Our talented and experienced faculty members are some of our greatest resources.

The faculty for the Master of Education online degree program are not only accomplished teachers and scholars committed to academic excellence, but they are also engaged in improving practices in a broad range of fields and interests. Our graduates consistently indicate that ready access to supportive faculty is one of the things they value the most about their educational experience.

Joseph Lathan, PhD Program Director Read More

Joseph Lathan, PhD

Program Director

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Areas of Interest

Online education teaching and learning pedagogy and best practices, education administration and leadership, qualitative research methods, psychology and spirit- inclusive classroom & work environments.

Why USD?

Strong academic reputation for providing high quality education. As the director of the program, I teach to stay connected with faculty colleagues and students. Teaching in the MEd Online program allows me to gain the faculty experience and continuously improve our online program beyond the administration perspective.

Advice for Future Students?

Online education can be intimidating if you have never participated in an online course or program. Online learning is not easier or harder than in-person classes. The difference is that this type of learning requires more discipline.

Favorite quote?

“Heaven On Earth State of Mind!” – I wrote a book called “Why Choose Hell When You Can Have Heaven On Earth” – Available on Amazon.com.

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Reyes Quezada, PhD Chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching Read More

Reyes Quezada, PhD

Chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • School Leadership

Areas of Interest

Cultural Diversity, Proficiency, Family-School and Community Engagement, Internationalization

Why USD?

Provides the opportunity to engage with teachers nationally and internationally!

Advice for Future Students?

Plan life and work accordingly as it is a rigorous program and process!

Favorite quote?

“When one plans patiently the results will come/happen!”

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Joi Spencer, PhD Interim Dean & Professor, School of Leadership and Education Sciences Read More

Joi Spencer, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Joi Spencer is focusing on mathematics education, teacher education and educational equity in urban and minority communities. Her research has examined mathematics learning opportunities in the poorest middle schools in Los Angeles, as well as the impact of video-based mathematics professional development on student learning and teacher development. Dr. Spencer was a member of the National Science Foundation’s Diversity in Mathematics Education Center for Learning and Teaching, and a research associate for the LessonLab Research Institute, which conducted the TIMSS (Third International Mathematics and Science Study) Video study. She received an AERA dissertation year fellowship for her thesis, “Balancing the Equation: African American Students’ Opportunities to Learn Mathematics with Understanding in Two Central City Middle Schools.” In 2011, Dr. Spencer was selected as the Greater San Diego Mathematics Council’s Outstanding Post Secondary Mathematics Teacher of the Year. Most recently she led a team of graduate students from SOLES to Ghana, West Africa to conduct academic needs assessments and to provide teacher professional development in affordable private schools. Her latest publication, “Views from the Black of the Mathematics Classroom” appears in Dissent Magazine.

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Sandy Buczynski, PhD Associate Professor Read More

Sandy Buczynski, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • STEAM

Areas of Interest

Teacher Preparation, Science Education, Secondary schooling, International Education

Why USD?

USD’s online teacher education graduate program is unique because it is situated in a traditional university. The online program goals were constructed to align with the department of Learning and Teaching’s commitment to access and equity, urban education, research-guided practice, and professional development. These boundary crossings between campus-based and online teaching provides a synergy that helps faculty use best practices in teacher education to become better face-to-face instructors and better online teachers.

Advice for Future Students?

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo

Anything else about yourself?

I am a quilter.

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Bobbi Hansen, PhD Associate Professor Read More

Bobbi Hansen, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • STEAM
  • Curriculum & Instruction

Areas of Interest

STEAM, Educational Psychology, Project-based learning, Evidence-based Instruction, Social-Emotional Learning, Creativity, Digital Learning

Why USD?

I consider myself, first a learner, then a teacher. When online learning first became available, I was tentative as I so thoroughly enjoyed the relationship-building of face-to-face instruction. However, I soon learned that the online format also has the capacity to build community. When one person shares their thoughts via the discussion post, others begin to see spaces of contact and will feel comfortable in sharing their own academic and personal learning reflections. And, in the end, everyone is enriched!

