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

Dr. Lathan is the Master of Education Program Director and oversees the development and growth of the program. He has over 17 years of experience in Higher Education Administration with 15 of those years in Online Education Administration. His areas of expertise include online learning pedagogy and online teaching and learning best practices. Dr. Lathan earned his B.S. in Psychology from Empire State College, his M.S. in Education Administration from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

 

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 Associate Dean & Associate Professor 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 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 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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Suzanne Stolz, EdD Adjunct 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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Tess Nunn Eves, MEd Adjunct Professor Read More

Tess Nunn Eves, MEd

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • Curriculum & Instruction

Areas of Interest

Multicultural Education, Synthesizing Curricular and Co-Curricular Education to Support Student Persistence, and Racial Identity Development Among College Students

Why USD?

As a social justice educator, the idea of access and inclusion are of the utmost importance to me. The online MEd program does just that: it grants access to students from across the country and the globe to USD, and in so doing, creates a rich, diverse learning community. Your peers are an incredible source of knowledge – the more diverse the lived experiences of the students in the class, the more each of us will be challenged, grow, and learn. Having worked full-time while pursuing my graduate degree in the evenings, I know the challenge of balancing the demands of personal, professional, and academic. The flexibility afforded to the online MEd students offers professionals a “seat at the table” whenever you are able to join the conversation.

Advice for Future Students?

Having burned the candle at both ends being a full-time professional and part-time graduate student, I know that at times, it can be A LOT. But remind yourself (as I often had to do!): You get out of this experience what you put in. Re-frame things that may feel like “hoops” to be opportunities for empathy and learning. Re-frame your challenges to “adventures” in developing tenacity and grit. Just know – the grass is greener where you water it!

Fun fact about yourself?

I dream in black and white – which is odd because I spend my waking hours as an artisan indulging in super vivid colors!

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Kim Hunt, PhD Adjunct Professor Read More

Kim Hunt, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Literacy & Digital Learning

Scholarly Work

Education of Military Children, Experiences of highly mobile populations, particularly military and Third Culture (TCK) and Cross Culture Kids (CCK), distance learning/ Hunt, K. D. (2017).

The resiliency of highly mobile military children: Implications for military and education leadership. Dissertation, University of San Diego., Dauber, A.S. & Hunt, K. (2017).

Private for-profit universities: Inflating academic degrees and hurting the economy. In Gause, C.P. (Ed).

Leadership, equity, and social justice in American higher education. New York, NY. Peter Lang.

Why USD?

USD is a strong university committed to a quality education for its students. As a military spouse who moved every 2-3 years, the options for quality online education was difficult, if not impossible, to find. Supporting USD’s efforts to provide a quality online MEd program for those who may not be able to attend in person is vital to aid those who are passionate about the education of our children no matter where they reside.

Advice for Future Students?

Always remember what drew you to education. Your desire to provide a quality education to our children will provide support for you when challenges arise.

Favorite quote?

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats

Anything else about yourself?

As a military spouse and mom, we have moved throughout the U.S. and Europe, which gave me the opportunity to see and experience first-hand the challenges and strengths of highly mobile students, particularly military-connected children. I have taught and worked at every grade level throughout the U.S. and Europe in public, private, international, and DoDEA schools, so I have a wide breadth of experience I hope to share with my students. I truly believe there is nothing more important to our communities and our nation than providing the best education possible for our children.

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Sarina Molina, PhD Adjunct Professor Read More

Sarina Molina, PhD

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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Michele McConnell, MEd Adjunct Professor Read More

Michele McConnell, MEd

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Education

Specializations

  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Literacy & Digital Learning

Areas of Interest

I use ethnographic methodologies to study pedagogy and technology in secondary English classrooms in order to inform theories of literacy learning and educational reform efforts.

Why USD?

I began working with USD in 2013. As a first generation college attendee I had always dreamed of attending school at USD. I was too afraid to apply due to finances. When I had the opportunity to join Department of Learning and Teaching in 2013, I was overjoyed. To work with colleagues who are like-minded about equitable access to education, teaching and learning was a dream come true. The mission and values of USD are ones I hold close.

Advice for Future Students?

Don’t forget to build connections with your peers and your instructors. These connections are lifelong connections.

Favorite quote and Fun fact about yourself?

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

I have a large vegetable garden and a large collection of books, two dogs, a cat, four chickens, a son, and a husband. I have more than enough!

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