NLCSD Consortium Universities

University programs focusing on Blindness/Visual Impairment

University of Arizona: Sunggye Hong
California State University Los Angeles: Cheryl Kamei-Hannan
Florida State University: Sandra Lewis

Sandra LewisSandra Lewis, a Professor in the School of Teacher Education at Florida State University, currently is the Program Leader for the Visual Disabilities major. Dr. Lewis previously worked as an educator of individuals with visual impairments of all ages in a variety of educational, home, and community settings. Immediately before starting at FSU, she worked as a member of a team that conducted comprehensive assessments of students with visual impairments attending public schools in California, including students whose severe disabilities included visual impairment. Dr. Lewis is known for her publications and presentations that support quality services to meet the needs of adults and children with visual impairments and recently published a book on strategies for teaching the expanded core curriculum. She serves on numerous national, state, and local committees and was honored as the Mary K. Bauman award recipient—one of AER’s highest honors—in 2010. She is the director of a long-term state grant to support quality innovative services to students with low vision and has been awarded six OSEP-funded personnel preparation grants and several personnel preparation grants funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. She recently was selected as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness.
George Mason University: Michael Behrmann

Dr. Michael M. BehrmannDr. Michael M. Behrmann is a local, state, and national leader/innovator in special education. He has devoted 35 years to improving services and personnel preparation in the field of special education with his innovative work in teaching, research and service. He believes in collaborative research/training enhanced by technology. An early adopter of microcomputer technology, his pioneering pursuits are known worldwide. He wrote two of the first books on assistive and instructional technology. His over 80 publications and 250 presentations span nearly three decades. Since 1979 at George Mason University (GMU), he has secured nearly $70 million in external grants and contracts, $30 million in revenue-based projects, and $4.5 million in gifts for special education to the university. In 2007 he received the ARC lifetime achievement award. In 2008 he was awarded the Council for Exceptional Childrens (CEC) J. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Technology and Media Division Leadership Award. In 2009 Dr.Behrmann was honored with the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching with Technology. In 2010 he was awarded the Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning by the United States Distance Learning Association.

Dr. Behrmann received his Ed.D. in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1978. As part of his post doctoral activities, Dr. Behrmann was a participant in the Professional Leadership Program on assignment to the Governmental Relations Unit of the American Educational Research Association. In 1979, he came to George Mason University's Special Education Programs as Coordinator of the Graduate program in Severely Multi- Handicapped. He began his research with assistive technology in special education in 1981 and designed and implemented a masters degree program in Assistive/Special Education Technology in 1986, followed by a doctoral program in Assistive/Special Education Technology. In 1998 he implemented a 15 credit Assistive Technology Certificate Program. Dr. Behrmann was also a charter member for CECs Technology and Media Division (TAM).

He is currently the Helen A. Kellar Professor of Special Education in the Graduate School of Education and the Director of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities (KIHd). The institute has  over 90 funded faculty and staff of which over 15 percent of the full time employees have disabilities. Current professional activities include the directorship of a state funded training and technical assistance center (TTAC) for Superintendents Region 4 of Virginia; a state grant to prepare teachers in the area of vision impairment. He is the PI on the Virginia Accessible Instructional Materials program which provides free accessible materials (electronic, print, braille, etc) to students in Virgina who have a print disability. He is also continuing to develop the Kellar Instructional Handheld System, a data collection system for collecting and automatically charting frequency, duration, accuracy and fluency data by teachers for children with disabilities. He is also working on state funded web based professional development sites, and The Virginia Family Special Education Connection ( to expand the capacity of VADOEs parent and professional projects to online services.

