Faculty & Staff Profiles

 

Department Chair

Dr. Heidi Higgins
Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno
Associate Professor

Dr. Higgins is currently holding the position of Department Chair and is also an Associate Professor of Elementary Mathematics Education and teaches graduate and undergraduate Methods of Teaching Mathematics courses.  She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Specialties with an emphasis in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics Prek-8 in 2006, an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in 1999, and a B.S. in Elementary & Special Education in 2006 from the University of Nevada, Reno.  Her teaching and research areas of interest and expertise include children’s mathematical thinking, pre-service teachers’ understanding of mathematical concepts, international approaches to teaching mathematics, impact of intellectual development on ability to implement best teaching practices in mathematics, and teaching mathematics for social equity.


Image may contain: 3 people, including Martin Wasserberg and Ethel Lam Wasserberg, people smiling, people sitting and indoorAssistant Department Chair

Dr. Martin Wasserberg
Ph.D., Florida International University
Associate Professor

Dr. Wasserberg obtained his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida International University. His past work as an elementary school teacher and curriculum leader in Miami, FL informs his passion for urban education and equitable practices for marginalized students. Dr. Wasserberg teaches face-to-face, hybrid and online courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These include courses on Teaching Diverse Learners and the Graduate Colloquium. His research focuses on the influence of stereotyping on elementary students, student perspectives on teaching and learning, and preparing educators to teach in urban settings. Dr. Wasserberg’s research has been recently published in The Elementary School Journal and presented at national conferences including AERA and EQRC. He is currently the Assistant Department Chair and Elementary Program Coordinator.


Administrative Associate
Ms. Laurie Howell

Administrative Associate
Ms. Phyllis Pierce


Full Time Faculty

Dr. Lisa Brown Buchanan
Ph.D., The University of North Carolina Greensboro
Associate Professor

Dr. Buchanan is an Associate Professor of Elementary Social Studies Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Literacy, Middle Level, and Special Education.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses including elementary social studies, supervision, action research, and literacy. Prior to her tenure in teacher education, Dr. Buchanan was an elementary classroom teacher. Her research agenda is focused on preservice teachers’ perceptions of teaching topics regarded as controversial (e.g., race, immigration, religion, family structure) including using film, discussion, and children’s literature to broach avoided topics. Dr. Buchanan has served as co-planner and site host for the Elementary Social Studies Education Summit in 2019 and 2020 and has served on the editorial board of Social Studies and the Young Learner since 2013. She coedited (Re)Imagining elementary social studies: A controversial issues reader and has been published in numerous social studies education and teacher education journals including Journal of Teacher Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, Journal of Social Studies Research, Social Studies Research and Practice, The Social Studies, and Social Education.


Dr. Nancy Cerezo
Ph.D., University of North Carolina Greensboro
Lecturer

Dr. Cerezo obtained her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on mathematics education after 23 years teaching in the K-8 classroom setting. She serves as one of our instructors as well as supervising our interns in their final semester of the educational program. Her previous years as an assistant and associate professor with other universities provided opportunities to teach courses in assessment, mathematics methods, reading and literacy as well as lead seminars for education majors. Her research areas of interest are educational assessment, problem-based learning and mathematics education.


Dr. Elizabeth O. Crawford
Ph.D., The College of William and Mary
Associate Professor

Dr. Crawford specializes in instructional design and global social studies education. She was a 2017-2018 Global Teacher Education Fellow and currently serves as a HundrED Ambassador, a Helsinki-based non-profit that identifies and helps to spread scalable K12 education innovations around the world. She collaborates with faculty and educators in the U.S. and abroad on shared efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She has developed and field-tested units of study on global citizenship, peace education, and environmental sustainability for the Peace Corps World Wise Schools, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and the Institute for Humane Education. Her recent curriculum pilot on SDG 12 Responsible Consumerism was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Education article in Childhood Education: Innovations. Forthcoming work will appear in Inquiry-Based Global Learning in the K12 Social Studies Classroom (Routledge Press) and The Middle Grades Curriculum and the Self Enhancing School (Information Age Publishing).


