Faculty - School of Education

Medaille faculty Dr. Watson with a student
        

Illana LaneIllana Lane, Ph.D.

Dean and Associate Professor, School of Education

Dr. Illana R. Lane has taught at Medaille since 2001, instructing undergraduate and graduate students in the graduate programs. She has instructed students in math, science, and technology methods of education, foundations of education, diversity and research in education. She has also advised student teachers and directed master's thesis projects. She earned a Ph.D. in the sociology of education from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2003. In addition to serving on many College committees, Dr. Lane has served as chair of program director for the Elementary Education programs. She serves on the Amherst Central School District Board of Education and is a board member for the New York Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE). Her participation in other organizations includes, Jack and Jill of America Inc., and Delta Kappa Gamma. In addition to presenting at local, national and international conferences on educational issues, she has also received recognition from Madison Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

 

Kelly AhunaKelly Ahuna, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Education
Dr. Kelly Ahuna (kelly.h.ahuna@medaille.edu) is an assistant professor in adolescent education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with secondary teacher certification from Dickinson College, a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Vermont and a doctoral degree in sociology of education from UB. Prior to coming to Medaille, Dr. Ahuna ran a critical thinking program at UB for ten years. Her research interests include the role of gender, race, and social class in education, critical thinking, and how to develop students into autonomous learners.

 

Virginia BatchelorVirginia Batchelor, Ph.D.

Professor, School of Education
Dr. Virginia Batchelor (vbatchelor@medaille.edu) is a professor in the School of Education, and has received over a dozen awards for community service. She earned her Ph.D. in the sociology of education from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2001, and has taught at Medaille since 2001. Her courses in Education Methods and Materials, Foundations in Education and Explorations in Diversity draw from her research and lecture experience. She is currently researching women's health and social issues.

 

 

 Elizabeth Bystrak, M.S.Ed.

Visiting Instructor, School of Education 
Elizabeth Bystrak is a visiting instructor teaching in both the Literacy and Students with Disabilities departments.  She holds permanent NYS teaching certifications in Literacy (P-12), Special Education (Birth-21) and Elementary Education (P-6).  Prior to working at Medaille, Bystrak spent ten years working as a special education teacher and reading specialist in the Hamburg Central School District across a variety of grade levels.  She has also worked as a special education evaluator in the early intervention and pre-school special education systems. In addition to teaching at Medaille College, Bystrak is actively involved in special education advocacy groups throughout WNY, focusing on supporting the academic and social needs of students with disabilities in the community.  Her research interests include literacy in the content areas, differentiated instruction practices and the use of effective assessment-driven instruction in today’s classrooms.

Michelle CefarattiMichelle Cefaratti, Ed.M.

Visiting Instructor, School of Education
Michelle Cefaratti (mac323@medaille.edu) has taught at Medaille since 2006. She has instructed students in the Literacy Program teaching assessment, developmental literacy and word study courses. Cefaratti serves as the director of the Reading Center and supervises instruction for students in the reading practica. Prior to coming to Medaille, she taught at D'Youville College and in the Williamsville Central School District for eight years. She earned a B.F.A. from Syracuse University and an Ed.M. from SUNY Buffalo in elementary education with an emphasis in reading. She holds permanent certification in Elementary Education and Professional Literacy Certification. Cefaratti serves as chair of the Faculty Development Committee, School of Education Advisory Board and as a member of the Board of Trustees committee for Academic Affairs. She is a member of the International Reading Association and Niagara Frontier Reading Council. Her research interests include the benefits of assessment-driven instruction and the affects of coursework embodied in the teacher preparation programs.

