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Education Faculty and Staff


Joseph E. Gillespie

Joseph E. Gillespie
Professor and Dean
B.S., Mount Saint Mary's College
M.Ed., Temple University
Ed.D., Widener University


I am proud to serve as a Professor of Education and Dean of the Division of Education and Human Services. In this role, I provide leadership for and oversee the management of a unit that consists of undergraduate and Masters and Doctoral programs in education, a graduate program in Pastoral Care and Counseling, the Department of Theology, the Religious Education Institute, and the Child Development Center. As you can tell we are a diverse and vibrant Division and I am blessed to work with talented, enthusiastic and knowledgeable individuals each of whom possesses a passion for excellence and a love for our students. Teaching is a passion of mine, and I teach every semester. This keeps me in touch with our students - - their interests and their needs - and provides me the opportunity to engage in scholarly dialogue with them, something I love!

I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in English Education from Mount Saint Mary's University, my Master of Education degree in the Psychology of Teaching from Temple University, and the Doctor of Education degree from Widener University. At Widener, the focus of my degree was Reading and Language Arts with a concentration in the diagnosis and remediation of reading and learning disabilities; I am a certified reading specialist and am very interested in the development of literacy skills as part of the learning process.

Of all of the blessings I have received in my life, and there have been many, the greatest is my family. My wife Tricia is a special education math teacher in a K-8 school in Philadelphia. We are the parents of ten children and the grandparents of twenty-two.



Leonard J. DiPaul
Leonard J. DiPaul
Assistant Dean
B.A., St. Charles Seminary
M.A., St. Charles Seminary
Ed.D., Immaculata University

Dr. Len DiPaul currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Education and Human Services at Neumann University. He also teaches in the graduate program for education and is a member of the faculty associated with the Calling Forth Leaders Program, designed in conjunction with the diocese of Wilmington to assist in the development of leaders in Catholic schools. He received his doctorate in education from Immaculata University. Len is also one of the founders of Neumann University's Institute for Sport Spirituality and Character Development. He and his wife Ellen have three children, Joe, Alison and Kristen. Alison and Kristen are Neumann University graduates.



Lorraine A. Cavaliere

Lorraine A. Cavaliere

Director of Doctor of Education Program
B.S., The College of New Jersey
M.Ed., The College of New Jersey
Ed.D., Rutgers University


I have worked at all levels of the educational spectrum, having taught extensively in higher education as well as at secondary and elementary levels. Before coming to Neumann, I was the founding dean of the School of Education at Gwynedd-Mercy College and dean of Adult and Continuing Education at Cabrini College. I also served as a faculty member in the graduate programs at Cabrini College and Thomas Edison State College, a non-traditional institution of higher education for adult learners. In addition, I have been an adjunct faculty member at The College of New Jersey, Mercer Community College and Rutgers University, specializing in education and teaching methodologies as well as learning and cognition. I am a national consultant on adult learning, working with trainers in education and business. My training programs and presentations focus on teaching strategies, adult learning behaviors and styles, as well as historical and current research relative to educational practices and learning processes.



Jenelle Abnett


Jenelle Abnett
Assistant Professor, Education
A.A. SUNY Cobleskill College
B.A., Canisius College
M.Ed., Notre Dame of Maryland University
Ph.D., Notre Dame of Maryland University




I attended SUNY Cobleskill College where I earned an associate degree in Early Childhood Education, and then went on to Canisius College, where I earned the baccalaureate degree in Psychology. My undergraduate work in Psychology sparked an interest in brain science and learning theory. Understanding how different brains work and finding new ways to teach the same content to different learners inspired me to become a professor of special education. I continued my education at Notre Dame of Maryland University where I received my Master’s in Teaching Leadership and the Ph.D. in Changing Education for the Changing Population with a focus in Special Education. As a teacher in Baltimore City and Baltimore County schools, I worked in both self-contained and inclusion classrooms for grades k-8, teaching students with a wide range of disabilities and disadvantages. I taught as an adjunct professor at both the Community College of Baltimore County and Notre Dame of Maryland University. My professional interests include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities and reading comprehension.


Stephanie Smith Budhai


Stephanie Smith Budhai
Assistant Professor
B.S.Ed., Temple University
M.Ed., University of Maryland-College Park
Ph.D., Drexel University


It is a true blessing to serve on the faculty of the Division of Education and Human Services at Neumann. As a dual certified Special and Elementary Education educator, I have worked with a range of students as a teacher, counselor, private tutor, and administrator. I have also worked in Higher Education as an adjunct instructor, student affairs practioner, and educational researcher. I am very interested in Special Education, Pre-service teacher development, and Service-learning.