Dr. Kathy R. Fox 
Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara
Professor

Dr. Fox is a Professor in the Elementary and Language and Literacy programs. After spending 20+ years as a Pre-K-2nd grade teacher in California, she completed her Ph.D. studies in Multicultural Perspectives of Education from UCSB. Since joining faculty at UNCW, she teaches literacy courses with a focus on family and community literacies. Dr. Fox’s research interests are family literacy, children’s literature from an additive perspective, and teacher education. Most recent publications center on teacher-caregiver communication using technology and teacher-community relationships in rural communities. Dr. Fox is an active member of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer network at UNCW and the Cape Fear region,  after serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho, Southern Africa.


Dr. Crystalyn Goodnight 
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Associate Professor

Dr. Goodnight is an Associate Professor of special education in the department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A.T. in Special Education from the University North Carolina at Charlotte and a B.S. in Psychology from James Madison University. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., Dr. Goodnight was a K-5 special education teacher and an Exceptional Children’s Program Specialist with Iredell-Statesville Schools. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary and special education related to reading methods, disability characteristics, and meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Her teaching and research interests and expertise include instructional professional development and coaching, beginning reading instruction, explicit instruction, and evidence-based practices for students at risk or with disabilities. Dr. Goodnight’s work has recently been published in the Journal of Behavioral Education and Preventing School Failure and presented at the national and state Council for Exceptional Children conferences.


Mrs. Maggie Guggenheimer 
M. Ed., The University of North Carolina Wilmington 
Lecturer 

Ms. Maggie Guggenheimer is a math lecturer in the Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her professional teaching background began as an elementary teacher in New Hanover County Schools in 1998.  She then served as the Math and Science Curriculum Specialist for NHCS from 2003 – 2007.  During her career, Guggenheimer has served as a writer for NCTM Illuminations and presented many workshops around North Carolina, mostly focusing on mathematics instruction. Her interests include math professional development, math teaching strategies, using technology to teach about math, generational learners and integrating art into mathematics. She has been teaching the math methods courses at UNCW for 16 years. She received her M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2002.


Dr. Tracy Hargrove
Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Professor

Dr. Hargove is an Associate Professor of elementary mathematics education and Program Coordinator for the Elementary Master of Arts in Teaching in the department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a cognate in mathematics and technology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She also holds an M.A in elementary education and a B.A. in music from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.   She is the recipient of the 2006 UNCW Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award, the 2008 UNCW Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award and the 2008 Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award.  Dr. Hargrove teaches courses in mathematics education including elementary mathematics methods, mathematics assessment, and leadership in mathematics. Dr. Hargrove is a former elementary mathematics teacher and school system technology coordinator.  Her research interests include technology in teaching and learning, methods for teaching mathematics with understanding, and authentic assessment versus high-stakes accountability.  Dr. Hargrove co-authored a book on the Unintended Consequences of High-Stakes Testing (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) and advocates for a more balanced approach to assessment and evaluation. 


Dr. Heidi Higgins
Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno
Associate Professor

Dr. Higgins is currently holding the position of Department Chair and is also an Associate Professor of Elementary Mathematics Education and teaches graduate and undergraduate Methods of Teaching Mathematics courses.  She earned her PhD in Educational Specialties with an emphasis in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics Prek-8 in 2006, an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in 1999, and a B.S. in Elementary & Special Education in 2006 from the University of Nevada, Reno.  Her teaching and research areas of interest and expertise include children’s mathematical thinking, pre-service teachers’ understanding of mathematical concepts, international approaches to teaching mathematics, impact of intellectual development on ability to implement best teaching practices in mathematics, and teaching mathematics for social equity.


Dr. Jeremy Hilburn
Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Associate Professor

My research interest falls into several interconnected strands, broadly related to immigration and social studies education. My current line of inquiry is examining the influences that affect how teachers conceptualize and teach immigration and immigrant youth.  These influences include curriculum, media, changing school and regional demographics, policies, and teacher education.  A second strand relates to social studies pedagogy in multiple contexts – middle level, secondary, and teacher education. I teach in the Middle Grades program and I am currently the Middle Grades MAT program coordinator.


Dr. Allison R. Jones
Ph.D., University of North Carolina Charlotte
Associate Professor

Dr. Jones is an Associate Professor in special education in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis in Secondary Transition from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Prior to earning her Ph.D., she completed her B.S. and M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in Secondary Transition from the University of Maryland College Park. Dr. Jones was a high school special education teacher where she provided transition services to students with high and low-incidence disabilities. She teaches graduate and undergraduate special education courses related to disability characteristics, IEP development, IDEA, and transition planning. Her teaching and research areas of interest and expertise include working with culturally and linguistically diverse families, self-determination, and transitioning students with disabilities to the adult world. 


