Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Aerial view of the N A U campus.

New 2023 Faculty and Staff

Welcome to COE

Meet the new faces you’ve seen in your meetings, in the hallways, and in a Zoom room! COE is excited to welcome these folks to our college. Please give them a warm welcome.

Jennifer Berry

Financial Oversight Analyst | Office of the Dean

Jennifer Berry is an Arizona Native and graduate from Flagstaff High School. She started with NAU in the College of Education in March 2023 as a Financial Oversight Analyst. Her background is in finance, particularly banking and consumer/mortgage lending. She loves spending time with her husband and two daughters, camping and antiquing. Jennifer is involved with her daughters at Coconino High School Cheer and 4-H. Her passions include cooking and baking.

Veronica Franyutti

Academic Program Coordinator | Office of the Associate Dean

Veronica joins the College of Education as an Academic Program Coordinator with over fifteen years teaching experience spanning elementary to adult education. At the Montessori School of Flagstaff, Veronica facilitated state testing and Move on When Reading mandates while teaching struggling readers targeted reading skills. She lived in the UK for six years and taught English to students from all over the world.  Last year at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Veronica managed exhibitions, planned public programs, and administered summer camps.

Chad Gestson

Executive Director | Arizona Institute for Education and the Economy

Dr. Chad Gestson is the founding Executive Director of the Arizona Institute for Education and the Economy and serves as Special Advisor to the President on K-12 at Northern Arizona University.Prior to joining NAU, Gestson spent 22 years in K-12 education, most recently as Superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District from 2015-2023. He also served as a leadership director, high school and middle school principal, elementary assistant principal, and teacher. In the fall of 2022, Gestson was named Arizona’s 73rd Man of the Year by Valley Leadership. In 2021, Gestson was named the Arizona Policymaker of the Year by the Arizona Health Association and the Arizona Superintendent of the Year by the Arizona Association for Public Relations. 

Gestson is an alum of The Broad Academy at Yale’s School of Management and a member of Chiefs for Change, Stanford’s Hoover Education Success Initiative, and the Carnegie Foundation’s Leadership Network. In 2019, he published his first book, BEFORE Teaching and Learning, a turnaround guide for school leaders. Gestson has a B.A. from the University of Washington, an M.Ed. from Arizona State University, and an M.Ed. and Ed.D. from Northern Arizona University. He and his wife, Megan, currently the Executive Director for Leadership and Learning in the Roosevelt School District, have two children, Olivia (a sophomore at NAU) and Andrew, ages 18 and 15, respectively, and reside in Phoenix.

Monica Evans

Financial Oversight Analyst | Professional Education Programs

Monica Evans came to COE:PEP as a part-time employee in July  2022. She started full-time in her current role as Financial Oversight Analyst Sr for PEP in April 2023.

Monica came to Flagstaff in 2018 with her family as part of a work contract. She loved the area so much she decided to stay and make Flagstaff her home. Monica has an amazing 10-year-old boy. She and her son love being outside, going on walks, and playing video games/board games together.

Lori Reid

Academic Program Coordinator, Senior | Office of the Associate Dean

Lori Reid is a proud NAU alumni, graduating  with her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Speech Pathology and Audiology degree in 1997. She went on to teach general education grades kindergarten through third for thirteen years before earning her Masters in Cross-Categorical Special Education from Grand Canyon University. She taught special education students for seven years in Arizona district schools. During her twenty-plus years of teaching, she served as a mentor teacher for NAU and ASU teacher candidates, worked extensively on curriculum development, served in several leadership roles, and facilitated numerous district-level professional developments. For the last nearly three years, she has served as an Accountability Specialist and Education Program Manager for the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, overseeing eighty-five of Arizona’s charter holders. Personally, Lori has two grown children, one grandson and a granddaughter on the way, and enjoys everything “outdoors” from hiking, to kayaking, and fishing. Lori is more than thrilled to be back in Flagstaff at her beloved alma mater and is excited to serve in the College of Education!