I believe that student growth should be at the core of the classroom. As an educator, mentor, and life-long learner, my philosophy of teaching is to ensure that students leave the classroom different then when they came in. This happens through my execution in creating a learning environment focused on reciprocity and openness, by facilitating the acquisition of pedagogical techniques in students, and using teaching as a catalyst to encourage students to think critically and passionately about course topics.

Effective teaching is the most important service I provide in my life. There is no better moment in the classroom then to experience students during their “Aha!” moments. The facilitation of knowledge allows the cycle of new learning to continue, and I am blessed to be part of it. I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary and Special Education from Temple University, a Master’s in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland College Park, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Drexel University.



Kathleen Conn


Kathleen Conn
Associate Professor
B.S., St. John’s University
M.S., University of California, Los Angeles
Ph. D., Bryn Mawr College
J.D. and LL.M., Widener University

I am pleased to be rejoining the Neumann faculty after a career in K-12 public education and a continuing career in law. My personal educational background equipped me to be a research scientist, and my special interests and publications in science are in the fields of molecular dynamics, cell biology and cancer metastasis. However, my interest in public education led me to teaching at the high school level and finally to public school administration. I served as a science teacher, K-12 Curriculum Supervisor and then an Elementary Principal in local public school districts before returning to Neumann. In between, I studied law at Widener University School of Law in the Evening Division, obtained an advanced degree in law, and now also teach as an Adjunct Professor at Widener.I was admitted to practice in the state of Pennsylvania in 1999, and before the United States Supreme Court in 2005. I serve on several Boards of Directors of professional organizations, including the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (PASCD), the Pennsylvania Science Teachers’ Association (PSTA), and the National Board of the Education Law Association.

My special fields of interest and expertise in law are in the areas of First Amendment rights of students in K-12 public schools, public schools’ legal responses to technology misuse and bullying, including cyberbullying, and peer sexual harassment in schools.  I have authored two books published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and numerous articles published in law reviews and educational journals.

I earned a B.S. degree in Physics from St. John’s University, New York; an M.S. in Medical Physics/Radiation Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles; and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Physics/Biology from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. My J.D. is from Widener University School of Law, and I also obtained an advanced law degree, an LL.M. in Corporate Law and Finance, there.  I studied education and obtained Pennsylvania certifications at West Chester University, Widener University in Chester, and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

My husband and I have four adult children and an ever-expanding extended family of children’s spouses, grandchildren, and in-laws, all of whom we love and enjoy immensely. Holidays at our home are always times filled with joy, togetherness, vibrant discussions, and lots of food - which I love to cook!



Richard Cunningham


Richard Cunningham
Assistant Professor, Education
B.S., Pennsylvania State University
M.A., Villanova University
Ed.D., Temple University

I have spent my entire career in the field of education, and devoted my life to teaching and administering in our public schools, and still feel passionate about it.  I believe that I have been blessed and very fortunate to have found a profession and not a job, a profession that has allowed me to make a living doing something that I love to do, a profession that has allowed me to make meaningful contributions to the lives of many students.  It has been my pleasure to bring these experiences to the education division of Neumann University, for they have proven to be supplemental to the academic and theoretical backgrounds of my colleagues.  Applying this experiential knowledge from both a teaching and administrative perspective has provided meaningful insights for students preparing to enter the diverse and challenging teaching environments of today’s schools.  As a result, I have been able to continue to feel that I am making a valuable contribution to our youngsters and to the University.



Andrew C. DeSanto


Andrew C. DeSanto
Assistant Professor, Education
Program Director for the Master of Science in Instructional Leadership
B.A., M.A., Rowan University
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
(610) 361-5404


I never was your typical fulltime college student. I am an adult learner. I attended college in the evening while working. At the completion of my B.S. in Elementary Education at Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, I taught at St. Luke’s Elementary School in Stratford N.J. This also fulfilled my student teaching requirement. I then joined the Marine Corps. and served in Vietnam earning two purple hearts.  Upon my return, I taught in sixth grade while earning my Master's of Education in Environmental Education at Rowan University. I earned my principal certification and served as a K-8 principal. I achieved my doctorate of education from the University of Pennsylvania in Educational Leadership with a superintendent certification. I did this while serving as a K-8 building principal. Subsequently, I moved on to be a curriculum coordinator and a school district superintendent.  I taught at Rowan University in elementary education and have been at Neumann University since 1998.  My teaching style can be summarized in a recent quote.


