Ph.D., Michigan State
She received a Masters of Art in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Massachusetts, as well as an International Relations from the University of Delaware. Her research interests include literacy instruction and inclusion strategies.
Richard Blumberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Blumberg holds a Ph.D. in Special Education and Rehabilitation from the University of Oregon, and an M.A. in Counseling from the University of San Francisco. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor. His research interests include individuals with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, and emotional behavioral disorders, the transition from school to adult life, positive psychology and positive behavioral support. Dr. Blumberg teaches in TCNJ’s Global Programs and has consulted with schools and government agencies across the U.S. and internationally.
Dr. Blumberg is the Principal Investigator of the CCS Plus Project a five year grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The intent of this project is to; 1) develop a model transition and post- secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (IDD) at TCNJ; 2) better prepare students with IDD and their families for college as a transition/post-secondary option; and 3) consult and collaborate with other Colleges and Universities interested in developing post-secondary programs for youth with IDD.
Dr. Blumberg is the Director of the Center for Autism at The College of New Jersey. The mission of the Center is to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families by providing innovative services and continuing education programs for families and professionals; conducting field based research to evaluate promising practices in academic, career and social supports; and training professionals in the areas of applied behavioral analysis and positive behavioral support. http:// centerforautism.pages.tcnj.edu
Dallas Cheek, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Cheek earned his doctorate from Texas A&M in curriculum and instruction. His research interests include content area literacy at the secondary level. He has been on faculty at TCNJ since 1992.
Dr. Cohen obtained a Ph.D. from Temple University with research in the area of psycholinguistics and an M.A. in Speech and Language Pathology from the same university. His continuing research interests encompass a number of areas: 1) preservice training of regular and special education teacher candidates; 2) communication disorders; 3) use of “total communication” with students with disabilities; 4) language and communication problems in individuals with autism and related disabilities; 5) international aspects of special education.
Amy Dell’s area of expertise is assistive technology for children and adults with disabilities. She teaches courses at TCNJ on assistive technology and directs the Center on Assistive Technology and Inclusive Education Studies (CATIES). She is the first author of the textbook Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Enhancing the School Experiences of Students with Disabilities—2nd Edition published in 2012 by Pearson.
Dr. Pancsofar received a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a research specialization in Early Childhood, Intervention and Literacy. Her research focuses on children’s language development and collaborative relationships in classroom communities. Dr. Pancsofar teaches courses in special education, language development, collaboration, and research in special education. Selected publications:
Pancsofar, N., Vernon-Feagans, L., and The Family Life Project Investigators (2010). Fathers’ early contributions to children’s language development in families from low-income rural communities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 450-463.
Pancsofar, N., Vernon-Feagans, L., Odom, E., & Roe, J. (2008). Family relationships during infancy and later mother and father vocabulary use with young children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 493-503.
Vernon-Feagans, L., Pancsofar, N., Willoughby, M., Odom, E., Quade, A., Cox, M., & The Family Life Project Investigators. (2008). Predictors of maternal language to infants during a picture book task in the home: Family SES, child characteristics and the parenting environment. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 213-226.
Pancsofar, N., & Vernon-Feagans, L. (2006). Mother and father language input to young children: Contributions to later language development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 571-587.
Jerry Petroff obtained a Ph.D. from Temple University in Psychological Studies in Special Education. He earned both his master and bachelor degrees from The College of New Jersey. He holds several New Jersey teaching certificates and is certified as a Supervisor of Special Education. Dr. Petroff’s research interests include transition to post-secondary life for students with severe disabilities, early communication and family life. He has been on faculty since 2001.
Dr. Petroff, in collaboration with Amy Dell and Deborah Newton (Univ of Southern Connecticut), has recently authored the textbook Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Enhancing the School Experiences of Students with Disabilities published by Prentice Hall.
Shridevi Rao, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator
Shridevi Rao received her Ph.D. in Special Education from Syracuse University in 1996. Her interests
include cultural constructions of disability, inclusive education, and teacher candidate resistance to
dominant constructions of disability. She has conducted several ethnographic studies and authored
articles that focus on families’, teachers’, and teacher candidates’ constructions of disability. She
has taught two freshman seminars over the last 7 years including a recent one titled Ability and Dis/
Ability: Deconstructing and Disrupting the Social and Cultural Gaze. Shri is currently working on the
manuscript of a book titled South Asia and Disability Studies: Redefining boundaries and extending
horizons. The book addresses the interpretations of disability within different South Asian contexts
including policy, family, educational systems, films, and literary narratives.
Rao, S. & Petroff, J. (2011). “He is more like us, looking for a person to date and eventually share his
life with”: Perspectives of undergraduate students on being a member of a circle of support. Disability
and Society, 26(4), 463-475.