Dr. Meredith Jones 
Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Assistant Professor

Dr. Jones is an Assistant Professor in the Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy for Early Childhood program.  She earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.Ed. and B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Prior to joining UNCW, she was a Title 1 pre-kindergarten teacher and worked as a Child Care Program Specialist for the Office of Child Care in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.  Her teaching and research areas of interest include leadership in early childhood education, global perspectives of early childhood education, and father engagement in the early years. Dr. Jones’s work has recently been published in the International Journal of Teacher Education and Professional Development and presented at international conferences including the European Early Childhood Education Research Association conference. She is currently the Program Coordinator for the Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy for Early Childhood program.


Dr. Chuck Jurich
Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Assistant Professor

Chuck Jurich is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy in the department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education and is currently the Language and Literacy MED program coordinator. His research interests focus on sociocultural and constructivist approaches to both conventional and new literacies practices with particular attention on digital, multimodal, and multi-authored texts. Prior to his work in higher education, Chuck was an elementary classroom teacher for 8 years and program director of a long-running after-school video production club for elementary-aged children. 


Dr. Hengameh Kermani
Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara
Associate Professor



Dr. Martin Kozloff
Ph.D., Washington University St. Louis
Professor


Dr. Lou LaNunziata
Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Associate Professor

Dr. LaNunziata is an Associate Professor of Special Education and teaches undergraduate courses in special education.  These include courses on Inclusive Classrooms, Behavioral Development and Behavioral Disorders. He earned his Ph.D. in Learning and Behavioral Disorders/Applied Behavior Analysis along with a Minor in Educational Administration from the Ohio State University in 1982, an M.Ed. in behavioral Disorders from Bloomsburg University of Pa. in 1978, a B.S. in Special Education/mild and severe from East Stroudsburg University of Pa. in 1975, and an A.A. in Social Sciences form Luzerne Community College of Pa. in 1973.  His research focuses on the influence of positive behavior intervention programs on K-12 students’ academic and social behaviors, response to intervention programming, applied behavior analysis, and methods of educating students with behavioral and emotional disorders.  He has published in The Journal of Educational Research, The Journal of Counseling and Rehabilitation, and Behavioral Disorders. Dr. LaNunziata received the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award, The Distinguished Teaching professorship Award, the Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award, and was nominated for the Governor’s Award for Excellence during his tenure at UNCW.


Dr. Christine Liao
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Associate Professor

Christine Liao teaches arts integration to undergraduate and graduate in the Elementary Education program. Her research areas include media arts, digital performance, theorizing virtual body and identity, exploring interactions between virtual and real, STEAM, technology integration in art education, and community art. She has presented at national and international conferences including National Art Education Association (NAEA), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and International Society of Education through Arts (InSEA) and has published in Journal of Art Education, Visual Culture and Gender, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, and Visual Arts Research. She also authored and co-authored several book chapters published by NAEA, Springer, and IGI Global. She is also the Managing Editor of International Journal of Education and the Arts, Chair of the NAEA Art Education Technology Issues Group from 2013 to 2016, and Web Coordinator of NAEA Women’s Caucus.


Dr. Carol McNulty
Ph.D., University of Georgia
Associate Professor

Dr. McNulty is an Associate Professor in the Elementary Education program. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia; MEd from Mercer University, and a BA from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. A former elementary teacher in the Atlanta area, she now teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses including introductory courses, social studies methods, and internship supervision. She has served in various leadership roles in the university including Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Interim Graduate Dean, and Special Assistant to the Provost. Her current research interests include using strengths-based and solutions-focused practices with teacher candidates, practicing teachers, and students.


Dr. Amelia Moody
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Professor

Amelia Moody, Ph.D., is a full professor of early childhood special education in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). She received her doctorate in special education from the University of Virginia in 2007 and currently serves as the Director for the Center for Assistive DR. Moody is a member of the STEM Learning Cooperative and STEM Southeastern North Carolina. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in both early childhood and special education programs. Dr. Moody’s research interests surround the use of technologies to support young children with disabilities with a focus on students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is the recipient of the 2018 UNCW Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Moody co-authored a book entitled Autism spectrum disorder in the inclusive classroom (Routledge).