Advice for Future Students?

I have found that everyone finds a place of entry and acceptance into the learning community and thereby grows both as a teacher and as a learner.

Favorite quote?

The teacher as talent scout metaphor is appealing to me as we are honored with the opportunity to celebrate the unique talents of every single student under our care.

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Maya Kalyanpur, PhD Professor Read More

Maya Kalyanpur, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • Inclusive Learning

Areas of Interest

Cultural and linguistic diversity, international inclusive education, qualitative research, international special education, India.

Why USD?

UIt gives me an opportunity to meet students from all over the country and the world.

Advice for Future Students?

Our online program is perfect for busy education professionals who want to continue to learn. You can learn on your own time, meet other professionals in your courses, and build relationships with your peers and your instructors.

Favorite quote?

“Ancora Imparo” (Yet, I am learning) – Michelangelo

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Ricardo Medina, PhD Adjunct Professor Read More

Ricardo Medina, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Background

Prior to coming to USD, Dr. Medina was a lecturer with the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education at San Diego State University where he taught courses in foundations of democratic schooling, multicultural education, and action research. He is a former elementary, middle, and high school teacher, dean of students, and restorative practices facilitator. He holds a Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State University.

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Sarina Molina, EdD Associate Dean and Associate Professor Read More

Sarina Molina, EdD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Areas of Interest

1.) Teaching English as an international and transnational language where socioculturally salient pedagogical practice is explored;
2.) Supporting the needs of marginalized populations of students including immigrants, migrants, refugees, international students and the rural poor from a responsible, critical and ethical space;
3.) Teacher development through responsive mediation, drawing on constructive-developmental and sociocultural lenses;
4.) Mediating teacher learning through classroom research with a focus on improving instructional practice and evolving identities as practitioner-researchers; and
5.) Contemplative, mindful, and conscious education, blending the work from eastern and western wisdom traditions and contemporary research on positive psychology.

Why USD?

I wanted the opportunity to mentor teachers from around the country and the world on teacher research grounded within their respective classroom contexts and student needs.

Advice for Future Students?

Earning a master’s degree shifts your identity from that of a practitioner to that of a practitioner-researcher. This deepens the level of work and commitment to your profession, particularly as you seek to improve your own practice and that of your school to ultimately improve the learning experiences for your students. It is an opportunity to professionalize our work through systematic and meaningful inquiry and practice grounded in cutting-edge research.

Favorite quote?

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Suzanne Stolz, EdD Assistant Professor Read More

Suzanne Stolz, EdD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • Inclusive Learning

Areas of Interest

Online instruction, curriculum design, school culture, inclusive education, and disability studies.

Why USD?

USD has a social justice focus which aligns with my purpose as an educator. The Online MEd program gives me the opportunity to work with teachers who work all over the world who share the goal of improving learning environments for students with disabilities.

Advice for Future Students?

Fully engage with instructors and fellow students online. They bring a variety of perspectives that will enrich your experience.

Fun fact about yourself?

While visiting Seoul last summer, I met for the first time in person a former online MEd graduate who teaches in Korea.

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Elene Austin, MEd, PPSC Adjunct Professor Read More

Elene Austin, MEd, PPSC

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • STEAM
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Literacy & Digital Learning
  • Inclusive Learning

Areas of Interest

Cultural diversity, inclusive education, creativity, online instruction, interdisciplinary studies.

Why USD?

Born and raised in South San Diego, I grew up knowing USD has always been a respected university that provides quality education. It’s an honor to teach for a program that addresses the growth of the whole student – professionally and personally. With this flexible online format, those who partake in this program get to learn from other educators all over the world.

Advice for Future Students?

Set up a schedule as soon as you get the course syllabus so that you can adequately give attention to the material, produce complete assignments and provide quality peer interaction while still being able to balance work, relationships, and “me” time.

Favorite quote?

“The most important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

Anything else about yourself?

I love being a lifelong learner and traveler.

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