LDA Professional Advisory Board, Biographical Sketches
2013 - 2014
Robin P. Church, Ed.D., Co-Chair
Dr. Church is currently the Senior Vice President for Educational Programs and Executive Director of School Programs at The Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore; as well as Associate Professor of Education at The Johns Hopkins University. She received her undergraduate training at Lesley College, and graduate training at Teachers College, Columbia University, and The Johns Hopkins University. Church has 40 years of experience in working with children with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, autism, and other developmental disorders, and over 20 years of experience training and teaching graduate students of education. She serves on several local and national professional boards and oversees a school serving over 600 students in seven locations, including three in the public school arena. Church has directed research efforts in the area of adolescent literacy and related research projects with students with multiple learning and behavior problems. She has published extensively in the field.
Larry B. Silver, M.D., Co-Chair
Dr. Silver, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, recently retired from private practice. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Prior to his current activities, he was Acting Director and Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Prior to this position, he was Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Pediatrics, and Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in New Jersey. For more than forty years, Silver's primary areas of research, clinical work, and writing have focused on the psychological, social, and family impact of learning disabilities. He has more than 150 research, public policy, and clinical publications, including his popular book for parents, The Misunderstood Child, now in its fourth edition. Silver has been active in LDA since 1969, serving on its Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Professional Advisory Board. He was LDA President from 2000 – 2002. In 1992 he received LDA’s highest award, The Learning Disabilities Association Award. In 1996, he received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the study and treatment of Learning Disabilities.
EunMi Cho, Ed.D.
Along with serving on LDA’s Professional Advisory Board, Dr. Cho has been serving LDA on the Conference Program Committee and Proposal Reviewer, and LDA of California as Multicultural Committee Chair, Northern California/East Bay Director. Previously, Cho has served as Vice-President and Teacher Credential and Development Committee Chair, LDA of California Sacramento Affiliate Director, and Treasurer. Cho is a Special Education Professor at California State University Sacramento, Parent Advocate, Consultant for the California Department of Education, Special Education Division, and a Bilingual/Multicultural Program Reviewer of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; a Curriculum Consultant, Teacher’s Curriculum Institute, Executive Board Member and Conference Program Planning Committee Chair, Joy Research and Training Center for The Disabled in the USA and Overseas (China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Korea, Mexico). Founder and Coordinator, “One Mind Group: Parents Support Group” in California and Editor of Journal of Special Children Education, The Korean Association for Children with Disabilities, Medical Investigation for Neuro-developmental Disorders Summer Institute Program Planning Committee. Cho holds an Ed.D. in Multicultural Special Education, an MA. in Special Education, Resource Specialist Certificate, Special Education Teaching Credentials, Multiple Subject Credentials in California and in South Korea. Over thirty years publishing/presenting research papers in local, state, nationwide, internal level. The main topics have been effective instruction/assessment for students with LDs or English learners with disabilities, intercultural communication styles and transforming parents as their children’s advocacy.
Steven G. Gilbert, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
Dr. Gilbert is Director and Founder of the Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND), received a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, and is a Diplomat of American Board of Toxicology. He is an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, and Affiliate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, at the University of Washington Bothell. He is a former owner and President of Biosupport, LTD., which he sold to SNBL USA Ltd. These firms were involved in pre-clinical contract research, toxicology, and specialized model development. Gilbert’s research has focused on neurobehavioral effects of low-level exposure to lead and mercury on the developing nervous system. His book, A Small Dose of Toxicology - The Health Effects of Common Chemicals was published in 2004. Most recently he started a wiki-based web site Toxipedia with the mission of connecting science and people which supports a suite of sites all with the goal of creating a more healthy and peaceful world. The overall goal of these projects is to place scientific information in the context of history, society and culture. In 2012, a free online 2nd edition of A Small Dose of Toxicology was just released by Healthy World Press.
John Hosterman, Ph.D.