"-- you have an awesome way of helping students to bridge that seemingly infinite gap between theory and practice! I always come away a bit more reflective as a practitioner -- I appreciate your teaching!"
Jesse Bean (graduate student)



Tammy A. Feil


Tammy A. Feil
Associate Professor, Education
B.M., Mansfield University
M.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Ed.D., Wilmington College
(610) 558-5604

I am blessed to be part of the Neumann education faculty since 2003. I earned a Music Therapy degree from Mansfield University, a Master of Special Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an Ed.D. from Wilmington College, now Wilmington University. I started out my career as a Music Therapist in long-term care settings. I then moved to the Delaware Autistic Program as a Music Therapist and became a classroom teacher there working with teenage girls on the Autism Spectrum. After a few years working with Autism Spectrum Students, I transferred to an elementary school in the same school district, Christina School District in Delaware, and became a special education teacher in an inclusion setting. Since coming to Neumann I have developed the Special Education certification program and helped to develop the new Teacher Education program which started in 2010. I am Coordinator of Special Education and teach undergraduate and graduate courses and supervise student teachers. Throughout my school and work experiences, I have worked with people from birth to senior citizens with a wide variety of disabilities. My professional interests include special education with an emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Differentiated Instruction, and Assessment.

I have a wonderful husband, Mark, who was a high school science teacher and we have two cats that are our pride and joy. My hobbies are: scuba diving, scrapbooking, card making, and reading.



Cynthia Ferraro


Cynthia Ferraro
Assistant Professor, Education
B.S., West Chester University
M.S.Ed., St. Joseph's University
Ph.D., TUI University


Cynthia Ferraro’s professional experience includes 23 years in the profession of education, of which 13 years were in the classroom as a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teacher of social studies.  Cynthia took an early retirement from the public school system to pursue the adoption of two sons from Guatemala.  At this time, Cynthia joined the Neumann family as an adjunct instructor teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses within the Department of Education and Human Services and also serves as a supervisor of student teachers. As of 2005, Cynthia became a full time instructor at Neumann University.


Ms. Ferraro holds a M.S. Ed. with special emphasis on elementary education, as well as two teaching certificates in social studies and elementary education. She recently earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from TUI University.

As an educator, Cynthia believes in active participation as a foundation to learning. In terms of teaching style, she sees herself more as a facilitator than a lecturer. Her goal is to help ALL students explore and understand 21st century education, and more importantly, to hone practical applications of the many concepts and theories as they relate to profession of education.



Barbara Mongelli Hanes


Barbara Mongelli Hanes
Assistant Professor, Education
B.A., Cabrini College
M.S.Ed., St. Joseph’s University
M.S., Widener University
Ed.D., Widener University


I began my career in education teaching in Philadelphia, a job that I loved with a passion. I realized early on what an honor it was to be able to help young children learn and grow. While working on my doctorate, I served as an adjunct faculty member at several colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. In May 2010, I completed my doctoral studies and was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to work with the students, staff, and professionals at Neumann University.


As a professor of education, my primary goals are to model good teaching practices for my students, to help my students develop their ability to think critically and to teach with substance, and to engage my students in the search for their own teaching style. I emphasize the importance of “teacher as decision maker” and encourage them to become “great thinkers” in the field of education, professionals who are reflective and continually growing and learning along with their young students.


I caught the travel bug early in my life and enjoy traveling to beautiful places around the world with my wonderful husband and our two darling daughters.


Rev. Philip J. Lowe


Rev. Philip J. Lowe
Assistant Professor, Education
B.A., St. Charles Seminary
M.Div., St. Charles Seminary
Ed.D., Temple University

Reverend Philip J. Lowe, Ed.D., M.Div. was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA.  He majored in philosophy during his baccalaureate studies, in pastoral theology during his graduate studies, in educational administration during his doctoral studies, and his doctoral dissertation is titled: Clinical Supervision Practices of the Secondary School Principals of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Father Lowe’s areas of professional interest are Catholic School Education and Leadership, Supervision of Instruction, Staff Development, and School Administration. 



Daniel McKee
Daniel McKee
Assistant Professor
B.A., LaSalle University
M.Ed., Temple University
Certification in Supervisor and Learning Consultant,
Rowan University
Ed.D., Widener University


It is a privilege to serve as a member of the Education Department faculty.  Throughout my career, I have worked as a special education teacher, as a Learning Disabilities Teacher/Consultant for public and non-public schools, as Supervisor of Special Education of the Mantua Township Public Schools in New Jersey, and as Principal of Sewell School in Sewell, NJ.  My academic preparation includes undergraduate studies at LaSalle University, and graduate work at Temple, Rowan, and Widener Universities. 