Dr. Shelby Morge
Ph.D., Indiana University
Associate Professor

Dr. Morge is an Associate Professor of mathematics education in the middle grades program in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Literacy, Middle Level, and Special Education.  Prior to coming to UNCW, she received her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics education and taught middle school and high school mathematics and computers in Indiana. She completed her Masters and Ph.D. in mathematics education with a minor in mathematics from Indiana University.  Since arriving at UNCW, Dr. Morge has taught courses for the NC-PIMS program, served as a member of the development team for the NC Elementary Mathematics Add-On License and has been involved in other state-wide grants and initiatives such as NC-NAEP. She has served on the NCCTM Board as the Eastern Region College Vice President and State College Vice President.  Dr. Morge teaches courses for middle grades and secondary preservice teachers and elementary education graduate students. She is the middle grades undergraduate program coordinator and the coordinator for the Elementary Mathematics Add-On Licensure program. Dr. Morge has been involved in several local professional development initiatives for NC teachers through co-writing grants and leading workshops. Her research focuses on mathematics teacher education, professional development, and mathematics-related beliefs.


Dr. Sharon Richter
Ph.D., Indiana University
Associate Professor


Dr. Kathleen Roney
Ed.D., Temple University
Professor

Kathleen Roney is Professor of middle level education. She loves the years she has spent in teaching and administration at the elementary, middle grades, secondary, and higher education levels. Dr. Roney advocates for the preparation of middle grades teachers in line with middle level education’s developmentally responsive model of working with young adolescents. She is a past recipient of the Outstanding Professor of Middle Level Education award from the National Professors of Middle Level Education. Her scholarship is centered on middle grades programs and practices. She has presented her research in middle level education at many international, national, and regional conferences.


Dr. Caitlin L. Ryan
Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Associate Professor

A former K-5 literacy/reading teacher in Washington, DC, public schools, Dr. Ryan’s teaching and research explores the relationships among literacy learning, multicultural children’s literature, methods of reading instruction, and educational equity, especially at the elementary school level. Her primary research interests include teaching for equity with diverse children’s literature, supporting teachers doing LGBTQ-inclusive teaching, investigating the circulation of heteronormativity and heterosexism in schools to build more LGBTQ-inclusive contexts for learning, building a deeper understanding of reading comprehension, understanding the experiences of children from diverse families in elementary schools, and designing more equitable district- and school-level English Language Arts curricula. She is the co-author, along with Dr. Jill Hermann-Wilmarth of Western Michigan University, of the recent book Reading the Rainbow: LGBTQ-Inclusive Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Classroom (Teachers College Press / GLSEN), which received the Edward B. Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association in 2018. Her work has been published in many places including the Journal of Literacy Research, Research in the Teaching of English, Language Arts, the Journal of Children’s Literature, and the Journal of LGBTQ Youth, among others. Ryan serves on the editorial review boards of several national journals. She is also a member of the Build Your Stack Committee, a new initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English to help teachers build their book knowledge and their classroom libraries.


Image of Faculty MemberDr. Kathleen Schlichting
Ph.D., University of South Carolina
Associate Professor

Dr. Katie Schlichting is currently a member of the Department of Elementary, Early Childhood, Middle Level, Literacy Education and Special Education in the Watson College of Education at UNCW.  Prior to coming to UNCW, Dr. Schlichting was a pediatric nurse for several years before becoming an elementary educator in Wilmington, NC where she taught kindergarten and first grade.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1998 with an emphasis in Language and Literacy Education. Dr. Schlichting is currently teaching in both the Elementary MAT program and the Elementary Undergraduate program.  Her research areas include strategies and literacy engagements that support the language and literacy needs of all learners, using literature and authors to inform and inspire literacy development and the use of culturally responsive pedagogy.  Dr. Schlichting published a book,  Cavuto, G., & Schlichting, K. (2004). From naturalistic, classroom-based reading assessment to informed, balanced instruction. (1st edition)  New York: Kendall/Hunt, that looked closely at ways to address the individual needs of struggling readers by embedding literacy strategies in the authentic context of children’s and adolescent literature.  Dr. Schlichting feels blessed to be a part of the Watson College of Education


Dr. Amy Senta
Ph.D., University of North Carolina
Assistant Professor


Dr. Lynn Sikma
Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Assistant Professor

Dr. Sikma is an Assistant Professor of science education in the department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education.  Prior to completing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois, she was a fifth-grade teacher in the south suburbs of Chicago. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses including elementary science methods, introductory courses, leadership studies, field experience and intern supervision. Her research interests center on pre-service and in-service teacher education and support, social networks, organizational culture, and teacher leadership. Her current research focus is on building resilience in beginning teachers and she is the U.S. contributor to the Staying BRiTE: Promoting Resilience in Higher Education international network. 


