Ronald Beghetto and more than 20 new faculty members join MLFTC


Meghan Krein

Division of Teacher Preparation

Ronald Beghetto, professor, Pinnacle West Endowed Chair in Teacher Preparation: Beghetto comes to Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College from the University of Connecticut. He is an internationally recognized expert on creative thought and action in educational settings. Previously, Beghetto served as professor of educational psychology, director of UCONN’s Innovation House, and graduate program coordinator for the Cognition, Instruction, Learning and Technology Program in the Neag School of Education. He is also the editor for the Journal of Creative Behavior, series editor for Creative Theory and Action in Education and creativity advisor for Lego Foundation. 

Carole Greenes, professor: Prior to joining MLFTC, Greenes was the director of the Practice Research and Innovation in Mathematics Education Center and was professor of mathematics education in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She came to ASU in 2007 from Boston University. At ASU, she served as dean of the School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation at the Polytechnic campus, and associate vice provost for STEM education, before devoting full time to the PRIME Center.

Lauren van Huisstede, postdoctoral scholar: van Huisstede graduated with her PhD in Family and Human Development through the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU in 2019. She begins her position as a postdoctoral scholar in the Division of Teacher Preparation. 

Steven Salik, clinical assistant professor: As a graduate adjunct professor since 2005, Salik specializes in learning design and educational technology. 

Amber Benedict, assistant professor: Benedict comes to us from the University of Florida where she was a clinical assistant professor in the College of Education. Her research focuses on teacher education and issues of teaching quality for students with high-incidence disabilities. 

Heather Villarruel, assistant division director and clinical assistant professor: Villarruel was previously the ASU site coordinator for dual-certification programs in the Pendergast Elementary School District.

Erika Flores, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Flores’ cohort will be based out of Globe in partnership with Eastern Arizona College. 

Audrey Garcia, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Garcia will be supporting teacher candidates at Yuma Elementary. 

Lizeth Vazquez, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Vazquez will be supporting teacher candidates at Yuma Secondary. 

Lirio Patton, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Patton will be supporting teacher candidates in the Osborn School District, working in the bilingual education and English as a second language program. 

Judy Byrd, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Byrd joins us from Rancho Solano Preparatory School where she was the director of curriculum. She’ll be working in Mesa, supporting teacher candidates. 

Lynzi Stralek, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Stralek will be at Washington Elementary, supporting teacher candidates. 

Kathleen Haltorp, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Haltorp will be supporting teacher candidates at Gilbert Public Schools, where she taught special education for 23 years. 

Kelly Southard, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Southard will be supporting teacher candidates at Washington Elementary. Previously, she was an early childhood special education teacher at Peoria Unified School District. 

Jennifer Lucht, clinical assistant professor (site lead): Lucht will be supervising teacher candidates obtaining dual certification in special education and elementary education during their junior-year internships and senior-year residencies. She will be in both Avondale and Tolleson school districts. 

Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation

Lauren Katzman, executive director of the Urban Collaborative and associate research professor: The Urban Collaborative works with school districts across the country who are committed to leading inclusive and equitable education for students with disabilities. Katzman heads up strategic efforts to foster the leadership development of urban school district administrators in general and special education.

Yeukai Mlambo, assistant research professor and assistant director for research and evaluation: Mlambo has been promoted from a postdoctoral scholar working in the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education. She leads data collection, analysis and knowledge mobilization for two projects funded by the Mastercard Foundation.

Seungki Shin, clinical assistant professor: Shin earned his PhD in Learning, Design and Technology from University of Georgia. He will be teaching in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation. 

Lydia Ross, clinical assistant professor: Promoted from postdoctoral scholar, Ross now serves as the executive director for the Association of Education Finance and Policy and a clinical assistant professor for the Division of Educational Leadership. Her research focuses on access and equity in higher education with an emphasis on STEM. 

Meseret Hailu, assistant professor: Hailu joins MLFTC from The Ohio State University, where she was a postdoctoral research associate. The theme of her research is the pursuit of gender equity in STEM education, and she focuses on the strategies, programs and systems that help historically underrepresented students and faculty succeed in these fields. 

Amanda Tachine, assistant professor: A former MLFTC postdoctoral scholar, Tachine researches college and transition, sense of belonging and qualitative methodology, through an Indigenous lens. 

Rachel Mayercek, associate research professional: Mayercek is transferring to MLFTC from ASU’s College of Health Solutions, where she worked for two years. She is also director of the Infant Child Research Laboratory. Mayercek was previously with MLFTC for four years.