 

Craig CentrieCraig Centrie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, School of Education
Dr. Craig Centrie (ccentrie@medaille.edu)is associate professor in the School of Education. As a specialist in ethnographic data collection, he is the department's resident anthropologist. His work explores schools as a site for identity and culture construction. His most recent publication, Vietnamese Youth in an American High School, examines the identity formation of young Vietnamese refugees and their experiences in American schools. Dr. Centrie is an experienced world traveler and has lectured widely in Europe, Latin America, and Asia on education, art and human rights. In June 2005 he presented at the United Nations' Women's World Conference in Seoul, South Korea, on the experiences of Vietnamese female refugees and human rights. For over 25 years, Dr. Centrie has been an active member of Western New York's cultural community, co-founding el Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera, the area's only visual arts organization dedicated to the visual art of Latinos. As a photographer and videographer, he inspires creativity in his students and encourages new ways to explore academic issues. His present research explores image based research.

 

Claudia ConwayClaudia Conway, M.S.Ed.

Clinical Associate Professor, Program Director for MSED Literacy & MSED Students with Disabilities, Chair of Undergraduate Education Programs

 Claudia Conway is a clinical associate professor in literacy, assuming the role of program director for M.S.Ed. in literacy in 2007. Conway’s area of expertise is in language development and early literacy. Prior to coming to Medaille, she taught for twenty-five years in public schools in Ohio. In 2000, she joined John Carroll University and the Institute of Educational Renewal as a literacy specialist working on-site in the Cleveland Public Schools. Her work included teaching graduate courses focusing on literacy instruction and whole-school renewal, providing classroom coaching, and presenting whole-school and district staff development seminars. She also mentored building principals in the implementation of professional learning communities. Conway currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy.

 

Elaine CorreaElaine Correa, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, School of Education
Dr. Elaine Correa (ecorrea@medaille.edu) earned her Ph.D. from McGill University in the Department of Administration and Policy Studies in Education. She has taught in Canada and the United States in the fields of education, women's studies and Canadian Studies. Her research area and publications pertain to critical feminist pedagogy, popular culture, e-learning, educational equity, multiculturalism, and law. Dr. Correa is a reviewer for CHOICE: Current Review for Academic Libraries and a recipient of the Western New York Service Learning Coalition Faculty Fellowship. She is an associate professor in the School of Education and she serves as the chair of the Institutional Review Board for Medaille College.

 

Susan DunkleSusan Dunkle, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Ecudation
Dr. Susan Dunkle has taught at Medaille since 2006, instructing undergraduate and graduate students in math, science, and technology methods of education, foundations of education, curriculum planning and children's literature. She has also advised student teachers and directed master's thesis projects. She earned an Ed.D. in the educational leadership from D'Youville College, in which her research focused on the remediation of math anxiety in pre-service elementary school teachers. In addition to serving on many college committees, Dr. Dunkle presently serves as the Academic Program Director for Adolescent Education. She taught previously for D'Youville College's Education Department and Canisius College in the Department of Military Science. As a former military officer, she has extensive experience in leadership, team building, and professional development. Her affiliations include OAME, NSTA, NCTM, and has served on the Board of Managers for the Lancaster YMCA.

 

Jeffrey A. FaunceJeffrey A. Faunce, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Education
Dr. Jeffrey Faunce is an assistant professor at Medaille College teaching various courses including Social Studies, ELA and Arts Methods, Foundations of Education, The Core of Education, The Teacher as Researcher, and others. He also supervises student teachers in elementary schools throughout the area. Before coming to Medaille, Dr. Faunce was a full-time instructor at Canisius College and an adjunct professor at Daemen College (in the Canadian Scholars Program) and at D'Youville College. Prior to teaching at the post-secondary level, Dr. Faunce was a middle school building principal, a middle school and high school assistant principal and a 10-year public school teacher. He enjoys music, reading, golf, running and most of all spending time with his wonderful children.

 

Patricia K. HeffernanPatricia K. Heffernan, Ed.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Education
Dr. Patricia K. Heffernan (pkh25@medaille.edu) is a visiting assistant professor at Medaille College teaching graduate students on both the Amherst and Buffalo Campuses. She has 35 years of experience in the field of education. Prior to coming to Medaille, she held various administrative positions including principal, vice principal, coordinating administrator of special education and curriculum coordinator in addition to teaching. Her experience is in public urban and private schooling at both elementary and secondary levels. Also, she spent many years in the field of education of the deaf.