Dr. James Stocker
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Assistant Professor

James Stocker earned his Ph.D. in special education from The Pennsylvania State University. He earned his first M.A. in elementary education from Seton Hall University and second M.A. in education administration from Kean University. After graduation and prior to his appointment at Watson College, he was a fixed-term assistant professor of special education at Penn State.
Stocker has 12 years of public school teaching experience at the primary and elementary levels. He has also taught in alternative school settings and provided in-home services. His research focus includes developing mathematics and science interventions for the inclusive classroom and in tiered systems of support. He specializes in applied behavior analysis to advance evidence-based practices and helps teachers efficiently and effectively manage the learning environment. His publications include a combination of practitioner pieces and original experimental research. Most recently, he completed a large project at a middle school focusing on computational fluency, number sense and quantitative reasoning.


Dr. Jeanne Swafford
Ph.D., The University of Georgia
Associate Professor

Dr. Swafford is a 45+ year veteran teacher and former Associate Professor who is now in phased retirement at UNCW. She has taught students in grades K-8 in rural Tennessee and Ohio and was an Associate Professor at Texas Tech University and Mississippi State University before joining the faculty at UNCW in 2007. At UNCW she teaches children’s literature in the undergraduate elementary education program and has taught most of the courses in the MED program in Language and Literacy Education. She received a Ph.D. in Reading Education from the University of Georgia, an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, an MEd in Special Education, and a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Middle Tennessee University. Her research interests revolve around children’s and young adult literature, emphasizing literature that represents diversity, and supporting K-12 teachers as they navigate the world of disciplinary literacies. Her most recent work focuses on the development and use of texts sets for concept development and appears in the book, Developing Conceptual Knowledge through Oral and Written Language, published by Guilford Press in 2020, and a co-authored chapter about strategies for e-book use in K-5 classrooms with Dr. Amy Moody (also of UNCW)  in the book, Reading in the Digital Age: Young Children’s Experiences with E-Books, published by Springer, 2019. Dr. Swafford has always been active in the work of professional organizations and currently serves on the Editorial Board of The Reading Teacher, a publication of the International Literacy Association and was appointed recently to serve a 3-year term on the Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Book Award Committee, sponsored by the National Council of the Teachers of English.


Dr. Laura Szech 
Ph.D., The University of Iowa 
Assistant Professor 

Dr. Szech is an Assistant Professor in the Language and Literacy Education graduate program and the Elementary Education undergraduate program in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education. She holds an M.A. in Reading from the University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from The University of Iowa. She is a former elementary school teacher and principal. Her interests include culturally sustaining literacy pedagogy and teacher family partnerships.  Her primary research interests include, school-family partnerships, culturally sustaining pedagogies, strength-based pedagogies, funds of knowledge, teacher book clubs, family and community visits, and critical literacy pedagogies. Forthcoming work includes a chapter in Kids Like Us, The Classroom Library (Rowman & Littlefield).


Dr. Amy Taylor
Ph.D., North Carolina State University
Professor

Amy Taylor, Ph.D., is a full professor of science education in the department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). She received her doctorate in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate science methods courses in the Watson College of Education as well as elective courses for the Environmental Science Program including Island Ecology for Educators. As a K-12 certified science educator, she works with local teachers in many different schools across Watson College's PDS System to mentor pre-service teachers. Her interests include science professional development, science teaching strategies, outdoor and environmental science, and using technology to teach about science. She just recently completed her Environmental Education Certification through the North Carolina Office of Environmental Education. Forthcoming work will appear in the Handbook of research on building STEM skills through environmental education (IGI Global). She is a frequent presenter at the conference for both the North Carolina Science Teacher Association and the National Science Teacher Association.


Dr. Martin Wasserberg
Ph.D., Florida International University
Associate Professor

Dr. Wasserberg obtained his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida International University. His past work as an elementary school teacher and curriculum leader in Miami, FL informs his passion for urban education and equitable practices for marginalized students. Dr. Wasserberg teaches face-to-face, hybrid and online courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These include courses on Teaching Diverse Learners and the Graduate Colloquium. His research focuses on the influence of stereotyping on elementary students, student perspectives on teaching and learning, and preparing educators to teach in urban settings. Dr. Wasserberg’s research has been recently published in The Elementary School Journal and presented at national conferences including AERA and EQRC. He is currently the Assistant Department Chair and Elementary Program Coordinator.