Stephanie Jackson

Research Coordinator | Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Stephanie Jackson is Diné originally from Tuba City, resides in Flagstaff.  She began her career as an outdoor educator providing experiential learning opportunities for youth in the Southwest region.  Mrs. Jackson earned her Master’s in Climate Science and Solutions at Northern Arizona University.  She created a science curriculum and taught middle school science for seven years at a charter school. She has also served as a Year Two instructor with Upward Bound Academy, providing opportunities for first-generation, low-income high school youth.  She recently joined the Center for Science Teaching and Learning to provide professional learning in STEM education.

Lauren Shollenberger

Research Coordinator | Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Lauren began her career in science education teaching high school chemistry in Pennsylvania and later in Alabama, after earning a bachelor’s in chemistry from Elizabethtown College. While teaching, she earned a Master of Science Education from Lebanon Valley College. After moving to Arizona, Lauren transitioned her science education career into higher education. She worked at Arizona State University first as an academic advisor within Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation and moved on to become the Senior Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs in the School of Molecular Sciences. She also began NAU’s Educational Leadership (Higher Education) Ed.D. program in 2022 and plans to complete her dissertation in the realm of science education. Lauren recently joined the Center for Science Teaching and Learning as a Professional Learning Coordinator (Research Coordinator), Senior. She is excited to continue contributing to advancing science education in this new role and to call Flagstaff home.

Shannon Thiel

STEM Education/C-CART | Academic Program Coordinator

Shannon is excited to be at NAU as an academic program coordinator. Before starting at NAU, she taught middle school biology at Basis Ed. Shannon hopes to utilize her five years of administrative experience, customer service, and love for education to bring great support to this role. Outside of work, Shannon enjoy ballet dancing and going on walks with her partner and corgi.

Christina Baze

 Future Faculty Fellow | STEM Education

Dr. Christina Baze (she/her/hers) is from Flagstaff and is a graduate of the NAUTeach and Master of Arts in Science Teaching (MAST) programs at NAU. She completed her Ph.D. in STEM Education at The University of Texas at Austin and a postdoc at the University of Arizona. Her teaching experiences include high school chemistry, biology at CCC, undergraduate science and teaching courses at NAU and UT, and even summer astronomy camps with elementary-aged youth at Lowell Observatory. Her research interests center on student experiences in STEM, including science and engineering practices, epistemologies in practice, identity development, and classroom power dynamics. Outside of academia, she enjoys watching and reading sci-fi and fantasy, working with horses, and doing activism work.

Priyanka Parekh

Assistant Research Professor | STEM Education

Priyanka Parekh is a researcher specializing in STEM education and the Learning Sciences. With a keen focus on learners, she crafts innovative learning environments that foster learners’ individual experiences, identities, and agency.

Nicholas Lim

Associate Teaching Professor | Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

Dr. Nicholas Lim joins the COE Clinical Psychology Department with a master’s degree and a Ph.D in Experimental Psychology from the University of Arkansas. In his previous position at Spalding University, he was the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee. Some of Dr. Lim’s research interests include test development, biases and stereotypes and stereotype threat.  As an instructor, Dr. Lim has taught courses on statistics, social psychology, research methods, and tests and measurements.

Amy Biang

Assistant Clinical Professor | Educational Psychology

Dr. Amy Biang is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to her doctoral program, she was a clinical counselor for eight years, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other mood disorders. Dr. Biang is a certified eating disorder specialist (CEDS) through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). She has two amazing young adult children and is married to her husband Jerry. Amy has lived in Tucson and Prescott Valley and is excited to return to Arizona. She loves running, hiking, camping, soccer, or just reading a good book and binge-watching shows.

Austin Guida

Assistant Clinical Professor | Educational Psychology

Austin Guida is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling/School Counseling program. She holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Arizona. She has been a faculty member within the counseling program at NAU since the fall of 2022, teaching courses for school and mental health counselors-in-training, such as marriage and family counseling, counseling processes, counseling assessment, and research methods.

