Hafenstein, Norma, Ph.D.
Clinical Professor and Ricks 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 Associate 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.
Academic Services Associate
MA in Emergent Digital Practices in progress, University of Denver; BFA in Graphic Design, University of North Florida.
Primary Responsibilities: Stephen joined MCE in August 2017 and previously worked in the Office of Graduate Studies supporting Admissions and Student Services. He oversees administrative coordination for the Teaching and Learning Department and can be contacted for student support, university policy, and administrative questions.
Lear, Janet, M.A.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Ms. Lear received her MA from the University of California-Berkeley. She worked for fourteen years in teacher preparation at the University of New Mexico. She has been a reading specialist, ESL/bilingual resource coordinator, and middle school teacher. On the national level, Ms. Lear was a member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. She has been honored with the Outstanding Lecturer of the Year Award from the University of New Mexico and the Leadership in Literacy Award from the International Dyslexia Association. Her research interests include teacher effectiveness, effective preK-12 reading instruction, dyslexia, improvement of school quality, and the impact of educational policy on public education. Ms. Lear enjoys walking her dogs, knitting, and reading.
Leonard, Betsy, M.Ed.
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, Ed.S.
Assistant Professor of the Practice and Director of Teacher Education
Ms. Lerner holds an EdS from the University of Colorado-Denver. She formerly worked with Denver Public Schools as a literacy coach and with The New Teacher Project as a teacher evaluator. Her professional interests include improving teacher effectiveness through pre-service preparation, coaching, and mentoring. Outside of work, Ms. Lerner loves exploring Denver with her husband and two small children.
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.
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.