Part Time Faculty

Mr. Daniel Bates
M.Ed., University of North Carolina Wilmington 
Instructor


Mrs. Georgene Bramley
M.Ed., Nazareth College of Rochester 
Instructor

Mrs. Georgie Bramley joined the Faculty in 2007 as a Part-time Lecturer in the Elementary Education undergraduate program in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education at UNCW. She also is a supervisor of Teacher-Interns. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education K-6 degree from the State University of New York at Oswego and a Master of Science in Education K-6 degree from Nazareth College of Rochester. Her work experience includes 33 years as an educator in Pittsford, NY, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia.  Mrs. Bramley’s interests include helping children grow in literacy proficiency, literacy education, integrating quality children’s literature in the elementary curriculum, developmentally appropriate teaching practices with young children, and mentoring future teachers. 


Dr. Susan Catapano
Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University 
Professor


Dr. Missy Coffey
Ph.D., George Mason University 
Instructor


Ms. Rene Gouverneur
Ph.D., George Mason University 
Instructor


Dr. Connie Gruber
Ed.D., University of West Florida
Instructor

Beginning her teaching career in 1984, Dr. Gruber currently specializes in the Watson College of Education supervision of undergraduate and graduate students during internship and field experience semesters for the Onslow Extension Elementary Education Program.  She earned a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum & Instruction and a Specialist in Education degree from the University of West Florida; Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education - with K-12 Reading Certification from East Carolina University.  Prior to joining the Watson College of Education, she served as the graduate program coordinator and intern supervisor at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center for Notre Dame of Maryland University, an internship supervisor and adjunct instructor for UWF and ECU, and an elementary classroom teacher/mentor for DoDEA—Camp Lejeune Community Schools, Onslow County Schools, and Pitt County Schools.  Her 1999 doctoral dissertation explored, Student Teachers’ Concerns and Images of Teaching, with continued research interest today in effectively supporting preservice teacher success.  Dr. Gruber received the UNCW Center For Teaching Excellence: Discere Aude Award and reception invitation by the UNCW Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Provost-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in celebration of Recognition Given by Graduating Students.


Ms. Karen Larue
M.Ed., University of North Carolina Wilmington 
Instructor

Karen LaRue is an adjunct faculty member of the EYC department. She graduated from UNC Wilmington with degrees in Early Childhood Education, Pre-school Education and a Master's Degree in Language and Literacy. Prior to working at UNCW, she was a classroom teacher in New Hanover County Schools for over 33 years, teaching grades pre-K through six and focusing on at-risk children. Mrs. LaRue has taught EDN 302 Observation and Assessment, EDN 424-Child Guidance, EDN 227-Aesthetic Development, EDN 384- Creating a Preschool Environment, EDN 380- Play and the Creative Arts, and EDN 465- Practicum in Education of Young Children.


Dr. Kyungeun Lim
Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington
Instructor

Dr. Kyungeun Lim is an instructor in the Department of Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education Department at Watson College of Education. She earned her Ph.D. degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, double majoring in 1) Art Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and 2) Comparative Education in the Department of Education Policy Studies. She holds an M.A in Art Education and a B.F.A in Fine Art focusing on painting and minor in Art Education from Seoul National University. She has been teaching arts and education from elementary school students to adults at schools, museums, and higher education institutions in traditional classroom settings and online classrooms-both synchronous and asynchronous. At UNCW, she teaches courses of arts integration for elementary education, and apprentice field experience. Dr. Lim served as a president and a vice president of Public Policy and Arts Administration as a Special Issue Group of National Art Education Association (NAEA). Her research interests include arts appreciation and arts integration for elementary education, STEAM (specialized in the integration of Arts and Biochemistry), teacher preparation, and policy contexts in education.


Ms. Diana Mintz
Instructor


Dr. Daniel Richardson
Ed.D., University of North Carolina Wilmington 
Instructor

Daniel Richardson Richardson is currently Clean Energy Technology instructor at The Center of Applied Sciences and Technology (COAST) in Brunswick County, and an adjunct instructor of middle grades science. Richardson holds three degrees from UNCW’s Watson College of Education: a bachelor’s in middle grades education, a master’s in curriculum, instruction and supervision and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. He began his science teaching career at Shallotte Middle School, and later taught AP and honors science courses at West Brunswick High School. He was Brunswick County Schools’ 2010 Teacher of the Year, and received a District Outstanding Science Teacher Award from the NC Science Teacher Association in 2015.