Dr. Behrmann also has advanced collaborative intra-university and intra-agency projects across Virginia that have reached thousands of professionals. He developed programs that uniquely prepares teachers and other professionals in ABA, mild disabilities, severe disabilities and vision impairments. Through state funded collaboration in distance education, advanced technology helps deliver a common curriculum to students at 7 state universities and at home.
Illinois State University: Olaya Landa –Vialard
Northern Illinois University: Stacy Kelly  

Stacy Kelly is an Associate Professor in the Special and Early Education Department in the area of Visual Disabilities at Northern Illinois University. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University in the area of Visual Disabilities. She completed her doctoral degree at Northern Illinois University as a National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairment (NCLVI) Doctoral Fellow. She has also worked as a disability policy researcher in Washington, DC. She taught students who were blind or visually impaired as a teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVI) in the Chicagoland area. She is also a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) and a certified school administrator. Most recently, she has been appointed as an Assistive Technology Certification Subject Matter Expert (SME) by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).
Pittsburgh University: Tessa McCarthy

Tessa McCarthy is an assistant professor in the Department of Instruction and Learning in the vision studies program at the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2010 with a PhD in special education with an emphasis on visual disabilities and has more than a decade’s experience as an instructor and consultant in orientation and mobility and visual impairments. McCarthy’s research has recently been published in Journal of Visual Impairments and Blindness, the International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, and The Journal of Special Education. In the last year, she presented on the use of artificial intelligence in reinforcing braille instruction.

Portland State University: Holly Lawson
San Francisco State: Amanda Lueck
Texas Tech University: Nora Griffin Shirley
The Ohio State University: Tiffany Wild

Dr. Tiffany Wild began her education career as a middle school science and math teacher.  Her interest in visual impairment began when students with visual impairments were placed in her classroom without any support.  Those students inspired Dr. Wild to become a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI).  As a TVI, she has worked as a teacher’s aide for students with visual impairments in an early learning center and as an itinerant teacher for Project PAVE.  Dr. Wild was awarded a prestigious doctoral fellowship with the National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairments to pursue her doctoral degree and her dissertation was awarded the “Dissertation of the Year” by the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual impairment. 

Currently Dr. Wild is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education and Human Ecology and coordinates the program in visual impairment.  She also is the president-elect for the Division on Visual Impairment and Deafblind and President of the Ohio Chapter for the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.   Her research focuses on science education for students with visual impairments.  Dr. Wild has published and presented both nationally and internationally. It is through her research endeavors that she has been asked to be a co-founding member of the National Center for STEM Education for students with visual impairments, complete research on national STEM programming for the National Federation of the Blind, invitations to present at national, state, and local conventions.    

University of Northern Colorado: Paula Conroy

Paula ConroyDr. Paula Conroy is a Professor at the University of Northern Colorado and the coordinator of the Visual Impairment and O&M programs. Paula is a certified TVI and COMS with 26 years experience working with children from birth to age 21. She has secured and administrated several Personnel Preparation grants focusing on different aspects of cultural and linguistic diversity among children with visual impairments and their families.

Vanderbilt University: Deborah Hatton
Western Michigan: Robert Wall Emerson

Robert EmersonRob Wall Emerson is a Canadian ex patriate, living in the U.S. since coming down for his doctoral studies in 1994. He was trained as an English and science secondary school teacher and worked as a Teacher for Children with Visual Impairments in northern Manitoba (he is also ACVREP O&M certified) before heading south for his doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University. He has been in the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University since 2004 and currently holds the rank of full professor. Rob has conducted research in a wide range of topics such as brain plasticity, early braille literacy, spatial hearing, complex intersections, accessible pedestrian signals, hybrid and electric vehicles, math education, descriptive video, and long cane biomechanics. He lives with his wife (also an O&M) and two children (future O&Ms) in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
University of Massachusetts - Boston: Laura Bozeman

Laura Bozeman, PhD, COMS, CLVTLaura Bozeman entered the vision profession in 1974 as an Orientation & Mobility Specialist in Texas. After working in direct service for 20 years, she received her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Texas-Austin. Dr. Bozeman has served as a faculty at the University of Texas-Austin, North Carolina Central University, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand, and UMass-Boston. She has worked with all ages and been fortunate to teach in Taiwan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, American Samoa and the US.  She is currently the Director of the Vision Studies program in the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Dr. Bozeman has been involved with the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AERBVI) on the Chapter, Division, and International levels for many years. She has served multiple terms on the international and chapter boards of directors as well as the chair of divisions and committees.
Dr. Bozeman serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (JVIB) and as a reviewer for JVIB, Insight: Research and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness, International Journal of Orientation and Mobility (IJOM) as well as the Blasch Scholarship awards.
Dr. Bozeman holds certification in Orientation & Mobility, Low Vision, and was licensed as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment.