Dr. Guida is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Licensed Associate Counselor in the state of Arizona, with a focus on high-conflict family therapy, co-parenting counseling, and forensic assessment. Her clinical experience includes working with adults and children in individual, family, and group counseling modalities in various settings, including schools, outpatient substance use, college counseling centers, and clinical and forensic private practice. Her clinical work is the driving force that informs her research, focused on implementing interventions grounded within contextual and relational theories, primarily, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), to address domains of self-efficacy and self-regulation within high-conflict family systems, children, and groups.

Cambria McDonald

Future Faculty Fellow | Educational Psychology

Cambria McDonald is originally from El Paso, Texas and moved to San Antonio, Texas to pursue a higher education. She is currently finishing her PhD in counselor education and supervision at St. Mary’s University. Her research interests include counselor vulnerability, counselor adversity, and cultural influences on addiction. Cambria’s clinical interests are perfectionism, body image issues, attachment issues, and cultural bound value concerns. In her free time, Cambria enjoys hiking, travelling, garden, and spending time with friends.

Lisa Draper

Lecturer | Educational Specialties

Lisa brings diverse experience to her position as Lecturer in Educational Specialties.  She has a Master of Education, a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences (B.S.R.S) and certification as a Registered Technologist in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Mitchel Askew

Lecturer | First Year Seminar

Mitch Askew taught History and coached football at Flagstaff High School for the past several years. He earned a Master of Arts in History from NAU, and he was a Lecturer for First Year Seminar last fall. With both public school and Upward Bound teaching experience, Mitch looks forward to engaging students through active class discussions, critical content analysis and applying content to students’ lives.

Emma Canning

Lecturer | First Year Seminar

Emma Canning is an NAU alumni with her Bachelor’s and both Master’s degrees from NAU. She has studied Education and English. In her time at NAU she has worked across multiple areas: academic advising, running a peer mentoring program, providing social work support for students, and teaching. In all these roles, working directly with students has been the most meaningful part.  Now in FYS, exploring ideas of the human experience and artistic expression is the cherry on top!

Sarah Shamah

Lecturer | First Year Seminar

Sarah Shamah joins the College of Education as a Lecturer in the First Year Seminar program. She brings 20 years of dynamic experience teaching at the secondary level both in Flagstaff and New York City in the areas of Spanish and TESOL. In addition, she has served as an advocate for the families of underserved youth and second language learners within Flagstaff Unified School District. Sarah is excited to help freshmen students transition into their post-secondary world at NAU by creating opportunities to enhance critical thinking skills, build relationships and achieve success in their first year and beyond.

Amanda Amann

Assistant Clinical Professor | Teaching and Learning

Mrs. Amann has been education for over 20 years. Currently she is the EL Coordinator, Hearing Officer, and Education Program Coordinator for the Bullhead City Grow Your Own Program with NAU.

Stephanie Branson

Assistant Professor | Teaching and Learning

Stephanie Branson was formerly an elementary teacher in Georgia and Florida, teaching across K-5, prior to transitioning into higher ed. She is passionate about young children’s literacy abilities and capabilities and how they enact literacy in and beyond the classroom. Her research interests include supporting teachers across their professional lifespan to better understand how literacy development can be nurtured and supported in diverse contexts.

Tina Chasley

Assistant Professor | Teaching and Learning

Dr. Chaseley is an Assistant Professor of Literacy/Reading Education in the College of Education. As a faculty member, she teaches graduate courses in reading and undergraduate teacher preparation courses and serves as a practicum partnership lead and the Reading Specialist K-8 Endorsement Graduate Certificate Coordinator. Her research focuses on understanding how teachers’ theoretical orientations to reading instruction intersect with practice and scaffolding teachers’ reflective practice and metacognition.

