Banerjee, Rashida, Ph.D.
Professor & Department Chair
Dr. Rashida Banerjee, PhD, brings wealth of knowledge in effective assessment of young children, especially issues around diversity, inclusive intervention for young children, personnel development, and effective community, family, and professional partnerships. In her most recent role as a Professor, Early Childhood Special Education Program Coordinator, and Director for the Center for Early Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, Dr. Banerjee has demonstrated to commitment to students, preparation of well-prepared personnel in education, and collaboration with colleagues. In accordance with her interests, Dr. Banerjee has published articles, book chapters, received grants, and presented at numerous local, national, and international conferences. Her current national projects funded through the Department of Education, specifically focus on preparing well qualified early childhood and early childhood special educators. She has served on the Division for Early Childhood Board and currently serves on the DEC Recommended Practices Committee responsible for ensuring the development and use of evidenced based practices in early childhood. She also serves as the Editor for Journal for International Special Needs Education.
Delaney, Mary Kay, Ph.D.
Mary Kay Delaney earned a B.A. from The George Washington University, a Master of Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in social foundations of education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also completed courses leading to graduate teaching licensure in special education at Boston University. Mary Kay served as an alternate federal negotiator on the U.S. Department of Education Teacher Preparation Committee (2012), the committee that first considered, via the negotiated rule-making process, current proposed teacher education regulations. She recently served on the North Carolina Think Tank on K-3 Assessment as part of a state-wide, interdisciplinary effort to develop assessment for learning activities. She has taught in public and private schools and has served as principal of a PK-8 parochial school. She is the recipient of the School of Education, Health, and Human Sciences Dean’s Award (2014), the EHHS Service Award (2010), and the Laura Harrill Presidential Award for Outstanding Service, Meredith College (2011). Her areas of special interest include learning in sociocultural contexts, teacher education, equity and education, special education, and qualitative research methods.
Academic Services Associate for C&I and TEP
A Colorado native, Kara Duggan comes to Morgridge College of Education from the University of Wyoming. There, she received a Bachelor of Arts in English with professional and creative writing minors, and then worked on campus in a variety of positions. As an office associate for the Wyoming School-University Partnership, Duggan gained experience in conference planning, marketing, and collaborating with educators across the state. Duggan then worked as the project coordinator for UW’s Sensory Biology Center (SBC). She managed the accounting, assisted the primary investigators and graduate students, and developed communication strategies for the center. At Morgridge, Duggan is thrilled to support students and faculty in the Teacher Education Preparation and Curriculum and Instruction programs. She also will help coordinate events for the Higher Education department and assist with its newsletters and reports. When not at MCE, Duggan enjoys exploring all the activities and events DU has to offer, playing in Denver, and hanging out with family in Fort Collins.
Academic Services Associate for CFSP and ECSE
LeAnne Troutman is currently an Academic Services Associate (ASA) in the Teaching and Learning Sciences Department and primarily supports the Child, Family, & School Psychology and Early Childhood Special Education programs. LeAnne has a strong background in early childhood having served as a Preschool Teacher, Kindergarten Teacher, and a Teacher Education Coordinator for Cherry Creek Schools for over thirteen years. She has a BA in Business and began her career in the field of marketing where she worked for over twelve years at MCI Telecommunications, LANDCADD International, and other software development companies. After LeAnne had two children she returned to school to become an AMI certified Montessori instructor. This led her to earn an alternative teaching license and an MA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Colorado-Denver. LeAnne’s young-adult children are both in college, one in California and one in Indiana, so she spends much of her free time enjoying many outdoor activities with her husband - including hiking, biking and skiing as well as watching the Colorado Rockies!
Hafenstein, Norma, Ph.D.
Clinical Professor and Ritchie Endowed Chair for Gifted Education
Dr. Hafenstein received her Ph.D. from the University of Denver. She founded the Ricks Center for Gifted Children. Dr. Hafenstein also serves as a member of the Colorado Department of Education Gifted and Talented Endorsement Standards Committee. Her research interests include young gifted children, information-processing styles, social and emotional development, mathematical ability, and individualized educational planning. Dr. Hafenstein loves music, is a classically trained pianist, currently performs in a women’s choir, is an avid reader, and is interested in art from Impressionist Era to Southwest works.
Hazel, Cynthia E, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor
Dr. Hazel received her PhD from the University of Northern Colorado. She has coordinated arts-based after-school programs for urban youth, served as the Behavior Evaluation and Support Teams Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Education, and practiced as a school psychologist in communities of predominately poor, Latino families from preschool through secondary levels. Dr. Hazel is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist through the National Association of School Psychologists and the President of the Trainers of School Psychologists. Her research interests include student school engagement, data-driven decision making, supporting students to graduate from high school with their cohort, preventing bullying, and consulting. Dr. Hazel has one daughter and likes to raft with her family in the summer and ski with them in the winter.
