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Department of Special Education

A Word From the Special Education Department Chair, Dr. Joseph Wehby

Wheby

Congratulations 2020 graduates! As I told you on your first day here, Peabody’s Department of Special Education has a long history of leading the field in improving the lives of children and youth with disabilities. You are now an official part of that legacy and we expect great things from each of you.  Although you are leaving us in unusual times, we know that you are ready to change the lives of so many through your teaching, advocacy, and research. I know that the future of special education is in good hands. Celebrate your accomplishments and please keep us informed of your achievements. We look forward to seeing you in the future and we are so very proud of you. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives.

-Dr. Joseph Wehby

 

Faculty Messages to Graduates

Barnes

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places. You’re off and away!” Dr. Seuss.  Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020 – may you do Great Things in your work with students with disabilities in all the Great Places you find yourselves. 

-Dr. Marcia Barnes

 

Barton

“Congrats to all our 2020 graduates! Best wishes to your next adventures. I am completely confident that you all will do great things for children and families with disabilities. You all have the drive, compassion, and brilliance to do whatever you dream. I hope you feel proud and confident in your ability to rise to the challenges and make the world a better place for all children and their families.”

-Dr. Erin Barton

 

Biggs

“Department of Special Education Class of 2020 graduates, we are so proud of you! This time of year always brings such joy to send out special education teachers who are passionate, dedicated, and equipped with the skills and knowledge to serve children with disabilities and their families really well. Now go make a difference! And, know that you will always have support from all of us back here.”

-Dr. Elizabeth Biggs

 

capizzi

It has been such an honor and joy to be a part of your experience at Vanderbilt. Keep in mind that every little thing that you do has an impact on the students and families you serve. Make them all good ones! Congratulations on your graduation and I wish you all the best. 

-Dr. Andrea Capizzi

 

 Carter

“We are so proud of the investment you have made and the difference you will make in the lives of students with disabilities.”

-Dr. Erik Carter

 Cutting

“Congratulations SPED 2020. I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things that you will do in the coming years!”

-Dr. Laurie Cutting

 

DaFonte

 “You do not need magic to change the world. You have the power from what you have learned to create positive changes. Continue to grow and learn. Make changes that matter to you and benefit each of your students and their families. Go and make us all proud! Congratulations to all of you, Class of 2020!”

-Dr. Alexandra Da Fonte

 

 DFuchs

“Teaching is hard. Good teaching is very hard. But a good teacher can make a real difference in the lives of children. My best wishes.”

-Dr. Doug Fuchs

 

LFuchs

“Much success as your careers take off! Do good and do well.”

-Dr. Lynn Fuchs

 

 Kaiser

“Dear Friends: One of my favorite bits of advice to students (and to everyone) is "There are so many ways to be good."  There are so many ways to be a good teacher, a good therapist, a good advocate for children with disabilities, a good researcher.  You need to find, refine and cultivate your way of being good to make a difference in the lives of children and families.  If we have learned one important thing from this surprising final semester of your program, it is that each of you can rise to the occasion, to the unplanned arrangement, and to virtual reality, and be very good and very different from your vision of yourself as a student.  Take this unexpected experience with you -- you can be good in so many unnamed and as yet unknown and maybe not yet invented ways.  You are good, each of you!  Really really good! I am so proud of you!”

-Dr. Ann Kaiser

 

Paulsen

“Congratulations!  Here’s wishing you the best in all of your future endeavors – you will do great things!” “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.”  -Lee Iacocca

-Dr. Kim Paulsen

 

Wanzek

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

-Dr. Jeanne Wanzek

 

Iris

 

Awards

DISTINGUISHED TEACHER OF EXCELLENCE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AWARD. 

This award ispresented annually to the graduating student who exemplifies outstanding teaching in Special Education.The recipient of this award exemplifies a student has demonstrated knowledge and skills throughout the field-based experiences and more specifically, during student teaching. This student has demonstrated knowledge and skills in assessment, planning, data collection, instruction, collaboration, and professionalism.

  • Undergraduate (Bachelor’s in Special Education)

High Incidence Program: Jennifer Lee Zimdahl

Severe Disabilities Program:  Emily A. Novara

  • Graduates (Master’s in Special Education)

Early Childhood in Special Education Program: Kate Nuhring

High Incidence Programs: Bhabika Joshi

Severe Disabilities Program: Cassandra Gloria Hall

 

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AWARD.

This awardis presented annually to the graduating student who exemplifies the highest commitment to professional service in Special Education. The recipient of this award exemplifies a student who has gone beyond the expectations with their commitment to support, guide, or advocate in the field.

  • Undergraduate (Bachelor’s in Special Education)

High Incidence Program: Francesca Marie Sigmond

  • Graduates (Master’s in Special Education)

Early Childhood Special Education Program:Noel Lopez

High Incidence Program: Caroline Marie Goerke

 

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE IN APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS AWARD.

This awardis presented annually to the graduating student who exemplifies the highest commitment to professional service in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. The recipient of this award exemplifies a student who has gone beyond the expectations with their commitment to support, guide, or advocate in the field.

  • Graduates (Master’s in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis)

High Incidence Program: Sunya Ali Fareed


Memories of the Graduates