Faculty and Administrators
Elmhurst education faculty members are outstanding teachers, scholars, and practitioners. Members of the faculty have been recognized by the State of Illinois, and a variety of professional organizations.
Faculty members hold leadership roles in state and national professional organizations, maintain impressive publishing and professional service records, and remain true to the fundamental focus of excellence in teaching and support for their students.
The faculty is equally committed to staying abreast of new scholarship and policies in the field through continual review and synthesis of current research findings, methodology and teaching strategies, and innovation in technology and curriculum.
Want to know more? See our faculty profiles, below. Or, contact a professor directly.
Lisa Burke, Chair
Ayanna Brown, Associate Chair
Dan Jares, Teacher Licensure Officer
Judith Kaminski, Director of the Satellite Field Experience Network
William Slodki, Director of Teacher Education Admission
Lisa Burke, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Chair
Dr. Burke earned her B.S. Ed and M.S. ED in Special Education from Northern Illinois University. She received her Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Chicago in special education with a specialization in literacy needs for students with exceptionalities. Dr. Burke was a special education teacher for 16 years before coming to Elmhurst College in 2001. She has experience working with students from elementary age through high school in a variety of special education service delivery options. Dr. Burke’s research interests include literacy skill development in students with autism, the inclusion of students with exceptionalities in general education, and compensatory abilities and the use of learning strategies for students with exceptionalities.
Diana Brannon, Ed.D.
Director of the M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership
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.
Ayanna F. Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Associate Chair
Dr. Brown holds a B.S. from Tuskegee University in secondary education, language arts education, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership from Vanderbilt University Peabody College, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Interdisciplinary Studies in Language, Literacy and Sociology. Her research focuses on discussions of “race,” contemporary African American studies, and discourse analysis. Her research has been presented nationally and internationally and has served as a member of the International Reading Association, National Commission on Reading, National Council of Teachers of English, American Education Research Association, and International Federation of Teachers of English. Dr. Brown is the former 2013-2014 Chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research. She holds memberships with several honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Mu Gamma, and Alpha Kappa Mu. She is a former middle school language arts teacher and Scholarships Coordinator for first generation college students.
Debbie Cosgrove, Ph.D.
Director of Elementary Education
Dr. Cosgrove earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in curriculum and instruction. She holds a B.A. in elementary education with a specialization in music from Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota. She also received an M.A. in instructional leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Cosgrove holds an ESL approval from the state of Illinois. Dr. Cosgrove taught for 18 years in diverse public school settings in grades K-6. She also served 18 years in public school administration in the roles of elementary principal, curriculum director and assistant superintendent. She has presented at local and state conferences and is a member of the American Educational Research Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the International Reading Association. Her research interests include teacher preparation and leadership, curriculum design, and teaching linguistic and culturally diverse students.
Linda Dauksas, Ed.D.
Director of Early Childhood Education and Special Education
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, 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.
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.
Judy Fiene, Ed.D.
Dr. Fiene has taught grades 4, 5, 6, physical education, and has served as an assistant principal in an elementary school. Her doctorate is in reading and language. Her specialty area is in reading development, specifically reading comprehension and classroom instruction. She has presented her research at local, national, and international conferences. Dr. Fiene is an active member of Kappa Delta Pi and has served on the Executive Council for this international organization. She is also co-faculty councilor for the Elmhurst chapter. She is a member of the International Reading Association and National Reading Conference. Her current scholarship focuses on reading in the content area and understanding how additional courses in reading instruction at the undergraduate level may impact a novice teacher’s pedagogy. Her service includes a partnership with the Niebuhr Center where she coordinates efforts to provide summer literacy instruction for K- 8 students living in the Latino community.
Debra K. Meyer, Ph.D.
Dr. Meyer earned a B.A. from Purdue University in education and psychology prior to teaching in a 5th/6th-grade team and developmental 2nd grade in Mesa, Arizona. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas–Austin in educational psychology. Her research has examined the relationships among student and teacher motivations, emotions, teaching and learning and the transitions from preservice to inservice teacher. Currently Dr. Meyer is working on projects examining the development of teacher leadership. She has presented at national and international conferences and authored over 35 publications. She is an editorial board member of the American Education Research Journal, Journal of Experimental Education, and Theory into Practice. Dr. Meyer also serves on the Publications Committee for the American Psychological Association’s Division 15-Educational Psychology. She has received awards for teaching, advising, and professional service and holds memberships in Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Phi, and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies
Theresa Robinson, Ph.D.
Director of Secondary Education
Dr. Robinson earned a B.S. in biological science and secondary education and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in science and environmental education from Southern Illinois University–Carbondale. She taught grades 9-12 science in Chicago Public and Charter Schools. She has served the profession by providing science and math professional development to elementary teachers in the Chicagoland area. She is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and the Association of Teacher Educators.
Beverly Troiano, Ph.D.
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.
Therese Wehman, Ph.D.
Professor, Director of the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education
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.
Jeanne White, Ed.D.
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. 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. Her most recent publication is the book, Using Children’s Literature to Teach Problem Solving in Math: Addressing the Standards for Mathematical Practice in K-5 (2nd Ed.).
Jaime Zurheide, PhD.
Dr. Zurheide holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.A. in Learning and Instruction from the University of San Francisco. She began teaching through the Teach for America program and taught for 9 years in urban public, charter, and therapeutic schools in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area, primarily working with middle and high school students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Dr. Zurheide earned her Ph.D. in Special Education along with an M.Ed. in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her dissertation focused on measuring the quality of relationships between teachers and students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Her current research interests focus on preparing teachers to more effectively work with students with challenging behavior. Dr. Zurheide has published and presented nationally at conferences including the Council for Exceptional Children Convention, the Pacific Coast Research Conference, and the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders.