The College of Education is committed to providing a high quality learning experience to San Diego State University students.
This college has been raising the bar for more than 100 years and will welcome seven new staff members this fall. They are among 53 new faculty members joining the SDSU family this semester.
Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education
Felisha Herrera Villarreal
Felisha Herrera Villarreal, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles 2012)
Herrera is transitioning to SDSU from Oregon State University where she has served as an assistant professor of community college leadership since 2012. Her research examines institutional structures, processes and policies, with a specific emphasis on promoting postsecondary outcomes for students of color. Her work encompasses several strands of scholarship including student mobility; pathways for underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and a critical examination of policy issues related to diversity and equity in education. Herrera is a consummate scholar, who has been published in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals, including The Review of Higher Education and the American Educational Research Journal.
Marissa Vasquez Urias
Marissa Vasquez Urias, Ed.D. (San Diego State University 2014)
Vasquez Urias’ research examines factors impacting the success of male students of color, particularly Latino and African American men, in the community college. As a faculty affiliate with the Minority Male Community College Collaborative at SDSU and Project MALES at the University of Texas, Austin, she is actively engaged in critical and applied research that addresses disparities in education, particularly within community colleges. Vasquez Urias serves as the managing editor for the Journal of Applied Research in Community College (JARCC) and board member at large for the Council for the Study of Community Colleges.
Department of Child and Family Development
Rachel Haine-Schlagel, Ph.D. (Arizona State University 2004)
Rachel Haine-Schlagel is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in understanding and promoting family participation in child and family mental health services. She has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop and pilot a toolkit to promote parent participation in publicly-funded mental health services and has an interest in extending this work to pair her toolkit with existing evidence-based interventions. She also currently collaborates on several projects focused on improving the quality and effectiveness of child mental health and early intervention services in community settings and the implementation of evidence-based intervention.
Vanja Lazarevic, Ph.D. (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2012)
Vanja Lazarevic is a family scientist specializing in the health and well-being of immigrant and refugee youth and their families. Her areas of interest include immigration and acculturation and their impact on dynamics of immigrant and refugee families, impact of social-contextual factors on the health and well-being of immigrant and refugee youth and on the parent-child relationships, and exploration of resilient factors associated with wellbeing and development of this population. She is currently working on various aspects of cultural brokering and its relation to mental health of immigrant youth.
Lisa Linder, Ph.D. (Bowling Green State University 2011)
Linder is a licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in early childhood mental health. She recently completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with Children's Hospital of Los Angeles University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, where she worked clinically with children ages 0 to 5 with severe social, emotional and behavioral disorders, conducted psychological and developmental assessments and collaborated on an National Institutes of Health study to determine the early biological markers of Autism. She also holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Redlands, an M.A. in clinical psychology from University of the Pacific. She has been endorsed by the California Center for Early Childhood Mental Health as an infant-family and early childhood mental health specialist and as a reflective practice facilitator. Her research focuses on early childhood social-emotional development, the role of early childhood educational settings in early childhood development, parent-child interactions, and early identification/treatment of Autism.
Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education
Sera Hernandez, Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley 2013)
Hernandez specializes in critical pedagogical practices with emergent bilingual students and the sociocultural and political contexts of language learning and teaching in California schools and communities. Her research interests include bilingualism, biliteracy, dual language education, critical family literacy, language socialization, second language acquisition, TESOL, teacher education, qualitative research methods, and the anthropology of education. She was a dissertation fellow for the University of California All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity and has worked in public K-12 schools and universities for over 15 years as a teacher, counselor, professional developer and teacher educator.
Department of Special Education
Nicole Pyle, Ph.D. (Claremont Graduate University & San Diego State University 2008)
Pyle is an assistant professor of mild/moderate disabilities in the Department of Special Education. Her research interests include interventions for youth at-risk, students with reading difficulties, adolescent literacy, dropout prevention, college readiness, effective teaching practices and multi-tiered interventions in inclusive settings. She was the recipient of the 2009-2011 IES Postdoctoral Fellowship on reading disabilities and response to intervention. She has more than 8 years of experience teaching middle and high school students with learning difficulties.