Dr. Heffernan earned her doctorate in curriculum planning and instruction at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Additionally she holds degrees in deaf education and administration. Previously she taught as an adjunct professor at several colleges and recently she taught full time in Rochester. She has written a number of articles, given numerous presentations and served in various state and national capacities.

 

Belete MebratuBelete Mebratu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, School of Education
Dr. Belete Mebratu (bmebratu@medaille.edu) is an associate professor and has taught in the School of Education since 2004. Dr. Mebratu earned a Ph.D. in elementary education from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with previous studies and teaching experiences at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. His courses include curriculum studies, educational research, pedagogy, and transitions from education's roots to the present. These courses draw from Dr. Mebratu's publications and presentations on childhood education, curriculum reform, teacher education, and international educational systems. Mebratu presently serves as the Academic Program Director for the Childhood Education (MSED) of the School of Education.

 

Mary Beth ScumaciMary Beth Scumaci, M.S.Ed.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Instructional Technology Coordinator for the School of Education, Assessment Coordinator for the School of Education and Education Graduate Student Society Advisor
Mary Beth Scumaci (mscumaci@medaille.edu) became a full-time instructor at Medaille College in 2005. She is a clinical assistant professor, instructional technology coordinator & assessment coordinator for the School of Education. Scumaci holds a B.S.Ed. and M.S.Ed. from the State University College at Geneseo. She is a New York State permanently certified educator in grades Nursery School – Grade 6, holds an endorsement in Early Childhood Education, a minor in psychology and a specialization in advanced teaching. She designs, implements, and teaches online courses for the School of Education and holds an online certification from Sloan Consortium in Design and Delivery. She is a Blackboard and SMART Board certified trainer.  Scumaci teaches in the traditional and virtual classrooms, and supervises students during fieldwork placements. One of her favorite roles at Medaille is serving as an advisor for the Education Graduate Student Society (EGSS), a student run organization that focuses on scholarship, professional development, community service, socialization and college spirit.

Jane ScuraJane Scura, Ed.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Education
Dr. Jane Scura (jfs57@medaille.edu) is a visiting assistant professor at Medaille College, teaching courses in Developmental Literacy, Literacy Assessment and Early Field Experience. She received her B.S. from Mercyhurst College in general education and special education, an M.S. from Nazareth College in special education, a C.A.S. in administration from SUNY Brockport and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Southeastern Nova University.

After dedicating 31 years of service to the students and families in the inner city schools of the Rochester City School District, she came to Medaille College to further her work in teacher development. While with the Rochester City School District, she served as a special education teacher, director of two preschools, principal of three elementary schools and lead principal. Dr. Scura provided teacher training in several areas including literacy, classroom environment and working with parents as well as leadership training for administrators. She also served as an adjunct professor at SUNY Geneseo. Believing that the optimum working environment is within a community of learners, the leap to higher education with Medaille College has proven to be a positive experience within her new learning community. She feels that her work in public education allows for the opportunity to not only coach future teachers, but also share experiences to enrich their understanding of the world of education and to promote student academic and life-long success.

 

Renee SturmRenee Sturm, Ed.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Education
Dr. Renee Sturm (renee.sturm@medaille.edu) began teaching at Medaille in 2007. Prior to coming to Medaille she taught in the Canadian Education program at D’Youville College for three years. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Buffalo State College, and both a M.S. in Secondary Education and an Ed.D. in Educational leadership from D’Youville College. Dr. Sturm has taught several courses within the School of Education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her current research focuses on nontraditional female students’ higher education success rates.

 

Colleen A. Wilkinson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Dr. Colleen Wilkinson (caw336@medaille.edu) is a visiting assistant professor in the Students with Disabilities Program for both BSED and MSED students in Education. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Special Education with K-12 teaching certification from Buffalo State College, certification in School Administration from St. Bonaventure University, and a doctoral degree in Special Education from UB. Prior to coming to Medaille, Dr. Wilkinson worked as a Special Education Teacher in the City of Buffalo for eleven years. Her research interests include differentiated instructional strategies, behavior management, and teacher preparation.

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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