Dr. Dean Swart
Instructor


Dr. Cara Ward
Ed.D., University of North Carolina Wilmington
Instructor

Dr. Ward teaches a variety of elementary and secondary education courses in the Watson College of Education. She has a B.A. in History and an M.A.T. in Secondary Social Studies from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration from UNCW in 2010. Having served the public school system in North Carolina since 2000, she was named the Heide Trask High School Teacher of the Year in 2007. Her various roles in education include social studies teacher (National Board Certified), K-12 lead teacher for social studies, instructional leader for the NC Virtual Public School, and project director for a Teaching American History Grant. Her research focuses on various topics in social studies education including the use of history labs to teach historical thinking skills and how racialized violence is addressed in curriculum standards. Dr. Ward’s work has been published in Social Studies and the Young Learner and The Journal of Social Studies Research.


Mr. Joseph Webb
MAT, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Instructor


Ms. Ronnie Weppler
Instructor


Dr. Shelly Wilburn
Ph.D., University of Cape Town
Instructor

Dr. Wilburn is an international educator-scholar specializing in the sociology of teaching and curriculum. Her public school teaching experience involved work with culturally and linguistically diverse children, both in North Carolina, as a middle grades Title I teacher, and in Cape Town, South Africa, as a primary literacy teacher. She acquired an international perspective on teaching through her Ph.D. in Education and MPhil in Curriculum Studies from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and is an alumnus of UNCW, where she earned her BA in Middle Grades Education. In the Watson College, Dr. Wilburn teaches courses in the Elementary and Middle Grades programs on teaching diverse learners and literacy. Her research interests include comparative and African studies in education, equity pedagogy for diverse learners, and the nature of pedagogic change. She also works as an education research consultant, most recently in Accra, Ghana on an early grades in-service teacher professional development program. 


Dr. Gerald Zinner
Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University
Instructor
Gerald Zinner, Ed.D., is an instructor in the Elementary Education program as part of the Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education Department at Watson College of Education.  He came to Watson College following an educational career in the public schools of Pennsylvania.  His educational roles included classroom teaching (grades 4-6), elementary principal, elementary curriculum director, direction of K-12 education, and assistant superintendent.  Higher education teaching was done in the Teacher Leadership School at Wilkes University.  Courses taught at Watson include elementary science, elementary social studies, elementary school programs and practices; he also supervises field experience students and teacher interns, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.  Work outside Watson includes serving a non-profit organization, Population Connection, as a teacher trainer.  He presents teacher training workshops at various conferences and with Watson classes as well.  He was named “National Trainer of the Year” for the PC organization in 2015.  Awards at Watson include the “Roy Harkin Part-Time Faculty Service Award” in 2011.


Graduate Assistants

Morgan Davis
B.S., University of North Carolina Wilmington
Graduate Assistant

Morgan is a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education. She is pursuing her Masters of Arts in Teaching in the Middle Grades, with concentrations in Science and Social Studies. She graduated with her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in May of 2019. During her undergraduate degree, she interned with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the Outer Banks. After graduating, she worked with the NC Coastal Reserve as a Shorebird Monitoring Technician on Masonboro Island. She is excited to pursue a degree in teaching and use her experiences in her future science classroom.


Elizabeth Hewett
B.S., Western Carolina University
Graduate Assistant


Erin Rogerson
B.A., University of North Carolina Wilmington
Graduate Assistant

Erin is a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Early Childhood Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education. She is working towards her Masters of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Grades. Prior to her B.A. she earned both an AA and an AS during her time at Edgecombe Early College which she graduated from in May 2017. She graduated with her B.A. in Psychology in December 2019. In her time as an undergraduate student she was President of Honor Society Phi Sigma Pi. Her main goal while pursuing teaching is to learn the best way possible to help children become happier and create a happier future.


Clara Schwamm
B.S. and B.A., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Graduate Assistant

Clara is a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education. She is pursuing her Masters of Arts in Teaching in Middle Grades, with concentrations in Mathematics and English Language Arts. She graduated with her B.S. in Information Science and her B.A. in German Literature and Culture from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in May of 2019. Clara is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is excited to continue her studies in the Watson College and is looking forward to her future career in a middle grades math classroom.