M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education

Program Director

Therese Wehman, Ph.D.

(Teaches: MEC 501, MEC 506, MEC 508, MEC 518, MEC 521, MEC 528, MEC 542-543, MEC 546, MEC 570 A&B, MEC 571)

Therese Wehman joined the Elmhurst faculty in 1998. She received her Ph.D. in child development from the Erikson Institute of Loyola University Chicago. She also holds advanced degrees, and Illinois teaching certification, in educational administration, elementary education, early childhood education, and special education.

Dr. Wehman specializes in young children with disabilities from birth to age six, early childhood program administration, organizational development, and team building. Her research interests include early intervention system change, partnerships between parents and professionals, professional leadership development, and international service learning work. She has extensive experience designing and administering intervention programs for young children with special needs and their families, in both the public schools and not-for-profit organizations.

Dr. Wehman has held graduate faculty positions and directed graduate research in child development at the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development and at National-Louis University. Dr. Wehman serves as the Governor’s appointed Personnel Preparation Representative on the Illinois Interagency Council of Early Intervention. She has presented internationally and nationally and has published numerous articles, curriculum materials and a text book, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Toward Full Community Inclusion (2005, PRO-ED) In 2016 she received the inaugural Wehman Award of Excellence from the Illinois Developmental Therapy Association.

Carol Crum Ph.D.
Student Teaching / Practicum Supervisor for Early Childhood Special Education and Early Primary
(Co-teaches MEC 521, MEC 542 and 543, MEC 570 A & B and Supervises Early Childhood Special Education and Early Primary practicum and Student Teaching)

Carol Crum received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University of Chicago. She holds a graduate degree in Early Childhood Special Education and a dual undergraduate degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. She maintains Illinois teaching licensures in school administration, early childhood education, elementary education and special education. Her licensure endorsements include Director of Special Education, and LBS1 at the elementary and secondary levels.

Dr. Crum has extensive experience as a school administrator, and early childhood and primary teacher. She served as the Director of Early Childhood Education and building principal in Cook County School District #130 for 20 years. She has been active in the areas of grant writing, family literacy and engagement, and community partnerships throughout her career. As an adjunct faculty member for seven years, she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of early childhood and special education, and school administration. Dr. Crum is the recipient of the ISBE “Those Who Excel Award of Excellence” in the area of school administration.

Dawn Andersen, M.Ed, DT
Family Involvement Specialist for both the MAT and MEd Programs
(Teaches MEC 528: Relationships; Co-teaches MEC 508, Co-teaches MEC 518,and Supervises Developmental Therapy Internships)

Dawn Anderson is a graduate from Elmhurst College. She received a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education with an Illinois teaching certificate and a Master Degree in Early Childhood Special Education. Dawn is a recipient of the Elmhurst College Theskala Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. She was also a charter member of the Elmhurst Kappa Delta Pi. Dawn has been a developmental therapist for 12 years and continues to be an independent provider in Early Intervention while on staff at Elmhurst College. She has extensive experience working with typically and atypically developing children. Dawn has taught preschool and daycare. She developed curriculum for summer camp for children 3-5 yrs. old at her local YMCA where she also taught “Gym and Swim” classes for children 6 mo. through 6 yrs. old. These classes included children with special needs. Dawn has worked in the school district as the Inclusion Aide Specialist, training and supporting paraeducators who worked with children with special needs in the regular education classrooms. This included Early Childhood Special Education through 8th grade. She has also served on the board for the Illinois Developmental Therapist Association.

Lindsey Fry, MA. CCC-SLP/L
(Teaches MEC 507)

Lindsay Fry received her Bachelor's Degree from Central Michigan University in Elementary Education (Reading and Science) and her Master's Degree from Northern Illinois University in Speech Language Pathology. She has a wide range of clinical experiences: NICU, outpatient pediatric clinic, Rehab Institute of Chicago (RIC) inpatient pediatric unit and an elementary school. She is a co-founder and Executive Director at WeeBits, a non profit organization, focused on providing educational opportunities for families with infants and toddlers. Lindsey is an identical twin from a big family and she enjoys the time that her family can be together.Lindsay is a working Speech Therapist who teaches the MEC 502 Speech and Language Development Course in the Early Childhood Special Education Masters Program

Linda Dauksas, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
Director of Early Childhood Education and Special Education Undergraduate Programs
(Teaches MEC 512 and MEC 514)

Dr. Dauksas earned her B.A. in special education/elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, her M.A. in educational administration from Governors State University and her doctorate in instructional leadership from National Louis University. She has spent over thirty years teaching and leading programs for young children with special needs. She has designed programs and delivered services for children from birth through eight years of age. Her ethnographic research portrays the importance of a paradigm that honors people first, along with her responsibility to teach others. Her writing weaves her work as a school leader with educational practices creating possibility and promise for all young children, most importantly those with significant disabilities. Dr. Dauksas holds membership in the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Council for Exceptional Children, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Illinois Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. She continues her research on engaging families in the education of young children.

