Meet JMU's newest faculty

by Janet Smith


The College of Education is welcoming 10 new faculty members for the 2014-15 academic year.

Kara M. Kavanagh
Assistant Professor, Early, Elementary and Reading Education
Kavanagh is originally from Sterling, Va., in Loudoun County but recently moved from Atlanta, where she spent the last seven years.

  • Education: Ph.D., early and elementary education, Georgia State University; master's, elementary education, Armstrong Atlantic State University; B.A., psychology, George Mason University
  • Areas of Expertise: Urban/Critical Multicultural Education; Teacher Development; Social Justice; Culturally Relevant Pedagogy; Micropolitical contexts of teaching and learning in urban schools
  • Courses Teaching: Diversity and Elementary Education; Families, Schools, and Communities

Katya Koubek
Associate Professor, Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities
Coordinator, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Koubek has lived in Russia and the Czech Republic.

  • Education: Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln; M.A., Charles University (Czech Republic)

Amanda Gantt Sawyer
Assistant Professor, Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education
Sawyer’s hometown is Columbia, S.C.

  • Education: Ph.D., mathematics education, University of Georgia
  • Areas of Expertise: Elementary mathematics education with a focus on beliefs of preservice teachers
  • Courses Teaching: Advanced Mathematics Instruction for K-8, Children and Mathematics; Content Area Field Experiences in High School Mathematics

Mira Cole Williams
Assistant Professor, Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities
Williams’ hometown is Charlottesville, Va. You can find out more about her research using ResearchGate and more about her love for education on Facebook: Mira Cole Williams.

  • Education: Ph.D., curriculum, instruction and special education, University of Virginia; M.T., University of Virginia; B.A., psychology, University of Virginia
  • Areas of Expertise: Early Childhood Inclusive Education; Family-School Partnerships; Early Language and Literacy; Early Interventio
  • Courses Teaching: Child Development; Practicum and Supervision; Service Delivery in Early Childhood Special Education; Issues and Trends in Early Childhood Education

D. Reece Wilson
Assistant Professor, Early, Elementary and Reading Education
Director, Young Children's Program
Wilson is from Knox, Pa.

  • Education: Ed.D., curriculum and learning/concentration in reading education, University of Pittsburgh; M.S., education, Clarion University; B.S., elementary education, Clarion University
  • Areas of Expertise: Reading Education, particularly comprehension; School/Family Partnerships; Child Development; Early Childhood Program Administration
  • Courses Teaching: Family, School and Community Relationships

Also joining the College of Education faculty are:

Mike Alexander
Instructor, Military Science

Capt. Diana Cruz
Assistant Professor, Military Science

Master Sgt. Andrew R. Fleck
Senior Instructor, Military Science

Capt. Marco Ramello
Assistant Professor and Executive Officer, Military Science

Steven Ratcliffe
Instructor, Military Science

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Aug. 25, 2014

Published: Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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