EDUCATION FACULTY AND STAFF
Amy Gratch Hoyle
B.A., University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
M.A., Eastern Michigan University
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
My beliefs about the purpose of education, the role of schools and teachers, and best teaching practices have evolved throughout my 30-year career in education but have always been grounded in my belief in the dignity of every living being. This belief is what calls me to advocate for a more just and equitable educational system for all students. I believe that education is a vehicle through which learners can become who they were created to be, and that education is essential to individual happiness and to democratic community. I believe in education that shows us the creative power of hope and teaches us the peace that comes from justice. Through such education, students become engaged citizens, actively participating in society as we work together for social justice.
My areas of research include: courageous conversations about race in classrooms and in schools; conversations about race in online learning environments; the sociology of education; beginning teacher socialization; and teachers as transformative intellectuals, who have a sense of moral and political responsibility that they pass on to their students.
Director of Ed.D. Program
B.A., St. Joseph's University
M.A., Temple University
M.S. Candidate, Penn State University
Ed.D., Immaculata University
Dr. Speace comes to Neumann with an extensive and varied background in education, including a number of years as a classroom teacher (German secondary education), high school principal and administrator, and professor and administrator in higher education.
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.
Secretary, Graduate Education
Research Methods & Applied Statistics
B.S., Spicer Adventist University, India
M.A., Andrews University
Ph.D., Adventist International Institute
of Advanced Studies, Philippines
I am very happy to be at Neumann University. Teaching applied statistics for research has given me the opportunity to help numerous students succeed even though at the start, they feared statistics. Coming from an early background as a math and physics teacher, I have learned to develop a caring relationship with students which eventually motivates them to do well in my subjects.
I am a graduate with a physics major and a math minor from Spicer Adventist University, India, followed by MA in Curriculum & Instruction from Andrews University, MI, and a PhD in Educational Administration from Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Philippines. My passion for statistics led me to secure a Graduate Statistician Certification from the American Statistical Association.
From a humble beginning as a math and physics teacher in 1978, I have served as Principal of secondary schools in India and Thailand. Since 2001, I served as associate professor at Spicer Adventist University, University of the Southern Caribbean, and Andrews University teaching research and statistics, guiding theses/dissertations for the graduate programs. I continue to serve as chair and methodologist for numerous dissertations in EdD and PhD programs.
My interests include traveling, playing badminton, hiking, singing in choirs, and family outings.
Tammy A. Feil
Director of Undergraduate Level Education
B.M., Mansfield University
M.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Ed.D., Wilmington College
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.
Assistant Professor, Social Work
Program Director, Social Work
BS, Rosemont College
MSS & MLSP, Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
LSW (Licensed Social Worker), PA
Devon joins the Neumann community after practicing as a social worker in Philadelphia for over 10 years. She began her career supporting children and families impacted by parental substance use before moving on to interdisciplinary practice in child welfare. She trained and worked with social workers and attorneys to represent children who had experienced abuse and neglect. She also taught as an adjunct professor, where she learned she loves supporting students as they consider social work or other career paths. Devon strives to bring the same supportive, trauma-sensitive approach to teaching that she employed in practice. Social work students, regardless of their interests and fields of practice, will be most effective when they have an understanding of how trauma impacts the lives of the individuals they seek to help. Devon is excited to teach and guide students as they embark on the rewarding career path of social work.
Associate Professor, Education
B.S., West Chester University
M.S.Ed., St. Joseph's University
Ph.D., TUI University
Cynthia Ferraro was drawn to Neumann University in 2002 because of its mission, vision, and core values in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. Cynthia feels blessed to be part of Neumann’s community and faculty.
Cynthia Ferraro’s professional experience includes 25 plus 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, serves as supervisor of student teachers, and is also Student Teacher Placement Specialist. As of 2005, Cynthia became a full-time instructor at Neumann University.
Ms. Ferraro holds an M.S.Ed. with special emphasis on elementary education, as well as two teaching certificates in social studies and elementary education. In December, 2008, she earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from TUI University.
As an educator, Cynthia believes in active participation as a foundation to learning. Cynthia’s teaching philosophy is based on constructivism, in which students relate their experiences and perspectives to coursework, essentially creating their own unique understanding and knowledge of the subject matter. 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.
Assistant Professor, Social Work
Director of Field Placement, Social Work
BA, Rosemont College
MPA, Villanova University
MSS, Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
LSW - (Licensed Social Worker), PA
Rev. Philip J. Lowe
Associate 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.
Secretary to the Assistant Dean
Associate 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.
Marisa A. Rauscher
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.
Megan Scranton, CCC-SLP/L
Director of Masters' Level Education Programs
Speech & Language Pathologist (SLP)
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, PQAS
Early Childhood Specialist
Director, Child Development Center
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.
Louise A. Whitelaw, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Education
Field Experience Coordinator
B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Drexel University
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.