LuEllen Doty, Ed.D
(Teaches MEC 503)

Dr. Doty earned a doctorate from the University of Kentucky and a M.Ed. from the University of Louisville in special education. Her undergraduate degree was from Indiana University in elementary education. Her areas of interest include transition and post secondary experiences, early childhood special education and applications of technology in special education. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and the honor societies of Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi. Dr. Doty has served on the executive board of the Illinois Council for Exceptional Children and has presented nationally. She is the recipient of the Academic Advisor of the Year Award.

Renee Smith, Ph.D.
(Teaches MEC 545)

Dr. Smith has spent the majority of her career conducting research on the topic of chronic illness in children, studying the effects of disease or its treatment on children’s development. She received her master’s degree in early childhood special education, where she focused on the development of medically fragile and chronically ill children in the hospital setting. She completed a post-master’s internship working in the pediatric and neonatal ICU as well as the developmental follow-up clinics. She has worked in various settings providing assessment and early intervention to young children and their families challenged by medical conditions and developmental disabilities. Dr. Smith then joined a research project studying the effects of HIV on children’s development and family functioning; this was at the height of the pediatric HIV epidemic in this country. She completed her doctorate in early childhood special education at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign with a focus on educational psychology. She continues to work in a position where she is able to combine her two passions- research and early childhood development, including the opportunity to introduce and/or foster the fascination and challenges of research in the early childhood setting to other students.

Jeanne White, Ed.D.
(Teaches MEC 541)

Dr. White holds a B.S. in education and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University. She is certified in elementary education and general administration and was an elementary teacher in Orland Park for 12 years as well as an adjunct professor in early childhood education at Governor’s State University before joining the faculty in 2005. With areas of specialization in literacy and mathematics, her dissertation involved investigating how children’s literature improved performance and attitude of mathematical problem solving. She has authored several articles and presented locally, nationally and internationally on topics including elementary mathematics education, teacher leadership, service-learning abroad and teaching English Language Learners.

Diana Brannon, Ed.D.
Director of the M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership
(Teaches MEC 534)

Dr. Brannon earned her B.S. in elementary education at the University of Dayton and M.Ed. in language education from Indiana University, where she completed all but her dissertation in the doctoral program in language education, earning her doctorate from Argosy University in curriculum and instruction. She was a classroom teacher and reading specialist for 11 years. Dr. Brannon is a nationally board certified teacher. Her research interests include parent involvement, emergent literacy, and working with English language learning families. She has developed a variety of programs to help increase family involvement and literacy practices in families deemed “at risk.“ Dr. Brannon has published and presented nationally at conferences held by the International Reading Association, Association of Teacher Educators, National Center for Family Literacy, National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators, Council for Exceptional Children, Kappa Delta Pi, National School Board Association, and the International Association for Research on Service Learning.

Beverly Troiano, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
(Teaches classes in the MTL/ ESL course sequence)

Dr. Troiano holds a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in German literature and an M.Ed from DePaul University in secondary world language education with an ESL endorsement. She has over ten years of teaching experience in preschool through high school settings, teaching ESL/EFL and German in Germany and Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Troiano earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in curriculum and instruction. She worked on Project LSciMAct (Transforming Literacy, Math, and Science through Action Research) for six years as a postdoctoral fellow, project coordinator and research assistant, collaborating with K-8 in-service teachers on action research projects and curriculum development for English learners. Her research interests include teacher education professional development grounded in sociocultural theories of language and learning. Her work uses discourse analysis as a tool for teachers to study their practice and develop curriculum. She has presented her research at state and national conferences and has served as a member of the American Educational Research Association, National Council of Teachers of English, Literacy Research Association and Illinois Teachers of ESOL and Bilingual Education.

Professional Staff
Dan Jares, Teacher Licensure Officer
William Slodki, Director of Teacher Education Admission

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