Faculty and Staff
Virginia Pilato, Ph.D. is Chair of the Department of Education and Professor. She joined the Department of Education in UMUC's graduate school in 2009, having served as a state and national leader in teacher education for many years. At the Maryland State Department of Education for 18 years, she served on national and state committees, held national organization offices, and was a frequent speaker on teacher preparation, quality, and retention. Her interest in innovative teacher education brought her to UMUC where the new MAT and the MEd in instructional technology were exciting with technology-rich opportunities for teacher candidates and faculty alike. A three-time graduate of the University of Maryland, Dr. Pilato's career includes teaching high school English and speech, and university reading and special education. She currently teaches reading and multiple literacies in UMUC's MAT program.
Datta Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D. is the Director of Assessment for the Department of Education, acts as NCATE Coordinator for the Department and also is Associate Professor in the Masters of Education program. She has been involved with administration, program development and teacher training for over 35 years. She holds her Ph.D. in the field of Language, Literacy and Culture and has extensive research and K-12 and Higher Ed teaching experience related to assessment, online education, virtual teamwork, global online communities and cross-cultural communication in multidisciplinary K-12 curriculum.
Stella Porto, Ph.D. is the Director of the Master of Distance Education & E-Learning in the Graduate School and Professor at UMUC, with 11+ years of experience in the leadership, management, delivery and development of online programs. Stella received a BS in EE, an MSc and Doctoral degrees in Informatics. She also holds a Masters in Distance Education.
Barbara Schwatrz-Bechet, Ed.D. is Director of Certification Programs and Professor at University of Maryland University College, and has been in the field of education for over 25 years. Dr. Schwartz-Bechet received her doctorate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Columbia University/Teachers College in New York City. Her current research interests include mothers advocating for their children, mentoring, personalized instruction, professional development schools for children with special needs, virtual schooling and virtual professional development schools, technology integration for low performing schools, and athletic opportunities for children with special needs.
Theo Stone, Ph.D. is Professor and Director, Field and Clinical Experiences, in the Department of Education at University of Maryland University College. In that position he applies the creative use of media-rich technologies to supervise the teacher candidates as they are placed as interns in cooperating schools around the world, as well as to train and support their mentor teachers. He has been with UMUC since 2000. Before moving to a full-time faculty position, he had served as Assistant Provost and Director, Center for the Virtual University; Interim Associate Provost for Instructional Services and Support; and Director of Academic Technology in the Office of Information Technology. Before coming to UMUC, Dr. Stone was Director of Learning Technologies at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore.
Katherine (Kate) Woodward, Ph.D. is Program Director and Professor, Master of Education in Instructional Technology. Dr. Woodward is an educator with extensive experience in teaching and learning at both the national and local levels. Before coming to UMUC in 2003, Dr. Woodward was Director of Certification Standards at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). She began her career as a high school English language arts teacher, and she has also led initiatives in large-scale assessment and collaborated on national education research projects. Dr. Woodward received an A.B. in English from Harvard University, an M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) in English and Education from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in Public Communication (with a specialty in media) from University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Woodward's current research interests include global perspectives in teacher education and cultural aspects of Web 2.0 technologies.
Deena Britt is an Academic Coordinator in The Graduate School, Department of Education at University of Maryland University College. Her position involves working department faculty, and collaborating with internal and external colleagues on various tasks and projects. She has a high volume of work experience, and has served at UMUC for seven years.
Kristin Kubik is Assistant Director, Student Support and Success. In her role, she coordinates the field and clinical experiences and provides support and advising for Master of Arts in Teaching candidates. Ms. Kubik is a UMUC alumna and has been with the university for ten years.
Dianne Sullivan is an Academic Coordinator in The Graduate School, Department of Education at University of Maryland University College. In this position she serves students of the department by helping them during the application, acceptance, and enrolling process as well as answering their questions about courses, programs and processes. Ms. Sullivan has been working in the University of Maryland system for sixteen years. Ms. Sullivan is also a UMUC alumna.
Esercainas Valencia is the Administrative Assistant in the UMUC Graduate School, Department of Education. He graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2009 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. As an Undergraduate, he worked with children in the Baltimore area elementary schools as well as HEAD Start Programs. He plans to pursue his Master's Degree in Counseling in one of the many schools in the state.
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Adelphi, MD 20783