University programs focusing on Deafness/Hard of Hearing

University of Arizona: Shirin Antia

ShirinDr. Shirin Antia, Meyerson Distinguished Professor of Disability and Rehabilitation, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies(DPS), College of Education has directed the program in education of DHH since 1980. She teaches masters- and doctoral-level courses in the areas of language development of exceptional students, inclusion, and research. She has over 30 years of experience in the development and administration of grants, having been the principal or co-principal investigator of eight federal personnel preparation grants and three federal research grants. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, the primary research journal in education of DHH individuals. She has been a board member of the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED), served as the president of the Association of College Educators-Deaf/Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH) and is actively involved in professional preparation activities. She is the author of numerous articles and chapters on social interaction, social integration, and inclusion of DHH students. She is currently a co-principal investigator of the Center for Literacy and Deafness, a research center funded by the Institute of Educational Sciences. She is Asian-American and has considerable international and inter-cultural experiences in special education. Dr. Antia has been honored as a UA CoE Erasmus Scholar, and received the Sister Mary Delaney award from ACE-DHH for her professional contribution to the field.
Columbia University, Teachers College: Angel Ye Wang
Angel Ye

Ye Wang is an associate professor and the Program Coordinator for Education of the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing (EDHH) Program in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University. Her primary research interest is the language and literacy development of students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing. Her other research and scholarly interests include multiple literacies, technology and literacy instruction, inclusive education, research methodology and early intervention.

Georgia State University: Susan Easterbrooks
Texas Tech University: Leigh Kackley
The Ohio State University: Peter Paul

Peter PaulPeter V. Paul, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education & Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.  He has a bilateral, profound hearing loss, but now wear bilateral cochlear implants, and is the father of a son, who has Down syndrome and autism.  One of his major professional responsibilities is teacher preparation for the education of d/Deaf and hard of hearing students.

Dr. Paul's research interests involve the areas of English language and literacy, and he has more than 200 publications, including eight different scholarly texts.  He has served on several editorial boards, including those in the general area of reading (Reading Research Quarterly; Balanced Reading Instruction), and is the current editor of the American Annals of the Deaf.  Dr. Paul has received the College of Education 2000 Senior Research Award, the Richard and Laura Kretschmer National Leadership Award (Ohio School Speech Pathology Educational Audiology Coalition, October 2010), a Resolution of Recognition from the Ohio House of Representatives November, 2011, and Ohio AER Special Recognition Award, November 2014.

University of North Carolina - Greensboro: Claudia Pagliaro 

Claudia PagliaroClaudia M. Pagliaro, Ph.D. is a Professor in Specialized Education Services and Coordinator of the B-12 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher Preparation Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with more than 25 years’ experience in Deaf Education. She holds a B.S. in Deaf Studies and Ed.M. in Education of the Deaf from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Deaf Education (Curriculum) from Gallaudet University. Prior to earning her doctorate, she taught deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students at the elementary level. Dr. Pagliaro’s research agenda focuses on the mathematics instruction and learning of DHH students, most recently understanding pre-school children’s development of numeracy and the influence of parent mediation. Dr. Pagliaro has more than 50 publications in book chapters and top journals and has presented both nationally and internationally.
University of Northern Colorado: John Luckner

