Meet our new faculty for 2011-12

The College of Education welcomes four newly appointed faculty and a visiting faculty member for the 2011-12 academic year . . . School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in […]


September 8, 2011



The College of Education welcomes four newly appointed faculty and a visiting faculty member for the 2011-12 academic year . . .

School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

Jacqueline Swank
Assistant Professor, Counselor Education

Ph.D., mental health counseling, University of Central Florida

Jacqueline Swank is licensed in Florida as both a mental health counselor and a clinical social worker, and in Alabama as a professional counselor. She also is a registered play therapist-supervisor. She previously taught in the counselor education program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her scholarly interests include counselor training and development, focused on assessment and creativity in training and supervising counselors and counselors-in-training. She also studies prevention and intervention for at-risk children and adolescents and their families, focusing on assessment, diagnosis and creative interventions such as adventure-based counseling, nature and play therapy.

Pedro “Pete” Villarreal III
Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

Ph.D., higher education, Penn State

Pedro “Pete” Villarreal III previously was a visiting professor at George Washington University. At Penn State he minored in sociology, focusing on quantitative research methods. His primary academic interests include higher education finance, policy, college student access and attainment, and the use of rigorous statistical techniques. Villarreal recently published an article in the journal, Leadership and Policy in Schools. His collaborative research involved the use of random-effects regression modeling to study the individual, school and district, as well as state characteristics that influence school principals’ departure and mobility intentions.

School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies

Mary Theresa Kiely
Assistant Scholar, Special Education
Ph.D., special education, University of Florida

Mary Theresa Kiely joins UF after earning her Ph.D. this spring from UF. She minored in research methods with concentrations in teacher quality and learning disabilities. She is the project coordinator of a federal DOE/Institute of Education Sciences grant exploring the impact of collaborative professional development on the literacy instruction of upper elementary special education teachers. Dr. Kiely helped to develop teacher instrumentation and data analysis for the study. Her research interests include teacher learning, reading, writing, language arts, and teaching and learning for students with high-incidence disabilities. She has delivered more than 25 conference presentations and authored five peer-reviewed publications. As a doctoral student, she received the college’s Outstanding Graduate Leadership Award for 2011. She previously earned two bachelor’s degrees from Iona College and taught high school in Bronx, N.Y., and South Florida.

Kelly Whalon
Associate Scholar, Early Childhood Studies
Ph.D., special education, Florida State University

Kelly Whalon emphasized developmental disabilities and autism in her doctoral studies. She comes to UF from the William and Mary School of Education faculty in Virginia. Her research focuses on reading and research-based practices that increase academic engagement in children with autism. While much of the functional curriculum on autism intervention targets life skills. Dr. Whalon says she wanted to focus on reading because “there’s nothing more functional than reading. Reading provides a way to target other skills such as social communication and language.” She is piloting one project using video self-modeling, based on studies indicating children with autism are strong visual learners.

School of Teaching and Learning

Kent Crippen
Associate Professor, STEM Education
Ph.D., administration, curriculum and instructional technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

As part of Kent Crippen’s teaching responsibilities, he serves as an instructor with the COE’s novel UF Teach program, created in 2008 to enlist and transform UF’s brightest undergraduate science and math majors into teachers. He serves as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Science Education and Technology. He served a year on faculty at Nebraska-Lincoln and the past 10 years at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he was associate director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education. Dr. Crippen’s research interests involve the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning. He was the 2010 recipient of the Online Learning Innovator Award for Important Research, presented by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and has received several faculty research awards. He was named a 2003 Apple Distinguished Educator by Apple Computer.

WRITER: Larry Lansford, Director, COE News & Communications,; 352-273-4137