My background and professional interests are primarily within the area of special education. As a teacher, consultant, supervisor and principal, I have endeavored to provide high quality service to support each child’s efforts to reach their fullest potential. As a member of Neumann University’s faculty, it is my hope to support the development of our future special education and general education teachers in becoming outstanding professionals.

On a personal level, I have been blessed with a wonderful family. My wife, Joan, and I have one son, Michael. My interests include golf, reading, and traveling.  



Mary Ann Melisi
Assistant Professor, Education
B.A., Neumann University
M.Ed., Beaver College

photo coming soon


My career as a teacher began in the Child Development Center. I was the first teacher in a building newly constructed for preschoolers. After years of fine tuning my teaching skills, I became the director.

It has been a rewarding experience for me both personally and professionally. I have the unique opportunity each day to work with preschoolers, college students, parents, teachers and faculty in the division of Education.

With early childhood education being a part of the education major curriculum, hands-on learning activities with three, four, and five-year-old children are included in the Neumann experience. The Child Development Center is a fun place to work and a great place to learn.



Bonnie Newland
Bonnie Newland
Secretary to the Dean
M.Ed., Neumann University


I have been at Neumann University since 2004, and have worked in the Education and Human Services Division since 2005 as Secretary to the Dean. In this role, I support the Dean and the faculty with the day-to-day operation of the Division which includes the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. I am responsible for recommending students for certification using the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) new on-line certification process, TIMS.

I earned my Bachelor of Science from Widener University in Business Management and my M.S. Ed. from Neumann University in 2008.

My husband Bill and I have one son, Ryan, who currently attends Neumann University. 



Marisa Rauscher
Marisa A. Rauscher
Associate Professor, Education
B.S., Shippensburg University
M.Ed., Shippensburg University
Ph.D., Temple University


Marisa A. Rauscher joined Neumann University as a faculty member with the Division of Education and Human Services in 2004.  Formerly, Marisa was a high school teacher in Philadelphia for nine years and a long time cross country/track and field coach.


Marisa completed a bachelor’s degree in English Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Special Education at Shippensburg University.  She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Temple University.  Marisa’s academic interests include human development, adolescent egocentrism, risk-taking behaviors, teacher quality and gender theory.


While completing her master’s program in Special Education, Marisa had the opportunity to work in an extended year program at Olde Forge School in Lima, PA.  It is in this capacity that Marisa had the opportunity to work with students with a variety of exceptionalities.  This experience galvanized Marisa’s spirit of advocacy for the rights and needs of all students.

As a certified English and special educator, Marisa considers the craft of teaching to be a vocation – one in which accountability and passion are paramount.  She strives to model excellence with compassion and diligence.  As a former collegiate athlete, Marisa balances her work life with morning runs and the beautiful and inspiring gift of family.




Fred Savitz
Fred Savitz
Professor Emeritus
B.A., Ursinus College
M.Ed., Ed.D., Temple University
(610) 558-5587


I have been a professor at Neumann University for twenty-five years. Prior to my arrival at Neumann, I served as assistant professor and director of student teaching at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. My background in teaching stems from an undergraduate degree in politics from Ursinus College and master's and doctoral degrees in curriculum, instruction, and assessment from Temple University. I have taught at every grade level in basic education, and I translate these experiences into the educational psychology and methods courses that I regularly teach at Neumann. I believe that a productive classroom is an animated classroom, so music, dance, and drama frequently punctuate the learning activities. When I am not teaching, I can be found editing the Journal of the Middle States Council for the Social Studies or preparing manuscripts on teacher preparation for publication in higher education venues.  I proudly serve my colleagues in teacher preparation by representing them in my capacity as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators.  I find my muse while running in the early morning or playing the mandolin, banjo, or harmonica in the evening.


Megan Scranton
Megan Scranton
Assistant Professor
B.A., Bucknell University
M.S., Boston University
Reading Specialist Certification, Millersville University
Ed.D., Widener University


I am thrilled to have joined the Neumann University family. While in college, my passion for teaching and service developed; I was a RA, TA, Treasurer of Circle K, summer swim coach, and member and captain of my varsity cross country and track and field teams. Prior to becoming a college professor, I worked as a Speech and Language Therapist, Reading Specialist, and Literacy Coach in the public schools. I spent two years working in the Massachusetts schools, two years with IU 13, and 10 years with the School District of Lancaster in PA.