John LucknerJohn Luckner, Ed.D. is a professor in the School of Special Education, the coordinator or the Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing program and the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Bresnahan-Halstead Center for Disabilities at the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Luckner was a teacher of students who are DHH for nine years; five years in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and four years in the United States Virgin Islands. Dr. Luckner served as a Director of the National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities (NCLID), a Co-Project Director for two U.S. Department of Education Preparation of Leadership Personnel grants, the Project Coordinator for a U.S. Department of Education Longitudinal Research Grant, as well as the Project Director for five personnel preparation grants. In addition, he has been the Principal Investigator for three Colorado Department of Education research and training projects. Dr. Luckner is the author or co-author of more than eighty referred juried articles, five books and one test. He has made numerous national and international presentations. He is an active member of the American Education Research Association (AERA), and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). 
University of Minnesota: Susan Rose

Sue RoseSusan Rose is a professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Educational Psychology.  Over the past five decades, her teaching and research has focused on improving information access and literacy for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. He has co-authored three textbooks and has been awarded more than five million dollars in grant money to support the U of M’s program in teacher preparation and technology development. He work includes the revision of a reading series, Reading Milestones (2nd, 3rd and 4th ed.), the establishment the U of M’s  American Sign Language Program as a world language, and -with her colleagues –the development of computer based technology  tools that are used nationally for instruction and progress monitoring, including Avenue:ASL , Avenue:PM and CBM webinars.

Vanderbilt University: Anne Marie Tharpe

Anne Marie TharpeDr. Anne Marie Tharpe is Professor and Chair, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Tharpe’s research interests are in the area of pediatric hearing loss.  Specifically, she works primarily on three topics – the impact of hearing loss on various aspects of child development, special needs of children with hearing loss and additional disabilities, and the development of hearing in infants.  Dr. Tharpe has published extensively in national and international professional journals, has published numerous books and book chapters, and has presented to over 250 audiences around the world on pediatric audiology issues. She is co-editor with Dr. Richard Seewald of The Comprehensive Handbook of Pediatric Audiology; the 2nd edition will appear in 2016.

Washington University in St. Louis: William Clark

Dr. William Clark is the Director of the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (PACS) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, where he also holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and the Department of Education.  The PACS program trains teachers of the deaf, audiologists, and research scientists.   Prior to his appointment in the School of Medicine, Dr. Clark was a Senior Research Scientist and Director of Professional Services at the Central Institute for the Deaf and served concurrently as the Chairman of the Department of Speech and Hearing at Washington University. 
His work on noise-induced hearing loss encompasses laboratory studies of exposure in animal subjects, and field surveys of exposure and hearing loss both within and outside the workplace.  Dr. Clark has published over 80 papers on the effects of noise on hearing and has co-authored several book chapters and a textbook titled “Anatomy and Physiology of Hearing for Audiologists” published in 2008.
Dr. Clark is active in numerous professional organizations.  He has served as vice-president of the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), Executive Council member of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), and as a member of the technical committee on noise of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA).  He has also served as the technical consultant on noise to the Subcommittee of the Medical Aspects of Noise of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, to the National Academy of Sciences, and to the World Health Organization.  At Washington University in St. Louis, he served as Chair of the Faculty Senate Council from 2012-2015, and he received the 2011 School of Medicine’s Distinguished Educator Award for Graduate Student Teaching.
University of Tennessee - Knoxville: David Smith
David SmithDavid Smith has been an associate professor and director of the Center on Deafness at the University of Tennessee since August 2011. Prior to this, he was the director of the deaf education program at Fresno State.  Smith also has been involved in a career as an educator of the deaf and hard of hearing that spans more than twenty five years in a variety of settings and age groups.. He brings his experience as a deaf individual, mentor, and team member to the NLCSD with great enthusiasm.


University programs focusing on Deafblindness

Boston College: Susan Bruce  Susan Bruce, Ph.D., is a Professor of Special Education at Boston College and Chair of the Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction Department at Boston College. She coordinates the Masters Degree Program in Severe Disabilities with an optional specialization in deafblindness. Susan’s research concentrations are in assessment, communication intervention for learners with severe and multiple disabilities (including deafblindness), and collaborative and participatory action research. She is an experienced personnel preparation and research grant writer and manager.
Texas Tech University: Roseanna Davidson
University of Northern Colorado: Silvia Correa-Torres
University of Utah: Cathy Nelson