Meet Woodring's new faculty for 2016-17

Introducing New Woodring College of Education Faculty Members

Woodring welcomes eight new faculty members to the Western community for the 2016-17 academic year.  National searches recruited new faculty from Arizona, Minnesota, California, Michigan, Illinois, Utah and Washington states.  They bring new skills and knowledge to the college and their contributions will enhance offerings in each of Woodring’s departments.

Elementary Education department faculty member Desiree Cueto is a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson.  She is a scholar in the field of literacy research with a focus on text analysis and potential interpretations of diverse texts, critical literacy and collaborative action research. She began by teaching 4th grade and then served as a school counselor in the state of Maryland. For the last three years she has specialized in multicultural curriculum in the Tucson Unified School District.  Aligned with those interests, Cueto considered it important to find an academic community with a commitment to social justice and critical consciousness – and believes she found that at Western.
She also has an MFA in creative writing hopes her muse will be inspired by life in the Pacific Northwest environment.  Her husband is a classroom teacher and they have two young adult children and senior citizen pug dog named Chupa.

Also joining the Elementary Education department is Steph Strachan a graduate of Michigan State University.  Her academic emphasis is language and literacy education.  She has taught kindergarten and second grade children in San Diego and language and literacy courses at Michigan State University with a concentration on diverse learners who traditionally may not have been well served by the school system.  She has also taught reading assessment and instruction at the university level.  She is especially interested in supporting primary-grade teachers to integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening within science and social studies instruction.
She was attracted to the Elementary Education Program by its multiple field placements and full-year internship.  In addition to her scholarly interests, she hopes to take advantage of the outdoor activities this region has to offer and is anticipating new adventures with her husband who had not ever been to Washington state before Steph agreed to join the Woodring faculty.  We salute her sense of adventure!

New to the Human Services Department is Brett Coleman, a graduate of the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  His dissertation emphasis was  An Extended Case of Race and Resistance in Youth Development.  He has presented at multiple conferences and served on panels on topics related to critical race issues and socialization in mixed race families.
He was attracted to Western and Woodring by our commitment to inclusivity and social justice, and once here also found that the environment invites hiking adventures.  He looks forward to expanding his teaching and scholarship in those areas associated with his current publications and presentations.

Beth Dillard comes from the University of Minnesota and has joined the Elementary Education department.  She found Western while looking for an academic community that is actively engaged as much locally as it is globally and she was happy to find Western.  Her emphasis is on second-language education and her scholarship history reflects issues associated with English language learners.  
She lived and taught in Eugene and Portland, Oregon for seven years before entering graduate school in Minnesota.  In the summer of 2012 she lived in Wuhan, China teaching English and that experience shifted not only how she thinks about China, it also helped shaped how she thinks about English teaching. Dillard grew up in a multilingual Cuban-American home and as many children choose to do, she spoke mostly English as a child and then studied her heritage language, Spanish, in school.  Those experiences as well as those of her mother have inspired a life-long fascination with language learning in all of its complexity.

Tracey Pyscher also completed her Literacy Education degree at the University of Minnesota.  Her early experiences included work in an alternative high school, consultant work with refugee youth, serving as a Desegration/Diversity Coordinator and teaching high school English.  At the university level, she has supervised preservice teachers and instructed English Education candidates at the University of Minnesota.
One of the reasons Tracey was interested in coming to Western was the College’s commitment to social justice and the quality of scholarship and teaching she found represented in Woodring’s current faculty.  As evidence of that awareness, her vita reflects a 2015 publication in Woodring’s own Journal of Education Controversy. 

Jeffery Hart is currently an assistant professor of Special Education at Southern Utah University and will join Woodring’s Special Education program in winter quarter.  He has taught university-level courses at Southern Utah University and at Pennsylvania State University. His scholarship examines the relationship between special needs children’s classroom performance and physical activity and would like to collaborate across departments to further investigate how exercise can improve school performance. Hart is an avid outdoors person and enjoys rock climbing, mountaineering, biking and running.  He competes in ultra-marathons and has participated in three 100-mile foot races.  Perhaps there is a Whatcom County Ski-To-Sea event in his future.

Tim Bruce has been an adjunct instructor in the School Administration program in Woodring since 2011 and this fall he joins the program as an Assistant Professor.  His career roles include serving as the Gifted and Talented Program Coordinator in St. Maries, Idaho, Superintendent and Principal in Cottonwood, Idaho, and for the last 26 years, Superintendent of Schools in La Conner, Washington.
He has developed/facilitated/emphasized programs with the Swinomish Tribe and Skagit Valley College in areas related to Native American dropout prevention, improving college readiness through the AVID program and other issues related to Native American education success.  He has received numerous grants for research and project support and his honors include Golden Feather and Golden Apples awards.

Anselmo Villanueva, the new director of Western’s Compass to Campus program, has a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon and was hired following a national search. His experience in the education field includes classroom teaching, school principal, and counselor.  He has also been a program advisor for the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment at the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory and an Equity Specialist for Pacific Resources for Education and Learning for program in the Pacific Rim region. Much of his career has been nonprofit management with groups in Oregon and he has an extensive list of his volunteer work on boards and committees.  He holds teacher and administrator licenses in Oregon and California and a Reading Endorsement in Oregon.

A hearty welcome to all of these new faculty members!