John Hosterman holds a Ph.D. in Learning Disabilities from Northwestern University. He is the Director of the Office of Disability Services and Accessibility at Pearson VUE. His responsibilities include oversight of the department responsible for reviewing all disability-related accommodations requests for the GED Testing Service and many other Pearson VUE clients, as well as guidance regarding disability policy and accessibility. Prior to his work at Pearson, Hosterman was the Director of Accommodations Review for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). He is the editor-in-chief and a primary author of the recent publication, Medical Students with Disabilities: Resources to Enhance Accessibility (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2010). Hosterman is a frequent presenter at national education and psychology conferences speaking on topics including disability accommodations on high stakes exams, disability law, and accessible testing. He is fluent in American Sign Language and is active in the deaf community.
Robert Isherwood, Ed.D.
Dr. Isherwood is an Assistant Professor at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and a partner in the Keystone Educational Consulting Group. Isherwood has been a professor in the Special Education Department at SRU for eight years. Prior to his work as a professor he was a school administrator in the Leechburg Area School District and the Plum Borough School District. Before becoming an administrator he worked as an emotional support and learning support teacher for ten years in the Highlands School District. Isherwood has consulted in over 70 school districts in Pennsylvania, Texas, Iowa, and the Virgin Islands on areas of special education school law issues, co-teaching, differentiated instruction, and technology integration in inclusive classrooms. Isherwood was the keynote speaker at the Iowa State LDA conference in 2010. He recently published an article on co-teaching in Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal and in the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research. He sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research and The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship, as well as LDA’s Professional Advisory Board. Isherwood is a past recipient of the Butler County United Way Red Apple Award for outstanding contribution to the field of education.
Jodi D. Katsafanas, Ed.D.
Dr. Katsafanas is a tenured Assistant Professor of Special Education at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania, where she acts as Coordinator of the Community Programs for Americans with Disabilities, faculty advisor for the honor society Lambda Sigma and for DRIVE, a volunteer student organization that raises awareness of issues of disability on campus. She has served in multiple positions at LDA, including Professional Advisory Board and Conference Program Committee member. Previously, Katsafanas taught in separate settings and as well as inclusive classrooms for 18 years in three states, and was an Instructional Support Trainer/Consultant for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She earned her doctorate in special education from the University of Pittsburgh under the guidance of Naomi Zigmond. Katsafanas’ research interests include the study of inclusive practices abroad. Each year Katsafanas travels with 20 students to collect data in schools for students with learning disabilities for her studies of philosophy, policy and practices of inclusion abroad, including travels to The Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Costa Rica, Mexico, and St. Lucia.
Delia J. Laing, Ph.D.
Dr. Laing brings to the field of education and business a unique perspective as result of experiences in both the public and private sector. She understands the demands placed on professionals responsible for education as they prepare students to meet high standards of performance. She assists organizations with change initiatives that improve individual and organizational performance. Laing currently serves as a regional director for The Leona Group, LLC. Her experiences include teaching in K-12 education and higher education. She served as a supervisor in teacher education for candidates completing an endorsement in Autism Spectrum Disorder and as a committee member to North Central Accreditation team reviews. Laing holds a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Administration in Education from The University of Michigan, a M.A. from The University of South Dakota, and a B.S. from Ball State University. Along with serving on LDA’s Professional Advisory Board, she serves on The Advisory Board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan, and has numerous publications and presentations in the field of education. Liang’ areas of expertise include Program Administration, Evaluation, and School Improvement; Research and University Instruction; Special Education Compliance, Teaching and Consultation; Organizational Development and Change Management.
Janet W. Lerner, Ph.D.
Dr. Lerner has been active in the Illinois LDA and at also at the national level for many years. She has taught children with learning disabilities at the Elementary and Secondary levels, and has trained students in the field of learning disabilities at several colleges and universities. Lerner has served as editor and co-editor of the LDA journal, Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal. Her textbook, Learning Disabilities and Related Disabilities is currently under revision for the 12th edition. She has served as a Professional Advisory Board (PAB) member several times. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University. She believes that the Learning Disabilities Association remains a strong advocate for children and adults with learning disabilities.
Paula Maccini, Ph.D.
