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

The faculty for the Master of Education online degree program is 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.

Jerome Ammer Photo

Jerome Ammer, Ph.D.

Jerome Ammer writes, teaches and serves on journal editorial boards in the area of strategic learning and assessment with an emphasis on technology and learning difficulties. Before coming to USD in 1984, he taught at Long Island University and Rhode Island College and was director of inservice for Boston Children’s Hospital. He chairs and serves on several doctoral committees and has been president of both the International Council of Learning Disabilities and the California Council for Exceptional Children. His recent works include the Birth to Three Assessment System (PRO•ED) and chapters on “Creating a Diverse Community of Learners” and “Content Enhancement through Lesson Planning (McGraw-Hill).

Sandy Buczynski Photo

Sandy Buczynski, Ph.D.

Sandy Buczynski teaches graduate courses in the Curriculum and Instruction and Math, Science, and Technology Education programs. She is coauthor of a scholarly book entitled, Story Starters and Science Notebooking: Developing children’s thinking through literacy and inquiry. Sandy has a driving force to bring joy, excitement, and a sense of satisfaction for those in her classes who are currently teaching or studying to become teachers. Prior to joining USD, she taught biology for 10 years in a large, urban school in Alief, Texas and for 14 years in a small, rural school on Maui, Hawaii where she served as chair of the science department.

Michael Corke, Ph.D.

Michael Corke brings 15 years of experience leading evaluation and research projects in education settings. His academic preparation includes undergraduate and master level training in psychology and exercise science from San Diego State University as well as a PhD in education research methodology from Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State. Dr. Corke’s research interests include: STEM, student resilience, informal education and technology in schools. Prior to this appointment, he spent 13 years doing research and evaluation in a public-private partnership focused on community redevelopment through the education system.

Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia, M.Ed.

Chris Garcia received a Bachelor¹s degree in Sociology from the University of California Davis; a Master’s in Education with a focus on Curriculum & Instruction from the University of San Diego. Chris’ action research focus, while at USD focused on supporting struggling readers through the use of mobile technology.  Chris is also a Google Certified Educator.  He has taught students who widely range in age, ability levels, and socioeconomic status. Currently, Chris teaches 6th grade at Lilian J. Rice Elementary in Chula Vista, California. As a part of an iPad rollout Global Expedition project with the University of San Diego in 2012 in the savannahs of Nanyuki, Kenya, Chris worked closely with a team of teachers and other graduate students to provide professional development in teaching pedagogy through the use of mobile technology. In addition, Chris was a part of a brand new team of teachers that opened up a state-of-the-art school in Chula Vista, California, Enrique S. Camarena in 2013. Chris have enjoyed working closely with my community and implementing 21st century technology skills in and outside of the classroom.

Bobbi Hansen, Ph.D.

Bobbi Hansen teaches courses in Curriculum and Methods in Mathematics, Science, and History-Social Science centered on best practice instructional strategies. Currently, she is a co-investigator for a California grant with the goal of increasing student academic achievement by building sustainable professional development capacities of teachers in two urban school districts in Southern California. She was invited to present at the Global Summit on Science and Science Education in Scotland where she delivered a paper on Problem-based Learning. She was among an international team of educators invited to assist in the development of a new system of schools in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Lea Hubbard, Ph.D.

Lea Hubbard focuses her research on educational inequities as they exist across race, class and gender. She has written and co-authored numerous books/articles on educational leadership, school reform, and the academic achievement of minority students. Reform as Learning: When School Reform Collided With School Culture and Community Politics in San Diego (2006) illustrates the social and political construction of district-led educational reform. It offers a refined social theory combining socio-cultural theories of learning with organizational life and policy adaptation. Her other books include Extending Educational Reform: From One School To Many(2002), and Constructing School Success: The Consequences of Untracking Low-Achieving Students (1996).

Heather Lattimer, Ed.D.

Associate Dean, School of Leadership and Education Sciences

Heather Lattimer is a former middle and high school teacher and is an expert in secondary literacy, content area literacy, social studies, history education, project based learning, curriculum design and evaluation, action research, and international education. Her research focuses on literacy, teacher education, teacher professional learning, and 21st century learning in international contexts. She has authored two professional texts for teachers,Thinking through Genre (Stenhouse, 2003) and Reading for Learning (NCTE, 2012). She is currently working on a book about implementing Common Core Standards and is also co-editing a text about Action Research. She is exploring the use of project based learning and digital technology in affordable private schools in Kenya.

Michele McConnell, MA

MIchele McConnell is the Assistant Director of Field Experiences in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. She works with teacher candidates for field placements. In addition, Michele teaches English methodologies courses and online courses for the M.Ed. program. Previously, Michele served as a Peer Assistance and Review Consulting teacher for San Diego Unified School District, a high school English teacher, BTSA Support Provider, and has taught English courses at local community colleges. She has earned her Masters of Education in Literacy and Reading from San Diego State University, and her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington.

Reyes Quezada, Ed.D.

Reyes Quezada writes and teaches in the areas of Bilingual Education, K-12 Teacher Recruitment, and Issues on Faculty of Color, Instructional Models, Home-School Community Partnerships, Experiential Education and Physical Education Through Adventure Based Programs. Previously he held positions at University of Redlands and California State University, Stanislaus, California State University San Bernardino, San Diego State University and the Washington Center for Academic Seminars in Washington D.C. Among his articles are “K-12 Teacher Recruitment: Implications for Teacher Education” (Teacher Education Quarterly), “Developing Diverse Faculty in Culturally Proficient Education Programs” (Journal of Multicultural Education), and “Forming Home-School Community Partnerships Among Bilingual Communities“(The School Community Journal).

Zoltan Sarda, Ed.D.

Zoltan Sarda has more than 20 years of experience teaching in elementary classrooms and in adult learning settings including university education programs, professional development programs, and parent education seminars. His research interests include the study of links between student social emotional development, affective aspects of classroom environment, and academic learning. His doctoral research focused on adult perceptions of relationship dynamics between parents and children and the influence of those perceptions on parenting practice. Zoltan has applied the findings of his dissertation work to parent education programs and to professional development for teachers. In addition to teaching at USD, Zoltan is currently the Associate Director of New Teacher Development and Credentialing at High Tech High in San Diego.

Joi Spencer, Ph.D.

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.

Suzanne Stolz, Ed.D.

Program Coordinator

Suzanne Stolz serves as the Program Coordinator of the Online M.Ed. and as faculty in the Inclusive Learning: Special Education and Universal Design specialization. A former high school English teacher and administrator, she has expertise in online instruction, curriculum design, school culture, inclusive education, and disability studies. Suzanne has presented her research related to the identity development of students with disabilities at regional and national conferences.