Leonard, Betsy, M.Ed.
Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice
Betsy Leonard received her M.Ed. from the Georgia State University. She has extensive experience in teacher education, professional development and educator evaluations through her work the past 20 years. She has worked in multiple levels of the P-12 education from urban classrooms in Denver and Atlanta Public Schools, coaching, curriculum development and school start-up. Her passion lies in driving student and teacher achievement by transforming her-based best practices into practical, engaging collaborative classrooms. Her professional interest include teacher effectiveness, improvement of school quality and teacher preparation programs. Ms. Leonard enjoys getting out to enjoy all season of Colorado with her family.
Lerner, Jessica PhD
Assistant Professor of the Practice and Director of Teacher Education
Jessica Lerner is the Director of the Teacher Education Program at Morgridge College of Education. She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. Her research interests include beginning teacher development, teacher training, and culturally responsive teacher evaluation.
Michalec, Paul, Ph.D.
Dr. Michalec received his PhD from the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is the recipient of the University of Denver's 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award and the former director of student teaching at Skidmore College. He serves on editorial boards for the newsletter EnCouragement and the journal Democracy and Education, leads professional development for religious communities, and is a founding member of Colorado Courage and Renewal. His research interests include teacher education, effective instruction in higher education, spiritual dimensions of teaching, and teacher renewal/formation. Dr. Michalec enjoys biking, baking, drawing, nature study, pursuing a MA in Theological Studies, and reading in the areas of theology, poetry, philosophy, identity, and educational-spiritual reform.
Salazar, María, Ph.D.
Dr. Maria Salazar’s research and scholarship center on transformative teacher preparation through empirical research on equitable and effective teaching. Salazar has authored numerous publications on humanizing pedagogies, equitable and effective teaching, culturally responsive teaching, and college access and success for Latinx students. She has given over 100 scholarly presentations and 20 national and international keynote presentations on her research areas. In addition, she is the lead author of a widely circulated policy document titled, "The State of Latinos 2008: Defining an Agenda for the Future." This document was presented to members of the U.S. Congress in 2008. Dr. Salazar served on the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), a national collaborative to revise model content standards and develop learning progressions for teacher licensure, assessment, and development. She was a key contributor in the development of the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards and Learning Progressions. She also served on the Colorado Quality Teachers Commission.
Dr. Maria Salazar presented three sessions at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on infusing equity across program components, and developing valid and reliable candidate assessments. She also gave the conference keynote presentation which was titled: Cultivating equity in teacher education - The hope, despair, and tenacity of a rose that grew in concrete.
Dr. Salazar also recently participated in a summit on quality, recruitment and selectivity of teacher candidates which was held in Washington, DC by the National Education Association (NEA). She has also agreed to serve on CAEP's Equity and Global Initiatives Advisory Committee.
Dr. Salazar recently presented at the AERA Conference, and was selected to participate in an IES grant-writing workshop.
Salazar, M. & Rios, F. (2016). Just scholarship: Publishing academic research with a social justice focus. Journal of Multicultural Perspectives, 18(1), 3-11.
Salazar, M., Martinez, L., & Ortega, D. (2016). Sowing the seeds of multicultural citizenship for Latina/o undocumented youth: Spaces in school and out of school. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 18(1), 88-106.
Martinez, L., Salazar, M., & Ortega, D. (2016). Dehumanizing and humanizing pedagogies: Lessons from U.S. Latin@ and undocumented youth through the P-16 pipeline. In F. Tuitt, C. Haynes, S. Stewart, & (Eds.), Race, Equity and Higher Education: The continued search for critical and inclusive pedagogies around the globe (pp. 131-148). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing LLC.
Schmidt, Kimberly, Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Schmidt recently received her PhD from University of Colorado Boulder in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in literacy. Previously, Dr. Schmidt spent 17 years in public and private schools in a variety of contexts as a teacher and professional developer. Her research interests include multimodal and digital literacies and culturally responsive pedagogy. She is currently working on conference presentations and journal publications from her dissertation work. Her personal interests include reading, running, tennis, and watching her three children play baseball and soccer.
Uhrmacher, Bruce, Ph.D.
Dr. Uhrmacher received his PhD from Stanford University. He served as President of the American Association For Teaching and Curriculum and was honored with the University of Denver Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Uhrmacher has served as the department chair of Educational Research, Policy, and Practice and as Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction. He was also the co-editor of the Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue and book review editor of the International Journal of Leadership in Education. Dr. Uhrmacher currently serves as the faculty advisor for the Creativity Institute for Teachers. His research interests include arts-based research, qualitative research, alternative school settings, curriculum theory and practice, Waldorf education. Dr. Uhrmacher is a St. Louis Cardinals fan. He recently started playing drums, and is a music aficionado of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, and especially western swing music.