Her professional experience in education also includes teaching second, third, and fourth grade for ten years in a Title-1 elementary school, followed by three years as a K-6 reading specialist. She served in several leadership roles at this level, including mentor teacher, site and district trainer, and National Board-Certified teacher.

She has taught in higher education since 2010 and graduated with a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University in 2019. She is committed to planning inclusive, engaging, and rigorous curriculum and instruction, mentoring and supervising students, supporting clinical partnerships, collaborating with faculty colleagues, and emphasizing equitable literacy practices.

Tracy Koepke

Assistant Teaching Profession | Teaching and Learning

Dr. Koepke recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from NAU. She previously served as a research analyst assistant and professional development facilitator for ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Her research interests include student engagement, primary/elementary grades, and effective instructional practices. In her free time, Tracy enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Monique Martinez

Lecturer | Teaching and Learning

Monique Martinez joins the College of Education Faculty with thirteen years as an educator. Monique is an NAU double alumni with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education. Born and raised in Flagstaff, Monique has been honored to serve our Title 1 population and public schools since she began teaching. Monique has spent her teaching career honing skills in early and elementary education as well as special education, and she is thrilled to share with our future NAU teachers!

Lucas Zhang

Assistant Teaching | Teaching and Learning

Lucas holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and an M.Ed. in ESL and Bilingual Education from NAU. His teaching interests encompass curriculum reform, biliteracy development, language-learning assessment, and qualitative research methods. Previously, he taught second language methods and multicultural education courses in the Department of Educational Specialties.

Prior to and during his doctoral studies, Lucas worked extensively with linguistically and culturally diverse students and teachers in both China and the U.S. He has presented internationally on topics related to language teacher identity development, culturally responsive teaching strategies, and language curriculum development.

Donna Lewis

Assistant Professor | Educational Leadership

Dr. Lewis joins COE as our new tenured track Assistant Professor for Educational Leadership.  She most recently served as the Superintendent for the Creighton School District in downtown Phoenix, where she was awarded Arizona’s National Superintendent of the Year from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).  Dr. Lewis served as the President of the Arizona School Administrators (ASA).  She was elected to and is serving as a Governing Board member for AASA.  AASA also asked Dr. Lewis to serve as an International Delegate and Ambassador, where she has developed multiple partnerships with schools overseas.  Dr. Lewis provides Educational Advocacy to both our state legislators and to a U.S. Congressmen and Senators. Prior to her service in Arizona, Dr. Lewis worked in Fairfax County Public Schools, the twelfth largest district in the country.  There she served as principal (both secondary and elementary) and she led over 17,000 students, 30 schools through creative, school improvement processes.  Dr. Lewis also served as Associate Superintendent at The Arizona Department of Education where she oversaw the Assessment and Accountability Divisions.  She is eager to expand her contribution in Educational Leadership through research and scholarly partnerships, examining political extremism impacting schools and the transformational leadership that may serve them best. Dr. Lewis earned her doctorate at The George Washington University and is thrilled to be ‘home’ wearing her class ring from NAU where she attained her Bachelor of Science in Education.

Melissa Sadorf

Assistant Professor | Educational Leadership

Dr. Melissa Sadorf has worked with the COE in the Educational Leadership Department for the past 8 years as an adjunct instructor, and now joins as an Assistant Teaching Professor. Additionally, she serves as the Executive Director of the NAU Rural Resource Center which provides resources and support to rural educators around the state.

Renee White Eyes

Future Faculty Fellow | Educational Leadership

Renee White Eyes (Quechan Indian Tribe), received a PhD in Social Research Methodology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in human development from California State University, San Marcos. She has extensive experience as a student affairs professional in higher education, including work with Native American serving programs. In her research, she draws on her expertise of admissions, recruiting, and community outreach to investigate questions about American Indian experiences in higher education. More specifically, her research focuses on the ways in which Indigenous student affairs professionals draw on their identities and cultural knowledge to engage in the work of recruiting as a form of native nation building.