms. Stinson teaches courses in the undergraduate and graduate Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. The courses focus on American Sign Language (ASL), introduction to asl and deaf culture, audiologic rehabilitation, and introduction to deaf and hard of hearing, as well as supervised students in internship and student teaching. Ms. Stinson has been a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in public and residential schools, using Total Communication, Cued Speech, and American Sign Language.

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Dr. Cheri Triplett (University of Georgia)
Associate Professor
Literacy Education
Office: Peters Hall A020
Phone: 540-831-7191
Email: cftriplet@radford.edu

Dr. Triplett teaches undergraduate methods courses on comprehension instruction and assessment practices in reading. She also teaches several graduate courses on alternative approaches to reading. Her research interests include children's emotions and motivation in literacy contexts.

She has been published in the Journal of Reading Education, Journal for Multicultural Education, the International Journal of Education, as well as multiple other professional publications. Dr. Triplett taught K-1 for 5 years in North Carolina and was a teacher’s assistant in kindergarten for 2 years.

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Dr. Maxwell Yurkofsky (Harvard University)
Assistant Professor
Doctoral Program
Office: A029
Phone: 540-831-5190
Email: myurkofsky@radford.edu

Dr. Yurkofsky obtained his Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2020. He teaches in the Doctor of Education program and the Master’s in Educational Leadership program, and is committed to preparing school and system leaders to strategically utilize improvement science, organizational theory, evaluation, and design principles to inquire into and address high-leverage problems of practice. His research centers on understanding how school systems can organize for continuous improvement towards more ambitious and equitable visions of learning. 

Dr. Yurkofsky has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Review of Research in Education, The Harvard Educational Review, Teaching and Teacher Education, Computers & Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Policy, and the Peabody Journal of Education. His dissertation won the “Dissertation of the Year” award from the Leadership for School Improvement Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association in 2021. 

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