I have experience working with children from birth to age 18 with a variety of needs and abilities, including those with speech and language impairments, autism, emotional/behavioral needs, reading difficulties, and giftedness as well as English Language Learners. I also served in a leadership role in which I supervised and mentored teachers, facilitated professional development, coordinated interventions, and presented at the state & national levels. In addition to my Speech and Language Impairment and Reading Specialist certifications, I have my Supervisory Certification in Curriculum and Instruction and my doctoral degree in Educational Leadership: Curriculum Instruction, and Staff Development. I continue to work part-time as a Speech and Language Therapist and adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC).  I have a wonderful husband, Dave, and three children, Jake, Kara, and Brady, who keep me hopping! I still enjoy running and reading and have found a new love in watching my own children play sports.

I truly believe that all children can learn, and that teaching is one of the most rewarding professions. My advice for becoming an effective teacher is “Work Smarter, Not Harder” and always engage in reflection.



John L Sperduto

John L Sperduto, PQAS
Early Childhood Specialist
B.S., Neumann University
M.Ed., Widener University


I have been part of the Neumann family for more than 25 years, first as an undergraduate student in the 1990’s and now as adjunct faculty since 2005. My experience as an educator includes teaching in public and parochial schools and more than 15 years as owner and administrator of two early childhood development centers. I have been a PA Certified Professional Development instructor more than 10 years teaching hundreds of professional development workshops and in-service trainings to professional early childhood staff all over the Delaware Valley. I have also provided dozens of Child Development Associate classes to hundreds of CDA candidates.

In additional to my teaching experience, I am the co-founder of the Child Care Professional Network. CCPN is a PA 501c3 nonprofit organization established in 1999. CCPN has grown to more than one thousand members strong. CCPN and its membership work hard to promote the importance of Early Childhood Education. I also work as a consultant and mentor to PA licensed early child hood programs.

I am excited to continue to be a part of the growth and expansion of Neumann University. My   experience and personable teaching style has allowed me to develop strong positive relationships with the dedicated students here at Neumann. I look forward to each class as an opportunity for growth and development not only for the students but for myself as well.



Laura Taddei

Laura Taddei
Assistant Professor, Education
B.S. Immaculata University
M.Ed. Cabrini College
Ed.D. Widener University



I am excited and honored to be a part of the Neumann faculty. Neumann is a special place and I look forward to joining and contributing to this community. I began my career in education teaching young children ages 3 to 6 years old. During this time, I saw a strong need for teacher support in the field of early childhood. I became a professional development consultant and began training early childhood educators.  This experience prepared me to teach at local community colleges as an adjunct professor and then an Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director of an early childhood program, and most recently Director of the Center for Faculty Development. My research and topics of interest are culturally responsive teaching, faculty development, educational technology, and assessment. 

One concept I try to portray when I am teaching is the importance of building a classroom community. I consider myself a facilitator in the classroom and I learn from my students every time I teach. I am always looking for new things to try out in the classroom and am open to ideas. I believe and value lifelong learning and continual improvement. In the classroom, I will share stories with my students about my three children who I am always learning from as well: Kevin, Sarah, and Vinny. 


Louise A. Whitelaw

Louise A. Whitelaw, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Education
Field Experience Coordinator
B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Drexel University
(610) 358-4518


I am happy and thankful to be teaching at Neumann and to be working with such an important part of the teacher education journey- the clinical field placements for the Neumann University education students. I feel excited every time I step into the classroom and want to share my excitement about the classroom experience with students and what we as educators can learn by both observing and being active practitioners in the field.

In my role, I support the processes that surround Clinical Field Experience starting in our students’ freshman year. In addition, I help students to connect and reflect on what they see and do during their field work back to what they are learning here at Neumann. Finally, I strive to make connections and constantly take the pulse of our partnering schools so that we are meeting their needs.

I am a graduate of Drexel University, with B.S. degrees in Literature & Corporate Communications, an M.S. degree in Instruction, with PA certifications in Elementary Education and Environmental Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Development and Learning Technologies. I am a former elementary and middle school science teacher, and was the Director of a mathematics and science learning lab. My higher education experience includes extensive teaching in Education and English, as well as holding leadership posts working in the areas of field experience, supervising student teachers, academic coaching, and a mentoring program for beginning teachers in the School District of Philadelphia. Another area of professional focus has been teaching and on-line course writing.

My interests include spending time with family, writing, photography, taking walks, tennis, and enjoying the outdoors.


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