Rao, S. (2008). “Oos Sensei! Oos Sempai:” A karate school and lessons on inclusion.
International Journal of Inclusive Education, 12(3), 281-299.
Rao, S. (2006). Parameters of normality and cultural constructions of ‘mental retardation’:
Perspectives of Bengali families. Disability and Society, 21(2), 159-178.
Rao, S. & Kalyanpur, M. (2002). Promoting home-school collaboration in positive behavioral support.
In J. Lucyshyn, G. Dunlap & R. Albin (Eds.), Families and positive behavioral support: Addressing
the challenge of problem behaviors in family contexts (pp.219-241). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Kathleen M. Rotter, Ed.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Rotter received her doctorate from Rutgers University and her bachelor’s degree from
The College of New Jersey. Before coming to TCNJ Dr. Rotter served as a Director of
Special Services and the coordinator of due process and mediation for the New Jersey
Department of Education. Her research interests include special education law, the
work of the Child Study Teams, the Orton Gillingham literacy approach to reading
remediation, and teaching pupils with specific learning disabilities. She has served as an
expert witness/consultant for many school districts in New Jersey on special education
due process matters.
Jean Slobodzian, Ed.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Slobodzian received her doctorate from Rutgers University, her master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, and her bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey. She has extensive experience as a classroom teacher working with deaf and hard of hearing students. In addition, she holds national certification as a sign language interpreter and as a teacher of American Sign Language. Dr. Slobodzian combines a sociocultural lens with qualitative research methods to study identity development, cross-cultural relationships, and issues of equity. Embracing a configured concept that fuses pedagogy and scholarship, her research agenda also includes mentoring of students in community-based research projects.
Lynn Smith , Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Smith earned a B.S. in speech pathology and audiology from NYU, and a M.Ed. in education of the deaf from Smith College. She taught deaf children for several years before returning to university where she worked as a research associate in the field of speech perception of deaf children. Along the way, she earned a certificate of clinical competence in audiology from The American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. She earned a Ph.D. in speech and hearing science from The City University of New York. Dr. Smith received the recognition of The Best of Audiology Literature from The American Academy of Audiology. At TCNJ, Dr. Smith served as chair of the Institutional Review Board for several years.
Kathryne Speaker, Ed.D.
Dr. Speaker received her doctorate from Temple University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, her master’s degree from the University of Virginia in Reading and her bachelor’s degree from LaSalle University in English Education. She is the Coordinator for the graduate program in Reading at TCNJ. Her research interests include: literacy and technology, storytelling and language acquisition, children’s museums and learning environments. Dr. Speaker’s campus commitments include the Academic Integrity Committee, Faculty Senate and the First Seminar Program.
Barbara K. Strassman, Ed.D., Professor and Coordinator of the Program in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Dr. Strassman is Coordinator of the Program in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She holds certification as a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Reading Specialist, Teacher of Reading, and Principal/Supervisor. Her current research focuses on technology and writing instruction. Dr. Strassman has served on local Boards of Education and maintains an active role in several national and international organizations. She received her doctorate from Columbia University.
Jean Wong, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Wong earned a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from the University of California at Los Angeles. Her research interests include using conversation analysis (CA) to examine language and social interaction particularly in novice and fluent speakers’ (native/non-native) English conversation. She is also interested in exploring ways in which CA may be used to enhance second language pedagogy and to raise teachers’ awareness of the interactional practices of talk-in-interaction. Her work has appeared in Applied Linguistics, ELT Journal, Issues in Applied Linguistics, International Review of Applied Linguistics, Pragmatics and Language Learning (forthcoming/2012), and Research on Language and Social Interaction. She has also contributed book chapters in edited volumes (Bowles & Seedhouse, 2007; Gardner & Wagner, 2004; Houck & Tatsuki, 2011; Richards & Seedhouse, 2005). Dr. Wong co-authored a book, with Dr. Hansun Waring of Teachers College, Columbia University entitled Conversation Analysis and Second Language Pedagogy: A Guide for ESL Teachers (Routledge, 2010). See http://www.tcnj.edu/~jwong.
Yiqiang Wu, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator of TESL
Yiqiang Wu received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on TESL/Bilingual Education from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in English and Linguistics from the same university. His current research includes TESL/Bilingual instructional and learning strategies, L1 and L2 skill transfer, and trouble spots in L2 learning. His latest book is entitled Teaching English to Chinese Students Effectively. He has recently coauthored an English textbook for middle schools in China. He is coordinator of off-site TESL programs and director of a National Professional Development Grant: Creating a Team of Highly Qualified Professionals (CTHQP). The grant provides ESL certification programs and workshops to mainstream teachers and all other professionals in schools districts around New Jersey. He serves on the Council for the Education of Language Minority Students of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.