Dr. Maccini obtained her Ph.D. in Special Education at Penn State University in 1998. Prior to that, Dr. Maccini earned a masters degree in special education--learning handicapped from California State University, Hayward, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education at the University of Maryland. Maccini also has a secondary mathematics education background and experience teaching algebra to secondary students with special needs in Maryland, South Carolina, and California. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. She teaches methods courses for pre-service teachers and practicing teachers with a focus on research-based interventions for students with high incidence disabilities. Maccini’s related research projects include both intervention research and survey research in the area of mathematics with secondary students with learning disabilities (LD). Her research projects include publications in the area of mathematics instruction for secondary students with LD, including special and general education teachers' perceptions and application of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards for school mathematics for students with LD and emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), research on curriculum, assessment, and accountability policy for students with LD and EBD served within day treatment and residential schools and juvenile correctional programs, as well as effective interventions for helping students access the general education mathematics curriculum in light of the Common Core State Standards.
Patricia Santistevan Matthews, Ed.D.
Dr. Matthews is a Clinical Associate Professor with the Mild/Moderate Special Education Program at the University of Utah in an auxiliary position. She recently has returned to K-12 public education as a teacher specialist in special education in the Jordan School District. She earned her doctorate from Northern Arizona University in curriculum and instruction with a special emphasis in programming for culturally linguistically diverse populations in 2008. She has worked as both a special education teacher in the areas of mild/moderate and severe programming and as a Prevention Specialist in general education. Dr. Matthews has developed programs for "at risk" regular and special population students, and has trained teachers, parents and support staff. Before moving into higher education she was employed in public education by Granite School District in the Salt Lake City area for fifteen years where she was awarded the Granite Education Foundation Excel Outstanding Educator of the year award for the 1998-99 school year. Her research interests include mathematics instruction for struggling learners, female educational empowerment, and designing and evaluating community engaged learning projects at both the local and global community levels for diverse populations with exceptional learning needs. Dr. Matthews is proud of her Latina heritage and enjoys living in the most diverse city in Utah, West Valley City with her husband and four daughters.
Jerome Schultz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schultz began his career as a special education teacher. He is currently in private practice as a clinical neuropsychologist and is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry. He specializes in the neuropsychological assessment and treatment of children with special needs. For 30 years he was on the faculty and served as the Founding Director of a diagnostic clinic called the Learning Lab @ Lesley University. Schultz served for several years at as the Co-Director of the Center for Child and Adolescent Development at the Cambridge (MA) Health Alliance. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University and holds a Ph.D. from Boston College. He has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology. In addition to his role as a member of the LDA PAB, Schultz also serves on the professional advisory board of a website for ADHD, and on the Editorial Board of the journal Academic Psychiatry. He serves as neuropsychological consultant to several school districts, and offers presentations and professional development throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of Nowhere to Hide: The Real Reason Kids with LD and ADHD Hate School and What We Can Do About It, which examines the role of stress in learning. (Jossey-Bass/Wiley).
Kathi Tarrant-Parks, Ph.D.
Dr. Tarrant-Parks currently serves on the Professional Advisory Boards of LDA, and the LDA of Michigan state chapter. For the past 12 years she has worked as a Literacy and Assistive Technology (AT) Consultant for the Wayne Assistive Technology Resource Center. As a consultant, she provides AT services to 29 local school districts in Wayne County, Michigan. Tarrant-Parks' work entails the AT evaluation process, the integration of AT to support student access to the core curriculum, and helping school districts build capacity to provide accessible instructional materials (AIM) and AT services at the local level. In addition, Tarrant-Parks provides professional development focused on cognitive strategy instruction in literacy for students with learning disabilities. Throughout the year, she also conducts AT workshops for educators and parents on specific tools and technologies designed to support student achievement. She has served on the Michigan Region IV AT Consortium for the past ten years. Prior to joining the resource center, she was a faculty member in the special education program at Wayne State University where she taught graduate classes in learning disabilities, literacy, and inclusive education. Her background in special education began in the Lansing School District as a special education teacher for high incidence disabilities. She is in frequent demand as a guest presenter at several local colleges. Tarrant-Parks holds a B.S. from Eastern Michigan University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.